Saturday, January 31, 2015


"Oh the joy of being retired!" If you are not retired yet and work Monday through Friday, you might be saying, "Oh the joy of the weekend!"

After a busy Friday with Friend Janice going to antique malls (not much to offer in estate sales yesterday) and staying up a little later last night, my body just didn't want to get up out of bed this morning.  But then I can say that that's the joy of being retired! 

It is also raining today. That means I didn't have the sun coming in our bedroom window to help wake me up this morning. It is 35 degrees outside and the forecast is for the rain to maybe turn into some light snow during the night. It is good seeing rain though since usually in the winter, any precipitation we get is in the form of snow. I like that the streets and sidewalks can get washed off.

Today I am sharing a recipe for Apple Cake that was a recipe of Friend Jan's mother. Earlier this month at Couples' Bridge, Jan served her Peanut Butter Pie and also her mother's Apple Cake. I had eaten the pie before so I decided to eat the cake. I am sharing the list of ingredients for the recipe just as Jan prepared it. You know me, if I were making it, I would reduce the sugar. But it was very good with all of the sugar in it.


2       cups sugar
1/2    cup shortening or 1 stick of oleo (1/2 cup)
2       eggs
2       cups flour
1/2    teaspoon salt
1        teaspoon cinnamon
1        teaspoon nutmeg
2       teaspoons baking soda
4       cups chopped apples
1/2    cup chopped nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease a 9 x 13 - inch pan.

Cream the sugar and shortening/margarine til smooth using electric mixer.

Add the eggs and beat.

Combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda in a medium size bowl with a whisk.

Add to sugar/egg mixture.

Fold in the apples and nuts.

Spread evenly in pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Can serve along or with whipped topping.

Hope you have a good weekend wherever you are! Monday when I check back with you it will be February. Will Valentine's Day be far behind?

Friday, January 30, 2015


After some beautiful spring-like days, winter has decided to remind us what season it actually is. It was such a joy sitting on our deck/back porch in short sleeves reading a book (in between painting the walls in the master bath and taking a 2 - mile walk with Friend Janice) on Wednesday.

Yesterday was the Open House at the tax office at the Fort and I wanted to send something special. (Amanda asked my husband if I could send something.) These Tickled Pink Lemonade Cookies are another recipe in one of Joanne Fluke's novels, Red Velvet Cupcake Murder. Character Hannah notes, "these cookies are as refreshing as a glass of icy cold lemonade on a hot summer afternoon." Even though winter may be raising its ugly head, you can make these cookies now and just be reminded of a hot summer day and enjoy an icy cold lemonade.


1/2       cup salted, softened butter (do not substitute) 
1/2       cup sugar
1/2       teaspoon baking powder
1/4       teaspoon baking soda
1           large egg, beaten
1/3       cup frozen pink or regular lemonade concentrate, thawed (I did use the regular lemonade)
3          drops of liquid red food coloring.
2          cups + 1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with the sugar until the light and fluffy. (I placed the butter in a dish and heated for 10 seconds on high in the microwave. Then rotated it one time and heated for another 10 seconds. You don't want it melted.)

Mix in the baking powder and baking soda. Beat until well-combined.

Mix in the beaten egg and the lemonade concentrate.

Add the 3 drops of red food coloring.

Add the flour a little at a time, beating after each addition.

If the dough is too sticky to work with, refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so.

Drop the cookies using a small cookie scoop 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges are turning brown.

Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. I used a metal spatula, but they came up easily.


2       tablespoons salted butter, softened (I did use margarine for the frosting and it worked fine.)
2       cups powdered sugar
2       teaspoons frozen pink or regular lemonade concentrate, thawed
3 - 4  teaspoons milk (enough to make consistency easy to spread)
2        drops red food coloring

Beat the butter and the powdered sugar together. (don't expect to see much "blending")

Mix in the lemonade concentrate. (again not much blending.)

Beat in the milk, one teaspoon at a time. (Mixture will finally start coming together)

Mix in the drops of red food coloring. Stir until the color is uniform.

Frost the completely cooled cookies. When the frosting has hardened, you can store them in layers with waxed paper between the layers to keep them from sticking together. (I left mine in one layer.)

