Tuesday, April 30, 2013


In several recipes using bread crumbs, I always state that I make my own.  My friend Margaret has asked me a couple of times how I do this, the last time, wanting specifics. So since I needed to make some more, I thought I would take some pictures showing specifically how I do this.  

Different bread sources will produce different types of bread crumbs.  I usually use the heels of a loaf of bread.  I just tear them into pieces and drop them in the blender and chop til they are all chopped up.  

The ones I am currently using, I made with a loaf of bread baked on a baking stone and had sesame seeds on top.  I left the loaf out to harden several days and they were really fine.  (Love them, too.)

Last week I bought two small French loaves for $1.99 that are called Everything French Loaves.  I left one loaf out for a couple of days, and it seemed hard on the outside, but wasn't hard all the way through. That meant the bread crumbs weren't super fine, but softer.  

They will work out fine but just remember when you make your own, the outcome will be determined by how "fresh" your bread is.


Freezer bag

That's all you will need. 

Cut or tear the bread into smaller pieces.

Place a few pieces into the blender and "pulse" on CHOP until it seems they are crumbs.  You may need to move the pieces around in the blender if they get "lodged" (not moving)

Pour out into a shallow container and check for any pieces that need to be chopped some more.

Repeat until you have chopped all the bread.

Pour into a freezer bag and label the bag.  I like to write on the bag what kind of bread I used so if I want to use the same bread the next time, I will remember what I used. 

My small loaf made 3 cups of breadcrumbs.

So I ended up making 3 cups of breadcrumbs for $1.00.  Can't beat that!

Saturday when I went to Wal-mart, I was checking out their day-old bakery rack and found this loaf of garlic & herb French bread.  I currently am letting it get hard and will make crumbs from it.  Then I won't have to add seasoning when I use these bread crumbs in recipes.  This loaf is easily twice as big as the other one I used so I expect to get 6 cups of crumbs from it.  And it only cost me $1.18.  I love good deals!

Monday, April 29, 2013


This is one of the other desserts we enjoyed at Carol and Keith's house the other night with the Tasty Bunch.  Unfortunately I could only eat about two bites of it as I was "stuffed".  It was so good.  I didn't think about it, but I should have taken a piece home and enjoyed it the next day.  I wasn't thinking.  

When I make this, I will probably use a yellow cake that is sugar free.  That will reduce the sugar a little bit.  I didn't ask Carol if she used a yellow cake mix or a lemon one.

Lemon Pie Cake

1         17 - oz box yellow or lemon cake mix                    
1          21 - oz can lemon pie filling

1/3      cup lemon juice

1          cup powdered sugar

1          tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 9 x 13 - inch baking pan with non stick spray.

Using mixer combine cake mix and filling.  

Pour in pan.  

Bake about 35 minutes.  

Let cool for 30 minutes.  

Combine juice, sugar and butter in a small bowl.  Pour on cake and carefully spread evenly over cake.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Last weekend I invited our son Patrick and his family over for dinner.  Since they had plans for Saturday night, he invited us over for burgers Sunday night.  I offered to bring baked beans.  You can check out how I made them HERE.

When we got to their house and I went in, Granddaughter Madison was in the living room.  She looked up and said, "There's Grandmother!".  That made my day.  She has never done that before.  She will be three the first part of August.  I have been willing to wait a little longer with all my grandchildren for them to be able to say "Grandmother".

We had such a good visit.  I usually am not there long before I have my camera out.  Madison knows the little red bag and has been interested in my camera before, but this time, she was totally absorbed with it and taking pictures.  She kept calling it, "Tyler's Camera".  Not sure why, unless it was usually pictures of Tyler that she was taking.  She did a really good job.....in fact most of the pictures I will be sharing, she took.  (She didn't want to let me take pictures, but I did get a couple of her.)

Tyler "walking"

I did get these pictures of him playing with some toys.

very intently.....

Wearing "Grandmother's" necklace....

With Grandad ("Daddy" is back there in the kitchen cooking.)

Grandad with Tyler and Madison (I wonder what Patrick is taking so long to cook in the kitchen?)

He came in the living room and Madison took this picture of him.

She took this picture of me.  (Can you believe my hair is this long, Ali?  Need to get a haircut.)

Another one of Tyler with Grandad.

Playing with my necklace.

Went out on the deck to check on those burgers. (I held her up to take this picture.)

She took a picture of the couches....

And one of me with Tyler.

Tyler enjoyed a little milk before dinner and Madison had to get a picture of that, too.

Once we sat down to eat, I had to put the camera away so she would eat.  I will be looking for a digital camera at the thrift shop for her so she can have fun taking pictures when we aren't there.

