My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Bye 2010 - Hello 2011

What a wonderful year this has been. Six hundred plus post later and I'm still loving this blogging thing. It is amazing the great people I've met. Some have become dear dear friends. I'm not going to start mentioning names because I'll forget someone and then I'll be in trouble. It's not just the other bloggers either, sometimes it's the people who leave comments regularly that I love dearly.

I'm not making resolutions, never do, but maybe I'll have a few goals in mind for the coming year. You can count on the fact that one of them will NOT be to vacuum and dust more. Another will NOT be to lose weigh, I'm skinny as a fence post, maybe to gain a few pounds. Actually I'm pretty happy with me just the way I am. The only problem with that is, I'm the only one that feels that way. Maybe I'll try keeping my opinions to myself, nope, that's no fun. I think I'll just keep blogging and causing trouble.

Eat your Collards Greens, Hoppin' John or Black-Eyed Peas for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Bring on 2011, I'm ready!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Collard Greens With Spicy Topping

I know I posted another Collard Greens recipe back in February, but this one is different, it has real fat in it and a wonderful spicy vinegar topping.

Collard GreenWith Spicy Topping
Serves 6-8
print recipe

2 bunches collard greens (leaves will wilt as cooked)
1/4 pound streak of lean or fatback of pork slices
2 14 1/2-ounce cans chicken broth
3 cups cold water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 dried hot red pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Wash greens two or three times to remove sand. Cut heavy bottom stems from leaves then chop or tear the remainder. As greens are being washed and readied for cooking, cook the pork slices in frying pan or in microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. Lift from grease when brown and drain on paper towel. Prior to cooking, place the pork and greens in a pot, cover with broth and water. Add sugar, hot red pepper, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook in 6-quart pot for approximately 1 hour or in 6-quart pressure cooker for 25 minutes.

Greens can be cooked one to two days ahead of serving and reheated.

Spicy Topping
1 cup chopped mild onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 rounds chopped jalapeno pepper, more if you like

Mix all ingredients together. Do not heat this mixture, as it should be crisp when served. This may be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator if covered tightly. My, My is this good.

Hoppin' John Savannah Style

Hoppin' John is not only on the New Years Day menu in most low-country homes, but is eaten throughout the year. You just must have collard greens and cornbread to serve with this.

This recipe was in The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcounty Cooking, that my dear friend Dulcie sent me last week. If you are a low-country food lover as I am, this book is a must have.

Mr. Dugger, who created the recipe, was the head butcher at Savannah's old Smith Bros. Grocery. His recipe was published in the Savannah Morning New more than 5 decades ago.

Hoppin' John Savannah Style
4 servings
print recipe

1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups dried cowpeas (field peas), soaked overnight
2 onions, chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 cup water
3/4 pound hog jowl, finely chopped
2 cups rice
1 cup chicken broth

Combine all ingredients except for the rice and chicken broth in a saucepan and turn the heat to medium for 15 minutes. Then reduce to low and cook approximately 1 hour, or until done.

Add the raw rice and chicken broth and cook entire mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes or until done. Serve immediately with corn bread and collard greens.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trademark Pie

Remember a few weeks ago I said I had gotten in trouble with the Trademark/Copyright police. Well, this is the recipe they were so upset about. Not the recipe but the name.

We are not allowed to call this "Derby Pie" or "Kentucky Derby Pie" because of trademark/copyright issues. The original recipe from the 20's was created at the Melrose Inn in Prospect Ky. Sometime along the way the rights to the name were bought. See why we have to be careful. These people write nasty emails.

This recipe was given to me by my dear friend Doris Mauldin in the late 70's. I bet they're having Derby Pie and Hot Browns in heaven all year round.

Not having Derby Pie the first Saturday in May would be like not having eggnog for Christmas. I also make these for Christmas. Yes, I still call them Derby Pies.

Kentucky Derby Pie
6-8 servings
printer version

3/4 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup English walnuts( I use half English and half black walnuts)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

Mix flour and sugar; add eggs, and butter; add nut, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly.

Pour into unbaked pie crust

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 45-60 minutes. Test with toothpick, pie should be chewy but not runny - Bake longer if necessary.

Top with slightly sweetened whipped cream before serving.

Cook's Note: If I remember I soak my walnuts overnight in bourbon. If I don't remember I pour about a teaspoon of bourbon over each slice before I top it with the whipped cream. It is also allowed to add a teaspoon or two of bourbon to your whipped cream.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Salmon Cakes

I need a break from all this holiday food. This morning I woke up thinking about my grandmothers Salmon Cakes, with mashed potatoes and creamed peas. These also make a fabulous breakfast or brunch item, served with scrambled eggs, grits and a mountain of homemade biscuits. I am starving. Let me get a cookie to tide me over.

The secret to making delicious salmon cakes is to soak the bread in the salmon liquid. It adds so much flavor to the cakes, per my grandmother. Don't use any kind of fancy bread, use that stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth, (Wonder or Sunbeam).

Salmon Cakes
4 servings
print recipe

5 slices white bread (Wonder or Sunbeam)
One 15-ounce can salmon
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Tear the bread into small pieces and place in a medium bowl.

2. Drain the juices from the salmon over the bread and toss.

3. Add the salmon to the bowl with the bread. Add the eggs, onion, pepper, and salt. Toss to combine.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the oil bubbles when some bread crumbs are dropped in. Drop the salmon mixture by heaping soupspoonsful into the hot oil (make as many as fit in the skillet without touching). Fry until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn and fry until the other side is browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Continue with the remaining salmon mixture until it is all cooked, adding more oil if necessary.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lentil Soup

I know the holidays are not over, however lets take a break from the cookies, candies, cake, eggnog, fatty meats, stuffing's, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. Do I have your attention! You noticed I didn't say wine, can't give up everything all at one time.

Just one day this week let's have a healthy low calorie, delicious soup. Agreed!

Lentil Soup
Makes about 20 cups, freezes beautifully
1 1/4 cups = 1 vegetable serving
85 calories per cup, yes only 85 calories
print recipe

nonstick cooking spray
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped or 2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 14 1/2 ounce cans unpeeled tomatoes
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth or dry sherry (It is still the holiday season.)
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1 large whole bay leaf
1/3 cup fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
pinch cayenne pepper
salsa (optional)

Spray a large pot with nonstick cooking spray and saute onions over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, marjoram and thyme; continue to cook and stir for 3 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth and lentils. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes or until lentils are barely tender.

Add the salt and pepper, wine, fennel, bay leaf, parsley and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes longer, or until lentils are tender.

Taste soup for seasonings; adjust if necessary. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve each portion with a large spoonful of salsa, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Serving You Well Cookbook.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Glen - My Electric Meter Reader

Have you ever gotten a Christmas present from the person who reads your electric meter? In most of my years having electricity I haven't even seen the person who reads the meter.

When I moved back to the old home place about 8 years ago I would be outside on some of the days when Glen (I didn't know his name then) would come to read the meter. He was always so kind and always remembered to ask how my mom was doing. If I had just come back from the garden I would give him tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, kale, whatever I had at the moment. He always said the cutest thing, "My wife and I will certainly enjoy these." In the winter I would give him jams and jellies, cookies, whatever.

Glen got promoted last February and I had not seen him but a couple of times since then. I thought I had lost Glen forever. Missed seeing him. I knew he came on the 17th of each month about 11:00 a.m. and I'd find myself watching for him.

I was home all day Christmas Eve but I still missed Glen when he stopped by to leave me a gift. I was so sad I missed him, but I guess he didn't knock, just left the package on the step. A beautifully wrapped package containing cheeses, crackers and mustard's from a lovely cheese shop in town.

I have no idea how to get in touch with him to thank him or when I'll see him again.
Maybe his wife reads my blog.

If you see Glen please tell him how much I appreciate his thoughtfulness and how much I miss our visits.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11

Good news! What God's angels have sent to tell is not some distant birth that really matters little to us (like: my old high school friend;s cousin's daughter-in-law just had a baby").

