Thursday, September 17, 2009


My dear mother was born on this date in 1923.  She entered the Gates of her Heavenly Home when she was only 64.  We miss her dearly, but are very grateful for the influence and godly example she so freely shared with us while she walked among us.  She loved to sew - and she let me spend time in the kitchen while she was busy at her machine.  Thus, I credit her with my love of being in the kitchen. Thank you Mom! *-*Grandma King I want to honor Mom today by sharing a couple of favorite recipes from her files.


(One that my siblings still request at family gatherings)

3/4 cup sugar
1 T. butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 Tb. baking cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix by hand and pour into greased 9" X 9" square baking dish.
Sprinkle over top: 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix 1/4 cup baking cocoa and 1/2 cup brown sugar together, then sprinkle over top.
Pour 1-1/4 cup boiling water over top and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutess or until center is set.
Serve upside down with whipped cream.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

The following cookie recipe is my favorite crunchy cookie. One of my fondest memories of mom is when she would spend a winter's day in the kitchen baking several varieties of cookies. When we'd get home from school - the kitchen windows would all be fogged up and the kitchen counters and table, would be covered with the 'fruits' of her labors. We'd get to choose one (maybe two) cookies for an after-school snack and the rest would go in the freezer to be used for our school lunches and unexpected company. She made mostly crunchy cookies because my dad always loved dunking cookies in his coffee.

[caption id="attachment_873" align="alignright" width="269" caption="credit:myspicykitchen"]3381920669_ff24f22355[/caption]


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon, optional
1 cup shortening (margarine or Crisco)
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
1 - 12 ozs. pkg. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine dry ingredients; beat shortening, eggs, and sugars until smooth.  Blend in dry ingredients - add vanilla and oats - then chocolate chips.  Drop by teaspoonsful on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 - 14 minutes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gooey Grape Salad/Dessert

This is a healthier substitute for a sweeter dessert and very delicious.  When grapes are on sale, this is the dish to make.  It's a very attractive presentation for company also.


5 cups washed seedless grapes -
(red, green, or a mixture)
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup white sugar
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped/toasted pecans

Mix cream cheese until smooth - blend in sour cream and white sugar.  Stir in grapes to coat and pour into 2 qt. dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over top - then pecans.  Cover and refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before serving.

I am amazed at how well this keeps in the refrigerator - up to a week.  I use reduced-fat cream cheese and sour cream, and substitute Splenda for the white sugar. 
Linked to Mop it up Monday
             Weekend Potluck

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yummy Cookie Recipes Using Ready-Made Frosting

With cooler weather setting in, sometimes you want to get the oven going and do some baking.  These delicious and simple recipes - with only a few ingredients - are great to whip up for kid's lunches or an anytime snack/dessert.


1 - 16 ozs. tub chocolate fudge frosting

1 egg
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove 1/3 cup frosting from tub.  In a large bowl, combine egg, peanut butter and remaining frosting. Stir in flour until moist.  Drop by rounded Tablespoons 2" apart onto greased baking sheets.

Flatten cookies with a fork dipped in sugar.  Bake for 8 - 11 minutes or until set.  Remove to wire racks.  Cool completely; spread with frosting.

Yield: 3-1/2 dozen


1-18 oz. pkg. cherry chip cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 - 8 ozs. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 - 16 oz. tub cherry ready-to-spread frosting
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat cake mix (dry) and butter in large bowl on low speed until crumbly; reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9" X 13" X 2" baking pan. Beat cream cheese and frosting in bowl together on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in eggs and blend well.  Pour over crust - sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.  Bake about 45 minutes or until set; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into bars - refrigerate any leftovers.

(My daughter-in-love, Kym, has made this recipe using cream cheese frosting and it was wonderful too!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Better Baker - Leader Enterprise - September - Receiving/Sending cards

Do you enjoy receiving cards in the mail? I sure do. It’s a big reason why I love sending them too. Those’ little’ things can make a big difference in someone’s life.

I know, because they have in mine.

I mail 50-70 cards each month,so I think it’s safe to say I have a passion for doing so.It doesn’t take a lot of time invested to brighten someone’s day.

In this day and age when written communication,other than email,is almost nil,a short message of hope can be a ray of sunshine in a dark world when someone is struggling.Writing a card is one small way to encourage one another.

