Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Peanut Butter lovers will swoon when you make this delicious sheet cake... rich, gooey and delicious!
Peanut Butter Sheet Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 sticks margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
In a 2 quart mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, soda and salt; set aside. In a saucepan bring oil, margarine, peanut butter and water to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients. Add eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.
Blend well. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
Peanut Butter Icing
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter (can use crunchy)
1/2 cup miniture marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
While cake bakes, combine milk, sugar and margarine in a saucepan; bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add peanut butter, marshmallows and vanilla. Stir to melt marshmallows and pour over warm cake.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Want to hear a good Ghost Story?

If you happen to live in my neck of the woods and you are scouting for something spooky to do, Eureka Springs offers a whole week of eerie activities. The Crescent Hotel, known as “The nation’s most haunted resort hotel” offers ghost tours! You can explore the halls nightly, and even venture underneath the hotel while you hear the tale of its long, strange history.  
We drove over yesterday hoping to see some Fall color, but I think we're about a week early. Funny how Mother Nature decides when the show starts! We've had perfect conditions for the leaves but it's late this year. Eureka was pretty crowded, lots of folks make the trip for the great shopping. We never fail to visit the Crescent Hotel, perched on the crest of West Mountain. The 78-room resort hotel is not only known as one of America’s most distinctive and historic destinations, but it is also said to have spirits that walk the palatial grounds!

As usual, I took a zillion pictures... I just can't control myself when there's history and a camera involved!

Everywhere you looked, the hotel was decorated for Halloween. But this is one of those places that looks the part no matter what time of year you visit.
 I ended up with 78 pictures in all and last night when I posted them on my Facebook wall, I deleted the "bad ones." This morning I went to my trash bin and retrieved the following pictures. "Orbs" or sunspots, what do you think?


