Kathy's Recipe Book  

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Chocolate Chip Cheesball


Mom's Refigerator Rolls
Apple Bread
Sourdough Cooking



Bumbleberry Pie
Yabba-Dabba-Doo Squares
Tina Rowe's Toffee
Raspberry Truffle Cream Pie
Date Nut Loaf
Mom's Brownies
Chocolate Butter Cream Icing
Grandma's Sugar Pie
Red Velvet Cookies
Brownie Pizza
Ricotta Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
Orange Poppy-Seed Cake
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Pretzel Salad
Sculpted Cake

chocolate pie
Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

Main Dishes:

Italian Beef
Crock Pot Pasta Sauce
Velveeta Nacho Bake
Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken and Dressing
Flank Steak
Noodle Surprise
Too Easy Hot Dish
Mandarin Pork Chops with Wild Rice
Beef Taco Skillet
Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchilada

Nacho Chicken


The Best Fruit Salad
Sweet Pasta Salad
Strawberry Salad
Fruit Salad
Spinach Salad


Casserole Supreme
Slow Cooker Stuffing


Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup
Bob McCorkle's World Famous Chili
Chunky Chicken Soup

Taco Soup


Johnny Cakes
Santa Fe French Toast


Friend Deb introduced me to author Joanne Fluke, who writes the Hannah Swensen mystery series.  Her books include recipes, one of which was the following.  I’m not a red velvet fan but tried these cookies.  My niece loved them and requested them for her graduation party.

Red Velvet Cookies

2 1-oz squares unsweetened baking chocolate 
½ c. butter at room temperature
2/3 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
½ c. granulated sugar
½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt
1 Large egg

1 Tbsp. red food coloring
¾ c. sour cream
2 c. flour
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate bits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper & spray with Pam.  Unwrap chocolate squares & break apart.  Put in small microwave-safe bowl; melt 90 sec on HIGH.  Stir until smooth & set aside.  Combine butter and sugars together on medium speed until smooth.  Add baking soda & salt; beat another min.  Add egg and beat until batter is smooth.  Add red food coloring and mix about 30 sec.  Scrape down bowl, add melted chocolate & mix another min. on medium speed.  Scrape down bowl and add 1 c. flour; mix at low speed until well blended; mix in sour cream.  Scrape down bowl & add remainder of flour; beat until well blended.  Mix in chocolate chips by hand.  Drop onto parchment-lined cookie sheets by teaspoonful, 12 cookies/ cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees 9-11 minutes.  Slide parchment onto wire rack to cool.  For blue velvet, use Wilton icing color paste & add a toothpick full of violet icing color paste.


Cream Cheese Frosting

¼ c. softened butter
4 oz. softened cream cheese
½ tsp. vanilla

2 c. powdered sugar

Mix butter, cream cheese & vanilla until smooth.  Add powdered sugar in half-cup increments until frosting is of proper spreading consistency. 

Yield:  Approximately 3 dozen cookies

Idea:  Brush top of baked cookies with melted raspberry jam, let dry and frost as above.    


We discovered this delicious pie while traveling through Alaska and loved it!  I found a recipe and recently made it for the Lagoons RV Park craft sale, where it was a big hit.  I used frozen berries, but in Alaska, the bakers used whatever berries were available for picking at the time.  I hope this spring to find fresh berries as well.

Bumbleberry Pie

1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 cups peeled and sliced cooking apples
1 cup raspberries
1 cup rhubarb, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup Blackberries
Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie

 Roll pastry out to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Roll top crust.
Stir sugar and flour together in large bowl. Add apples, raspberries, Blackberries, and rhubarb. Toss together, and turn into pie shell. Cover with pastry top. Trim and seal edges. Cut vents in top.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, until crust is brown and apple is cooked.

 Note:  Can add cherries, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.


While looking for something else, I ran across this recipe on www.food.com.  I halved this recipe and still had enough for three meals for the two of us.  We had it with salad and homemade bread sticks—yummy!

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup

2 lbs. ground beef
onion, chopped
carrots, chopped
4 stalks
celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans
diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can
red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can
white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons
2 teaspoons
5 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce 8 ounces pasta

Brown beef in a skillet.  Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.  Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.  During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Serves 12

Thanks to former co-worker and long-time friend Susie for this recipe.  I don’t make it a lot any more for just the two of us, but it’s great for company as it can be made ahead.


