Friday, December 30, 2011


YUM!!! Just in time for your New Year's Eve party snack list! Don't you just love a nice, piping hot dish of Spinach and Artichoke Dip with chips? I sure do! This one turned out AMAZING! It baked up so nice in my Pampered Chef pie plate too. It was the perfect size for it. The recipe made a bit more than I had planned on, but that's ok, because it tastes just as good warmed up the next day! ENJOY!


1 (8 oz) softened cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce (or you can substitute mayonnaise)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 stick melted butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
8 oz shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (divided)

Preheat oven to 375. In mixing bowl combine cream cheese and sour cream. Beat until combined. Mix in alfredo sauce (or mayo) and stir to combine. Then add next 5 ingredients one by one mixing well after each to make sure it is well combined. Lastly, add 4 oz of the shredded Monterey Jack Cheese and stir well. Pour mixture into pie plate and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until light brown on top and bubbly. Remove from oven, sprinkle remaining 4 oz of shredded monterey jack cheese over top. Return to oven for an additional 5 minutes to melt cheese. Serve with Tortilla or pita chips or any other dipper of your choice!


The weather here in MO has been gorgeous all week, so hubby and I decided to grill out last night. Dinner time for us coincided with our youngest daughter and her husband's return from spending Christmas week in IA, so we invited them to come over and join us. Since their 1st anniversary is today, I made these last night as a special celebration treat for them. They received thumbs up all around, so that was the green light I needed to put them on here for you all to try.  WARNING: These are very rich! I expected the inside to be a thinner consistency. It was very ooey, gooey, yummy though. Served these with vanilla ice cream, as a dollop of whipped cream just wouldn't have been enough! SUPER easy to make though. Went together in a snap! And the bake time is only about 12 - 14 min, so quick and easy dessert. Most lava cakes are made with bakers chocolate. This recipe calls for chocolate chips. That enticed me to try it, as most cooks already have chocolate chips in the pantry.


1/4 sticks unsalted butter
Granulated sugar (for the ramekins)

1 stick unsalted butter
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus a little more for dusting)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
6 ramekins

Preheat oven to 425. Soften the 1/4 stick of butter and coat the inside of your ramekins with it. Sprinkle granulated sugar inside each ramekin, turning to coat all sides of it with the sugar. Set those aside.

Put the remaining stick of butter and the chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Set the bowl on top of a saucepan filled with 1" of boiling water. Be sure that the bowl is not touching the water. Gently stir the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
In separate mixing bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until it doubles in size and gets very thick and pale colored.
Gently and slowly mix the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Temper it first, so the eggs don't start to "cook." Once the chocolate is combined with the eggs, gently stir in the flour. Whisk to combine. Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 14 - 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and let rest for 3 - 4 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the ramekins and arrange them on individual serving plates. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a hot cup of coffee!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Mmm! Don't you just love a crispy bottomed, hot, buttery, yeast roll with your Thanksgiving dinner?! I sure do! And these little beauties steal the show! It's an old recipe. Possibly the original Parker House Roll recipe.
Parker House rolls are an American tradition, dating back to 1855 and the opening of Boston's famous Parker House Restaurant. They are very easy to make. The first time I had them at someone's house, I knew I had to add the recipe to my blog to share with you all. It's just way too good to pass up! And it makes a ton, which is nice for those big family dinners!! Make sure you have lots of REAL butter on hand to slather on these puppies when they come out of the oven. I dare say, you won't be able to resist their charm!


6 to 6 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages dry active yeast
1 cup butter softened
1 egg
2 cups hot tap water (120 - 130 degrees)

About 3 1/2 hours before serving:

1. In a large bowl,combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast; add 1/2 cup butter. With mixer at low speed, gradually pour 2 cups hot water (120' to 130'F) into dry ingredients. Add egg. Increase speed to medium. Beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in 3/4 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Continue beating 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl. With a spoon stir in enough additional flour (about 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough.

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased large bowl, turning over so that the top of dough is greased. Cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place (8-0' to 85'F) until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

3. Punch down dough by pushing down the center of the dough with fist, then pushing the edges of dough into center. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly to make a smooth ball. Cover with bowl for 15 minutes and let dough rest.

4. In a 17 1/4" by 11 1/2" roasting pan, over low heat, melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter. Tilt the pan to grease bottom.

