Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Friend Jan made this scrumptious peanut butter pie.  I asked her if she would be willing to share the recipe with me.  She said it was super easy and gave me the recipe from memory.  

Yesterday was my husband's birthday and since he really enjoyed it and had asked me to make it for us, I decided to make it and surprise him. (I forgot how much he likes peanut butter.  He used to want me to make him peanut butter cookies all the time.) I reduced the calories from Jan's version and have written my changes in the parenthesis.  My changes made a lighter tasting pie but still with plenty of peanut butter taste. I will leave it up to you as to which version you want to make.  I was concerned that the  Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese) might not "hold its shape" but there was no problem.

Remember if you want to print this recipe using the print friendly button on the bar at the bottom of this post, it  will allow you to remove the images.  If you do not see the print button on the bar, you need to click on the title of this post and it will take you to just this post.  There you will see the print friendly button on the bar.  


1/2     cup sugar (1/2 cup stevia)
3/4     cup creamy peanut butter
1        8 - oz package cream cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1        12 - oz container whipped topping (sugar-free)
1        graham cracker crumb pie crust (I made my own)

Combine the sugar, peanut butter, cream cheese, and 2 cups of the cool whip with electric mixer until smooth.

Pour into the pie crust.

Cover with additional whipped topping and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Refrigerate any leftover.

*I made my own graham cracker crumb crust using

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3        tablespoons stevia
1/4     cup light margarine, melted

Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Press the mixture in a pie plate.

I ended up using my fingers.

Refrigerate for one hour before using. (or you can bake it for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven...then cool it before filling)  I just put mine in the refrigerator for an hour and it worked out great.  I'll probably never buy another one especially since I can use my stevia in my homemade one.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I am slowly-but-surely sharing the recipes from dishes when the NNL Dinner Club met at our house earlier this month. I have shared Friend Kay's Sweet - Sour Coleslaw and the California Bean Dip I made for an appetizer. Friend Carol brought two desserts...Pina Colada Cake and Peanut Butter Cup Cakes. 

Today I am sharing the Pina Colada Cake.  It was really good and enjoyed by everyone but Jim (Kay's husband).....he doesn't like coconut.  



1      white cake mix
1      package coconut cream instant pudding mix (4 - serving size)
2      eggs
1/2   cup water
1/3   cup rum
1/4   cup oil


1      can (8 - oz) crushed pineapple
1      package coconut cream instant pudding mix (4 - serving size)
1/3   cup rum
1      8 - oz container frozen whipped topping

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


Blend all of the ingredients for the cake in a large mixer bowl.  Beat 4 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer.

Pour into prepared pan  and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  DO NOT UNDERBAKE.

Cool cake completely.


Combine all of the frosting ingredients except the whipped topped.  Beat until ingredients are well blended.

Fold in the thawed whipped topping.

Frost the cake and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


When we had the Dinner Club over this month, my husband smoked ribs and a pork butt.  Our dinner club is a pot luck dinner with the hostess furnishing the main course and everyone else brings the rest of the meal.  I asked specifically for baked beans, coleslaw, and rolls.  We also had an appetizer (my California Bean Dip - the group ended up being small) and also dessert.  I will also be sharing Carol's two desserts (Pina Colada Cake and Peanut Butter Cup Cakes) and Nancy's baked beans.  

Kay had brought her Sweet - Sour Cole Slaw before but for some reason I had not shared it on my blog.  It was very good and none was left by the end of the meal.  Thanks, Kay, for sharing the recipe with me.


1-1/2       lbs shredded green cabbage
1             teaspoon salt
2/3          cup sugar
1/3          cup vinegar
1             cup whipping cream

Place shredded cabbage in covered dish in refrigerator for several hours.

Mix ingredients in the order given - 30 minutes before serving.

Chill and serve.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


This is an excellent recipe for brownies, but the diced apple is a perfect addition to take your brownies up a notch.  The recipe is another one from the big fat red juicy Apple Cook Book.  

By the time my 3 - hour shift was over at Hillcrest Thrift Shop on Tuesday, the platter was clean.  Well, almost clean....there were a few crumbs.  I couldn't wait to get home and eat one of the two I had set aside for my husband and me.

I may never make brownies again by any other recipe.

Remember, if you want to print the recipe using the print friendly button at the bottom of this post, it will allow you to remove the images.


1/2      cup butter or margarine (Country Crock sticks work well)
2         squares unsweetened chocolate
2         eggs
1         cup sugar (or 1/2 truvia baking blend)
1         cup flour
1/2      teaspoon baking powder
1/4      teaspoon salt
1         cup chopped walnuts
1         cup chopped apple (1 medium apple - I used Granny Smith)
1         teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8 - inch square pan with cooking spray.

Melt margarine and chocolate over low heat. 

Stir till chocolate completely melts. Cool.

Dice the apples. Set aside.

Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with whisk.

Add sugar to beaten eggs.

Stir in chocolate mixture and beat well.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Add dry ingredients to mixture and stir til combined.

Add apples


and last the vanilla.

Pour into pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.  (I baked mine 30 minutes.)

Cool in pan on wire rack.

Cut with plastic knife for clean cuts when cool.

Can dust with powdered sugar....

I chose not to.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I am finding quite a few recipes to try from that little apple-shaped cookbook I bought recently at an estate sale called the big fat red juicy Apple Cook Book.  This time it is Applesauce Nut Bread.

