Friday’s Fave Five

FFF fall leaves 2

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts a “Friday Fave Five” in which we share our five favorite things from the past week. Click on the button to read more of the details, and you can visit Susanne to see the list of others’ favorites or to join in.

1. A ladies’conference that a sister church invited our ladies to last weekend with the theme “Christ My Light.”

2. A relatively quiet week after several busy ones.

3. The Private Diary of Bella Swan, HT to Carrie. I haven’t read the Twilight books and only saw the film because my son and his girlfriend wanted to, so I’m not a fan, but I thought this was funny.

4. This video:

5. Not one but TWO food items! Both chocolate.

I’m on a quest to find a chocolate chess pie recipe that tastes similar to the one at Golden Corral. The first one I tried was The Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie. It was good – but not like Golden Corral’s. So the experimentation will continue. 🙂


And I’ve been craving these Choco Peanut Butter Dreams for days and finally made them last night.


Happy Friday!


  • Whew! Busy day. I feel like I’ve been “going” all day — and I am definitely not the Energizer Bunny! It’s nice to sit down for a while.
  • Jason got his first full-time pay check a few days ago and remarked, “Now I know why people gripe about taxes so much!” Welcome to adulthood, m’boy.
  • The boys went to a fellowship at church last week that I missed due to not feeling well, and when they got home I asked them what kinds of things were served. In naming some of the things, Jeremy said something that sounded like “foreos.” I said, “What….?” He replied, “Fake Oreos. Faux Oreos. Fauxreos.” I thought that was pretty clever.
  • Had a quick and easy dinner tonight. We had some leftover sausage from Jeremy’s pizza last week and a partial package of pepperoni, so I stopped at the store for some crescent roll dough (love that stuff! What did we do before someone invented it?) and provolone cheese and made pizza rolls. Then I borrowed an idea from Jason’s fiancee that she had made once while she was here and made a few with chocolate chips and a glaze made of powdered sugar, milk, and  a bit of vanilla for dessert. Good stuff.

Crescent rolls with chocolate chips and icing

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Chipped


Theme: Chipped | Become a Photo Hunter

I know I just posted this picture a week or so ago, but it fits the theme, and I figured you’d rather see this than my chipped dishes:

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

This is a Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, like a peanut butter kiss cookie in bar form, filled with mini chocolate chips and topped with as Hershey’s kiss. I found the recipe on a Land O’ Lakes margarine box.

Visit TN Chick, the creator and hostess of the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, to see more variations on the chipped theme or to join in the fun.

Turkey Bone Soup

A couple of commenters on my Thanksgiving Meme post yesterday asked about Turkey Bone Soup. I don’t have a recipe per se — it’s one of those “toss in whatever you like” dishes. But here is what I do.

After Thanksgiving dinner wrap the turkey carcass in plastic wrap until you are ready to make soup. If you are going to make it in a couple of days, you can store it in the refrigerator: if it will be longer than that put it in the freezer.

When ready put the turkey carcass in a Dutch oven or large soup pan, cover with water, and simmer about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the bones and pour the contents of the pan through a strainer into another pan or bowl. Then add rice or noodles, vegetables, and small bits of turkey to the broth and simmer til rice or noodles are done and all is heated through. I usually add rice, a can of Veg-all or frozen mixed vegetables, salt, pepper, minced onion, and garlic powder (and sometimes, if the stock isn’t flavored as much as I’d like, a bit of instant chicken bullion). Sometimes I’ll also add other leftover vegetables. You can use fresh vegetables, of course — just allow more time for them to cook and hold off adding the rice or noodles for a little while so they don’t get too soggy.

I just did a quick search for Turkey Bone Soup and found several that were very similar using anything from cabbage to carrots and potatoes, and one advocated adding a bay leaf.

Sorry not to be more exact! I’ve gotten used to my pan and about how much to add in.

This is one of my all-time favorite soups and one of my favorite ways to use leftover turkey. I wish I had a nice picture: maybe I’ll take one this year.

Giving Thanks I am linking this to Kelli’s Week of Giving Thanks at There’s No Place Like Home — a festival of Thanksgiving posts — poems, quotes, decorations, crafts, recipes, etc.

How did I miss National Chocolate Day

…on October 28? My gastronomical first love! I’ll just have to have a belated celebration with something chocolate…besides the Halloween candy I bought this morning.

I was first alerted to this special day by The Common Room who linked to a recipe for Dangerous Chocolate Cake in a Mug at Life In a Shoe. As I said there, it sound perfect when you’re craving something chocolate but don’t want a whole panful of brownies to tempt you to have more. I need to try it!

(Photo courtesy of the stock xchng.)

Friday’s Fave Five

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts a “Friday Fave Five” in which we share our five favorite things from the past week. Click on the button to read more of the details.

So here are a few favorite things from my week:

1. 50% off coupons and gifts cards — in general! — but especially when with them I got:

2. These clear stamps for free:

Clear stamps

You just peel them off and put them on the clear block, stamp, wash it off and put it back. I love the idea of being able to see exactly where you are putting the stamp — the old ones were on wooden blocks and sometimes it would take several tries to get it straight and exactly where I wanted it. I haven’t tried these yet but I am itching to.

