Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No Peek Chicken

This is a great family meal and oh-so TASTY!
If you're looking for easy and delicious...look no further.


It's a wonderful dish to prepare early in the day and have ready to put in the oven after lunchtime. You'll have about 3 hours to get other things done while it's baking.

I made this often for my family as our kids were growing up, and we still enjoy it.
It was always a great dish to cook in the oven on Sundays while we were at church.


I LOOOVE walking into a house that smells wonderful and has dinner ready and waiting for us.

I made this recipe the last time I visited our's a good reminder of great meals past...cherished meals together.
Though I have to say, we rarely ever ate chicken breasts when we had kids at home. I was reminded of that recently when I saw chicken legs on sale for 49 cents a lb. if you buy 10#.
Those are the kinds of sales we ALWAYS looked for back then.
Hubby prefers the breasts and now we can live a little 'higher on the chicken'. =)
Feel free to use legs or thighs. It turns out wonderful either way.
The chicken will be very tender and the gravy that it makes is wonderful with the rice.

Add a salad or veggie and your family will think you are wonderful!
Use whatever soups you have on hand, or whatever your family prefers.

It's easy enough to change it up to your likings. 
Try'll like may even LOVE we do!

1-1/2 c. instant rice, uncooked
6 chicken breasts
1 (10-3/4 ozs) can cream of celery (or chicken) soup
1 (10-3/4 ozs) can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. water
1/2 - 1 pkg. dry onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 300. Grease 9" X 13" baking dish. Place rice in bottom; cover with chicken pieces. Mix soups together with water; pour over the chicken and rice, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the top. Bake  covered  for 2-1/2 - 3 hours.

Serves 5 - 6
And don't forget....NO PEEKING!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple Apple Dumplings {Family Favorite}

My dear mama made apple dumplings often when we 4 kids were growing up. Some Saturdays, she'd bake all day long - mostly pies - but would make apple dumplings too, and that's what we'd have for Sat. night dinner.

We had NO clue how spoiled we were!!

My mom's sisters and families would come for a visit from an hour away, and mom would do all the hard work of making pies from scratch, and dumplings too.  Her sisters brought pies and cakes, but mom was the 'official' pie maker in my family. 

She labored long hours making the crust from scratch, rolling out the dough, cutting the squares and wrapping them around the apple slices, sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar. 

As much as I appreciate her labors, and recipes, I think I have discovered an easier way to make dumplings!

The comment I put in my cookbook recipe notes for this dish, says I won't ever use another apple dumpling recipe after trying this one.

This is the best. So yummy with little work.

Crescent rolls are such a versatile ingredient and they add to the ease and heartbreakingly deliciousness of this dessert.
Since my hubby is diabetic, and I rarely make anything using the full sugar amounts, I do use Splenda, so this is a favorite because I can use diet soda as well. 

I have also used diet 7-Up instead of the Mt. Dew.

One of my sis-in-loves, Vicki, who is an awesome cook herself, says this makes the best 'sauce' of any other dumpling recipe she's tried.

Bake them in the morning and then reheat to serve if you'd like. We have always liked ours with a little milk in the bowl, but of course, they're terrific with ice cream too.

Really no need to drizzle some caramel syrup since the sauce adds great flavor.
Give 'em a try!  You won't be sorry at all.

Maybe they'll become a favorite at your house like they are at ours.



8 Granny Smith, or any baking apple
(I prefer galas - use your favorite)
2 - 8 ozs pkgs. (reduced-fat) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
(I cut back to 1)
1-1/2 c. sugar
(I use 3/4 c. xylitol)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 - 12 ozs. can Mt. Dew soda
(I use diet 7-Up or Sprite)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9" X 13" baking dish.  Peel and halve apples.  Separate crescent rolls; roll up apples in crescent rolls from big end to little end. Place in prepared pan. In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. In saucepan, melt butter; add sugar/cinnamon mixture. Pour mixture over the apples, then pour the Mt. Dew around all the dumplings.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until apples are tender.  Serve warm with ice cream or milk.

