Wednesday, April 14, 2021


I am experincing computer problems and having difficulty finishing the post I had planned to publish tomorrow, April 15. I hope to get the problem solved soon. Please bear with me as I try to solve the problem.




Tuesday, April 13, 2021


 Today's post is one of those fun posts that isn't that informative. In fact nothing I will say is probably new to anyone. But I like the way it takes ordinary and turns it into special.

It happened because I was so tired last weekend (Friday night) and the last thing I really wanted to do was get up Saturday morning and bake something special for breakfast even though I have not missed a weekend so far this year. I'm not sure when the idea came to me, but when I got out of bed Saturday morning I had decided to turn ordinary into special.

How did I do this? I mixed up some simple, but really good pancake batter. I had some frozen fresh blackberries that we grew and some fresh frozen blueberries. I rinsed the berries to thaw them a little while I mixed up the pancake batter. After I poured some batter on the griddle, I placed the blackberries or blueberries on the small pancakes. That was the only out of the ordinary thing that I did to make the pancakes. For me I sprinkled mini chocolate chips on my pancakes. To serve them I added some blueberries and blackberries I didn't use in the pancakes and some powdered sugar, additional chocolate chips, and some sugar-free syrup on mine.

Here are some pictures I took:


So our Saturday Special Breakfast turned out special and all I really did was make pancakes and just added some fruit when they were cooking. Ordinary became Special very easily.

Monday, April 12, 2021



Last week was my busiest week in a year! Every day except I had something on my calendar except Friday. I just cleaned house and made a Pecan Pie Cheesecake for the Tasty Bunch who were coming over for dessert Saturday night. After a year of almost not even knowing what day it was most of the time, It was a little overwhelming and tiring physically, but mostly mentally. Some of my friends are feeling the same way. We have decided some of our previous activities are not coming back into our routine. 

Yesterday our church held two services with 150 in attendance at each service. Wayne and I helped at both of the services with the Hospitality Team. Our responsibilities are a lot less than before COVID, but I think everyone was just glad to be back in the building. I am used to greeting and passing out bulletins to everyone and now after the people checked in, we each just led a family into the worship center to prearranged seats in family groups. There were 4 to maybe 8 of us doing this. That meant I didn't get to see everyone as they came in and I missed that. BUT I'm happy to be back too.

This week will be back to my new normal except our Blanket of Hope group at the church is going back to meeting in the church Tuesday afternoon, the second Tuesday of April and our normal meeting time. We hope to get a number of quilt tops designed (laid out in a pattern) and someone in the group will take the squares home to sew the top together. Hopefully we can get together before the second Tuesday in May and get the tops pinned together with batting and backing so they can be returned then in May finished. It will really be good to come together. 

I made this pie for the Tasty Bunch for Saturday night because the Pecan Pie Cheesecake bars didn't turn out the way they looked in the picture. You will read about that when I post the recipe tomorrow. I decided to make the pie incase the bars didn't turn out. So I served both desserts and they were both enjoyed by everyone. I am taking the leftover bars to the thrift shop today. I am sure they will be a big hit with the volunteers.

  For a printable copy of just the recipe, click HERE. 


1     5.1 - ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix (large box)

2     cups milk

1/2  cup heavy whipping cream

1     cup creamy peanut butter

1     6 - ounce jar of hot fudge (ice cream topping)

1     8 - ounce container of whipped topping, thawed

1     9 - inch pie crust, baked

Bake pie crust and allow to cool.

Combine the pudding mix with the milk and whisk until creamy.

Whisk together peanut butter and the pudding mix til

smooth and thoroughly blended. 

Whip heavy whipping cream until

peaks form.

Fold the whipped whipping cream into mixture until


Heat hot fudge in the microwave slightly so it will pour easier.

Pour the hot fudge in the bottom of the cooled pie crust.

Spoon the peanut butter mixture on top of the hot fudge. 

Cover with as much of the whipped topping as you wish. (I didn't use the entire container of whipped topping.)

Place in freezer and freeze at least 1 hour. 

Remove from freezer and drizzle some warmed hot fudge over top OR wait to drizzle each serving piece with some of the hot fudge when you cut the pie to serve. (This is what I did.)

Either way return pie to refrigerator cover until ready to serve.

Friday, April 9, 2021


 Das Dutchman Essenhaus is a place I hope to get to sometime when we finally take that road trip that we had to postpone last year due to COVID. It is on U.S. Highway 20 in Middlebury, Indiana. Until then I will just have to enjoy two of their cookbooks full of recipes from the restaurant and its employees. Friend Jean gave me Volume I last week to go with Volume III I already had. 

Poor Man's Steak, one of Manager Sue Miller's recipe is the first one I decided to make from Volume I. It was really good and I changed the directions for making it just so I could make half with onion for Wayne and the other half without onion pour moi. He was so excited to smelling onions cooking in the kitchen. He was like a kid. It turned out okay the way I did it so I don't think Sue would be upset with me.