1 ½ lb. sausage or hamburger
1 clove garlic
1 Tbls. basil
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 lb. can tomatoes
3 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
8 lasagna noodles
2 eggs|
3 c. ricotta cheese
½ c. parmesan
2 Tbls. Parsley
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown meat and drain.  Add next 5 ingredients and simmer 30 minutes.  Cook noodles in large amount boiling salted water till tender.  Drain.  Beat eggs; add remaining ingredients except mozzarella. 

Layer ½ noodles in 13X9X2 inch pan.  Spread ½ cheese filling.  Add ½ mozzarella and ½ meat sauce.  Repeat.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes OR: assemble early and refrigerate; bake 45 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Italian Beef

3 lb. rump or sirloin tip roast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
2 c. water
1 tsp. sweet basil
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder

2 bay leaves
2 green peppers, sliced

 Mix spices, peppers and water and pour over roast.  Bake at 350 degrees in covered pan for 21/2 to 3 hours.  Remove meat and cool completely.  Slice very thin and return to juice.  Reheat in juices to serve on French roll or submarine bun.

The Best Fruit Salad

1 small jar maraschino cherries
1 small can chunk pineapple
1 can mandarin oranges
1-2 bananas
1 apple
2-3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
Small bunch red seedless grapes

Drain cherries and put in bowl.  Add pineapple without liquid, add oranges with juice, cut and add bananas, cut apple, peel and slice kiwis and cut into halves red seedless grapes.  You can increase or decrease amount of fruit; stir and enjoy.


My mom made THE BEST yeast rolls I’ve ever tasted.  My youngest sister, Ruthie makes them now & they are still delicious.  I’ve never really mastered them, but here is the recipe.  It makes quite a lot and can be refrigerated for several days.

Mom’s Refrigerator Rolls

Pour 1 c. boiling water over ¾ c. lard.  Let cool.  Add 2 well-beaten eggs, one at a time.  Mix thoroughly.  Add ½ c. sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 2 cakes yeast, dissolved in 1 c. cold water, 6 c. unsifted flour.  Mix well, cover and refrigerate.  Make into rolls 2 hours before baking.  Bake 15 minutes in 425-450 degree oven.


Crock Pot Pasta Sauce

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1-lb. can tomatoes, drained & cut up
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 12-oz. cans tomato paste
1 c. beef bouillon
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Brown meat with onion and garlic; drain excess fat.  In slow-cooking pot, combine browned meat, onions, and garlic with remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve over your favorite pasta.  May be made ahead and frozen.  Serves 6-8


Growing up, my mom had an older cousin who, along with his wife were like grandparents to us.  Ruthie was a great cook and often tried new recipes on us (we survived them all!).  Here is one she shared with me; I ran across it recently and it brought back such pleasant memories as it’s in her neat handwriting.


Casserole Supreme

1 7-oz. pkg. macaroni & cheese dinner
¾ c. milk
2 eggs
1-2 Tbsp. instant minced onion
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
5 hard cooked eggs
1 c. celery
¼ c. dried bread crumbs and melted oleo.

Prepare macaroni & cheese dinner according to directions.  Meanwhile, beat together milk, 2 eggs, onion, salt and pepper until blended.  Reserving 3 egg wedges for garnish, chop remaining eggs.  Stir milk mixture, chopped eggs and celery into prepared macaroni & cheese dinner.  Spread evenly into greased 12X7X2 baking dish.  Combine bread crumbs and oleo.  Sprinkle over casserole.  Bake in 350 degree oven 25 minutes.  Serves 8


I love it when Bob cooks, and over the years he’s perfected his “world famous chili” recipe.  Of course, it changes a bit each time he makes it, but here’s the basic idea.  (He cleans up afterwards too, a real plus!)

Bob McCorkle’s World Famous Chili

1 ½ lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt

½ green pepper, chopped
(This depends on the size of the peppers)
½ red pepper, chopped
1 oz. pimento

¼ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground oregano (can also use Italian seasoning as a substitute)
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 large can tomato puree
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 16 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained (can also use chili beans)

1 can medium salsa
(Use hot salsa to spice it up a bit)
1 cup elbow spaghetti

Brown beef in large skillet & drain; stir in onion, salt, cumin, oregano & peppers.  Blend tomato puree, tomato sauce, beans, salsa, garlic, chili powder & ground beef in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  45 minutes before serving, stir in 1 cup elbow spaghetti.