Makes almost 3 dozen beautiful cookies 

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Tuesday for the Hillcrest Thrift Shop downstairs volunteers I made this fabulous Blueberries in the Snow. I found the recipe in a cookbook from Jones, LA's Holly-Lark Extension Homemakers Club, 1980. It was a cookbook that belonged to my "Auntie" that I got when we went back to my stomping grounds for Thanksgiving this past year. My Auntie, like my other aunts, was a very special lady and I really miss her. The recipe was contributed by Dolora Gregory. Her personal note said it was a very light dessert. I would definite second that idea. I did get to enjoy a helping after my shift at the register was over yesterday. I have to admit I could easily have eaten a second helping. 

The only change I would suggest is using a bigger dish or don't use the whole cake. It wouldn't be a problem if you were making and serving it at your house. But if you have to take it somewhere, it might be a little awkward. It does present itself very well and would be a fabulous dessert to serve your family or guests.


3/4 - 1 angel food cake
1          8 - ounce container of whipped topping
1          8 - ounce pkg. cream cheese, softened  (You could use the reduced fat or fat free cream cheese)
1          cup milk (I used skim milk)
1          teaspoon almond flavoring
1          can blueberry pie filling

Break up the angel food cake into bite size pieces and place in the bottom of a 9 x 13 - inch dish. (Next time I will not use the whole cake.) I pressed them down in the dish, but it was still a lot.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, milk, and flavoring til smooth. I used the whisk attachment to my mixer.
Add the whipped topping and stir til smooth.

Pour over the cake pieces in the dish.

Place in refrigerator to set for several hour.

Add the pie filling and return to the refrigerator til ready to serve.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Spoon out to serve.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Thursday the tax office at Fort Leavenworth is having Open House and I will be making a couple of goodies for that. Since I sent the Chunky Applesauce Bundt Cake on Monday, I needed something to send today though. So yesterday afternoon I decided to make these quick Cranberry Orange Crispies.  They are made with a muffin - quick bread mix. I made some quick cookies using this same mix last year that were really good, but a little more involved called  Quick CranberryCookies.

I would have added a half cup of coconut to these, but I know Amanda doesn't like coconut. The cookie is fantastic just as it is, but if you like coconut, you might want to add 1/2 cup. I may have to make another batch just for us (after I go back to Aldi's and buy another box of the mix.)


1       16 - oz Cranberry Orange Premium Muffin & Quick Bread Mix
1/2    cup unsweetened applesauce
1        large egg
1/2    cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/2    cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon til all ingredients are well incorporated.

Using a cookie scoop, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle tops with a little sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

Remove immediately from pan and cool on wire rack.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Saturday morning was my first attempt at making scones. If I am honest, I have never been a big fan of scones. They aren't a biscuit, which I love, but they always seemed to need just a little more sugar. I guess that is my sweet tooth talking.

Anyway, this recipe was different from most that I see. It only had 1/3 cup of sugar so I knew it wouldn't be sweet, but I thought I would give it a try anyway. My husband loves blueberries and I like to do something special for Saturday mornings. Guess it goes back to my teaching days and Saturday was the one morning, unless the boys had ball games we went to, that everyone could sleep a little later. 

So Saturday morning, while my husband was still sleeping, I made these Blueberry Oat Scones. When you look at my pictures and directions, you may wonder why I went to all the trouble to make them the way I did....two layers with blueberries in between. 

It is very simple. My experience with blueberries is they always mash up and "bleed". Even when I usually use frozen blueberries. The directions said to stir in the blueberries. Stir in the blueberries! This isn't a thin batter we are working with but a thicker bread dough. I just knew if I tried to stir in even my frozen blueberries, they were going to get squashed. And I didn't want that. I wanted to see whole blueberries. I think my method turned out pretty good.

AND now I am a believer in least these Blueberry Oat Scones. My husband couldn't say enough good things about them. 

If you decide to take the faster way and just "stir" them in, please let me know how they turned out. Thanks.


1-1/2     cups flour
3/4       cup quick oats
1/3        cups sugar (I used 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar/stevia blend)
2          teaspoons baking powder
1/4       teaspoon salt
1/4       teaspoon nutmeg
1/3       cup unsalted butter
1           egg
1/2       cup orange juice
1/2       teaspoon grated orange peel
1           cup  fresh or frozen blueberries
1           tablespoon butter, melted
1           tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or spray a cookie sheet.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg with a whisk.

Place the stick of butter in a microwave safe dish for 10 seconds to soften slightly. Cut the butter in thin slices to aid in "cutting in" the butter to the flour mixture. 
Cut in the butter til mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I always end up using my fingers.

In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and then add the orange juice and orange peel.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until blended.

