Monday, February 27, 2017


This Cranberry-Pecan Salad was listed in the "holiday" section in the cookbook, Better Homes and Garden Eat Healthy Lose Weight, but why should you only enjoy it on holidays? The next time you have ham or a pork tenderloin, you should definitely make this salad. 

You might not be able to find fresh cranberries in the groceries, but if you are like me and buy multiple bags when they appear in the grocery stores and then freeze them to use all year long, just take out about 3-1/2 cups and let them thaw.

My husband absolutely loved this salad. I have to admit eating it alone, I sprinkled a little stevia on mine to add a little extra sweetness to it. I think with ham or pork, I would enjoy it more.


1       12-ounce package fresh cranberries (about 3-1/2 cups)
1       cup water
1/2   cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup of truvia - stevia/sugar blend)
1        4 - serving size box of sugar-free cranberry or raspberry flavored gelatin (I used sugar-free raspberry flavored gelatin)
1       15-1/4 - ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice, undrained (I used a 20 - ounce can and removed 1/2 cup of the pineapple)
1/3    cup coarsely chopped pecans

In a large saucepan combine the cranberries and water.
Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes or until berries pop. Remove from heat.

Add sugar and gelatin to mixture,
stirring to dissolve.
Stir in undrained pineapple.

Transfer to a serving bowl.
Cover and chill about 6 hours or until thickened.

To serve, stir and
sprinkle with pecans.


Can you imagine how excited Friend Janice and I were when I discovered a Kitchen Klatter cookbook at an estate sale on Friday? I almost screamed with excitement. Janice immediately wanted me to see what year it was. Well, it was 1980, not one of the first ones, but I was still excited. We looked through the rest of the books on the table to see if there happened to be an earlier printed one. (There wasn't.) I was still excited anyway. If you missed my recent post on the Kitchen Klatter radio show and the recipe for Pride of Iowa cookies, you can read it HERE.

Then we looked to see if the Pride of Iowa cookie recipe was included in it. I turned to the back of the cookbook to look up the title in the index and Friend Dorothy was correct .... there is no index. We tried looking through the pages and found cookies and originally thought they were in alphabetical order with titles but realized after finding "p's" several pages later, that they were just randomly arranged in the area. (I started to say "section" but there are no "title" pages for the different categories either.)

When an SOS text was sent out for volunteers to work the register at Hillcrest Thrift Shop for Saturday, I offered to come in the for the first shift. So I guess you know what I was doing after I got home. Yes, looking through the 5 cookbooks I bought at the sales looking for something to bake and take the next day.

What I found was a recipe called Mennonite Pecan Bars from the Kitchen Klatter cookbook. (It is a 1980 edition of the cookbook, but all of the recipes in the cookbook did appear in copies of the Kitchen Klatter magazine.)

I used butter flavoring, vanilla flavoring, and maple flavoring, but they were not Kitchen Klatter brands.

Before I share the recipe with you, I have to share the response I got at Hillcrest Saturday morning when I took them in. As I was opening the door, two of the young men (Austin and Daniel) who volunteer were coming out the door. They saw me carrying my 9 x 13 - inch container and asked me what I had brought. When I told them, they immediately turned around and followed me back into the room. With just one bite, they bought, at the same time, gave me a thumbs up. Later another volunteer, Michael, told me that Daniel had eaten four. So many of the volunteers came by the register and told me how good they were. I have to agree. They are so good. It is amazing how strong the maple taste is with just one teaspoon of flavoring in the whole recipe. All that is missing is a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.


2/3      cup shortening
1           cup brown sugar
1           egg
1/4       teaspoon Kitchen-Klatter butter flavoring
1/2       teaspoon Kitchen-Klatter vanilla flavoring
1           teaspoon Kitchen-Klatter maple flavoring
2          cups flour
1/2       teaspoon salt
1           teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or butter the bottom of a 11 x 15 - inch pan.

Cream the shortening and brown sugar.

Beat in the egg and flavorings.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add. (Oops, forgot to take a picture of the final mixture. It was crumbly.)

