Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Am Thankful For...

I am thankful for God's faithfulness to me and the many blessing he bestows.

I am thankful for my nation and those who protect it.

I am thankful for my family and friends who bring joy to my life each day.

I am thankful for my comfortable and cozy home and good food to eat.

I am thankful for good health and fitness.

I am thankful that God gives us many pleasures/things to enjoy such as good books, tea, and candlelight on chilly evenings.

What are you thankful for today?


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)
Creamy Brownie Frosting (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Prepare Creamy Brownie Frosting; spread over brownies. Cut into squares. About 16 brownies.

Creamy Brownie Frosting:
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency. About 1 cup frosting.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cinnamon-Apple Chex Mix

5 cups Wheat Chex Cereal
1 cup lightly salted whole almonds
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried apples
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt-covered raisins

In large microwaveable bowl, mix cereal and almonds. In 2-cup microwaveable measuring cup, microwave butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and cinnamon uncovered on High about 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until mixture is boiling; stir. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on High 3 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after every minute. Stir in apples; microwave uncovered on High about 2 minutes or until apples just begin to brown on edges. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool, about 15 minutes. Place in serving bowl, stir in yogurt-covered raisins. Store in airtight container.

honey graham cereal, cinnamon-flavored bear-shaped graham cookies, or golden raisins

Servings Per Recipe: 16

Calories per Serving: 195

November 29- December 5 Menu Plan

Monday: Ham, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

Tuesday: Beef Veggie Soup, and Garlic Potato Bread

Wednesday: Easy Crescent Muffuletta, Corn, and Salad

Thursday: Pork Roast, Scalloped Potatoes, and Peas

Friday: Steak, All Day Macaroni and Cheese, and Herbed Broccoli w/ Mushrooms

Saturday: Grilled Salmon, Baked Potatoes, and Green Beans

Sunday: Leftovers

Submitted to:
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rolled Orange Juice Balls

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ cup shortening, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup orange juice
Confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cookie sheet, lightly greased. In a medium bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.

In a large bowl, beat shortening and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternately with orange juice, beating constantly until soft, sticky dough forms.

Scoop out dough 1 tablespoon at a time and roll into confectioner’s sugar until it forms a ball. Place balls about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Immediately transfer to wire racks to cool.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is....

Thanksgiving is a
time of gratitude to God,
our Creator and Provider,
whose guidance and care
go before us...
and whose love
is with us forever.

Thanksgiving is a time
to reflect on the changes,
to remember that we, too,
grow and change
from one season of life to another.
Thanksgiving is a time
of changing seasons,
when leaves turn golden
in Autumn's wake
and apples are crisp
in the first chill breezes of fall.

Let us remember the true meaning
of Thanksgiving.
As we see the beauty
of Autumn, let us acknowledge
the many blessings
which are ours...
let us think of our families
and friends..
and let us give thanks in our hearts.

(Author Unknown)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

One of my Frugal Luxuries in the fall is Pumpkin Spice Coffee with a slice of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. I love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes but I can't afford (Financially or Calorie Wise) to indulge on a regular basis so I went to Wal-Mart’s coffee isle and got Millstone’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee. It was almost $8 for a small bag which is a lot to spend on Coffee but cheaper than a Starbucks addiction. I am savoring my bag of Pumpkin Spice Coffee until the last day of November when I will buy a bag of the Peppermint Coffee.

"We are lovers of beauty without extravagance." --Thucydides

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2010


Veggies and Dip

Meat, Cheese, and Cracker Tray

Chex Party Mix


Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Roasted Turkey

Pan Gravy

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Mushroom and Sausage Stuffing

Herbed Broccoli w/ Mushrooms

Pan-Fried Asparagus

Cloverleaf Rolls


Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Pie Crust

Custard Pie

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Assorted Cookies-
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Bars

Brownie Macaroons

Parkay Cookie Jar Cookies

Submitted to:

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 cups thinly sliced carrot (4 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced leek or chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
dairy sour cream (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)

In a large covered saucepan cook squash, carrot, and leek in hot butter over medium heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining squash mixture. Return all of mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg; bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half; heat through. If desired, garnish each serving with dairy sour cream, pumpkin seeds, and/or fresh tarragon.

