Friday, October 29, 2010


On Fridays I am going to recycle past posting. This will give new followers a chance to see them and the older followers to find them once again


The cookies known as "Joe Froggers" were a favorite of the Mayflower voyagers and the generations that followed them. They were originally prepared by the families back home. Those who had baked the cookies usually cut their initials into each cookie as a fitting remembrance as the miles separated each family member. The "Joe Froggers" were stored in barrels on ship for sometimes several months. Even so, they were always soft and tasty. This is attributed to one ingredient to be found in the recipe. Can you guess what it is?* Here is the recipe:

1 cup shortening
3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon salt
7 cups flour
2 cups dark molasses
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ginger
1/4 cup rum (more if desired)

Cream shortening and sugar until light. Dissolve salt in water and mix with rum. Add baking soda to molasses. Sift flour with spices. Add liquid ingredients alternately with flour mixture to creamed mixture. Stir well between additions. Dough should be sticky. Chill overnight. In the morning, flour board and rolling pin. Roll dough 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cutter (each cookie should be the size of the inside of a coffee cup.) Bake in 375 degree oven from 10 to 12 minutes.
*(Did you guess correctly that the ingredient is rum?)


Need a easy, no-bake Thanksgiving treat to bring to the class party?

1 cup vanilla frosting
7 drops yellow food coloring
32 miniature peanut butter cups
1 package fudge-striped cookie
32 mini orange Chiclets gum

Combine frosting and food coloring. Dip top of peanut butter cup in yellow frosting and position over center hole of cookie, forming the hatband and crown. Add gum as "buckle." Repeat with remaining cookies. Makes 32 cookies.
Recipe from Womans Day


78 1-inch paper candy cups
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels, divided
1 2/3 cups * (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® SWIRLED™ Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Morsels
Whole roasted peanuts or pecan pieces (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup needed)
conversion calculator
PLACE candy cups on baking sheet.

PLACE 1 cup milk chocolate morsels in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; knead. Microwave at 10- to 20-second intervals, kneading until smooth.

CUT small corner from bag and squeeze bag to pipe chocolate about 1/4-inch deep into about half of the candy cups. Place a peanut (if using SWIRLED Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Morsels) or a pecan (if using SWIRLED Milk Chocolate & Caramel Morsels) and 5 to 6 SWIRLED Morsels into the chocolate. Press down slightly. Melt remaining milk chocolate morsels in another plastic bag. Finish filling the remaining paper cups with melted chocolate, nuts and morsels.

REFRIGERATE for a few minutes to set chocolate. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

You may also use 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestle's swirled Milk Chocolate & Caramel Morsels.

NOTE: For another variation, try melting 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips and top with 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestle's swirled semi-sweet & white chocolate morsels. Substitute almond slices for nuts (about 1/4 cup needed).
Recipe from NESTLÉ®


Be thankful that a dessert this tasty is so easy to prepare

1 roll (16.5 oz)refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
Fall-colored decors or candy sprinkles
1/4 cup chocolate creamy ready-to-spread frosting (from 1-lb container), if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil with shortening. Cut cookie dough into 1/4-inch slices; arrange evenly in pan. With floured fingers, press slices to form crust.
Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows evenly over warm base. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or until marshmallows just begin to puff.
Use foil to lift crust from pan. Carefully remove foil from crust; place crust on serving platter or tray. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and decors.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle frosting over cookie pizza. Cut into wedges or squares.

Topping ideas:

Whipped cream
Chocolate whipped cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup toffee chips
M & M candies
Maraschino cherries
Gummy Bears
Cake decorations
Miniature marshmallows
Chopped peanuts
Chocolate syrup

Cookie Dough Tips for a Perfect Recipe:

Unbaked cookie dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen in an airtight container for up to 9 months. Thaw just until soft enough to handle.
Cookie dough too soft? Refrigerate it or add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is stiff enough to handle.
Cookie dough too dry? Mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk until dough holds together.
Food coloring can be added to softened cookie dough. Add the desired amount of food coloring to the dough; work it into the dough until the color is well blended. Shape them into a log. Wrap it tightly in plastic; refrigerate it until firm, about 3 hours.
Extra ingredients can be added to the cookie dough by breaking up the cookie dough in a large bowl. Add the desired ingredients for the recipe and mix well.

