Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

I'm so impressed that my daughter and so many of my "young" friends already have Christmas trees and decorations up, packages wrapped and are ready for Christmas. I, on the other hand, am still in the Thanksgiving/Fall mode. I have dead mums on the porch along with a scarecrow and (fake) pumpkins! I've got to get with it - soon! Meanwhile, I had to have just one batch of my favorite Pumpkin Muffins before we move on to Christmas! Not sure why we can only have these in fall..... they're so good, I could eat them anytime!

Pumpkin Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine dry ingredientsin a medium mixing bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine pumpkin and remaining ingredients. Add pumpkin mixture to dry mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool muffins in pans for 5 minutes. Yield: 12 muffins.

Confession time: I left out the egg and applesauce, increased the oil to 1/2 cup and they were still great! If you don't have ww flour, use all all-purpose. If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk and let stand for 5 minutes. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use cinnamon and nutmeg and a pinch of cloves. Where there's a will, there's a way!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

Here's a great way to use leftover turkey or chicken. Either way, this super quick and easy recipe uses ingredients you probably have on hand.

Impossible Turkey Pot Pie
1 2/3 cups frozen mixed veggies, cooked (steamers, mixed veggies, broccoli cuts, etc)
1 cup chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1 can cream of chicken soup (or your favorite cream soup)
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine veggies, chicken and soup. Pour into 9-inch pie pan (or 9-inch square pan) . Combine remaining ingredients and stir with a fork. Spread over chicken mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Variations: Use whatever veggies you have leftover or in your freezer. Add cheese to the topping. Add herbs (thyme, chicken seasoning, etc) to the filling mixture.

This recipe has been around for AGES! Go to the Bisquick website for more ideas and combinations... Taco Pie, Italian, Cheeseburger,etc.. www.bettycrocker.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

May each of you have a day filled with lots of family and great food!
Take time to think about those things you are thankful for...
Here's part of my list:
Family (wonderful husband, grown up kids, amazing grands!)
and the fact that we will all be together this year
Reasonably good health (and good drs!)
Good friends, even those I only communicate with via internet
My art buddies, painting class and a wonderful teacher/mentor
The ability to travel to faraway places
and the list goes on and on.......
Now, its your turn!

Gobble 'til you Wobble!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Confession time.... I live for the Cranberry Sauce at Thanksgiving! Yes, the turkey is good, the dressing a must and the Sweet Potato Casserole like a dessert.... but the Cranberry Sauce makes the meal!! I've moved waaaayyyy past the canned jelly-like bland stuff that comes out of the can in a jiggly cannister shape. After having homemade cranberry sauce, I will settle for nothing else!
It is unbelievably easy to make, can be made ahead and will keep for weeks after the turkey is gone! Try it this year.... you might be a convert, too! I usually double the recipe... its THAT good!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
1 (12-oz) bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Grated zest of 1 large orange (or more, if you like!)

Wash the cranberries and discard the bad ones (they'll sink to the bottom). Place in a large saucepan along with sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the cranberries POP! Remove from heat and stir in orange zest. Refrigerate until serving time.
Keeps in the refrigerator 2 weeks or more. Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Traditional, sweet, Southern... My Mama made this casserole EVERY Thanksgiving that I can remember... try it, you'll love it!

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ingredients and pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish. Set aside while you make the topping.

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup self-rising flour
Mix with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake for 35 minutes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Homamade Marshmallow Recipe

See Feb 11, 2010 for recipe... You've gotta try it!!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mountain Apple Pie for Reilly

This recipe is super easy and ohhhh sooo good. Just right for my little friend, Reilly and Mom to make. You big folks will like it, too!

