Monday, November 30, 2015


I saw this recipe on Kevin Williams' newsletter at . It sounded like something that might work with my family as both sons have children who have nut allergies. Because of the allergies, they just avoid nuts in the house. I love pecan pie. My mother always made the bestest pecan pie. So....I can't imagine not being able to enjoy pecan pie especially at the holidays. Reviews indicated that it tasted like real pecan pie. 

Well, that sold me. I decided to give it a try. I made it to have in case another dessert I had made didn't turn out as good as I expected. (I do want to make something that will be "out-of-this-world" whenever I have friends over.)

As it turned out, both pies were exceptional .... everyone want to try a little of each. The other pie was Emma Yoder's Angel Cream Pie. It was so easy and has become one of my favorite pies. I enjoyed when Friend Luci said she liked the "Pecan" pie better than real pecan pie. That's what someone had said on Kevin's newsletter.

You might find this recipe in Amish cookbooks as Oatmeal Pie as that's what it really is, but I like the name Amish "Pecan" Pie.


1/2       cup unsalted butter
1/4       cup packed brown sugar
2          eggs
3/4      cup light corn syrup
3/4      cup rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the melted (or softened) butter, sugar, and eggs; blend well.

Add the corn syrup and oats; blending well.

Pour into unbaked pie crust.

Bake 1 hour.

Cool completely on wire rack.

Serve at room temperature.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


This recipe for Creamy Caramel Dip in my Tasteful Treasures from the Horse and Buggy Country of Conewango Valley, New York sounded just what the afternoon called for when the Farkle group met at my house. To make a pretty presentation, I had several different varieties of apples I could slice (I didn't peel the apples). Well, it turned out tasting as good as it looked. It makes plenty, so my husband and I were able to enjoy it with sliced apples afterwards.


8       oz. cream cheese (I used fat free cream cheese)
3/4   cup brown sugar (I didn't pack it.)
1        cup sour cream (I used light, but would have used fat free if I had had some.)
2       teaspoons vanilla
2       teaspoons ReaLemon
1        cup milk (I used skim milk)
1        (3 - oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding (I used sugar free instant vanilla pudding)

Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. (I would have the cream cheese at room temperature. If you use fat free, you can use it straight from the refrigerator.)

Add sour cream, vanilla, and ReaLemon. Beat again.

Add the pudding and milk; beat well until smooth.

Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with fresh fruit.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

TIP!  To keep the apple slices from turning dark, soak in water that you have added a little lemon juice. (I didn't measure the lemon juice but I may have used 1/4 cup to the quart of water.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


When my husband decided he was going to prepare the Portobello mushroom caps he bought at Aldi's up "fancy", I told him I would take pictures and put them on my blog. Well, I took the pictures, but he also had me cook them. (He did chop up the mushrooms and onions - so he didn't leave it completely for me to prepare. He couldn't rave enough about them when I was finished. I'm glad he liked them!


3 - 4  tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2  tablespoons minced garlic in olive oil
1/4     onion cut into chunks
2        portobello mushroom caps sliced
cooked salmon steak
salt and pepper to taste 
grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, warm the oil oil and minced garlic over medium heat.

Stir in onions and mushrooms;
reduce heat to low, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and blackened and the onions are done. Add additional olive oil if needed.

Add the salmon steak sliced and heat through.

Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


This pie should be called Angel Dream Pie because it tasty so dreamy, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The last time I went to the library, I wanted to find something to read but didn't have any ideas. I just decided to walk down the isle until I saw something that looked interesting. I started with the A's and didn't get too far when the word "Quilting" caught my eye in the title of a book. I do enjoy reading novels where the characters are quilting or knitting. The novel was called The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter and takes place in Shipshewana, In. Emma, a widow, decides to teach quilting lessons to help her be self-sufficient. Her children had been helping her out financially, but they all had large families and she knew they didn't really have the extra money they gave. She ends up with 6 unlikely men and women, all with different problems. How they end up all coming together with changed lives makes an interesting read.

In the story, Emma serves them Angel Cream Pie several times for dessert. Of course the characters rave over it.When I finished the book to my surprise....there was the recipe in the back of the book. (I had already checked my Amish cookbooks for it and couldn't find one with that name.)

When the Farkle group was meeting at my house yesterday, I decided I would give it a try. I would have liked a little more information about whether the pie should be made early and refrigerated, but Wanda didn't say. I made it earlier in the morning so it would at least be cooled completely.

Well, the first sign that it was going to be a hit was when the first slice came out perfectly. (Don't you just hate to make a pie and then the slice falls apart when you try to serve it?!) Its taste was even more exciting.

Because of this blog, I don't repeat a lot of desserts I make, but this one I definitely will be making again.


1       cup half-and-half
1       cup heavy whipping cream
1/2   cup sugar
1/8   teaspoon salt
2      tablespoons (slightly rounded) flour
1       teaspoon vanilla
2      egg whites, stiffly beaten
1       (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a saucepan, combine the half-and-half and whipping cream. Warm only slightly. (Those bubbles around the edges are from stirring not boiling.)

