Friday, May 29, 2015


Here is a fun pattern to try for you knitters. I think it is even more fun when using variegated yarn. 


Cast on multiple of 2 stitches + 1

ROW 1  (RIGHT SIDE): K 1, (YO, K2) across

ROW 2 : P4, with left needle bring the third stitch on right needle over the first 2 stitches and off the needle, *P3, with left needle bring the third stitch on right needle over the first 2 stitches and off the needle; repeat from * across.

ROW 3 :  (K2, YO) across to last stitch, K1.

ROW 4 : * P3, with left needle bring the third stitch on right needle over the first 2 stitches and off the needle; repeat from * across to last stitch, P1

Repeat Rows 1 - 4 for pattern until desired size. May end with either Row 2 or Row 4.

Bind off all stitches in knit.

Often I knit while I am watching TV. That can cause some problems with the pattern if I get more interested in what is on TV instead of what I am knitting. Once I get used to seeing the knitting on the needles, it helps me with the pattern .... knowing which row to do next. This may sound silly for skilled knitters. But if you are a knitter like I am, mainly easy, beginner knitting patterns, you know what I mean.

Help if you need it to understand the instructions:

The instructions are fairly easy to follow especially rows 1 and 3. They are on the right side and rows 2 and 4 are the back side. 

Right side.

Back/Wrong side.

Here is what your work will look like when you are finished with ROW 4 and ready to do ROW 1. You see the stitches in pairs on the needle with a single stitch at the beginning. 

In ROWS 1 and 3, you knit both of the stitches (separately) and then bring the yarn over (YO). 

To do this you bring the yarn to the front like you would if you were going to purl. 

Then bring the yarn back over the right needle to knit the next two stitches. 

Since Row 1 has a single stitch first on the left needle, you will knit it and then the YO. You will always do a YO when you have a SPACE.

Finished with ROW 1 and ready for ROW 2. The other needle is pointing to the yarn over (YO). This is what it looks like from the back side. You will always purl one more stitch after the yarn over. In ROWS 2 and 4 you are working with trios instead of pairs. The three "stitches" or trio are a P, YO, and then another P. 

The first purl stitch in the trio will be pulled back over the YO and last purl stitch you made and then taken off the needle. 

You have to hold the thread tight so that the two stitches you are passing over - the YO and purl - don't fall off the needle. This gets easier as you go along.) 

Row 2 starts with purl 4 (P4) and then continues with the repeated pattern of P3 and then the pass over.

This is what the work on the left needle will look after you have finished ROW 2 and ready for ROW 3. Once again you notice the stitches in pairs with a space in between. Knit the two stitches and then the YO ... bringing the yarn from the back (like you were going to purl) but take it over the right needle to knit the next stitch. For ROW 3 you will knit 2 and then YO..... until there is only one stitch left on the left needle. You will do the YO to end the repeated pattern and then knit the last stitch.

So in ROW 1 the single stitch is at the beginning and in ROW 3, it is at the end.

ROW 4 is similiar to ROW 2 except the YO is the second stitch on the needle, so you will only P3. Your "pass over" is always after the purl stitch after the YO.  Remember with the "pass over" your trio is a P, YO, P. 

One last picture to share with you.

When you purl the YO, it looks a little strange, like you dropped a stitch. But you haven't.

I hope you will try the Crocus Buds pattern and that the pictures have been helpful if you are a beginner.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


If you read DAY 4 of our dream vacation in Massachusetts, you know I was on a mission after we got home to find a recipe for Indian Pudding. Even though I vaguely remembered seeing a recipe or two for it, I had never eaten any of it. It was so good! 

I had to look through a number of cookbooks before I found a recipe for it. It isn't a popular one, it seems. Then Janice and I went to an estate sale and I found a cookbook with a recipe in it. I couldn't believe it. 

I made it earlier this week and my husband and I really liked it, but it wasn't quite the consistency of the one we enjoyed in the restaurant. I planned to try the second one (the one in the cookbook I bought at the estate sale) but the more I looked at the recipe, the more I felt like I wasn't too sure of it. It had some spices which Janice remembered from the one we ate at the restaurant, but it had twice the amount of molasses...a whole cup. That just seemed like too much.