Mountain Apple Pie
2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
2 cans crescent rolls
1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 oz. ( 1 1/2 cups) Mountain Dew or Sprite

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Wrap each apple wedge in a crescent roll. Place in the greased pan. Mix butter, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over rolls. Pour soda over the mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Top with ice cream , if desired.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


We haven't been faithful about getting to church for the past few months. There are plenty of excuses, but that's not the point of this post. Sunday morning as I began to get dressed, I started putting on winter clothes from last years (yes, YEARS... as in some of them need to be given away) and found that nothing fits! When a woman says she "has nothing to wear", sometimes she REALLY doesn't! This was definitely my case! To make matters worse, my dear husband stood in the closet as I tried on and off several things. Finally, in frustration, I asked him to PLEASE leave me alone to deal with my problem! He waited quietly while I struggled to find something that would do... finally, I found a jacket that I could wear unbuttoned and pretend that it almost fit. I felt sooo low.. and soooo fat! I was depressed, frustrated and disappointed in myself. I dreaded going to church for fear it might be communion and I would have to parade my fat body in front of the entire congregation.

As church began, a couple sat down in the pew in front of us that really shook me to my roots! Here I sat feeling fat and ugly yet in front of me sat a lovely couple who are dealing with a terrible disease. The husband is a local doctor, 49 years old and has Alzheimers. It's some rare type that is totally irreversible, untreatable and fast moving. His wife is a nurse and their only daughter has just gone to college for her freshman year. Suddenly, my lack of fashionable clothing seemed so insignificant. Isn't it amazing how sometimes God just yanks you back into your place and shows you what is REALLY important?

The service was one of music and as I watched and listened to the choirs, the Dr. was directly in my line of sight. There was no way to look away. I was painfully aware of all that they have lost and will lose and all that I have to be thankful for. The Dr was almost childlike as he swayed to some of the music, sat forward (almost leaning on the pew in front of them), and grinned boyishly at his wife. He was obviously "in the moment" and enjoying the music. Just last Christmas he played the trumpet beautifully at the Christmas Eve service.

Oh, Dear Lord, what a way you have of bringing us to our knees! What a way you have of opening our eyes to all the good things we have around us. What glorious plans you have for each of us. You never promised it would be easy, but you did promise to always be there with us.
And I'm certain it doesn't matter to you at all if my clothes fit or are "in style". Thank you for all that I have and all that I am because of your Son who died for me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Apple Crisp Recipe

Fall and apples go hand in hand.. both are going fast, so scurry into the kitchen and whip up a pan of Apple Crisp. Eat it warm with ice cream and think of me!

Apple Crisp
5 cups diced, peeled apples
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water ( add a few tablespoons apple brandy - Calvados- if you have it)
3/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine apples, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and cinnamon in a 9x9-inch baking pan. Pour water over mixture. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 45min. - 1hr. or until apples are tender and topping is light brown and crunchy. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Note: If your apples are really sweet, reduce the sugar on them.

If you don't have self-rising flour, use all-purpose and add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo Recipe

The weather is getting cooler and its time for a big pot of soup! I made this for company a couple of weeks ago and it was a big hit. Tastes like you made a roux and worked on it all day.... fooled them, didn't I?
If you don't like /can't get andouille sausage (refrig or freezer section near Johnsville brats) substitute any smoked sausage (even turkey sausage). Chop it into pieces and saute for a few minutes until brown. Add it to the soup the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 link ( 3 1/2 oz.) andouille sausage, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 -inch chunks
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
12 oz. fresh okra, trimmed, sliced 1/2-inch thick (or use frozen sliced okra)
8 cups low- sodium chicken broth
8 skinless chicken thighs (abouy 2 lbs)
1 (28-oz)can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped with juice (add water to make 2 cups liquid)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning,optional
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, optional
Hot cooked rice, if desired

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Toast flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring until it reaches the color of peanut butter and has a toasted aroma, about 14 minutes. (Adjust heat to prevent burning). Sift through a fine sieve, pressing clumps. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook sausage for 1 minute. Raise heat to high. Add celery, onion, pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Add okra; cook for 3 miutes.

Meanwhile, gradually whisk stock into flour; add to pot. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, bay leaves and Creole Seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 1 hour.

Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Transfer chicken to a plate; let cool for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; shred, and return to soup pot. Discard bones and bay leaves. Stir in Worchestershire sauce. Serve over hot cooked rice, if desired. Yield: 10 cups/ 8 servings.