Friday, October 21, 2016


Earlier this week I was sitting on my bed completely surrounded by my Amish cookbook looking for any recipe using pumpkin or apples. It didn't take long for me to settle on this one simply named Pumpkin Yummy Dessert. No specific credit was given to any of the recipes in the book from the community of Conewango Valley in New York. The cookbook is called Tasteful Treasures from the Horse and Buggy Country.

Yesterday at canasta, Friend Darlene asked me if I had a recipe on my blog using a can of pumpkin and had half a cake mix sprinkled on top. I laughed and told her I would be having one posted Friday but it used a whole cake mix and 3-1/2 cups of pumpkin. So you may find other recipes out there similar to this one but not quite the same. I think I have heard it called Pumpkin Pie Cake. That would be an appropriate name for it.

I made the dessert and took it to Hillcrest Thrift Shop on Tuesday. Volunteer Ellie told me it was one of the best desserts I had ever made and brought them. I have to agree. I left several pieces when I went home, but I also kept a few so we could enjoy it some more at home.


3-1/2       cups mashed pumpkin (I used canned pumpkin)
1/4           teaspoon salt
2              teaspoons cinnamon
1/2           teaspoon ginger
1/4           teaspoon nutmeg
1               cup brown sugar
3              eggs
1               can evaporated milk (12-ounces)
1               yellow cake mix
1/2           cup (1 stick) margarine, melted (I used butter)
1-2           cups nuts (I used 1 cup chopped pecans)
whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.

Combine pumpkin, salt, spices, brown sugar and eggs with a whisk until
completely blended.

Add the milk.
Again whisk until completely blended.

Pour into pan.

Whisk the cake mix in a large bowl to make sure lumps are broken up.
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture.

Pour the melted butter over the cake mix. 

Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top and bake another 20 minutes.

I actually sprinkled the nuts on top before baking it and simply baked it for 50 minutes.
(Worked fine.)

Allow to cool and cover. 

Cut into squares when ready to serve. (I made mine on Monday evening and served mine the next day.)

Top with whipped topping or
enjoy plain.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


This month our Tasty Bunch met a week later than normal because of conflicts with several of the members on our regular night. Friend Janice and her husband were the hosts. For dessert she decided to make a Caramel Apple Poke Cake. It was so good.


1       box spice cake mix + ingredients to prepare according to box directions
6      cups, peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples
2      tablespoons butter
1/4   cup granulated sugar
1/4   cup brown sugar
1       tablespoon cinnamon
1       teaspoon ground nutmeg
1       tablespoon cornstarch
1       cup caramel sauce (in a jar)
1       can whipped cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or according to directions on spice cake mix. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.

Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box. Spread in baking pan and bake as long as directed on the box.

Let the cake cool 20 minutes. *

While the cake is cooling, prepare and then cook the apples in a large skillet over medium heat in the butter until soft, stirring occasionally (about 8 minutes).

Combine the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch to the cooked apples until well mixed. Remove from heat.

*(After the cake has cooled the 20 minutes, poke holes all over the cake with a wooden spoon. Heat caramel sauce to thin in microwave. Pour over cake so that the sauce can soak in the holes. Save a little to drizzle over frosted cake.)

Evenly spread apples over the cake. Allow to cool completely for several hours.

Spread whipped frosting over the apples. Drizzle with a little caramel sauce.

Serve plain or with a scoop of ice cream.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


One of the desserts that we enjoyed at our Bible Boomers Sunday school party was Paula's Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies. OMG! They were so good (and rich).

Paula admitted they were a little time-consuming to prepare, but they were certainly worth it.


1-1/4       cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1              cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3            (1-oz) unsweetened chocolate baking squares, chopped (Paula used 9 tablespoons cocoa + 3 tablespoons oil)
3             large eggs
1              cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2             tablespoons cold brewed coffee
1              tablespoons vanilla extract
2/3         cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2       teaspoon baking powder
1              teaspoon divided
1              (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3             large eggs
1/2          cup heavy cream
1/3          cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1-1/2       teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour water to a depth of 1 inch in the bottom of a double boiler over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Place the first three ingredients (chocolate chips, butter, and chocolate) in top of the double boiler over the simmering water and cook, stirring occasionally 5 to 6 minutes or until everything melts. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.

Whisk together the eggs, the granulated sugar, coffee and vanilla in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture. Cool 10 minutes.

Grease a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan with butter. Line bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper extending the paper 2 to 3 inches over each end. Grease again with butter and flour the parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Whisk into the chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan, reserving 2/3 cup of the batter.

Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, heavy cream, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour over the chocolate batter in pan.

