Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Happy New Year everyone! Hard to believe isn't it?  I thought I would share one more recipe that was in a Christmas Cookie cookbook, but that I don't necessarily think of as a Christmas cookie only.

I have several gingersnap recipes but I keep looking for one that is crisp. Well, I finally found one. Hope you will give it a try.

This recipe came from a small book I have called Christmas Cookies & Candy...Easy-to-follow recipes for mouth-watering holiday treats. Instead of pictures of the finished recipes, the book includes clip art reminiscent of old Christmas cards....full of nostalgia.


2-1/2     cups flour
2            teaspoons baking soda
1             teaspoon ground ginger
1             teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2         teaspoon ground cloves
1/4         teaspoon salt
1             cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup brown sugar blend.)
3/4        cup oil
1/4         cup molasses
1             egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, molasses, and egg. 

Beat well. (medium speed for one minute)

Add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue to beat until the dough is smooth.

Using a cookie scoop, place the dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from sheet and cool on wire rack.

and in my cookie jar...

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Recently when we met at Kay's house for Farkle, she served her grandmother's recipe for rice pudding. I personally love rice pudding and have to admit it has been a while since I had some to eat. I really enjoyed it that afternoon. My diet had been really restricted due to an infection and so that afternoon was the first time I was able to eat like normal. I wanted to take it easy though, so unfortunately I didn't get to eat as large of a portion as I would have liked. I will just have to make some myself. Then I can enjoy it as much as I like.

When Kay showed me the recipe, she said her grandmother was very emphatic about washing the rice several times.  We decided that manufacturers must have not done a very good job packaging the rice in earlier days. Anyway, I wrote the recipe the way Kay had it on the card. I added the "glass casserole dish" in the directions.


1       cup rice
1       cup sugar
1-1/2 quarts milk, (6 cups)
1       teaspoon salt
grated orange rind
1       cup seeded raisins

Wash rice several times.  Put into pudding dish (glass casserole dish ). Add the milk, sugar, salt, and orange rind.

Bake in a slow oven (275 degrees) for 1-1/2 hours or until thick, stirring several times during baking.

Add raisins and bake 20 more minutes.

Serve alone....

or top with caramel ice cream topping....

Thursday, December 26, 2013


The other night my husband was getting some fish out of the freezer to cook for dinner and he reminded me we had a bunch of bags of frozen peaches in the freezer.  (I had sliced them and froze them to use at a later date. It was quite a while ago, but look how nice they still look. Check out what I did to freeze them HERE.)

Tonight I decided to surprise him with his own single serve cobbler using some of those peaches.  I found the recipe from Ashton at Something Swanky.  

I love portion control recipes and this one appealed to me because since the recipe is making just one cobbler, I could make one for my husband using his favorite fruit and one for me with mine.  I also liked the way it was low calorie.

Well, they were great. I will use more fruit next time.  Ashton said to use 1/2 cup so I basically covered the bottom of the dish. It worked out fine, but more peaches would have been nice. They did have such a good taste...even though they have been in the freezer for quite a while. She also cooked her cobbler for 45 to 60 minutes but it didn't take that long for mine. I set the timer for 30 minutes and tested them. The toothpick came out clean.


frozen fruit -- at least 1/2 cup but more if you like
3     tablespoons sugar free yellow cake mix
3     tablespoons diet 7-Up or Sprite
1/2  teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray oven safe ramekin or bowl with cooking spray.  (I used my 500 mL Corning Ware bowls.)

Place fruit in the bottom of the bowls. (I made two so I made the recipe two separate times. I didn't just double the recipe.)

Whisk the cake mix and cinnamon in a small bowl to combine well. 

Add the 7 - Up and whisk gently (don't overmix it)

Pour batter over fruit evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.

Monday, December 23, 2013


I made these Oatmeal Fruit Squares to take to Couples Bridge the other night.  Everyone was to bring either an appetizer or dessert. Most of the time "pot luck" turns out fine.  This time though everyone decided to bring an appetizer but me.  So these Oatmeal Fruit Squares was our only dessert.  No one complained.  My homemade preserves made them so delicious.

I made these for adults, but they would be great as a snack for kids.


1       cup flour
1       cup quick-cooking oats
1/2    cup packed brown sugar
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon baking soda
1/2    cup cold margarine
3/4    cup fruit preserves (apricot, strawberry, peach, etc)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients.

Cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Cut the stick of margarine in thin slices to make this process easier. Can use a fork to cut in the margarine.)

Press half of the mixture (or as much as necessary) to cover the bottom of the pan.

Spread with the preserves. (I did half in my apricot preserves and half in my strawberry preserves. Well, almost half.)

Sprinkle with the remaining oat mixture.

Gently press down the oat mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Cut into 16 squares.

Friday, December 20, 2013


What a fun group the Tasty Bunch is!  After a delicious dinner at The Hereford House, we all gathered at John and Bernie's for dessert and fun. 

Bernie immediately offered us her Cranberry Cocktail.  It was so good and looked so festive in the decanter.  I didn't take my picture until it was time to leave...that's why it is almost empty.

Cranberry Cocktail

1     12-oz can of frozen cranberry blend juice

3      cans* of 7 - Up

3      cans* Pomegranate Cranberry Plus 100% Juice

1      whole bottle of champagne (or ginger ale)

1/2   bag of whole cranberries


*  Bernie used the empty 12 - oz can from the frozen cranberry juice as a measure.  

Combine all and pour into serving decanter.