Thursday, October 28, 2010



Use a rotary cutter. Keep a spare blade available and change the blade when it gets nicked or dull. It makes cutting so much easier and you can cut through multiple layers (up to 6).

After you stitch your pieces together to form a block, measure the block using a clear quilter's ruler and slice off the access. This may take extra time in the beginning but it will help your quilt patches fit together so much easier and better.

When stitching rows of squares together press the seams of one row one way and the seams of the other row the opposite directions. When you stitch them together, they will fall together more smoothly at the seams so the right side will look like you matched the seams perfectly.

Buy yourself a good book on rotary techniques. It's amazing how much time you can save with these little razor cutters.

I think the importance of the scant 1/4" seam is probably the most important fact about quilting. Investing in a 1/4" foot for your particular machine will be the biggest quilting favor you could ever do for yourself. If each of your blocks are sewn together with just a bit over a 1/4", by the end of the row of blocks, you're off quite a bit. I highly recommend Alex Anderson's Beginning Quilting (I think that's the name of it) for new quilters.

Wind several bobbins ahead of time so you don't have to unthread your machine. A real time saver.

Not all quilts require a 1/4" seam allowance.....They just require accuracy. (I know I just really upset a lot of the purest quilters). But such patterns as the rail fence are great for beginners. I have found that if I can get them to make an accurate and consistent seam allowance first, then the 1/4" is no problem.

1/4" foot! Yeah! My favorite. To help the beginner....go to the Dr Scholl foot section and pick up some moleskin. Cut a small strip and place it in front of the foot, lining the left hand edge with the right side of the foot. It helps to control the fabric.

Prewash, iron and starch the fabric with 1:1 ratio of liquid starch and water. Stops fabric from slipping under foot, makes ripping out easier and reduces stretching.

When stitching flannel quilts or quilts with Bias seams, use the walking foot to reduce stretching.

There are no Quilt Police! Relax and enjoy the process. If you actually finish the project so much the better. Many quilters are way too critical of their output. So stop listening to the naysayers right now. Your UFO may become someone else's future masterpiece. Make it a game. See how far you can stretch yourself when choosing fabrics, or learning a new technique. Finish someone else's UFO. Try at least one project where you tell yourself you can't go to the store for the perfect fabric but must make design choices from what you already have. You'll start to see your stash in a new way! The quilt you consider ho-hum may be snappy to someone else. Early quilters didn't have the benefit of cable television instruction, rotary cutters, neatly woven and firmly starched fabrics, full color spectrum lights and Gutermann thread. Still they produced quilts that make your heart sing a hundred years later.

Consider using grey thread when piecing. Light, medium, or dark values of grey visually disappear in the seams, especially when piecing a light and dark fabric together. It also simplifies preloading bobbins as there are fewer colors to consider.

Also, don't use black thread. Use navy thread (or dark grey) instead. Often black thread is over dyed more than once by the manufacturer when the original color turned out wrong. The extra layers of dye and sizing can cause newer machines to "misread" the thread as it passes through the thread tensioning mechanisms. A tip from a local Bernina repairman.

The 1/4 inch quilters foot (with a right-side fence)is my best friend! I can get accurate, consistent seam allowances across even the largest quilt with absolutely no effort. Ask for one at your sewing machine shop. I wouldn't be marooned on a tropical island without my quilters foot!

Change your sewing machine needle after 8-10 hours of service. Most problems with poor output on your sewing machine are produced by a worn needle. For about $0.80 a needle you can keep problems at bay.