It was a really fun evening and I am looking forward to our next visit.  Tyler had finally cut a tooth (he was one the end of Feb.) and should be really walking soon.  Madison will be talking more ... always so many changes when children are growing. ♥


Last weekend I invited our son Patrick and his family over for dinner.  Since they had plans for Saturday night, he invited us over for burgers Sunday night. I offered to bring dessert, but he said they had peach cobbler that Lori had made and we could help them eat it. (It was really good, btw!)

So I offered to bring baked beans. I have a friend, Sandy, who often brings baked beans to gatherings.  For years I have made Stovetop Baked Beans that the family has always enjoyed. I wanted to make these beans in the Crock Pot though so it would be easy to keep them warm until we were ready to eat and I wanted to add some ground beef like Sandy always does.  

So since Sandy was out of town and I couldn't get the recipe from her for her beans, I decided to work with my Stovetop recipe and "wing it". They were pretty good.  The only change I would make next time is I will drain two cans of the beans. (I will say that in my recipe.)


4     -  16 oz cans of pork 'n beans
1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup and Lori thought they were a little sweet)
1/2     cup ketchup
2        tablespoons mustard
1/2    pound ground beef

Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray (for easy cleanup).

Open the four cans of beans, draining two of them if you want less liquid, and pour in the slow cooker.

Add the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard. Stir well.

Brown the ground beef, drain, and add.

Cook on high for 4 - 6 hours, stirring occasionally, if possible.


Here is a tip for transporting dishes in the automobile.

Set the dish (slow cooker in this instance) in a box a little bit bigger than the size of the container and then set the box, etc, in the floorboard of your automobile. If it does spill over, it will spill in the box, not in your automobile.

Friday, April 26, 2013


I think I have talked about The Tasty Bunch before. It is a small group in the Northland New Neighbors League that is 6 couples. Each month, the "host/ess" chooses a restaurant for us to meet at and have dinner and then we all go and enjoy dessert at their house. This month Carol and Keith were our Host/ess.  

After enjoying a delicious meal, we returned to their house to enjoy not one, but three different desserts. They had had guests the night before and had "leftovers". I wouldn't have eaten so much at dinner if I had known I would have so many choices. "Choices" isn't really the correct word. Everyone enjoyed all three.

I took pictures and Carol emailed me the recipes. I will be sharing them with you over the next few days.  

I decided I would share the Derby Pie with you first. Carol said it is also known as the Running of the Roses Pie. I thought this was very appropriate as May the 4th is the Kentucky Derby, aka ....Derby Day. This pie is so good....I hated only being able to eat a small sliver.

Derby Pie

4    eggs
¾   cup honey
½   cup melted butter
1    tsp vanilla
2    tbsp bourbon
¾   cup sugar
¼   cup brown sugar
1    tbsp flour
1    cup chopped pecans
½   cup chocolate chips
1    9 - inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F– turn down to 350 degrees F if it gets too brown.

Combine eggs, honey, butter, vanilla and bourbon. Stir in sugars, flour, pecans and chips.

Pour into pie shell. Bake about 50 minutes.

Carol likes to use mini chocolate chips.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I have a couple of cookbooks that I got sometime between graduating from college and eventually getting married. They are paperbacks with only about 50 pages. One called has nothing but "everyday cooking" recipes. I found the recipe for the peanut butter pudding in one called Shortcut Cooking.

For farkle last week, I only had four coming, so I decided to make the peanut butter pudding for a "lighter" dessert. I made it lighter by using sugar free/fat free instant pudding and skim milk. I didn't have any reduced fat peanut butter, but that would reduce the calories even more. As always, if you aren't counting calories, you can use the regular instant pudding mixes and whatever kind of milk that you use.

They used chocolate pudding in the recipe, but you could use any flavor you wanted to use.


1/4    cup creamy peanut butter
2        cups skim milk
1         small pkg of sugar-free/fat free instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
whipped topping, if you like

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the milk. Stir on slowest speed with electric mixer until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the rest of the milk and continue stirring until thoroughly mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the pudding mix and combine. Then beat, at least on medium speed, for 2 minutes or until it thickens. You will probably need to scrape the sides of the bowl in this step also.

Pour into serving dishes, cover with plastic, and store in refrigerator. I made 5 servings.

When ready to serve, top with whipped topping.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I know what you are thinking.....What another recipe for baked oatmeal?  Can't she find something else to share with us?  I can and will, but I found this recipe for a smaller amount the other day when I found the BAKED BANANA BREAD OATMEAL.  

I was interested in this one because it doesn't make as much.  It said it served two.  But if it does, they are mighty big servings.  It makes four servings for me.  So depending how big your serving is.....this recipe will make between 2 - 4 servings.  It also has a creamy texture unlike the other oatmeal recipes I make.