No, this is up close and personal: "Unto you," the angel says. Right now, "this day"; right here, "in the city of David."

That angelic announcement continues to be proclaimed in pulpits and programs, and at concerts.

"Good new! This is for you
...for now
...for here
...for everyone

Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled." Joyful, all you nations, rise' join the triumph of the skies; With angelic hosts proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!" Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!.

Each of the Christmas cards you received this year was addressed to you. Read through a few of them right now... and take them personally.

Wishing each and everyone of you a wonderful Christmas Day.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Christmas is a time to remember how far we've traveled, and to appreciate those who shared the journey with us.

May all your Christmas dreams come true at Christmas and always.

Wishing you the precious gifts of love, joy, and peace.


California Olive Spread

This is one of the easiest appetizers you could possibly make. No way is this your average olive ,cream cheese spread. We are talking olive spread with an attitude. Spread some of this on some good homemade wheat or rye bread with a leaf of lettuce and you have lunch. This will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

This is one of my favorites. Perfect for any occasion.

California Olive Spread
print recipe

1/4 pound (1 stick) sweet butter
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 8-ounce jar or can of green or black pitted olives, use any kind you like
1 8-ounce package cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Melt the butter in a small frying pan. Add the onion, and cook until soft and limp. Do not brown.

Place the cream cheese in a bowl. Add the butter-onion mixture. Cream with an electric mixer or by hand.

Drain and coarsely chop the olives. Add the olives and chili powder to the creamed mixture. Blend well. The mixture will be soupy at this stage, it will set up as it chills. Place in a serving bowl and chill.

Serve with crackers, melba toast, or sturdy tortilla chips or just make a sandwich.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blonde Doesn't Equal Stupid!

Sometime during the night my furnace when out. I woke about 2:30 a.m. freezing my butt off. No really big problem I have two of those little electric heaters so I plug them in the bedroom and bath. I check the thermostat, and breaker box. I had checked the fuel a couple of days ago. I'm going to need a service person.

I'm a thoughtful person I wait until 5:30 a.m. to place the call. Waiting for the answering machine or service to pick up. Oops! I called the home number. Dave has been to my house before and my brother has used him for years, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't that happy to hear from me at that time of day. There was mention of me calling back later. Not going to happen. I waited until he got himself together and got something to write on. Dave says, "What's the problem". Me, "no heat, I think it might be a bad valve, that has happened before. I've checked everything else". He said he would be here a little after 9:00 a.m. Great I'll turn the oven on to stay a little warm. I know you're not suppose to do that, but I'm cold.

I think I forgot to mention that the two heaters that I plugged in both stopped working.

Dave gets here at 10:00 a.m. Dave's pretty much a "good ole boy". Let's check the thermostat, breaker box and I'll check the fuel when I go outside, he says to me in his I'm talking to a moron voice. I don't say a word. Heat is the only thing I'm interested in.

After 45 minutes he comes back in the house. Gotta go get a valve, he says, I'll be right back. He's back, still putting the valve in and I'm smiling ear to ear because he had to make an extra 20 mile round trip.

Don't you just love it when you're right! Which doesn't happen that often if you're a Blondie!

I gave him some Christmas cookies anyway. Not the good ones , just the regular ones.

Neiman-Marcus Cheese Spread/Dip

The cookies and cakes are baked, shopping finished, cards sent or not. My attitude is a little better today, so let's make something fun and easy.

Without a doubt this is my favorite cheese spread. Perfect for any occasion, but we're talking Christmas holidays right now. This saves well so make the whole batch, you can cut it in half if you like. If you are having more than 6 people place a couple of platters of this around so everyone will not be standing in the same place wolfing this down.

The flavor definitely improves if made a day ahead.

Neiman-Marcus Cheese Spread/Dip
print recipe

1/2 cup roasted almonds
1 pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 or 3 green onions, chopped
2 cups good mayonnaise (Hellmann's or homemade)

Roast almonds in 35o degree F oven for about 10 minutes. Fry bacon until crispy. Drain and let cool and then crumble. Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Serve with garlic bagel crisp or your favorite crackers.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Autumn Succotash with Gruyere Grits

My, My, doesn't that sound Southern fancy! Do you have friends that are vegetarian, I do. Try to always plan something in your holiday dinners for every one's enjoyment. Me, I could eat a big bowl of this and not worry about anything else for supper, vegetarian, or not.

Autumn Succotash with Gruyere Grits
6-8 servings
print recipe

2 tablespoons butter
1 large fennel bulb, cut into 2-inch strips
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin 2-inch strips
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into thin 2-inch strips
1 (16-ounce) bag of frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package baby lima beans, thawed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Gruyere Grits
4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, and garlic; cook 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring often.

Add pepper; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn, lima beans, and whipping cream; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and next 3 ingredients. Serve over Gruyere Grits. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes.

Gruyere Grits
6-8 servings

4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular grits (not instant)
1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in grits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

White Chocolate-Dipped Oatmeal-Cranberry Cookies

This is it! The End! I'm Done! Enough is Enough! No cookies will pass thru my oven for a while. These are not just for Christmas they are wonderful anytime.

Everyone loves Oatmeal Cookies. With the addition of cranberries and then dipped in white chocolate how can you go wrong. They are great plain also.

White Chocolate-Dipped Oatmeal-Cranberry Cookies
About 4 dozen
print recipe

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sweetened dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces, toasted, or walnuts
1 1/4 cups uncooked quick-cooking, or old fashioned oats (not instant)
3 (4-ounce white chocolate baking bars, coarsely chopped (Ghirardelli is great)
3 tablespoons shortening

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, gradually add sugars, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in cranberries, pecans/walnuts, and oats.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons 2-inches apart onto lightly grease baking sheet or parchment lined sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Microwave white chocolate and shortening in a medium-size bowl on HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring once. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate, letting excess drip back into bowl. Place dipped cookies on wax paper; let stand until firm.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Helen Corbitt's Pickled Shrimp

I was reading Miz Helen's Country Cottage a few days ago and she had posted a Cream Puff recipe from Helen Corbitt's Cooking for Company Cook Book. This book was published in 1974. It reminded me that I have Helen Corbitt's first cook book, copyright 1957. I have used some of her recipes for so long I don't even have to drag the book out anymore.

I do believe this is the only way I have ever made Pickled Shrimp and it's from Helen Corbitt's Cook Book. No one can deny that pickled shrimp are delicious. This is perfect for the holiday season.

Helen Corbitt's Pickled Shrimp
depends on size shrimp you use
print recipe

1 pound cooked and cleaned shrimp
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup paper-thin slices of onion
8 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons sugar
A dash of cayenne pepper

Dribble the oil over the shrimp. Bring to a boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over shrimp and olive oil while hot. Cool and then refrigerate for at least 24 hours. How easy was that.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Fourth Sunday in Advent - Saint and Scriptures Sunday

The Angels' Candle Urges Us: Rejoice


But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people." Luke 2:10

"Fear not," the angel said. What is the opposite of fear? While confidence may begin to express it, there has to be a basis for that confidence. Perhaps a better word is trust-and the JOY.

The beginning of Advent's first week is a time to notice how our circles of light multiplied, so that what was once a single tiny flicker is now a ring of brightness. If darkness is frightening (a cause of fear), darkness has given way to light!

"Fear not," the angel says, first thing. For this is the week we are privileged to draw near to the One who is the very Light of the world!

Move forward in faith; the angels point the way.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
"Fear not," said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind;
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind

Dianna has more Saint and Scriptures at The Kennedy Adventures. Please visit.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mile-High Turtle Ice Cream Pie

When I lived in Florida there was a restaurant in St. Augustine that had the best Mile-High Turtle Ice Cream Pie ever. This is as close as I can get and it is wonderful. This is when you will need your Homemade Caramel Sauce. Perfect to have in your freezer for the holidays.

