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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Pastry Blender - an Alternate Use

I rarely make pastry, but I make egg salad often. One day, in an effort to cut the eggs up quickly, I grabbed the pastry blender (or pastry cutter). Why hadn't I been using that all along? Makes for super-fast egg salad! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Donna's Sweet Potato Casserole

Just in time for the holidays. The dish most requested by my sister-in-law, Shirley, this concoction is more like a dessert than a vegetable. Don't even think about calories or cholesterol. Serve hot. Enjoy.
Right before it goes into the oven. 

3 C. canned Sweet Potatoes or Yams (I use Bruce's Yams)
1 C. Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs, beaten (It is possible to use EggBeaters.)
1/2 Stick butter, melted (1/4 C.)
1/2 C. 1/2 and 1/2 (I've even used Vanilla Creamer. Yummy!)

Mash potatoes. Stir in sugar, margarine, eggs, and milk. Pour in baking dish.


1 C. Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Flour
1 C. Chopped Pecans (If you've bought whole pecans, keep out a few for garnish.)
1 Stick butter (1/2 C.)

Mix topping ingredients. Spread on top of potatoes. Garnish with whole pecans. Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes until heated through and topping is golden brown. To me it's best when the top is nice and crunchy!

*I got an email from someone who'd tried my recipe, and loved it! The only thing - the center wasn't quite done in 30 minutes. I make mine in a fairly large baking dish, because I like for the topping to be spread out (and sometimes I make extra, too!), so if you're using a deeper baking dish, you might want to leave it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Just watch to make sure the topping isn't burning. If it's browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Gluten Free Banana-Nut Muffins - Donna Shepherd

Gluten Free Banana-Nut Muffins 
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (softened)
  • 1/4 Cup honey or pecan syrup (or mix them to make 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 C coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 

  • 1/4 C chopped nuts (I like pecans, but walnuts are good with banana, too.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In separate bowls, mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients. Fold dry into wet. Add nuts. Fill muffin cups with batter.

Bake for 12-16 minutes or until golden on top. When toothpick comes out clean, they’re done. Enjoy!

*Update: Made these again today and added the cinnamon. Added a little extra flavor. I also dropped in about 1/4 cup of chopped carrots for some added crunch.

It's a very forgiving recipe, so play around with it. If you come up with anything interesting, please let me know. I'm thinking of adding a little pineapple in place of the banana to see how that comes out. Have fun! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cook'n Giveaway! on Recipes by Donna

A while back, I reviewed a recipe organizer software called "Cook'n" here: Review of Cook'n

Now Cook'n has been released in a new version. More to love! It even has a live recipe feed in the app.

Exciting news! I have been selected to give away one Cook'n Recipe Organizer, a $79 value. How can you be entered? Just enter a recipe below in the comments section and I'll choose my favorite. Here are links for more information about Cook'n:


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snowball Cookies - Santa's Favorite!

 Every Christmas, my sister, Sherry, begs me to make these saying mine are simply the best. Well, she would say that. She's my sis! But I do agree - these are scrumptious. The powdered sugar melts in your mouth followed by the crunchiness of pecans and toasted cookie. The one thing I do a bit different from most is add almond extract. It gives the cookies a yummy sweetness I think you'll like. Once you bake these, be prepared to make more!

Mix thoroughly:

1 C. Soft Butter (or Margarine - I use Parkay.)
½ C. Confectioner's (powdered) Sugar
½ tsp. Vanilla Extract (pure - always use pure - it's worth it!)
½ tsp. Almond Extract (vital!)

Sift together and stir in:

2¼ C. Flour (all purpose)
¼ tsp. Salt

Mix in:

¾ c. Finely Chopped Nuts (I prefer pecans, but walnuts can be used if you prefer.)

Chill dough: Roll into 1" balls.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet. (Cookies do not spread)
Bake until set, but not brown at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
While still warm, roll in powdered sugar.
Roll in powdered sugar again.

(My sister drops them down in a baggie of powdered sugar and eats them straight out of the bag, but shhhh...., don't tell her I told!)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Recipes by Donna: Cocoa-Cola Ham

Okay, I don't even eat ham, but somehow got put in charge of baking the ham a few years ago. It must have been good, because now I'm always in charge of the ham! But I don't mind. Having everyone enjoy it so much makes me happy. This would be good for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any time.