Makes 6 servings (6 cups)
Calories: 82

Pan Gravy

dripping from the meat
2 cups broth or stock, ( adjust amount according to need)
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (to taste)
1/4 cup cornstarch (for thicker gravy)
1/2 cup cold water

After the meat has finished baking and been removed from the pan, reserve the drippings for the gravy.

Place pan on stove over medium high heat, and add stock/broth and water to the drippings, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan to loosen all the drippings. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, and cook until the liquid has slightly been reduced.

Add seasoning to taste, depending on the flavor already in the drippings. If you desire thicker gravy, mix cornstarch in cold water, blend, and gradually add to the gravy, whisking all the time to prevent it from forming lumps. Serve warm

Servings: 8
Serving Size: cup

Monday, November 22, 2010

Custard Pie

3 Comice or Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch pie dish. Peel, halve, and core 3 Comice or Bartlett pears; slice 1/4 inch thick lengthwise. Arrange slices, overlapping slightly, in dish.

In a blender, process 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, 1/3 cup each granulated sugar and all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth.

Pour batter over pears; bake until golden and firm to touch, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Serves 6

November 22-28 Menu Plan

Monday: Sloppy Joe Cornbread Bake, Green Beans, and Salad

Tuesday: Easy Crescent Muffuletta, Corn, and Salad

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Thanksgiving- Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2010

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Leftovers

Submitted to:
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas.

Sloppy Joe Cornbread Bake

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1/4 cup salsa
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon steak sauce
1 (8.5 ounce) package corn bread/muffin mix
Minced fresh parsley

In a 10-in. ovenproof skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup, salsa, ketchup, and steak sauce if desired. Prepare corn bread batter according to package directions; let stand for 2 minutes. Spoon over beef mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Easy Crescent Muffuletta

1 (8 ounce) can crescent dinner rolls or dough sheet
4 ounces thinly sliced ham
3 ounces thinly sliced salami
1/3 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers, well drained (optional)
4 (1 ounce) slices provolone cheese

Separate or cut dough into 2 long rectangles. Place long sides together on large ungreased cookie sheet; press into 15x12-inch rectangle (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal). Layer ham, salami, roasted peppers and cheese down center of rectangle. Fold short and long sides of dough over filling; pinch edges to seal. Place seam side down on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F 14 to 18 minutes.

Servings: 8

CaloriesPer Serving : 239

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Bars

1 chocolate chip or yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil. Mix in peanut butter. Stir in chocolate chips. Pat the mixture into a 9x13-inch pan. Bake 14-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Let us always give thanks
For the food we eat,
For family who loves us
And friends that we meet;

For the blue sky above,
The grass 'neath our feet,
For birds serenading
With songs that are sweet;

For laughter and sunshine
That brighten our day,
For our efforts at work
And our joys at play;

For hundreds of blessings
That are sent our way,
Let us always give thanks
Each and every day.
~ Joan Arbogast ~

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Brownie Macaroons

1 box (19.5 to 19.8 ounce) brownie mix
½ cup chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine brownie mix and coconut; mix well. Mix in the oil, water, eggs, and almond extract with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened (dough will be stiff).

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2-inches apart on prepared cookie sheets; flatten slightly with bottom of a glass.

Bake 10—12 minutes or until edges are set (centers will be slightly soft.) Transfer cookies to wire rack with metal spatula and cool completely.

Makes: 4 Dozen Cookies
Serving Size: 1 Cookie
Calories per Serving: 60

Thanksgiving is Coming

"Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" Nehemiah 8:10

For weeks now I have had piles of recipe books that I collected from the public library with dreams of a lovely thanksgiving meal.....

I have several of my own cookbooks, seasonal magazines, and my fall notebook that I have been using to plan the festivities. I like the spread the fun out for the whole month so I plan for at least one special dessert each week along with seasonal meals and hearty soups.

Of course I will also enjoy my lovely tea time....