Mile-High Turtle Ice Cream Pie
Yield: 12 servings
print recipe

2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (about 40 cookies)
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 pints dulce de leche ice cream, softened and divided, I used Haagen-Dazs
1 cup Homemade Carmel Sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened
1 (7-ounce) can sweetened whipped cream, I used Redd-Whip
3/4 cup Homemade Caramel Sauce

Combine crumbs and melted butter in a small mixing bowl; stir well. Press crumbs in bottom of a 9 x 3-inch spring form pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Spoon 1 pint dulce de leche ice cream into cooled crust, and spread evenly; drizzle 1/3 cup Homemade Caramel Sauce over ice cream, and sprinkle with 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Freeze 15 minutes or until ice cream is almost firm. Repeat procedure with chocolate ice cream, 1/3 cup Caramel Sauce, and remaining pecans; freeze until almost firm. Top with remaining dulce de leche ice cream and 1/3 cup Caramel Sauce. Cover and freeze 6 hours or up to 2 weeks in advance.

Before serving remove sides and bottom of pan; transfer pie to a serving platter. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Place 3/4 cup Home Made Caramel Sauce in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until warm. Drizzle 1 tablespoon sauce over each serving.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Feel Good Friday

I almost forgot to write my Feel Good Friday post again this week. It isn't that I don't feel good, it's that I feel sooo good and am so busy, I almost forgot to tell you.

I'm so behind with my baking this year that if I wait long enough it will be too later to worry about. My friend Edie, and I are having a cookie baking day next week so that should help catch me up a little. All we have to do is pick a day when my brother is not coming by or we will still be behind.

Can you believe that one week from today is Christmas Eve. Are you ready? I'm never ready. I hope a lot of you have taken the suggestions of others and made most of your Christmas presents this year. There is nothing that says how much you are loved and appreciated more than a gift someone has taken the time to make. When I'm making a batch of cookies or candy, or baking a loaf of bread I already know who I'm making it for. All that love just jumps right in the mixture.

Try to keep your week as sane as possible and I'll see you next week. Check out The Girl Next Door to see what others are feeling good about this week.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

This sauce can be made in about 15 minutes or less. Who doesn't love Caramel Sauce? A jar of this makes a great gift or serve as a topping for pound cake or ice cream. I just might have a surprise coming up that involves this fabulous sauce.

Homemade Caramel Sauce
Yield 1 3/4 cups
print recipe

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high, and boil gently,without stirring, until syrup turns a deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush and swirling pan (about 8 minutes). (Swirling the pan, instead of stirring, promotes more even cooking.) Gradually add cream (sauce will bubble vigorously). Add butter; stirring gently until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lima Beans with Ham and Cream

This is a wonderful side dish to have with your Brined Pork Roast. Plus it can be made in the morning, chilled and baked at dinner. make ahead always works for me.

The maple-honey ham adds just the right smoky sweetness to the baby limas simmered in cream.

Lima Beans with Ham and Cream
6-8 servings
print recipe

1 tablespoon butter
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1/2 pound maple-honey ham, diced (Iused Boar's Head)
1 cup finely diced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 to 1/3 cup chicken broth

Butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish, and set aside.

Stir together lima beans and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; spoon into prepared dish.

Bake, covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; stir and bake 30 more minutes or until bubbly and browned. Serve with slotted spoon. Beans will thicken as they begin to cool.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

Did you notice how many post I had yesterday, three. That's a little over the top for me. I was having a manic day, sorry. I was making cookies, candy and chili, plus blogging. I was having a party all by myself. I promise to me calmer today.

As much as I love these cookies I normally only make them at Christmas. I have no idea why. There are two recipes that I use, this one and the one of the back of the coconut bag. I've tried the ones with dried cranberries added, chocolate drizzled over the top, etc. Plain coconut macaroons are still my favorite.

This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe I have used for about nine years.

Coconut Macaroons
about 20 cookies
print recipe

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until the make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Evelyn Fuller's Peanut Brittle

There is nothing I love more than a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation. This one has seen a few. This came to me from my friend Janice, you remember her, the only published author I know.

However this recipe originally came from my first Sunday School teacher's wife, Evelyn Fuller, her husband J.C was my teacher. Didn't he do a fine job! Mr. Fuller was in his middle 20's at that time. I'm 65 now, you do the math. Evelyn is making Peanut Brittle in heaven now, but we are still enjoying it here on earth. Mr Fuller is still at church every Sunday.

Evelyn Fuller's Peanut Brittle
print recipe

1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 (#1) can Planters cocktail peanuts, salted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter cut in small cubes (she used margarine, I can't do it)

Place sugar and syrup in deep heavy saucepan. Cook on medium heat without stirring until syrup forms a soft ball (240 degrees F.) Add peanuts and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons butter, salt and baking soda. Pour while foaming onto a well buttered tray or cookie sheet.

Let cool and break into pieces.

Brined Pork Roast with Chestnut and Red Cabbage Saute'

Brining, is something we normally associate with turkeys, but any lean cut of meat adapts well to brining to achieve moist, juicy meat. I find the solution of water and salt just a little boring. So jazz it up a little. This can also be used for your turkey, but you will have to increase the amount of brine.

The Chestnut and Red Cabbage Saute' is not mandatory but it sure is good. Whole chestnuts in a jar can be found at any good cook store, but at this time of the year my grocery even has them.

You guessed it, pork loin roasts were on sale this week.

Brined Pork Roast with Chestnut and Red Cabbage Saute'
about 8-10 serving, unless it's my family 4-5
print recipe

5 cups apple cider
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons molasses
2 bay leaves crumbled
1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chestnut and Red Cabbage Saute' (recipe below)

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place pork in a large zip-lock freezer bag; add cider mixture. Seal bag, and chill 24 hours.

Remove pork from brine, and pat dry with paper towels; discard brine. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add pork. Cook 6 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning meat occasionally. Place pork on a rack in a lightly greased shallow roasting pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 150 degrees. Remove from oven; cover and let rest 10minutes or until thermometer reaches 160 degrees before slicing. Serve with Chestnut and Red Cabbage Saute', or not.

Chestnut and Red Cabbage Saute'
Yield; About 2 1/2 cups

Serve a hefty 1/4 cup of this over each slice of Brined Pork Roast.

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 cups coarsely chopped red cabbage
1 cup diced chestnuts from a jar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion, and saute' 3 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, saute 2 minutes. Add cabbage and chestnuts; saute 2 minutes. stir in sugar and salt; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Stir in vinegar.

Monday, December 13, 2010

French Chocolate Bark

Even the name sounds wonderful. To be honest I'm not a big candy fan. Maybe it's because I'm not a great candy maker. The candy thermometer and I have a hard time getting along. I either forget to check it and it overcooks or I don't believe it and take it off to soon. When I find a really good candy recipe that does not involve that little intimidating piece of equipment, I'm on it.

French Chocolate Bark is very easy, delicious, not to sweet, and makes a wonderful presentation for any occasion. . This is the best French Chocolate Bark recipe I've found, and I've tried several. Ina Garten thank you!

French Chocolate Bark
about 24 pieces
print recipe

9 1/2 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Melt the two chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper face down on the baking sheet. Who wants lead in their candy.

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots and cranberries over the chocolate. Very gently press down just a little. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Third Sunday In Advent - Saint and Scriptures Sunday

The Shepherds'Candle Urges Us: BEHOLD

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly. Luke 1:52

"Behold!" the Christmas angel said. The shepherds heard, "Behold!" And they did as they were told, for the shepherds had a lot to see. And so do we.

While our "circle of lights" have now expanded to three candles, the shepherds' circles of light involved nothing less than "the glory of the Lord"! Like Isaiah of old, they were frightened at first by the vision, but that didn't keep them from looking.

Why did God choose to have the message of the Savior's birth come first to shepherds, of all people? Why not the mayor of Bethlehem, the town council, the village rabbi, a prominent businessman? Why shepherds, of all people?

Was it because other people were too busy or preoccupied to listen? Can that happen to us too? Was it because the way God was doing things was not the way they would have? Can that happen to us too? Was the stable setting too humble for more "refined" folks to visit? Can we express that attitude too?