So here's the ghost story, it's a true account as reported by Mike Masterson in our state paper, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette a few years ago. He recounted the terrifying experience of friends who spent the night at The Crescent, room 101, The Governor's Suite. Beth Shibley of Burgaw, N.C. had joined her mom Lou Ann Moles (wife of Harrison's mayor Pat Moles) and her sister Lorie Baker for a fun weekend. After a full day of shopping and sightseeing, the three turned in around midnight. Beth and her Mom shared a one bedroom and Lorie was in the other. Shibley, 42, says that while sleeping in a double bed with her mother, something held down her legs and arms and began suffocating her. "It was like a great force of intense pressure pressing down over my whole body, and I couldn't breathe," Shibley, who works as a graphic artist, says of the 2 a.m. experience. Her account as told in USA Today in a special feature on haunted hotels:
“I was awakened by something that started to suffocate me,” Beth said. “I couldn’t breathe and felt an intense pressure on my chest like I was being squeezed against something hard. I couldn’t even draw a breath to shout. . . . I tried reaching to my mother, but my wrists were pinned together on the bed and my arms were being held down with great force.
“My legs wouldn’t move either, except for my right foot, and I started reaching for Mom’s foot under the covers. As soon as my foot touched hers, the pressure stopped and I could breathe, speak and move again. My heart was pounding. I was covered in sweat. There was a horrible smell in the room that was like damp earth and sour sweat, but stronger, almost like sulfur.”
She said she first thought the odor might have come from her sweat soaked nightgown, but the stench had left the room after about 30 minutes. The next morning, the gown still smelled of laundry detergent. Her mother never awoke during the incident, Beth said. “I went back to sleep,” she continued. “At 2:30 a.m., I felt something grab both ankles and jerk me very hard. It pulled me completely under the covers, which had been tucked into the bottom of the mattress. I ended up in the middle of the bed with the covers entirely over my head and my feet off the end of the bed. 
“This time, I could still breathe and shout, so I started yelling and hitting Mom in the area of her kidneys, since I was so far down in the bed. She sat up and asked if I was all right.” Beth said she tried to explain what was happening, but her mother said the story of a bad dream could wait until morning, so Beth leapt from the bed and retrieved her camera, all the while reciting reassuring Scriptures. Lying back down with the camera around her neck and snuggling close to her mother, Beth said she fell asleep with her finger poised on the camera’s shutter button, then lapsed into a vivid dream. “Mom watched me asleep because by now she’d become freaked out. She also watched me taking photographs with my eyes closed even as I slept soundly the rest of that night.”
In her dream, a man wearing a black suit and tie and a top hat appeared at a center fourth-floor window of the hotel. Then six people came up behind him in three pairs. They picked up the man and threw him out the window, but his fall was broken by a rope wrapped around his neck. “I saw his neck jerk to the side, and his hat fell off his head and landed to the right of where I was and watching,” Beth recalled. “I was holding my camera and I focused on the window and snapped a picture. Then I said, ‘Gotcha!’ ” The scene began to fade, but as others came to the window wearing clothing of another period, she continued taking pictures and repeating,“Gotcha!” By then, she said, “I’d come to realize in my dream that I was dealing with something not of this world,” she said. “But I also was no longer afraid.” In all, Lou Ann had watched her daughter snap five pictures in her sleep.
Later, when the film was developed, Beth said that the three women were startled to find one of a misty image leaning over the edge of the bed. A second picture showed the room’s ceiling fan and drapes in focus. “In the top right corner is the outer outline edge of a window with three ropes coming from it in the exact colors of what the pairs of people were wearing in my dream,” Beth said. “They also were holding three ropes in my dreams and the ropes came out of a window. 
“An enlargement showed more glowing red and blue spots in the mist as well as three pairs of little white X’s in a triangle pattern, similar to the way six people came up behind the man in pairs.” 
The next day, she told me, she wandered outside the hotel, which as an institute in the 1930s housed thousands of cancer patients. There she saw the fourth-floor room as she’d seen it in her dreams. It was exactly two floors above her bedroom’s window.
Beth’s story was among several told in a special feature about haunted hotels that was published last week in USA Today. I’ve seen the photos and they are inexplicable.
“This experience has made me aware of things I’d never thought were possible,” she told me. “These manifestations felt demonic. . . . I believe I’m one of the good humans and that’s why the evil spirits hated me so much. I’m thankful everything ended well.” -

This story just sends chills down my spine! If you'd like a little "excitement" here's the link to the Crescent Hotel!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ellen Side's Never Fail Dumplings

Pink robe on, still wearing summer pj's... I'm in denial. First frost has not arrived in Arkansas but Old Man Winter came early to Chardon, Ohio where Facebook friend Kim lives. She sat in silence this morning as she filmed the early morning weather report on tv. I can feel her pain through the silence!
They are predicting a Cold, snowy winter for Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Well, it's only fair since we've had two mild ones in a row. Last winter I didn't even have to wear my big coat, when I ran errands it was a jacket or a sweater. I have the furnace set on 70 now, with firm resolve to keep it set there. I will fold when it really gets cold outside though! Our gas fireplace does a great job of keeping us toasty when we watch tv at night. "Zone heating," the new word for pot bellied stove! That's how our grandparents kept warm, they huddled around that black stove until their back sides were cooked then turned around and cooked the front!
Sharing a recipe this morning from  Aunt B. She shares her friend Ellen's Never Fail Dumplings. Take that Old Man Winter! 
Ellen Side's Never Fail Dumplings

1 1/2 cups flour

4 tablespoons shortening

1 egg, beaten

5 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix flour, salt and shortening. Beat egg and water together then add to the flour mixture, making soft dough. Roll out into thin sheets. Dry 15 minutes or more. Cut into strips and drop into boiling broth. Don't cover. *Ms. Ellen doesn't tell us how long to cook, like most good cooks she just "knows" when they are done. For the rest of us, about 15-20 minutes on the timer should cook these tender dumplings through. Take one out and give a taste-test, maybe taste more than one...