5. On lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough 1/2 inch thick. With floured 2 2/4 inch round cutter, cut dough into circles. Holding dough circle by the edge, dip both sides into melted butter in pan. Fold in half and give it a push right in the middle, with the tip of your finger (to make it stay folded). Arrange folded dough in rows in pan, each nearly touching the other. Knead trimmings together, re-roll and cut more rolls. Cover pan with towel. Let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, preheat over to 425'F. Bake rolls 18-20 minutes until browned. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Wow, the first thing I notice about this pic is, the plate color doesn't blend with the pie AT ALL! Must have been in too much of a hurry that day! And I didn't garnish! How dare I? But... the pie was DEElicious! This is one of those easy, peasy, make-ahead pies that you can throw in the freezer days before your event! Love recipes like that! The only mistake I made with it, was not getting it out at the beginning of dinner, so it could thaw a bit before I served it. Trying to cut a frozen, rock solid pie is no small feat! Especially when the coffee is done brewing and you have waiting dinner guests at the table! Lesson learned! This recipe could be a bit versatile though. As I mixed together the ingredients, my husband and I dipped a spoon in to taste test. I realized then that it could also be served as a mousse. It's so yummy! I suppose you could also switch out the fruit in the basic recipe. You could probably sub fresh raspberries or blueberries for this pie .... OR a mixture of berries would be delightful too!


1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups chopped, fresh strawberries
1 (12 oz) container, frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
2 (9") chocolate crumb crusts (I used graham cracker crusts)

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla.
  • Beat in the strawberries.
  • Fold in the whipped topping (and pecans if you are using them).
  • Divide & pour evenly into the 2 crusts. 
  • Cover and freeze for 3 - 4 hours or until firm.
  • Remove from freezer 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with chocolate curls or shavings if desired.
Yield: 2 pies - 8 servings each.


Recently we hosted a Revival meeting at our church. My husband's brothers and lots of other family members traveled in from other states to do the special music and the preaching. Many of them stayed with us for several days. I wanted to be "on the ball" with meal plans this time! I knew coconut cream was a favorite pie choice for a few of them, so decided on this one. Then I asked my husband of 31 years what his favorite pie was. I thought it would be nice to make his favorite as well. What a surprise it was to me, to hear him say COCONUT CREAM! 31 years.... How did I not know that? I would have said Pumpkin! Wow, you learn something new every day, I guess! I have to confess, coconut cream pie is my LEAST favorite pie. So all I had to go on for a review was the truthfulness of our dinner guests! The pie got cleaned up, so it must have been pretty good! They all gave it a thumbs up! So if you have a hankerin' for coconut cream pie and want something a little different than the normal "pudding" type variety - this one is a real keeper!


1 pkg graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup cream of coconut (sold in beverage flavoring section)

1 (3.4 oz) pkg cheesecake flavor, instant pudding mix
1 (6 oz) pkg sweetened, flaked coconut
1 (8 oz) container, frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350.
  • Stir together (first 3 ingredients) graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. 
  • Meanwhile, bake 1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan for 6 - 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside for garnish.
  • Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add cream of coconut and continue beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add dry pudding mix, beating until blended.
  • Stir in the 6 oz portion of flaked coconut. Fold in thawed, whipped topping. Spoon into prepared, cooled crust. Cover and chill 2 hours or until set.
  • Beat heavy whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Spread over top of pie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


This is a lovely recipe! A few weeks ago we were invited to accompany a family from our church on a 2 night get-away, to go rafting and stay in a Bed & Breakfast. We drove about 5 hours South, down to the Ozarks. It is beautiful down there! We took a small detour and stopped off at Lamberts for lunch, before we made our way down into Eminence. Lamberts is home of the "thrown rolls!" They were DEElicious too! Well worth the 1 hr wait to get in! Late in the afternoon we arrived at The Hawkins House Bed & Breakfast in Eminence, MO. Miss Patty is a FINE hostess and made our first ever stay in a bed & breakfast just delightful! It felt just like home! The morning we left she made this wonderful Peach French Toast for breakfast. We were all proclaiming how wonderful it was and talking about trying to finagle the recipe out of her. Next thing you know, out she walked from the kitchen with a smile and plopped the recipe down right in front of my plate! I was so happy and couldn't wait to get home and experiment on family and friends with a new recipe! I made it for my family when they were all gathered here last week for a Revival meeting with the Tharp Brothers. Then I made it for the Saturday morning soul winning crowd today. Both times it has gone over with a bang! Everyone loves it!
The only difference between Miss Patty's recipe and mine is, I have to make everything on a LARGE scale! Other than having to add a little extra cooking time, it still turns out MAHvelous Dahling! I know you'll enjoy this one!