Or was it just to let us know that everyone is welcome? The Shepherds Candle glows brightly enough to assure us that there is none too poor, too lowly, too dirty, too humble, too despised to be excluded from God's circle of light.

Be humble is the way to come.

Who is the most humble person you know? Would that person agree with your assessment?

Please visit Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures for more Saint and Scriptures Sunday.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Hedges at Neiman Marcus Cookie

Is there a person on this earth that has not made or had a Neiman-Marcus Cookie. Just in case there might me I'm posting this old recipe. I make them every Christmas. If you want to know the story, Google Neiman- Marcus Cookie and read away. They are always great!

Neiman-Marcus Cookie
5 to 6 dozen
print recipe

2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal, (see note)
1 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (4-ounce or equivalent) Hershey candy bar, grated
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Note: For blended oatmeal, measure oatmeal then process in blender or food processor with steel blade until fine. Set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter with both sugars. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix well.

Combine flour, blended oatmeal, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir into butter mixture. Add grated candy bar and chocolate chips. Stir until just blended.

Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool on rack.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Yes, these are Giada De Laurentiis cookies. Reading this recipe it isn't something I would be rushing off to make and more than likely would never have made if hadn't been for my niece, Angie. She was having The Feast of the Seven Fishes at her home last Christmas and she was trying to keep all the dishes as Italian as possible. She found the recipe and I volunteered to make them. They are so easy to make.

This is maybe a good time to tell you, they are ugly. Well, boring to look at is a better way to put it. I've tried adding just a smidgen of yellow food coloring to the icing for color. Now they look like they came from Walmart. Just leave them alone, they are so good no one will notice they are not pretty. They will become one of your favorite cookies, I promise.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
I get about 32, the recipe says 44
print recipe

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice (not the bottled)
1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the cough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet 20 minutes.

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Woodford Pudding

A fabulous dessert for the holidays. This truly is an old Kentucky recipe. I remember my grandmother, mom, and aunts making this. It just wouldn't be Christmas without Woodford Pudding.

Woodford Pudding
12 servings
print recipe

1 cup butter, melted and cooled
6 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups seedless blackberry jam, homemade if you have it
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups cream
2 sticks butter
1/4 cup good Kentucky bourbon

Mix butter, eggs, and buttermilk in a large bowl; stir in jam. Combine dry ingredients and add to liquid; mix well until creamy and pour into a large, greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until pudding is set.

Sauce: Combine brown sugar and cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add butter and whisk until blended; add bourbon. Pour over warm cake, setting some extra aside for drizzling when served.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peggy Lucas's No-Bake Fruitcake with Marshmallows

Have you waited to late to make a fruitcake? Do you have children in the house and don't want a cake soaked in bourbon or rum? Children don't have the patients to wait for a cake to "age" anyway. They want it NOW! Or are you still holding on to the idea that you hate fruitcake. How do you know if you don't try something new.

I have no idea who Peggy Lucas is, someone gave me this recipe a few years ago and I have made it every year since. People love it because it doesn't taste like fruitcake. People who don't bake can make this.

No-Bake Fruitcake with Marshmallows
1 9 x 5-inch loaf
print recipe

1 cup raisins (dark or golden
2 cups date
2 cups mixed candied fruit (see note)
4 cups chopped nuts (reduce to 3 cups if you like)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups marshmallows
2 cups very finely crushed graham crackers

Mix raisins, date, candied fruit and chopped nuts in a large bowl. In a saucepan (or in a bowl in the microwave) bring evaporated milk to a boil, add marshmallows and stir until thoroughly combined and marshmallows are melted. Grind the graham crackers in the food processor (one package at a time) until they are very finely ground (like flour). You can also used packaged graham cracker crumbs. Stir the graham crackers into the fruit-and-nut mixture Add the marshmallow mixture. With wet hands, mix all ingredients. Rinse hands, wet them again and press the mixture into a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan lined with wax paper. Press down well and refrigerate for 2 says until set.

NOTE: If you use 1/2 cup candied fruit, 1/2 cup flaked coconut and 1 cup candied pineapple instead of 2 cups candied fruit, the cake has a tropical taste. If mixture seems too dry, add a little orange juice or strawberry jam. Don't worry if it seems too wet, because as it sets the graham cracker crumbs will absorb the liquid.

I bet you'll love fruitcake now!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Why do I forget about this dish until the holidays? It really is one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken. If you only need one chicken for supper, cook both anyway. The extra chicken is great for sandwiches, chicken salad, etc. Don't forget to save those bones for soup.

The abundance of garlic mellows in flavor during roasting.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
6 to 8 servings
print recipe

2 (3-pound) whole chickens
8 fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup softened butter
1 lemon, halved
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
40 garlic cloves, unpeeled ((about 3 bulbs)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Garnish: fresh thyme

Rinse chicken, and pat dry with paper towels. Place 4 thyme sprigs in cavity of each bird. Rub each chicken with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Squeeze a lemon half over each chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Tie ends of legs together with string; tuck wing tips under. Place chicken, breast side up, in a well greases shallow roasting pan.

Toss garlic with olive oil in a bowl. Scatter garlic cloves around chicken, snuggling them close to chickens.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 180 degrees.

Remove chicken and garlic to a serving platter. Garnish, if desired.

COOK'S NOTE: I like to season my chicken with salt and pepper and let set in the refrigerator overnight before baking.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rosemary Biscuits

You have your beautiful Fresh Pork or Turkey Sausage Patties made, why not a batch of biscuits to go in the freezer also. Make ahead is the secret to sanity during the holidays.

Make Ahead: Make the biscuit dough several days in advance, and grease baking sheet. Place unbaked biscuits in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen solid. Transfer to a large zip lock freezer bag. Seal and store in freezer. When ready to use arrange frozen biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

Rosemary Biscuits
Yield 20 small biscuits
print recipe

3 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Fresh Pork Sausage Patties
Garnish: rosemary sprigs

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, whipping cream, and rosemary, stirring with a fork until all ingredients are moistened. (dough will be soft.)

Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness; cut with a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, and place biscuit 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack, and cool slightly. Split biscuits with a fork, and fill with warm Fresh Pork Sausage Patties. Serve hot. Garnish is desired.

Fresh Pork Sausages

Guys, it's the holidays so we are going to have to put forth a little more effort in the cooking department. At one time I kept a batch or two of these made in the freezer, but sometimes I just slack off. These are great to have on hand for Christmas morning breakfast or buffets or brunches over the holiday season. Easy, Easy!

These are best made in advance, giving it more time to develop flavor. Make ahead and refrigerate or freeze. Simply reheat them in the microwave when ready to serve.

Fresh Pork Sausage Patties
Yield: about 20 patties
print recipe

6 bacon slices, frozen and chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground pork

Process first 8 ingredients in a food processor until finely minced. Add ground pork,; process until mixture begins to form a ball. Cover and chill at least 4 hours, overnight is better.

Shape sausage into 20 (3 x 1/4-inch) patties. Cook in several batches in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Turkey Sausage Patties: You can make this recipe using 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (white and dark meat). Follow above procedure, except blend ground turkey with seasonings by hand instead of using a processor. This will keep turkey from becoming too finely ground.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - The Second Sunday in Advent


Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all the people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 40:5

If the Prophecy Candle on the advent wreath urges us to listen, the message of the Bethlehem Candle might well be: "Prepare!"

It's a word most of us are familiar with as these days before the Christmas celebration increase in their intensity. There is so much to do! And so much less time to do it in! In the midst of the quickening pace, maybe you can hear yourself panting, "Will I be ready?"

But it is more than Christmas we prepare for. Look at the Advent wreath. Just that quickly, it is now twice as bright as it was before! Almost as if to say, "Open your eyes; be aware of what's really going on."

What's really going on? The Lord is coming, that's what! Just as surely as he once came to Bethlehem (which was not prepared), so surely he is coming again. The circles of light have doubled to help us open our eyes.

