Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Last Friday was the first time this year that Friend Janice and I got out to some estate sales. We didn't have many to choose from, but the ones we went to were fairly good. It is amazing what people collect. One house we went to had so much merchandise that was still unopened. We only had one sale that Friday was the first day. The other two had started on Thursday which meant everything was 25% off on Friday. I bought almost new Lee jeans and Dockers jeans for $2 each. I was so excited. I know you are wondering so I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Yes, I did buy two new cookbooks. The recipe I am sharing with you today came from one of the cookbooks.


1       cup rolled oats
1       cup buttermilk
1/2   cup butter (1 stick)
1/2   cup brown sugar
1       egg
1       cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1       teaspoon baking powder
1/2   teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4   cup raisins

Combine the oats and buttermilk in a bowl and allow to soak for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or spray a 12-cup muffin pan. 

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar
until light and fluffy.

Add egg. Beat to combine. (Looks like I forgot to take a picture.)

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

Stir the flour mixture alternately into the butter mixture with the oat mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
(The oat mixture after it sets for an hour.)
Fold in the raisins.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling each about 2/3rds full.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. (Running a knife around the inside of the cup will help remove the muffins.)

Great still a little warm.

Hilaire Walden's Cookies - irresistible biscuits, brownies, and bars.

Monday, January 30, 2017


I really love this Overnight Macaroni Casserole. It was almost better warmed up if you can believe it. It makes so much; I was able to enjoy quite a bit of it for several days warmed up. So I know what I am talking about.

Mary Miller, one of the ladies from the northern Indiana Amish community (Heritage Country Harvest Cookbook) prepared the casserole, let it set overnight, and then baked it the next morning. I didn't want to bake it in the morning because we wouldn't be eating it until dinner. So I got to thinking. (I know that sometimes can be dangerous.) I decided eight hours sounded like "overnight". So why couldn't I prepare it first thing in the morning, let it set all day (8 hours), then bake it for dinner? I decided it was worth the try.

I cooked the chicken breast the night before and cubed it. That was the only thing I needed to do ahead of time. I got up a little earlier than I usually do so that the casserole would have the eight hours to set before I cooked it that night. 

It turned out so cool. Our farkle group met that Monday afternoon and I didn't have to think about what I was going to make for dinner. When I got home, my husband was still at the gym working out, so I waited a little longer before putting the casserole in the oven.

It was so good. It's like mac 'n cheese with chicken.


2       cups uncooked macaroni
2       cups cooked chicken, (shredded or cut in bite-size cubes)
2       cans cream of chicken soup
2       cups milk
1/2    tablespoon salt
1/2    medium onion
1/2    teaspoon pepper (my husband said it needed more - I just sprinkled some on top before I ate mine)
3      tablespoons butter
1        cup grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar block cheese that I grated)

Heat milk and soup; then add seasonings
and cheese. Stir til cheese melts.

Combine the macaroni and chicken in a large bowl. (I used my large batter bowl.)
When cool pour over remaining ingredients.
Mix and
put in a greased casserole.

Let set overnight (8 hours). (Maybe it was obvious, but I put mine in the refrigerator.)

Next morning (or 8 hours later) bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


To heat it up, I put a generous helping in a microwavable bowl - a little over a cup -, sprinkled a little water on it, covered the dish, heated it for 1 minute on 50% power first, and then 30 seconds on High (full power). Stirred it and it was ready to eat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Well, I survived my first time back this year volunteering at Hillcrest Thrift Shop. It probably helped that the shoppers were generally steady and not everyone wanting to pay for their great finds at the same time. I did stay fairly quiet for the afternoon though. (Actually I worked on my granddaughter Madison's scarf I am knitting her.)

The dessert was a big hit! Jim, the manager, came by before the shop opened to tell me how good the "cherry brownies" were. Then I heard him asking another volunteer if she liked cherries and had she tried the brownies I had brought. When my shift was over and I went in the community room to get my pan, there were three small pieces left.

One 10 - ounce jar of maraschino cherries with juice is what is needed for this recipe. It contains 1/2 cup of juice and enough cherries to make almost a cup.


1       box brownie mix for a 9 x 13 - inch pan.
1/4   cup maraschino cherry juice (from a 10-oz jar)
1/2   cup oil
3      eggs
1       cup maraschino cherries, halved (10-oz jar)
3/4   cup chocolate chips (I used 60 % cacao chips)

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

In a mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, maraschino cherry juice, oil, and eggs until well blended.

Gently stir in cherry halves and chocolate chips.

Mix well. (I did just use my electric mixer but on stir or low speed)

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 28 to 30 minutes.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Frost with Cherry Icing.


6       tablespoons butter, softened or at room temperature
3       cups powdered sugar
1/8    teaspoon almond extract
1/4    cup maraschino cherry juice (rest from a 10-ounce jar)

In mixing bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of the powdered sugar until well mixed.

