Thursday, January 19, 2017


~ My Baking Addiction

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
10 oz. mini Reese's Pieces (about 1 1/3 c.)

Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in oats, then fold in mini Reese's Pieces. Cover and chill for at least three hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough at a time on to prepared sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Leave cookies on baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Notes: I don't use an actual cookie scoop and my estimates of 1 1/2 tablespoons yields five dozen cookies. I lightly grease my baking sheets instead of using parchment paper.

Monday, January 16, 2017


~ Taste of Home

2 eggs
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 c. dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 1/2 lb. ground venison
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. spicy brown mustard
2 T. vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in tomato sauce, onion, crumbs, salt, and pepper. Add venison and mix well. Press into ungreased 9x5-inch loaf pan.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, mustard, and vinegar; pour over meatloaf. Bake, uncovered, for 70 minutes.

Notes: We always have oats on hand, so we run some through the food processor and use them instead of bread crumbs.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


~ unknown source

3 c. boiling water
1 c. wild rice
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 10.75 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
2 4 oz. cans sliced mushrooms
14 oz. can bean sprouts, drained
10.5 oz. can condensed beef broth
1 1/3 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1/4 t. each: celery salt, garlic powder, onion salt, paprika, pepper, and poultry seasoning
1/8 t. dried thyme
1/2 c. sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, pour water over rice and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a skillet, brown turkey and onion. Drain, then add to rice with remaining ingredients, except almonds. Transfer to a 9x13-inch pan. Cover and bake for two hours. Sprinkle almonds on top; bake, uncovered, 30 minutes longer.

Notes: I use fresh mushrooms instead of canned and sometimes sub ground beef or venison for the turkey.

Monday, January 9, 2017


~ It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken

1 T. olive oil
6 ribs of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. vegetable broth
1 c. water
1/3 c. flour
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 c. raw cashews
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, and garlic; saute 5-10 minutes or until celery and onion start to soften and become translucent. Add broth and water, then slowly pour in flour as you whisk the soup. Add bay leave, thyme, and cashews. Bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes or until cashews are very soft.

Remove bay leaf, then transfer soup to blender in small batches and process until cashews are completely blended. Return soup to pot to reheat or serve directly from blender. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Makes about six cups.

Notes: We like the flavor of this, but change a few steps in the process. The point of adding the cashews to the soup pot is to avoid making cashew cream separately, but our soup is a little gritty that way (note the visible cashew pieces in the picture). Next time I'll make cashew cream separately and then add it or let the soup simmer longer. The other change we made was to put the flour in a bowl and slowly add some of the broth to it until it was creamy, then dump the mixture into the soup pot. Adding flour to a bunch of liquid always results in lumps when I do it, so I added an extra step in order to avoid flour chunks.

Monday, January 2, 2017


~ Taste of Home

3 meaty beef soup bones (beef shanks or short ribs)
10 c. water
1 medium onion, chopped
5 t. beef bouillon granules
1 T. cider vinegar
1/2 - 1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 c. chopped carrots
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 c. medium pearl barley
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 - 1/2 t. dill

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, place bones, water, onion, bouillon, vinegar, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Slowly bring to a boil and skim foam with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat; over and simmer 3-4 hours.

Discard bay leaves. Set bones aside until cool enough to handle, then remove meat from bones and dice. Skim fat from broth surface. Add meat, carrots, celery, potatoes, barley, thyme, and dill. Cover and cook 1 hour or until vegetables and barley are tender.

Makes about two quarts.

Notes: I skip the bouillon, replacing 5 cups of beef broth for 5 cups of water instead. Our meat gets shredded instead of diced.

Monday, December 26, 2016


~ Heavenly Homemakers

4 c. chicken broth
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 c. brown rice
2-3 c. cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1/2 teaspoon or more garlic powder
salt, to taste
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

In a large pot, bring broth, carrots, and onions to a boil at high heat. Stir in rice and place lid on pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 45 minutes.

When the rice is done, stir in chicken, garlic powder, and whipping cream. Cook about five minutes more until heated through.

Serve directly from pot or pour into 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Makes about 11 cups, depending on the size of carrots and amount of chicken.

Notes: We like to cook the onions and carrots for a few minutes before adding the broth, otherwise the onions are a little too firm for our preferences.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


~ A Southern Fairytale

1 c. milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 Oreos, chopped
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
10 mini candy canes, crushed (about 1/2 cup)

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Heat chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted and smooth. Pour onto wax paper  and spread flat. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos. Chill for 10 minutes. 

Heat white chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted and smooth. Pour over Oreos and spread to edges of milk chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped candy canes. Chill until set. Break into pieces and serve or package.

Notes: I heat the two batches of chocolate chips on the stovetop instead of using the microwave. The chilled bark crumbles when I try to break it, but cutting it in irregular pieces with a knife works better. The friend who shared the recipe with me says she just lets it sit out to harden at room temp overnight instead of chilling it, but I haven't tried it that way yet.