Two flames, soft and yellow like straw, light as down,
Prepared in a manger in Bethlehem town,
Now wait for a baby, the King of the earth.
Our Savior is coming! Prepare for his birth!

If you knew--for sure--that you would die tonight, what would you do today?

Today, as every Sunday this post will be linked to Saint and Scriptures-Sunday at The Kennedy Adventures.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fabulous Bourbon Brownies

It seems around the holidays a number of things I cook will have liquor in it, bourbon, rum, vermouth, wine, etc. Well it is the holidays!

You might as well double the recipe because these will be gone before you get one.

Fabulous Bourbon Brownies
about 16-20 brownies
print recipe

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I use walnuts, because I like them)

2-3 tablespoons good bourbon for drizzling over the brownies

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1-ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted, for drizzling over icing

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today was the day I was going to get my revenge for Angie posting those awful pictures of me on my birthday. However my brother, Larry, her father has this problem that we have all put up with for years. It's called selective memory. He did not get the pictures to me after numerous reminders and now he is out of town. I guess a 3 month heads-up and 5 reminders just wasn't enough. Okay now that I've finished venting about my brother I'll talk about Angie.

Angie is one of those people that you would really like to smack sometimes. She is so perfect. She can get more done in a day than I can in a week.

Growing up she was the perfect child, straight A student always, first grade thru college. Beautiful inside and out. Long dark hair, big brown eyes and skin like cream. I wouldn't have to be doing all these descriptions if I had some damn pictures.

She and Michael are perfect parents, I'm already sick of that word, two perfect boys, Aaron and John.

She is always there for her family and friends. When her grandmother was sick, when her mom had cancer, when her mother-in-law was ill, when her boss was diagnosed with a terrible rare disease, it goes on and on. She always seems to take time for everyone but herself. She lives in constant neck and back pain even after surgery, twice. But never does she complain.

She is the "queen" of coupons, grocery store weekly ads and thrift store shopping. Going to a yard sale or thrift shop with her and you will see a woman turned into someone possessed.

Did I fail to mention she just completed her first book, 50,000+ words. This was accomplished in one month. Yes, she also works full time as a nurse.

How can anyone this perfect be so damn much fun and funny. If I had to pick one word that described her it would be "fun". She cooks like a chef and will try anything.

I'm making this my Feel Good Friday post, because nothing makes me feel better than having Angie as my niece, and most importantly as one of my best friends.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET GIRL! Maybe I'll have pictures next year, if your dad ever wakes up.

Stop by and wish Angie a Happy Birthday at The Jammie Girl. Plus she has pictures.

If she doesn't like the post, too bad, she is the one started me doing all this.
At least I didn't tell your age. No one would ever believe you are 44 anyway.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Traditional Hanukkah Latkas - Potato Pancakes (Parve)

Today starts Hanukkah. It seems so early this year. I am not Jewish, however when I lived in Florida I had lots of Jewish friends and could always count on an invitation or two to dinner during Hanukkah. Always, always there were Latkas with applesauce and sour cream.

Fried food is traditionally eaten on Hanukkah in commemoration of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem. Fried Potato Pancakes (called Latkes in Yiddish and Levivot in Hebrew) are the hands-down, mouth-open holiday favorite.

That was probably a little more than you wanted to know about all that. Bottom line, I celebrate anything that involves food, especially fried food.

For us country folks these are plain ole potato pancakes and we make them everytime we have left over mashed potatoes.

about 20 pancakes
print recipe

5 potatoes
2 onions
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
about 1/4 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or matzo meal
Oil for frying (canola is recommended)

1. Peel potatoes. Place in a bowl of cold water so they won't turn brown.

2. When ready to prepare the latkas, drain the potatoes. Place potatoes and onions in a food processor fitted with a knife blade. Grate by hand if you want. Pulse until fairly smooth. Drain and squeeze mixture well.

3. Pour 1 inch of oil into a large, deep frying pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.

5. Carefully drop about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil.

6. Flatten the pancake slightly so the center will cook.

7. Fry for several minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

8. Drain on paper towels.

Don't forget to serve with applesauce and sour cream.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Have The Secret To Getting To Heaven!

I'm not making this up. I made this fabulous Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Cake for Bible Study today. My beyond adorable minister, Scott, said, "This cake is so good it could get you to heaven." How is that for an endorsement! I have no idea how many pieces he ate.

Last night I was e-mailing with my friend Joyce at October Farm, that's where I got the recipe and was telling her I was making it for Bible Study today. Her reply to me was, "You're just trying to bake your way into heaven."

This might be working folks, it's worth a try. I hope God likes cranberries.

Joyce has a really bad cold. When you go over to get the recipe wish her a speedy recovery.

This cake really is the best.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oyster Stew with Rosemary Croutons

I was trying so hard to stay out of the kitchen on Saturday after all the cooking for Thanksgiving, but I just had to make a little something. It's really winter now and I needed soup and as I've mentioned before I'll eat oysters in any fashion.

This is a thick, rich stew that will warm you up anytime over the holiday season.

Oyster Stew with Rosemary Croutons
10 1/2 cups
print recipe

2 bacon slices, diced
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup vermouth
2 pints of oysters, undrained
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
3 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Rosemary Croutons

Cook first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium heat 12 minutes or until onion and celery are tender. Add vermouth, and simmer 1 minute. Add oysters.

Whisk together flour and clam juice in a small bowl, whisk into soup. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 1 minute or until oyster edges curl. Reduce heat to medium-low; add half-and-half and next 4 ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated. (do not boil) Serve with Rosemary Croutons.

Rosemary Croutons
about 4 cups
Sprinkle these on salads also.

1/3 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups (1-inch) French bread cubes (See Cooks Note)

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet; add garlic and next 3 ingredients. Saute' i minute over medium heat. Add bread cubes, tossing gently to coat.

Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted.

COOK'S NOTE: I used the fabulous No Knead Rosemary Bread from October Farm in place of French Bread. Once you make this bread you will find endless ways to use it. This is the easiest and best bread you will ever make.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday-First Sunday of Advent

Luke 21:21-35

"It will seem like all hell has broken loose- sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.

"And then-then!-they'll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style-a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your head high. Help is on the way!"

He told them a story. "Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here--when you see these things happen, you know God's kingdom is about here. Don't brush this stuff off: I'm not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too--these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won't wear out.

"But be on your guard. Don't let the sharp edge of your expection get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Other wise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it's going to come on everyone, everywhere at once. So, whatever you do, don't go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man."

Let's visit Dianna for more Saint and Scriptures at The Kennedy Adventures.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

These are a good example of your own slice and bake cookies. Always fresh from your refrigerator or freezer. My freezer always has a batch of these ready to bake. The instructions say to let them thaw in the refrigerator, but I don't always have time and let them set out for about 30 minutes. They are fine, you might have to add a minute to the cooking time. These are my most requested cookie.

Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies
24 cookies
print recipe

12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
11 1/2 ounces 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, English or Black

In double boiler over hot water, melt bittersweet chocolate chips and butter. In a large bowl with electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs and sugar until thick; stir into chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts. This is to soft to try to roll into logs at this point. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes for it to firm up a bit.

Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into 2 logs, each 2 inches in diameter and about 12 inches long. Wrap tightly; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. (Dough may be frozen; thaw in refrigerator before proceeding with recipe). Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap dough; with sharp knife, cut into 3/4-inch slices. Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until shiny crust forms on top but interior is still soft. Cool on baking sheet; store in airtight tin up to 1 week.

COOK'S NOTE: Use the best chocolate you can find. I like Ghirardelli.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feel Good Friday - I'm Still Stuffed

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I had the best Thanksgiving I've had in 10 years. It was just plain fun and the food was fabulous. As you know if you have tried any of Edie/Lucy's recipes from the blog, she is one fine cook. She has promised us more recipes, soon. Her Lemon Chess Pie yesterday was to die for.

Yes Larry (brother) your Deep Fried Turkey was wonderful.

I'm keeping this short today because we are making Turkey Bone Gumbo. Let me know how you like it! It's just another simple way to "feel good".