I buy the Reynold's Oven Bags to bake it in. I sprinkle a tablespoon of flour in the bag. Put in the ham. Then I mix up:

1 can Coke (NOT diet). I did use Dr. Pepper one year. That was good, too.
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. mustard
1 tsp. onion powder 
Pineapple (fresh or canned)

Stir and pour over the ham.This year, I had fresh pineapple in the fridge, so before I closed the bag, I added a bunch of big pieces to the mix, but you can use a can of drained pineapple rings if you don't have fresh on hand. Add a bit, maybe a couple of tablespoons, of the pineapple juice to the Coke, too, if you want.

Cut a few slits in the top of the bag and bake as directed on the Reynold's box. Slice. Serve with my Warm Pineapple Sauce. I'm told it's 'stupid good.' 


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Tea Party Recipes

Here's a good recipe for a tea party.

4 c. cubed, cooked chicken
1 c. seedless grapes
1 c. pecan pieces
1/2 c. mayonnaise 
1/4 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. honey
Pepper, to taste

Combine chicken, grapes and pecans in large bowl; set aside. In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, and pepper in to blend well. Add to chicken mixture. This chicken salad can be served on other types of bread, but for fancy tea parties, it's best served on flaky croissants.

For more tea party recipe ideas, visit:

"Ava's Secret Tea Party" by Donna J. Shepherd, art by Bella Sinclair

Image: Stuart Miles /

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Donna's Award-Winning Crackpot Chili

I entered the Chili Cook Off at church. I don't eat beef, so I made this up as I went today. I figured making chili with chicken would put me out of the competition, but to my great surprise, I won! I received a beautiful picture and a gift certificate from our local Family Bookstore. Fun!

Here's the recipe - more or less. Like I said, I throw in this and that. Hope you enjoy it! I put it all in a crockpot and let it simmer on high for about an hour, then turn it on low for a couple more or until you're ready to dig in. My daughter said I should re-name it "Crackpot Chili" because it's so addictive. I took a pot to my family's house for Christmas and I didn't even get any!

Donna's Chicken Chili

Olive oil – about 2 tbsp.
3 lg. cans chicken breast, drained
1 sm. chopped onion
Garlic powder
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning

2 lg. cans Northern beans, drained
1 sm. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white corn, drained
1 can yellow corn, drained
2 lg. cans Chicken Broth
1 can green chilies
2 cans chopped tomato chunks

1 pkg. Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix (4 tbsp. chili seasoning mix)
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cocoa
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

In large kettle, sauté onion sprinkled with garlic powder. Add chicken breast to brown, breaking it into small pieces adding poultry seasoning. Add rest of ingredients. Bring to boil. Simmer until thickened.

I poured half the soup (this recipe makes a lot) into a crockpot set on 'low,' and added a can of southwestern cheddar cheese soup for extra thickness, but it's really good either way. I didn't add extra salt, so you may need to add salt to taste.

Sprinkle each serving with Taco Cheese and, if desired, a dollop of sour cream. Really good with lime tortilla chips on the side!

Update: This recipe is easily adaptable. The last couple of times I've made it, I added a dash of cocoa and some brown sugar along with a smidgen of cayenne pepper. That way it comes out sweet and spicy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cook'n Recipe Organizer Review

ATTENTION: For Black Friday, Cook'n is offering their program (normally $80) for only $20; that's 75% off!!  They've never offered a discount like this before and might never do it again. Thousands of people have already taken advantage of this Black Friday promotion, and people are grateful that they can now afford Cook’n.  Pass the word! This Black Friday, visit and get Cook’n for 75% off.

Do you have recipes all over the place - on scraps of paper, in files on your computer, scattered throughout your email? I'm so excited to present a program to help you get organized - an easy to use software that makes finding and storing recipes simple, capturing recipes, and then putting them into files. I'm looking especially forward to using the app to make finding recipes and accessing them in the kitchen or the grocery that much easier!

Watch  the video for more information and visit the website for more videos and to purchase:
Like Cook'n on Facebook at:

What do other bloggers think?
DISCLOSURE: Mom Blog Society works hard to bring bloggers these wonderful opportunities therefore, all reviews must have the following disclosure at the bottom of their review. Failure to disclose a backlink to Mom Blog Society will forfeit any future opportunities of being selected for campaigns though Mom Blog Society. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wheat Free Garlic Pizza with Provolone and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I had an earlier recipe for Gluten Free Pizza which was good, but last night I tried something different and it was goo-o-o-o-d!

I pre-heated my baking stone in a 400 degree oven. (Mine is well-seasoned, but if your isn't, be sure to grease the stone. If you don't have a stone, you can use an seasoned iron skillet, and of course, you can always just use a well-greased baking pan.)

