Monday, July 21, 2008

I made Pumpkin Tea Bread today. It is a recipe I got from a friend of mine and has become one of our family favorites. It is super moist and flavorful.

Pumpkin Tea Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • one 1-lb can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350F

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Mix with beater, adding ingredients one at a time: sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Then add 1/2 cup flour mixture at a time. Mix thoroughly with beater. (This is where the mixer will burn up!)

Cook in tube pan (we use a bundt) for 1-1/4 hours, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Serve topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, however it is best on its own.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beer Bread

This is one of those no fail recipes that is a gem in my recipe box. I love the simplicity and the flavor is wonderful. Good enough to be served to company, this is one I encourage you to try.

3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. any type beer

Mix dry ingredients together and then add all the beer at once and blend just till moist. Batter will be very sticky. Pour into a greased loaf pan (when I am in a hurry I use a 9x13) and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bakers Secret

I made what my grandmother called "bakers secret" and tried it and this stuff is WONDERFUL. It works better than I could have imagined. It is a pan release and I tried it out with a few different things and absolutely nothing stuck to my pans. I was most surprised with the cornbread I baked in an old aluminum baking dish. Normally this would have stuck on the bottom for sure but not at all with this stuff.

Bakers Secret

1 c shortening
1 c cooking oil
1 c flour

Using mixer blend all ingredients together and store in cool cabinet. Use a pastry brush to coat bottom and sides of pan. Even works in place of greasing and flouring a cake pan.

Garage Sale

I went to a few garage sales Saturday and this tray is the only thing I came home with but it is a great tray. It was only $1 and is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe and really heavy. I could just see it piled high with DH's fried catfish or chicken. It is just sitting on my counter because it is too big to fit in my cabinets....could be why it was sold so cheap...LOL. If I have it for a while and don't use it I will bake some cookies or a cake to put on it and give the whole thing as a gift to someone.

Garage sales and thrift store shopping are two of
my favorite things to do. I always feel like I have uncovered a hidden treasure when I get something great for almost nothing.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I warned you

I did say earlier that I a bad about keeping up with things and I have really proven that statement to be true. I have done some sewing lateley.
This is a paperback book cover I made for a friend. It turned our pretty good I thought and she seemed pleased with it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How long will this last?

My dog & cat do not like each other at all. It has been 2 1/2 wks that they have been together and I thought by now they would surely be able to tolerate the others presence. I was wrong, they are still barking/growling at the sight of the other. Will they eventually become best buds or am I doomed to having unhappy animals? Any advise?

Friday, June 13, 2008

True Love

I got up this morning at 7:30 and got ready to meet a friend. I had to drive 14 miles and we stood talking for 1 hr and I turned around and came back home. I even put make-up on...that is true love!

It has been so stinkin' hot lately that I haven't felt like doing much so I have been hanging out reading. I read "The Accidental Werewolf" by Dakota Cassidy yesterday and it was a good quick read. I even laughed out loud in a couple places.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I have been quite busy lately, I have adopted a dog. It is the first dog I have ever had and I wasn't sure about having one at first but I am in love now. She is 1 1/2 and a Chorkie (half Chihuahua & half Yorkie). She loves to play and she takes every step I take and when I sit down she lays beside me and goes to sleep. I have already made her some peanut butter doggie cookies as a reward for when she uses the litter box....yep..that's what I said. SHE IS LITTER BOX TRAINED!!!! How WONDERFUL is that. The PB cookies smelled so real that I had to tell my DS & DH to not eat them although they are full of whole grains. I tasted one...LOL. They aren't sweet but don't have anything bad in them. I wouldn't use the litter box for one but Sooky is tickled pink to get it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Crash Hot Potatoes

I made these potatoes tonight with our chicken fried steak and they were yummy. I found the recipe here at The Pioneer Woman Cooks. If you haven't checked out her site you should as she is so funny and has some awesome recipes. It was 103* here in the shade today and I still turned on the oven to 450* and it was well worth it.


I took a couple limes and lemons and blended them whole with 4 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar and then strained and added some more water. It was delicious and refreshing.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another oops

I forgot to take pics of the raw dough but here it is and it was as good as anything I have eaten in a restaurant.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

I made homemade pizza for dinner last night. It was wonderful thanks to the crust. I used Jay's Signature Pizza Crust
added about a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour to the recipe and that's it. Simple, simple, simple!

Proofing the yeast.


It is forming a ball and cleaning the sides of the bowl.

All done and it needs to rise for about an hour. I covered it with plastic wrap and set it in my unlit oven.

OOOOPS...I forgot about it...LOL. I punched it down and put it into a ziploc bag and tossed it in the refrigerator.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Homemade Granola

I made some yogurt a few days ago and I woke up this morning wanting some granola to eat with it for breakfast. This recipe is very easy and is really great for using up some of the things you have in your pantry from other projects. I follow the basic recipe but add and subtract things according to what I have on hand and what I want to eat.

This is the 1st stirring.

The cut fruit. Today I used raisins, cranberries and tart cherries.

All toasted and brown...the coconut gets so crunchy.

And the finished product with a dollop of my yogurt.

Homemade Granola

4 c Old-fashioned oats

2 c coconut

1 c nuts (whatever you have on hand)

½ c oil

¼ c honey

¼ c brown sugar

3-4 cups of dried fruit (I use a mixture of what I have)

Preheat oven 350*. Combine oats, coconut & nuts. Pour over oil, honey and with your

Hands break-up and sprinkle brown sugar and then stir it all together. I use a Silpat but if you don’t have one I suggest you cover the bottom of your jelly roll pan with foil for easy clean up. Pour onto baking sheet and spread evenly and bake for 30-45 minutes stirring about every 15 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before adding fruit. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gone but not forgotten

I am so sorry I haven't posted in over a month. I'm not sure what has been the problem other than the fact that I am a procrastinator and I have a tendency to start projects and not finish them. I am going to give more of an effort to keeping on top of my blog...okay...enough of that.

