Tuesday, July 25, 2017


 What a name for a cake? Surely it has some special meaning? Anyone out there know and could share it with me? The volunteers at Hillcrest Thrift Shop said they didn't care what it was called - it was just good. There were only three slender pieces left for me to bring home. (I asked Dana if she wanted to take a piece home and she quickly took the last big piece.)

The recipe was contributed by Anna Fern Hochstetler in the Heritage Country Harvest Cookbook. This is a cookbook of over 700 favorite recipes from the Amish in Northern Indiana. I have made a number of recipes from the cookbook.

The cake is great, but the icing is one of those recipes you could use on any cake. If you are just someone who oftens mixes up a cake mix and then adds canned frosting, you could mix up the cake mix and then "kick it up a notch or two" by frosting it with this icing recipe.


1       box yellow cake mix
1/2   cup oil
1       can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges with juice


1        large can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1        small (4 servings size) box instant vanilla pudding
1        large (8 ounces) Cool Whip

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

Mix cake mix, oil, and oranges together using a spoon. (I cut the oranges into smaller pieces - thirds)

Pour cake batter into pan.

Bake 30 - 35 minutes. (I tested doneness using a toothpick.)

Cool in pan on wire rack.

Prepare icing:

Mix dry pudding mix with pineapple together in a mixing bowl. 

Then fold in Cool Whip
until completely blended.

Spread on cake and refrigerate.

A moist and good cake!

Refrigerate any leftovers (keyword there being "any").

I should have known if I wanted to know something to just "google it". That's what I did and discovered that a "pig-pickin" is a gathering where they roast or bbq a whole pig. I guess this cake is a popular one for someone to bring to one of these gatherings. Seems like it is a big thing in the south. If anyone can add anything to this especially pertaining to the Amish, I would love to hear from you in the comment section.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Even though I have lived in seven different states from the East coast to the West coast, I guess I am still just a southern girl at heart. You can take the girl out of the south, but you can't take the south out of the girl. 

That said - when I saw this recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Skillet in Mr. Food Cooks Real American, I knew I had to make it. I love black-eyed peas and make sure we have them on New Year's Day to bring us luck in the new year. My mother always did, too. I am so upset that our local Wal-Mart has quit stocking Pictsweet brand frozen speckled butter beans, purple hurl peas, field peas and snaps, and blackeye peas. I have written the company to see if they are being sold anywhere near.

Anyway, I am "birdwalking". I knew I would have to try the recipe when I saw it. It is a great way to stretch a pound of ground beef, too. It makes so much that after I had added all of the ingredients except the onion and peppers, I divided the mixture between two skillets and added the onion and peppers to one for my husband. He was quite pleased.


1          lb. ground beef
1-1/2  cups chopped onion
1          cup chopped green bell pepper (I used orange and red sweet peppers)
2         cans (16-ounces each) black-eyed peas, drained
1          can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2      teaspoon salt
1/4      teaspoon black pepper

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef,m onion, and pepper over medium heat until the beef is browned, stirring to crumble the meat; drain off any liquid. 

Add the remaining ingredients; 

bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often.

Mr. Food says to go on and add your own seasoning favorites. Anything from basil to oregano, chili powder, hot pepper sauce, or Cajun seasoning will work. (I didn't.)

Friday, July 21, 2017


I am feeling so blessed as I write this. Friend Janice and I went to two estate sales this morning before having a quick lunch at Culver's before picking up Friend Fran for an afternoon of canasta at Friend Ellen's. 

Janice and I have not been able to go to any estate sales the last few weeks because she fell and had muscle spasms in her lower back. So fortunate that she didn't break anything. At one of the estate sales, I bought a burgundy Lazy Boy recliner for myself that looks almost new. (Guess where I am sitting as I write this? Yep.) We saw so much we would have loved owning, but were able to practice good restraints for the most part. I only bought 4 cookbooks and have already found some recipes I am anxious to try. (Janice bought 2 Gooseberry cookbooks that I hope to look through soon.)

At Ellen's, Janice, Friend Dorothy, and I were partners and Ellen, Fran, and Friend Sharon were partners. We beat them really badly over 2000 points and then even beat them in the revenge round. If we had quit after two hands - Dorothy wanted to play one more hand, they would have won, but as it turned out, we came back and went ahead of them with the third hand. (Dessert was great, btw! I will be sharing it next week.)

To make up for all of the sales we missed while Janice was recouping, we are going out again tomorrow - our usual Estate Sale day (or Friday as you read this...I will be publishing this post in the morning bright and early.) The sales don't look as good as the ones we went to today, but that's okay. We just have a blast anywhere we go. We have stories we could tell if we wanted to.