In a bowl, mix:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used Garlic sea salt.)
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Stir in: 
1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon olive oil (I used flavored olive oil from Tastefully Simple)

After you mix well, the batter will be about like pancake batter. With my pizza stone nice and hot, I poured the batter on and spread it out very thin.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Watch it to make sure the top isn't getting too brown. I took it out of the oven and used a spatula to lift it up and flipped it over. This way the crust gets all nice and brown on both sides.

I topped it in this order: 

Flavored olive oil, spread thinly across top
Provolone cheese slices (I let cheese overlap crust so I got a really crispy cheese crust around the edges.)
Sun-dried tomatoes
Parmesan cheese
Pizza Seasoning sprinkled lightly

Put it back in the over for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. I liked this version the best because the crust stayed so crisp. I think it would be even better with fresh roasted garlic. Next time!

If you try this and have suggestions, leave them in the comments. Thanks. - D.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Creamy Bean Soup (Just Like Bill Knapp's)

We used to have a Bill Knapp's Restaurant in this area. I hated it when it closed. That was one of our favorite restaurants of all time. I have so many wonderful memories of Sunday dinners at Bill Knapp's. We celebrated almost all our birthdays there because they brought out an entire chocolate cake and played a very old, scratchy recording of Happy Birthday.

One of my favorite soups was the bean soup. I found and revised a recipe and it tastes ALMOST the same.

7 C. Water
1 lb. dried navy beans (2 C.) - sorted and rinsed.
1 lb. ham cubes (I buy a nice thick slice at the deli and chop it into cubes.)
1 sm. onion (If you have no fresh, use a couple tablespoons dried onion.)
1 bay leaf

Heat water and beans to boiling. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover. Let stand 1 hour.

Stir in all ingredients EXCEPT milk. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover. Simmer about 75 minutes. (Don't boil.)

Remove bay leaf.

In food processor or blender, puree about 1/2 the beans. This step is important to get that creamy texture. Return to the rest of the soup in kettle. Add milk to desired consistency and heat through.

I like to top my bowl with ketchup and lots of pepper. Good to make ahead. Keeps well.

Image: nuchylee /

Monday, March 05, 2012

Wheat Free, Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Since I've gone wheat free, I've really missed pizza. I tried one recipe I had that used coconut flour and it was awful - like eating pizza off of a cookie. Yuck.

Last night I surfed around the 'net trying to find an alternative. I stumbled upon a blog with a recipe for "Socca Pizza for One" using garbanzo bean flour. It's different than a regular flour pizza crust, but it satisfied my longing for pizza.

Now, I'm still playing around with this, but here's what I did today:

I have a baking stone, so I put that in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Mine is well-seasoned, but if your isn't, be sure to grease the stone. If you don't have a stone, you can use an seasoned iron skillet, and of course, you can always just use a well-greased baking pan.

In a bowl, mix:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used Garlic sea salt.)
*2 tablespoons Parmesan 

Stir in: 
1/2 cup cold water
Drizzle of olive oil (I had some flavored olive oil from Tastefully Simple that's delicious.)

After you mix well, the batter will be about like pancake batter. Today I was eager to get my pizza crust made, but next time, I will let this set for a bit in the fridge.

With my pizza stone nice and hot, I poured the batter on and spread it out. Today I left it a bit thicker, like a normal pizza crust. Next time, I intend to spread it out a bit thinner. I like a crispier crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Watch it to make sure the top isn't getting too brown. I took it out of the oven and used a spatula to lift it up all around to make sure it wasn't sticking, then topped it with organic pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, green olives (my spurge!), and imported Parmesan. Then I sprinkled the entire top with pizza seasonings. Play around with it. Add meat (I don't eat very much of that.) and veggies. Put it back in the over for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. 


*Updated recipe 3/09/12: Last night when I made the pizza, I added the 2 tbsp. of Parmesan to the crust mix. I let the mix sit for a few minutes and spread it very thin on my bigger pizza stone. What a difference! Totally changed the crust and it crisped up better, too.

*Update - Someone asked about where to get garbanzo bean flour. We have a local grocery store that specializes in foods more difficult to find. If there's nothing like that in your area, perhaps you could order it online. This is the one I use:

Hope that helps!

If you try this and have suggestions, leave them in the comments. Thanks. - D.

Image: Suat Eman /

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Turkey Chili

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. turkey sausage (remove from casing)
Dash: poultry seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder
16 oz. can red beans, drained
2 c. tomato sauce (2 cans)
2 c. chopped tomatoes (1 large can)
1 c. stewed tomatoes (1 can)
1/2 c. onion flakes
1 clove garlic (or garlic powder equivalent)
1 pkg. chili seasoning
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 can corn, drained
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

In a tablespoon or two of oil, brown turkey with poultry seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder. Drain.

