It’s time….

25 Nov

…to brush off the cookbook and get back to trying out Grandma’s recipes. What better way to do so, than for Thanksgiving?!

We actually had a traditional dinner two weeks ago when my sister and her family were visiting. Tomorrow, we are heading to my stepdaughter’s house for a not-so-traditional meal of lasagna. Who does that?! However, it will be a nice change from all the typical foods at this time of year. 

So, I have a carton of whipping cream already in the fridge. I’m thinking a cream pie, or crust less pie. We will see what Grandma has to say about it. 

Grandma would be proud

19 Jan

I tried my hand at merengue last night. Let’s just say that in the world of baking, a stand mixed would be worth it’s weight in gold if I made these types of pies regularly.

In an effort to become a healthier family, we are starting to cut back on refined sugars and processed foods. So, to use what we already had, I gabbed the cookbook and did. Quick search. I’m not sure why chocolate, but I’m glad I started making it.

It was delicious.

8/31/96- George with his tractor is mowing around my house and chicken house. Lance visited; sprayed wasp nest in carport. 9/3/96- all my 85 3/4 yrs, my family grew sweet potatoes, but I never saw or heard of these beautiful orchid colored blooms w/reddish purple colored throat until this year. YOU LORD ARE MASTER OF THE EARTH. GIVE STRENGTH TO YOUR PEOPLE.



Banana Jasmine Rice Pudding

8 Jan

We had Frito Pie last night for dinner. If you aren’t familiar with that, you’ve probably never been a Texan or been in the general vicinity of a Texan. But that’s pseudo-forgivable and the recipe is super easy. Take Fritos and put chili and shredded cheese on top. Now, some places will try to peddle you some rubbish about jalapeños, onions, or olives on top of these “pies.” They, my friend, are smoking the proverbial crack. This is a simple dish, easy, and tasty. That’s all.

With all that said, I wanted a little more substance with my bowl, so I decided to make a bag of rice. Yes, bag. As in boil-in-the-bag rice. Thank you, Uncle Ben, for taking the head work out of rice. Well, once the rice was done, I realized that no one else would want rice in their dish. But they would eat pudding made from the rice. So began a search for easy rice pudding.

I grabbed the first recipe I found, but needed to make alterations to it because I either didn’t have the ingredients or didn’t want to use them.

So, enjoy this rice pudding. I also included alternative ingredients to suit your dietary whims.

Banana Jasmine Rice Puddin
• 1 bag, cooked, of boil-in-bag jasmine rice
• Approx. 1.75 cups almond milk
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I’d even cut that back to 1/3 or 1/2 cup because of the banana)
• 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
• ***optional 1egg yolk for a more “sturdy” pudding, but tempering it is a pain***
• 2 Tbsp. butter/margarine/butter substitute
• 1 banana chopped or mashed
• ½ tsp. salt

Bring to a boil the rice, sugar, milk and vanilla. Lower to a simmer 25 min., stirring occasionally every 3-4 minutes. Add mashed bananas, salt, and butter (& egg) and cook 2 min more. Let set in fridge.

We topped ours with whipped cream, but you could sprinkle a little brown sugar, cinnamon, or chopped nuts on top. I had a serving this morning for breakfast, but I was a little overwhelmed by the banana flavor and the overtly sweet nature of the entire thing. Next time I’ll cut back the sugar (as I noted above) and I might even cut the banana in half. But it was good nonetheless.

Grandma’s notes: this was not one of her recipes, but I think she’d have made it and it would have been perfect warm, on a cold, rainy day.


Thank you, thankyouverymuch

26 Sep

I tried to type that in my best Elvis accent.


I finally got off my keister and made the canned goods I planned to make!  My two recipes yielded 4 jars of Pickled Squash and 5 of Pear Honey.  If you remember, the pear honey made it into the county fair back in 2012 and sold for $70.  Not Texas State Fair worthy, mind you, but a start for someone who had only been canning/preserving for less than a month!

Anyway, it’s been one of the most popular amongst my friends and was a natural choice when deciding what I wanted to give away as thank you gifts.  The second choice seemed the least time-intensive of most of the pickle recipes and I had yet to conquer the pickle realm.


And so, I give you…my goods!

photo(5)Yeah, I know, not the best photo…but it will have to do.  The squash was surprisingly easy to make and I did it first since it took the longest.  You can find the pear honey post here.  I’ll share the pickles recipe because I think canning/preserving is a lost art (though there are many who still do it) and it it easy to do.  You need no special canning equipment other than pots and pans!


Pickled Squash

  • 8 Cups sliced squash (think pickle chips)
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 bell peppers (green or red give the best colors)
  • 2 tsp mustard seed

Sprinkle squash with salt and let stand one hour.  Except for the squash, mix everything else and bring to a boil.  Drain water off squash; add to boiling liquid.  Bring to boil again and cook an additional minute.  Then put in jars and seal.  Yield: 5 pints.