Sunday, October 20, 2013

La Madeleine Bakery's Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Such a nice cool weekend, we had our first fire last night! The leaves are turning colors now, I love mornings when the fog lays heavy on the lake. If I have to run into town you see a brave boat of late season fishermen on the cove. My Dad fished year round, it never got too cold for him to be on the lake ♥

I'm a happy camper, holing up in my "hollow tree" makes me feel like making a pot of soup! I've seen several versions of this one on Pinterest, it's a copycat of La Madeleine Bakery's Tomato Basil Soup. I actually combined two recipes, this one is delicious with a grilled cheese on sourdough!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

makes 6 servings
2 (14 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano
1 T dried basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to your soup pot. Simmer until veges are tender, about an hour. 

Make a roux by melting butter in skillet and adding flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 3-4 minutes, then stir in several ladles of hot soup. Add back to soup pot and bring to boil to thicken soup. Add Parmesan cheese, evaporated milk, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve with slices of your favorite hot bread!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Best Potato Rolls Ever!

Yesterday was overcast and cool, the perfect weather to make bread. I pin a lot of bread recipes on Pinterest, but when the word Best jumped out at me I couldn't wait to make these rolls. This one lives up to it's name, soft, fluffy rolls just like Mom used to make! I took a chance and halved the recipe... sometimes that works OK. We had them last night and I think I heard Angels singing when I pulled them out of the oven!

makes 30-36 dinner rolls
1 cup mashed potatoes, freshly made reserve potato water
2/3 cup  butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup scalded milk 
5 to 6 cups flour 
1 packet dry active yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm reserved potato water with 1 teaspoon sugar

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain water, reserving 1/2 cup for use in rolls. Finely mash potatoes and measure 1 cup for rolls. Cool mashed potatoes until barely warm. Dissolve yeast  and 1 teaspoon sugar in the lukewarm potato water. Set aside for 5 minutes. In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together mashed potatoes, butter, eggs, sugar, honey and salt. Mix together on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Add yeast mixture to lukewarm milk. Stir. Add the yeast and milk mixture to the potato mixture. Mix on low speed until blended. Gradually add flour (one cup at a time) until a soft dough forms. Remove from bowl and knead on floured surface for 5 minutes adding only enough flour to keep dough from sticking. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and then put dough in a slightly warm place. Cover and let the dough double in size. Punch down dough and shape into rolls. Place rolls about 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets that have been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle rolls with a little flour once they are in the pans and let dough rise again. Bake in a preheated oven set at 400 degrees for approximately 12 minutes.

*Since I halved the recipe, I used one 9x13 pan, it made 15 big rolls that may or may not make it till Wednesday...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Creamy White Bean and Bacon Soup~ my version!

Creamy White Bean and Bacon Soup Recipe
Made this for lunch this week... I know, it's not even cold yet and I've started the soup thing ;) it was so good! The original recipe @ called for dried cannellini beans, I skipped cooking the beans since I had leftover white beans from earlier this week. I also omitted the rosemary, just personal preference. Makes a hearty bean soup, it's a keeper!
Makes 6 servings

2 cans of white beans, drained
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
5 strips of bacon, cut into tiny pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. tomato paste
In a large stockpot, add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy. Remove and let drain on paper towels. Reserve 3 tablespoons bacon grease to saute onion, garlic, potato and carrots until vegetables start to get tender, about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and add the drained beans. Stir the tomato paste in until blended. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with bacon pieces on the top.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I've taken a break from blogging the past few months, my Mother's passing was hard. She was ready, I was not. Even though dementia/Alzheimer's robbed her speech the last few years, I still felt like she was in there.. present. Until the very end we "talked." That last day I told her it was ok to go, to reach up and take her Mother's hand, I know she was waiting. Hospice helped those last few weeks in so many ways. They give loving care to the person slipping away and to the family left behind. Mom made all the hard decisions years ago, directives. A Living Will is probably one of the most important documents you will ever do. 