Visit a quilt guild or group. They usually have chocolate or treats. You'd be amazed at what you can pick up by quietly observing and listening. This is especially true if you are a visual or aural learner. (That's where I learned the great tip about Glad Press and Seal Wrap to transfer designs. Just lay the wrap on the original design, trace it onto the Wrap, then lay the wrap on your fabric and stitch right over it. It will rip away cleanly. Neat, huh?). Caution: Be on guard for naysayers at any quilt gathering. There are no absolute ways to do things. Give the "expert" advice at least one good try but if it doesn't work for you, jettison that advice and find your own way. Start viewing Mary Kay Fuschia lipstick as a neutral color, put your bindings on back to front, wash your quilt in the hottest water and dryer if you want maximum shrinkage, mix both machine and hand quilting on a single piece, hand quilt without a hoop, cut your stripes casually off grain, use fabric markers to heighten color intensity or contrast, whatever. Do what makes you happy! Your positive spirit will be captured in your work.

ALWAYS retract your rotary blade. That little blade can do a lot of damage to feet, fingers, cat's tail, etc.

Put a piece of batting next to your sewing machine to collect those pieces of cut threads.

Use a bamboo skewer to feed heavier seams through the machine.

My best tip is to stop sewing when you are tired. It is much easier to stop than it is to rip out (take it from one who knows). I use a tilt table under my machine and a good chair as I have back problems.

My best tip is to press, press, press!!! Press those seams either open or one way but then turn the piece over and press again without stretching the fabric. Everything fits so much better when pressed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010




If you are ever going to love me,

Love me now, while I can know

The sweet and tender feelings

Which from true affection flow,

Love me now while I am living,

Do not wait until I'm gone

And then have it chiseled in marble,

Sweet words on ice-cold stone.

If you have tender thoughts of me,

Please tell me now.

If you wait until I m sleeping,

Never to awaken,

There will be death between us,

and I won't hear you then.

So, if you love me, even a little bit,

Let me know it while I am living

So I can treasure it


A very rich and creamy version of macaroni and cheese. This can be made any time of the year. So good! Even better the next day-just add a little milk to the macaroni, stir, and heat.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
9 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
8 ounces cubed processed cheese food
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the oil and the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain well and return to cooking pot.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons butter; stir into the macaroni.
In a large bowl, combine the Muenster cheese, mild and sharp Cheddar cheeses, and Monterey Jack cheese; mix well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Add the half and half, 1 1/2 cups of cheese mixture, cubed processed cheese food, and eggs to macaroni; mix together and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a lightly greased deep 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese mixture and 1 tablespoon of butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbling around the edges; serve


This ain't your grandma's mac and cheese. Great "kicked up" flavor.


1 1/2 cups rotelle pasta
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons chili powder


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. A little at a time, whisk in milk, mustard, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat and whisk in pepperjack, Cheddar and Parmesan until smooth. Stir in cooked pasta and pour into shallow 2 quart baking dish.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in bread crumbs and chili powder. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture.
Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


My whole family is happy when I make macaroni and cheese for dinner. It's the one dish that everybody - both kids and adults - love.


1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- cut into bits
1 Dash Tabasco sauce
1 can evaporated milk -- (12 ounce)
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese -- grated
2 large eggs -- beaten
1 teaspoon dry mustard -- dissolved in 1 tsp water
2 teaspoons Salt Pepper


1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter -- melted


Preheat oven to 350. Boil the macaroni until just barely done in salted water. Mix bread crumb ingredients together in small baking pan. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes. Set aside Drain the macaroni and toss with the butter in a large, ovenproof mixing bowl. Mix the Tabasco into the evaporated milk. Reserving about 1/3 cup, stir the milk into the macaroni, then add 3/4 of the cheese, the eggs and the mustard. When well combined, season to taste with salt and pepper and set the bowl in the oven. Every five minutes,(These frequent stirrings allow the eggs to thicken without setting, resulting in an incredibly smooth sauce) remove it briefly to stir in some of the reserved cheese, adding more evaporated milk as necessary to keep the mixture moist and smooth. When all the cheese has been incorporated and the mixture is nicely hot and creamy (which should take 20 minutes all told), serve at once topped with the toasted bread crumbs
Recipes from allrecipes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Bread pudding is known as “poor man’s pudding”! Bread pudding was originally created as a means of salvaging stale bread. In my opinion, there is nothing poor about this rich-ly decadent dessert. In fact, it may be one of my favorite treats.



