Monday, September 25, 2017

Favorite Kitchen Gadget Review: Mario Batali Potato Peeler

September is National Potato Month, and I love all things potato.

I am the "Bubba Gump" of the potato world.

I love mashed potatoes. Boiled Potatoes. Fried Potatoes. Baked Potatoes. Grilled Potatoes. Potato Casseroles. Potatoe Soup...well, you get the idea.

Since potatoes are consumed often in this house, my Mario Batali Potato Peeler became my favorite kitchen gadget. But I'm sorry to say I can no longer find them available for purchase online.

You can watch this video review from my facebook page that I made several years ago. (And sorry for all the " and ums" and pauses in the video 😏 )  Click on the first video you see.  While you're there, be sure to LIKE and FOLLOW my page and leave a comment so you will continue to get daily updates. And then go ahead and share the page with your friends.

CLICK HERE for the video and let me know how you enjoy your potatoes.

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” 
― A.A. Milne

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Stuffed Peppers

More oven-baked goodness coming your way!

Stuffed peppers are considered a comfort food by many--probably because it's one food stuffed into another food...and that seems comforting to many of us.  I think it also brings back childhood memories of a warm meal on a cool night while stuffing yourself with stuffed food till your little belly said, "No more! I'm comforted! You can stop now." And with a full belly, you sat around with the family and watched the Carol Burnett Show before a bath; then bedtime.

Ahhhh...sweet memories. 😊

Growing up, Mom would serve mashed potatoes on the side .That's the way I like to serve them too.

They are not hard to make. It takes about 20 minutes to assemble, but another hour to cook, so be sure to start this supper a little early. It really is worth the wait, though.

Some like cheese on top, and I'm sure that's good too 'cause, CHEESE! But I never had them that way so I don't bother with it since they are perfect as is. Plus, that might mess with my memories. :)

You can drizzle the tomato sauce on top, or leave it plain.

A simple salad on the side would also round out the meal.

To make this recipe, you will need:

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup COOKED white rice (I use Minute Rice to save time. Follow directions on box)
6 green bell peppers 
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
2 8oz. cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. Good Season's Italian Dressing mix.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While rice is cooking, brown the beef in skillet.

Remove the tops, seeds and membranes from the peppers. Arrange in a baking dish with the hollowed side up.

In a bowl, mix beef, cooked rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, the garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper.,
Spoon an equal amount of mixture into each pepper. Mix remaining sauce with seasoning mix in a bowl and pour over the stuffed peppers.

Bake for one hour, basting with the sauce every 15 minutes.

*Covering with foil while baking keeps it moist. Uncover the last 15 minutes if you use foil.
  1. ENJOY!
  2. And because comfort food can only do so much...I find my real and lasting comfort here:

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.