I would suggest trying different fruit for different flavors.  The mixed dried fruit would be good chopped up because then you could have different tastes with each bite.  

The recipe came from Taste of Home and was called Michigan Fruit Baked Oatmeal.  Since I changed it so much, I decided to just call my recipe Fruit Baked Oatmeal.


1-1/2     cup old fashioned oats
1/4        cup dried fruit; such as cranberries, cherries, blueberries, mixed fruit
1          tablespoon honey
1          cup of milk
1/2       cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4       teaspoon almond extract
2          tablespoons sliced almonds

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

Combine the oats, dried fruit, honey, milk, applesauce, and almond extract in a bowl.  

Pour into the one-quart baking dish.

Sprinkle the top with the sliced almonds.

Bake for 30 minutes or until edges start to turn brown and pulls away from the sides of the dish.

I will be dividing the dish into four equal servings.

Monday, April 22, 2013


I'm having as much trouble posting our progress with our quilt of valour as we are getting it made.  It has been a month since we last met and then we missed meeting this month because Kay's daughter had another baby boy.  I guess it was good for me since I had never gotten around to sharing our meeting in March.

When I was writing the post for Part Three and adding this  picture, I noticed that one set of our finished fourzie/square didn't match the picture in the magazine...The   red square of the fourzie was in the wrong corner. (third set from left) You don't realize it until you notice the large cream square is not in line with the other three. You might have to look closely at the picture to see what I am talking about.  (Have I mentioned before that I have an irritating - at times - problem with perfectionism?)

So when we gathered in March to sew again, I brought it to everyone else's attention.  (Everyone else in the group has a problem with perfectionism too.)

So guess how Sharon, Dorothy, and Fran spent a great deal of the afternoon -- unsewing.

Fran and Dorothy....

And Sharon....

We didn't really know if it would make a difference when we started putting all of the "squares" together or not, but BP (Being Perfectionists)
we had to correct all 41 squares.

In addition to resewing these (once they finished unsewing them), we still needed to sew most of the last set of "fourzies", so that meant sewing together some strips to make the "twozies", so while Sharon, Fran, and Dorothy were busy "unsewing", Kay, Ellen, and I were busy working on that.  We had finished cutting all of the squares to go with the "fourzies" at an earlier meeting.

The main thing we wanted to do was make sure we had different sets together to cut the "twozies" from.  That was my job. (no picture of that as I was busy)

Ellen decided to let Kay sew, so she decided to press the strips and then she could cut the "twozies".  To assure variety, we sewed short strips that we had left over onto a longer strip to make the "twozies".

We also had to press the seam so Kay could resew the squares that the girls had unsewed.

Sharon helped out matching up "twozies" that Ellen had cut for the last set.

Meanwhile back on the couch....after all that "unsewing"... they deserved it....taking out 2.1 stitiches is not fun.

Fran did get involved with pressing some of the two-piece strips to cut the "twozies" from.


I guess this is a good time to pass along one of our tips to you.  When making a quilt, it is always good to "set" the seams first before "pressing" them open.  

To do this, first press over the stitching on the underside.  This "sets the seam".

Then you press the seam open on the topside.  And "pressing" means just that.  You are not ironing.  It might stretch the fabric.  To Press: Set the iron down on the fabric and then lift up and move over another part.

Back to our quilt...Kay stayed busy sewing the "fourzies" together.

This is a good feeling....

And this is what we need to do....at our next gathering.

I'm glad I made lists with everything separated because with the time between meetings, it surely saves time when we get back together.

Of course a highlight of our afternoon is sharing.  And I love being able to share the pictures with y'all.

Dorothy has been busy.  (I want you to be able to see the cute prints.)  This one she  finished, the next one she has just finished the quilt top.  It is her personal Quilt of Valour.

Ellen shared pictures of her new grandson.

and remember her quilt top she shared at our last meeting,  she had pictures of it with Adler...

and in Adler's room.

Then since we had missed a month meeting, Kay had all new quilts hanging in her Craftland.

This one she is still working on.  She likes to do a lot of applique.

This is a framed counted crossstitch she did (for all holidays).  Really cute.

At her front door on a table.

This is a paper-pieced quilt that she made and had someone quilt it for her.  She had it on the bed in her guest room.  Just beautiful.

One she has hanging in the hall

and "close-up and personal" with some of the applique.

Back in Craftland....
The center of this quilt top is embroidery... she has been working on this one for the last year.

 This quilt top she made with scraps leftover from a quilt she made for her sister.

Well, hopefully we will be able to meet in May...and I won't wait a month to write that post....too hard to remember everything.

If you want to read the next installment, click HERE.

If you would like to start at the beginning of this project, click  HERE.  There is a link at the end of each post to the next one.