1 loaf (about 1 pound) whole-wheat multi-grain bread, preferably stale, cut into large cubes (about 6 cups)
1 quart (4 cups) half-and-half
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
12 ounces dried pears or a combination of pears and apricots, chopped


1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed together
1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted
Whipped cream or yogurt


If bread is not stale: Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and cook until toasted, about 10 minutes.
Whisk the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, whiskey, vanilla, salt and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Toss bread cubes and dried fruit together and place into the slow cooker. Pour custard over top and press down lightly until all bread is covered with custard.
Cover and cook on LOW until pudding puffs and is just set, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove insert from the slow cooker and cool on a rack, about 20 minutes.
Spoon pudding into large cups or bowls and sprinkle each serving with cinnamon sugar, and toasted
nuts. Top with whipped cream or yogurt, if desired.


This recipe is simple to make and really yummy.


1 tablespoon butter
4 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
6 cups 1/2-inch day-old bread cubes
2 cups crumbled pralines, recipe follows
2 cups Anglaise Sauce, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins with the butter.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla together. Whisk in the cream and milk. Fold in the bread and pralines. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Spoon the filling into each muffin tin. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is firm. Serve the pudding with the Anglaise sauce.


1/2 pound light brown sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
Pinch salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix sugar, salt, evaporated milk, and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves. Stir in pecans and cook over medium heat until mixture reaches the soft ball stage. (234 to 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer; if you spoon a drop of boiling syrup into a cup of ice water, it will form a soft ball that flattens easily between your fingers.)
Remove pan from heat and stir rapidly until mixture thickens. Drop pralines by teaspoonfuls, 1-inch apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets; let cool completely until firmed up. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: about 1 dozen

Anglaise Sauce:

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
5 egg yolks
In a saucepan, over high heat, whisk the cream together with the sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. In a bowl beat the egg yolks until thick and frothy. Temper the egg yolks by stirring just 1/4 cup of the sauce into the yolks, until incorporated. Turn the egg yolk mixture into the sauce and stir until thoroughly blended. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.



2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans
For the sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.
Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce:

Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.
Recipes from Food Network

Monday, October 25, 2010


First I have to share with you the good news! I won Renee's Witch she was giving away, over at Birch Berry Farms Blog. If you want to see it, go to her blog. It is listed over on my right side under Favorite Blogs. Renee is an amazing artist!


The art of salt dough making is an ancient one, dating as far back as Egyptian times. Salt
and wheat (flour) were two of the most common foodstuffs available to the Egyptians.
Bread was the staple diet of most Egyptians and natron, a natural salt found in Egypt, was
commonly used as a food preservative. (It was even used in the mummification process!)
In many past cultures dough modeling was tied up with religious beliefs and ceremonies
when sculptures would be offered as gifts to the gods, or presents to people on important
occasions. Examples of these would be weddings, christenings, funerals etc. In Europe
the craft was much favored, especially in Germany where the art was used widely in
home decoration, especially at festive times.

The materials needed to start dough making are very inexpensive, the majority of which
you will probably have in your kitchen cupboard. A wide variety of moulds, cutters,
knives are available from most stores. And you can use many objects that you probably
have lying around the house as templates or texture makers.