Yield: 8-10 servings.  *** To make chili a little hotter, mix in some hot sauce to taste.


I used to make this recipe when our sons were young and hadn’t thought about it for years.  Recently granddaughters Abby & Grace have helped me make it and we thought we’d share.

Yabba-Dabba-Doo Squares

¼ cup butter or margarine
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3 cups Post Fruity Pebbles or Cocoa Pebbles cereal

Melt butter in saucepan, stirring frequently.  Add marshmallows and cereal; stir until marshmallows start to melt and stick to cereal.  Remove from heat.  Press mixture firmly into buttered 8” square pan.  Chill about 1 hour.  Cut into squares.  Store in cool place.  Makes 16 squares.

Optional: Ad 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter when using Cocoa Pebbles cereal. 

Note: Recipe may be doubled and pressed into buttered 13” X 9” pan.


Thanks to bridge teacher & Tucson friend Sherrie, for this tasty and unusual salad.

Sweet Pasta Salad

3 cups uncooked penne pasta, or smaller pasta, i.e.: bowtie
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries divided
1 teaspoon canola oil
4 cups torn salad greens
1/2 cup chopped walnuts toasted
1/3 cup flaked coconut toasted

Cook pasta
For dressing combine the cream, sugar, vanilla and 1/2 cup strawberries in a blender and process until smooth.

Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, and place in a large bowl, add oil and toss, add coconut and remaining strawberries, place the greens in a serving bowl top with pasta mixture, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with walnuts.


A  long-ago co-worker gave me this easy & yummy recipe which I love to make.  Both my sons like it, so I often make it when we’re together.  Most items are staples that can be kept on hand.


Strawberry Salad

1 can strawberry pie filling
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 large bowl Cool Whip, thawed
1 bag nuts

Mix all together and chill.


Thanks to long time friend, Tina for this easy & delicious snack.

Tina Rowe’s Toffee 

2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 sleeve unsalted saltines
12 oz chocolate bits
Chopped nuts

Mix butter and sugar and boil 3-4 minutes.  Spread saltines on cookie sheet.  Pour boiled mix over saltines and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Pour chocolate bits over and bake 35 seconds.  Sprinkle with nuts and cool about 2 hours.


Thanks to friend and former co-worker Darla for this yummy dessert. 

Raspberry Truffle Cream Pie

1 2/3 cups (10-oz pkg) Hershey’s raspberry chips
1/3 cup milk
2 cups miniature marshmallows or 20 large marshmallows
1 (8 oz) tub frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 (9-inch) packaged crumb crust (6 oz)

Additional whipped topping (optional)
Fresh raspberries (optional) 

Place raspberry chips and milk in large microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave at high 1 minute or until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.  Add marshmallows; microwave at high 1 minute; stir.  If necessary, microwave at high an additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until marshmallows are melted when stirred.

Spread ½ cup chip mixture over bottom of crust.  Cool remaining mixture to room temperature; fold in whipped topping and spoon into crust.

Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours or until firm.  Garnish with whipped topping and raspberries, if desired.  Cover and refrigerate leftover pie.


When my mother-in-law was living, this was a staple on the Christmas dinner table.  I have made it a few times as it is one of Bob’s favorites.  So this recipe is in memory of my mother-in-law, Elizabeth McCorkle.

Date Nut Loaf

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup small marshmallows r large ones quartered
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup cream

 Mix all ingredients in bowl (mixture will be just moistened).  Turn out onto waxed paper and shape into roll and chill.  Serve with whipped cream.


Thanks to my brother-in-law Rick for this quick and delicious casserole.  It’s great for potlucks and most of the ingredients can be kept on hand.