Drop reserved batter in spoonfuls around top and then swirl the batter gently 3 times in one direction and 3 times in the opposite direction with a knife or the end of a wooden spoon.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. 

Cool completely on a wire rack about two hours. Lift brownies from pan, using the extended parchment paper as handles. Gently remove the parchment paper, and cut brownies into 24 squares.

Note: To make ahead, refrigerate cooled uncut brownies uncovered overnight. Then cut into squares while cold.

Monday, October 17, 2016


A week ago our Sunday school class, The Bible Boomers, had a gathering at members Connie and Jerry's house. We had a potluck dinner and games and fun afterwards. (Methodists have always been noted for their fantastic potluck dinners.) Fortunately for me and you, several members agreed to share their recipes with me to share with you here on my blog. I am still waiting on a few recipes but hopefully by the end of the week, I will have them to share with you.

Member Pennie brought a salad that she says they prefer to eat as a dip instead of a salad. Everyone agreed.

Question. Can you buy beans in a 24-ounce can?


1-1/2        cans (16 - ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1-1/2        cans (16 - ounces each) red beans, drained and rinsed
1-1/2        cups cheddar cheese, grated
1               small red pepper, chopped
1               cup mild chunky salsa (Pennie likes to use Rosarita's salsa)
1//2          cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4           cup chopped cilantro
2              tablespoons lime juice

Combine all, toss and chill.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Thanks Pennie for bringing your Mexican Dip and for sharing the recipe with me.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Wednesday felt more like early winter than fall here with high temperatures during the night and only the low 50s during the day. Nothing taste better on a day like this than a bowl of soup. 

The recipe for the pot of soup I decided to make came to me in an email from Betty Crocker. The recipe says it serves 6. I would like to see these 6 people. My husband and I have eaten 4 bowls so far and there is still so much of it left in the pot. I think I will probably end up freezing part of it to enjoy the next time it turns off cold. (It is supposed to be in the upper 70s this weekend.)


1       lb ground beef
1       medium onion chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4   cup chopped green bell pepper
5      cups hot water
1       box Hamburger Helper chili macaroni
1       teaspoon chili powder
1/2   teaspoon garlic salt
2      cups diced tomatoes (28 - oz can or two 14 - oz cans)
1       can (11 - oz) whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, undrained
2      tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives

In a 4 - quart Dutch oven, cook beef, onion, and bell pepper over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in hot water, sauce mix from the Hamburger Helper box, chili powder, garlic salt, and tomatoes. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in uncooked pasta from Hamburger Helper box, corn and olives. Cover; cook 10 minutes longer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I haven't made or shared any cookie recipes since my weekend of baking cookies to serve to the gathering at church that my husband and I hosted. I hope you managed to see those recipes. They were really good ones.

That means my cookie jar has been empty for a couple of weeks. Whenever that happens, I always try to find a recipe that I think will be exceptional. I think I did. I love oatmeal and I love butterscotch. So the two together is even better.


3/4         cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4         cup granulated sugar (I used 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar/stevia blend)
3/4         cup packed light brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar blend)
2             eggs
1              teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4       cups all-purpose flour
1              teaspoon baking soda
1/2          teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2          teaspoon salt
3             cups quick-cooking or regular rolled oats (I used the latter)
1-2/3      cups (10-ounce package) butterscotch chips (My package was 11-ounces)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat butter and sugars until well blended. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl several times.

Add eggs and vanilla; blend thoroughly.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk. Gradually add the mixture to the butter mixture, beating until well blended.

Stir in the oats and butterscotch chips; mix well.

Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. (I used my cookie scoop and placed the cookie dough on the sheet with the rounded part down on the sheet.)

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. (I cooked mine 9 minutes.)

Cool about 2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to finish cooling on wire racks.

Cool completely.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


This week I worked at Hillcrest Thrift Shop on Monday instead of my normal Tuesday as I have Blankets of Hope at Platte Woods United Methodist Church on the second Tuesday of the month. I wasn't able to get anything made Sunday afternoon to take which disappointed several when they saw me yesterday. 

I had already decided I would come home and make something in the afternoon and drop it off at Hillcrest after we finished with Blankets of Hope at church. This seemed to satisfy them.

I had gotten the recipe for this Pumpkin Honey Bun Cake in an email from Betty Crocker and thought it sounded like a winner. It turned out perfectly, but it did take some careful spreading in the pan to make it so. If you want to reduce some of the sugar calories, you can use a sugar-free yellow cake mix instead of a regular yellow cake mix.