2 cups of Plain Flour
1 cup of table salt
1 cup of water


1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (makes it a little easier to knead)
1 tablespoon of wallpaper paste (gives the mixture more elasticity)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (makes the finished product harder)


Put plain flour, salt and any, or all, of the optional ingredients into a mixing bowl and
gradually add the water, mixing to soft dough. This should be neither too sticky, in which
case add more flour, nor too dry, in which case add more water. When mixed remove
from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead for 10 minutes to help create a smooth
texture. If possible it is best to let the dough stand for approximately twenty minutes
before beginning a project. Unused dough can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight
container or cling film, for up to a week. Children always love making models, and as
long as you don’t add wallpaper paste all of the ingredients are natural. So if they are
tempted to put it in their mouths, all it will do is taste incredibly salty.
The drying of your work can either be done naturally in the open air, or it can be baked in
an oven. However it is not recommended that you have your oven hotter than 100C
(200F/Gas Mark 1/4) as this can cause unsightly bubbles and cracks in your pastry.
Personally, I tend to start at 50C and after 30 minutes increase to 100C. The drying time
needed for each piece varies according to size and thickness, but an average time for
natural drying is 30-48 hours, whilst oven times are generally reduced to 3-4 hours. These
figures are only offered as a rough guide and remember that both sides must be dried out.
When your model is dry, turn off the oven and leave it inside to cool
Varnishing is not the most satisfying of activities - the best part is that it means we're nearly finished our model. However, it's crucial to protect against dust and dampness. Two to three layers on both sides may be needed, using a mat or gloss wood varnish, according to the look you want. For practicality, spraying is the easiest solution.

Wax-Dipped Salt Dough Bowl Fillers Tutorial

Go to And Baby Makes Five to get this tutorial to make the above ornaments.

Monday, October 18, 2010



This is really easy to make and the kids love it.


3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cans (7.5 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
White icing
Gummy worm candies


Grease or spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans.
Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in 1-gallon bag. Separate dough into 10 biscuits; cut each in quarters. Shake quarters in bag to coat; divide evenly between loaf pans. Mix brown sugar and melted butter; divide mixture in half.
Pour over biscuit pieces.
Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Turn upside down; cool 5 minutes. Pipe RIP (rest in peace) on each loaf with white icing. Insert gummy worms into loaves. Serve warm.


Wrap up snacks with these smoked mini-sausage treats, wound up in strips of refrigerated flaky dough


1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
44 cocktail-size smoked link sausages (from a 1-lb package)
1/2 cup creamy Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves ( I used a Honey Mustard Dressing)


Heat oven to 375°F. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with cooking parchment paper.
On work surface, roll dough sheet out to 14x11-inch rectangle. Cut vertically to make two 11x7-inch rectangles. Cut crosswise into total of 44 (7x1/2-inch) strips. Pat sausages dry with paper towels.
Wrap 1 strip of dough around each sausage to look like a little mummy; press firmly at each end to secure. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart for even browning.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix mustard and oregano. Serve sausages warm with mustard dip
For eyes, after cooking, I used a couple of toothpicks, made two holes, and then pushed a tiny ball of colby/cheddar cheese into each hole. You could also use pimentos for a scary red-eyed look


Whip up some ghoulishly good fun with instant mashed 'ghost' potatoes that top a deliciously rich ground beef and vegetable casserole.


1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef1
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
1 jar (12 oz) beef gravy
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 cups instant mashed potatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten


Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion; cook until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.
Set aside 12 peas for garnish. Add remaining frozen vegetables, tomatoes and gravy; mix well. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, heat water, margarine and garlic powder to boiling. Remove from heat; add milk. Stir in potato flakes and cheese. Add egg; blend well.
Into ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) or oval (2 1/2-quart) glass baking dish, spoon beef mixture. With large spoon, make 6 mounds of potato mixture on top of beef mixture to resemble ghosts. Place 2 reserved peas on each mound to resemble eyes.
Bake at 375°F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are set and mixture is thoroughly heated
Recipes from PIllsbury

Saturday, October 16, 2010



In order to alter your response to elements that are out of your control, consider these stress-reduction tips.

1: Take on one task at a time. Avoid extra stress by centering your attention on one task at a time. Focusing on one job will make it easier, and will probably result in a job well done.

2: Eat nutritious foods. Eating a balanced, low-fat diet will give you more energy. Avoid excessive quantities of alcohol, heavy meals and drinks high in caffeine & sugar, which can leave you fatigued.

3; Take care of your body. Not only does exercise improve your level of fitness; it also stimulates chemical changes in your body that relax you and increase your mind’s alertness. Try walking or working out at least three times a week.