Tip: I cover the pan with foil after 30 minutes as the rolls tend to brown too much after that length of time in the oven.

Linked to Crazy Sweet Tuesday
                 Totally Tasty Tuesday
            Tea Party Tuesday
        Bake with Bizzy
                Fit & Fabulous Friday
   Recipe of the Week
    Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party
Ingredient Spotlight
Weekend Potluck

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cheesey Chicken Chowder


(Since this is one of our family favorites, I'm reposting an older post) -

This is a MUST-TRY, especially during colder weather... soup seems to warm us inside and out. It's truly comfort food.

And a wonderful recipe to help use up some of that leftover turkey.

Someone recently asked me the difference between soup and chowder.  I said I thought that chowder is thicker.

What do you think?

This is another recipe that has been published in two of the American Profile cookbooks and in their nationwide publication. I have a friend who lives on the West coast and she got to see this recipe in print before I did!
I received notes from women (unknown to me) from out of state, and even a long distance phone call letting me know how much they enjoyed this delicious recipe, after reading it in American Profile.

What a kick!!!

This is my 'go to' recipe when I need something in a hurry (I keep cooked, diced chicken ready in the freezer).  This is the dish I take most often to a grieving family or to someone ill.

And I always! get raves.  It's really quite simple - you can choose to use frozen veggies if you want something quicker. 

Because it is a thicker soup, I've been known to add more milk to stretch it to feed more mouths.

Serve with a salad or sandwich and you're all set to enjoy!



3 cups chicken (reduced-sodium) broth
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1 cup each - diced carrots & celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
(we prefer 1-1/2 cups velveeta)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 - 3 Tb. dry chicken soup base, optional
In large pan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat.
Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and mix well with whisk. Gradually stir in milk and cook over low heat until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in cheese and heat until melted.
Add to broth and vegetables along with chicken.
(If using soup base, add now)
Cook and stir over low heat until heated through.
Yield: 6 - 8 servings

(When I'm in a hurry, I use frozen hash browns and frozen mixed veggies, along with the fresh chopped celery & onions - cooking the fresh ingredients a few minutes before adding frozen)

Linked to Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Gooseberry Patch Roundup - Soups
Meal Plan Monday

Friday, November 25, 2011

And the Winners are....

Thanks for entering this giveaway. I am using Random.Org to choose the winners for the first time.

{Maybe next time I'll figure out how to display the box with the actual numbers??}


Winner of the Christmas Cookies cookbook, peppermint plate & spatula is...
#30 -   Patti Kiel said...

What a perfect giveaway; I sure would like to win this! We are having a cheesy broccoli casserole that is delicious. The recipe came from a dear friend who is no longer with us.

Winner of the Cookie Dough Cookbook and Christmas Recipe Cards is....
#37 - Mary Lou said...

Hi, Marsha I am looking forward to your giveaway. I follow you on FB and am retouching base with you from our friendship in Texas.

I also have your great cookbook. I am so proud of you.
I am making pecan pie. My son is making the rest.








Wednesday, November 23, 2011



~Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
~Count your gains instead of your losses.
~Count your joys instead of your woes;
~Count your friends instead of your foes.
~Count your smiles instead of your tears;
~Count your courage instead of your fears.
~Count your full years instead of your lean;
~Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
~Count your health instead of your wealth;
~Count on God instead of yourself.

A favorite scripture...

And please be sure to.....

SWEET BLESSINGS TO ALL! How thankful I am for each of YOU!
You surely ROCK my world by being a part of my blog.

Enjoy a blessed weekend - I'll be back next Monday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Ohhhhhhh - this is a WONDERFUL muffin recipe.
Since I'm already a muffin freak, and a cream cheese nut too, how could I not LOOOVE these great muffins! 
I first tasted them at a church ladies meeting, when my very creative friend, Margie, brought them to share.  After I got home, I scoured the internet for the recipe and was thrilled to find it at Annie's Eats.
(along with 225 comments, I dare say!!)

Look at that cream cheese right there in the middle!!!

And the crunchy topping only adds perfection to this seriously delicious & moist muffin.