The gift card was to Michael’s from Jesse for my birthday — can you believe I’d had it since August and hadn’t used it yet? But I am glad I saved it for now.

3. This stuff:

My two older sons love the Sticky Fingers restaurant in the town where they commute to school, but the rest of us had never been there — there is not one in our town. We finally did go over there and eat a few weeks ago, and I LOVED this sauce. And they sell it in some grocery stores!

I have a couple of baked dishes with barbecue sauce, and it didn’t really work well for that — we liked our regular Kraft BBQ sauce better. But as a condiment it is out of this world.

I made a new recipe (to me) called Saucy Pork Chops in the crock pot last Sunday, and it was just ok to me. It seemed to be missing something, though the rest of the family liked it. But we had more pork chops than I had thought were in the package, so I pulled the meat off the bones of the rest of it and Monday got some onion rolls for sandwiches, and with the Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet sauce — oh my — mouth bliss!!!

4. Texas Toast. I had seen this in the stores for ages but just had never gotten any. But I got some this week because in the store I couldn’t decide between the onion rolls or Texas Toast for the BBQ sandwiches. Then I made French toast with them one morning for breakfast. I haven’t made French toast in ages, but now I am planning on making it for the family this weekend. More mouth bliss!!

5. One of my favorite moments this past week occurred last night. Often the messages from the BJU chapel service come on the radio around the time I am cleaning up the kitchen, and I enjoy listening to it while I am working there, but usually when I am done I turn off the radio and leave the room. Last night, though, the message was on a passage I had just read that morning (from Eph. 4 about grieving the Holy Spirit), and it was really speaking to my heart, so I stayed in the kitchen while it was on. While I was listening I decided to do some of those “extra” kitchen jobs like cleaning out the microwave and cleaning the crumbs from the bottom of the toaster oven, etc. Cleaning is not my favorite thing, but I do enjoy the results, and listening to something profitable while my hands are busy enhances the time. In fact…in some ways I listen better when my hands are busy. If I am just sitting I tend to get drowsy or distracted or fidgety. I know of mission churches in primitive areas where the people had no concept of any kind of public meeting with one speaker, much less church, and the idea of sitting still and listening when they had so much to do was preposterous to them, so they brought their basket-making or rope-making or net-mending or carving or whatever along with them to church. I’ve thought that’s really not a bad idea! But I can’t see our American churches going that way, and I don’t think I would really be ready for them to.

I’m digressing, but that whole time was a blessing not only in getting some things done that aren’t part of my daily routine (I so enjoyed using my gleaming microwave this morning!), but even more than that I enjoyed a message that really spoke it my heart in a way that it hadn’t been spoken to in a long time and opened up the passage a little more for me. I have still been thinking about it this morning.

Then earlier I caught a brief clip of a message while in the kitchen for a few minutes that has also stayed with me, about the fact that King Darius’s eyes were opened to see that “the God of Daniel…is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end” (Daniel 5:26) primarily through an unfair situation — the “set-up” that landed Daniel in the lion’s den. It really gives a new perspective that the Lord may have us in situations like that not only to teach us something, but to manifest something of Himself through us. Paul and Silas singing while in jail would be another example — an unfair situation that led to the salvation of the jailer and others. And Joseph’s life. I wonder how many opportunities like that I miss because I am inwardly grousing over the unfairness and injustice of it all instead of trusting the Lord to work in the situation.

So…it looks like it was a good week for being fed — spiritually, creatively, mentally, and spiritually.

I Remember Laura Blogathon: Week 3: Family Recipes

Miss Sandy of Quill Cottage is hosting an “I Remember Laura” blogathon on Mondays through the month of June in memory of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author if the “Little House” series of books. There will also be an art swap going on each week in connection with the theme: Click on the picture for more information. Also throughout the month she will be sharing parts of an interview with Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore, a descendant of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I have so been enjoying this blogathon! Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books have been among my favorites for years, and I have had fun remembering events of her life. I even have two other books by and about her that have been on my shelves for years that I am inspired to dust off and get into. And quilts and buttons are some of my favorite crafty subjects. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s responses each week!

I will enjoy this week, too, even though I am sadly lacking in the subject of family recipes. My own mother wasn’t terribly domestic in the first place, and with working full time and more and commuting across Houston, she just didn’t have a lot of time or energy or interest in making dinner (and I wouldn’t have either!) We had a lot of convenience foods and basic, simple things. So I don’t remember much in the way of special family recipes. I do remember that one of her specialties when she had time was a pot of beans. That may sound funny — beans aren’t special to most people. But I grew up on beans and rice and cornbread — usually pinto beans, but sometimes Northern. She seasoned them just very basically with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. When I was little she was often asked to bring her beans to gatherings, and for those she sometimes put jalapeños in them, which I didn’t care for, personally.

