Thursday, July 27, 2017


I had just about given up hope of ever getting any blackberries from the two bushes we planted about 6 or 7 years ago in our backyard on the ditchbank. The raspberry bush apparently did die as there is no indication of it at all back there. I am learning you should never give up. This summer we are getting an abundant amount of blackberries. 

I have been freezing them all so we can enjoy them the rest of the year. I haven't kept a record of how many packages (4 cups in each bag) I have made, but I bet I have 8 or so bags so far. Well, Tuesday night I decided it was time to enjoy some. I found a new recipe for blackberry cobbler that only has 199 calories in a serving (mine had even less because I used stevia on the berries instead of sugar) and between fixing dinner and eating dinner, I made it so we could enjoy it afterwards. 

The recipe belonged to Leslie Browning from Lexington, Kentucky and was in that crazy titled cookbook from Taste of Home called Comfort Food Diet Cookbook. As I said when I shared another recipe from it Swiss Chicken Supreme, that seems like an oxymoron - comfort food and diet. 

This recipe is definitely a keeper. (I have shared several other recipes for blackberry cobbler so you might want to check them out also - Amish Blackberry CobblerBlackberry Cobbler with Pecan Coconut Cookie ToppingBlackberry Pudding Cake another recipe from the Amish, Skillet Blackberry Cobbler, and one last one from Friend Sue simply called Blackberry Cobbler.)

We didn't, but you might want to enjoy a little ice cream with it. I am looking forward to finding other recipes for my blackberries and trust me I will be sharing them with you (as long as they pass the taste tests).


1/2       cup sugar (I did use stevia for this cup)
4-1/2   teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/4       teaspoon ground allspice
5          cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
2          tablespoons orange juice


1           cup flour
1/3       cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/4       teaspoon baking soda
1/4       teaspoon salt
1/3       cup reduced-fat vanilla yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
1/3       cup fat-free milk
3          tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, and allspice.
Add blackberries and orange juice, toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Spoon blackberry mixture into baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to make the dough.
Combine the milk, yogurt, and butter.
Stir yogurt mixture into dry ingredients and
stir til smooth.

Spread over the berry mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. (I sprinkled the remaining sugar on top before baking the 20 minutes.)
Bake 25 to 30 more minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


The 90+ temperatures may have kept some of the members away, but a number did show up for the church's picnic Sunday afternoon. With the humidity, I am not sure what the temperature felt like. It was hot and even though the park was by the Missouri River, there was no breeze at all. Fortunately, they provided lots of bottled water to keep everyone hydrated. The BBQ team, led by one of our ministers, had smoked quite a few pork tenderloins and everyone brought either a side dish (hot or cold) or a dessert to share. 

I know you think I took a dessert but I didn't. I found a recipe for creamed corn cooked in a slow cooker and wanted to make it so I could share it here. I almost didn't take it because it didn't look like I thought it was going to look, but since I had cooked it actually longer than it was supposed to be cooked, I decided it looked like it was meant to look. (The recipe said to cook it for 3 hours on LOW and I failed to notice that and cooked it on HIGH. Personally I would recommend cooking it on HIGH and not LOW. You want the cream cheese and butter to melt and the corn to heat.

Imagine my surprise when we finally got to the table in I saw that it was almost all gone. I took only two small spoonfuls (there were other people in the line behind us) in case anyone else wanted some. Well, it was so good I was sorry I had such a small portion. It was also good that I decided to bring a side dish since there were so many desserts. I'm only sorry I didn't get to try several of them, but I enjoyed the key lime pie even though it was not homemade.

I did make some changes to the original recipe and have listed them in the recipe. I omitted the sugar because the packages of corn I used said "super sweet corn". My husband thought I should have included the sugar, but I didn't miss it.


2       16-ounce bags of frozen corn (I used 3 - 12-ounce bags instead.)
1         8-ounce package cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat Neufchatel.)
1         stick oleo (I used butter.)
2        tablespoons sugar (I omitted.)
2        tablespoons water

Place corn in slow cooker.
Cube the cream cheese and slice the stick of butter. Add them along with the sugar if you are using it and the water.

Cook on HIGH for 45 minutes. Stir mixture with wooden spoon.

Continue cooking for 3 more hours stirring the mixture several times to break up the cream cheese and butter.

Serve warm.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


 What a name for a cake? Surely it has some special meaning? Anyone out there know and could share it with me? The volunteers at Hillcrest Thrift Shop said they didn't care what it was called - it was just good. There were only three slender pieces left for me to bring home. (I asked Dana if she wanted to take a piece home and she quickly took the last big piece.)

The recipe was contributed by Anna Fern Hochstetler in the Heritage Country Harvest Cookbook. This is a cookbook of over 700 favorite recipes from the Amish in Northern Indiana. I have made a number of recipes from the cookbook.

The cake is great, but the icing is one of those recipes you could use on any cake. If you are just someone who oftens mixes up a cake mix and then adds canned frosting, you could mix up the cake mix and then "kick it up a notch or two" by frosting it with this icing recipe.


1       box yellow cake mix
1/2   cup oil
1       can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges with juice


1        large can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1        small (4 servings size) box instant vanilla pudding
1        large (8 ounces) Cool Whip

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

Mix cake mix, oil, and oranges together using a spoon. (I cut the oranges into smaller pieces - thirds)

Pour cake batter into pan.

Bake 30 - 35 minutes. (I tested doneness using a toothpick.)

Cool in pan on wire rack.

Prepare icing:

Mix dry pudding mix with pineapple together in a mixing bowl. 