Remove from heat and add, beating with a whisk, the sugar, salt, and flour.

I combined the sugar, salt, and flour together in a small bowl.

(Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff.)

Add the vanilla and fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is a little shaky. (I did bake mine the full 45 minutes.)

Cool on wire rack.

Monday, November 23, 2015


When I originally saw Ed and Mary Slabaugh's recipe for Apple Bars in The Farmhouse Kitchen cookbook, Amish Community Cooking from Greenville, PA, I was looking for a good sounding recipe to make and take to Hillcrest Thrift Shop. I had some apples and it wasn't real sweet. (While they enjoy "sweet", they also like when I reduce the calories in the recipe.) Just perfect for them. NOT. It only used a 9 x 9 - inch pan. That wouldn't make enough to serve all of them. So I just kept it in the back of my mind.

Saturday we didn't have a sweet thing in the house to eat and I wanted something sweet. I didn't want to have a big amount, but just enough to last a few days. Well, I remembered the Apple Bars and knew it would be perfect for US.

My husband took one bite and said, "These are good, really good. Not real sweet, just like I like it." I then told him I had omitted one brown sugar ingredient, but I thought it was just right also. I am including it in the recipe so you can decide if you want to add it or not.


1         cup flour
1/2     teaspoon soda
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/2     cup brown sugar
1         cup quick oats
1/2     cup shortening
1/4     cup brown sugar (I omitted)
2-1/2 cups sliced apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, making crumbs.

Spread half of the crumbs, (about 1-1/2 cups) in a 9 x 9 - inch pan.

Place apples on the crumbs, and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of  brown sugar and then cover with the remaining crumbs.

I placed the apples in two layers, alternating the slices in the layers.

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Last week when the Mexican Train group met, Friend Sue brought a bucket of apples from her tree for all of us to share. They were so huge. How huge, do you ask? So huge that it only took one apple to make the 2 cups, peeled and diced that this recipe called for. (I actually used the whole apple which was 2-1/2 cups, but I figured that would be okay.)

I used it to make the German Apple Cake recipe I found in my from Amish and Mennonite kitchens cookbook. I added Amish to the title of this post because I have already shared a delicious but different recipe for German Apple Cake before.

Even though it didn't have a lot of sugar in it, it does have the topping on it which was more sugar. I have read a number of times that in most recipe you could reduce the required amounts of sugar by 25% without noticing any difference in the taste of the finished dish. I have done this several times and thought my result was sweet enough. Sue made a Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake for some of us once and omitted the granulated sugar also called for brown sugar. We couldn't believe it when she told us. It was totally sweet enough. I hate to think what it would have tasted like with both. I also used coconut instead of nuts for the topping for a change.

I told the volunteers at Hillcrest Thrift Shop I was anxious to hear what they thought. Bob said (with a laugh), "So we are guinea pigs for you." I reminded him they are my "test kitchen". Everyone agreed I could test desserts on them any time I wanted to. Needless to say, they loved it. I did, too.


1/2       cup shortening
1           cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2       cup brown sugar (I used 1/3 cup)
2          eggs
2-1/4    cups flour
2          teaspoons cinnamon
2          teaspoons baking soda
1           cup sour milk (1 tablespoon lemon juice with 1 cup of milk)
2          cups raw apples, peeled, and diced


1/2       cup brown sugar
1/4       cup sugar
1/2       teaspoon cinnamon
1/2       cup chopped nuts or coconut (I did use the coconut)

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

Beat shortening until smooth.

Add sugars and eggs and beat until fluffy.

Mix flour and cinnamon together.

Combine the baking soda and sour milk. (I mixed the lemon juice with the milk at the beginning so that the lemon juice had time to sour the milk.)

Add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately to the creamed mixture. (I start with dry and then add half of the milk. repeat ending with dry ingredients.)

When well blended, fold in apples.

Pour and spread evenly in pan.

Combine the topping ingreidents 
and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. 


Yesterday my husband and I did something we rarely do .... we went to the movies. Normally my friends and I, aka Movie Goers, go to the movies on the third Wednesday of the month. This month everyone seemed to be busy and so Leader Sue canceled the gathering. My husband isn't usually interested in paying to see most movies, but this time he wanted to see Bridge of Spies, the new Steven Spielberg movie staring Tom Hanks. To be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to see if after seeing the previews earlier. BUT I am so glad we did. It was so good; the acting was excellent. If you haven't seen it, I would highly recommend it.

Earlier while my husband went to work out at the Y, I worked on the shower curtain I am making with my favorite quilt square, the churn dash. It is looking so pretty. Can't wait to get it finished even though I won't be hanging it until the spring.

When the movie was over, we went to Golden Corral and enjoyed an Early Bird Dinner. We haven't been in a while and everything looked so delicious. It was hard choosing what to eat.

Then we went to Kohl's so I could spend my Kohl's Cash I had earned when Friend Janice and I went shopping. With the Senior Discount and their sales, I saved more than I spent. That's always good, don't you think?