I love love love all the spices added - they make this muffin sooo perfectly tasty!

Very 'fall-ish' & 'holiday-ish'!

The first time I made them following the directions to a tee - freezing the cream cheese/powdered sugar combination.

The second time I made them, I just put dallops of the soft cream cheese mixture in between the pumpkin layers of dough. 

Either way is OUTTA SIGHT! good.

Give them a try - they freeze nicely too.  But they weren't 'safe' in the freezer for very long.  They make for a great breakfast and start to your day.

I normally tend to stick to simple, few-ingredient recipes, but trust me on this one, this is SOOO worth the extra time to mix these up. 

 Your family will be so thankful you did!


8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
(I reduced that amount when I didn't freeze this mixture)


3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
(Homemade recipe here)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 c. sugar
(I reduced to 1-2/3)
2 c. pumpkin puree
1-1/4 c. vegetable oil
(I used 1/2 c. applesauce, 3/4 c. oil)

1/2 c. sugar
5 Tb. all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tb. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare filling: combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl; mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1-1/2" in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, reinforce with a piece of foil.  Lay on a plate and transfer to freezer, chilling atleast 2 hour, or until slightly firm.

To make muffins: preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients, mixing just until blended.

To make topping: combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add butter pieces and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to fridge until ready to use.

To assemble muffins: fill each muffin well with small amount of batter, just enough to cover bottom of the liner (1 - 2 tablespoonsful). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of cream cheese into each muffin well.  Divide remaining batter among muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of topping mixture over each muffin.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. (It's tough to resist, but cream cheese filling gets very hot, so be careful)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Apple Crisp Pizza

This is such a great recipe.  It's simple, yet elegant and OH SO tasty!

It's simply apple crisp with a crunchy oatmeal topping on a pie crust!


I was excited when I found it at Life as a Lofthouse.
I've always been partial to my Simple Apple Crisp recipe, and this goes just one step further, making the simple into an elegant dessert.

Hubby and I enjoyed very large pieces of it at a time, and it didn't take long for the 2 of us to clean that pizza pan!

{Not all at once, mind you!}

I only had a little bit of caramel in the bottle, so I heated it a tad, then wished I had left it cold because it ran into a 'puddle'...which I guess is fine.  I would have liked for it to look more like a 'drizzle'.

Oh well - LIVE AND LEARN, right???


Pastry for single crust pie (9-inch)
2/3 c. sugar
3 Tb. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 medium gala apples, peeled and diced into 1/4" pieces
(use your favorite baking apple)

1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
(I like to add a little bit of grated fresh nutmeg too)
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350. Roll pastry to fit a 12" pizza pan; fold under or flute the edges.  Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl.  Add peeled, diced apples and toss. Arrange the apples in a single layer over the pie crust to completely cover it.

Combine the first 5 topping ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over the apples.

Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until apples are tender.  Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with caramel topping. Cut into pizza slices and serve warm with ice cream.

Yield: 10 - 12 pieces
(or as hubby and I enjoyed...6 pieces!=)

Linked to Sweets for a Saturday
           Crazy Sweet Tuesday
             Ingredient Spotlight - Apples
Weekend Potluck
    GBP Roundup - Apples

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baked Acorn Squash with Cinnamon Apples

What a wonderful fall dish! 

I was so happy to come across this recipe at my sweet blogging friend Joy @ Simply Bloom {the blog}.

Her photos are always! so inviting and that one sucked me right in.

I'm partial to the richness, smoothness, and taste of butternut squash, but sweeten up acorn squash this way and I am ON IT!

I've probably told you before, but my most favorite dishes are desserts, and running in 2nd place are SIDE DISHES!

I'm wild about side dishes and do believe if I lived by myself, I could live without meat, and eat side dishes to my heart's content.

This is soo tasty - it was the only thing I filled my plate (and tummy) with for dinner the evening I first fixed it.

Do hope you'll try it soon.  It's simple and simply delicious!!!


