Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mom's Oven Baked Stew

UPDATE: This post has been shared many times over on Pinterest and I wanted to share it again here today since nothing says AUTUMN SUPPER  like a good stew.

Shared originally on Oct. 12, 2009

Have you ever enjoyed oven baked stew?

What could more more appropriate to serve during the cool crisp (and rainy!) weather we have been having?

This is another winner from my Momma's collection of great home cooked meals.

My late Grandpa Pete (Pietro) said this was the best stew he had ever eaten- which were fightin' words because my late grandmother Amelia considered HERSELF to be the best cook. No one wants to be shown up by their daughter-in-law!

Sorry, Grandma, but I'll have to agree with Grandpa on this one!
I've been blessed to come from a long line of great cooks!

Because of its low cooking temperature and many baking hours, this is perfect to serve for Sunday Dinner. It will be ready when you return from your service.

You can also raise the oven temperature for a shorter cooking time, but I like it cooking low and slow.

Here's what you'll need for this recipe:

2 cans tomato soup
2 cups water
1/2 c. flour
4 lbs. stew beef
6 med. carrots
8 med. potatoes
3/4-1cup celery
1 onion
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 pkg. Good Season's Italian Seasoning mix.

Mix together soups, water and flour. Add meat, veges and seasoning, stir well. Bake Covered at 275 degrees for 4-5 hours.

Warm crusty bread and a side salad is all you need for a complete meal.

You can thank my Momma for this one!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Taffy Apple Salad (A repost)

Today is the first day of fall!


But it will be in the 90s here in so. Illinois today.


Normally I love to bake something apple or pumpkin flavored to celebrate my favorite season, but not today.

I decided to share a COLD favorite from the past on this mid-summer-feeling autumn day.

This treat is great anytime of the year, and it is a nice lighter addition to your dessert table which will balance nicely against all the heavy sweets as the holidays approach.  This is not necessarily a diet friendly recipe, but it is not rich or heavy. Tastes very similar to a taffy apple.

*This needs to chill thoroughly for best flavor overnight in the fridge, however it is still good chilled for just a few hours if you're like me and can't wait!


1/2 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. lemon juice
1 egg
1 cup pineapple chunks (drain- save juice)
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip (you can use the lite version- both are good)
2 med. red apples
2 med. green apples
2 cup mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cup salted peanuts

In pan, heat sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, egg and juice from pineapple until thick after boiling (about 5 minutes).
In Large bowl, combine all other ingredients. Toss lightly. Refrigerate overnight (or at least several hours).


Yes, He does.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Apple "Cobbler"

So, if you asked me what my favorite fall dessert is, or the most requested one that I make for others, (besides my chocolate SUZI-Q cake) I would direct your attention to this recipe-- this mouth-watering, warm, buttery, apple "cobbler" that has a surprise ingredient, and a cool assembly.

I guess it qualifies as a surprisingly, cool dessert. But it's served warm. And also good at room temp. and still great served cold in the morning for breakfast, if you are so inclined.

I make this in the summer and fall, and it has been a special request birthday dessert in the family, and also a huge hit at potlucks and get-togethers. Rarely any leftovers and I am always hounded for the recipe.

I first tried the recipe when I was in my thirties. Here I am twenty years later still making it--it is timeless! My cousin Angie sent me a cookbook from New Mexico where she lived at the time, and inside was this treasure. I made a few adaptions, but I have to thank her for leading me to this recipe.

So, back to the secret ingredient...the "crust" to this "cobbler" is....wait for it....

Flour tortillas!

I know, I know. Sounds yucky. But NO ONE will know, if you don't tell them. SO just keep your pie hole shut on this one, K? It will be our little secret.

I shared this recipe on my blog before, but it was made with cherry pie filling. The apple is my favorite, though, and most requested. I'm going to supply the link to the original recipe  at the end of this post so you can see how to assemble.

But here is the step-by-step without pics:

You will need:

1 pkg. of 8-10 lg. flour tortillas
4 oz. softened cream cheese

2 cans apple  pie filling


1 1/2 stick butter (NOT margarine)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
Equal parts cinnamon/sugar sprinkle for topping 

"Butter" each tortilla with the cream cheese. Put pie filling (3 T or so) on one end of tortilla and roll up, enchilada style.

Place in a buttered 9X13 dish (vertically ) Continue until all are rolled up and placed in dish (some may need to go across bottom horizontally--may need to cut those in half to fit).

Place dollops of remaining pie filling on top, then sprinkle nuts over.

Set aside.Bring to a boil, the sauce and immediately pour over top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes (or until brown on top. and most of sauce has been absorbed).

This is delicious served warm with some vanilla ice cream on top, or top with whipped cream....drizzle with caramel sauce.

And when no one is looking, lick the plate. 😋😋😋

CLICK HERE for the ingredients, instructions, and some pics to better explain the preparation.


And here's a little encouragement from our Lord to those who may feel the weariness of waiting on Him and His promises. DON'T GIVE UP!  Meditate on these words while you're waiting for this delicious dessert to finish baking.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Syrup and nuts

When you're ready for Pumpkin Spiced______________  (anything and everything- you fill in the blank) but aren't prepared for a full-blown dessert, nothing could be more simple than this easy pancake recipe.

