Sunday, November 30, 2008

100 Things I Love

I've seen a few of the lists on different blogs and I thought I'd do my own list. You would think it is an easy thing to do, but the number 100 takes time to achieve. Anyway, for what it's worth, here are 100 things I love.

1. Fresh sheets
2. The smell of bleach
3. A soft afghan or blankie
4. Cold weather
5. Rainy days
6. Thunderstorms
7. Full moons
8. The smell of freshly mowed grass
9. Christmas tree lights
10. My grandsons laughter
11. Used book stores
12. Libraries
13. The first cup of coffee in the morning
14. Typing
15. Picnics
16. Reality TV
17. Cookbooks
18. Cooking magazines
19. Porches
20. Swings
21. Bubble baths
22. Biscuits
23. Baking
24. E-mail
25. Reading blogs
26. Hearts
27. Parks
28. Trees
29. Candlelight
30. Painted toes
31. Wisteria
32. Purple
33. The feel of cool grass on my bare feet
34. Kisses
35. Palm trees
36. Romance
37. Washington State
38. The cold side of a pillow
39. Turning the clocks back one hour
40. Fireworks
41. Cleaning house
42. Washing dishes
43. Big fluffy clouds
44. Words
45. Word games
46. Music that makes you want to turn up the radio or dance
47 My computer
48. TIVO
49. High speed Internet
50. Honeysuckle
51. Watermelon on a hot day
52. Popsicles
53. Kitchen gadgets
54. Counted cross-stitch
55. Crossword puzzles
56. Pizza
57. The look on my grandson's face when he catches a ball
58. The sound of the wind in the trees
59. Bundt pans
61. Other people's photography
62. Reading
63. Dancing
64. Snow
65. Valentine's day
66. Easter
67. Making birthday cakes
68. Taking treats to work
69. Yanni
70. Rivers
71. Lakes
72. Mountains
73. Ice cold soda pop in glass bottles
74. Bread of any kind
75. Pot luck meals
76. Blogging
77. My friends
78. My family
79. Shaved legs
80. Being in love
81. Dogs
82. Travel
83. Keeping my checkbook balanced
84. Neil Diamond
85. Michael Buble'
86. Christmas music
87. Hugs
88. Ralph Lauren Blue cologne
89. Satellite television
90. Ceiling fans
91. Wind chimes
92. Wildflowers
93. British Columbia
94. Making lists
95. Bargains
96. Upstate New York
97. Good writing pens
98. Being organized
99. Debbie Macomber books
100. Dorothea Benton Frank books

Give it a try. Make your own list. It's fun to think of these things.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Recipes

I don't have to cook a full blown Thanksgiving meal any longer since it is just me at home. I will be taking a few things to add to the Thanksgiving meal at my daughter-in-law's family. Here are few things that have been traditional for our Thanksgiving meal.


Make the following cornbread a day early so it can dry out a little.

3 cups self-rising corn meal
2-1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon salt
4-1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs

Mix all ingredients together and bake in a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until golden brown and knife inserted in middle comes clean.

The next day:

Crumble cornbread in a large bowl. Saute 1 large chopped onion, 1/2 stalk celery diced fine in 1 stick of butter until translucent. Add this to the crumbled bread. Add 3 cans of chicken broth (or can use stock if you have it). Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 egg. Mix well. Add salt and pepper, garlic powder and extra sage to taste. Spread in a roasting pan and bake at 400 degrees until brown.


1-1/2 cups rice
3 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 large bag frozen chopped broccoli
1/2 large onion chopped
1 stick butter
1 can mushroom soup
1 pound Velveeta cheese
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

To make rice, place rice, water and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and put on low for 20-25 minutes until rice is done.

In a large dutch oven, saute 1/2 large onion diced fine in 1 stick of butter. Add 1 can of mushroom soup and 1 pound of Velveeta cheese to make a sauce. In the microwave steam the chopped broccoli according to the bag. Add rice and broccoli to the sauce.


2 small packages raspberry Jello
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
1 large can crushed pineapple with juice
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add cold water. Add pineapple and cranberry sauce and pecans. Can be put in cupcake liners to make individual molds or one large bowl. Place in refrigerator to set.


1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 16 oz. can pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Mix all together and pour in unbaked pie shell. Bake 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicken-Stuffed Manicotti

I usually make this dish as chicken-stuffed shells. My grocery store was out of them so I chose manicotti noodles as a replacement. The shells are much easier to stuff and serve, but the filling is still the same.


