Tuesday, September 30, 2014


You might be seeing lots of recipes using pears over the next few weeks as the pears start ripening on our pear tree.  It didn't get trimmed earlier this year and then we just let the weather sorta take care of thinning out the blooms (which it didn't help us out much) and so our tree has been and still is loaded with pears.

I have made two "batches" of pear sauce to give to grandchildren Madison and Tyler.  A filled Crock Pot cooked down to 5 cups of pear sauce.  I divided each batch into five 1 cup "servings" and froze them in sandwich bags that I then placed in gallon size freezer bags. (I usually end up reusing the freezer bags this way.) You can read how to do this HERE.

I was inspired by a recipe I saw from Betty Crocker and came up with a "slimmed-down" recipe that I call Dutch Pear Dessert. While it was delicious warm, we are really enjoying it cold. 



1       cup fat free sour cream
1/2    cup stevia (or you can use sugar)
1       teaspoon flour
1       teaspoon vanilla extract
1       egg, beaten
3 - 4  cups coarsely chopped fresh pears (peeled and cored)


1      cup flour
1/4   cup packed brown sugar blend (or you can use 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1/2   cup (1 stick) less fat margarine

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F if using a glass baking dish or 350 degrees F for metal. Spray dish with non-sticking cooking spray.

Combine the filling ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Combine topping ingredients using a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. I ended up using my fingers at the end to make sure it was consistent.

It is easier to do this if you add the margarine to the flour/brown sugar mixture by thinly slicing it.

Spread mixture evenly in baking dish and then sprinkle the topping on top.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. (I baked mine 45 minutes.)

Store covered in the refrigerator. 

Monday, September 29, 2014


Friend Deb came up with these darling dipped banana slices. Friend Fran came up with the name Frozen Banana Dips.

It all started when the Farkle group met at Deb's for a fun afternoon of risk taking.  We do have a fun time.  It's also interesting how a total of 350 points seems to be a stopping place for everyone.  Not much risk taking, but..... I want to create a new category called "One dot too many". This is when you roll all six dice the first time and you almost have 3 pairs.  I say "almost" because the reason you don't is one of the pairs just happens to be consecutive numbers like 2 and 3 or 4 and 5 or well, you get the picture.  That happens so often when we play.  So far, I haven't gotten the group to agree with me, but I haven't given up yet.

For snacks Deb brought these dipped banana slices out of the freezer for us to eat.  How clever Deb was.  They are super easy to make and taste really yummy.

Here's how she made.....


*Slice firmer bananas into 1/2 inch slices and place on platter.

*Stick each slice with a toothpick.

*Place platter in freezer for 1 hour.

*Remove platter and "dip" with favorite toppings.

*Deb used Reese's Shell topping and poured it over some. (She said you can find it in the ice cream section of the store.)

*She also used Smucker's Magic Shell Pink Lemonade topping and then sprinkled them with chopped nuts.

*For these she used the Reese's Shell topping and then sprinkled them with nuts.

*For the last ones she used vanilla baking chips + a drop or two of oil and melted in the microwave. She sprinkled them with sprinkles.

*Return the "dipped" slices to the freezer. Serve either frozen (we liked them this way) or thaw for about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Most Sundays we eat "breakfast" three times.  First, we usually have our normal breakfast (cereal for my husband and yogurt for me). Then we usually go out after church to Roxanne's Cafe for our second breakfast. When it's time to eat in the evening, we are often not that hungry and I find myself making waffles or pancakes for us to eat our third breakfast. 

This past Sunday was no different.  It was a little later than I like to eat, but we got involved watching the KC Chiefs football game on TV. I found this recipe in a cookbook I got at an estate sale from War Eagle Mill called War Eagle Mill Whole Grain Cook Book by Zoe Medlin.  When we lived in Fayetteville, AR we went to War Eagle Mill several times (usually because we were going to their big craft fair the third weekend in October). When I saw the cookbook, I just had to buy it.

The cookbook had a basic recipe for Whole Wheat Waffles and below it two variations - one for blueberry waffles and one for sweet potato waffles.  I had blueberries but decided I would try the sweet potato version since we love sweet potatoes and dishes made with sweet potatoes.  Because of the time, I took the convenient route and opened a can of sweet potatoes and used enough of it to equal the 1/2 cup.