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tblsp water

1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tblsp vanilla
1 loaf french bread, sliced about 3/4" thick

Drain peaches. Heat brown sugar and butter on medium heat until melted. Add water and continue cooking until sauce foams up. Pour into 6 individual buttered baking dishes and cool 10 minutes.
Place peaches on cooled sauce and cover with slices of bread placed close together. In separate bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla until mixed. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove from fridge and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Loosely cover with foil the last 10 - 15 minutes if browning too fast. Remove from oven and loosen from edges of dish. Invert each dish onto serving plate to serve (so it is peach side up!)


Make caramel sauce from peach french toast. Pour into 6 buttered baking dishes and cool. Add chopped or whole pecans. Cover with slices of bread placed close together. Pour egg mixture over, cover and refrigerate overnight. Next morning bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

*TIP* I skipped the cooling time on the caramel sauce and it didn't affect the recipe at all. Actually placing the room temp peaches on the sauce probably helped cool it down faster. Also, since I frequently cook for a crowd, I doubled this recipe to fit a 1/4 sheet cake pan (lasagna pan). I think I fit 16 slices of french bread in the pan. You can get 16 slices out of one loaf if you slice it down the middle and slice each half into 8 equal portions. I also added 10 - 15 minutes of extra baking time to allow the custard laden bread to cook through all the way. The tricky part to making this in a large batch is inverting it when it is done baking. I use the 1/4 sheet cake pan because it doesn't have handles on the edges and I can fit my 1/4 sheet cookie pan over the top and then invert it right onto the cookie sheet. You still have to be very careful for two reasons: 1) it's VERY hot and 2) remember there is sauce in the bottom of the pan and when you invert it, if you are not flush against the bottom of your cookie sheet, the sauce may splash out. I did it over the sink. You may want to wrap a towel around it just to be sure you don't splash or burn yourself. If you do it quick though, you should be alright. I was, but still, please be very careful when you invert it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you ever get a chance to travel down to the Ozarks, I encourage you to look up The Hawkins House Bed & Breakfast! Each bedroom has it's own private bath. Very clean and beautifully decorated. And a HEAVENLY wrap around porch with all sorts of swings and bistro sets and wicker furniture! We stayed in Annabelle's room - it has a partriotic theme - just lovely!
Tell her the preacher and his wife from Independence recommended her!

Monday, August 1, 2011


I knew my kids and grandbabies were all coming home to spend a few days over the 4th of July holiday. So I busily perused cookbooks and magazines for tasty new treats and snacks to serve while they were here. I ran across this one and it sounded so delicious and filling. They were a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort. Tons of flavor! I had never cooked with Chorizo sausage before - it had a very different texture than sausage as we Americans know it. Also, it's very greasy, so you have to drain it well. I also had never cooked with  queso fresco. It was very different from any other cheese I have ever used - but very delicious and it was amazing how it cooked right up into the meat and thickened it. And what can you say about puff pastry? What's not to love about that stuff?! Add these to your next family get together or fellowship. They are sure to be a hit!


1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a yellow sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
5 oz of uncooked chorizo sausage
1/2 cup chopped tomato, fresh or canned
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 oz grated queso fresco
1 (17 oz) pkg frozen puff pastry sheets (2 sheets) thawed
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. milk
Salsa, taco sauce, sour cream (all optional) for garnish or dipping

For filling: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and sweet pepper. Cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Chorizo. Cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up sausage and stirring occasionally. Drain fat. Return to heat. Add tomato, oregano and cumin. Simmer uncovered 5 - 8 minutes or until liquid is evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and let cool. Add the queso fresco and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 400. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll puff pastry sheet to 1/8" thick. With a 3 1/2" round cookie cutter, cut 24 circles. Place 1 Tblsp filling in center of each circle. Combine beaten egg yolk with milk. Brush edges of half the circle with egg wash. Fold circle over to enclose filling; pinch edges together to seal. Brush tops with egg wash. Place on an ungreased baking sheet (I used my PC stone and it worked wonderful!); Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with toppers and dips of your choice.

Make ahead: Unbaked or baked hand pies can be made well in advance and frozen. Remove from freezer; place on ungreased baking sheets in single layers. For frozen unbaked pies, bake 17 - 19 minutes. If baked before freezing, reheat 5 - 6 minutes on top rack of 400 degree oven.