Add rest of ingredients. Either simmer on low in stockpot for a couple of hours on stovetop OR add to crockpot and cook 8-10 hours or overnight.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Taco Soup

Here's a soup recipe from my friend, Jen, who says, "This actually is a Weight Watchers recipe and is fantastic. I usually double it an freeze it. It heats back up VERY well. I hop you enjoy it as much as we do."

Taco Soup

15 servings (1 cup serving size)

1 onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning
2 cups whole kernel corn
1 can fat free chicken broth
1 can black beans - undrained
1 can great northern beans
1 can refried beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes with chilis

Saute onion until soft. Add remaining ingredients to onions. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

* Tip - we usually try to smash the refried beans while the soup is simmering, just to make sure that there are not any large chunks of refried beans. The refried beans are in the recipe as a thickening agent.

A yummy soup that is low calorie and full of fiber. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pasta Personality

One of my favorite Italian restaurants is Carrabba’s Italian Grill. We have one about twenty minutes away and if we have a special occasion to celebrate, I'm the first one to suggest we go to Carrabba's. My husband enjoys the chicken dishes. My favorite would be the Spiedino Di Mare which is shrimp and sea scallops coated with Italian breadcrumbs, grilled and topped with lemon butter sauce. I get the mashed potatoes and Caesar salad and tap my foot the whole time I eat. Yum!

Today I took the Carrabba's Personality Quiz. Am I spicy? Warm? Unique? Here's my Pasta Personality:

Carrabba’s Tag Pic Pac is a classic with a tasty twist, perfect for someone who likes to put their own twist on things! You’re vivacious with zest for life. And since you like everything in life to be full-flavored, you wont be let down when you taste this tagliarini pasta with Picchi Pacchiu sauce.

I haven't yet tried that dish, so I must next time we visit. Ready to take your own test? Here's a link to the quiz:

Here is a recipe for my special homemade meatballs. I never did like to buy the pre-made meatballs, so I came up with my own recipe. I serve these over whole wheat spaghetti with fresh parmesan. Not quite Carrabba's, but pretty good, if I do say so myself!

4 bread slices 1/2 c. water
2 eggs, stirred
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. parsley (or dried parsley flakes)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Dash pepper

Soak bread slices in water 2-3 minutes. Add eggs. Mix. Mix into ground beef and rest of ingredients.

With damp hands, form meat mixture into meatballs. I like to spread the balls out on a broiler pan so when they bake, some of the grease bakes out, but you can use a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn. Continue to bake until browned, approximately 5-10 minutes. Drain.

Add meatballs to favorite sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over spaghetti. Top with freshly grated Parmesan.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Carrabba’s blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here. They also have some limited time offers. Carrabba’s Signature Pasta Meals and New Limited Time Offers - Signature Pasta Meals, featuring seven distinctive dishes served with choice of soup or fresh salad starting at $10. There’s no better place than Carrabba’s to enjoy a complete Italian meal – any day of the week.

Image: Pixomar /

*UPDATE: 6-20-11: Just got word that I'll be receiving a gift card! Woohoo! Thanks, Carrabba's!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Homemade Croutons

Few things are better than salad with homemade dressing and croutons fresh from the oven.

1 loaf bread (Day old bread is better & easier to slice or use dense bread like rye.)
1 stick maragine (Parkay's my favorite.)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (I found some with parsley mixed in that's good.)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese powder

Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Spead cubes evenly on baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Re-set oven to 275 degrees.

Melt margerine and stir in seasonings. Put toasted bread cubes in large bowl and drizzle margerine mixture. Gently toss to coat cubes as evenly as possible.

Spread cubes out on baking sheet again and return to 275 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until cubes are crisp and light brown. Cool.

Be prepared to make more.

Image: Paul /

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mocha Coffee

This recipe features several things I like the most - chocolate, coffee, and convenience.

In blender or food processor, blend until powdered:

1/2 C. instant coffee
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. dry milk Or creamer (creamer makes for a richer coffee)
2 Tbsp. cocoa (Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa is yummy.)

For coffee, stir one tablespoon mix into one cup hot water. Sip slowly for maximum pleasure.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Hot Pecan Spread

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. dry onion flakes
Black pepper to taste
1 pkg. corned beef, chopped
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ C. sour cream
½ C. pecans, chopped

Mix all ingredients together. Bake in 350-degree oven until heated through. Spread on crackers.