Then fold in Cool Whip
until completely blended.

Spread on cake and refrigerate.

A moist and good cake!

Refrigerate any leftovers (keyword there being "any").

I should have known if I wanted to know something to just "google it". That's what I did and discovered that a "pig-pickin" is a gathering where they roast or bbq a whole pig. I guess this cake is a popular one for someone to bring to one of these gatherings. Seems like it is a big thing in the south. If anyone can add anything to this especially pertaining to the Amish, I would love to hear from you in the comment section.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Even though I have lived in seven different states from the East coast to the West coast, I guess I am still just a southern girl at heart. You can take the girl out of the south, but you can't take the south out of the girl. 

That said - when I saw this recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Skillet in Mr. Food Cooks Real American, I knew I had to make it. I love black-eyed peas and make sure we have them on New Year's Day to bring us luck in the new year. My mother always did, too. I am so upset that our local Wal-Mart has quit stocking Pictsweet brand frozen speckled butter beans, purple hurl peas, field peas and snaps, and blackeye peas. I have written the company to see if they are being sold anywhere near.

Anyway, I am "birdwalking". I knew I would have to try the recipe when I saw it. It is a great way to stretch a pound of ground beef, too. It makes so much that after I had added all of the ingredients except the onion and peppers, I divided the mixture between two skillets and added the onion and peppers to one for my husband. He was quite pleased.


1          lb. ground beef
1-1/2  cups chopped onion
1          cup chopped green bell pepper (I used orange and red sweet peppers)
2         cans (16-ounces each) black-eyed peas, drained
1          can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2      teaspoon salt
1/4      teaspoon black pepper

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef,m onion, and pepper over medium heat until the beef is browned, stirring to crumble the meat; drain off any liquid. 

Add the remaining ingredients; 

bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often.

Mr. Food says to go on and add your own seasoning favorites. Anything from basil to oregano, chili powder, hot pepper sauce, or Cajun seasoning will work. (I didn't.)

Friday, July 21, 2017


I am feeling so blessed as I write this. Friend Janice and I went to two estate sales this morning before having a quick lunch at Culver's before picking up Friend Fran for an afternoon of canasta at Friend Ellen's. 

Janice and I have not been able to go to any estate sales the last few weeks because she fell and had muscle spasms in her lower back. So fortunate that she didn't break anything. At one of the estate sales, I bought a burgundy Lazy Boy recliner for myself that looks almost new. (Guess where I am sitting as I write this? Yep.) We saw so much we would have loved owning, but were able to practice good restraints for the most part. I only bought 4 cookbooks and have already found some recipes I am anxious to try. (Janice bought 2 Gooseberry cookbooks that I hope to look through soon.)

At Ellen's, Janice, Friend Dorothy, and I were partners and Ellen, Fran, and Friend Sharon were partners. We beat them really badly over 2000 points and then even beat them in the revenge round. If we had quit after two hands - Dorothy wanted to play one more hand, they would have won, but as it turned out, we came back and went ahead of them with the third hand. (Dessert was great, btw! I will be sharing it next week.)

To make up for all of the sales we missed while Janice was recouping, we are going out again tomorrow - our usual Estate Sale day (or Friday as you read this...I will be publishing this post in the morning bright and early.) The sales don't look as good as the ones we went to today, but that's okay. We just have a blast anywhere we go. We have stories we could tell if we wanted to.

I know you are reading this for the recipe - (if you are still reading)- so I will quit "talking" and get down to business. I am sharing a recipe I found on a little piece of paper that I had written down years ago. I decided it must have come from a cookbook for my blender until I saw the Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cookbook at Hillcrest Thrift Shop last week. (I don't know if I still have this cookbook or not - that's what happens when you have as many cookbooks as I do.) I first made it a week ago. I followed the recipe as to the amount of batter to put in each muffin cup (2/3 full) and ended up making 12 muffins instead of 8 to 10 as the recipe said. They were good but overcooked and kinda squatty (since they didn't rise much when they baked). Since they had a good taste, I told my husband I wanted to make them again but put more batter in each cup. Then they probably wouldn't overbake either. 

As it turned out, I decided to use a 6-muffin cup muffin pan I have that looks like they are a little bigger. (Not sure if they really are as I haven't measured the volume of them.) I filled the cups a good 3/4 full and could have made 8 muffins. Since I was using a 6-cup pan though, I decided to use the rest of the batter in one of my mini-loaf pans. Worked great! The first time I made them, I sprinkled a little extra sugar on top of the batter in the cups. The second time, I decided to sprinkled some prepared cinnamon sugar I had made on top. (If you don't have a blender, you could use an electric mixer, the ingredients just might not be as fine.)


1      cup flour
3     tablespoons sugar
3     teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1      cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4  cup milk (I use skim milk)
1      egg
2     tablespoons oil
1      large ripe banana (My bananas were medium size, so I used 1-1/2.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease or spray 8-muffin cups.

Sift flour and sugar together.

Add oats to mixture.

Put milk, egg, and oil in blender.
Cut or break up banana into blender;
blend till mixture is smooth.

Pour mixture over dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
Stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients.

Fill muffin pan 3/4 full.
(Sprinkle a little sugar on top or cinnamon/sugar blend, if you like.)
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 8 to 10 muffins.

Remove immediately from pans to cool on wire rack or wrap in a towel to keep warm if you will be eating them soon.
I made 6 muffins and 1 mini-loaf. (The mini loaf was done when the muffins were.)
The little mini loaf was just so cute!

Hope you are having a good Friday and weekend.

My new recliner....