After playing a couple of games -- a mixer bingo for Christmas and then a "get-to-know-everyone-better"  where everyone shares one thing about themselves that no one else knows.   We shared the latter mixer earlier this month at the Dinner Club.  It is so much fun and amazing what you can learn about your friends.

Then it was time for dessert....Bread Pudding.  I love bread pudding and Bernie's was fabulous.

 (inspired by Curtis Stone, Master Chef)


6-1/2     cups Half & Half (or 3-1/2 cups whole milk or soymilk and 3 cups whipping cream or Half & Half)
1-1/2    cups granulated sugar (Bernie used 1/2 Splenda)
1-1/2    tablespoons vanilla extract
12        whole eggs (or egg substitute)
1          cup raisins
6          croissants (each torn into 8 - 10 pieces)


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Stir the milk/cream, sugar, and vanilla in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the milk mixture is warm, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. 

Whisk the whole eggs in a large bowl, then gradually whisk into the warm milk mixture.

Place the croissant pieces in a 13 x 9 -inch baking dish.

Pour the custard over the croissant pieces and sprinkle the raisins over the top.  Press gently to submerge the croissants and raisins.  

Let stand for 20 minutes to allow the croissants to absorb some of the custard.

Place the baking dish in a large roasting pan.  Set the roasting pan on the oven shelf.  Add enough warm water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

Bake until the pudding is firm to the touch, about 1 hour and 20 - 40 minutes.  Serve warm with Caramel Ice Cream Topping or Caramel Rum Sauce

Caramel Rum Sauce

2/3     cup butterscotch caramel ice cream topping
3        tablespoons heavy cream
3        tablespoons dark rum

Combine in a glass container and heat in a pan of water on the stove to thin.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


See UPDATE below!

I don't remember where I found this recipe, but it was quite awhile ago....easily 20 years ago. Microwave is what caught my attention in the title. Probably at the time, I used my microwave a lot because of time restraints.

Well, anyway, I tried it. I loved how easy it was. I gave the recipe to my mother and even contributed it to a cookbook the women in the church were compiling.  

I hate to admit that it has been years since I made it. I have thought about making it, especially around Christmas, but just never got around to it. Janice's husband loves peanut brittle. Every time Janice and I go to Jamesport, the Amish community in northcentral MO, we have to buy several packages of it for him.  I recently ran across the recipe and thought I would surprise Leon with some for Christmas.


1      cup sugar
1/2  cup white karo (corn syrup)
1/8  teaspoon salt
1      cup raw peanuts
1      teaspoon vanilla
1      teaspoon butter/margarine
1      teaspoon baking soda

Using a 4 - cup glass measuring cup, combine the peanuts, sugar, karo, and salt.

Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes on High. Stir.

Cook 6 more minutes on High.

Add the butter and vanilla.  Stir

Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer on High. (I cooked it only 1 minute as my microwave is 1000 watts.)

Stir in baking soda.

Immediately pour onto cookie sheet (I buttered the cookie sheet.)


Break into pieces. (I used a metal spatula to lift it from the cookie sheet

and then broke it into pieces.)

Want some?


Tonight we are going to an Open House that our friends Patricia and Gary are having. I thought I would make this peanut brittle to take to share with the other guests. 

I recently got new stainless steel appliances for my kitchen. I have found that my gas stove cooks slower than my electric one and most recipes I need to use the maximum baking time. 

I have made this microwave peanut brittle on two different microwaves. I don't know the wattage of the one I had in CA, but in my recipe above, I mention that the microwave in this house in MO was 1000 watts.

Well, I made the recipe this morning and it burned. When I looked at my new microwave I saw that it is 1500 watts.

When I made the second batch, I reduce the first cooking time to 1:45 minutes, the second cooking time to 4:30 minutes, and kept the third cooking time at 1 minutes. That worked perfectly, it just wasn't quite as dark as my usual.

I just made a third batch. I cooked the mixture for 1:45 minutes, then 5 minutes, and then 1 minute. It was a little darker. 

Both of the last two batches tasted great and I am sure it will be a success. 

I recommend that you adjust the recipe also if your microwave is more than 1000 watts. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Christmas is going to be here before I know it.  Going to Branson, MO for a week the first week of the month didn't help, (but it was a fantastic trip and I don't regret going) but it really didn't help getting my house to "look like Christmas".  I finally got rid of the pumpkins, corn stalks, and hay bales at the front door yesterday. (Really enjoying these several days of warm weather we are having before it turns cold again this weekend.)

After celebrating the season with my Northland New Neighbor friends at our annual Christmas Luncheon, I came home and decided to make some jiffy pralines.  I found the recipe the other night in Mother's recipe box.  I have never made pralines before, but decided I wanted to give it a try.  I found several other good sounding recipes but I will have to try them another day(s).

I was a little nervous making them, but they taste really great. During the last step, I left my husband stirring the mixture while I looked for something he wanted, and they got a little thick.  I didn't think about it until I was almost finished spooning them out on the wax paper, but I stirred in a little water to the mixture and it was fine.  I took a picture of the last one so you could see how they were supposed to look.  I wish I had thought of it sooner.  They all taste great (says my husband), they just look dry.  He thinks they look fine.


1         (3-3/4 oz) box of butterscotch pudding (cook and serve)
1/2      cup brown sugar
1         cup sugar
1/2      cup evaporated milk
1         tablespoon butter
1-1/2  cups pecans, broken

Mix first 5 ingredients in a saucepan.

Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low and cook to soft ball stage. (235 degrees)
Basically this is a rolling boil that doesn't stir down.

Remove from hear and add pecans.

Beat (stir) until almost stiff. (Read my note above.)  You do have to work fast as it will get stiff quickly.

Spoon onto wax paper.