So when I made it the second time to serve when a few friends came over to play canasta, I remade the first one but added some spices. They all liked it (except Friend Sharon) and my husband thought it was better than the first one I made. The spices were a nice addition and I might even recommend adding more. I still wonder what ingredient the restaurant used to give it the slightly different look. When I searched pictures of Indian Pudding, they all looked like mine. The texture is why Sharon didn't like it. She said she just doesn't like any food she calls "soggy bread". I couldn't help but laugh because I heard that description for the first time a week ago when I made Amish Old Fashioned Bread Pudding and my husband described it as "soggy bread". He doesn't like "soggy bread" either, but he did like this pudding.

The story I read online of its origination is when the first colonists from England came to America, they missed their "Hasty Pudding" because they didn't have flour. They did have corn (meal) from the Indians so they came up with a new version. They called it Indian Pudding because of getting the corn meal from the native Americans. Whether it is true or not, it does make a good story. Everyone agrees it is a New England original. The original recipe I used was contributed by Jean Taggart from Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada.


3            cups milk
2/3        cup corn meal
1/2         cup sugar
1/2         cup molasses
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2-1      teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-1/2  teaspoon ginger
1            cup cold milk
3           eggs, slightly beaten
2           tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a casserole dish. ( I used a shallow oval 1-1/2 quart size.)

Scald the 3 cups of milk. (Heat milk in a large saucepan stirring constantly over medium to medium low heat to 180 degrees F.)

Remove from heat and add mixture of corn meal, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger AND the molasses. Stir well. Then add the cold milk. (I measured the ingredients before I started scalding the milk so they would be ready to add.)

Return to heat and cook until thick, stirring constantly.

Have beaten eggs and butter in another dish. Stirring constantly, add a tablespoon of the mixture to the eggs. Repeat several times.

Then add the egg mixture to the pan and stir to combine.

Then pour the mixture in the dish.

Bake for 30 minutes. (It may not be the best looking dessert, but don't let that make you not make it.)

Serve while still warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

I served it with a scoop of ice cream with a little caramel sauce drizzled over it (like the restaurant did). YUMMY!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Hamburger Helper used to be a staple in my pantry. It was the "go-to" meal when everyone was going different directions but we still sat down to a meal at the table. We had several flavors that we usually ate, but spaghetti became my favorite one. When they quit selling it in Ventura, CA and I would come home to visit my parents in AR, I would buy four or five boxes and remove the contents (the spaghetti and the packet of sauce) from the boxes to pack in my suitcase. The box took up a lot of room and had a lot of empty space.

Anyway when I saw Kathleen's (from picture of her One Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac a friend posted on Facebook, I printed the recipe. I made it (with a few of my personal changes - I don't like too much "heat") and we really liked it. It actually tasted better than I ever remember Hamburger Helper tasting. The good news is it makes a big 12 - inch skillet full and we no longer have the boys home to help us eat  we will get to enjoy it several more times. 


1        tablespoon oil
1        medium onion chopped (I used 1 tablespoon minced onion - onions don't agree with me)
1        tablespoon chili powder
1        tablespoon cumin (I omitted)
4       large cloves of garlic, minced (I used garlic powder)
1        tablespoon packed brown sugar
1        lb lean ground beef
2       cups water
1        15 - oz can tomato sauce (I used two 8 - oz cans)
8       ounces (2 cups) elbow macaroni
8       ounces (2 cups) shredded Mexican Cheese Blend (I used Colby Jack because that is what I had on hand)

Using a 12 - inch skillet that has a cover, cook the onion, chili powder, and cumin in the oil over medium heat until onion is soft, stirring often so spices don't burn, about 5 - 7 minutes. (I stirred constantly because there wasn't much oil.) 

Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook, continuing to stir, so garlic doesn't burn for about 30 seconds.

Add the ground beef breaking it up with a spoon (wooden) and stirring while it cooks.

 Add the water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.

Stir in the pasta 

and cover, increasing the temperature to bring it to a boil.

Stir it occasionally while it cooks, reducing temperature as necessary to keep it a rapid simmer for 9 - 12 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Add 1 cup of the cheese and stir it in til totally combined.

Sprinkle the remaining cup on top 



Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I found a couple of cookbooks when Janice and I went out last Friday to several estate sales in the Northland. We didn't have all day as we usually do as I had an appointment first thing Friday morning. Since there were three estate sales happening in the Northland, we just decided to go to them and not venture down to the "Southland", south of the river. 

Sunday afternoon I spent some time flipping through them to see if anything caught my eye. Since my husband is through volunteering at the tax office at Fort Leavenworth, I only have "goodies" to take on Tuesdays to Hillcrest Thrift Shop. As I am trying to work the first shift at the registry most Tuesday, I have to make whatever I am taking on Monday. Anyway I saw this recipe for Fresh Peach Cake in The Best of Desserts cookbook from Favorite Recipes Press. It sounded perfect as I had some fresh peaches I froze last year that I needed to use.