4: Find a few friends. A few close friends can be a great source of support when you needit. Sharing your feelings with a sympathetic ear can be therapeutic. You may gain insight into what’s bothering you, and feel less burdened by your problems.

5: Laugh a lot. Laughter relaxes your muscles and releases stress-reducing hormones. Studies prove it’s benefits in preventing illness and releases natural painkillers. And it feels good too.

Say a Little Prayer
Squirrels had overrun three churches in town. After much prayer, the elders of the first church determined that the animals were predestined to be there. Who were they to interfere with God's will? they reasoned. Soon, the squirrels multiplied.
The elders of the second church, deciding that they could not harm any of God's creatures, humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.
It was only the third church that succeeded in keeping the pests away. The elders baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.

Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his grandmother's house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.
When little Johnny received his plate he started eating right away.
"Johnny, wait until we say our prayer."
"I don't have to," the boy replied.
"Of course you do," his mother insisted. "We say a prayer before eating at our house."
"That's at our house," Johnny explained, "but this is Grandma's house, and she knows how to cook."

The Tooth Fairy
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my four-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds.
She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs.
One day, I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass.
As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

Friday, October 15, 2010



My granddaughter served this at her son’s baptismal party…It is so good and thought you might want to try it for that Halloween Party!

1 gallon apple cider
1 12 oz can frozen cranberry-raspberry juice (Welch)
3-5 cinnamon sticks
12-15 whole cloves
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Tie up cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in cheesecloth & remove when done
Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Serve hot or cold.


Have you ever been enticed at a party by a wonderfully smelling mulled cider that tasted delicious. Well now using this recipe you can make your own Mulled Apple Cider!

To spice up one quart of apple cider, use one stick of cinnamon, about twenty whole black peppercorns, 3 whole cloves, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. In addition to these four ingredients, prepare some zest from a citrus fruit. Use the zest from half a lemon, lime, or lemon-sized orange for each quart of apple cider. If you're using medium lemons, use about a third of the zest. Large oranges - use a quarter of the zest per quart of juice.

Select a pot or pan large enough to hold all the apple cider. Toast the cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns to bring out their distinct flavors and aromas. Do this by simply heating your pan over medium heat with the spices in the pan. Toss the spices in the pan occasionally to prevent burning. The spices should become very fragrant within a minute or two.

Pour the apple cider into the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. When the apple cider gets warm, stir in the brown sugar so it fully dissolves.

Once the apple cider is boiling, reduce the heat so it just simmers (small bubbles form and rise to the top in a steady rhythm, but not at a furious rate). Add the citrus zest at this time. Don't add the zest earlier because you don't want the brief hard boil to break up the zest to the point where you will have difficulty straining it.

Maintain the simmer for thirty minutes. Do this with the lid off because it's easier to keep it at a constant simmer this way.

Pour the mulled juice/cider through a fine mesh strainer and into the container of your choice. If your cider has a great deal of particulate matter, you may want to place a cheesecloth or coffee filter in your strainer to filter out the fine particles. Serve hot.

You can let the cider cool and then refrigerate for up to a week. Bring it back up to a simmer before serving.
Recipe from Cooking For Engineers

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Free Country/Primitive Craft Design Patterns

Free Olde Fashion Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll Patterns * Free Primitive Doll Patterns * Free Rag & Cloth Doll Patterns * Free Country & Folk Art Doll Patterns * Free Vintage Doll Patterns * Free Collector Doll Patterns * Free Primitive & Folk Art Stitchery Patterns * Free Critter Patterns * Free Primitive Lighting Patterns * Free Ornie Patterns * Free Primitive & Folk art Pocket Patterns * Free Holiday & Seasonal Craft Patterns * Free Shelf Sitter Patterns * Free Cloth & Fabric Flower Craft Patterns.

These are just a few of the FREE PATTERNS at LILLIE MAES CRAFTS.




