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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


How could it not be fabulous? 1 lb. bacon, 1 qt. half-and-half, 1 lb. sausage, 2 lbs. shrimp....amongst other things.....

1 lb. bacon

2 large onions, chopped

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

2 (14oz.) cans cream-style corn

2 (15oz.) cans whole kernel corn

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon basil

1 quart half-and-half

1 pound Andouille or Polish sausage, sliced

1/2 stick butter

2 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt & pepper to taste

In a very large heavy bottom pot, fry bacon, crumble and reserve. Remove half the drippings and add onions. Saute until translucent. Add cubed potatoes and just enough water to keep potatoes from sticking. Add 4 or 5 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper. Cook on medium low heat until potatoes are done., about 15 minutes. Add corn, bay leaves, basil and crumbled bacon. Add half-and-half and heat slowly. Lightly brown sausage in a frying pan and add to the pot. Simmer at least 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. In the last 5 minutes, melt butter in frying pan, saute shrimp and add to pot. Remove bay leaves.

Serves: 10
COOKS NOTE: Use extra half-and half to adjust liquid to your preference or whole milk. White corn may be used as well as yellow corn. Amount of ingredients is not critical. It is critical that this be made well ahead of time in order for the flavors to mix and mingle and marry in the end.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


These are so easy to make and a pleasure to sink your taste buds into.

2 cooking apples, peeled
1 cup sugar
2 (8oz.) pkg. crescent rolls (round ones)
1/2 cup Mountain Dew (not the 'good ol' mtn dew dew dew)
1/3 cup melted butter
cinnamon to taste

Cut apples to make 8 pieces. Put 1 piece in each section of crescent roll and roll apple up in it. Place in greased 9X12 baking dish. Mix butter and sugar and spread over dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew in pan around dumplings (do not pour over them). Do not stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 8

Friday, September 24, 2010


I am a member of paperbackswap.com and if you are not familiar with it you should be. Members post their books and then you swap back and forth. I received  a cookbook today that I had been waiting on for a long time and is marvelous darling....SEASONAL SOUTHWEST COOKING; by the multi-talented Barbara Pool Fenzl. It is a beautiful book that is literally swimming with wonderful recipes. This one just flew off of the pages at me and was saying 'eat me'.

1 tablespoon corn oil
1 (15oz.) can black beans, undrained
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs.), diced into 1/2-inch pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 Serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 cup grated Queso Fresco or Asadero cheese

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Preheat the broiler.

To prepare the bean layer: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add the black beans and their liquid, garlic, and chipolte. Cook, mashing the beans with the back of a fork until mixture has thickened slightly. and the garlic is tender, about 10 minutes. Spread the beans evenly in the bottom of the pan.

Zucchini Layer: Melt the butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until zucchini is golden and onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Spoon over the black beans.

Corn Layer: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the corn through Serrano chile. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add cilantro. Pour over the zucchini.

Spread the cheese over the corn mixture. Put pan under the broiler and cook until cheese is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.

COOKS NOTE: If making ahead, complete the recipe through the corn layer and refrigerate, covered. Preheat oven to 350 F. Reheat the casserole until warmed through, about 15 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Spread the cheese over the corn mixture and broil until golden brown.

Makes 6 servings.


A special request for Sandy Dee Wyllie.....happy Anniversary and Enjoy!

3 cups diced rhubarb
1 (3oz.) pkg. strawberry flavored jello
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
Whipped cream or ice cream

Combine rhubarb and gelatin; mix well, and set aside.

Combine flour through salt: cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and egg, mixing until smooth. Press mixture evenly into bottom and 3/4 inch up sides of a greased and floured 9-inch square baking pan, using the back of a floured spoon. Spread rhubarb mixture evenly over top, and set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture; bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve with whipped cream of ice cream.

Serves 9

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Not my recipe but a quick, easy and delicious version.
1/2 cup key lime juice
1 (14o). sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 (8oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 graham cracker crust (may use chocolate crust if you like)

Whisk together lime juice, milk, and zest. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into crust. Refrigerate.


Try this amazing dish for breakfast or brunch....the flavors just jump right out at you....fresh lump crabmeat, ranch dressing, fresh lemon juice, green onions, tomatoes and baby Swiss cheese....

1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat
white pepper to taste
1/3 cup Ranch dressing
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 green onions, finely chopped, white only
6 English muffins, split
green leaf lettuce, chopped
8 thick slices tomatoes
8 slices baby Swiss cheese
vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season crabmeat with pepper, ranch dressing, lemon juice and green onions. Toss and set aside.

Lightly toast English muffins. Lightly spread each slice of muffins with dressing and mayonnaise. Top each muffin with crabmeat mixture. Add lettuce and tomatoes to each and top with slice of cheese. Place on baking sheet which has been sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

Serves 12


Relish in the pure pleasure of chocolate and black walnuts in this irresistible pound cake. A slice of heaven in every bite.

