Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas

I've been on a blogging break...I think the year caught up with me.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior I wish many Christmas Blessings for you in the coming year.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cheeseburger Soup

  • 2 1/2 # Ground beef
  • 1 1/2 C Chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 C Chopped celery
  • 2 C Shredded carrots [I buy the match stick carrots and rough chop]
  • 2 TBS Basil
  • 2 TSP Parsley flakes
  • 8 TBS Butter, divided
  • 5 1/2 C Chicken broth [abt 3 cans or 42 oz] I buy the boxed broth in fat free and low sodium]
  • 8 C Diced potatoes [abt 6 med to lg size]
  • 1/2 C Flour
  • 2 to 3 C Milk
  • 16 Oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 16 Oz Sour cream
  • S & P to taste - do this last

Cook and drain ground beef. In a dutch oven or soup pot saute the onions, celery, carrots, basil and parsley in 2 TBS butter until tender. Add the broth, potatoes and meat. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until potatoes are done. While this is cooking...

... in a separate small skillet melt the rest of the butter and add the flour, cooking a few minutes, removing the raw flour taste. Add to soup and bring to a boil, cooking 2 minutes then reducing heat to low.

Add cheese and milk, starting with 2 cups. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the other cup of milk to adjust desired thickness.

Remove from heat and add sour cream. Add half and check for your desired taste.

When reheating do not boil.

This is so good served with your favorite bread.

This recipe works halved.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Perfect serving size

I love these plastic freezer jars by Ball. I found them in 8 and 16 ounce sizes. I envisioned using them for picnics and in our travel cooler.

Today I made the large box [.60 oz] of Jell-O and used the 8 ounce size to create single servings. Just grab one and top with whipped cream and you're ready to enjoy a snack - quickly! Filling about 2/3 to the top made six servings.

And, after they cooled in the fridge I added the lids to keep the Jell-O top from getting that, well, hard rubbery texture that happens if left uncovered.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Taco Soup

Everyone has their own version. Here is mine:

2# of hamburger
Small yellow onion - diced
1 can chili beans or mexican beans
1 can kidney beans [dark or light]
2 cans of tomatoes [diced or stewed]
1 can white corn - drained
1 pkt taco seasoning [reduced sodium]*
1 pkt hidden valley ranch dressing
2 cups water. More or less based on desired thickness

Cook hamburger and onion. Drain fat.
Add canned goods.
Add taco and dressing packets.
Add amount of water for your desired thickness.

Optional topping: tortillas chips and shredded cheese.

* Add another 1/2 packet of taco seasoning for a deeper flavor.
-Add 1 can of rotel and 1 can green chilis to spice it up.
-To stretch for a few more people add another can of corn, tomatoes and beans.
-Freezes well.

Please wipe your can tops with damp cloth before opening. Most can tops dip into the contents while opening and you don't won't shelf dust or anything else getting into your food. Yuck!

Oops, no photo. We ate it all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sophisticated Grits

Sinfully good!

1 cup chicken broth: I try to get fat free & low sodium when I can find it.
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups quick cooking grits
1/4 to 1/2 cup of cream or half/half
1/2 stick of butter
S&P - to taste

Heat broth and water to simmer.
Add cream.
Add grits and stir constantly until done.
Remove from heat and add butter and S&P.

Optional: Add cheese. Cheddar is good and fresh grated parmesan really knocks it out of the ballpark.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I added a new page...with a list of my cookbook library. The internet makes it so easy to find new recipes to try or old ones that you love, but sometimes I just want to sit down and browse a real book or take one on a road trip to help pass the miles. Here are my two new ones.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chicken Monte Carlo Casserole

  • 1 chicken - cooked / roasted [or 1 flash frozen bag of tenderloins]
  • 1 family size - frozen broccoli cuts/florets - cooked
  • 1 small onion - diced
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup of mayo
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 8 oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing
  • 1 stick of butter - melted
  • S & P to taste

Heat oven to 350.

Remove chicken from bones and cut into bite size pieces. Layer in 9x13 baking dish.

Top chicken with the broccoli and gently mix. S & P to taste.

In a mixing bowl combine: soups, lemon juice, mayo, onion and cheese.

Spread soup mixture over the chicken/broccoli layer.

Add melted butter to cornbread stuffing, mixing well.

Cover the casserole with cornbread stuffing and bake 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Cover with foil to prevent over browning before hot.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Roasted Red Potatoes and Artichokes

Recipe rewind... Linking up with a previous post for the weekend potluck [2/17/12]. An easy and delicious side dish. The thyme and saltiness of the feta...yum!