Yield: 24 pies


Here's a sweet treat for you! Found this recipe in a random ladies magazine, as I waited in a Dr's office. I love raspberries, so was excited to try this. It's just the right balance of fruitiness from the berries, tartness from the lemon zest and creaminess from the cream cheese. And the tender shortbread crust just adds to the yummy factor! I would imgaine you could substitute whatever berries you like best in this. Seems like it would be equally delicious made with blueberries. I'm thinking once Fall comes, you could even make this with apples, cinnamon and caramel!! I'm totally going to be experimenting with this one! It's a keeper!


1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserves
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. flour
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 Tblsp. fresh lemon zest
2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with foil - extending extra foil over ends of pan (to lift bars from pan later). Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until it just begins to blend and soften slightly, about 30 seconds.
Add brown sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until incorporated - 30 seconds or so. Add the 2 cups of flour and beat on low speed until the flour is incorporated. Don't undermix it, or it will be too crumbly. Break dough into small chunks and place in prepared pan. With your fingers, pat dough into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes or until dough has begun to puff and is just set. Cool for 5 minutes.
Lightly brush exposed sides of foil with softened butter to keep filling from sticking.
Spread jam over cooled crust.
Sprinkle evenly with fresh raspberries.
With a lemon zester, remove peel from lemon, making sure to avoid the bitter white pith. Don't try to do this ahead of time - do it right as you are baking.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium high for 30 seconds or until creamy. Mix in granulated sugar and 1 Tblsp of flour until blended. With mixer running, add egg and egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Pour custard batter evenly over berries. Tilt pan back and forth to distribute the custard evenly. Bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes or until barely set. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Top will crack slightly as it cools.
Use foil to lift the bars from the pan. With a knife or metal spatula, support the sides of the bars while you gently peel the foil downward and away from the sides of the bars.
Cut into long bars. Peel foil from bottom and transfer to cutting board using side of a long knife or spatula. Cutting first on the foil results in cleaner edges. Cut into 24 squares.
Sprinkle very lightly with powdered sugar

Yield: 24 bars

Saturday, July 9, 2011


See this?! You MUST try it at your earliest convenience!! It is so YUMMY! I started to make one of my good ol' standbys tonight for dinner, but just wasn't thrilled about using the same ol', same ol' Frank's hot sauce. I was in the mood for something a bit different. So on a whim, I grabbed from the store shelves: Teriyaki sauce & marinade, Frank's hot sauce, and Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce. I figured once I got home, I could be a little more decisive! I prepped the wings for frying, then cracked open the teriyaki sauce and the peanut sauce, letting my nose lead me! The peanut sauce smelled so spicy and wonderful! I fried up my wings (w/ no coating or batter), drained them, then coated them well in the peanut sauce and put them into a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes to get the sauce sizzling hot.
One finger licking, lip smacking taste at dinner was all it took to tell me it was a real winner worth keeping!
I will be using this sauce over and over again! Plus looking for other ways to use it!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Hannah Lu (Tharp) Flaugher. This is my youngest daughter & her husband, Ryan. They were recently married in December 2010. She and her husband, are expecting their first baby - Gideon Lee on Oct. 27. My daughters, Sarah & Hannah have been my right & left arms from the time that they were very young. I have had them in the kitchen cooking with me when they were yet too small to see over the cooking pot, even standing on a stool. Many times I would sit them on the counter to help stir batter or throw ingredients into a recipe I was mixing up. I've LOVED having them as my kitchen partners! Now they are all grown & cooking up their own masterpieces! The only problem is, we are 9 hours away from each other. I still desire to cook in my kitchen with them though, I miss it greatly! So to help remedy that - I've invited Hannah to come on board on my cooking blog as a c0-hostess. From time to time she will be posting her own wonderful creations! Things that she has created for her new husband. I think you will grow to be as excited about this prospect of new recipes, as I am! I've taught her everything I know and turned her loose! haha
Stay tuned to the blog for some new and exciting recipes from Hannah!


Hello to all of my Mom's fans! *ahem* Soon to be mine as well I hope! ;) Just to clarify something... The drink right in front of me (Hannah) is simply a regular coke, with cherry flavoring added. Lol Nothing more! :) I enjoy the little cherry on top with the little sword thingy, and put it there so as to not have to search for it amoungst the ice in the bottom of the cup. Lol I very much look forward to creating new recipes, and sharing them with each one of you. Please don't forget to post a comment on the recipes you try, and let me know how they turn out! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011


This one is super yummy! When my daughter Sarah and her friend, Amy were raising funds for their missions trip to Brazil - this was one of the top sellers every week at our bake sales. It always sold out first, and was being requested every week at the sales. I made these today for our Saturday morning soul winners / prayer breakfast. We had a ladies meeting last night and there was all kinds of left over fresh fruit to go with them. So I served Bacon Cheddar Pull Aparts, Scrambled Eggs and Fruit. It was the perfect breakfast combo! The muffins went really well with the eggs!