Velveeta Nacho Bake

1 12 oz. pkg. Velveeta Shells & Cheese dinner
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
¾ c. water
¾ c. sour cream
¾ c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
¾ c. salsa
½ c. coarsely crushed tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare dinner following basic directions.  While macaroni is cooking, brown meat and drain.  Add taco seasoning mix and water to meat; simmer 5 minutes.  Stir sour cream into prepared dinner.  Spoon ½ dinner mixture into 8-in. square baking dish; top with meat mixture, ½ cheese and remaining dinner mixture.  Cover and bake 15 minutes.  Top with salsa, remaining cheese and crushed tortilla chips.  Bake uncovered another 5 minutes.

Yield:  6 servings.


My mom was a wonderful cook and nearly everything was made from scratch while I was growing up.  One of my favorites was her brownies, which she usually iced with a chocolate butter cream icing, something that few women did at that time.  Since Mom passed away March 29, I decided to honor her with her brownie recipe.  I love you, Mom!

Mom’s Brownies

4 squares chocolate
2/3 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. nuts

Melt chocolate and shortening in double boiler.  Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Bake in greased and floured 9X13 pan, 30-35 minutes in 350 degree oven.


Chocolate Butter Cream Icing

1/3 c. soft butter
3 c. sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbs. cocoa
3 Tbs. milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla

Blend butter, sugar and chocolate together.  Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth.  Makes frosting for two 8 or 9 inch layers or 13X9 oblong.


This is Bob’s Grandma McCorkle’s recipe for Sugar Pie, Bob’s absolute favorite pie!  It is quite simple and not to be confused with Sugar Cream Pie.

 Grandma's Sugar Pie 

In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine ¼ cup flour & ¾ cup sugar.  Stir to mix.  Add water, stirring to mix, until you fill to the 2-cup mark.  Pour into an unbaked pie shell.  Dot with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake at 350 degrees until filling sets.  The top will still be a little runny, but will firm as it cools.


 Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie

 1 c. chopped cooked turkey or     chicken                     
½ c. milk
1 can Veg-All, drained 
½ tsp. thyme
1 can cream of potato soup  
½ tsp. pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup  
2 pie shells

 Mix and pour all ingredients into pie shell.  Cover with other shell and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Let stand 10-15 minutes.

Note:  You can make 2; freeze one without cooking.  Bake frozen pie 1 hour and 15 minutes.


Thanks again to my college roommate and longtime friend, Glenda for this yummy recipe.  I like to serve it with the fruit salad recipe featured previously (see archives),

 Apple Bread

1/2  c. butter
1     c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. diced apples
1 tsp. soda dissolved in 2 Tbs. sour milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour

Cream together all but apples and flour.  Add apples and flour and put into greased and floured bread tin.  Mix together and sprinkle on top:

2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. sugar

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.


This is an easy, hearty soup to help warm a cold winter’s day.  It’s great alone or with a grilled cheese sandwich.

 Chunky Chicken Soup

1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2” strips
2/3 c. finely chopped onion
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 cans condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 tsp. dill weed
½ c. half-and-half
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 c. frozen corn
1 ½ c. chicken broth
1 c. frozen peas

In large skillet over medium-high heat, brown chicken in oil.  With slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a 5-qt. slow cooker.  Add onion, carrots, celery and corn.  In a small bowl, whisk soup, broth and dill until blended; stir into slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in peas and cream.  Cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until heated through. Serves 7.


Thanks to my nursing school roommate and long-time friend Glenda for this delicious and easy to make recipe.  It is especially pretty layered in a glass pedestal dish.

 Fruit Salad

2 Cans Mandarin Oranges,
1 lg can chunck pineapple,
1 can peach pie filling
5-6 bananas
1 large bunch seedless

Mix all ingredients together and chill.


Thanks to former co-worker, Terry for this easy & delicious recipe.  I love to make it and it’s always a hit! 

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball 

1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
½ c. butter, softened (no substitutes)
¼ tsp. vanilla
¾ c. finely chopped pecans
¾ c. powdered sugar
2 T. brown sugar
¾ c. mini chocolate chips
Chocolate & regular graham crackers

In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with mixer until fluffy.  Gradually add the sugars; beat just until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.  Place cream cheese mixture on plastic wrap and shape into ball; refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Just before serving, roll in pecans.  Serve with graham crackers.


Maxwell Middle School produced cookbooks as fund-raisers when my niece & nephew were students there.  This recipe was in one of them and I recently tried it.  It’s very easy and was a real hit!

