A Smidgen of Cinnamon Rolls 

Have you ever been doing something and gotten completely lost thinking about somebody? 

A couple days ago I was making cinnamon rolls for my cousin who is getting married this weekend. 

As the rolls were cooling on the counter, I got out the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and wondered what kind of icing he’d like. 

Suddenly, someone I absolutely love came to mind, completely out of the blue. It was my aunt who unexpectedly passed away last year. 

That happens sometimes, you know? We go about our days, then bam, a reminder.

What came flooding into my mind was, two months before we lost her, I made her cinnamon rolls. 

When it came to the frosting, she had a special request, she wanted hers extra thick and piled on. 

Any guesses to what kind of frosting my cousin got? 

Ha ha. I’m pretty sure my aunt was smiling big that day, because before I even realized it, his frosting was soooooo thick I could barely move the spoon. 

In fact, I’d even say that he got a pan full of frosting with a smidgen of cinnamon rolls. 

A is for Apples…and Applesauce!

Is it fall where you are?

Today was the first day for us. It’s hard to believe summer is officially over and I’m guessing that before we know it, winter will be knocking at our doors.

I haven’t shared any of my favorite blogger’s posts for a long time. When I saw Jenny’s post about this homemade apple treat, I thought it’d be a perfect way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

She’s very nice and has some amazing recipes on her blog if you’d like to have a look. She even offers gluten free and vegetarian options, too. Love that!

Thanks, Jenny, for letting me share your wonderful writing and recipe.



Happy Fall! I was saving this post for tomorrow, the first day of fall, but I just couldn’t wait!

I love applesauce. There, I said it. Actually wrote it, but you get the picture.

I have written before about having been a picky eater as a child. Applesauce was a daily staple in my diet. My mom was actually very smart about feeding MANY picky eaters (I have 5 siblings and we all had food quirks, allergies or sensitivities). She always included bread and butter on the table at dinner, and usually served a veggie tray with pickles and carrot ribbons too (or a bowl of homemade fridge pickled cukes and onions). Then there was the ever present applesauce. There were definitely evenings where my dinner consisted of a butter sandwich with applesauce and carrot ribbons on the side.

By the way, just so you know, Mom is a great…

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Looking for a twist on an old favorite?

Then this may be a recipe for you to try. When I saw it, I’m pretty sure my tastebuds all stood up at the same time, raised their hands, and said, “Me! Me! Me!”

Peanut butter and bananas makes so much sense! I would’ve never thought to put them together, though through my life I’ve eaten countless sandwiches with the duo.

This just looks so moist and hearty. The idea of chocolate just makes it sound even better.

Thank you, Jessica, for letting me share your amazing recipe! If you guys reading get a chance and like to cook, Jessica has a wonderful site filled with all kinds of yummies!

Greek Marinated Steak with Tzatziki

Way back in January, did you make a New Year’s resolution?

I generally make a list of a few and try to make it through the year with them all in tact.

When I saw this post, it ignited one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks lightbulb moments! I not only love that she chose a word of intention, but also that she picked JOY as her word!

Can you imagine? There is enough ability in that single word to turn any sort of day and any situation around. Just think of it!

Raining out? There’s joy in puddle jumping and flowers growing!
Weeds taking over the garden? Hey, something is growing!
Truck break down? There’s that joy-filled moment when someone stops to help and for the tow truck!

From now on, I think I’ll try choosing a word of intention as well. What an easy way to tell defeating thoughts to “vamoos! Scat! Be gone!”

Thank you so much, What’s For Dinner Moms?, for not only letting me reblog this, but for opening my eyes to the positive power of a single word.

Bonus? She shares an amazing recipe, too!

What's for Dinner Moms?

Greek Marinated Steak with Tzatziki

Back, what seems eons ago in January, I chose the word JOY as my word of intention through this year. My life got off track a bit and I was starting to get overwhelmed by health stuff and home stuff. I went back and read my resolution to choose JOY in making decisions and living life this year.  There is no reason for me to not choose it. The weather is sunny, the beach is a mile away, we are relatively healthy and we have what we need. My house may not look House Beautiful ready but it is what we need. It keeps us safe, dry and comfortable. It is a place where we are feed emotionally and physically. We are okay. Sometimes I just need to be reminded it is okay for me to be joyful.

So last night we cooked out. I had a steak marinating all…

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Old-fashioned Sunshine Cake with Orange Frosting

Are you looking for a cake recipe to add to your summer celebrations?

If so, you’re going to love this! This evening I saw Sheryl’s post and what ultimately caught my eye, was when she said they play pinochle.

That took me right back to my childhood memories. Mom’s side of the family LOVED playing cards. After meals, the decks of cards came out.

I skipped several games just so I could sit on the couch and read grandma’s True Story magazines and look at old picture albums.

After several hands of cards, the snack plates appeared. My grandma made lots of homemade desserts and I can’t help but think that she really would’ve enjoyed baking this one.