Grandma’s Notes: 10/1/99- 52 degrees at 8:45; walked to Lance’s driveway and back.  The four-o’clocks are so pretty since the rain.  10/3/99- Zach came; visited and talked about some of his future plans.  Crocheted, read, and picked up pecans.  I BRING MY LIFE TO YOU LORD BECAUSE I KNOW WHATEVER IS WRONG IN IT, YOU CAN FIX IT, AND I WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN.


I just realized that the above journal entries are almost right back where I needed them for the time of year.  I guess I planned that just right.

Gotta Get Movin’

9 Sep

Just a quick post as time seems to have quickly flown since we found out we are going to be welcoming our second child in just under 8 weeks (give or take)!  My plan is to make a few of my recipes as “thank you” gifts for upcoming showers and gatherings.

If you want to know what I’m planning on making, there are two recipes I have in mind:
1) Pear Honey and
2) Pickled Squash (a new one for me!)


The pear honey, you may recall, didn’t win at the county fair in 2012, but it did sell for $70 in the 4H auction.  Not too bad for a rookie!  I’m looking forward to making the pickles too.  I’ve not yet ventured into the “pickling” realm, but the recipe isn’t too difficult looking.


I hope to post some pictures and entries as I make these things.  It should be within the next week or two.

Back in the Saddle Again…

8 Jun

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know it’s been a while, ok a LONG time, since I last posted anything. I apologize.

Upon returning from a date night with my hubby, I thought it would be fun to make cookies with the rug-rat.  He didn’t really seem too enthused, until I started asking for a “special cookie maker.”  That got him excited, go figure.  So, I started looking at the ingredients I had on hand and Grandma’s trusty recipes.  I was missing a key ingredient for a cookie I thought looked easy enough: Mincemeat Cookies.  I ran out of pear mincemeat at Christmas and didn’t have any other jars on hand.  However I did have three jars of fig preserves from my Aunt Barbara.  She and her daughter, Haley (my oldest cousin), are always good for a few jars of this and that when I’m home.

So, I used chopped fig preserves.  If you have never had mincemeat, I suggest you try some.  Unless your great-aunt Gertrude still makes it the “real” way (with the meat of a hog’s head), a jar of modern mincemeat is usually a mix of spices, sugar and various “hearty” fruits like pears and apples.  While figs are a little softer in texture, their flavor is a similar profile and mincemeat.  In other words, it worked.

There was no indication as to the yield in the recipe.  It made about 48-60 cookies I think (give or take the “tester” cookies).  So here it is, the first recipe of the year.  Better late than never!

Mince Meat Cookies

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 cup shortening (I used butter)
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1 cup of mince meat, or preserves of your choice

Sift the flour, salt, and soda together.  Cream butter and sugar then beat and add eggs.  Stir in mince meat.  Add the dry ingredients and mix.  Drop by the spoonful (or see option below) onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400* for about 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden.  Option: make bake in thin sheet and cut into bars.


Gave him a cookiephoto(2)

First biteHe likes them!He liked it!

The mix seemed a little dry while mixing, so I poured in some of the fig preserve liquid to moisten it up a bit.  It worked well and the cookies taste amazing!  The hubby just came out of the kitchen exclaiming, “Wow, that made a lot of cookies!”  Another note: The hubby is not a fig eater but enjoyed these cookies, so they must be good!


Grandma’s Notes: 9/20/98- Went to church; crocheted some.  THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR CLOSENESS TO ME IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE.


Dairy free, egg free, no junk added ice cream

1 Feb

So, I’ve done a lot of reading and researching and decided that I’m changing up how I eat. Since the main issue I’ve had has been with dairy, I knew I’d needed to figure out how to change recipes and my usual go-to snacks (I LOVE me some queso)!

I am an over-ripe banana hoarder. We buy them, all nice and yellow, only to forget about them and watch them all but peel themselves off the banana hook (although I have been standing next to the kitchen counter when one decided to peel…creepy). They then get tossed into the freezer where they await their fate: bread, smoothie, and the pièce de résistance ICE CREAM.

That was tonight’s challenge, which I gladly accepted! The picture below is all I had left after I realized I should have taken the picture at the beginning.

Oh well.

Amber’s Pb & Cocoa Ice “Cream”
• 2 frozen bananas peeled
• 1-2 TBSP peanut butter
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk ( mine is unsweetened)
• 1 tsp cocoa powder
• 1 short squirt/dash/splash agave nectar

Throw everything in the blender and mix until smooth. The variance in milk depends on how much you need to keep the mixture moving in the blender. I then poured it into a Tupperware container and plopped it into the freezer for about a hour-and-one-half hour. After an hour, or so, I took it out and stirred it (the edges freeze quicker). I added pecans to top it, but you don’t need anything!


Enjoy, and let me know how yours turns out!


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