Fruit Brownie Pizza

1 box brownie mix

1 (8-oz) cream cheese

1 c. sugar

1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced

4-5 bananas

Chocolate syrup to garnish top

¼ c. walnuts


Follow directions on brownie mix box.  Pour into 12”X 18” greased pizza pan.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until done.  As brownie cools, mix softened cream cheese and sugar with mixer.  Pour over cooled brownie.  Arranged sliced fruit on top of creamy mixture.  Sprinkle chopped nuts over fruit.  Decorate lightly with chocolate syrup.  Refrigerate until ready to cut and serve.

Note:  Substitute kiwi for bananas for a festive red and green color combination for the holiday season.


Thanks to longtime friend, Ina for this recipe.  It’s easy and as Eric says, his favorite salad.

Spinach Salad

½ lb. shredded spinach
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 Tbsp. diced celery
6-8 radishes, chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
½ tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. bacon grease
2 Tbsp. sugar
½ c. vinegar
4-5 slices bacon, fried crisp & chopped

Mix salad ingredients in bowl.  Combine sugar, vinegar and bacon grease; bring to boil.  Add bacon; pour over salad and serve immediately.

The last time I made lasagna, I bought too much ricotta cheese.  I didn’t want to waste the cheese, so I searched the internet and found this recipe.  I tried it on my niece who is a college student with the hope she’d survive to tell me what she thought of them.  She liked the cookies, so thought I’d share the recipe here.

Ricotta Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 c. flour
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1/2 c. butter
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips

Mix flour and baking soda. Mix and cream sugar and butter. Beat 3 eggs and add to sugar mixture. Add Ricotta cheese and then flour mixture. Add vanilla, then chips. Bake at 400 degrees 10 to 12 minutes.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies


While home for the Christmas holidays, my sister, Ruthie made this delicious soup.  It is quite simple but very filling.  She made hers with chicken. 

Taco Soup 

1 can black beans 
1 can whole kernel corn
2 cans petite diced tomatoes  
can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 large can chili beans                                    
1 pkg. hidden valley seasoning
1 pkg. taco seasoning                                      
1 lb. cooked, drained hamburger or cooked chicken

Drain nothing; mix & heat.  Serve with chili cheese Fritos, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

As Bob was archiving my recipes, he pointed out that most of the recipes are desserts.  Not sure what is wrong with that as everyone has a sweet tooth, right?  Anyway, here is a longtime favorite at our house.  The church where I grew up, Westland Friends Church has published several cookbooks; the oldest one I have was compiled by the Ladies Guild in 1925.  This recipe is from that cookbook.


1 egg
1 c. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
¾ c. milk
1 Tbsp. melted butter

Bake on aluminum griddle without grease.

Recently, I was trying to come up with some new ideas for dinner.  I found this recipe in a cookbook my nephew, Ross’ class put together when he was in 8th grade.  It is quite tasty and easy to make:

Chicken and Dressing

1 ½ c. milk, divided
3 c. herb-seasoned croutons
½ c. diced celery
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
3 c. cooked, chopped chicken
3 eggs, beaten
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. poultry seasoning
½ tsp. marjoram
½ c. flour
¼ c. parmesan cheese
¼ c. butter

Pour ½ c. milk in greased 9X13” baking dish.  Combine croutons, celery, and onion.  Spread in baking dish.  Sprinkle chicken over crouton mixture.  Combine eggs, soup, 1 c. milk, salt, poultry seasoning and marjoram.  Pour over chicken.  Combine flour, cheese and butter, blending until crumbs form.  Sprinkle over casserole.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.


Orange Poppy-Seed Cake

2 Tbs. poppy seeds
¼ c. milk
3 c. cake flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
 ¾ c. sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla
¾ c. orange juice

GLAZE: Combine 1 cup confectioners’ sugar & 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest in small bowl.  Whisk in 3-5 Tbs. orange juice to make good glazing consistency.


Soak poppy seeds in milk in bowl for 2 hrs.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease & flour 12-cup Bundt pan.  Stir together flour, baking powder & salt in medium bowl.  Beat butter in large bowl until smooth.  Gradually beat in sugar until light & fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in orange zest, vanilla & poppy seed mixture.  Beat in flour mixture & orange juice, alternately in 3 additions, beginning & ending with flour.  Scrape batter into prepared pan.  Bake 40-45 min or until wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 15 min.  Invert cake onto rack & cool completely.  Place sheet of waxed paper under cake rack.  Pour Orange Glaze over cake, allowing glaze to drip down sides, or pipe in squiggly pattern over cake.  Let set & transfer to serving plate.