The only substitution I made was using a can of Golden Mushroom soup instead of cream of mushroom. Actually as I recheck the recipe, she only says a can of mushroom soup so maybe she uses Golden also. I prefer the flavor of it.

For a printable copy of just the recipe, click HERE.


1     lb. ground beef

1     cup milk

1/4  teaspoon pepper

1     cup cracker crumbs (about 20 saltines)

1     teaspoon salt (I omitted since I used saltines for the crackers.

1     small onion chopped fine

1     can mushroom soup (I used Golden Mushroom Soup)

Sue Miller's Instructions: Combine the ingredients except soup mixing well and shape in a narrow loaf. Let it set for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Slice in pieces and fry till brown. Put slices in layers in a roaster and spread mushroom soup on each piece. Bake 1 hour.

My Instructions:

Combine the ingredients except of the soup in a large bowl,

mixing well. 

Divide mixture in half. Add onion to one of the mixtures. Form the mixture into patties. (I made 3 with onion and 3 without.) Wrap individually with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator on a plate overnight. (I guess I was tired that night and forgot to take pictures.)

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 - inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Then add some oil in a skillet and brown the patties on both sides.

Place in baking dish and

then spoon the undiluted soup and spread over each patty. Cover pan with foil and bake for 1 hour or until done.

We ate one each and stored the other four in a sealed container in the refrigerator for another day. For leftovers, I warmed two up in a covered dish in the oven (350 degrees F.) until I could smell that wonderful smell of them coming from the oven. So good. As good as the first time.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021


 I felt the beginning of April called for a special treat for the volunteers at the Thrift Shop. A recipe that calls for 2 cups of chopped pecans I felt like was a special treat. I had considered the recipe several times but had just not ever made it. It didn't disappoint.

Two of my "taste testers" were waiting on me when I arrived at the shop Monday morning. I didn't ask where the other two were. Terry decided I should take a picture of them. I told them since I talked about them I definitely should. I included the pictures at the bottom. Two other people had brought treats that were also on their table. I started to move them out of the picture and stopped and told the guys that I would say they chose my treat over the other ones. Two hours later, there were only about 5 pieces left in the pan that I transferred to a paper plate so I could take my pan back home.

For a printable copy of just the recipe, click HERE.


1       package plain yellow cake mix

1/2    cup (1 stick) butter, melted

4       eggs

1-1/2 cups light corn syrup

1/2    cup firmly packed brown sugar

1       teaspoon vanilla

2       cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place cake mix, melted butter, and 1 egg in large mixing bowl.

Beat on low speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Measure out 2/3 cup batter and set aside.

Spread remaining batter in bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.

(I dropped it in clumps around the pan except for the last little bit - scant 1/4 cup.

After pressing and

spreading the batter over the bottom of the pan,

I then took smaller pieces and filled in the vacant areas.

Bake for 15 minutes or until top lightly browns and puffs up. Remove pan to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place reserved batter, corn syrup, sugar, remaining 3 eggs, and vanilla in large mixing bowl.

Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

Beat on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.

Fold in pecans.

Pour mixture evenly on top of warm cake in baking pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until edges are browned but middle is still soft. Remove to wire rack and cool 30 minutes before

cutting into squares.

John and Terry...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


 Wayne and I have been watching a show on Acorn TV called Wartime Farm. It covers World War II and how it affected the farms in England. The show is really informative as you can learn so much that we aren't taught here in the United States. One interesting fact we heard the other night was that England went five years without airing a weather forecast. They felt it might aid Germany as to good times to attack them. So all the farmers could do was watch the skies. 

I can't imagine not hearing or watching the weather forecast even though it can change from one hour to the next. The only thing I think I can plan on is that winter is over. It doesn't take much change in the outside temperature for the inside temperature to change on the "back porch". 

I know my cooking habits will change some, but right now the kitchen doesn't heat up too much for me to use the oven. I made these cookies because with the name they definitely sounded like a winner. The miniature marshmallows are a little messy when the cookie bakes according to where the marshmallow happens to be in the glob. I finally figured out if I made sure the marshmallow was first in the cookie scoop, it wouldn't end up on the bottom next the pan and get messy as the cookie baked.

I made the cookies for our "adopted teacher" for her April gift bag. Malinda's two darling daughters always look forward to by baked item so I thought cookies would be nice this month.

Get a printable copy of just the recipe  HERE. 


1/2       cup butter, softened

1/2       cup shortening

1          cup packed brown sugar

1/2       cup sugar

2          eggs

1-1/2    teaspoons vanilla extract

2-1/4    cups flour

1          teaspoon baking soda

1/4       teaspoon salt

1          cup old-fashioned oats

1          cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1          cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugars.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.
Stir in the oats, chocolate chips,
and marshmallows.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2-inches apart on cookie sheet.

(I used a small cookie scoop.)
Bake for 11 - 13 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool for 1 - 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.