Chocolate Caramel Enchantment Chai

Submitted To:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Classic Sour Cream Drop Cookies

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup shortening, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 F. Cookie sheet, lightly greased

1. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, beat shortening and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Stir in Vanilla and sour cream and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until blended. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoons, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 5 Dozen

Chocolate Sour Cream Drops:
Mix in 2 squares (each 1oz.) melted unsweetened chocolate to the creamed mixture, before adding flour mixture. Fold in 1 cup chopped nuts before chilling dough.

Fruit Cream Drops:
Fold in 1 cup chopped dates or other candied fruit before chilling dough.

Cake Mix Recipes: Chocolate Bundt Cake with Marshmallow Cream Topping

1 chocolate cake mix
3.9 oz instant chocolate pudding mix
3 tbsp baking cocoa plus a little for the pan
1 3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
7 oz jar marshmallow cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick spray and dust with cocoa. For chocolate cakes, I try to always dust the pans with cocoa instead of flour, so I don’t end up with white chocolate cakes.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, cocoa, milk and eggs. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer until moistened, and then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. There will be a few little lumps left, but that is okay. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into the Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.

Marshmallow Cream Topping

For the marshmallow topping, scoop out the marshmallow cream into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 30 second increments until the cream is pourable. This should take about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes depending on your microwave. Pour the marshmallow cream over the cooled cake.

Hello Dolly Bars

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 can (15 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Melt the butter; mix in graham cracker crumbs. Pat crumb mixture in a 9-x13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the crumbs in order given, in layers. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over all. Do NOT stir. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Other Options: peanut butter chips, or mini marshmallows

Chex Party Mix

3 cups Corn Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

Oven Method: Spread mix on to a baking pan and baked it at 250 for 45 minutes.

Servings per Recipe: 24
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Calories per Serving: 146

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15-21 Menu Plan

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Easy Chicken Enchilada Crescent Bake, and Salad

Wednesday: Tortellini Soup, and Salad

Thursday: Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken, Perogies, and Roasted Veggies

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Out of Town

Sunday: Out of Town

Submitted to:
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas

Tortellini Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces cheese tortellini
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian stewed tomatoes
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, saute onion and garlic until tender. Add broth; bring to a boil. Add the tortellini; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Stir in tomatoes and spinach; heat through.

Servings: 7
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 147

Easy Chicken Enchilada Crescent Bake

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
2 (8 ounce) cans crescent dinner rolls or dough sheet
1 1/4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

In 2-quart saucepan, mix chicken and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Separate or cut dough into 8 long rectangles (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal). Spoon chicken mixture and 1 tablespoon of the cheese onto 1 long side of each rectangle. Roll up; pinch edges to seal. Place seam side down in 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F 15 to 20 minutes.

Servings: 8
Calories per Serving: 383

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Calories Per Serving: 243

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Oreo Sour Cream Cake

Cake: 12 Oreos, coarsely chopped
1 white cake mix
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 Oreos, chopped
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp of vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease fluted baking pan. Chop cookies, set aside. Combine cake mix, water, sour cream, egg whites and oil; mix according to cake package directions.

2. Pour half of batter into greased pan. Sprinkle chopped cookies evenly over top of batter, but don’t let them touch the sides of the pan. (I like to make a little trench with a spoon before adding the cookies.) Pour the remaining batter over the cookies.

3. Bake 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen from sides and center of the pan, invert onto a cooling rack, remove the pan and cool completely.

4. For icing, chop cookies and set aside. Combine powdered sugar, sour cream and butter; beat until smooth. (It should be pretty thick, but thin enough to pour over the cake. Add milk 1 tsp at a time if it's too thick.) Ice top of cooled cake, allowing some to flow down the sides. Sprinkle the top with cookies. Let stand until icing is set. Cut into slices and serve. Store leftover cake, covered, in refrigerator.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Migration of the Grey Squirrels

When in my youth I traveled
Throughout each north country,
Many a strange thing did I hear,
And many a strange thing to see.

But nothing was there pleased me more
Than when, in autumn brown,
I came, in the depths of the pathless woods,
To the grey squirrels' town.

There were hundreds that in the hollow boles
Of the old, old trees did dwell,
And laid up store, hard by their door,
Of the sweet mast as it fell.

But soon the hungry wild swine came,
And with thievish snouts dug up
Their buried treasure, and left them not
So much as an acorn cup.