Thanks to long time friends and racing buddies, Steve and Jan for this delicious grilling recipe.  We like to use the leftovers for beef fajitas!

Flank Steak
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. soy sauce
¼- ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, chopped fine 

Marinade the steak overnight and grill to taste.



When our boys were growing up we had wonderful neighbors, Norm and Marie.  Marie was a farm girl and an excellent cook.  She shared many recipes with me, and I especially like this one that’s quick, easy and all the ingredients can be readily available.

Noodle Surprise

1 small pkg. noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can mushroom soup
1 scant soup can hot water
Cheese as desired

 Cook noodles and drain.  Brown hamburger and onion, season to taste.  Place hamburger and noodles alternately in greased baking dish.  Pour mushroom soup and hot water over all.  Top with cheese slices if desired.  Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.


Here is another recipe from author Joanne Fluke.  I tried it recently and it was quite good.

Too Easy Hot Dish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 ½ lb. lean ground or leftover meat
2 (12-oz) cans any condensed creamy soup
1 lb. pkg frozen potato nuggets or hash browns (I used hash browns)
1 c. shredded cheese

Spray 9X13” pan with Pam.   Put ground meat in bottom of pan, spreading evenly; press it down.  Spoon the 2 cans of soup on top of meat and spread evenly.  Put frozen potato nuggets on top in a single layer and spread evenly.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.  Bake 35-40 minutes, until potatoes are browned and crispy.

Yield: 6 servings.


Johnny Cakes

I used to make Johnny Cakes whenever we went camping but haven’t made them in years.  While with Eric he mentioned them, so I made them one morning for breakfast.  They are a little thinner than regular pancakes but quite good. 

1/2 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup hot milk
1 tablespoon shortening 

Mix dry ingredients, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour on hot, greased griddle and fry to golden brown on both sides. Serve with butter and syrup.


Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Cookie Dough
4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 ¼ c. chilled butter
2 c sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1/3 c corn syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. vanilla (or 2 tsp. peppermint extract and 1 tsp. vanilla)
4 c. flour


¼ c. sugar
¼ c. finely crushed miniature candy canes


Melt butter and chocolate in microwave 3 minutes on high; mix thoroughly and cool.  ombine sugar and eggs; beat until uniform pale yellow color.  Add baking soda and salt and mix in well.  Mix in corn syrup, water and vanilla.  Add cooled butter and chocolate mixture.  Add half the flour, mix well and add remainder of flour mix thoroughly. 

Mix topping together in small bowl with fork.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll balls in topping mixture and place on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then remove to wire rack and cool completely.


Sourdough Cooking:

Cooking:  When we were first married, Bob purchased sourdough starter which we used until we retired and it was difficult to find room for it in our refrigerator.  Recently we were talking about it, so I found this website: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ with easy instructions to make our own starter as well as some very tasty recipes.  Here is a picture of the starter and pictures of the pizza Bob made with it.  He makes yummy pizza and this crust was thick and flavorful.


Mandarin Pork Chops with Wild Rice

4 pork chops

1 ¾ c. water

1 pkg. Lipton rice with sauce, original (I couldn’t find this so used Knorr rice with cream sauce)

11 oz. can mandarin orange segments, drained & reserving ½ c. syrup

¼ c. sliced green onions

In large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil and brown chops.  Add water, rice with sauce, reserved syrup and green onions and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until pork is done.  Stir in oranges and heat through.

Santa Fe French Toast

1 c. light cream (half & half)
4 eggs
3 slices bread cut 3/4” thick (I used French bread)
¼ tsp. salt
Confectioners’ sugar
Vegetable oil 

Cut firm homemade type unsliced bread into ¾ inch slices.  Trim crusts and cut into triangles.  Combine beaten eggs, cream and salt.  Dip bread triangles in the mixture, allowing the3m to absorb as much custard as possible.  Fry in about ½ inch vegetable oil pre-heated to 325 degrees.  When one side is golden brown, turn and brown on the second side.  Turn only once.  Place on a shallow baking pan (a jelly roll pan is perfect for this) and allow to puff in a 400-degree oven for three to five minutes.  Drain on paper toweling to absorb excess fat.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately with applesauce, currant jelly, honey or maple syrup.  Add pork sausages, bacon strips, Canadian bacon or ham.  Servers three, two triangles each.