Spread in the pan. (This is a little tricky. I didn't think I was going to have enough. It helps to drop the mixture around the bottom of the pan first leaving some in the bowl to add where you need it to fill in spaces. It will be thin but make sure there are no bare places or thin places.)

Spread with the following mixture:

1        egg, beaten
1/2    cup brown sugar
1        cup chopped pecans

After spreading with the topping (This also is a little tricky. Do your best to cover the whole area. It will be a thin covering.),
bake for about 30 minutes, or until done. When cool, cut into small bars.

After thoughts: 

Do they make a shallow pan 11 x 14 - inches? That would work so much better. One end of the bars turned out to be a little thinner so when I cut the bars, the last row broke into pieces. (The pieces still tasted great and I just kept them for us to eat.) Also, they are so much easier to cut if you use a sharp knife when cutting them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


The only thing bad about this cake is that most of the downstairs volunteers at Hillcrest Thrift Shop didn't get to eat any of it. That is the first time that has ever happened. Volunteer Ashley said it was Volunteer Terry's fault. Terry usually volunteers on Monday but came yesterday because the shop was closed on Monday for Presidents' Day. He ate a piece and told so many about it, some of the volunteers from upstairs came down to get some. 

I was really disappointed when the ladies told me it was all gone by the time they went into the community room at noon to eat lunch. They really missed a "good one". I will try to make sure that doesn't happen again. (Although it will be hard since I am stuck at the register ringing up the purchases of the customers.)

I found the recipe on a piece of paper Monday when I thought I would straighten up my secretary. Don't know if someone gave me the recipe or how I got it. It is definitely a "keeper" though.

Last year I bought a couple of bags of caramel bits and thought I would give them a try. Unwrapping a whole bag of caramels takes forever! Anyway, I have not seen them again in the store. I researched them and saw that Kraft introduced them in 2007. I don't know if they weren't popular or what. They surely should have been. If you can't find them, just use an 11-ounce bag of caramels but allow time to unwrap all of the individual caramels or ask for help.


1       German chocolate cake mix + ingredients to mix according to the box
1       11-oz package of caramels (I used a bag of caramel bits)
1       stick of butter
1       tablespoon milk
3/4   cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
1       cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix up cake mix according to directions on the box.

Pour half of the batter into pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.
Check doneness with a toothpick.

Meanwhile, melt caramels, butter and milk.
(I did this in a saucepan over medium low heat. Next time I think I will do it in the microwave in 30 second intervals.)

Pour melted caramel mixture over the baked cake making sure you cover entire surface. (Move pan with mixture over the area because the mixture doesn't spread easily once it is on the cake.)

Sprinkle chips and
nuts over caramel mixture.

Pour rest of cake batter over all covering the area completely.

Return to oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until done.

Cool in pan on wire rack.

Serve with whipped topping.

Can you see that delicious caramel in the middle of the cake?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Yesterday was the first morning in probably a week that there was no sun shining in the window to wake me up. (It did try to peak its head out around noon but there were just too many clouds. So it didn't last long.) We really need some rain. Our winter has been a really mild one. I think it has snowed twice but accumulation wasn't even a total of 5 inches. Unfortunately we didn't get that much rain either. My husband and I took a walk around the block about mid-afternoon and the ground wasn't even wet around the trees. 

For many, yesterday was a holiday and I am happy for them. I haven't been retired that many years that I don't remember how nice it was to have a 4-day work week. I do like to keep a busy social life but most Mondays are work-around-the-house days for me. 

Yesterday was a good productive day for me. I recently decided I was going to go through my "stash" of fabric and donate much of it. Most of my sewing now days is quilt making and so much of my material I have had for years dating back to when I made clothes for myself and my older granddaughters. While I probably wouldn't be making any quilts from the material, Blankets of Hope could. (Blankets of Hope is all that remains from the United Methodist Women at my church.) We currently have four members - Friend Janice, Friend Fran, and Friend Teresa, and myself who meet once a month at the church and make mainly lap throws for members of the church and elsewhere who need a little hope. We have made quilts big enough for beds and gave 25 one year to Kairos Outside, a special weekend retreat designed to support the female loved ones of men and women who are or have been in prison. Last year the Hospice program at North Kansas City Hospital took almost 20 for their program. We make some amazing quilts with just fabric that has been donated to us. So guess who is getting six cloth grocery bags full of material. Fran came over and helped me. Even though I was in a purging mood, it was good to have a friend encouraging me on. I also moved a few things out of my sewing room and put them in the attic. 

