Archive for July, 2009


I am honored!  Please click on the link above and peruse this very LOVELY foodie site!


I would have posted earlier but my internet has been out most of the day!!!

Tomorrow I will post July’s Friday Baking Winner!

Read Full Post »

Today is the last day of the month and closing of recipes for week ending today.  You have until 8 this morning to get your recipes posted.  Tomorrow morning I will draw for the July giveaway!

Here are your recipes for July 31-August 7.

unBELIEVABLE Chocolate Cookies

* 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

And now for something a little different…but still BAKING!

Meyer Lemon and Herb Baked Chicken

1 baking hen thawed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh  (oregano, thyme, tarragon or rosemary)

1 Meyer lemon cut in half and then one half sliced

1 onion quartered

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the giblets from the cavity if using a whole chicken. Rinse the chicken under cool water.
Pat it dry with paper towels. Separate the skin from the breast and push 4 slices of lemon under the skin, two on each side. Add one tarragon leave to each side and season the chicken (inside and out) with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Put 1/2 the onion in the cavity of the chicken, followed by half a lemon, sprig of rosemary, other herbs to taste and the remaining half of the onion.  Tie the hen’s legs together with cook’s twine.   Place the chicken in a roasting pan or a large oven-proof skillet, breast up. Rub with butter. Add 1-2 cups water or chicken broth to the roasting pan. Bake, covered for 1 then uncover and bake another 30 or so minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the meat is cooked through. When the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees for breast meat, 180 for thighs (measured in the thickest part), the chicken is done. Let a whole chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Read Full Post »

First the rules:

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog. Replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, and add one more question of your own.

2. Tag other people.

Now the questions:

What are you wearing today? It is 6:39 a.m., I am still in my gown.

What’s for dinner? I think fish of some sort.  I have been hungry for fish.

What would you eat for your last meal? Tandoori pork, cornbread, coconut cream pie.  My first inclination was to eat something I can’t normally have like cantaloupe, but I really don’t want to spend my last hours strung out on Benadryl.  And what if I got a stay and I had killed myself with a melon.  How do you like the way I assumed I was being executed???

What relaxes you most? I can usual relax without much provocation.  Like just let me find a seat somewhere.  I have been really relaxed the past few days.  Or maybe even depressed a little.  Either way I haven’t accomplished much.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would it be? I would meet my husband somewhere between here and there.

What language do you want to learn? I would really love to master French.  I understand way more than I can speak, and that annoys me greatly.

What do you love most about where you currently live? The privacy.  Near the end of a country road is pretty good most of the time.

What style is your current home decorated in? There isn’t one. As much as I like “house stuff”, there is not a particular style I favor.  If I like it, I will just stick it with the rest of  our conglomeration.

If you were a time traveler what era would you live in? Mid century –  ooops, already did that.  Guess I am not very adventuresome.  I like my modern conveniences.

What is your favorite color? Red, white, turquoise. But mostly red.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? a patchwork prairie skirt I bought from an etsy shoppe.

What were you doing ten years ago? July of 1999, I was starting my soap business and doing pretty much what I do now, only more efficiently.

What are you going to do after this? Make coffee, decide if it is too muddy to go for my walk this morning.  Pick tomatoes.

What are your favorite films? French Kiss, You’ve Got Mail, Practical Magic, Elf, Christmas with the Kranks. Deep stuff huh?

What are your favorite books? I love cosy mysteries. But will read just about anything.

Do you collect anything? Books, coffee mugs, vintage pyrex.

What makes you follow a blog? Humor, craftiness, sewing info, retro style.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today? Just got up.

Ann’s Question: What makes you comment on a blog? I find this hard to answer.  It really depends on if there is a question someone needs and answer to, and I might have it.  Or leaving a positive comment about a craft or art or post. I never leave negative stuff.

Amy’s Question: What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time? Hang out, watch a movie, nap.

Tonya’s Question: What is a talent you wished you had? I wish I could draw or paint.

Vickie’s Question: Who is your favorite actor? I really really love Al Pacino.

Kitten’s Question: Other than Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, etc. what are your most frequently visited websites? My girls’ blogs, CNN, Weather.com, I have a list of friends blogs I read. And that dang etsy.

SeptemberMom’s Question: What was your favorite subject in school?Math

Christy’s question: As a child/teen how did you envision your adult life? Pretty much doing what I am doing now. Wife and mom and now grandma.

Dan from Art of Panic’s Question: How much time do you spend on your average blog post?Probably 30 minutes or so.

Little Ms Blogger’s Question: If you could would you want to control the weather? Yeah, until I lost interest in it.

Susan’s Question: What is the one thing  you’d like to check off your “bucket list” in the next 5 years? I don’t have one.

Emotional Umbrella’s Question: If you could give any advice to your teenage self, what would it be? Getting a college degree might not be a waste in the long run.

My question: What did you do with all your time before the world of blogs? Definitely more work.

Tagged: Consider yourself tagged.

Read Full Post »

Well, sort of book/movie notes & book & apron giveaway.  Is anyone else looking forward to seeing Julie & Julia???