Tax season is winding down at Fort Leavenworth but there are still some volunteers still showing up daily and so, at least for a little bit longer, I have an outlet for my baked goods.  This recipe for Applesauce Nut Bread sounded good so I decided to give it a try. Instead of making it in several mini loaves, I went on and made it in a larger loaf pan and just made one loaf.  I just cut the slices in half so they wouldn't be too big.  I also used unsweetened applesauce. It will probably be sweeter if you used sugar-added applesauce.  I just always try to reduce calories as much as I can. Either way, it just taste really good to me....real nutty.

Remember if you want to print the recipe using the print friendly button at the bottom of this post, it will give you the option to remove the images.  When I started this blog, I wanted to include lots of pictures for clarity.  I have received several comments from friends telling me they liked the pictures.  Friend Carol voiced her desire for me to add a print option so she didn't have to print all the pictures and use so much printer ink.  I finally did add the print friendly button and like that it allows the user to remove the images.


2       cups flour
3/4    cup sugar
3       teaspoons baking powder
1       teaspoon salt
1/2    teaspoon baking soda
1/2    teaspoon cinnamon
1       egg
1       cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2       tablespoons canola oil
1       cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.

Beat egg in a large bowl with whisk.

Add the applesauce and oil.

Combine the dry ingredients and nuts in a medium bowl with a whisk.

Add the dry ingredients and nuts to the applesauce mixture. 

Stir just til combined. (Mixture will be thick.)

Pour (or I should say "dump") into loaf pan spreading out evenly in pan.

Bake for one hour.

Cool in pan on wire rack.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar when completely cool.  (I wrapped my loaf in foil and left overnight and then sprinkled with powdered sugar the next morning before I cut it.) 

Cut into half slices ready for my husband to take to share with the other volunteers in the tax office.

He said they liked it.  Several commented that it wasn't real sweet and they liked it that way.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I think it is safe to say that spring has finally arrived in KC.  We have had temps in the low 80s and 70s for several days now. Flowers are pretty in yards, red bud trees are blooming everywhere, even our pink dogwood blooms popped open yesterday.  

I have spent most of the day working on my second rag quilt for the Linus Project ( the current project of my NNL quilting group).  I have it all sewed together and am just clipping the seams now. Will share a picture of it when I get it finished.

This recipe I am sharing with you today was one that my mother gave me back in the mid 80s. The first time I made them was December 9, 1985.  I like having cookies in the cookie jar because sometimes I just need a "little bit of sweet".  When I made the recipe, I cut the recipe in half so I wouldn't have a jar full of cookies.  I also used brown sugar blend and truvia baking blend to reduce the sugar amounts. I also used a Ultragrain blend all purpose flour.  It says it is ...."a unique all natural whole wheat flour that has the nutrition of whole grain with the clean taste, ultra smooth texture and appearance of white flour."

Remember the print friendly button at the bottom  of this post, will give you the option to remove images.


1       cup butter or margarine
1       cup brown sugar (1/2 cup brown sugar blend)
1       cup white sugar (1/2 cup truvia sugar blend)
2       eggs
1       teaspoon vanilla
2       cups flour
1       teaspoon baking soda
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/2    teaspoon baking powder
2       cups rolled oats
6       oz pkg (1 cup) chocolate chips
1/2    cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cream sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy.(Remember my pictures will look strange because I only made half of the recipe.)

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together.

Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture.

Add oatmeal, chips, and nuts.

Drop by a teaspoon onto cookie sheet.  (I use a cookie scoop and place them on the sheet with the flat side up.)

Bake for 12 minutes.

Remove and cool on wire rack.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The other day I wanted to make a banana cake.  A cake....not bread. I wasn't having any luck finding something that interested me in all of my many, many cookbooks. Finally I opened the medium binder that I have recipes written in from after I first got married. (70s)  

This recipe for Creamy Banana Cake was supposed to be made as layers, with a creamy nut filling and white snow frosting on the side and an inch around the top. I liked the cake but wasn't in the mood to go to that much trouble. So I just decided to make the cake and bake it in a 9 x 13 - inch pan and would think about the snow frosting. Well, when I took the cake out and the top was so nice and toasted, I decided I would just keep it in the pan and serve it from the pan. That meant I didn't need any frosting. I kept the plastic cover that fits my pan on it and so it kept the cake really moist. ( I will try it the way it was intended to be made some day and will share it with you.)


3/4    cup shortening
1-1/2  cups sugar (3/4 cup truvia baking blend)
2        eggs
1         cup mashed bananas
2        cups sifted flour
1         teaspoon baking soda
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/2     cup buttermilk
1         teaspoon vanilla
1/2     cup chopped pecans
1         cup coconut (unsweetened)

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

Cream together the shortening and sugar til smooth with electric mixer.

Add eggs and beat 2 more minutes.

Add mashed bananas and beat 2 more minutes.

Sift some flour and then measure 2 cups.  

Sift all of the dry ingredients together.

Add to creamed mixture along with the buttermilk and vanilla.

Stir in pecans.

Turn into prepared pan and spread evenly in pan.

Sprinkle the cup of coconut evenly on top of the batter.

Bake til done, about 30 minutes. (The coconut will toast to a nice light brown.)

Keep the cake covered so it will stay moist.  

Doesn't need any frosting. It is so moist and nutty with the chopped pecans and toasted coconut on top.