About Me

My photo
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.

Search This Blog

Monday, October 25, 2010


Sleep In! Treat your family and friends to this delightful mid-day meal which could equally star on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Brunches are traditionally served between 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. and are normally presented buffet-style. This makes it easier on the hosts and the majority of the recipes may be made ahead of time. The rolls and the sweet potato fries offer the added convenience of being found in your grocers freezer.



Wassail Wassail; All merit good cheer
We wish three dear faithful a wondrous New Year
Our fine bowl is made of the white maple tree
With the Wassailing bowl we honor thee.~ Faith and the Muse

2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup sugar or Splenda
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
a dozen whole cloves
4 cups grapefruit juice
4 cups orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, and cook until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add juices, and heat just until hot (do not boil). Strain and discard spices. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 quarts


This is our favorite recipe for a spiral ham. Lip smacking good.

1 5 to 8 lb. spiral glazed ham
1 to 1 1/2 cups cleaned fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup strawberry wine (such as Boone's Farm)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in large roasting pan and cover the top with the strawberries. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the top of ham. Bake 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove slices to a large baking dish and top with the following Strawberry Sauce:
In saucepan mix 1 pint fresh whole cleaned strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup strawberry wine together. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, this can take as much as an hour. Keeps well in the refrigerator. 3 cups


Elegant though deceptively delicious. Doubles easily.

1 dozen large shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon butter
1 lb. fresh crabmeat, cleaned
3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 stick melted butter
Old-Bay seafood seasoning

Saute onion, pepper and celery in 1 tablespoon butter, and set aside.
Combine crabmeat through egg, add sauteed vegetables.
Top each shrimp with crab mixture, stuffing lightly, sprinkle with Old Bay and drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or slide under broiler for 5 to 8 minutes.
Serves: 4


Fresh lime juice, Dijon mustard and olive oil team together to make the dressing which stars in this healthy and delicious salad.  A most-requested recipe!

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large Granny Smith apples, coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

Whisk together lime juice and mustard, gradually whisk in oil.
Place apples, walnuts, and green onions in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over apple mixture; toss to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours.
Sprinkle sugar over cranberries, and toss to coat. Add to apple mixture and toss. Line a serving platter with lettuce; top with salad.
Serves 4 (doubles easily)

Have this cake coming out of the oven as your guests are arriving so that the spicy smell of cinnamon can drift around their heads.

2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Sift the flour, measure and resift 3 times with soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine butter and shortening and cream thoroughly. Gradually blend in the sugar, then eggs and beat vigorously until mixture is light and fluffy. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 3 or 4 portions, beginning and ending with flour, beating well after each addition. Turn batter into two 8-inch layer cake tins which have been lined with waxed-paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until springy when lightly pressed with fingertips. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn out on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, place a dollie on top to make a pretty pattern.
Serves 8

"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you...In Spring, Summer and Fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in winter in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself."~Ruth Stout


My daughter Joielle shared this recipe with me and I simply adore it. It is power-packed with fiber from three beans and corn, and spiced with taco seasoning, Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and green chiles. 1 cup has only 2 points value. This makes a big pot full so I make 1 1/2 cup freezer bags of it and that way I can have some of it whenever I want it. Be sure and use the lowest fat ground round you can find.

1 lb. (93/7) ground beef or round
1 can chili beans-undrained
1 can pinto beans-undrained
1 can kidney beans-drained
1 10oz. can corn with bell peppers
2 8oz. cans chopped green chiles
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
water as needed to cover

Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until heated through and flavors have had time to blend, about 20 minutes or so.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

LOVE LETTERS-PART 3 BIG PAUL & LITTLE JOE 1914-1924 By: Adele Forbes

The dictionary defines the word 'commitment' as follows: a pledge or promise; obligation.
My maternal grandparents, Paul Madison Vance and Effie Joe Wright, were committed to each other not only through their entire married life, but for the 10 years that they 'courted'  one another from 1914 to 1924.
In these modern times that we now live in, commitment can be a rarity not only amongst people who are married to one another, but through many other facets of life in the busy rush of our day to day activities. Their commitment to one another continues to shine through in these phenomenal letters.