After all, this recipe is from a 1912 cookbook, and it would have already graced the world 4 years before my grandpa was born in 1916. Just that alone, makes it special.

It looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try making it. Thank you so much Sheryl, for letting me share.

A Hundred Years Ago

Sunshine cake slice

Visiting with old friends is always special.  For the last 15 or 20 years, my husband and I get together a couple times a year with my daughter’s former girl scout leader and her husband to play pinochle. There are shared memories, family updates, and just plain good times.

It recently was my turn to host the gathering, and I wanted to make a special dessert –  but something not too heavy.  And, of course, my other criteria was that it had to be made using a hundred-year-old recipe. When browsing through an old cookbook, I came across a recipe for a citrus sponge cake called Sunshine Cake that peaked my interest, so I decided to give it a try.

The cake turned out wonderfully and did not disappoint. It was light, tender, and tasted divine. The recipe calls for both orange juice and lemon juice so it has a…

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Seventies Summer: Potlucks Part Two

Do you like peanut butter? I mean really, really like peanut butter? 

If so, you’re going to love this! 

We were invited to our first potluck of the summer and the first recipe I chose to make I shared in “Seventies Summer: Potlucks: Part One” which is grandma Wilma’s Rice Krispie Balls. 

I also decided to make this amazingly, fabulous recipe I got from a friend of a friend about 15 years ago for Peanut Butter Cake. 

I have been gluten free over a year, it’s been a loooong time since I’ve had cake. I’ve never bought one before, but I thought I’d try a gluten free flour blend and see if I had any luck making this cake. 

Oh. My. Goodness. It is AMAZING! So, so good! I didn’t even frost it and it is so delicious. If you are gluten free, this recipe is very doable. 

Original Recipe- Peanut Butter Cake by Millie Henderson

Bring to boil: 

  • 1 and 1/2 sticks oleo
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup water

Pour over:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix in:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Bake 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes in a greased and floured sheet cake pan.


Bring to a boil:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter 
  • 1 stick oleo
  • 6 TBS. milk

Pour over and mix until smooth:

  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 lb. or 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup nuts optional 

Use chunky peanut butter instead of adding nuts. 

* for the gluten free version, I used 2 cups Pillsbury Gluten Free Flour Blend. I also used 2 cups cane sugar in place of the regular sugar in the gluten free cake. 

* For both cakes, I use a 9×13 pan. The bake time on the original was about 30 minutes. I had to increase bake time on the gluten free to 42 minutes. 

* I used coconut milk for the frosting because of dietary restrictions. 

I’ve only shared this recipe with one person since I got it. Sharing with you makes me smile because people love this cake! As far as potlucks go, it’ll make ya kind of famous! Everybody always asks for more. 

P.S. Can you guess which cake is mine???

Seventies Summer: Potlucks Part One

Don’t you just love potlucks? 

To me, nothing brings back childhood memories like a summer potluck does. Mmm! Can’t you just “see” the fried chicken and casseroles all lined up on the picnic tables? And, the potato salads, pasta salads? And, the desserts! 

Today we are going to our first potluck of the summer and I got out my 1970’s cookbook to find something to take. 

I decided to make grandma Wilma’s Rice Krispie Balls, as a tribute to her and days gone by. 

“Rice Krispie Balls by Wilma Johnson

  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
  • 1 pkg. Kraft caramels (about 40)
  • Marshmallows (about 40)
  • Rice Krispies (large box) 

In the top of a double broiler, melt caramels, margarine, and milk. When all are melted, dip marshmallow on fork into caramel mixture. Drop into bowl of Rice Krispies- form into ball. (I lay 10 to 12 as they come from Rice Krispies onto wax paper and form into balls, less mess this way. Dampen hands before forming balls.) 

Let cool in refrigerator. Best to be kept in refrigerator or in cool place. This is the cookie I received the most requests for from sons in college. It was a real favorite at ISU.”

There are so many reasons I love this recipe! I like how she wrote it as if she was teaching someone standing next to her and how she mentions her sons, my uncles. 

Mostly, I love my memories about Rice Krispie Balls. You see, she’d make them when we came to visit and would keep them in the refrigerator. 

When all of the adults left the kitchen, us kids would help ourselves and sneak them out of the fridge and eat them! 

That makes me laugh now because we didn’t think she’d notice how many she made or how many were missing. 

Hmmm. I’m guessing since her recipe calls for “about 40”, she probably knew…

* note: Because of dietary restrictions, I omitted the sweetened condensed milk, and substituted 1/4 cup coconut milk. I also used butter instead of margarine, and reduced the amount to 1/4 a stick. 

Fresh Tomato Vinaigrette

What season are you in?

Here, we are a few weeks from summer kicking into full gear. Last weekend, my husband and I got our garden put in. Seemed a little late this year, but we live down on the river bottom and the nights get down right chilly way into May. When we got back from vacation, we still had nights in the 30’s and 40’s here! Brrrr!