2 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
4 (7.5 oz) (10 count) cans refrigerated biscuits
1 lb bacon, diced and cooked
1 (8 oz) bag shredded Cheddar cheese (I've also used Shredded Monterey Jack)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (4 medium) (I use half of the tops too)
1 stick butter, melted

Optional: 1 small can diced green chiles, drained
Can also add: diced green pepper or diced red pepper if you like those.


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 regular size muffin tins with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk with wire whisk until smooth.
  • Separate dough into individual biscuits; cut each into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Gently fold in bacon, cheese and onions. Spoon mixture evenly among 12 sprayed muffin tins. You could also use the foil muffin liners - but I would even spray those.
  • Drizzle melted butter evenly over top of pull aparts.
  • Place muffin tin on cookie sheet - the muffins tend to leak the butter a bit and the cookie sheet helps contain the mess.
  • Bake at 350°F. for 20 - 23 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from muffin tins.
  • Best served warm.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Here is a nice, moist, light, Summery cake. The cake batter has chopped mandarin oranges in it, and the whipped topping has crushed pineapple in it. So it has a fruity, but subtle, tropical flavor. It's always a hit at potlucks. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law way back in the late 80's. She was one of the first people I ever met that absolutely loved to cook and it showed in her cooking! She was (and still is) a fantastic cook and I use so many of her recipes in my cooking. I think you'll like this one as much as I do!


1 Duncan Hines Super Moist Yellow cake mix (w/ pudding in the mix)
- or Duncan Hines Butter recipe cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 small can mandarin oranges w/ juice

In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs & oil. Stir until combined. Add oranges & juice and continue to mix until oranges are evenly incorporated into the batter. Pour into 3 greased & floured 9" round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 20 min.


1 (6 oz) Vanilla instant pudding
1 (20 oz) Crushed pineapple
1 (12 oz) Cool Whip, thawed

Combine pudding mix and pineapple w/ juice. Stir until pudding is completely dissolved. Fold in Cool Whip. Mix until thoroughly combined. Use to frost middles, sides and top of cake. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


There are SO many recipes for breakfast casserole floating around on the internet and in cook books. You'll find them as breakfast casserole, quiche, strata, etc... Some of them are made with meat, eggs, cheese & bread cubes.... some with veggies.... this one was made with bacon, eggs, cheese & hash browns, which made it seem like a pretty hearty one dish breakfast. So I opted for this one for our soul winner's prayer breakfast this morning. Then I set out the toaster and a loaf of whole wheat bread, so they could make a piece of hot, buttered toast with it, if they wanted to. It must have been a winner, because the pan was empty at the end! That's always a good sign!

My co-hostess, Brenda Bell, made a Mexican Breakfast Casserole & that one had corn tortillas in it. She served it with Salsa. If she'll give me the recipe for it, I'll add that one too. She also made a delicious, " "cinnamony" bread pudding as a treat! Didn't get a pic of it, but got a few nibbles and it was YUMMY! Special THANK YOU to Miss Brenda for her good help this morning! (Should have snapped her pic! I'll do it next week.)


1 lb slice bacon, diced (I use scissors - makes it quick)
1 medium onion, chopped
6 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded swiss cheese

In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp. Drain. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes or until set and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Monday, May 16, 2011


This is an awesome cheesecake. The crust is a bit involved. But if you don't mind working with a yeast dough, you won't have any problems. This tastes like the freshest raspberry, cream cheese danish you've ever had! It really is worth the wait on this one! Trust me, if you love cheesecake and raspberries, this will become one of your new favorites!



1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled a bit
1 pkg dry yeast
1 Tblsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter
3 egg yolks

Dissolve yeast and sugar in milk. Set aside. Cut butter into flour (like pie crust). Add egg yolks to milk. Stir and pour into flour. Mix well. Divide dough in half. Roll out first half into 11 x 15 pan. (May need to add a bit more flour as you mix and roll, to keep it from being too sticky. Roll out second half into a rectangle on cotton towel and set aside.


4 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla

Beat all ingredients together and spread over dough in pan. Cover with 2nd half of dough. Sprinkle top crust with sugar. Let rise for 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm with raspberry sauce, whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Or you could just serve it plain - it's just as good that way!
May be re-heated.