1 box large shells or manicotti noodles, cooked and drained, rinsed and cooled.
1 16 oz. container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, boiled with seasoning of salt and pepper, garlic powder -- cool and shred
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (or make your own if you like)

Mix together everything but the pasta. Stuff shells or manicotti noodles with cheese and chicken mixture. Pour about 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Lay the stuffed shells or noodles down in the pan. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with additional mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until bubbly.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanksgiving at Work

We had our Thanksgiving lunch at work on Thursday. Oh my, what a feast we had. There was turkey and ham and all and I mean ALL the trimmings. We were hurting before the day was done. We have had some rough times in the last few months with the hurricane other issues that it was nice to get together and celebrate something and be thankful for what we have. I made a dessert which was a Cheesecake Factory copycat recipe for Carrot Cake Cheesecake. I think it was a winner. I also brought deviled eggs. I made two kinds (the normal, ordinary kind) and another kind that I call 'loaded'.



4 8 oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
3 eggs

Carrot Cake:
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 1/2 ounces can crushed pineapple, packed in juice, drained well, reserve juice
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice

In large bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in flour, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside. Prepare carrot cake: In large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract; mix well. Stir in dry ingredients; mixing well. Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and nuts. Spread 1 1/2 c. carrot cake batter over bottom of greased 9- or 9 1/2" springform pan. Drop cream cheese batter over carrot cake batter by spoonfuls; top with large spoonfuls of remaining carrot cake batter. Repeat with remaining cream cheese batter, spreading evenly with a knife. Do not marble with a knife. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 50 to 65 minutes or until cake is set and cooked through. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. When cake is cold, prepare Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting. Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting: In a bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and reserved pineapple juice. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. Frost top of cheesecake. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving. Note** This took all of the 65 minutes to bake.


1 dozen eggs boiled and peeled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup spicy mustard
10-12 Spanish olives diced
2 green onions
1/4 cup bacon bits
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Cut the boiled eggs in half and scoop out insides. Add the other ingredients and stir until smooth. Fill eggs. Enjoy.

Thousand Island Dressing

When I was growing up we never had bottled salad dressings. Usually our salads were just a chop salad of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes dressed with just mayonnaise. Special occasions would mean the glass oil and vinegar set would be on the table. My mom was a waitress all her life and in one of the restaurants she worked they had the best thousand island dressing. My mom would make this on rare occasions, but how we loved it. It has an odd addition of a boiled egg in it, which might put some people off, but it makes it taste just like I remember.


1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cocktail sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 hard boiled egg

Put all ingredients into a mini-chopper or blender. If mixture is too thick, add a little milk or cream to it to make it just the right consistency.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I made pizza on Halloween before the trick or treaters came. I used to use Pillsbury Hot Roll mix for my crust, but decided to try my hand at a home made one. I had saved a crust recipe that I found on the Hillbilly Housewife blog as it didn't use a food processor or big stand mixer (which I do not own believe it or not). I added my usual toppings and it was a good pie.



2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry yeast
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and yeast. Stir it up to distribute the salt and yeast evenly. Add the water and oil. You may need a spoonful or two more of water if the day is dry. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon until it forms a big ball in the middle of the bowl. It will be a little stiffer than biscuit dough. Knead the dough about 10 or 12 times and then form it into a ball. Place the ball in the center of 16-inch pizza pan, or a 9 by 13-inch rectangular pan. Use your hands and a rolling pin, to press the dough into the pan. The dough will be a medium thickness.

Top the crust with a sauce and toppings of your choice. Bake at 400° for about 15 to 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy. Makes 1 pizza.

These are the toppings I used for this pie:

1 can of tomato sauce (can use tomato paste)
I covered the sauce with about a tablespoon of dried Italian herb blend spice
About 1 teaspoon of garlic powder sprinkled over that
About 1 pound of ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and some finely chopped onions. Cooked and drained. Good to use some Italian sausage also.
About 1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can of sliced black olives
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni slices

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is comfort food for sure. It is one of those 'cold weather' foods. We haven't had much cold weather yet but this is worth repeating if it does happen. This has a good basic filling. I think next time I will try puff pastry for the crust for a change.


2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice cold water

Mix flour and salt together. Cut in butter and shortening until well incorporated into dry ingredients. Add ice water. Mix just until just together. Split dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

2 cups boiled chicken, chopped (I used boneless chicken breasts)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup onion, diced fine
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas, steamed for 5 minutes
1 small can carrots, drained
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter. Add flour and stir until no longer white. Stir in broth and milk and bring to a simmer. Stir in chicken, peas, and carrots. Salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out pie dough and place in bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Add filling. Roll out top crust and place over filling. Cut slits in top to let steam escape. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes until light golden brown.