I spent a lot of time with my father’s mother as I was growing up, and I remember her as the classic Granny with an apron on and cooking all the time, but I don’t remember any distinctive dishes except for pumpkin bread made in coffee cans. My mother’s mother passed away when I was about four, so I have very little memory of her. I do remember discovering a recipe of hers for some kind of cinnamon coffee cake when I was a teen-ager and first learning to cook that I loved and made a lot. But somehow that little recipe card in her handwriting got lost. That’s been one of the saddest losses to me both because it was a good recipe and because it was hers. Last fall my step-father and sisters brought up several things that had been in a trunk for us to sort through and see if there was anything we wanted. One of the items was my mother’s baby book which had these two recipes in them.

Old recipes

One is for Golden Pumpkin Bread and one is for Lemon Pie. I haven’t made either of them yet. I have wondered how often they were made if they were tucked in a baby book…unless my grandmother shared my penchant for tucking papers into odd places (and then forgetting where they were put…). The one on the right for Lemon Pie looks well-used and looks like my grandmother’s handwriting. I am happy to have them because they were hers.

I remember being impressed with the way Laura’s family used everything when they butchered an animal, even a pig’s bladder to be remade into a ball to toss! Industriousness is one of the traits I admire most in pioneer and colonial women. Once when we were at a place where people were dressed and acting out life in this era, I remember watching food being cooked in fireplaces over an open fire and wondering how in the world they ever made things to the right degree of doneness and got everything ready at the same time..and then it would have been so hot to cook that way, especially in the summer time! Even stoves that you built a fire into would have been hard to regulate. And dealing with food while they traveled in a covered wagon — I don’t know how they did it!

One recipe I do have from my mom is for Surprise Jello.

Surprise Jello

1 large package lime Jello
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans
1 small can fruit cocktail
Handful miniature marshmallows

Prepare Jello as directed on package. Drain fruit cocktail and combine with coconut, pecans, and marshmallows: add to Jello and chill. Makes 8-10 servings.

I don’t really care for coconut, but I like it ok in this recipe. It could be left out if desired, as could the pecans if anyone is allergic to or doesn’t like nuts.

My own boys have already told me they want some of my recipes when they leave home. Here are a couple of family favorites:

Chicken Enchilada Bake

2 cans cream of chicken soup
2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into pieces, or around 9 chicken tenderloin pieces, cooked and cut into small pieces
1 pint sour cream
3/4 lb. Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
6 flour tortillas or 8 corn tortillas
1 small can green chilies, diced (optional)

Mix soup, sour cream, chicken, chilies, and half the cheese, Tear tortillas into bite-size pieces and stir into chicken mixture. Pour into casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Or, leave off the remaining cheese, microwave for about 3 minutes, stir, top with remaining cheese, and microwave for another 3 minutes.

Pudding Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 pkg (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine butter, sugars, pudding mix, and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs. Mix flour with baking soda. and gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chips. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes (mine usually take 10-12 minutes). I used to add chocolate chunks or miniature Hershey’s kisses just for something different, but I haven’t been able to find those lately.


You can find other participants sharing family recipes (or join in!) here at Quill’s Cottage.

Recipe Round-Up: Side dishes


Recipe round-up is a monthly meme hosted by different bloggers with a different emphasis every month. More information about it can be found here. This month’s focus is on side dishes and the hostess is The Accidental Pastor’s Wife.

I had actually thought this was coming up on Thursday, so I an running late!

To me deciding on a side dish is almost harder sometimes than deciding on a main dish. Here are a few of our favorites.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 bag frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8-oz. carton sour cream
2 T. minced onion or 1 small onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 sleeve of Town House, crushed
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Combine ingredients in large bowl; spoon into 9 x 13-inch pan. Combine 3 tablespoons melted butter with about 1 sleeve crushed Town House crackers. Top casserole with crumbs. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Yield: 8-10 servings.

(I usually start it in the microwave before adding the crumb topping, stirring every five minutes for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, then top with the crumbs and bake in oven for about ten minutes. This is a family favorite but probably pretty high calorie.)

Vegetable Medley

(I developed this as a way to eat broccoli without adding cheese sauce, which is the way I originally learned to like them, then added cauliflower and carrots later.)

1 1/2 c. fresh broccoli cut into small pieces
1 1/2 c. fresh cauliflower cut into small pieces
1 1/2 c. baby carrots, sliced
1 T minced onion
1/2 c. water
1 T. instant chicken bouillon

Mix all ingredients. Microwave on high 3 minutes. Stir. Microwave another 3 minutes. Stir. Adjust cooking time according to how well-cooked you like your vegetables. We like ours between crisp and mushy. You could try different vegetables as a variation.

Carrot Coins with Thyme

4 cups frozen sliced carrots, thawed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, saute the carrots and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, thyme and pepper; heat through. Yield: 4 servings.

(This was adapted from a Simple and Delicious magazine recipe. I used raw carrots instead, which worked fine except that it took a little longer.)

Find more great side dish recipes here.