Very easy and quick appetizer. I usually dump all the ingredients into my food processor and give it a couple of good whirls and then dump it into my Corningware baking dish. Although it's good hot, cold leftovers make a good snack, too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ONION ONION™ Fried Potatoes

Potatoes – skin on, cubed
Olive Oil
ONION ONION™ (Tastefully Simple)
Garlic Powder – easiest way to add garlic

I deliberately did not put measurements as you can fix enough for two or eight people. On medium heat, add enough olive oil to cover bottom of skillet. Add about half as much butter until melted, then add cubed potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are starting to get tender – 10-15 minutes. Uncover. Add spices to taste. Stir. Turn the heat up to brown the potatoes, letting them get nice and crispy before turning. Salt and pepper before serving.

If you want a quicker way to fix these in the morning, bake potatoes with skin on ahead of time and keep in fridge. When ready to fix, cube potatoes and you'll only have to heat for 3-4 minutes. Also - if you don't have the ONION ONION™, you can always use the real thing. It's just faster and very tasty to use the mix.

If you want, you can add chopped onion, green peppers, and mushrooms as you cook. Toppings could include shredded sharp cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and green onions. I used to have an iron skillet. If you have one, be sure to use it for wonderful brown crusty potatoes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brownie Truffles

Another great recipe from my friend, Carrie. Does she know I like chocolate or what?


Forget the mixing and the melting, everyone – just add water to a package of fudge brownie mix, scoop into balls, roll in assorted coatings…. and chill!

This is great for kids to make and the perfect party dessert – your guests will love them.
My husband even goes into the kitchen and whips up a batch of these.

1 Box (21.3 ounce) of Betty Crocker chocolate brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons Karo light color corn syrup
Coatings – such as sweet coconut, toasted almond slivers, colored sprinkles, toffee bits, etc.

In a large bowl, stir together dry brownie mix, chocolate syrup from pouch, water, and corn syrup until well mixed.

Pour each desired coating into separate dishes or pie plates. Scoop up 1 tablespoon (or 1 heaping teaspoon from your flatware service) of brownie mixture, using slightly wet hands. Shape mixture into smooth ball and roll into desired coating to cover entire ball. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat to make 28 truffles, rinsing hands when mixture becomes too sticky to roll. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

I’ve also stirred the nuts in the mixture, and then rolled in coconut or powdered sugar, sugar sprinkles, etc. This one is easy to adapt to your preferences.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

NOTE: To store the truffles, layer between waxed paper in an airtight container. Store for 3 to 4 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer. Ha!

Wouldn't these be great for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Microwave Fudge

I have to have chocolate recipes on the blog! For a delicious treat that's fast and easy, use your microwave to make fudge.

1 lb. powdered sugar (1 small box)
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 c. milk
1 stick butter (I use Parkay.)

1 tbsp. vanilla (real, no fake!)
1/2 c. chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

In microwaveable bowl (glass is good), blend sugar and cocoa. I make a well in the middle and add milk and butter. Cook 2-3 minutes in microwave. Stir til moist.

Now quick! Add vanilla and nuts and mix and a pinch of salt if you want. Pour into a greased dish (8 in. pan or even a pie pan) and refrigerate 1 hour - or as long as you can stand it.

I'd say to keep it in the fridge because it's a soft fudge, but who has leftovers? This last time I made it, I used half and half instead of milk. The fudge came out firmer, but just as good. This fudge is so easy that you can experiment all you want. Add coconut or peanuts or marshmallows. Great to make when you're in a hurry and an easy way to make a homemade gift for someone. Put the pieces in a pretty box or tin with a bow.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Warm Pineapple Sauce for Ham

This year, I decided to make a sauce to dip the Coca-Cola Ham in or pour over.


1/4 c. water
1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. mustard (I used honey dijon.)
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
Onion powder - 1/2 tsp?? I don't know. I add to taste.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.


1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. cornstarch

Add to sauce. Cook stirring until clear.

I put mine in a fondue pot to keep it nice and hot. I have a teeny crockpot some place, but couldn't find it, but that would work well, too. Dip or slather. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Donna's Stuffed Celery

Now isn't that a clever name? I fix this for parties and holidays.

Cut celery into pieces about 2-3 inches long. Soak in ice water to crisp.

Mix together:

One package Cream Cheese, softened
One Cup Miracle Whip (Must be Miracle Whip - NOT mayonnaise)
Chopped Walnuts (I like a lot of these!)

Dry celery well, fill with cream cheese mixture. Enjoy!

Donna's Stuffed Celery on Foodista

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Frankfurter Fanfare

We don't call hot dogs frankfurters any more, but I like the alliteration. :)  Great appetizer for parties. The longer they simmer, the better they get.