November 29th, 1921; Guntersville, Alabama

"Paul Vance" I had one of the most overwhelming surprises this evening I have ever had in life if you had come yourself unexpected would not have been any greater surprise, but listen before I go one line further it was the grandest & most highly appreciated surprise I have ever had-you know what it is-and all I can say is-Paul I think it is a perfect lovely suit and every piece an ideal fit. The boots-O!-they are so nice and I could not have gone myself and got a more perfect fit-the trousers are perfect in length also in waist measure.
Otis Duran came over at noon and said "Joe you have a large package over home, said I would have brought it, but just wanted to agrivate you for awhile, everyone in the family guessed "candy", of course I have no idea what it could be." Otise's father brought the package & said, "Miss Joe I have to be first to get sight of the contents as its from Orange, Texas."
They all thought it so nice they wanted me to dress immediately, saddle my horse & make my picture, but I could not do that as I was not dolled up one bit to correspond with the suit.
You can imagine how proud I am of it-when I'm the only girl anywhere around (even in town) to have a real English riding suit. I have an idea if I was to put my whole outfit on every body far & near would stare their heads & eyes out & twist their heads off looking and tire their tongues making comments. Guess I better hush before I have to pay express on this letter-ho ho.
Paul I can't tell you how much I appreciate the lovely present with this pen, accept my thanks and a good night-your little girl.

The riding suit and boots are in my possession and I have often thought I should turn them over to the Avery County Museum, but I have just not been able to part with them as of yet.  On her deathbed she called for me to come, that she had something she wanted me to have. She instructed me to go to Sugar Mountain Nursery in Newland, NC which was their old home place through their married years, and ask Wayne &  Molly Holden for her old trunk which was stored upstairs. They graciously allowed me to have it. She told me that there was something in it that she wanted me to have and that I would know what it was when I saw it. Upon inspection of the said trunk, I found not only her wedding dress, but silk shawls and pocketbooks, hair pins and ribbons, an assortment of clothes all from stores in New York City where they had went on their honeymoon. And then my heart skipped a beat as I took into my hands a black silk crocheted dress (see through) with silk cords hanging from the sleeves and hem. She had told me that she used to wear it to have 'fun'. I knew instantly that it was meant for me, her youngest and most headstrong granddaughter, to wear as I seemed fit. It looks today as it has looked since 1925. I have worn it on numerous occasions through the years and admit to feeling 'special' in it each time I donned it, whether for 'fun' or as my Halloween outfit (with a black slip and black fishnet stockings). A special gift from a special woman who knew that I would most definitely wear it.

December 20, 1923: 1 PM; Smackover, Arkansas

Miss Joe Wright, Guntersville, Alabama
Dear Miss Wright,
I am writing you like I have known you always, as Paul Vance my pal is very sick with typhoid Phneumonia and I know you would like to hear from him, he is at my home in my and my wifes care and we are giving him every aid possible. I will let you know from time to time how he is getting along. This letter is at his request.
Your and his friend,
Walter Nelson
D.B. McDaniels Drilling Company
Smackover, Arkansas

"I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."~Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Everyone will love this fresh, creamy twist on a dessert classic.

4 cups chocolate low-fat frozen yogurt, softened
1 1/2 cups red maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1 (6oz.) chocolate cookie pie crust
1/2 cup frozen reduced-calorie Cool Whip
2 tablespoons grated bittersweet chocolate
8 red maraschino cherries with stems

Combine frozen yogurt and cherries in a large bowl; fold gently to combine. Spoon yogurt mixture into pie crust. Cover and freeze 8 hours or until firm.
Cut into 8 wedges and top each wedge with 1 tablespoon Cool Whip. Garnish with grated chocolate and cherries with stems. Serve immediately.
Serves 8

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Serve this delicious spread on toasted baguette slices or as a dip with raw veggies, such as carrots, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.