Oh I cannot wait!  I have two friends who want to go so I will see it at least twice and then I know I will have to see it with Husband!  It is about the LATE GREAT Julia Child and an author named Julie Powell and the intertwining of their lives. I read the book a couple of years ago simply because it was food related novel and I love those!  Now I am listening to the book on my ipod on my morning walk.  My favorite still from the upcoming movie:

mrandmrsCAnyone who takes food photos or provides food for food photos, or watches pictures being taken of food can’t help but appreciate this scene.  Stanley Tucci plays Mr. Child in the movie.  YAY!

Julia Child had a long love affair with food. Good food.  And I respect that.  And I expect to see a lot of aprons in this flick as well.  Gotta love a woman in an apron, right?

Oh I almost forgot!  In celebration of the opening of this movie I am giving away a copy of Julie Powell’s book Julie and Julia ~ my year of cooking dangerously. Oh…and yeah, an apron too.  Duh!  You didn’t think I could actually have a giveaway and NOT include and apron did you?  Fun huh?  How do you enter to win?  Well, leave me a comment telling me why you need a copy, a favorite Julia Child quip or quote if you have one and then consider yourself entered!  I will draw a name on Monday, August 9th.  Foregoing any unforeseen problems, I will have seen the movie by then.  At least once.  Man, I so don’t want to be disappointed!  You can see the trailer here. Just the scenes of the streets of New York and Paris are worth the price of the movie!

By the way, in amongst all my other projects, I am designing MY PERFECT APRON.  No, it will not be frilly, or cute (well maybe cute) but it will be what I consider PERFECTION in an apron.  Full coverage, straps that stay put, big enough to cover the sides of me so when I wipe my hands down the side of my hips (I can’t break myself of this habit), I won’t be wiping them on my clothes.  Pockets, oh yeah pockets!  And at least one loop for a dish towel.  Heavy enough so that when I step up to the sink and splatter myself with water or stand next to the stovetop tasting something and dribble it down my front, it will catch the spill and not let it soak thru to my clothes. There may be an apron similar to what I want out there, but I have yet to find it so…I will make it!  I have found ones that might do, if the dang straps would adjust without me pinning or sewing them shorter or folding the bib part where it will tie in the right place.  Not everyone is 5’6″ you know?  Therefore our torsos are a bit shorter.

So there you have it.  Happy Saturday EVERYONE!  And in the words of one of my heros….


JJ_wallpaper_03_1024x768That’s a lot of onions!  And one pretty cute apron!!

Eat something good today!

Read Full Post »

Time once again for new recipes!  The deadline for getting your name in for this past week’s challenge is 8 am today. Next Friday will be pretty special.  Not only will you get another set of recipes but it will be the last day of the month, therefore, we will draw a name from the jar for the winner of July’s goodies!  Good luck to all of you!  And Happy Baking!!

Our first recipe this week is a family favorite.  My oldest daughter mastered this recipe when she was about 15 I believe.  Her first “real job” was baking these for a local cafe…yes, at such a tender age! Posting this recipe is a good excuse for Rachel and I  to make these – we have to have a picture you know!

Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is for a crowd.  Maybe a holiday breakfast.  But, take heart, it is very easily halved. Though you could make the full recipe and surprise a friend with half.

  • 8-8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • 2 pound bag powdered sugar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • Enough milk for desired consistancy

Combine 3 cups of flour and the yeast and set aside.  In a saucepan, heat and stir the milk, sugar, salt and butter just until warm (120-130°).  Add to flour mixture.  Add eggs.  Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds.  Beat on high for 3 minutes.  Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.  On a floured surface, knead to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic.  This might also be accomplished in your mixer if you have a dough hook and it is capable of kneading dough – if so about 8-10 minutes. Shape into a ball.  Place in a greased bowl; turning once to coat the surface of the dough.  Cover and let rise until doubled – about 1 hour.  Punch down dough.  Turn out on a lightly floured surface.  Divide in half.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Roll each half into a rectangle about 18″ x 10″.  Spread 1/2 filling over first half of dough.  Starting at the 10″ side roll tightly.  Using heavy duty sewing thread, slice into 15-18 rolls.  Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Repeat with remaining dough in a second pan. Cover pans with waxed paper and then plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 2-24 hours.  Let stand 20-25 minutes before making in a preheated 375° for 20-25 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Glaze.

Recipe two is your savory challenge for this week.  And another family favorite.  Why not have a tribute to Jess’ Mad Baking Skills this week? 🙂

You may already have a favorite dinner roll recipe but give this one a try anyway.  These are very very much like School Rolls.  You know, the rolls you smelled when you stepped off the bus every morning at Elementary School?  Mmmmm.

Jess’s Good Potato Rolls


Again, this recipe is for a large family or gathering.  It is also easily halved.