I have been cooking and eating and all that fun stuff.

This is a fabulous couscous salad that I make quite often. It is good alone or as a side dish.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


My friend Marika talked me into trying sushi a few months ago and it was love at first bite. The problem is that I live in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere and sushi isn't available here. Soooo what's a determined girl to do? Learn to make it of course. My friend sent me a kit that contained a bamboo mat, a cookbook and a DVD which was perfect for learning all I needed to know about making sushi at home. I got the ingredients at an Asian market and I was in business. The thing about sushi is that it's all about the rice and you can add what ever you want in the middle. I'm not crazy about the raw fish but I have come up with things that I think are delish. Wasabi paste is a must, Kewpie mayo, avocado, and the orange stuff is fish roe that is yummy. Sometimes I add cream cheese, cucumber or imitation crab and have made what is called sushi musubi which is made from Spam.

It is easy to learn how to make it and I would encourage anyone to give it a shot. I just recently bought my rice cooker at a discount store for $12. and it helps speed the process but is certainly isn't a necessity.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I found a recipe for the most amazing scones I have ever made Pumpkin & Date Scones from the Kitchen Wench. I love scones and have been on a never ending quest to find a recipe for a moist tender treat and this is by far the best I have tried. I used canned mashed sweet potatoes and dried blueberries and also added a glaze (to satisfy my never ending sweet tooth). The key is to follow her instructions and NOT OVERWORK the dough. I also patted mine to app. 1 inch thick as I like a nice fat scone.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Coconut Cupcakes

I LOVE cupcakes! Today I made these little beauties for a friend that made me soup while I was sick. We have a standing rule...never return a pot, plate or serving dish empty. It works out great! I found the link for this recipe at and the frosting recipe is from Allrecipes.comI frosted them with 7-minute frosting which is my favorite and really lets the coconut shine. Top Toasted coconut made a perfect topping. Oh yeah, don't forget the ice cold milk.

Auntie Em's Coconut Cupcakes

Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time for the cupcakes

Servings: Makes 22 cupcakes

Note: Adapted from Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock.

2 1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut, plus extra for toasting and decorating the frosted cupcakes.

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Separately, in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, the almond extract and sugar. Using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, on low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until smooth, careful not to overmix. Gently fold in the coconut.

2. Place 22 paper muffin cups into muffin tins. Fill each cup with a generous one-fourth cup of batter, so that it comes three-fourths up the side of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a rack and allow to cool completely.

Seven Minute Frosting II - Allrecipes

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Biscuits, butter and honey...OH MY

I love biscuits! I mean really, who doesn't but they can be a little tricky to make. The MUST be tender and flaky and oh so yummy. No hockey pucks allowed. I keep trying to perfect them and keep losing so I found a recipe for Angel Biscuits on They turned out quite good and I would make them again as they were fast and easy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I cook at least one thing everyday but I keep forgetting to take pics. Last night I made some delicious chicken strips, mashed potatoes, white gravy and steamed broccoli. Today for breakfast I made cinnamon toast. Not much of a stretch there but mighty tasty none the less. Since this is for my own pleasure it isn't such a big deal but in the days to come I know I will look back and think...did I go hungry those days or what?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lazy Day

Do you ever have those days where you just don't want to get dressed much less actually do anything productive? Today has been one of those days for me. Don't get me wrong, I want stuff to get done, I just don't want to do it! I have probably used as much energy avoiding work as I would have used just doing the "stuff" that is waiting for me but it wouldn't have been near as fun.

What I really wanted was for someone to show up at my house and bake cookies (I am craving cookie dough) but alas, no such luck. Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A taste of spring

My grandmother always had a huge garden and in that garden was always cucumbers. All spring and summer long in her refrigerator was always refrigerator pickles made from the cucumbers she grew. The days are getting longer and warmer and I was feeling a little homesick so I decided to whip up a little spring. One of my dearest friends gave me her recipe for these years ago and they are delish and well worth the little effort they take.

I prefer the English cukes. There are no seeds and the skin is very tender. The mandolin is a cheapo that I bought at the grocery store and I LOVE it. It works like a dream.

See how uniform the slices are.

This recipe has been used many, many times.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Necessities of Life

These are some of the things that make the day worth getting up for. This is my 3rd French press. My first two were glass and I broke them both due to being somewhat of a klutz and accident prone. I made musubi for dinner tonight but I didn't take any pics. We always eat this about as fast as I make it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Finished Banana Muffins

I had some bananas that I knew would not be eaten so I decided to make some muffins.

I use a potato masher for the bananas.

To keep the muffins fluffy and moist it is important to not over beat the batter.

Here they are hot out of the oven.

Banana Muffins

3 large bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mash bananas. Add sugar, slightly beaten egg and vanilla extract. Add the melted butter. Add the dry ingredients. Bake 375 for 20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

Ta Daaa!

I have been wanting to do this for soooo long and I have no explanation why I finally decided to start it today. I enjoy being a procrastinator and really hope this will not interfere with that.

I am a lover of food and have been cooking all my life. My grandmother taught my how when I was just a kid and it is something I have kept up. She was always trying new recipes and that is where I picked up my little habit of doing the same. I hope you enjoy my journey. I will be posting pics, recipes and just general info about my day to day life. Small town life can be quite interesting at times so stay tuned.