1 C. Grape Jelly (My favorite is Smucker's.)
1/2 c. French's Yellow Mustard

Heat in crockpot or fondue pot.


1 lb. Frankfurters cut into bite-size pieces.

Let simmer at least 1/2 hour.

These are simple, but a favorite around my house. If you like the sauce even sweeter, you can use honey mustard. I cut the hot dogs on the diagonal, but to tell you the truth, I don't think anyone notices! They're too busy eating them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Double Chocolate Brownies - No Guilt!

I have not tried these yet, but I could hardly wait to share the recipe. No guilt chocolate brownies - no, wait, double chocolate brownies! Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Brownies


1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet) – I used the standard size, I didn’t have any of the mini sized on hand.
Butter-flavored cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 inch non-stick cake pan with spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, using a sturdy whisk or spatula, mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites and sugar until they are well combined.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir the mixture until it is just combined and no lumps remain. Pour it into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chips evenly over the top. Bake the brownies for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay).

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool 5 minutes. Cut into 12 equal brownies. Makes 12 (1 brownie) servings.

Each brownie has: 88 calories, 2 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, less than 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 133 mg sodium

Traditional Double Chocolate Brownies have: 260 calories, 3 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 165 mg sodium

From Devin Alexander Recipes; Recipe Source: Tammy - Cookin' At Home, CWAHM Recipes Forum Moderator

Tammy owns and operates two work at home websites, a work at home forum, a recipe site and three blogs. She offers free work at home job leads for the job seeker, business work at home articles, tips, and more. You can visit Tammy at and

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ricotta Cake

My friend, Mary Busha, shares this recipe today. She says it's "Yummy!"

Ricotta Cake

Yellow cake mix
4 eggs
¾ c. sugar
2 lbs. ricotta cheese
2 t. vanilla

Mix all together, but don’t over mix. Cake is supposed to be dense.
Bake in 9x13 pan (coated with non-stick spray) at 350 degrees for one hour.
Top pieces with whipped cream and your favorite berries!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homemade Granola

I spotted this recipe that Trish Berg posted today on Facebook. Does this ever sound yummy! I'm always looking for healthy snacks. Thanks, Trish, for allowing me to share the recipe.

Easy Homemade Granola

2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup craisins (or raisins)

1. In coated (or paper lined) baking dish, pour oats and nuts. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle on cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and vanilla.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, stirring several times.
3. Remove from oven and let cool. Toss in craisins. Store in air tight container.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Potluck Club Cookbook - Corn Pudding, Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Many years ago, I sang in a quartet that traveled the tri-state in my area of the country. We sang for a lot of homecomings and 'dinners on the ground.' I always looked forward to these outings for the fun and the food. Scrumptious food and lots of it weighed down the folding tables brought out for the occasion. One time I enjoyed a dessert so much, I tracked down the cook to get the recipe.

When I read The Potluck Club Cookbook, it brought back so many of those good memories. In the preface of the book, Linda and Evan have listed a while list of ways to host a potluck dinner like a Salad Potluck or a Brunch Potluck.

The recipes are simple and for the most part use a few readily available ingredients. If you're a Julia Child wannabe, you may think this book too elementary, but for those of us who cook on the run and want basic recipes to fix in a hurry, grab a copy of this book. Make your own 'potluck' memories!

Available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Here are a couple examples of recipes in the book.

Corn Pudding au Gratin

1 (15 oz) can creamed corn
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup diced cheese
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. margarine
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup buttered bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine corn, flour, cheese and pepper; mix well. Add melted margarine and well-beaten eggs. Warm milk and add to mixture. Pour into 1 ½ quart casserole pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook in oven until pudding begins to set, then sprinkle buttered bread crumbs over the top and reduce heat to 325 and bake until firm. If bread crumbs are not sufficiently brown when pudding is firm, turn to broil briefly. Cooking time is about 30 – 40 minutes.

Eva: “This recipe reheats nicely.” (Page 169)

Linda’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole

2 ½ Tbsp. chopped onions
¼ cup butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 ½ cups milk
¾ cup chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. jalapeno peppers
1 ½ cups chopped canned tomatoes (stewed)
3 cups cubed chicken, cooked
½ cup shredded cheese
12 tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

Sauté onions in butter, then add flour and cook until mixture is bubbly. Stir in milk and broth gradually. Stir in salt, peppers, and tomatoes.

In casserole dish, layer chicken, cheese, then strips of tortillas. Pour sauce over layers then sprinkle casserole with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot. Serves 6-8.