2 sticks softened butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon each of baking powder and salt
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sweet milk
1 teaspoon black walnut flavoring
1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup chopped black walnuts

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cream well the butter, shortening, and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa together three times. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, starting with flour mixture. Add flavoring and chocolate. Fold in nuts. Bake in well greased tube pan for 1 hour and 55 minutes. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DURING BAKING. It's the law. Frost with chocolate icing if you like, or leave it plain.

"I never met a pound cake I didn't like."~Adele Forbes

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone~Our Lord and Master said: But by the living Word of God our souls must so be fed. So as I cook and serve the meals, I will sincerely pray that I shall give, along with food, some Christ-like love today. Amen

1 2/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X5-inch loaf pan. Sift together flour through nutmeg. Set aside. Cream shortening through vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stir in pumpkin. Stir in dry ingredients in 4 additions, alternating with water just until smooth. Add chopped nuts and pour into losf pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. turn out and cool right side up. Serve at room temperature.

Cooks Note: Serve with softened cream cheese.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


There are several recipes rolling around out there in the waves but this is my favorite one of them all.

3 (14oz.) cans of artichoke hearts, drained
1 (12oz.) can crab claw meat, or fresh crab if you're lucky
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, I use fresh if I have it
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients, place in pan and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 15 minutes. Serve with chips, crackers, or cubes of crusty bread.

Serves up to 15 hungry souls


This casserole is the most requested dish at my place of work. The recipe calls for shrimp, scallops, and crab meat, but I have so far only used the shrimp and it is simply divine every time! It gets really quiet around the crowded table after the first forkful is lifted to their mouths...then next comes the uuuuhhh's and ahhhh's.

1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 lb. raw shrimp, cleaned
1/2 lb. sea scallops
1/2 lb. cleaned crabmeat
!/4 cup each of chopped red and green bell pepper
1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
16oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 heaping tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
healthy pinch of white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup light cream
1 1/2 cups grated White cheddar cheese
!/2 to 3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Saute the veggies in a little butter then combine all ingredients. Place in a greased 9X13 dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Top with grated cheese and bread crumbs and drizzle with butter. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve immediately with a smile and a side of mixed greens and freshly stewed silver Queen corn.

COOKS NOTE: I use 2 lbs. medium shrimp in this recipe and top it the last 15 minutes (of the 30) with the crumbs of my Little Bits of Sunshine...and the cheese and butter of course. That is a total cooking time of only 30 minutes. I never cook my shrimp before putting it in any casserole either. There's not much worse than tough shrimp.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Strawberry Shortcake makes me smile...always has...always will.

1 1/4 cups cold milk, divided
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 pkg. (3.4oz.) Jello-O vanilla flavored instant pudding
8oz. Cool Whip, thawed, divided
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat 1/2 cup milk, sour cream and 3 tablespoons sugar in large bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in Bisquick just until moistened. Spread over bottom of greased 9-inch round cake pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Beat pudding mix and remaining milk in bowl with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in half the Cool Whip. Toss the strawberries with 1/3 cup sugar.

Cut cake horizontially to make 2 layers; stack on plate, filling with half the strawberry mixture and all the pudding mixture. Top with remaining Cool Whip and strawberry mixture. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Monday, September 6, 2010

AVOCADO-TOMATILLO RELISH (From Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook)

This bright relish melds cool, creamy avocados with tart, acidic tomatillos for an altogether fresh, green topping or dip.

3 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
3 tomatillos, husked, scrubbed, and diced
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Stir together the avocados, tomatillos, lime juice, oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Fold in the green onions and cilantro until combined. This can be made up to 30 minutes in advance and refrigerated.

Makes about 4 cups


Pound cake always hits my 'spot' no matter the flavor but here is one that takes the 'Blue Ribbon'! It is moist and flavorful and always comes out just right from the oven with the wonderful smells of peaches, almond, and vanilla flavorings permeating every nook and cranny of the house. I was fortunate enough when I made this cake yesterday to have sweet white peaches, and let me just say, I think it is the best pound cake ever. You know how certain pound cakes come out crusty on the top with a layer of moistness just underneath...oh yes, that is what this ol' country girl is talking about.

2 sticks butter (the real thing), softened
3 cups sugar
6 big eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed peaches
1 teaspoon each of almond and vanilla extracts

Cream butter in stand mixer; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine sour cream and peaches. Add flour to creamed mixture alternately with peach mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until blended after each addition. Stir in flavorings.

Pour batter into a Bundt-pan which has been greased with shortening and floured. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until done. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out onto plate. Cool for a little while anyway before getting into it. Excellent with a tall glass of organic milk.

Yield: 1 large pound cake

“The desserts we serve are all fresh homemade. We have homemade cobblers, lemon, coconut and pecan pies and pound cake.”~Donna Davis