Among the best things about a hand written note is that it means so much to see the personal touch that comes with seeing someone’s handwriting.A card can stand on your counter or table to be reviewed again and again.The few minutes taken to add your own words can mean so much.

If you are one who doesn’t know what to say,simply tell the recipient that you are thinking of them,are there for them,and that you’re sorry for...whatever the situation.Keep your message simple and remember that anything from the heart will be meaningful and beautiful.

A book "When You Need the Right Words" published by New Seasons is available from Current catalog or online at has many ideas for any occasion to help express what you’re feeling in your heart.

I realize these are times of economic crisis, but you really don’t have to spend a lot of money to let someone know you care about them.And you don’t have to have a special gift to reach out to someone at any point in time.Trust me-the reward you receive for thinking of someone else,is worth far more than the money you spend to make it happen.

One of the nicest cards I’ve ever received was a plain white postcard, but the words my friend expressed in that little note,spoke highly of who I am,and stirred my soul deeply.It is kept in a dresser drawer with many other keepsake cards I’ve received. When I’m having a down day,I pull those old cards out and am uplifted. How rich we can feel to be reminded there are those who care about us.A quote I appreciate reads"Never miss an opportunity to give sunshine to the day of someone who needs a few encouraging words".

Hallmark has a line of greeting cards for 99 cents each and the dollar stores have lovely cards also.Walgreen’s carries boxed cards for $1 each.I am a member of American greetings online,and for a minimal fee every year, I can print all the cards and projects I want.What a bargain!

Years ago,I read about two friends who lived across town from each other,and how their busy lives kept them from getting together.They determined to begin the ‘ministry of the postcard’ and made time to send a written note to one another each month.What a difference they made in each other’s world.

Tuck little ‘surprises’ inside a card....a bookmark,a tea bag,or a paper sachet.Those small items seldom need additional postage,but be sure to check with the post office when sending anything bulky.It’s always a thrill to receive pictures also.You can purchase little "Pass it On" cards,with a simple thought or scripture on them. Hallmark has tear-off post-it notes in tablet form with quips and quotes to uplift and encourage.

Five minutes, a first-class stamp,(or 28-cent post card stamp)and your personal note can bless someone with a brighter,richer day.Pick up your pen and begin now in the ‘write’ direction.

I wanted to let you know there was a misprint in a recipe idea in my last column. It was suppose to say substitute ONE HALF cup of baking cocoa (instead of a cup)for flour in your favorite zucchini bread recipe. It was comforting to hear from someone tried it, and loved it with all that chocolate,but I think it would be tastier with less cocoa.

A friend recently asked me my favorite kind of recipes.Without having to ponder,I said desserts.Then quickly added that my second favorite is vegetable dishes.Because many of us have canned or frozen veggies from our gardens this summer,I wanted to share some of my favorites this month.These will be in my own cookbook,which I hope to have published and in my hands by next fall.

This first one is a new one for me and I loved it from the first bite-hope you enjoy it too. Green beans may be substituted for the asparagus if you prefer.


1 lb. Fresh asparagus spears

1 cup frozen corn

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. Honey

1/4 tsp. Pepper

Snap off tough ends of asparagus; discard. Cut spears into 1-inch pieces.

In 2-quart saucepan, heat ½ cup water to boiling. Add asparagus and corn;

reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 5 to 8 minutes or until asparagus is crisp

tender;drain. In small bowl, mix mustard, honey and pepper. Stir into

hot vegetables and serve.


2 - 1# bags frozen corn or 5 - 6 cups fresh frozen

12 ozs. block cream cheese,cut into cubes

2/3 cup milk

½ cup butter or margarine,melted

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Spread corn over bottom of 3-4 qt. slow cooker.Top with

cream cheese cubes.In small bowl, stir together remaining

ingredients;pour over corn and cream cheese.Cover;cook

on high setting for 2-3 hours.Stir well before serving.Corn

will hold on low heat up to 2 hours,stirring occasionally.


4 c. sliced zucchini

1 medium onion, chopped

3 T. Butter

1 cup water

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup milk

1 cup half and half

1 tsp. Basil

salt and pepper to taste

In large saucepan,saute onion in butter for several minutes.Add zucchini and water.Simmer about 25-30 minutes.Remove from heat and whir in blender(Be cautious-I suggest letting it cool 10 minutes first-it will be very hot).Return to saucepan.Stir in soup til smooth,then add milk,half and half,and seasonings.Heat to simmering.Makes 4 servings.