1         box yellow cake mix
1/2     cup oil
4        eggs
1/2     cup sour cream (I used lite sour cream)
3/4    cup canned pumpkin
2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice - divided
3/4    cup packed brown sugar
1/2     cup chopped pecans
1         cup powdered sugar
2        tablespoons milk
1         teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 - inch pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, oil, eggs, sour cream, pumpkin, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low til ingredients are mostly blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat a little longer if needed.

Spread half of the batter in the pan - about 2-1/4 cups. (I did actually measure it and had to add about 1 more spoonful. You need to do this if you want to have the brown sugar/pecan mixture in the middle.)

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, pecans, and the remaining 1 teaspoonful of the pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the pan. 

Carefully spread the remaining batter evenly over the pecan mixture. (I dropped it by spoonfuls and then carefully blended them together. Both layers were thin.)

Bake 38 to 42 minutes or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to wire rack. 

In another bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until thin enough to spread.

Prick the entire surface of the warm cake with a fork.

Carefully spread the powdered sugar mixture over the warm cake.

Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Store covered.

Monday, October 10, 2016


I hope you like recipes with pumpkin as much as I do since I am sharing so many pumpkin recipes lately. Today I am sharing a super easy pumpkin cheesecake that my friend Janice made and served to us last week when the canasta group met at her house.

I haven't eaten as many sweets over the last few weeks and I had to tell her how much I enjoyed it. Several years ago my husband and I changed our lifestyle to the Sugar Buster lifestyle. My husband lost at least 25 pounds and has managed to keep it off (even though we don't stick to it as strictly as we for several years) and I actually lost more than I wanted to. After a year or two of it, I would occasionally indulge in a dessert that contained more than 5 grams of sugar in it. If I really enjoyed it, I would refer to it as a "good cheat". This easy Pumpkin Cheesecake is a "good cheat".


1         package (8-ounces) cream cheese
1/3     cup brown sugar
1         cup pumpkin puree
2-1/2 cups whipped topping (8-ounce carton)
1         teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1         teaspoon vanilla
1         9-inch graham cracker crumb crust.

Beat the cream cheese with the brown sugar til smooth.

Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Fold in the whipped topping.

Spread in a graham cracker crumb crust.

Chill for several hours before serving.

Janice squirted a little whipped topping on each piece before serving it.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Since lunch is hard for me to come up with, a good option for me is to have protein balls to eat along with my Greek yogurt. These energy balls caught my attention honestly because of the picture from Clean Food Crush. I admit I changed the title mainly because I wanted to focus on other ingredients instead of the chocolate chips. I also substituted vanilla protein powder instead of the ground flax seeds.


3        cups dry oats (I used glutton free thick cut oats)
1         cup pumpkin puree
1         cup peanut butter
2/3    cup pure maple syrup or honey (I did use honey)
1/2     teaspoon cinnamon
1/2     teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2     tablespoon vanilla extract
1         scoop vanilla protein powder
1         cup chopped walnuts, almonds, peanuts, coconut flakes, or any combination of mix-ins that equal 1 cup (I just used the chopped walnuts)
1/2     cup mini chocolate chips

Combine the oats, pumpkin, peanut butter, and honey. Mix well.

Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Mix well.

Add protein powder, nuts, and chips. 

Stir sides of bowl as needed.

Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Form mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. (I used my cookie scoop and used two "flat" scoops to form into a ball in the palm of my hand.)

Place in freezer and leave for an hour.

Store balls in airtight container and eat within a week.

Made 32 protein balls.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I have to give credit where credit is due with this tip for cooking chicken to shred it.....(I asked my dil Sara what she does since she makes so many recipes in the slow cooker using shredded chicken.) She told me how she cooks it, but admitted that our son Jeffrey shredded it for her. She says he does it so well and she just doesn't.

We both buy our chicken breasts from The chicken breasts are fresh, not previously frozen and so big. How big are they, you ask? So big that one breast is all I ever need to make a meal with leftovers for us.

Sara often will cook the chicken breasts from a frozen state. I usually thaw mine.

How to Cook Chicken to Shred It

Place chicken breast fresh/thawed or frozen in a slow cooker with about an inch of water.

Cook on Low for 3 - 4 hours if chicken is thawed or 5 hours if frozen. (I cooked mine on High for 1 hour and then 2 hours on low. Look what nice chicken broth it made also.)

To shred, remove chicken and place on cutting board or surface. Hold one end steady with a fork. Using another fork, drag fork over surface of the cooked breast so that a thin layer of shredded chicken comes off.

I ended up with a lot more than 1-1/2 cup of shredded chicken, so I placed the rest in a container and put it in the refrigerator to use later. I may make chicken salad sandwiches for us for lunch later this week. That would be nice.