Sculpted Cake

When youngest granddaughter, Nora was about 3 months old, Daddy Eric asked if I could make an elephant “smash” cake for her first birthday.  Of course I said yes, it was easier than I thought it might be.  While trolling the web, I found a delightful site with easy to follow directions: http://www.mycakeschool.com/.  I then found a site that provided the perfect cake recipe for “sculpting” that is quite tasty and easy to work with.  This recipe comes from http://www.cakecentral.com/.

Durable Cake for 3D in Chocolate

1 Duncan Hines Devils Food Chocolate Mix
4 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease and flour pans.
3. On low speed begin incorporating all ingredients together.
4. Once combined, give a very good stir with a spatula making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. Turn mixr to medium and blen well for approximately 2 minutes.
5. The batter will be thick but don't worry - this is normal.
6. Spoon equal amounts into pans and using spatula even out the batter.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes depending on oven. Toothpick inserted in center should come out clean and top should spring back when pressed.
8. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in pan before turning onto cooling racks.
9. Decorate as desired.

While trolling, I kept reading about decorating cakes using the “Viva Method.”   I finally searched that and found a wonderful site, http://www.thatreallyfrostsme.com/ that easily explained the process with multiple pictures.  The frosting recipe from http://www.cakecentral.com/ is:

 Crusting Buttercream Icing (VIVA Method)

2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened
1-1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
2 tbsp. clear vanilla extract
1/3 cup water for icing cake -OR- 1/4 cup for stiff consistency
1/4 tsp. almond extract

1.     Cream butter, shortening, and extracts until creamy and smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and water. Mix thoroughly on medium speed for hand mixers, low speed for stand mixers, until smooth and creamy. Do not over mix or mix on high speed.
For whiter icing, use butter without dye (health food stores)
For stiffer icing, use 1/4 cup of water instead of 1/3 cup.
If you live where it is humid, you can add 1-2 tbsp. meringue powder.
Let set for 15 minutes before smoothing with a VIVA paper towel.
Icing can be refrigerated for 2 weeks in an airtight container. Iced cake can sit at room temperature for 2-3 days.

*Any flowers made with this recipe remain soft enough to be cut with a knife.

 I thought I’d have to practice the cake several times before the big day and wasn’t looking forward to Bob & I having to eat that much cake, but one practice cake (which I shared with siblings!) did the trick.  The frosting is a little rich for my liking but is easy to work with.  Unfortunately, the police car should have had more practice as it was pretty flat, but granddaughters Abby & Grace enjoyed helping make Dad Mike’s birthday cake.  Both cakes were a big hit, but I may resign from the cake making business.  I will probably use the chocolate cake recipe again as it is quite tasty and moist.


I have finally discovered Pinterest and found this
delicious potato soup



1 30-oz. bag of frozen diced hash browns
1 32 oz. box of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10 oz.)
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz., not fat free)
3 oz. bacon bits 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste 

 Put the potatoes in the crockpot.  Add in the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and half of the bacon bits.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.  

An hour before serving cut the cream cheese into small cubes.  Place the cubes in the crock pot.  Mix a few times throughout the hour before serving.  

 Once the cream cheese is completely mixed in, it's ready to serve.  

Top with cheddar cheese and some additional bacon bits.  

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Yield: 16 servings

1 c. butter or margarine
2 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped celery
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
12 c. dry bread cubes
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 ½ tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried marjoram
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
4 ½ c. chicken broth or as needed
2 eggs, beaten

 Melt butter or margarine in skillet over medium heat.  Cook onion, celery, mushroom and parsley, stirring frequently.  Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in very large mixing bowl; season with seasonings.  Pour in enough broth to moisten; mix in eggs.  Transfer mixture to slow cooker and cover.  Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low and cook 4-8 hours.