Then did they chatter in angry mood,
And one and all decree,
Into the forests of rich stone-pine
Over hill and dale to flee.

Over hill and dale, over hill and dale,
For many a league they went,
Like a troop of undaunted travelers
Governed by one consent.

But the hawk and the eagle, and peering owl,
Did dreadfully pursue;
And the further the grey squirrels went,
The more their perils grew;
When lo! to cut off their pilgrimage,
A broad stream lay in view.

But then did each wondrous creature show
His cunning and bravery;
With a piece of the pine-bark in his mouth,
Unto the stream came he;

And boldly his little bark he launched,
Without the least delay;
His busy tail was his upright sail,
And he merrily steered away.

Never was there a lovelier sight
Than that grey squirrels' fleet;
And with anxious eyes I watched to see
What fortune it would meet.

Soon had they reached the rough mild-stream,
And ever and anon
I grieved to behold some bark wrecked,
And its little steersman gone.
But the main fleet stoutly held across;
I saw them leap to shore;
They entered the woods with a cry of joy,
For their perilous march was o'er.

~William Howitt

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 8-14 Menu Plan

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: 7-Layer Mexican Dip, and Tortilla Chips

Wednesday: Pork Steak, Scalloped Potatoes, and Peas

Thursday: Mexican Pot Roast, Rice, and Corn

Friday: Beef Veggie Soup, and Garlic Potato Bread

Saturday: Lasagna, and Salad

Sunday: Hamburgers, All Day Macaroni and Cheese, and Herbed Broccoli w/ Mushrooms

Submitted to:
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas


1 pound ground beef
1 pint ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until brown and the juices run clear. Drain and set aside.

3.In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg, italian seasoning, and half the shredded mozzarella. Mix well, and set aside.

4.Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with a little of the spaghetti sauce. Place three noodles in the bottom of the pan, not touching. Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture, a layer of ground beef and a layer of pasta sauce over the noodles. Repeat three more times. Top with the reserved mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with foil.

5.Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, remove foil and bake 15 minutes more, until golden and bubbly.

7-Layer Mexican Dip

1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup mexican style shredded cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives
tortilla chips

Mix beans and taco seasoning mix. Spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish. Layer all remaining ingredients except chips over bean mixture; cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled. Serve with chips.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Lemon Squares

1 Lemon Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix, together cake mix, eggs, and oil. Mixture will be stiff. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased 9X13-inch pan. Bake 13-15 minutes until slightly golden on top. Cool, then sprinkle powdered sugar over the squares.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Parkay Cookie Jar Recipe

This is my favorite cookie recipe. I like to use this recipe to create a good cookie using combinations of whatever I have in my pantry at the time.

In the fall I usually make several different combinations of dough and then roll the dough into a log, wrap in wax paper, place several rolls in a freezer bag, and freeze. I use it during the holidays to save time.

I also bake several batches of cookies and after they cool I put them in freezer bags I use them when I don’t have time to bake at all and have several parties I need to take a desert.

Tea Time

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." ~ Henry James

Tea Time is just right for a Fall day! I am serving Sugar Plum Spice Tea and Andes Mint Chip Chocolate Brownie Cookies.

Sugar Plum Spice Holiday Herb Tea by Celestrial Seasonings is one of my favorite seasonal teas.

Eggshell Georgian 'Arcadia' cup, with floral interior, blue border and metallic gold trim
Manufacturer Status: Circa: 1945

Give Thanks

Give Thanks
within the sheltered space,
for seeds and roots
and mossy space.
Contained in every
season’s end:
The blessing to begin again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

October 2010 Reading List

Belles of Timber Creek Series by Lori Copeland

Twice Loved

After the war Willow moves to live with her uncle and plans to marry a local man. Silas is wealth but he is 30 years her senior but that is what she feels she must do to care for her uncle and friends Cooper and Audrey. When she comes to town with Kerosene on her buggy that her uncle asked her to bring she gets into an accident and burns down the local Saw Mill. The Saw Mill is owned by Tucker Gray and he and Willow bicker about who is responsible for the accident since he had a wagon in the rode loading up when the accident occurred. Tucker eventually gets a loan from the bank to rebuild since the saw Mill is so important to the local economy everyone pitches in to help.