I know you are reading this for the recipe - (if you are still reading)- so I will quit "talking" and get down to business. I am sharing a recipe I found on a little piece of paper that I had written down years ago. I decided it must have come from a cookbook for my blender until I saw the Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cookbook at Hillcrest Thrift Shop last week. (I don't know if I still have this cookbook or not - that's what happens when you have as many cookbooks as I do.) I first made it a week ago. I followed the recipe as to the amount of batter to put in each muffin cup (2/3 full) and ended up making 12 muffins instead of 8 to 10 as the recipe said. They were good but overcooked and kinda squatty (since they didn't rise much when they baked). Since they had a good taste, I told my husband I wanted to make them again but put more batter in each cup. Then they probably wouldn't overbake either. 

As it turned out, I decided to use a 6-muffin cup muffin pan I have that looks like they are a little bigger. (Not sure if they really are as I haven't measured the volume of them.) I filled the cups a good 3/4 full and could have made 8 muffins. Since I was using a 6-cup pan though, I decided to use the rest of the batter in one of my mini-loaf pans. Worked great! The first time I made them, I sprinkled a little extra sugar on top of the batter in the cups. The second time, I decided to sprinkled some prepared cinnamon sugar I had made on top. (If you don't have a blender, you could use an electric mixer, the ingredients just might not be as fine.)


1      cup flour
3     tablespoons sugar
3     teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1      cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4  cup milk (I use skim milk)
1      egg
2     tablespoons oil
1      large ripe banana (My bananas were medium size, so I used 1-1/2.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease or spray 8-muffin cups.

Sift flour and sugar together.

Add oats to mixture.

Put milk, egg, and oil in blender.
Cut or break up banana into blender;
blend till mixture is smooth.

Pour mixture over dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
Stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients.

Fill muffin pan 3/4 full.
(Sprinkle a little sugar on top or cinnamon/sugar blend, if you like.)
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 8 to 10 muffins.

Remove immediately from pans to cool on wire rack or wrap in a towel to keep warm if you will be eating them soon.
I made 6 muffins and 1 mini-loaf. (The mini loaf was done when the muffins were.)
The little mini loaf was just so cute!

Hope you are having a good Friday and weekend.

My new recliner....

Thursday, July 20, 2017


You are in for a treat today. I have had this recipe for over 40 years. I didn't write down where the recipe came from, but I think it was in the newspaper in Wichita, KS where we lived when we first got married. 

I thought I had already shared it with you, but when I did a search on my blog, there wasn't a post for it. Once I realized I hadn't shared it with you, I decided it would be perfect to take to Hillcrest Thrift Shop. 

I really wasn't in the mood to bake anything. I know - how rare is that? I couldn't make up my mind and before I knew it, it was dinnertime and I was tired. I guess dinner helped me though because after cleaning up the kitchen from that, I started on the cake. The good news is you bake it at 300 degrees F so it didn't heat up the house much. I retired to the family room and watched something my husband and I had recorded while it baked for one and a half hours. Nice.

I think one of the secrets for this awesome cake is closing it up as soon as you remove it from the cake pan. The steam settles into the cake and makes it super moist and taste just like a pound cake - even though it has no butter in.

The volunteers at Hillcrest raved about it, but I ended up bringing half of it home - guess the number of workers were smaller that day. It didn't stay home too long though because an hour after I got home, I was heading out to the church for choir practice. Leaving a generous piece for my husband, I took the rest to share with the other choir members. They were thrilled and told me I could do that again. (Oh, no, I've started another group to share with.)


2       cups sugar
1        cup shortening
4       eggs
2       teaspoons vanilla
2       teaspoons butter flavoring
1        cup buttermilk
3       cups flour
1/2    teaspoon baking soda
1        teaspoon salt
1        package (4-ounces) German Sweet Chocolate Bar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and dust with flour a Bundt pan.

Cream the sugar and shortening.

Add eggs, flavorings, and buttermilk.

Sift together the flour, soda, and salt.
Add to creamed mixture
and mix well.
(Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.)

Add chocolate that has been softened in warm oven or in double boiler.
(I placed the unwrapped bar in a dish and placed it in oven while it was preheating. It doesn't look like it has melted when you take it out, but it has.)

Blend together well. (You will have light veins running through the baked cake if you don't blend it completely.)
Scrape the sides of the bowl and dig down deep to the bottom to make sure it is all blended.

Pour batter in pan.

Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Test doneness with a toothpick.

Invert cake over carrier. I let the cake rest about 10 or 15 minutes (maybe 30 minutes - I went back to the TV show we were watching)
before I tried to remove the pan.
Place cake under a tight fitting cake cover while still hot and leave covered until cold, approximately 4 hours.
(I always leave it covered overnight.) Dry the inside of the carrier if you are taking it somewhere like I did.

I never got a picture of a slice of the cake, but trust me you don't want to not try making this cake. (How's that for a double negative?)