1        cup whole wheat flour (I did use whole wheat pastry flour)
2       teaspoons baking powder
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/2    teaspoon baking soda
1        tablespoon brown sugar
1        cup buttermilk (I use 1 %  buttermilk)
1/4    cup oil
1        egg
1/2    cup mashed sweet potatoes

Mix together in a medium bowl the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and brown sugar) with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, egg, and sweet potatoes.

Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour into a heated waffle iron.

Will make 3 waffles.

Friday, September 26, 2014


I was asked if I got this recipe somewhere or did I make it up.  I honestly don't remember.  If you have seen this idea somewhere, this might be a good example of "great minds thinking along the same path".  

I thought about doing this a couple of years ago.  I recently found a bag of chocolate bugles that had been pushed to the very back of the pantry that had expired in 2012.  I bought them thinking I would try this but other things got in the way.  

When I was planning what I was going to prepare for my Farkle Friends, I decided I would actually give it a try. I didn't see any chocolate bugles though so I just bought the original ones.  I also got some chocolate almond bark for the dipping. I already had peanut butter.

Earlier that morning, I mixed up the peanut butter with some honey (considered using some of my homemade jams, but my husband said to go with the honey) and then started "stuffing" the bugles. Some of the bugles were usable because the opening wasn't there. (Just enjoying bugles out of the bag, I never paid any attention to this fact before.) 

I melted the almond bark in the microwave and then started dipping the stuffed bugles.  When I had problems with the peanut butter falling out, I started just pouring a little chocolate over the end instead of dipping.  That's when I decided that next time, I would place the stuffed bugles in the freezer for a bit to let the peanut butter sorta harden before dipping them.  (Others agreed with this idea when I was discussing the problem I had making them.)

Needless to say, they were the cutest things made and the most favorite thing I served.  

We have this treat Carol told us all about that she calls Snowman Poop (white chocolate) and Reindeer Poop (chocolate).  It is so addictive. It is so addictive, that I came up with the idea of coloring the white chocolate and making Easter Bunny Poop and 4th of July Firepops.  

Well, a couple of the ladies started talking about using the colored wafers you can buy and melt for dipping and make them for the fourth of July and other holidays.  "Yikes!  I've created another Snowman Poop idea!" I exclaimed.  And yes, I will be trying the other colors.

When I was having trouble remembering what I had decided to call them, Janice said, "Just call them Good."  

Here is what you need to make ... 


1/2      cup creamy peanut butter or soybutter or sunbutter for people with peanut allergies
2         tablespoons honey
Dipping sauce (I used 3 blocks of chocolate flavored almond bark. You could also use chocolate chips or any other chocolate dipping sauce)

Mix the peanut butter and honey in a bowl.

Using the bugles with a good size opening, 

spoon the  mixture in the opening.

Place on a platter that will fit in your freezer and freeze for about 30 minutes to harden the peanut butter a little.

Melt the chocolate almond bark in the microwave (1 minutes for the 3 blocks was perfect). Stir until smooth.

Holding on to the end of the bugle, dip the peanut butter end into the chocolate.
You can also pour the chocolate over the end with a spoon.  

Lay onto a sheet of wax paper to let the chocolate harden. (doesn't take long at all)

Doesn't require any other instructions.  

Place on serving platter to serve.

Wait for the sounds of delight.  "What a combination of the salt and chocolate and peanut butter!" is what I heard out of the first one eating one.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


What a perfect birthday cake for a child! What am I saying? What a perfect cake. Period. It didn't last long at all when I shared it with the other volunteers downstairs at Hillcrest Thrift Shop. I needlessly was concerned about leaving the community room to start my shift at the register and leaving it out on the table. (Leftovers need to be stored in the freezer.) I mentioned it to John and Josh and they rushed right into the community room to get some. Jack who worked the first shift said he got a little piece, the last of it.

My husband didn't get to enjoy any of it, but he did Friday night when Friend Pat served it at bridge group. After eating it there, I went to the store Saturday to get the ice cream sandwiches and other ingredients to make it for Tuesday.

The really good thing about the cake is that you can make it as big or as small as you want to.  In fact, it is hard to tell you actually how many sandwiches you will need because it depends on the size of your pan. Be prepared and buy two boxes of ice cream sandwiches is my suggestion.

It is also a fun cake because you can make it look different by using different ice cream sandwiches.  Pat used chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.  I used the Neapolitan ones.  The store also had cookies and cream sandwiches, but only had one box and Pat told me she used two boxes. I think they would have made a really delicious cake.