Silas ends up caring for Willow but see thinks of him as fatherly and can’t marry him since she has fallen in love with Tucker. Willow’s friends Cooper and Audrey come to town to visit and eventually get offered teaching jobs in nearby towns for the fall.

Three Times Blessed

Audrey and Cooper come back to town after word that they got teaching positions. Audrey hits the water town coming into town which causes the water to start gushing this is not good since they are having a drought. It starts raining and it rains for so long everyone wonders if it will ever stop in a town that is used to no rain but frequently lightings. Audrey is interested in Eli but since his wife died while he was away fighting in the war he can’t forgive himself or let go so that he can love again but Audrey slowly softens his heart toward her. He has a son Tate that Audrey adores but Eli has his hands full since the boy is 6 years old and barely knows him since he had been gone when he was born.

A wagon train stops near their town because a sickness is claiming the lives of the passengers. The town organizes to care for the sick and the healthy travelers. Audrey ends of working at the funeral home preparing the deceased women and comes to have a deep respect for the lives that she has under her care.

Willow gets kicked by a horse and is in an Acoma for weeks and they fear she will die. He Uncle Wallace passes while she is unwell and during her wedding to Tucker the bank comes to take the house because he had taken out a 5 year old that he didn’t pay on eventually there is an auction and the train master wins the bid for the house.

One True Love

Cooper comes to town to teach school but tragedy strikes, her leg is injured during a fire in the school. She must travel on the wagon train with Josh, wagon master that she despises. The eventually come to an understanding and he helps her. They eventually met up with the doctor and her leg is operated on and she goes home to recover. She has fallen in love with Josh but doesn’t think that he wants her so she goes on a trip and stays with her aunt. After she come home she finds Josh is their waiting for her and that he is in love with her and asks her to marry him.

Lydia’s Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Lydia and her son move back to Ohio a year after her husband dies to help her mom care for her grandfather. Menno, a local window with four young boys wants to marry her so his sons have a mother. Later after they decide that they should marry if they don’t love each other he decides to go home to live near his family so they can help him raise his sons. Levi is from a family with dwarfism and he is the only one of normal size. He believes he will never marry because he is needed to take care of his family. Lydia and her mother struggle financially and they end up receiving anonymous gift that they later find that it was Levi leaving them. Levi and Lydia eventually fall in love.

Indiana Cousins Series by Wanda E. Brunstetter

A Cousin’s Promise

A group of cousins go on a trip together and the van they are riding in gets into an accident. Several of them are hurt and a couple of them die. Wayne struggles with the loss of his leg and thinks he can’t take Loraine as his wife. Loraine refuses to believe that he won’t change his mind so she patiently waits and tries to be his friend. Her ex-boyfriend comes back to town and Wayne tries to get them matched back up again. During a tornado Wayne must protect Loraine he realizes that he can be a good husband despite his disability and they get married.

A Cousin's Prayer

Katie’s boyfriend had died I the van accident and she struggles with panic attacks. She had went to live with her grandparents for six months after the accident but her parents decide it is time for her to come home. Her panic attacks worsen and she thinks she is going crazy until a friend Freeman tells her he had panic attacks before too and encourages her to see a Christian counselor. The counselor teaches her how to control them and because Freeman and she spend so much time together they fall in love.

A Cousin's Challenge

Jolene Yoder returns to her family’s home to be the teacher of two deaf students. She is reluctant because of the memories of losing her fiancĂ© in the van accident and her hearing. She soon has several in the community who find they want to learn to communicate with the deaf also. She end up teaching classes after school and in her home. She meets Lonnie who’s heartbroken after his girlfriend breaks up with him because she found someone else. He plans to stay single because he is afraid to trust. He takes the sign language classes that Jolene offers and they find themselves spending time together and falling in love.

Ella doesn’t trust Jack because he broke her Cousin Loraine’s heart. But when her father dies and Jake shows up to do farm chores even though she is reluctant to his help and bitter toward him. Her heart softens to him and she realized that he has grown up and she can trust him to be the man of her life.

Submitted to:

Life As Mom I’m Booking It in 2010!