Our last stop for the day was a trip to Hillcrest Thrift Shop. My husband wanted to get some things. Wednesday is also their Senior Day with all clothing 50% off; that's better than my 25% volunteer discount. He found a really nice wool blazer coat and some other things.

It was such a fun special day that I enjoyed with my husband! 

This Harvest Spinach Salad looked so delicious in the picture in the Goosebury Patches' 101 Homestyle Favorites cookbook. But then they wouldn't use a picture that didn't show the dish off perfectly, would they? 

I take so many pictures trying to get just the perfect picture to illustrate what I am doing for this blog. I don't always succeed, but then I'm not a professional photographer and am not using an expensive camera...just my Samsung cell phone.

If you like salads, you have to try this one even if my picture isn't great. The dressing is one you could make and use with any green salad.


1        bunch fresh spinach, stems removed
5       slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
5       green onions, sliced
1/2    cup sliced almonds
1        Red Delicious apple, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4    lb. Monterey Jack cheese, cubed

1/4    cup olive oil
3       tablespoons white wine vinegar
1        teaspoon sugar
1/2    teaspoon dry mustard

Toss together the spinach, bacon, green onions, almonds, apple, and cheese in a large salad bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and mustard. (I actually mixed mine in a canning jar. You can shake it up really well (after you put a lid on the jar, of course - ha) and then it stores really well in the refrigerator if you don't use it all.

Toss dressing with salad; serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This recipe for Apple and Dates Dessert from Hazel R. Heatwole of Harrisonburg, VA that I found in my Mennonite Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley cookbook looked just perfect for my husband and me. If I am not sharing a recipe I made with others, I like to make ones that don't make a whole lot. This one serves 4....just right.

Well, my husband really, really liked it. He suggested I make a larger amount and serve it when we have friends over. It was good, I agree. Hazel didn't suggest serving it with ice cream, whipped topping, or milk,but we did add a little bit of ice cream that we had.

The other thing I like is it comes together without too much effort. I prepared it and had it baking while we were eating dinner. We were able to enjoy it while still warm which I would recommend.


1/4      cup flour
1-1/4     teaspoon baking powder
1/4      teaspoon salt
1          egg
3/4     cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup stevia)
1          teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2   cups diced apples
1/2      cup chopped pecans
1/2      cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 1-quart casserole dish.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat egg until light. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients. Mix well.

Fold in apples, nuts, and dates.

Pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream, whipped topping, or a little milk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I have found myself returning to my Gooseberry Patches' cookbook, 101 Homestyle Favorites. They really know how to display the recipe and dish on the page. They look so inviting; you just want to make it right away.

This Sunday Chicken and Dressing was another one I just couldn't pass up. As I have stated here before, I like to make casseroles that my husband and I can enjoy for several meals. I knew this one would fit the bill perfectly. (and it did)

I did decide to just mix all of the ingredients together instead of layering them as the recipe stated. I think it could have had a little more liquid so I have adjusted the recipe to show that. When you make it, you can decide if you think the mixture needs a little more broth.


1        can (10-3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1        can (10-3/4 oz) cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup (I did use the cream of celery)
1-2    cups chicken broth
2       cups cooked chicken, diced
4-5   cups chicken-flavored stuffing mix (I love Pepperidge Farm Herb seasoned classic stuffing. I bought the 14 - ounce bag but didn't use all of it.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.

Combine the soups and broth in a large bowl. (TIP! I make my chicken broth by dissolving a chicken bouillon cube in 1 cup of boiling water. You can make as much as you need.) I would suggest just using 1 cup and then adding more if you feel your mixture is too dry.

Add the chicken and stuffing mix to the soup mixture. (remember to add a little more broth if mixture is too dry)

Spread the mixture into baking pan.

 and bake for one hour.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Every year our church has a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner a week or two before Thanksgiving. The youth sponsor the event and use the donations for their program. 

We missed the dinner this year because it was the same day as our Tasty Bunch gathering. I usually make a dessert and donate, but since we were not going to be able to attend, I decided to offer to make two pies this year.

My husband isn't really a pumpkin fan. He usually will eat anything I make with it, but he has other favorites. Well, I love pumpkin pie. I was so excited when I found this recipe for Honey Pumpkin Pie in a magazine back in '84. Since traditional pumpkin pie doesn't contain honey, I thought maybe he might like this pie. AND he does. The honey gives it a distinct taste.... and with a less pumpkin taste. When the youth were asking for pumpkin pie and pecan pie, I thought of this honey pumpkin pie immediately.


1        can (16 ounces) pumpkin (the cans are 15 ounces now)
1-1/3 cups undiluted evaporated milk (almost a 12 - ounce can)
1/3    cup honey
1/2    cup sugar
2       large eggs
2       teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin , milk, honey, sugar, eggs, and spice with a wire whisk 
til smooth.

Pour into an unbaked 9 - 10 inch pastry crust.

Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake pie for 35 more minutes.

Cool on rack.

Chill before serving.