10 Red potatoes
2 cans Artichoke hearts - drained
1 C Diced onion
1 TBS Thyme
1/4 to 1/3 C Olive Oil
1/4 to 1/2 C Feta cheese [crumbled]
S & P

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a sheet tray with foil and coat with non-stick spray.

Wash and dry potatoes. Cut into halves and each half into thirds. [for quick cooking]. In a large bowl toss the potatoes, onion, olive oil and thyme. Layer on the sheet tray.

Take each artichoke and gently squeeze the packing liquid from it and then cut in half. Gently toss the artichokes in the bowl used for the potatoes. Layer on the sheet tray.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes - tossing halfway through cooking time.

Remove from oven and toss with feta cheese. S & P to taste.


Roasted Tomato Bisque

The weather is turning cooler and that means time for soups, stews and chili.

14 Roma or Plum Tomatoes
32 oz fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 Small yellow onion - finely diced
1 Carrot - peeled and finely diced or 3 handfuls of match stick carrots chopped
2 Celery ribs - finely diced
1 1/2 TBS - Diced garlic [fresh or jar]
3 TBS Tomato paste [heaping]
1/2 TBS Sugar
1 TSP Italian seasoning
1 TBS Basil
3 TBS Flour
4 TBS Unsalted butter
2 TBS Olive oil + more for drizzle
1/4 C Heavy cream
S & P

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet tray with foil and apply non-stick spray.

Cut tomatoes in half length-wise. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake about an hour and half or until done. Before I cut in half I cut the stem top off. See the photo below. Let cool and peel skin from tomatoes.

In soup pot:
In 2 TBS olive oil and 2 TBS butter saute onion, carrot and celery until translucent.
Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.
Add the other 2 TBS butter and tomato paste and incorporate.
Add flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
Add broth, tomatoes, basil, italian seasoning and sugar and bring to a boil - cook 10 minutes
Lower heat and simmer until tomatoes break down. [30 mins]

Pulse or puree and return to pan. Or leave as is for a rustic soup.
Add cream and heat through.

Serve with a grilled cheese or crusty bread. Yum!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I haven't always been one to look for the good things that happen during a hard part of life. Perhaps I do now because of age and maturity or my faith.

While I am sad that I missed summer altogether with traveling back and forth to help daddy after his hip surgery and stroke, I am happy that I reconnected with my cousin, Teresa. In more years than I care to think about we've only seen each other at family funerals.

My Mama and her Daddy are siblings and both have passed away. While their absence leaves us with empty spots in our family I really hope we can share our lives in the days ahead. I know Mama and Uncle Jimmy would like that.

Thank you, cuz, for being a blessing to me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bama White Sauce

I love sauces!

Southern bbq sauces are mustard based. This is a mayo based sauce, often called white bbq sauce, in parts of Alabama. It is tangy and tart and great on grilled chicken. Adjust the vinegar level to your liking. You may want to start with just a little less than 1 ounce and see if you like it before adding all of it.

Cider Vinegar - 1 ounce [= 2T] or 2 1/2 T for more tart
Water - 2 ounces [=4T]
Mayo - 1 1/2 cups
1 t - Black Pepper
1/2 t - Garlic Powder
1/2 t - Onion Powder
1/4 t - Cayenne Pepper or 1/2 for more kick
1/2 t - Dry Mustard
1 t- Lemon Juice

Pour vinegar into a pint jar. Add other ingredients and shake well. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

I like to give a jar with the recipe card tied to it as a gift. You can buy white plastic jar lids to use in place of the ones that come with the canning jars.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Buttermilk Cornbread

Heat oven to 425 degrees.


Cast iron skillet
Mine belonged to my precious Mama

2 cups + 3 TBS of self-rising cornmeal
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup of bacon fat [about 6 slices]
1 tsp of "butt rub" or other seasonings, as desired

Mix buttermilk and egg and add to cornmeal. Stir in 3 TBS of bacon fat. Let mixture sit 5 minutes.

Pour the rest of the bacon fat into the skillet and coat well.

Pour the mixture into skillet and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Note: You can throw the bacon in the freezer and use in a bean pot later.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Master Blog

To make it easier to refer others to my blogs I have created this one, using my name, as my master blog. The pages are direct links to my other blogs that focus on cemeteries, genealogy & photography.

Digital Cemetery Walk - Cemetery
Digital Photo Walk - Photography
Eastside Cemetery - Cemetery
Piney Woods & Prairie Winds - Genealogy

Not linked above is the blog, Dear Clayton, that I kept while my son, Clayton, was deployed to Afghanistan. Soon it will be printed into book form.

I plan to share other things outside of those topics here.