Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Berries

It's funny how things you thought were so ugly when you were younger now seem to be beautiful.
We had two of these nandina bushes in front of our house when I was growing up. 
I thought they were such ugly bushes. 
I remember pulling off the berries and throwing them or using them to decorate when I made mud pies.
Now, my Sewing Sister has one of these bushes beside her house...and it is beautiful. 
Just the right thing to get a person in the Christmas spirit.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

When the weather begins to get colder, I occasionally get a night off from cooking. My husband takes over the kitchen and makes his famous chicken noodle soup.

I can't give you the exact recipe...because even he makes it different each time. But I can tell you the approximate ingredients, because I am the one who buys them at the grocery store.

I know he starts by cooking dumpling style noodles in a pot of boiling water. These he cooks according to the package directions, and then he drains almost all of the water from the noodles, but he does leave some water in the bottom of the pot.

Then he starts adding things: 2 cans chicken broth, 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 2 large cans white chicken.

The rest of the ingredients are added to suit your taste: powdered sage, California style dried onions, garlic powder, black pepper, and parsley.

He lets all of these ingredients simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

We love this soup. I think I like it the most, because I do not have to cook.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Beautiful Fall Day

It has been a beautiful Fall day, and I am still playing with quilt tops.  This is another lovely quilt top made by my Grandmother.  It is a simple nine patch put together with a light lavendar material.  Just the right combination of colors for Fall.
It has been warm in the Big Woods the last few days, but colder weather is coming. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate Fried Pies

I promised to share my recipe for chocolate fried here goes.

You will need:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons cocoa
2 cups milk (scalded)
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Begin by scalding the milk.
I usually do this by pouring the milk into a small saucepan and heating over a hot stove eye.
When the milk begins to stick, I know it is ready.
This doesn't take sure to stir constantly.

In a medium saucepan combine the
cornstarch, sugar, salt, and cocoa.
Gradually add the milk.
Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until thick. 
Add small amount of hot mixture to the slightly beaten egg yolks, and then add the
egg yolks back to the mixture. 
Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add melted butter and vanilla.
Cool slightly.
Use this pie filling and prepare fried pies as described in my last post.

My family enjoys fried apple pies, but everyone's favorite is always the chocolate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fried Apple Pies

So...I decided it was time to teach my daughter how to make fried pies.  Sadly enough...she is 13, and she had never before seen me make fried pies.
There are several ways to make fried pies, but this is the way I was taught.

I start by covering my dried apples with water and cooking over medium heat on the stove.  I use store bought dried apples.  When I was a little girl, we would dry our own.

The apples will quickly plump up.  Put a lid on the pot and continue to check on them and stir.  You will want to cook them until they "mush up".  You may need to add more water as they cook.
When the apples are ready, add sugar and vanilla to your taste.  I added about 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to these.

While the apples are cooking, prepare the crust.  Measure and sift:
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt

Cut in 1/2 cup Crisco

Gently stir in 1/3 cup milk.

Now comes the fun part.
Prepare your dough board by covering with plain flour.

Roll out a small piece of dough and use a small plate to cut out a pie pastry.

Add about 1/2 cup of the prepared fruit filling to one side of the crust.

Fold the crust over and use a fork to flute the edges.

Poke a few holes in one side.

You'll want to have your Crisco preheated in a skillet on medium heat before you add the pies.  I fry my pies in Crisco shortening.

Lightly brown the pies on both sides.

I always wipe the skillet with paper towels before I fry the next two pies.

Here are the first two pies cooling on paper towels.
I made two recipes of the crust to match up with the amount of filling that I had.

Making fried pies is not an easy task.
It is definitely worth the trouble.

(Next, I will be sharing my recipe for chocolate fried pies.  Stay tuned...)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chocolate Pretzel Snack

This was a fun snack that my daughter made for a party at school. 
She simply put small pretzel twists on a cookie sheet and set a Hershey's kiss on top of each pretzel.  Then, she put the cookie sheet in a 275 degree oven for 3 minutes. 
This is just enough time to melt the kiss. 
She then pushed an m&m into the top of the kisses.  We found that it helped to put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden the chocolate. 
Store these in an air tight container. 
Fun, delicious, and easy to make!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Sometimes there are things that are just meant to be.
This old ladder was just meant to be in the
Big Woods.
We were cleaning out from under my Daddy's house, and this ladder was part of the junk
we were getting rid of.
It is no good to use, but placed in my ivy bed, it will be a perfect place for the ivy to climb.

The quilt is a new one.  It was given to me by my Dad and his wife before he passed away. 
I am loving this picture of the quilt on the old ladder.


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