Let's go over to the The Girl Next Door Grows Up and see what makes other folks "feel good". Plus come back during the week and we'll use up those turkey leftovers. How about a Kentucky Hot Brown!

Turkey Bone Gumbo

As the story goes. There is a gentleman in Southern Louisiana who loves to make a big pot of Turkey Bone Gumbo on the day after Thanksgiving. He rises early on Friday, gathers turkey carcasses from friends around town, and spends the rest of the day making broth and putting together his gumbo. By early evening, the friends from whom he got the carcasses gather around his big table for one or two bowls, followed by a serious card game.

You may not have friends willing to give up their turkey carcass, which is fine, but they don't get any gumbo. This only requires one carcass.

Remember to make your Turkey Broth first.

Turkey Bone Gumbo
8 servings
print recipe

3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 flour
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, chopped
2 quarts turkey broth
Reserved turkey meat from broth
Reserved onions and celery from broth
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1. Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron pot or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.

2. Season the onions, bell peppers, and celery with the salt and cayenne. Add this to the roux and stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Add the reserved turkey meat and the reserved onions and celery and cook for 15 minutes. Add the parsley and green onions.

3. Serve in soup bowls with rice. (File' powder can be added at the table according to personal taste.)

Turkey Broth

When you have a turkey carcass after a holiday meal, use it to make broth. Highly prized by cooks in South Louisiana, it is used to make Turkey Bone Gumbo. Recipe coming right up. If you can talk a friend or neighbor out of their turkey carcass, so much the better because this broth freezes beautifully.

This recipe as well as the Turkey Bone Gumbo is from Emeril's Louisiana Real and Rustic. With a few minor changes of course.

Turkey Broth
2 quarts
print recipe

1 turkey carcass
3 ribs celery, cut into 4-inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
4 quarts of water, or enough to cover the carcass
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves

1. Place the carcass in a large stockpot. Add the celery, onions, water, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves.

2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Remove from the heat. Skim any fat that has risen to the surface.

3. Strain through a large fine-mesh sieve. Reserve any meat that has fallen off the bones and pick off any meat that may still remain on the carcass. Reserve the onions and celery for gumbo. Use right away or store the broth in quart containers in the freezer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

I have just returned from the most wonderful Thanksgiving I have had since returning to Kentucky. My brother, Larry, and Edie have only been in their new home for about 2weeks and everything is already perfect. I don't know how she did it, plus all the Christmas decoration and tree. She said Larry was a huge help. Right away I knew someone had taken my brother and left a droid is his place.

Her table was covered with her mothers beautiful lace tablecloth and she used her mom's silver and china. Beautiful! I have already posted the menu earlier and the food was out of this world. Edie had made a Pumpkin Cheese Cake, Pecan Pie and Lemon Chess Pie. She has promised all the recipes

Another reason I knew my "real" brother was not there is because he deep fried the turkey to perfection and carved it like a chef. I'm really worried.

The Durham Family were special guest, Gary, Ruth and their son Rich. What a wonderful family. If you think I can talk! This lady needs her own blog. They even remembered my dad. That's always good for lots of laughs.

If you are ever in doubt about an appetizer for a holiday gathering make The Uber Cake from October Farm.It really is a fabulous dessert, however everyone wanted "just a little bite" before dinner, so half the cake was gone before we even ate. Thank goodness for Edie's desserts. I have a strange family.

My "real" brother returned just before I was ready to leave because I had to beg for the turkey carcass to make Turkey Bone Gumbo tomorrow.

I hope everyone had as great a Thanksgiving as I did.

Thank you Larry and Edie.


Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Remember "Gluttony" is a sin, except on Thanksgiving. I know I read that somewhere. Be kind to Uncle Arthur, even if he drinks and talks too much. Don't forget to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while you're cooking.

Eat, until you think you're going to die.

Take a little nap.

Now it's time to watch those Cowboys, the ones with the cute butts, kick a few Saints behinds. By half-time it will be time for a turkey sandwich and another piece of pie, or cake, or whatever.

That's why it's important to eat early so you can eat twice.

Most importantly let us all remember to thank God for all the blessings in our lives, our family, friends and our many blogging and FB buddies who have become so important to us all.

God Bless You All.

Show up tomorrow, we are making Turkey Bone Gumbo!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey/Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

This is a wonderful simple casserole than will help you use up Thanksgiving leftovers or can actually serve as your main dish for Thanksgiving. If you are a family with small children or an older couple than just don't want to be bothered with the big meal. This is the perfect solution.

Turkey/Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
6 servings
print recipe

3 cups cooked chicken or turkey
1 stick butter melted
2 1/1 cups cornbread stuffing mix
10.75 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
10.75 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 cups chicken/turkey broth

Chop chicken or turkey into small pieces. Mix the butter with the stuffing in a large bowl. Blend together the soups and the broth in a separate mixing bowl. Place the stuffing mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish, buttered or coated with cooking spray, and layer half of the chicken,turkey, then half of the soup mixture. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Drag out some of that Grand Marnier Cranberry Relish

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mammaw's Scalloped Oysters

I can not imagine a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner without Scalloped Oysters. Not just any Scalloped Oysters, but the way my grandmother and my mom made them. My dad and I could eat this whole recipe. The secret is saltine cracker, lots of butter and cream. If you're watching calories use half and half. Right!

If my dad and I could catch mom in a really good mood we could also talk her into making these for Christmas Eve dinner. Never enough scalloped, fried or raw oysters for the two of us.

Mammaw's Scalloped Oysters
6 to 8 servings
print recipe

1 quart oysters, drained; liquid reserved
3 cups cracker crumbs (about 48 2-inch crackers, crushed
4 tablespoons melted butter
Cream or half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup butter

Pick over oysters and remove any shell particles. Set oysters aside. Lightly toss 1 cup of the crumbs with melted butter. Add enough cream or half and half to the reserved oyster liquid to yield 2 cups. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Line a shallow buttered 2-quart casserole with 1 cup of the unbuttered crumbs. Arrange 2 cups of the oysters on crumbs. Pour 1 cup of liquid over all. Sprinkle with one half of the chopped onion and dot with one-half of the butter. Repeat procedure. Top with the buttered crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Attention: Hunters

This is just tooooooooooooooo good! I had to share.

This was sent to me by my friend Sara. I tried to copy the actually newspaper article, but no luck. However this is just as it appeared in a San Francisco newspaper in a "Speak Out" column.

"To all you hunters who kill animals for food, shame on you; you ought to go to the store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed."

Folks, just remember as you read this, this person probably drives and votes.

AND, may have already reproduced.....

God help us all......

Country Relish

This is one of those "trust me" recipes. Trust me it really is great even if it sounds weird. I think this is one of those that evolved from being in the kitchen with a friend drinking wine while doing prep work for a holiday dinner. I have made this for years and it keeps well in the fridge for days, but it really will not last that long.

Serve this on a relish tray or in a pretty glass bowl. Plus, this is to die for on a turkey sandwich.

Country Relish
Servings: Lots
print recipe

3 cups mincemeat
2 cups chopped sweet pickle
1 cup sweet pickle juice
1 cup chopped tart apples (I use Granny Smith)
6 cups whole-kernel canned or frozen corn. Thaw frozen. Drain both.

Stir together and refrigerate covered overnight or longer. I store mine in Mason jars.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Joy and Laughter

If people only knew the healing power of laughter and joy, many of our fine doctors would be out of business. Joy is one of nature's greatest medicines. Joy is always healthy. A pleasant state of mind tends to bring abnormal conditions back to normal.

Feeling joy may not come naturally to us most of the time. We may, in fact, have to act "as if" with great effort. A technique for finding it is living fully in the present and with gratitude for all we can see, touch, and feel.

Joy is contagious. Joy is freeing. Joy brings into focus our distorted perceptions. Greeting life with joy alters every experience for us and for those we share it with.

God wants us to be happy, joyous and free. Loving Him and all others.

I will try to bring joy wherever I go today.