Click HERE to get these and many more free patterns
I am sorry but I cannot get this link to work here on my blog. It works in word but not here. So google Lillie Maes Crafts to go to this site. It is well worth it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


With the economy the way it is every little penny counts and needs to be watched...It costs way too much to feed our families now days so here are eight tricks to try the next time you go shopping:

1. Watch the register. In most grocery stores, advertised sales change every week, so the scanners have to be updated constantly. But surprisingly often, they're not, so they charge you the full amount, not the discounted price. To get the deal you're after, keep an eye on the price being registered by the scanner, whether you're operating it yourself or dealing with a cashier. Put all the week's specials in a corner of your cart and line them up on the checkout counter together so you can easily keep track of the prices you're being charged as the items are scanned.

2. Don't assume that regular-price items are being entered correctly. After all, the person at the register may not know a pomegranate from a persimmon. On a recent shopping trip, I watched as a cashier entered my three-pound cabbage (39 cents per pound) as Brussels sprouts ($1.89 per pound) — an overcharge of $4.50. If I hadn't corrected him, my family would've eaten some very pricey coleslaw that night.

3. Collect your payoff if there's a mistake. Many people don't know it, but big chains like Giant, Safeway, and Kroger will often give you an item for free if the scan shows a higher price than what's advertised. (Tobacco, alcohol, pharmacy items, and dairy are excluded.)

4. Be persistent. If your grocer runs out of an advertised special, ask customer service for a rain check — a written promise to sell you the item at the lower price when it's restocked. Make sure the slip specifies the maximum number you can buy for the sale price (usually six). Ask about the time limit for using your rain check (it's usually 15 days).

5. Don't be fooled by deals like two for $1. You don't have to buy two. If the ad says "Buy two for $5" and you want only one, you can still get it for $2.50. If the item doesn't automatically scan that way, point out the sale price to the cashier.
6. Stock up, but wisely. Before you stash 10 boxes of something on your shelves, check the sell-by date. Even seemingly ageless products like tea bags and toothpaste eventually expire — and you don't want to be stuck owning eight more when they do.

7. Weigh before you pay. If you're buying a 10-pound bag of potatoes, put it on the scale before you put it in your cart. Many items weigh less than what the package says.

8. Don't pay extra for convenience. It's easier to pick up personal-care products and other non grocery items at the supermarket. But this stuff often costs more than it does at a big drugstore chain.

Monday, October 11, 2010



"This is a Texas style chili recipe with beans. It also uses hamburger rather than chuck. Leaving behind a small amount of the hamburger fat gives it that unique Texas chili taste."


2 pounds ground beef
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained


In a stockpot over medium heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain off grease, reserving 2 tablespoons to remain in the pan. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and flour. Sprinkle the mixture over the meat, and stir until the meat is evenly coated.
Stir the oregano into the meat mixture, then pour in the 2 cans of beef broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then add the cans of beans. If you like your chili soupy, add only 2 cans of beans, but if you like thick chili, use all three. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes to blend flavors.


"This is a wonderful chili recipe. It's hearty and spicy chili is sure to hit the spot on a cold winter's night. The key is in using name brand tomato soup, I have tried it with others but haven't gotten the same results. Your friends will never guess the secret ingredient. Enjoy!"


1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 (10.75 ounce) cans Campbells condensed tomato soup
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained (optional)
cayenne pepper to taste


Crumble the ground beef into a soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Drain off most of the grease. Add onion, red pepper flakes, and half of the cumin; cook and stir until onion is tender.
Pour in the tomato soup, chicken broth, and crushed tomatoes. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour in the beans, and season with remaining cumin and cayenne pepper; simmer for another 30 minutes. Now enjoy


"A spicy chili: no beans, tomatoes or ground beef. Great on a cold winter day and goes especially well with Golden Sweet Cornbread. If you don't want to use beer in the chili, simply replace it with the same amount of water."