It begins with a boxed pancake mix (I like Hungry Jack's brand) and with  just a few more ingredients and  minutes of your time , you can say, "Welcome, Fall!" before you head out the door on a busy autumn morning.

The top photo is one  of a large pancake I made using a leaf cookie cutter after it was finished cooking . I poured a little syrup and topped with pecans.

This is a dense pancake that has a perfect flavor.

Give it a try.

You will need:

*2 cups favorite pancake mix (plus water, or eggs/milk, as indicated on box)
*1/2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
*1/4 cup water

*1 tsp cinnamon
*1/2 tsp allspice
*1/2 tsp ginger


Substitution Options:
*2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, allspice and ginger

Chopped Pecans (optional)


In mixing bowl, combine pancake mix with water or eggs/milk. Whisk. Then whisk in canned pumpkin and water. Finally, whisk in spices.

Pour batter in 1/3 cup portions onto griddle. Let cook until bubbles form. Flip and let cook another 1-2 minutes.

Here's a pic the first time I made them.

And then my second attempt, just a little more artistic.

I also found this FREE printable that would look nice framed on your counter in the kitchen. CLICK HERE for the link to download yours.

Enjoy the season!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pumpkin Sheetcake with Caramel Frosting

In three short days,


 ~But it has already begun in my kitchen here in southern Illinois.

And that means I will begin making many of my tried and true recipes featuring pumpkin and apple flavors. And I have a TON of them!

I'm starting today by sharing a pumpkin sheetcake recipe that I made for a special group of ladies who enjoyed this moist cake with a creamy, butter frosting. Sheetcakes serve a large crowd so it is a nice addition for any fall parties coming up, and certainly would go over well at Thanksgiving also.

I found the recipe at one of my favorite food blogs, CHEF IN TRAINING.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
  • cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 15x10x1 inch baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine: pumpkin, sugar and oil and Mix well. Add eggs and beat again. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until done. Test by touching top of cake, when it springs back it is done. Cool on rack.
  1. While cake is cooling combine butter, cream and brown sugar in medium sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and cool for 6 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. Spread over cake.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Strawberry Topped Suzi Q Cake (a repost)

If you want to WOW someone special, try this show-stopper recipe (actually, after you serve this one, no one will remember there even WAS a show!) This is one of my most requested desserts.
PERFECT for your VALENTINE, or any special occasion.
The basic Suzi-Q cake recipe can be found here, but don't despair--it starts with a cake mix. (Or use your own chocolate cake recipe if you have the time and energy). After preparing the cake, for the topping I dipped fresh strawberries in melted chocolate (a bag of Kroger brand semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted in the microwave). Be sure to wash and DRY the berries well before dipping.) I finished it off with chocolate syrup drizzle.

*The original recipe called for Milk Chocolate frosting on the sides. I used WHIPPED chocolate frosting for this one. 

Here is a video of me preparing this wonderful cake. Give it a try!


Red Velvet Raspberry Tiramisu Trifle

This impressive dessert is actually a show-stopper!  I made it at Christmas-time for a Christmas party, but thought it would also make a great dessert for VALENTINE'S DAY or any  special occasion-- especially if you  need to stop a show, impress some guests, etc. ;)  Think bridal shower, special parties, anniversary dinner, etc. This is confection perfection-- not syrupy sweet-- a more sophisticated dessert. The tang of the raspberries, the hint of  sweetness of the Orange Juice, and that delicious CREAM and marscarpone  against the red cake... you get layers of flavors!

This is not a quickly prepared recipe, it's a little more advanced, but certainly not difficult to prepare. You just need some extra time in the kitchen to pull this one off...and it will be SOOOO worth it! It is also a bit pricey to prepare, so you'll want to save this recipe for something very special. can make your own favorite red-velvet cake recipe, let it cool and cut into cubes, or purchase a red velvet cake mix and do the same. I made my own from a Madeleine recipe in this same recipe, but I didn't use the Madeleine  pan--I used a regular 9X13.( I'll share the recipe at the end of this one.)  I found this delicious recipe in my SOUTHERN LIVING December 2012 magazine.


1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup black raspberry liqueur (optional)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 8 oz. containers mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 containers fresh raspberries (preferably organic)
Red Velvet cake, cubed

Whisk together first three ingredients in small bowl.  Stir together mascarpone cheese in a large bowl.
Beat heavy cream at high speed till foamy; gradually add sugar sugar and vanilla, beating until soft peaks form.  Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream  into the mascarpone using a rubber spatula.; fold in remaining whipped cream.

Arrange 1/3 of the cake cubes in a 3 qt. trifle dish. drizzle with 1/3 of the jam mixture, top with 1 container of raspberries  and top with 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers two more times. Cover and chill 4-24 hours before serving.

Red Velvet Madeleines

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 T. red liquid food coloring
1 1/3 cups cake flour
2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat first 4 ingredients on med.high w/ electric mixer for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Add butter and food coloring, beating until well blended.  Sift cake cake and next 3 ingredients; fold into egg mixture. Spoon batter into lightly greased pan. or Madeleine pans)  Bake at 400 degrees until done ( 8-10 minutes if using madeleine pans--LONGER  for 9x13--when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Cut into cubes if baked in a 9x13.