Thank you Dianna for letting me write whatever I feel like on your wonderful Saint and Scriptures Sunday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where Is Thanksgiving Dinner?

There has been a change in plans for Thanksgiving dinner. We are having it at my brother, Larry, and Edie's house. I could not be happier. First, that someone is willing to help with the cooking, planning and shopping, second, that with those two you never know who or how many people will be there. I think that's fun. Heaven knows you will always have enough food. Plus, if you are preparing food at two or three locations you have much more cooking space.

Try to think of someone that might not have any place to spend Thanksgiving and include them at your table.

Here is a tentative menu that Edie and I have decided on. Changes can be made until Tuesday then it's done, time to cook.

Turkey - Larry is deep frying the turkey
Baked Country Ham
Scallop Oysters
Turkey Gravy
Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing, Edie's favorite
Grand Marnier Cranberry Relish
Jellied Cranberry Sauce out of the can for Larry - Ugh
Country Relish, recipe will be posted this week
Pickled Beets, because you're suppose to according to my Mom.
Curried Apple Chutney
Fresh Veggie Tray
Twice Baked Potato Casserole or Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Stuff
Scalloped Corn
Creamed Onions in White Wine Sauce
Buttered Forkhook Lima Beans
Green Bean Casserole, yes with cream of mushroom soup, for Randy. Ugh
Homemade Rolls
Garlic and Sundried Tomato Corn Muffins

Wine of your choice, we're having Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay 2005, if I can get Randy to spring for the wine. You can get great wines for $12-15 a bottle.
Lots of Sweet Tea

Dessert Table
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Roll
Uber Cake
Rum Cake?

We really need another simple green vegetable, maybe Roasted Asparagus, we'll see.

What have we forgotten??? I know we don't have appetizers but we'll think of something. We have to eat at least by 3:00 because we have to have time to have a turkey, dressing and cranberry relish sandwich before bedtime, and maybe one more piece of cake or pie.

I don't think I feel so good!


Everyone has their favorite way of making their turkey, I'm no different. First I have to decide if I'm doing the stuffing inside or in a casserole. Is my brother deep frying the turkey this year?Am I just cooking a turkey breast. See, it's not as easy as you think.

This is my favorite way if I'm not stuffing the turkey. Plus it takes less time and I don't have to baste. You will end up with a beautiful moist golden brown turkey with lots of drippings for your stuffing and gravy.

14-20 servings, depending on size of turkey
print recipe

1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons hot water
1 cup of peanut oil
1 turkey, 14 to 16 pounds - DO NOT exceed

Combine pepper, salt, paprika, and hot water. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Add peanut oil and mix thoroughly. Wash and dry turkey. Rub peanut oil mixture into inside and outside of turkey. Truss as desired.

Pour remaining oil into large paper sack (Type they used in grocery stores in the old days, now you have to ask for them.) Pour remaining oil into large brown paper sack (type used in grocery stores). Rub oil inside sack until every pore in every inch of the sack is sealed. Add additional oil if needed.

Place turkey in sack, breast side up. Fold over end of sack and tie securely with string. Bake at 325 degrees F. approximately 10 minutes per pound. I find 10-12 minutes is perfect for a turkey that has been out of the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes. Since the sack is airtight, the turkey is cooked by live steam; therefore, when sack is opened, be careful! With no basting, no careful watching, the turkey comes out tender to the bone and golden brown.

Save that turkey carcass! Turkey Bone Gumbo coming soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Feel Good Friday- I Love Blogging

For years I always thought I was a fairly organized person, however since I started my blog, not so much. There always seems to be a thin layer of dust on everything, a load of laundry that needs to be done, closets and drawers that need cleaning out. You get the idea. But that seems so unimportant when I have so much to tell you, that I know you couldn't live without knowing.

It's not so much what I want to tell you, but I want to hear what you are doing also. Who's cooking what today, who's making soap, what are you reading, what have the kids done today, who' s been on vacation. It takes a lot of time to keep up with everyone. I love every minute of it.

We had a terrible wind storm on Tuesday and I lost telephone service which meant no Internet for 12 hours. I was in a panic! Who cares that I was sleeping for 7 of those hours. I was worried I'd miss something.

It makes me feel good knowing you guys are out there sharing your life with me. Slide on over to The Girl Next Door Grows Up for more Feel Good Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and see you next Friday for Turkey Bone Gumbo. Now that will make you feel good.

Oyster Stuffing

It is less than a week until Thanksgiving and I think I've only posted a couple of recipes. I need to get on the ball.

I have made the same Oyster Stuffing since I was in my late twenties, a long time ago. To be honest I have not found a recipe that I like better or as well.

Sometimes I stuff the bird, sometimes I bake the stuffing in balls in a shallow dish. I always pray for left over stuffing. Sometimes I use all bread, sometimes bread and cornbread. It will be wonderful whatever you decide.

This year I have made October Farm No Knead Rosemary Bread to use in my stuffing. It just keeps getting better.

Oyster Stuffing
Stuffing for 15 pound turkey
print recipe

24 slices dry bread, cut in cubes
1 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup finely chopped turkey giblets
1 pint oysters
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups grated apple (about 4 medium-sized, grated, pared)
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs, beaten

Heat 1/2 cup butter in a heavy skillet. Add giblets and cook over medium heat 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the oysters, remove any shell particles. Coarsely chop and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet. Add celery, onion and apple' cook over medium heat until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour water over bread cubes. Sprinkle with a mixture of salt, pepper, sage and sugar; toss gently. Add eggs and mix lightly. Blend in oysters, giblets, and apple mixture. Lightly spoon into body and neck cavities of bird. Or form into large balls and place in casserole and bake for 45-60 minutes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bread Machine Beer Bread

I love Beer Bread and have for years just made it with self-rising flour, beer and sugar. Well now that I have my fancy bread machine and this wonderful Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook this is a whole new ballgame. And a whole new Beer Bread that is about 100 times better tasting.

Whatever the brand of beer is, whether dark or light, domestic or imported, your choice of beer will dictate the distinctive flavor of the loaf. Serve the bread with roast pork and sauerkraut or with corned beef. Also makes a wonderful sandwich bread. Easy!

Bread Machine Beer Bread
2 pound loaf
print recipe

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) beer
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 1 tablespoon bread machine yeast

1. Pour the beer into a bowl and let stand at room temperature for a few hours to go flat.

2. Place all the ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions. Set crust on dark and program for the Basic cycle; press Start. (This recipe is not suitable for use with the Delay Timer.)

3. When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pecan Cookie Balls

I just had to sneak this cookie recipe in here. Everyone makes them by their own recipe. This happens to be the one I use. Made a batch for the freezer today.

If you are a first time home-made cookie maker, this is the perfect recipe for you. Also a great cookie to let the kids help make. It is not the cookie to let the kids go running through the house eating, powdered sugar will be flying every place.

These buttery melt-in-your mouth cookies are seen at all kinds of functions and are called by several different names. Most common are Italian Wedding Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies. If a wedding of any kind is having a cookie table these will be there. They make wonderful holiday gifts, cookie exchange additions, hostess gifts, etc.

They freeze beautifully after shaping into 1-inch balls, and can be baked as you need.

Pecan Cookie Balls
4 dozen
print recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in flour and pecans.

2. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheets. Immediately roll hot cookies in remaining 2 cups sugar. Place sugared cookies on wire racks to cool. When cool, roll again in sugar.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Doggy Cake

Don't forget your precious doggies over the holidays. They like to celebrate also. This could be their birthday cake because it's very rich. It's the frosting. You can slice and freeze and give as a special treat any time they have been very good.

My house, as well as that of my niece, Angie. are always doggy friendly for any holiday.

Good Doggy Cake
Yield: Enough for the "good doggy" and five furry friends
print recipe

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound ground turkey
8-ounce cream cheese
4-ounce package liverwurst

Spray 3 pans (cake or pie) with nonstick cooking spray.

Press the meat into separate pans, spreading evenly.

Bake pans at 350 degree for 25-30 minute. Using a turkey baster to suck out the grease.