Linda: “You can’t go wrong with this tasty dish. It’s a potluck crowd favorite.” (Page 130)

Product Details:
Paperback: 181 pages
Publisher: Revell; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800733495
ISBN-13: 978-0800733490

Friday, April 03, 2009

Brain Stimulator and Cancer Killer?

Something different today!

Dr. Chauncey Crandall was on the 700 Club touting the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting. Since I'm hypoglycemic, I've never fasted, but the good doctor almost has me convinced that not only would it not harm me, but it would help me tremendously. He mentioned that fasting helps inflammation.

Here's a link to some recipes Dr. Crandall recommends with names like Brain Stimulator, Cancer Killer, and Garlic Breath Delight. lol!

Click HERE.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cheesy Potato Casserole

32 oz frozen hash browns
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz tub of sour cream
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1 cup crushed corn flakes or potato chips

Mix onion, soup, sour cream, and cheese in bowl. Place potatoes in 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour melted button on top. Then stir in mixture of remaining items. Sprinkle corn flakes or potato chips on top. Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

For more delicious recipes like this one, visit Tammy at Cookin' at Home - Free Homestyle Recipes OR go to the forums on where Tammy is the moderator. Click HERE.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sweet & Salties

If there's anything I like almost as much as dark chocolate, it's chocolate with something salty. Carrie sent me this recipe. Yum!


Line a cookie sheet with greased aluminum foil.

Bring to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes:

1 C. Butter
1 C. Dark Brown Sugar

On cookie sheet layer:

Saltines - enough to cover, close together.

Pour the butter/brown sugar mixgture over the crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on your oven -- watch it).

Remove and immediately pour over the crackers:

1 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips (my preference is Nestle's), spreading them as they melt.

Sprinkle with:

1/2 of a 12 oz. bag of brickle bits (chopped nuts work great, too).

Cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator. If they stay in the refrigerator long enough to harden, break them into pieces like peantut brittle. Enjoy!

Note from Carrie: You can also mix peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. In fact, any chip mixture that strikes your fancy works well.

Thanks so much, Carrie! Can't wait to try this.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Spinach and Artichoke Baked French Bread

I saw this on the recipe forum on (Christian Work at Home Moms), and thought it sounded scrumptious. Tammy Embrich gave me permission to share it with you. Enjoy!

12 oz bag fresh spinach, stems removed, cut in a wide chiffonade
14 to 16 oz can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 loaf French Bread

Cut the artichoke into small pieces and add to the spinach. Next add the mayo. and cheese, and mix these with a spoon until equally blended. Cut the French bread diagonally into 1 inch slices and top with mixture.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 until slightly browned on top (10 to 15 minutes). This also can be baked without the bread and served as a warm dip.

Tammy owns and operates two work at home websites, a work at home forum, a recipe site and three blogs. She offers free work at home job leads for the job seeker, business work at home articles, tips, and more. You can visit Tammy at and

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Banana Wheat Bread - Breadmaker Recipe

Recently, we ate at a local Penn Station. I ordered a Reuben made with turkey instead of corned beef - delicious! Afterwards we went to the Salvation Army Store next door, and I found a Regal Breadmaker Machine for $3.99! Since then, I've made lots of bread, experimenting with recipes. Tons of fun! Here's what I made last night:

Banana Wheat Bread

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 egg (I used 1/4 cup EggBeaters)
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Kroger bread machine yeast
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

On my machine, I used the 'Wheat' setting with 'Light' crust. Enjoy!

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. - Jesus Christ (John 6:51)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pepper & Salmon Soup

A recipe from the files of Alyice Edrich, The Dabbling Mum! I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it sounds wonderful. Alyice says the soup has a real peppery kick, but you can’t stop eating it. If you try it, please drop back by and let me know.

1 # salmon filets, skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 C mushrooms, chopped
1 C onions, chopped
1/2 C orange bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 C celery, chopped
3 C russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
32 oz. chicken broth, low sodium
2 C water, plus 2 Tb
1 tsp dill weed
2 Tb fish sauce
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 Tb black pepper (use 1 tsp if you don’t want it real peppery)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 C milk
1/2 C heavy cream
1 Tb cornstarch


Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.
When oil is hot, add onions and bell peppers.
Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring continually.
In a large soup pot mix together broth, water, fish sauce, celery salt, sea salt, black pepper, dill weed, onions, bell peppers, and raw veggies.
Cook over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender, about 60 minutes.
In a separate skillet, pan-sear salmon for five minutes and set aside.
When potatoes are done, add salmon to soup pot, lower heat to medium-low, and cook for another 5 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.
Mix cornstarch and 2 Tb warm water together until smooth and liquidy.
Add cornstarch mixture to soup and blend well.
Add cream, milk, and lemon juice. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Serve with warm, toasted, buttered bread. (Nico suggests Hawaiian bread.)