To make Raspberry syrup: Stir together in small saucepan: 1 cup fresh raspberries, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar. Heat over med-high heat until boiling. Turn down and simmer until berries are cooked down. Keep warm to serve over cheesecake.


I love this Pasta Salad and make it often during the Summer months. It is light enough to be a salad, but hearty enough to fill you up. It goes together quickly and keeps well in the fridge. With the busy life that a Preacher's wife leads, those are certainly 2 bonus features of a good recipe!
If you like pasta salad even just a little bit, you'll love this one!


2 (1 lb) boxes tri-color rotini pasta
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 container grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 (8 oz) bag pepperoni, cut in 1/4's
1 (8 oz) chunk colby jack cheese, cut into small cubes
1 (16 oz) bottle Italian dressing

Boil noodles al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Place cooked noodles in a large mixing bowl.

If you are serving the same day: that you mix this up - then add next 5 ingredients and stir gently to combine. Pour entire bottle of Italian dressing over salad and stir gently again to incorporate dressing into salad. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

If you are serving the next day: After noodles have cooled, pour 1/2 of the bottle of Italian dressing over noodles and cover tightly and refrigerate. Place other prepared ingredients individually in ziploc baggies and refrigerate. The next day, mix everything together and pour in remaining 1/2 bottle of Italian dressing. Stir gently to combine. Serve chilled.

Feeds: An Army!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


This dessert is a classic. I've seen it with lemon pudding, chocolate pudding and now here it is with two kinds of pudding, chocolate AND vanilla. It tends to be a bit on the heavy side, so serve it with a lighter meal, or else cut smaller portions. I made this in a prepared graham cracker pie crust, but next time will make it in a 9 x 13 cake pan. The prepared crust was convenient, but it made 8 very large slices of pie - not bad if you're a dessert lover! But I tried to "skinny" this down a bit, and putting it in a smaller pan, didn't help the calorie count much. 1/8 of the pie was 294 calories. If you make it in a 9 x 13 pan and cut it into 16 pieces, the calories drop to 147 - that's a lot more acceptable, especially if you're trying to watch your weight. If you're not dieting, feel free to make the full fat version! ;-)


1 prepared graham cracker pie crust

1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (16 oz) light Cool Whip, thawed

1 (3 1/2 oz) pkg sugar free, instant chocolate pudding

1 (3 1/2 oz) pkg sugar free, instant vanilla pudding

3 cups cold 2% (or skim) milk (divided)

Chopped pecans

Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy. Stir in 1/2 of the 16 oz Cool Whip. Spread evenly in bottom of crust. In separate bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups milk with chocolate pudding mix. Beat with whisk until combined. Let sit until thickened. Then spread evenly over cream cheese mixture. Again, in separate bowl, combine, remaining 1 1/2 cups milk with vanilla pudding mix. Beat with whisk until combined. Let sit until thickened. Spread evenly over chocolate pudding. Spread remaining Cool Whip over vanilla pudding. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings if using prepared Graham cracker crust.

Makes 16 servings (with fewer calories) if you use a 9 x 13 pan and make your own graham cracker crust.

Friday, April 29, 2011


I recently took this cake to a church fellowship and brought back an empty cake plate. That's always a good sign!! (Jessica, this is the cake) This is a really moist cake and goes REALLY well with a cup of hot coffee! Trust me on this one! They are a match made in heaven!


1 pkg Golden Butter Cake Mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding (3 1/2 oz)
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Kahlua flavored syrup
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine cake mix adding 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, pudding, oil, and vanilla. Mix well

Divide batter in half. To one half, add brown sugar, Kahlua syrup, and pecans. Grease bundt pan.

Pour 1/2 of the pecan flavored cake mixture into the bundt pan, then all of the plain mixture on top of that, then remaining half of pecan cake mixture. Run a knife through mixture to marblize. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Check cake in 1 hour. Remove cake from pan onto cake plate. While still warm, mix glaze.

Glaze: Mix powdered sugar and Kahlua flavored syrup until it is the consistency of thin icing - thin enough to drizzle over a cake. Poke holes in top of warm cake and drizzle 2 or 3 times w/ glaze.

If you can't find Kahlua flavored syrup. I would make a simple syrup using equal parts of water (1/3 cup) and sugar(1/3 cup). Heat until the sugar dissolves. Mix in 1 tsp. of instant espresso powder while hot. Let it cool before making the cake. If you love coffee flavored desserts, then this will work well for you! You can use the same coffee syrup in the glaze.

New post.... new start..... new hope!

It's been almost 1 yr since my last post on here. After 9 very long, very hard months, I'm back! Glory! For those of you who have faithfully followed my blog, I'm sorry if it seemed like I just dropped off the edge of a cliff (truthfully that may have been easier!) After 16 yrs in our last ministry, the Lord saw fit to move us from that place. Since we lived in a parsonage, we had no home of our own to stay in. A very good friend allowed our family, and our son's family (who was our ass't pastor) to move into their college dorm.

Very humbling.... God is so good though! Do what you can with what HE'S provided you and BE CONTENT! "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." If ol' Brother Paul who suffered tragedy, shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, etc... like we'll never know of, can say such a thing.... who am I to open my mouth against the Lord and complain about what He's provided. Life isn't always steak and ice cream, new cars, fancy houses. Sometimes it's a meager existence. Living paycheck to paycheck. Hand to mouth. Sometimes it's NO paycheck! Daily waiting on GOD alone to supply your needs. But oh, we need to be so careful to praise Him in the tough times as well as the "easy." I have to say on the Lord's behalf, we never got behind on even one payment. He took such wonderful care of us through God's people. He dumped blessings on us by the dump truck load!! He will be a debtor to no man. For years I've watched my faithful husband give to people & ministries hand over fist. He's given vehicles away, paid rent for people, let folks live with us (many times), bought groceries, bought gas, paid for bus and plane tickets, paid utility bills, not to mention the hundreds of dollars he gives to faith promise missions every week. I believe God takes note of such things. As a direct result of giving, God fed us daily while we waited by the brook! And you know what? Sometimes it was even steak! :-) Don't stop up the hand of God's blessing in your life. Be faithful in your giving! Even when you think you can't!

For the last 8 months we lived in 2 dorm rooms (1 for living, cooking, etc...the vanity area of 1 of the bathrooms was my "kitchen", and then 1 for sleeping) The photos up above are just a small glimpse of our every day living arrangements while we were there. We moved about 10% of our very basic belongings into the dorm rooms. The other 90% was in a nearby storage unit, that we paid monthly rent on.

When we moved, our daughter Sarah had just left on her missions trip to Brazil. We sat at the computer many a night, having heart to heart talks over Skype, wiping tears together. When she arrived back in the states, 2 months later, it was coming "home" to the dorm - with no room of her own. She slept on the couch and never once did I hear a negative comment from her. A while later, she moved in with her brother, who had a bit more room for her than us.

I can't begin to describe to you the devastation we felt the day we moved in there. It was 110 degrees in the shade that day. Not only were we unloading our things, but our son's family was around the corner and we shared the moving truck and trailer w/ him. The men unloaded his things, then we went to the storage unit to unload the rest in there - front to back and to the ceiling - it was piled. The men were sweating so badly, they took their shirts off to wring them out. I went to buy cold water for them so they could at least try to get refreshed a bit. Once we were back to the dorm - we stood there amidst packed boxes and furniture crammed here and there, hoping it would all find a place and fit somehow. My precious brother-in-law who helped us load the truck at point A, followed our moving truck on the 5 hr trip and helped unload at point B, was there in our dorm room moving the last box in. He was exhausted, we all were just drained. The look on his face as he stood to say Goodbye, was one of utter dismay. We were numb over all that had just happened, losing a ministry after that many years, is like a death in your family. The deep grief and sense of loss was overwhelming. This was even more so for our precious son & his wife who had just lost their sweet baby Simeon, at 6 months in the womb - just 3 months earlier. We wondered, "where do we go from here?" We could only sit in silence and stare at each other and the floor. Oh how we needed God's help, His strength, His grace, His peace. And He provided it all in such a marvelous way. That day I climbed up into His omnipotent lap, laid my head on His compassionate shoulder and wept and cried out to Him. I had no words of comfort for my precious husband who had just lost the ministry that he labored so hard in, for so many years. He gave the best years of his life there. How do you encourage the man of God when you yourself are so discouraged? So disillusioned.

The only remedy was to saturate ourselves in the Word. But when I sat down to read my Bible, I could only read a chapter or two before I ended up staring at the pages. I didn't even want to go to church. I didn't want to do anything. All I wanted to do was sleep. We were all so exhausted. Physically, mentally, spiritually. God knew that. I would try to pray and end up just sitting there quietly muttering, "Lord, please..... Lord please...." I'm so thankful for the precious Holy Spirit who goes to God and speaks things that we don't know how to utter. It took about a month or so for the numbness to start wearing off. Our preacher at the church where we joined, was so good about keeping us near him and keeping an eye on our spiritual temperature to make sure we were slowly healing. Every service, every message, God spoke so clearly to our hearts. His word ministered to us like the balm that it is.

I was battling a very severe case of Vertigo brought on by the intense stress of the situation. I would stagger through the grocery store. I would stagger to the laundry room and back. Stagger into the church. It was awful. I couldn't even go to the altar, because the floor sloped and made me feel like I was falling. Everywhere I went, I had to hang onto my husband's arm. The Dr tried meds, but they made me want to sleep all the time. And the very first side effect was DIZZINESS! So I flushed the meds. After about 2 months of that, the Lord provided the money and the Dr to help get me back on track. It was a very expensive set of 12 treatments (traction, deep muscle massage, acupuncture, and adjustments) but it helped me see and walk straight again! And God provided every penny needed for it!

Although I was battling Vertigo, I knew if we were ever going to "make it" there, I would have to get to work on making those rooms as much like "home" as I could. I knew even though it was temporary, it HAD to feel cozy for my family. Our son's family has 3 dorm rooms, since he has 2 little ones and 1 on the way in June. They are currently still there in the dorm, as our daughter in law is expecting and is considered a high risk pregnancy. A move at this time would not be good (nor affordable) for them. When we all left our last ministry it flung our son into full time deputation for the field of Ireland. He has felt the call of God on his life for missions for years now and this move precipitated his deputation. Please pray for Philip & Monica Tharp if the Lord brings them to your mind. They are precious young people with a desire to serve God in the needy country of Ireland.

Although living in 2 dorm rooms isn't an ideal situation, I am very thankful to have had a roof over our heads! I mastered the art of "convenience cooking" and am contemplating adding a section on my blog about it. Mostly though, I prefer to put it out of my memory (the cooking part!). It was a very trying time in our lives. But God is so good and He took such wonderful care of us that I had to start journaling His MANY blessings in our lives! He gave us a GREAT church to join with, for those 8 months, and get our heads screwed back on straight! God knows just what we need and for how long! We heard some tremendous preaching while we were there and the Lord really ministered to our hearts through our preacher and the Word. We were able to heal up while we were there.

As an added bonus, since our daughter Hannah was a student there, we got to be near her. We also got to know the young man she was courting in a much more personal way. We enjoyed many a meal together in our apt with the two of them, on our "courting couch!" Then when they got engaged, I was right there to help plan the wedding. Even though it was on a shoestring budget ($1,000) the Lord provided every penny needed to make it a beautiful and memorable day for them.

Trials will either make you better or they will make you bitter. If we would have harbored unforgiveness in our hearts, bitterness would have set in. Bitterness would had ended our ministry. God is so good and so faithful - He sees right where you are and knows just what you need. He won't forsake His children.

          Earthly friends may prove untrue, Doubts and fears assail; One still loves and cares for you; One who will not fail.
            Chorus Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails, Heav'n and earth may pass away, But Jesus never fails.
          Tho' the sky be dark and drear, Fierce and strong the gale, Just remember He is near, And He will not fail.
            Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails, Heav'n and earth may pass away, But Jesus never fails.
          In life's dark and bitter hour, Love will still prevail; Trust His everlasting pow'r, Jesus will not fail.
            Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails, Heav'n and earth may pass away,
            But Jesus never fails.
Now, 9 months later, we are in a new state, new church, new home, have a new church family.... We miss our kids and grandbabies immensely! This is the first time in our ministry years that our children have not been serving in our church. We moved 9 hrs away from them all. That part has been hard to get used to. God moved us to a church that had been hurt by their former pastor. Here we were, a hurt preacher's family! Can a hurting preacher and a hurting church be a good match? It sure seems like it! We have loved them from the very first meeting. These precious folks have taken us in and treated us like blood relatives! We are so excited at what God is doing here and so humbled to be a part of it! Please pray for us if the Lord brings us to your mind. We just want to live a life pleasing to the Lord.

Just look at what GOD has done for us - this is where we are now! I'm so excited! Love our new home! We used the front room (entrance room) for our dining room furniture - since hospitality is such a way of life for us. I had to have a place to entertain folks at our table. The small eat in kitchen would not hold my dining set.

    My new kitchen! Notice the freshly baked, glazed coffee cake on the stove and the bread baking in the oven?! ;-)

    If you read all the way through this story of trials and triumphs, then you are a trooper and deserve a gold medal! Bless your dear heart!