*I dried my own bread crumbs from a loaf of white sandwich bread so it probably wasn't as dry as purchased crumbs. I didn't measure how many cups I had but I used a total of 3 cups of broth as I like my stuffing a little moist. I cooked it for 5 hours, taking the lid off for an hour so it would dry a little more. The seasonings are just right and the stuffing was delicious.


I made pumpkin pie for Christmas and had pie dough left, so son Eric asked if I’d make a chocolate pie.  This is my pie crust recipe and my sister Ruthie’s chocolate pie recipe.


Never Fail Pie Crust (from Westland Community Cookbook, 1970)

5 c. flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 c. lard (I now use Crisco)

Beat 1 egg in a cup, finish filling with cold water and mix (I add an additional ½-3/4 c. water).  Dough is ready for use or can be stored in closed container in refrigerator until ready for use any time.

Chocolate pie filling:

1 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour or 3 Tbs. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1-oz squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped

In saucepan, combine sugar, flour or cornstarch and salt; gradually stir in milk and chocolate.  Cook and stir over medium high heat till bubbly.  Cook and stir 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir a moderate amount hot mixture into yolks; immediately return to hot mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add butter and vanilla.  Pour into cooled baked pastry shell.  Spread meringue atop pie and bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes.  Or omit meringue and serve with whipped cream.


3 egg whites
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
6 Tbs. sugar

Beat egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar till soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, beating till stiff and glossy peaks form and all sugar is dissolved.



I found this recipe on Pinterest as daughter-in-law Kristin is a fan of pound cake.  This recipe takes some time but it is quite moist.

Sour Cream Pound Cake
2 c. butter, softened
3 c. sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. sour cream
¼ tsp. baking soda
3 c. flour
½ tsp. salt
1 pinch ground mace
1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 10” bundt pan or 9” tube pan.

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer in large bowl until noticeably lighter and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into butter mixture before adding next.  Beat in vanilla with last egg.  Pour flour mixture into bowl alternately with sour cream, mixing just until incorporated.  Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread smooth.  Bake about 1 hr. and 20 min until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Dust with confectioners; sugar before serving.


I've had this recipe a long time and finally decided to make it. It is quite simple and tasty.

1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 c. chunky salsa or Picante Sauce
1/2 c. water
8 (6") tortillas, cut into 1" pieces
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook beef in skillet unil browned; pour off fat. Add soup, salsa, water, tortillas & 1/2 c. cheese; heat to a boil. Cover and cook on low heat 5 min. or until hot. Top with remaining cheese.
Yield: 4 servings



Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas


1-10 ¾ oz. Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
½ c. sour cream
1 c. Pace picante sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
2 c. chopped cooked chicken
½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used pepper jack)
6- 6” flour tortillas, warmed
1 small tomato, chopped
1 green onion, sliced

Stir soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder in medium bowl. Stir 1 c. picante mixture, chicken and cheese in large bowl.

Divide chicken mixture among tortillas. Roll up tortillas and place seam side up in 11X8" shallow baking dish. Pour remaining sauce mixture over filled tortillas and cover.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and bubbling.  Top with tomato and onion.


Nacho Chicken

I’ve had this recipe for some time and like how simple it is and the fact that you can easily have all the ingredients on hand.  I halve the recipe for the two of us.

4 c. cubed cooked chicken
1 lb. Velveeta, cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted 
1 c. chopped onion
1 10-oz. diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 14 ½ oz. nacho cheese tortilla chips

 In a large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients; mix well.  Crush chips; set aside 1 c. for topping.  Add remaining chips to chicken mixture.  Spoon into a greased 13X9” baking dish; sprinkle with reserved chips.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 min. or until cheese is melted & edges are bubbly.

Yield: 8-10 servings.





The church we attend here in St. Petersburg, Clearview United Methodist, delivers trays of handmade cookies to area police and fire departments each month, so I’ve done a lot of baking lately.  This Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookie recipe came from one of Joanne Fluke’s “Hannah Swensen” mystery books.

Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

1 c. butter, melted
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 beaten eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
2 c. crushed corn flakes
1-2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter, add sugars and stir. Add soda, salt, vanilla and eggs, mix well. Stir in flour. Add corn flakes and chocolate bits and mix thoroughly. Form dough into walnut-sized balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Press down slightly with greased or foured spatula. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 6-8 dozen