Add 1 C fresh green beans, cut into thirds.

About The Cook:
Alyice Edrich is a work-at-home mom with an award winning online magazine. Visit her website,, to learn how you can earn a living working from home, too. Or stop by her personal blog,, to learn more about life on the prairie.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Donna's Dill Dip

Wonderful to dip potato chips, chicken strips, or potato skins.

1/2 C. Sour Cream
1/2 C. Mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dill Weed
1 Tbsp. Dill Pickle Juice
Dill Pickles - chopped finely

Mix all ingredients.

I usually have to double or even triple this to have enough! As the flavors blend, it tastes even better. Sometimes I add some garlic or onion powder, too, and I always use Claussen Pickles.


Pineapple Dream Cake

This is a light, yummy dessert perfect for summer.

Bake according to directions in a 13 x 9 inch pan (I use a larger broiler pan, so the cake's spread out more.):

1 Yellow Cake Mix

Poke holes in baked cake with toothpick or a fork. Pour over the cake:

1 Can Crushed Pineapple in Juice (More if you really like pineapple.)


1 8-oz. pkg. Cream Cheese, softened (I've tried the lowfat, and it will do.)
1 Large Pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding
2 C. Milk

Pour over pineapple.

Pour over all:

1 Large Tub of Cool Whip

This cake is best when made and refrigerated overnight. Some recipes call for nuts on top, but I prefer it without. I think it's called 'Dream Cake' because the original recipe called for Dream Whip, but I have to say using Cool Whip is a whole lot easier!

I haven't tried yet, but one of these days, I'm going to mix it up a bit, and try some new combinations for this such as, using chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling, and chocolate pudding. Or how about orange cake mix, mandarin oranges, and vanilla pudding?

Anyone else got an idea? Leave a comment!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Topsy Turvy Links!

I find it amusing how people find this recipe site. Several people have stopped by looking for a Topsy Turvy Cake. For fun, I looked it up, and found there's a cake pan called the Topsy Turvy Cake Pan by Wilton.

I found another book called Topsy Turvy Optical Illusions. Looks like a fun book!

My son and I have been hooked on Nintendo games in the past. Here's a game featuring Yoshi.

Apparently, a lot of you are looking for Topsy Turvy Dolls. I found a site where they can be purchased. Click HERE.

AND for those who don't want to spend that much, I found an HGTV site that has sewing instructions for making your own! Click HERE.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Broccoli Casserole

One of my favorite vegetables is broccoli. I buy the huge bags at Sam's Club, and periodically I steam a couple of cups, topping it with a little bit (well, I start out with a little bit!) of butter and salt. Lately I've discovered squeezing a bit of fresh lemon over the top really brings out the flavor. But when I'm fixing a big dinner, I make Broccoli Casserole - a much richer dish. As with all these recipes, forget counting the calories. If you're going to do that, steam it instead.

10 oz. pkg. chopped broccoli

Steam til done, but not overly so. Drain well.

Mix together*:

1/2 c. Mayonnaise
1/2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 egg, beaten
Dash of black pepper

Mix well with broccoli. Spoon into greased baking dish.


1/2 c. crushed Saltines
2 tbsp. melted butter

Top broccoli with cracker mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until topping is golden.

*Sometimes I add about a 1/2 pkg. of onion soup mix to the mayonnaise mixture to make it really onion-y. Warms up well!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thousand Island Dressing

Recently we ate at Bob Evans Restaurant. The people at the next table muttered and groused, so I tuned in to hear what upset them. Someone had ordered a salad with Thousand Island dressing, and when the new menu change went into effect, guess what had been eliminated?

It got me to thinking about how frequently I used to fix homemade Thousand Island dressing. Now I suppose Ranch has taken its place - or at least it did at Bob Evans!

1 C. Mayonnaise
1/4 C. Chili Sauce (Ketchup may be substituted - but only in a pinch.)
1/4 C. Sweet Pickle Relish
2 Hard-boiled Eggs, chopped
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder (Better with chopped green onions, but since my family won't eat onions, I've learned to adapt.)

Mix well. Refrigerate.


Chop and Add: Stuffed Olives (one of my favorites), green pepper, or onion.
Top with Paprika.

To read about the origin of Thousand Island dressing, click here.