Judy at Hillcrest asked specifics about the recipe because she said the ice cream birthday cakes at the ice cream shop are so expensive and she felt "my" cake tasted just as good.


Ice cream sandwiches (be prepared and have 2 boxes)
An 8 - 12 - oz container of whipped topping (I used 1 - 1/2  8 - oz container)
caramel ice cream topping
chocolate ice cream topping (not hot fudge topping) or chocolate syrup

Line the bottom of the pan with ice cream sandwiches (touching).
Since the sandwiches are wrapped in paper, you can experiment how you want to place them with the paper on, and then remove the paper wrapping when you decide.

Cover with a layer of whipped topping (just enough to completely cover)

Drizzle with the caramel and chocolate topping. (I used the hot fudge topping and even though I heated it in the microwave as directed on the jar, it didn't work well. I admit I didn't heat it more than directed to see if it would get thinner.)

Place another layer of sandwiches on top. My dish got slightly bigger and so my sandwiches didn't fill the space completely.  I left the extra space around the edges. You want the "cake" to be solid so if you have a little more whipped topping around the edges, that is better.

Top with whipped topping, a little more generous this time so it will look nice.

Finally, drizzle one more time with the caramel and chocolate toppings. (I switched to chocolate syrup and that worked perfectly.)

Place in freezer for a couple of hours or overnight (that's what I did).

Remove about 20 to 30 minutes before ready to serve.

Here is a picture of the one I made after I served a few pieces. Fun thing was some wanted chocolate, some strawberry, some didn't care.

Here is what Pat's looked like with the chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Not sure why, since my husband and I are both retired, but Saturday mornings still feel different to us. Like they do for people who work Monday thru Friday. Anyway, I decided I would make these special Apple Scones last Saturday when we got up.  My husband still ate his cereal as usual, but I waited to enjoy the scones for my breakfast. (He always did the same thing when I made biscuits - a special breakfast treat on Saturday mornings when we were still working.) So it doesn't bother me anymore since I am used to it. He did enjoy eating a wedge of the apple I used with his cereal when I told him I didn't need it for the recipe.

These apple scones is another one of the recipes I found in dil Sara's cookbook, FALL, Family & Friends from Gooseberry Patch. The recipe was actually contributed by Jennifer Best from Phelan, CA.  She said she had found the recipe in an old 1950's cookbook. Her kids like them made with dried cherries instead of the apples. I bet they are good that way. 


2       cups all-purpose flour
1        teaspoon baking powder
1        teaspoon salt
3       tablespoons butter (I used margarine)
1/4    cup sugar (I used 2 tablespoons sugar/stevia blend)
1       cup apple, peeled, cored, and minced (chopped)
1       egg, beaten
2/3  cup skim milk
Garnish: 2 tablespoons margarine and 2 tablespoons sugar or 1 tablespoon sugar/stevia blend

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a 12 x 8 - inch baking pan. (Mine was more like 10 x 8)

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.

Cut in margarine. (To make this easier, I cut thin slices in the margarine and then when I use my fingers, the margarine breaks up easier.)

Add sugar and diced apple.

Combine the egg and milk and add to mixture.

Stir until a dough forms.

On a floured surface, dump the dough.

Knead until well blended.  Add a little flour as necessary so it isn't sticky. You don't have to do this for long.  You mainly want the dough to be smoother and not sticky.

Spread the dough in the pan touching your fingers in some flour if the dough is still a little sticky in places.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove and cut into 12 squares. Spread tops with the garnish (melted margarine and sugar)

(Can cut each square in half to make 24 smaller scones if you like.) 

I ate one "square" and decided I couldn't stop at just one...it was so good. So I decided to go on and cut the rest in half to make the triangles.  Then when I ate one and decided I wanted another one, I was just eating "a whole one".  

It's just a mental thing.

Anyway, here is a tip for chopping the apples finely.

I always peel the apples (if the recipe says to) first, and then with my handy dandy corer, remove the core and thus cut the apple into wedges.

Depending on the size I want my slices or chopped apples, I usually cut the wedge into three slices.  

Then holding the slices together with my fingers, I will make one cut in the middle across the "wedge" going through all three layers. (horizontal cut)

Then I start cutting from the right end (I am right handed) across the apple cutting chunks as big as I want them to be. (vertical cut)

Works perfectly every time and is so easy.