  • 10 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 1 cup potato water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2/3 cup butter flavored Crisco, melted

Scald milk. To this add your potato water, Crisco, salt and 3/4 cup sugar.  Set aside to cool to lukewarm.  In a separate bowl, add 1 tsp sugar to warm water (110°) and stir in yeast.  Let stand until proofed.  Combine with other mixture in a large bowl.  Add eggs and 5 cups of flour.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time.  Knead to elastic and smooth with either your mixer with dough hook or by hand on a lightly floured surface.  Let rise in a greased bowl, covered until doubled.  Form rolls, desired size and place in a greased pan with 2″ sides, close together but not touching.  The shape of the pan isn’t important. This recipe if not halved makes several pans of rolls depending on the size of the pan.  But at least two 9 x 13s. We make ours about 3 inches around.  Cover rolls with a cloth and let rise until they touch and are to the top of the pan.  Bake at 375° until golden brown.  If you like, you can brush the tops with melted butter as they come out of the oven.

I am having a bit of a hen party tonight and serving Chicken and Dumplings – these rolls sure would go well!  Dessert: Buttermilk Pie! I can’t make Chicken and Dumplings without getting a little nostalgic.  My Ganky~my mom’s only sister and one of the biggest influences in my life, made THE BEST.  Pretty much the best everything. I don’t have her recipe, probably because she never had a cookbook that I am aware of.  I don’t remember ever seeing one in her house.  She cooked from scratch and memory.  The recipe I use though, came from Mrs. Pinkye.  Mrs. Pinkye and her husband Papaw Minkye (Ben’s names for them) built the house we live in.  They were friends, though much older, of my parents and sold my dad the land they built their house on.  When Papaw Minkye passed and Mrs. Pinkye went to live closer to her daughter, this place, right across the road from my parents, came up for sale and we bought it.  My mom got this Chicken and Dumpling recipe from Mrs. Pinkye probably 30 years ago and passed it on to me.  It’s a winner!  You can tell from the comments the original post got, that I am not the only one that thinks so!  And this is one of the greatest posts I was ever honored to be linked to. I still smile everytime I think of it. Thanks Sher.

Well, how’s all that for getting sidetracked!  Have a great weekend and bake something good!

Read Full Post »

I have been so busy, and so uninspired to write anything, here we are nearly a week between posts.  Very unlike me. I am usually full of something to say.  We are in the midst of re-testing the last of the pie recipes so we are usually too full to think about writing!  I just didn’t want you to think I had dropped off the face of the Earth.  I am here, just really busy.

Read Full Post »

It’s that time again.  Sorry I am a bit late getting these posted today.  BUSY BUSY!!! But here are your new recipes! If you have questions and they aren’t answered on the Friday Baking page, please email me.  Happy Baking!

Your sweet recipe is our all time best cookies recipe from way WAY back.  It was the most requested when we catered years ago and now that Rachel is “back in business” they are still the most wanted.  They are just so good.  Any shape cookie is fine.

Cream Wafers

Below is a picture tutorial/recipe. As always gather all your ingredients before you start.


You will need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 sticks butter at room temp (do not substitute)
  • sugar for coating cut outs
  • cookie cutter of your choice (the fluted ones like shown work BEAUTIFULLY)
  • flour for dusting your work area
  • Set your oven to 375

For Filling:

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 4-5 cups confectioners sugar
  • flavoring of choice (I use 1 tsp vanilla extract, and a 1/2 tsp coconut & lemon)
  • Coloring if you like

I use parchment lined cookie sheets.

Cut the butter into the 2 cups of flour with a pastry cutter or fork until it is mealy…like cornmeal. Add cream all at once and mix until thoroughly incorporated.


Roll 1/3 the dough out adding just enough flour to keep it from sticking to the surface (I use a silicone mat). DO NOT over work your dough or your cookies will be tough. Cut what you can from this rolling and set the scraps to the side to use ONE more time. After the second rolling, discard the dough – too “used” to use, ya know?


Place your cut outs into a plate of sugar to coat.


Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and prick each one with a fork (3-4 times- no need to get “creative” like Husband!).


Bake about 10-11 minutes until set…not browned. Remove to a wire rack till cooled.


Mix your filling ingredients with a mixer until light. Spread one cookie and top with another. Makes a YUMMY sandwich cookie and delish with a great cup of Farmhouse Blend Coffee!


Here’s your savory recipe…

Peppery Cheese Crackers (Thanks! Martha Stewart)

Makes 60 crackers

* 1 cup bread flour
* 1 cup instant polenta
* 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup grated Mimolette cheese
* 2 1/2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
* All-purpose flour, for work surface


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
2. Place bread flour, polenta, salt, baking soda, paprika, pepper, and cheese in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add buttermilk. Continue processing until dough just forms a ball. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few seconds. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
3. Cut dough into quarters. Using 1 piece at a time, roll out dough 1/16 inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off the excess flour. Keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap.
4. Using a 1 3/4-inch fluted round cookie cutter or a small fluted pastry wheel, cut out crackers and place on prepared baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart. Roll out a second piece of dough 1/16 inch thick and repeat cutting process; place on second prepared baking sheet. Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake until crackers are golden brown and crisp, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. Transfer crackers immediately to a wire cooling rack; let cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »