Sunday, June 28, 2020

Camping at Pinicon Ridge with IA friends we met in AZ

Last week we spent three days camping and eating (lots of eating) with friends (all from Iowa) that we met in AZ.  Some of them live pretty close and some live quite a drive away (SW Iowa).  We laughed, we played, we ate, and we ate, and we ate!  I was introduced to some great recipes and I wanted to put them on the blog so that they can forever be found when needed!

Chris (from Marion) shared the following recipe Cranberry Sauerkraut Meatballs.  This has some different ingredients than others I have had in the past and was quite tasty!

1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
3/4 to 1 cup brown sugar
14 oz sauerkraut - no seeds! (Rinsed and drained)
2 bags homestyle frozen fully cooked meatballs (not Italian) - thawed
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cup water

Mix together and bake for 1 hour, stirring periodically....OR
Combine everything together (except meatballs) on the stove top and heat till it has melted together.  In a big bowl (or directly into the crock pot - if you have room) pour your meatballs in and then your heated sauce.  Stir until coated.  Cook on high for 1 hour or low for 3-4 hours.

Nutrition Facts
1 meatball with about 1 tablespoon sauce: 76 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

Pam (also from Marion) shared her family-favorite recipe for Corn Casserole.  Although it isn't up my alley (I don't eat cheese) I've seen this at other potlucks and it is always gobbled up!

1 can cream style corn
1 can corn (don't drain)
1 cup cheese (could use shredded or velveeta)
1 cup macaroni
1/2 stick margarine or butter

Mix together in a casserole pan and bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  Can microwave, just be sure to stir every 10 minutes...OR
Cook on high in crockpot for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, stirring often.

Deb (from Sidney) brought a dish to one of our dinners that I really enjoyed.  I love carrots and this salad hit the spot!  It is called Copper Pennies Salad or sometimes simply called Carrot Salad.

2 lbs. carrots (peeled, sliced, salted and cooked)
1 green pepper (diced)
3 medium onions (peeled, sliced and broken apart in rings)
1 can tomato soup (can use tomato sauce)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup salad oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 pinch of cloves (optional)

Toss carrots, green pepper and onions together.  Mix the soup, sugar, vinegar, salad oil and mustard together and pour over vegetables.  Let stand in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

If I can get my hands on any of the other recipes from our campout I will add them to this posting!  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Deviled Egg Spread

My family loves deviled eggs.  No family function would be complete without them.  Sometimes other family members will offer to bring them but rather than taking a chance on running short or having them not show up at all, I started making this Deviled Egg Spread.  It is fantastic!  Eat it with crackers, with veggies or spread it on a piece of bread/bun for a Deviled Egg sandwich.  Jim LOVES it!

I'm going to presume that you know how to make hard boiled eggs so I'm not going into that here.  In recent years I've started making my eggs in the Insta-Pot and they are perfect every time.

Deviled Egg Spread

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
1 cup mayo
1 TBSP spicy yellow mustard
Salt and pepper
Paprika for dusting

Halve the shelled eggs lengthwise.  Coarsely chop HALF the egg whites and transfer them to a large bowl.  Add the remaining whites and ALL the yolks to a food processor along with the mayo and mustard.  Process until smooth.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl and blend with the chopped egg whites.  Season with salt and pepper.  Dust with paprika if desired.  Can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.

Cream puffs with Dream Whip Filling

Here is a dessert that I'm able to pull together pretty quickly as I have these ingredients on hand most of the time.  These cream puffs can be made much bigger (which results in a smaller quantity) but I like the idea of "bite size"so that is what I went with.

From I got the recipe for "Best Cream Puffs Recipe Ever!"  Here it is:

Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter (one stick=1/4 lb)
1 cup flour
4 fresh eggs at room temp

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine butter and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil and add the flour.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until batter forms a ball and a film forms on the bottom of the pan.  Remove from heat.

Using either a wooden spoon or mixer, stir eggs into flour mixture one at a time, completely incorporating each egg before the next addition. Batter should be stiff.

Scoop dough onto baking sheet using a cookie dough scoop, or shaping with two spoons, or by using a piping bag.  (The baking directions apply to a 4 oz cream puff shell, but the dough can be scooped into rounds for cream puffs or ovals for eclairs and size may vary according to your preference - but know that baking times will vary by size and shape, so adjust accordingly.

Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degree F, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes more.  (This step is the key to deflation-proof cream puffs!)  Puffs should be golden brown when removed from the oven.

My note:  I used a small scoop and got a little more than 1-1/2 dozen cream puffs.  When cooled and filled I sprinkled them with powdered sugar.

I found the recipe for "Dream Whip Icing" at  I wanted something more than pudding for my cream puff filling and this does this trick beautifully:

Dream Whip Icing

2 envelopes Dream Whip topping mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small box instant pudding mix (I've used vanilla and chocolate - vanilla would be the most common)

Prepare the Dream Whip by mixing the whipped topping mix, milk and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed.  Mix until just blended.  Turn the mixer to high speed and mix for 4 minutes or until the topping is thick and forms peaks.

Add the pudding mix and beat well. Spread on cooked cake or refrigerate the icing until ready to use.  Be sure to refrigerate any leftover iced cake.

My note:  You need to use something fairly sharp to pierce a hole in the bottom of the cream puff and sorta "ream" it out.  I used a disposable piping bag to fill the cream puffs with the icing mixture.  As the cream puff filled I could feel the cream puff begin to swell and then I would stop.  

Monday, October 7, 2019

At our camping club's Saturday night potluck I served the following blueberry dessert.  It was a variation of 3 different blueberry desserts that I have made.  The pecan crust is great and could be used as a base for alot of different desserts.  Sorry no pictures!

 Blueberry Dessert

Make your pecan nut pie crust:
2 cups flour
1 cup softened butter/margarine
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar

Put all four items in your food processor and blend together.  

Save back 1 cup of the crumb mixture (to bake separately) and the rest is pressed into the bottom of a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with Pam.  (see My Notes below)

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Watch closely!  It will golden brown when done.  

Must cool completely before putting the filling onto it.

The remaining cup of crumb mixture can be spread onto a small pan and baked till golden.  This will need to cool completely and then be broken up into pieces.

Make the filling (can be made ahead and refrigerated till your crust is cooled)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 envelope of Dream Whip
½ cup of milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
20 oz blueberry pie filling (homemade) or 1 can of store bought (see My Notes below)
Optional: add a pint of fresh blueberries to the pie filling.  (Need to be rinsed and dried)

Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese well

In a separate mixer bowl, whisk together the Dream Whip with the milk and vanilla until it begins to form soft peaks, about four minutes.

 Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to the Dream Whip mixture and whisk (or use a mixer) beating it for 3-5 minutes until it is smooth and creamy.

Spread the cream cheese/Dream Whip mixture onto the prepared (cooled) crust.

Top it all off with the blueberry filling.

Sprinkle the “extra” crumb mixture over the top of the dessert.

Cover the dessert and allow it to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight if possible.

My Notes:  I've changed this recipe up in the following ways: First, I press the entire bottom crust mixture into a cookie sheet and bake it all at once.  Then after it cools I break it up and hold back a cup +/- to sprinkle on top of the blueberries.  Second, I buy a second can of blueberry pie filling and drain most of the "goo" off and add these blueberries to the other can.  (Save the "goo" to melt down and use as syrup on pancakes - YUM!)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Coffee Punch

At my niece's baby shower last weekend I made most of the food and beverage items.  The two punches, Pineapple Strawberry and Coffee, both went over very well.  The Pineapple Strawberry Punch is one I've made many times.  It is refreshing, very tasty and EASY!  (Search my blog by punch or beverage to find it.) This Coffee Punch was a new recipe.  I love coffee-flavored everything, so I knew it would be good.  It was delicious and very well received at the baby shower.  This will go into my "save" file for future parties.  

Coffee Punch (The Red Hat Society Cookbook)

1 cup boiling water
1 (2 oz) jar instant coffee (I used four single serve packets)
3 cups sugar
1 gallon milk
½ gallon chocolate ice cream (softened, but not soupy)
½ gallon vanilla ice cream (softened, but not soupy)

In a large saucepan boil the water and stir in the coffee and sugar.  Cool and refrigerate.  When ready to serve, transfer the coffee mixture to a punch bowl.  Stir in milk and ice creams.

Makes 60 servings.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I never tire of pumpkin.  If you've followed my blog for any amount of time you know that I have posted several pumpkin recipes.  Back in 2010 I posted a pumpkin cookie which had cranberries in it and it was NOT made with butter.  Of the two recipes I like this one better.  Maybe because of the butter...maybe because of the dark chocolate chips that I used.  Regardless these are quite tasty. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Taste of Home 2011)

48 servings Prep: 10 min; Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling


1 cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar (I used splenda)

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white & 1 cup whole wheat)

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)


In a bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls (I used a medium cookie scoop) onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4 dozen

Nutrition Facts (original recipe): 2 cookies equals 112 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 68 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Maple-Bacon Breakfast Cookies

Last weekend I opened up the newest Our Iowa Magazine, flipped through, read some articles and came up on the following recipe in the small recipe section that each magazine contains.  This recipe immediately sparked my interest.  It had many things in it that sounded delicious, yet not terribly bad for you.  "A hearty breakfast in the form of a portable snack", as shared by the submitter who happens to be a pediatric surgeon.

I made these on Saturday night so that I could take them to our "after the Especially for You 5K race" brunch at my in-laws.  They were quite tasty and very well received.  The recipe was moved into my favorite recipe's binder!

Maple-Bacon Breakfast Cookies
 (from Our Iowa Magazine Oct/Nov 2011 - Stephanie Kapfer, VA)

1 cup butter (can substitute a 50/50 butter blend such as Smart Balance)
1 ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup pure maple syrup
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups quick-cooking oats
½ cup crumbled cooked thick-sliced bacon
½ cup chopped pecans

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar.  Add egg and syrup; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in the oats, bacon and pecans until well blended.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto nonstick cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 14-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to brown paper or wire racks to cool.  Makes about 5 dozen.

To make about 2 dozen jumbo cookies: Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls and bake at 325 degrees for 16-18 minutes.