This cake is delicious! When my shift was over there was only one and a half pieces left. Everyone enjoyed it.


3         eggs, beaten
1-1/2  cups sugar
1          cup oil
1          teaspoon baking soda
1          teaspoon salt
1          teaspoon cinnamon
2         cups flour, divided
2         cups sliced peaches
1/2      cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan. (I used my homemade Pan Grease.)

Beat eggs in large bowl of electric mixer. Add sugar and oil amd beat until light and lemony.

Add mixture of baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and 1-1/2 cups flour.
Beat at low speed just until blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of flour over the peaches and nuts in a bowl; toss to coat well.

Fold gently into the batter.

Pour into pan spreading evenly.

Bake for 50 minutes or until cake tests done.

Cool in pan.

Cut into squares.

Garnish with whipped cream or powdered sugar.  

Monday, May 25, 2015


Friend Jan's husband Byron loves to "cook". When we met at their house recently for bridge, he made his Pimento Cheese Dip. I love pimento cheese and Byron's didn't disappoint me. I think I ate as much as anyone.

He was inspired by a recipe he saw in magazine. He strongly recommends using block cheese and grating it instead of buying the shredded cheese. He also taste tests as he makes this. You might want to add more garlic and onion powder. He said he uses adds a little bit more. I asked him if he used fat free cream cheese (which is what I would want to do) and he said just make sure you taste it to see if you need to add more seasonings.


1        cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1        cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2    cup mayo
4       oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4    teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
1/4    teaspoon onion powder or to taste
dash ground pepper and salt
1       4 - oz jar of pimento, drained and diced

Combine the mayo, cream cheese, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper until smooth.

Stir in the cheeses and pimento at the end. Store in refrigerator til ready to serve.

Serve with French baguette bread. Slice thinly. Bake at 400 degrees F for 6 to 7 min on cookie sheet. Brush one side with melted butter.

Friday, May 22, 2015


OMG!  I have found the perfect recipe especially for two people.  If you have visited my blog, you might have noticed I almost always make "breads" in mini loaf pans instead of larger ones because I don't want to be tempted to eat more than I need to eat.  It also allows me variety which I really like.  

When I saw this recipe in my The Best of Country Cooking 2002 cookbook, I knew I had to try it.  It was submitted by Maxine Smith of Owanka, South Dakato.  She said she had worked with her recipe to make just enough for two servings.  It would be easy to double the amounts, but then you would probably have to experiment with the cooking times.

We had planned to spend Thanksgiving at our son's in CO, but our plans got changed.  I didn't want to make a whole pie (too much for just the two of us to eat) but I hated the idea of missing that traditional pumpkin pie.  I have to smile as I type "traditional" because I haven't made a traditional pumpkin pie in years.  In fact, I can't remember the last one I made.  

Why?  My husband isn't real fond of pumpkin pie.  A number of years ago I found a recipe for Honey Pumpkin Pie and I made it. He liked it and so that became "our traditional" pumpkin pie.  A couple of years ago, I found a recipe for TURTLE PUMPKIN PIE. That one is really good and can be made "skinny".

Tonight I made the Pumpkin Streusel Custard and I LOVE IT!  It was a generous serving though and I must admit I only ate half of it. Don't worry, I will enjoy the other half tomorrow.  (Even my husband enjoyed it.  He told me I could make it again.  Yea!  That's a compliment coming from him.)


1       egg
1/4    cup packed brown sugar
1/4    teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8    teaspoon each ground allspice, ginger, and nutmeg
2/3    cup cooked or canned pumpkin
1/2    cup evaporated milk

1       tablespoon brown sugar
2       teaspoon flour
1/4    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1       teaspoon cold butter or margarine (I used light margarine)
2       tablespoons chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray or grease two 8 - or 10 -oz custard cups.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg.

Add the brown sugar, vanilla, salt and spices.

Stir in pumpkin and milk.

Pour into the bowls.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the topping by combining the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. (I used a fork to combine)

Cut in the margarine until crumbly. (The fork does this well.)

Add the pecans.

Sprinkle over the custard. (The center is soft.)

Bake 15 more minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  (I didn't want to mess up the center of the dish.  The custard was pulling away from the sides so I took it out after the 15 minutes.)


Makes 2 generous servings.