2 - 3 acorn squash
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
(I used 1/4 c. brown sugar splenda)
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Tb. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt 
(I used less)

1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
(I used 1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice)
2 - 3 lg. apples - cored and chopped
(I didn't peel)

Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, butter, flour, salt, cinnamon and all spice.

Wash and halve the squash. Clean out the seeds and 'stringy stuff' and arrange in ungreased 9" X 13" baking dish.  Fill the 'holes' with chopped apple, then drizzle the sugar mixture on top. 
(Joy suggests you do that lavishly).

The recipe didn't call for it, but I added about 1/2 c. water, or more, to the pan so it would steam the squash as it bakes.

Cover dish with foil.  Bake 60 - 70 (less time if the squash are small) minutes or until squash is tender.   (Mine were large, and I baked them nearly 1-1/2 hrs.)

This goes beautifully as a side dish or simply as a treat on its own.

I can testify to that thought!  MMMM!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bar Bites



Are you ready???  *-*

Oh my Soul! 

This recipe seems to be the 'rage' on the net and in Blogland as of late.

I couldn't wait to try it.

It is just amazing - and all my taste-testing friends and family agree! 

We always like a little chocolate candy with our Thanksgiving brunch and I'm excited to try this out on my kids.

I took some of my first batch to share with my sis-in-loves, who are all great cooks, and they were amazed how it tasted like a real butterfinger!

I shared several pieces at a ladies meeting the next day (from my second batch) and they all thought it tasted like the real thing too.

One dear friend told me she couldn't WAIT to go home and make a batch. 

Another friend of a friend told me they added rice krispies to it and loved feel free to do 'your thing'.

I can't imagine how anyone thinks this stuff up, but I'm so thankful someone did!

Since Halloween was over, I had to scour a couple of Dollar General stores to clean them out of candy corn....on sale even!  I stocked up because I know this will be something we make again for Christmas gift-giving!

(Just this week, I've seen that Walgreen's has MUCH candy corn on sale!)

SOOOO Simple - TWO ingredients!  Can we even imagine??
Well, three, if you count the chocolate you dip them in.

Give it a won't be sorry.

I had read some blog posts about gals not being happy because this candy had a smooth texture. 

Mine didn't, and I think it's better that way.  It has that
'break away' kind of texture that the real candy bar has.

I think it's because I 'accidently' had it in the microwave a tad longer than the original recipe called for, so I have typed it up for you as I made it.

The picture belows gives you an idea what the candy looks like before dipping.

I love that this recipe can be cut down if you want.

The first time I made it I used 2 c. candy corn and 1 c. peanut butter.


3 cups candy corn
1-1/2 cups peanut butter
milk chocolate chips or candy melts, melted

Line 8" X 8" pan with parchment paper (or waxed paper - sprayed).
Place candy corn in microwavable bowl and microwave for 1 minute.   Stir until mostly melted.  Stir and continue heating 10 to 15 second until melted, stirring well. Add peanut butter, return to microwave for 10 - 15 seconds.  Stir until blended, but you don't want it to be smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Let set up for 1 hour.  Remove from pan; cut into pieces or bars with pizza cutter or sharp knife.  Dip pieces in melted chocolate. (I added a tsp. of crisco to the choc chips to make them smoother)

The texture is crunchier if refrigerated when cooled.

If you are partial to Butterfinger candy bars, as I am....
Chomp, drool, slurp, lick....
Linked to Made it on Monday
         Foodie Friday
              Melt in Your Mouth Monday
         Creative Thursday
GBP Roundup - Peanut Butter

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's time for a Giveaway!!!!

{This giveaway is now announced on Friday, Nov. 25}
Thanks for entering....

I'm SOO excited!

SOOO much to all of you for your support and encouragement, especially these past few months.

It means more than words can express. 

YA'LL ROCK!!!!!!

I just shake my head in disbelief when I consider how quickly my Facebook fan numbers have risen in the past few months. 

I'm closing in on 1000 fans and could use your help here!

For weeks, I've considered getting this giveaway going now before the holidays HIT us strong...and have been planning to entice bribe ask you to help me  get over that #1000 hump, but I'm much closer than I would have dreamed already.