2 (14oz.) cans quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place artichokes in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until finely chopped. Add cheese and remaining ingredients; pulse to combine. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.
Serves 9

Monday, October 11, 2010


Slice into this pie, take a bite, and savor the rich, warm flavors of fall.....

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups cooked mashed butternut squash
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
Whipped Cream

Soften gelatin in water; set aside. Beat egg yolks. Combine squash, gelatin, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and milk in top of a double boiler. Cook over boiling water, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.
Beat egg whites (at room temp) until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into squash mixture, spoon into pastry shell. Chill several hours until firm. Garnish with whipped cream.
1 9-inch pie

Sunday, October 10, 2010


This layered angel food cake boasts three different kinds of ice cream. Be sure and buy whatever flavor of ice cream(s) that you like the best.

1 10-inch baked angel food cake
1 pint Moose Tracks ice cream
1 pint coffee ice cream
1 pint butter pecan ice cream

Wrap cake in plastic wrap and freeze 30 minutes; it will be easier to slice.
Allow ice cream to come to room temp, about 20 minutes, to soften.
Slice cake horizontally into 4 equal layers using a serrated knife. Place bottom cake layer on a serving plate; spread top of layer with Moose Tracks ice cream, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Top with second cake layer; and repeat layers with coffee ice cream, a cake layer, and butter pecan ice cream, and remaining cake layer. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at least 8 hours.
Spread WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds.

Beat 2 cups whipping cream at high speed of electric mixer until cream is foamy; gradually add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, beating until stiff peaks form. 4 cups


This is one of my all-time favorite pumpkin muffin recipes! They are moist and delicious and will soon be dancing a spicy jig over your taste buds.

1 15oz. can unsweetened pumpkin
1 cup canola oil
3 cups sugar
3 big eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup each of chopped walnuts and raisins
cooking spray

Beat pumpkin through cloves together at low speed of electric mixer until blended. Stir in nuts and raisins. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into lightly sprayed muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before glazing.


1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

Stir together first 3 ingredients; add walnuts. Spoon over muffins.
Makes 3 dozen

Saturday, October 9, 2010


If you are entertaining overnight guests for the holidays, they're sure to enjoy these light and luscious pumpkin rolls served with a pat of Amish butter.

1 (16oz.) pkg. hot roll mix
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
1 big egg
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup raisins
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Dissolve yeast packet from hot roll mix in warm water; let stand 5 minutes. Combine pumpkin, egg, and 2 Tbsp. sugar; mix well. Add yeast; stir in flour packet from hot roll mix to make a stiff dough. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Turn dough out on a floured surface; knead 12 times. Roll dough into a 15X12-inch rectangle. Spread with melted butter.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin pie spice; sprinkle over butter. Top with raisins. Beginning at long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; press edges and ends together securely. Cut into 1-inch slices; place rolls, cut side down, in a greased 13X9 baking pan.
Cover and let rise in a warm place , free from drafts, about 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.
Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla; drizzle over warm rolls.
Yield: 15 rolls

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Cook-and-serve vanilla pudding stars in this easy rice pudding recipe that tastes as good as grandmother used to make. The next time you have some leftover rice be sure and try it.

1 (4.6oz.) pkg. cook-and-serve vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
 1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Prepare pudding according to package directions using 3 cups of milk. Remove from heat, stir in rice, raisins and cinnamon. Serve warm.
Serves 6


You cannot begin to imagine just how good this cake is. A white cake mix is what makes it quick and easy. Enjoy!

1 pkg. plain white cake mix
1 cup whole milk
1 stick butter-melted
3 big eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 9-inch pans. Beat all ingredients. Pour in pan. Bake 30 minutes. cool 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Frost with:


1 stick butter
1/2 cup each of light and dark brown sugars
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups confectioners sugar-sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until it comes to a boil. Add milk and bring back to boil. Remove from heat. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Frost cake between layers, top and sides.