It’s warming up nicely now and got me to thinking about summer meals. I saw this yummy post from Jenny and wanted to share it just in case some of you have your gardens going already, or are frequenting farmers markets.

This looks SO good! I may even have to try one of her gluten free bread recipes to go with it!

What I love about her blog is, she is kind enough to include gluten free and vegetarian tips and substitutes which is so handy.

Thank you, Jenny, for letting me share this! I’m excited for my garden to come in so I can make it!


tomato vinaigrette

Fridays are frequently pizza night at my house. Although it is only barely the start of summer here in Georgia, today’s temp is supposed to hit 91! So there will not be any oven use in this house today.

What to do? A fresh tomato salad perched atop good crusty french or italian bread, drizzled with a fresh tomato vinaigrette and shaved parmesan. It is so good you’ll make it your summer go-to substitute for pizza.

If you are like my husband and must have meat with dinner, add a layer of prosciutto, salami or capicola.  Or veg it out with antipasti by adding chopped olives, capers, pepperoncini and thinly sliced red onion.

Want more protein? Try adding cooked and cooled chickpeas or white beans or make a puree of the beans with some of the vinaigrette.

For my greens I used fresh basil and the pea…

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Graced with No Waste

Don’t you love the idea of being able to use all of something? 

My friend, Karen at http://findingmerle.com and I have been talking about our relatives who survived the Great Depression and how they learned to use nearly everything they had. 

For instance, my grandparents had gardens, fruit trees and fruit bushes. Anything with a berry on it was fair game. 

I remember picking gooseberries with grandma. Have you ever had gooseberries? Woo! They are sour! But, with lots of sugar, they make a good pie. 

At the end of summer, their cellars were always packed with the fruits and vegetables they “put up” (canned) to eat during the winter. 

A look at any old cookbook will reveal lots of pickle type recipes such as: 

  • Beet pickles 
  • Bread and Butter pickles
  • Dills
  • Refrigerator pickles
  • Sweet pickles
  • Freezer corn
  • Lime pickles 
  • Relishes

Karen mentioned wishing she had her great grandmother’s Watermelon Pickles recipe. I have my grandma’s recipe, so I thought it’d be fun to share it. 

Watermelon Pickles: 

1 gallon white part of melon

2 cups cider vinegar 

1 TBS whole cloves

1 TBS cinnamon 

5 cups sugar 

1 cup water

1 TBS whole allspice 

Brine: 1 quart water and 1/4 cup salt

Cut melon in cubes and let stand overnight in salted water (brine). Drain. Cover with fresh cold water, bring to boil and cook over low heat til tender. Drain. 

Combine ingredients above and boil 5 minutes. Add melon cubes and simmer til transparent. Pour in sterilized hot jars and seal. 

I haven’t tried this recipe yet. So, as long as the rabbits don’t eat all of my melons, I hope to make some watermelon pickles later on this summer. 

I’m going to take a cue from generations past and instead of filling my trash can with all the watermelon rinds, I’d love to live like they did and be graced with no waste. 

Old-fashioned Maraschino Cherry Ice Cream Recipe

Any ice cream fans here?

Mmmmm! We are definitely ice cream lovers! There is always a half gallon in our freezer and cones in the pantry. With summer only a few weeks away, I’ve been thinking about when I was a kid and having homemade ice cream.

I saw this post by Sheryl at A Hundred Years Ago, and my mind automatically went straight to childhood. I love how she describes how families celebrated holidays in the past. How fun!

Her recipes always remind me of my grandparents because they are from 1916. My grandpa Abbe was born in 1916, which means his siblings were little kiddos when someone put their Maraschino Cherry Ice Cream recipe into the world.  How cool is that?

Cherries in every form remind me of all the stories Dad has told me about the cherry trees of his childhood. Grandma Wilma had lots of cherries!

Here’s to summer, family celebrations, potlucks, and of course, ice cream! Thank you for letting me share, Sheryl! Can’t wait to make this!

A Hundred Years Ago

Marachino cherry ice cream picture 2

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day in years gone by was often celebrated by parades and local festivals – and incredible homemade ice cream. An old-time favorite was Maraschino Cherry Ice Cream.

I tend to think of Maraschino cherries as a cocktail garnish (or an ingredient in canned fruit cocktail), but Maraschino cherries were a popular recipe ingredient in the early 1900’s. Back then the cherries were a pricey delicacy, and a popular ingredient that hinted of sophistication and class.

The recipe I adapted was in a hundred-year-old Pennsylvania church cookbook, and it was incredibly easy.  This ice cream recipe didn’t require any cooking; I only needed to combine cream, sugar, and lemon juice, and then chill for a few minutes before putting the mixture into the ice cream maker  (the cherries are added after the ice cream is frozen). I actually worried that the recipe was too easy, but my fears…

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