Let meat cool completely in pan.

When meat is cool, it's time to make the frosting. Place the cream cheese and liverwurst in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl. Heat together on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir together to make a paste.

Take one disk out and place it on a cake plate. Spread a little of the frosting on top. Continue on with next two layers as if frosting a cake. Frost sides and top.

If you'd like to decorate the cake, use little Milk Bones. The ones in colors are cute. Arrange artistically. If you mess up I don't think they will notice.

Keep the cake REFRIGERATED until serving time or freeze. Please serve small pieces.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin-Walnut Cake

It has been a long time since I've found a new cake recipe that I thought was outstanding. This is one of those cakes that can be used for breakfast, brunch, lunch/dinner or supper/dinner. The recipe comes from The Inn at Ormsby Hill, Manchester Center, VT. Nothing like a good B&B recipe.

This would make a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. Make this a day or two before serving for the best flavor. Freezes beautifully for a couple of months.

Pumpkin-Walnut Cake
14 servings
print recipe

3 tablespoons dry, plain bread crumbs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
5 eggs
1-1/2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
1 cup toasted and finely chopped walnuts, English or Black Walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-cup Bundt pan. Add bread crumbs and shake the pan to evenly coat the sides and central tube. Tap out excess crumbs.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, molasses, eggs, and pumpkin together until blended. At low speed, gradually add dry ingredients. When all dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the cake top is springy to the touch.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert and let cool to room temperature. Lightly dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday-Pain and Suffering

This is one of my top 10 favorite meditations, especially when things are just not going the way "I" think they should. In other words, when I forget who's in charge.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

How awesome is our power, personally, to choose our situation and our responses to any situation, to every situation. We will feel only how we choose to feel, no matter the circumstance. Happiness is as free an option as sorrow.

Perceiving our challenges as opportunities for positive growth rather than stumbling blocks in our path to success is a choice readily available. What is inevitable-a matter over which we have no choice-is that difficult times, painful experiences will visit us. We can, however, greet them like welcome guests, celebrating their blessings on us and the personal growth they inspire.

No circumstance demands suffering. Every circumstance has a silver lining. In one instance you may choose to feel self-pity; in the next, gladness.

We do not always feel confident about our choices, even when we accept the responsibility for making them. Prayer and meditation, guidance from God, can help us make the right choices every time.

I will relish my freedom to choose, to feel, to act. I and only I can take it away.

More Saint and Scriptures at The Kennedy Adventures every Sunday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins

I believe I have casually mentioned this before. I make the worse cornbread of anyone I know. To be a Southern girl with a grandmother and mother that made fabulous cornbread I don't know why I can't get the hang of it. So I have no choice but to resort to cornbread mix and add other stuff to it to make it "fancy".

This is one of my favorites and always get compliments. Recently I found another one that I love, Krusteaz Natural Honey Cornbread . I make the Bacon & Cheddar Muffins on the back of the box. My, My!

Both of these I made for our church luncheon tomorrow. Maybe I can slide by one more time without everyone knowing I can't make cornbread.

Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins
16 muffins- standard size
print recipe

2 (8 1/2-ounce packages corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes (from an 8-ounce jar
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 muffin tins.

In a large bowl combine the muffin mix, corn, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and eggs until well blended. Add the buttermilk mixture to the muffin mix. Stir to combine. Spoon mix into the muffin tins, filling up the cups about 3/4 full, I use a scant 1/3 cup measure. Bake until golden brown on top about 15-20 minutes.

Comment: I just notice something. The corn I froze last summer, the tomatoes I sun-dried, the buttermilk I made and well as the sour cream. Good heavens all I need is a garlic plant and 2 chickens and I'll be all set.

Chunky Apple Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my "go to" cake when I'm in a hurry or running behind, like today. I'm suppose to bring a dessert for our Appreciation Lunch on Sunday at church. Whip one of these up and you'll have dessert for the weekend. Everyone loves it.

This cake is so moist! I think its fantastic apple flavor is due to the apples being in larger chunks rather than finely chopped.

Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
12-15 servings
print recipe

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe following
Chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apple slices and 1 cup walnuts. Spread into a greased 13x9-inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting; sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1 2/3 cups.

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feel Good Friday - It's Almost Thanksgiving

How could you not feel good when Thanksgiving is just around the corner. All that wonderful food and all those fabulous leftovers. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, except for my birthday of course.

I really don't like going to someones house for Thanksgiving. You have no leftovers. Even if they send some home with you it's never enough. I want the turkey bones and everything. Save your turkey bones, plus your neighbors, on both sides. I'm going to give you a recipe for Turkey Bone Gumbo after Thanksgiving.

I will post my menu with recipes as time gets closer because I do change my mind a lot. And I love getting a new recipe for the holidays. For example this year I'm making Sweet Potato Pie instead of Pumpkin. It's not a new idea, it's just new for me to change.

This week I attended a fresh wreath making class. I'm not at all crafty so I think they were glad when I finished my wreath and got the hell out of there. I'm sure I heard lots of sighs. Some people have no sense of humor. It really is beautiful, especially since it only cost $5.00. That's without the bow and stuff.

It was 75 degrees at my house yesterday and I actually washed a few windows, yes, me, clean. I got a late start so I didn't have to do many.

That's all the Feel Good from my house this week, for more visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up.

Sweet Potato Stuff

It's all in the prep work! That's how we get through the big holiday dinners. Anything that can be made a day or two ahead or a month will save your sanity on the BIG day.

Another death-defying recipe from Jill Conner Browne's God Save the Sweet Potato Queens. I can not emphasize enough the importance of reading these books. Life changing!

"Boil up a big pot of sweet potatoes; you want to end up with 3 cups worth of mashed sweet potatoes, so about 4 big sweet potatoes. Boil them with the skin on and they will peel so easy when they are done.( I bake mine for about 45 minutes or until done.) So boil'em and peel'em, then dump them in a big bowl and put in at least 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of milk, an 1 stick of butter, and a running over the edge teaspoon of vanilla. You also need just a dash of salt in there or it will taste flat. If you think it needs more sugar put it in? After you get done tasting and testing, beat in two eggs, don't taste after you put the eggs in. Put the 'tater stuff in a greased casserole. (Once again, you can make a vat of this and freeze it).

The topping is the kicker. You want a cup of dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup of butter, 1/3 cup of flour, and a cup of pecan pieces. Stir it up together and spread it over the top of the 'taters...After you put the topping on, you bake it at 350 degrees F for about half and hour. I'm thinking of putting this in a pie crust, since it's better than any sweet potato pie I've ever had."

COOK' NOTE: A 1/2 cup or so of flaked coconut can be added to the topping to really put it over the edge.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just Soup

That's what my sister and I have called this soup for more than 25 years. I have no idea how this came to be. If I had to guess I would say it was a cold Saturday afternoon and we were in the kitchen with a good bottle of wine and decided to make soup with what we had. We both have been making this on a regular basis ever since.

I can't believe it's the middle of November and it's 70 degrees and I'm still getting enough fresh vegetables from the garden to make this soup. Enough of my green tomatoes ripened so I didn't have to use any of my canned. Fresh cabbage and kale are still available also. Amazing! I'm not complaining.

Everything about this recipe is healthy except the bottle of wine we drank while we made it. Cheap, healthy, delicious and filling!

Just Soup
6-8 big servings
print recipe

2 cups dried Great Northern Bean that have been soaked over night or brought to a boil in water to cover and left to soak for 1 hour. Drain

Saute in 1/3 cup olive oil (do this in the same large soup kettle you will be using to make the soup):

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large can of diced tomatoes
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 pound fresh kale, rough chopped
2 or 3 medium cubed potatoes, I also use a turnip or two if I have them.

Add your drained beans back to the pot.

Season with:
Thyme (do not omit)
Crushed red pepper flakes
Big pinch of sugar

Add water, chicken or vegetable broth to cover, let simmer about 2 hours until the beans are tender.

If you feel like pasta add a cup or so of cooked elbow or your favorite pasta.

This is really good with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.