After lunch, I looked through a few recipes and found a good sounding one to make for the Hillcrest Thrift Shop volunteers later in the afternoon. (I will also be taking a bag to the thrift shop - material that isn't cotton suitable for a quilt.) I hope to share the Caramel German Chocolate Cake with you tomorrow.

After taking a walk around the neighborhood, I sat down to rest a bit and then it was time to start thinking about dinner. (I really didn't have to think because I had already decided earlier to make Chicken Nuggets by a recipe I found the other day and had gotten the chicken breast out of the freezer to thaw.)

My husband walked in the kitchen while they were baking in the oven and asked what smelled so good. They were really easy and fast. They only have to cook 10 minutes and they were very good. (I think my grandchildren would like them - they eat chicken nuggets all the time.)


1-1/2        cups crushed cornflakes
1               teaspoon paprika
1/2           teaspoon garlic powder
1/2           teaspoon dried oregano, ground
1               egg white
1               lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

Crush cornflakes in a ziplock bag. Add paprika, garlic powder, and oregano and mix together.

Dip the chicken pieces in the egg white allowing excess to drip off.

Drop a few pieces at a time in the bag and shake to coat the chicken.
Coat well.

Place chicken pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan.
Bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  

Monday, February 20, 2017


"When I get home, I am going to make an Amish recipe for Pride of Iowa cookies." I never expected to get the reaction I got when I made that statement Thursday afternoon to my quilting canasta friends. Friend Dorothy, who is from Iowa, immediately voiced how much she loved them and that her mother always made them. Friend Janice, who is from northeastern Missouri, said her grandmother always had those cookies when she was a little girl. That led to a discussion about the 30 - minute radio show they remembered back in the 40s and 50s called Kitchen-Klatter. They reminiscenced about the spices the show advertised, the thick cookbook with no index, and a regular on the show called Lucille. I decided to google the show and read to them the information I found online. The show started in 1926 and was the longest running homemaker show in U.S. radio history. Broadcasted from Shenandoah, Iowa, Leanna Field Driftmier eventually broadcasted the show from her wheelchair. Dorothy said that was one reason her mother listened to the show - as she was also in a wheelchair. The show was aired in the midwestern states for five decades. They both felt the recipe was one Leanna had shared on the show. (Regrettably, I could not find any information on the origination of the recipe.)

Later at home, I found no changes in the recipes online and "my recipe" when I researched just the recipe except for one lady who used butter instead of shortening. When I checked Mrs. Jonas Yoder's recipe with the recipe Janice had, she said she had 2 sticks of butter written in parenthesis after the cup of shortening on her recipe card. After eating one of my cookies, Janice said she remembered her grandmother's cookies being more chewy. She didn't know if using butter instead of shortening would create that result or not. 

Mrs. Yoder's recipe was in the Heritage Country Harvest Cookbook from the Amish in Northern Indiana. I followed her recipe but did cut the ingredients in half as I didn't want to make a lot of cookies.


1       cup brown sugar
1       cup white sugar
1       cup shortening
2      eggs
2      cups flour
1/2   teaspoon salt
1       teaspoon soda
1       teaspoon baking powder
1       teaspoon vanilla
1       cup coconut
3      cups quick rolled oats
1/2   cup nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheet.

Blend sugars and shortening together .

Add beaten eggs.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and
add to creamed mixture.

Stir in vanilla, coconut, oats, and nuts;
mix well.

Drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. (I used my cookie scoop that holds 1 tablespoon water.)

Flatten cookies with the bottom of a glass (or with your fingers).

Bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake.

Remove and cool on wire rack.