4 slices bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons paprika
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
4 pounds boneless beef chuck or rump, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 3/4 cups water
1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer
4 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons cornmeal


In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Drain off excess grease, leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir until the onions are tender. Season with oregano, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Cook and stir for about 30 seconds to toast the spices.
Stir in the beef, water, beer, chipotle peppers, and cornmeal; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until beef is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan (I use a cast iron skillet).
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Recipes from allrecipes

Friday, October 8, 2010


Primitive Sugar Cones

On Fridays I am going to recycle past posting. This will give new followers a chance to see them and the older followers to find them once again.

How To Make Primitive Sugar Cones:

In the Early Colonies, sugar was a very valuable commodity, available to only the wealthiest families. When used, small bits of sugar would be snipped with sugar nippers, or carefully scraped from the cone by the Lady of the house. In order to make the best impression for guests, sugar cones were often brought to the table displayed on a pewter plate or on the family's best pottery.

There are many recipes and methods to create a sugar cone. Following is the EASIEST process to make a replica of a sugar cone for display. There is no cooking involved, so it is fast and easy to do and cleanup is a snap.

Equipment Needed

Mixing bowl
Your mold ~ this can be almost anything that has the shape you want. My favorite molds to use include a large beer glass and a tiny round pan to make the sugar cakes. You can also use old pudding molds, sugar molds (really?)... Small flat plate or pan
Your clean hands -the most important tool you have!


1 lb of Sugar - You can use white, light brown or dark brown or some combination of the three.


Mix sugar (or sugars) in bowl with your hands to insure that any lumps are removed.
Run your hands under the faucet and move immediately to your mixing bowl. Sprinkle the water from your hands into the bowl of sugar - do this a couple of times.
Using your hands, mix the drops of water through the sugar.
Firmly pack the barely moistened sugar into your mold. It is better to pack a small bit at a time rather than filling the entire mold immediately. This will insure that your sugar is solid in the mold.
Invert your mold over the flat plate or pan to release the molded sugar.
Set aside and allow to "dry" for 24-48 hours (depending on ambient temperature and humidity.) If you make more than one at a time, be sure that you thoroughly clean your "mold" between moldings.


Sugar cones were traditionally wrapped in blue paper. Frugal ladies are said to have once soaked said paper - using the resulting blue bath to dye textiles. I have also used white paper, but my favorite wrapping is dyed cheesecloth. Since you can easily leave a portion of the molded sugar visible, the resulting combination of textures is very pleasing visually.

Of course, the more you do it, the easier it will be, but that is all there is to it! Have fun

Memo: SFGTD Box
From: GOD
Reference: LIFE

This is God.
Today I will be handling ALL of your problems for you.
I do not need your help.
So, have a nice day.

And, remember...If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it yourself!
Kindly put it in the SFGTD
(Something For God To Do) box.
I will get to it in MY TIME.
All situations will be resolved,
but in My TIME, not yours.
Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it.
Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.
Should you decide to share this memo with a friend;
Thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know!
Now, you have a nice day.

I love you,


Thursday, October 7, 2010



Have you ever been to some ones house and on the counter you see a basket filled with soap balls that just look and smell lovely? Sure, you could go out and buy your own but, if your into hobbies and crafts, then why not consider making your own.
These bars have the look and feel of old soap. For a more grungy looking soap ball roll them in spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or apple pie spice before they are completely set up. Once rolled in spices, they are for display only!


1 cup of instant Quaker oatmeal
1 bar of ivory or dove soap
1/4 cup of water

Grind up the oatmeal in a food processor until finely milled but do not grind to flour, you want it chopped up enough to break up the oatmeal flakes but still be visible.

Grate the bar of soap into small slivers. Place the soap and water into a large microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir the mixture once or twice making sure it does not bubble over.

When the soap is dissolved remove from the microwave and add the ground oatmeal slowly, stirring constantly.

Let cool enough to touch, then form into balls or bars and place on wax paper to set and dry. It will take about 2 hours for them to set.

Oatmeal soap balls/bars have a great old fashion look and can be displayed in old soap dishes, vintage jars, wooden bowls and baskets in primitive or country bathrooms or kitchens. If you make the soap bars, they look really cute tied with homespun!