Add almond extract.

Add cherry juice and remaining powdered sugar, alternately, blending well after each addition until icing is smooth and reaches frosting consistency. (I misread the recipe and just added both at the same time. It worked.)

Spread over the cooled brownies in the pan.

Lia Wilson's Quick Fixes with Mixes Cakes, Cookies, Bars, & Goodies

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Later this morning I will be going to Hillcrest Thrift Shop to volunteer. Hard to believe it will be my first time this year. I am feeling a lot better and hopefully I won't be too tired at the end of the 3 hour shift.

I made a treat for them that looks like it is going to be a good one. I will be sharing it with you later this week.

Yesterday afternoon the Farkle group met at Friend Sue's house. She had informed us in the "invite" that she would be serving a "light" lunch. If she considers what she served us as a "light" lunch, I would hate to see what she considers lunch. Anyway, Friends Janice and Fran and I went prepared to eat lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sue was prepared for me by having the recipe already written down. Or I should say the ingredients. She told me if I didn't know how to mix them together, I was pretty bad off. lol She also had made cupcakes for dessert but I will share it later in the week. I need to ask her a question or two. (I heard her passing on some tips but I was sitting at the other table and couldn't hear her completely. I want to make sure I pass the tips along to you.)


8        cups chicken, cooked and chopped
3        celery ribs, diced
5        green onions, thinly sliced
1-1/2  cups toasted pecans, chopped
6        oz. bag dried cranberries (1 cup)
1         cup mayonnaise
1/2     cup sweet-hot honey mustard
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients until well blended.

Serve on croissant with a lettuce leaf.

Monday, January 23, 2017


I am blessed in so many ways. Saturday my husband and I got to spend most of the day with our local grandchildren, Madison 6 and Tyler 4. We also got to spend a little time with our son, their daddy, who left to work on a friend's car. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see dil Lori, but she was working. The day started out cloudy, but the sun came out about lunch time and warmed us up. (The kids had so much fun playing outside. See pictures below.) Later that night we met with our Tasty Bunch group at Spin Neapolitan Pizza and then back at house for dessert and more conversation. (See recipe below.) Yesterday we served at our church on the hospitality team for two services. What a joy that always is! Favorite part is meeting first time visitors (and, of course) seeing our church friends. While I am not back to my 100%, I am getting close. After I felt my sinus infection was healed, but my sinuses were still an issue, I switched to my allergy medication and that helped considerably. I was able to sit for the hour and a half in the dentist chair while prep work was being done on my molar and its new crown. (I broke a corner off the tooth eating a granola bar so I could take my antibiotic with food earlier this month.) Those are just some of my many blessings.

As I said, the Tasty Bunch met at our house Saturday night which meant I was responsible for serving dessert. We were supposed to meet last Saturday, a week ago, but we delayed it a week because the area had been forecasted with a severe ice storm. (While we had a few problems, for the most part, we escaped.) So I had picked out this recipe the week earlier. The recipe of Jacob & Loretta Weaver was in The Farmhouse Kitchen cookbook, Amish Community Cooking from Greenville, PA. There were two other similar recipes also in the cookbook but they both used a cake mix for the crust and topping. This one used flour, powdered sugar, cocoa, and butter. That sounded interesting. 

I made the dessert Friday late and just stored it in the refrigerator (since I knew we were going to be with our grandchildren most of Saturday). I did get it out before we left for the restaurant so that it would be at room temperature. I would highly recommend this. The bottom crust is softer then.

I did use a chocolate sweetened condensed milk that I found at the commissary a while back, but have never seen anywhere else. Feel free to use the regular one. It will look different though.


1-3/4       cups flour
1-1/2        cups powdered sugar
1/2           cups baking cocoa
1               cup margarine (I did use butter - 2 sticks)
1               8 - oz packed cream cheese (I used 1/3 cup less fat Neufchatel cheese)
1               14 - ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used a can of chocolate flavored sweetened condensed milk.)
1                egg
2               teaspoons vanilla
1/2            cups nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine flour, sugar, and cocoa until well blended.
Cut in margarine until crumbly. I cut the sticks of butter into narrow slices and used the electric mixer.
(I covered the mixer with a towel to keep the mixture from making a mess.)
Mixture will be dry.

Reserve 2 cups of the crumb mixture.
Press remainder of the mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 - inch pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy,
beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth,
add egg and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour mixture over crust after removing it from the oven.

Mix the nuts with the reserved crumbs. (I had to move the crumbs to a bigger bowl to add the nuts.)
Sprinkle on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes or till bubbly.

Cool, chill, and cut. (I do recommend removing the dessert from the refrigerator for a while before cutting it serve.

I chose to serve it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Here are some pictures of our darling grandchildren.

Inside fun. First time to play with Lincoln Logs.

Madison is good driver.

Tyler to the rescue when the battery got a little sluggish.