On a floured surface, gently knead the dough several times until smooth.
Cut dough in half....

and using your fingers, gently press the dough into a circle about 8 inches. Spread blueberries across the dough. (I used about 3/4 cup of frozen blueberries.)

Shape the other half of dough into a circle about the same size and place on top of the first one sealing the edges.

Carefully turn the dough over onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle a few more blueberries over the top. Move the blueberries as needed to cut the dough into 8 pieces. Do not pull the pieces apart.

Pat or brush the melted butter over the top and then sprinkle top with the sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. I cooked mine the full 25 minutes.

Move to a serving plate and pull apart. May need a knife if you didn't cut them completely through.

Monday, January 26, 2015


I play with the Miracle Ringers, the handbell choir at our church, Platte Woods United Methodist. Except for the summer, we play once a month at the 11 o'clock service. Last year I started bringing one of my baked goods on the Sunday we performed. (We always meet earlier to do some serious practice.)

I haven't played with the group for two months because of out-of-town trips and I didn't tell them I would bring something just in case I didn't get something made. So they were surprised and pleased when they saw the Chunky Applesauce Bundt Cake I brought.

When I went to bed Saturday night, I wasn't sure what or even if I would take something. I guess during the night, I made the decision because I woke up yesterday morning knowing what I was going to make. I recently made a Chocolate Banana Bread using just three ingredients ... a Devil's Food cake mix, 3 bananas, and 2 eggs. I decided to try applesauce in place of the bananas, use a yellow cake mix, and increase the eggs to 3. The result was a really delicious cake. We ate it "plain" but it would taste really good with fresh fruit. Since I used a chunky peachy applesauce, I would love to try it with fresh sliced peaches. Sliced strawberries would also taste good. 


1         yellow cake mix (I used one that included a pudding mix)
3        eggs
1-1/4  cup chunky applesauce (I used a chunky peach applesauce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a Bundt tube pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour or grease and flour the pan.

Combine all three ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir on low to incorporate the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Increase the speed and beat for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.

Invert on serving plate to finish cooling.

I sprinkled the cake with a spoon of powdered sugar. 

You could also make a thin glaze with a little powdered sugar and milk or water and spoon over warm cake.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Yesterday I shared a classic dish...Tuna Casserole. Today I am sharing another classic dish...Meatloaf.

Both may bring you good memories or not-so-good memories. Personally, I was never fond of meatloaf because of the onions and peppers in it. Some people can't imagine cooking without onions and peppers. If I cook with onions and peppers, I am not cooking for myself but for someone else. (Yes, my husband likes both.) I don't like the tastes of peppers but both don't like me and give me terrible indigestion. So I look for recipes that don't call for them OR I just leave them out. 

This recipe I made last night didn't call for them. The little meatloaf was so tasty my husband didn't even miss them. I have definitely found a keeper with this recipe. We put the 3 extra ones I made in the refrigerator for another meal. We might have to draw straws to see who gets the third one or maybe share it and just not have as much as we did with the other ones.


1         large egg
3/4    cup skim milk
1         cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2     cup quick oats
1         teaspoon salt
1         lb. ground beef


2/3    cup ketchup
1/4     cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2  teaspoon prepared mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If using a pan(s), spray with cooking spray.

Combine the milk and oats in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the oats to soak up some of the milk.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg with a fork and add the salt, cheese, and milk/oats mixture. Stir to combine.

Add the meat and mix well. (I always start with a fork or spoon and end up using my hand to finish the job.)

Form the mixture to cook. It makes 3-1/3 cups. 

Prepare the topping by combining the ingredients in a bowl and set it aside. You will add this about half way through the baking time.

Here are some ideas....

I have these cute little loaf pans that measure 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches.  I filled each one with 2/3 cup of the mixture.

The other 2/3 cup I cooked in a small tart pan I have.

I cooked them 30 minutes 

and then covered each with about 2 tablespoons of the ketchup/brown sugar/mustard topping and baked them about 25 more minutes.


Removed to serve....

You could also make individual loaves and cook them on a large greased pan or sheet. Cook til done...30 - 45 minutes depending on the size you make them.

I have also made individual meatloaves in a muffin tin. You can have the mixture in a mound (like an ice cream cone) because it will cook down some. They will cook a little faster since they are smaller....check after 30 minutes.

If you wanted to make one big loaf, you can either form it in the shape you want or use a large loaf pan. I would cook it about an hour and a half spreading the topping on half way through the baking time.

No matter which way you decide to form the loaves, you won't be disappointed in the taste of the cooked loaf.