In reality, I only have about 10 more 'likes' to get there.


No matter what....

I am excited to offer TWO gift packages....

The first pkg. is this wonderful Christmas Cookies cookbook,
along with an adorable plate for YOU to give away, AND...
a cutsie spatula/turner made by Avon just for the holidays.
I'm wishing I had gotten one for myself too!

(Does seeing all that peppermint make you want to break out in singing "Deck the Halls"?)  *-*

The plate is 13" can put plenty of cookies on there to give away. 

The cookbook has ideas like...
~Baking Cookies with Kids
~Sharing with Friends
~Making Memories
~Cookie Storage Hints

along with many shaped, dropped, and bar cookie recipes.

I made some of the Peppermint Candy Shortbread cookies and they were super!

The second gift package is this cute "Cookie Dough FUN" cookbook, along with a set of 4" X 6" Christmas recipe cards.

These are some of the titles in this little booklet...

~Crazy for Cookie Dough
~Simple Pleasures
~Kids in the Kitchen
~Holiday Treats
~Party Fun

OK - here's how you enter this giveaway...

I'm keeping it simple - please tell me a dish you are making for your Thanksgiving Day meal.
(I dare you to make my mouth water=)

Then for additional comments you can do any or all of the following....please be sure to come back and let me know what you did.

Don't forget to include an email address so I can contact you.

(If it's easier for my non-blogging friends, you can always use the 'anonymous' comment option, but leave your name/email address in the body also)

~"Like"  my Recipes & Recollections Facebook Page
(or let me know if you do already)

~Post this giveaway on your Facebook Page or Blog

~Subscribe to my blog

The giveaway ends on Tuesday, Nov. 22nd at 6 PM - EST.
The winners will be announced the day after Thanksgiving.

This giveaway is for residents of the U.S. only.

(Sorry - I really do appreciate those around the world who are interested in my blog, but this is only for U. S. folks)


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can't Leave 'Em Alone Pumpkin Bars

{After I typed this up, I wondered why I didn't just ask Tonya to do a guest post for me here?  I hope to make that happen in the new year, so be on the lookout for more recipes from this cowgirl because we are 'sisters' who must share taste buds =}

Dear Blogging Friends....

This would make an awesome Thanksgiving dessert to grace your table and impress your family and friends.

It's say the least!

I don't know about you, but I just can't get too much pumpkin this time of the year.  I'm always ready for M.O.R.E..

I was thrilled to find this recipe at the blog of my sweet new blogging buddy, Tonya, at 4little fergusons.

(Isn't she a doll???)
This is the first of several of Tonya's recipes that I plan to share with you soon, so I must first....tell you more about this amazing and incredible woman! 

I've become a true fan of 'Tonyaland' along with her 4 precious little babes.

Tonya is a Wonder Woman for sure!

and the list goes on and on and on....

I can't imagine how she finds time to blog, but she does, and trust me...she does it well.

I think she must have a stick of dynamite wrapped up inside her little body somewhere to accomplish everything she does!

Maybe she has a clone somewhere?? {wink}

If you haven't ever been over to visit Tonya, PLEASE take a few minutes to pop in on her. Her amazing photos will draw you right in.

OK...onto this delectable recipe... 

You will want to try this seriously delicious dish!

Would be perfect for Thanksgiving!!


1 (18 ozs) box yellow cake mix, reserve 1 cup
1/2 c. melted butter
1 egg, beaten

Mix together and press into 9" X 13" baking pan.

2 eggs
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1- 15 ozs. can pumpkin
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix well and pour over crust.

1 c. reserved cake mix
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. white sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional

Mix together and spoon over pumpkin filling.
Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes. (It will still be a bit soft in the center.)

Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold with whipped topping. 

Personal opinion: It's very good warm, but we prefer it chilled.

Linked to Totally Tasty Tuesday
               Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Sweets for a Saturday
        Ingredient Spotlight - Cake Mix
         Ingredient Spotlight - Pumpkin
Weekend Potluck
Meal Plan Monday