My better half retired this summer and it's been great having him home. His job was demanding on him and our family through the years, it seems odd to not have to plan everything around his work schedule. I'd love to say we have taken a big vacation or that our days are carefree, that's just not been the case. I've heard other people say this when they retired... that they are busier than EVER! It took the last 9 months to finally get his parents house cleaned, painted and on the market. Luckily, it sold quickly. We put the farm up for sale this summer too, another hard decision.

Then last week, out of the blue, we hear our grandson's father had passed away in his sleep. He was only 42, but had suffered health problems for many years. Nothing prepares you for something like that. The next few days we went through the motions, but there was and is a profound loss for our grandson, his grandparents and all who knew him. I can't imagine having to bury your child. The service was very healing, the sermon made us laugh and cry, remembering Richard. Like everything else, funerals are changing. Once a somber, introspective time when scriptures were read and words were bridled, Friday's sermon included words from Facebook. A childhood friend set down at her computer and simply, eloquently summed up many of the qualities that Richard was born with...

"There are not many people I remember meeting for the first time...especially anyone I met as a child, but I remember the first time I met Richard. We were standing on the sidewalk in front of the Holiday Inn in Russellville. I'm guessing his family was there to eat at the restaurant. We could not have been more than 6 years old. We kinda played around on the sidewalk while our parents talked. He had his glasses, even as a little kid. There are other memories I have of those fuzzy Russian looking hats he wore around the same age. We played together some, as he lived down the street from me...rode bikes...and just goofed off. I always knew he was adopted. I don't know how, but I knew. I also knew there was a lot of love in that house. Not sure how I knew, but I did. His parents were always very sweet and kind whenever I came by their house. Richard had lots of nice "things...." clothes, car....etc. But he wasn't spoiled. Spoiled kids don't appreciate the things they are given. Richard also had a LOT of confidence. He wasn't shy, and he certainly wasn't quiet. And if anyone doubted his confidence, they shouldn't have, because he quickly swept Stephanie off her feet when she moved to town. I bet many of the boys wondered just how he did that....confidence! I say! I remember Richard played tuba, and he was a hard worker. He often talked about how he was going to be an entrepreneur when he grew up. I'm pretty sure I had no idea what that meant when in high school, but he sure did. I remember Richard was fun, a goofball, slightly obnoxious at times (takes one to know one) and I'm pretty sure if I had ever needed any help at all, he would have helped me. I'm sad today to learn he is gone. I'm especially heartbroken for his parents and his son. But tonight, I'm trying to remember all those great memories I have, and hope you will too."

It was an odd feeling sitting only one pew away from where our children married years ago and now we were laying our daughter's first husband to rest. Our grandson set with his grandparents, comforting them in their grief, each holding the other up. Divorced families often grow apart, but in our family we are bound by love.. love of our grandson and it will forever keep us family.

The healing will take longer than expected, it's one day at a time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School

That familiar school bus is making it's way down Old Prairie Creek Road that winds back to our house. If I come home from shopping 4ish, I get behind the bus. It makes half a dozen stops out our way, not too many kids live out our road. They always look like pack mules carrying backpacks, lunchboxes and jackets! Tired little disheveled bodies pour off the bus and run wildly up their driveways or roads. I was a city kid and never rode the school bus, but our daughters did and complained unmercifully about the torture they endured on the bumpy un-airconditioned buses. There was always a mean driver, or a kid that picked their nose, or just the fact that it came so darn early! I would drive them to the main road where we would wait patiently for the bus to round our curve and stop. We'd listen to the radio and talk. Great talks about friends and feelings, right and wrong, conversations that make Moms and children bond.

It's back to school today for GRANDson Gavin who's an 8th grader in middle school. Next week GRANDson Ewan starts 1st grade, both are feeling like they "know the ropes, I've done this before!" That's part of growing up and gathering up strength as you gather up knowledge! I have a little lump in my throat remembering those years when their Moms were out the door on that first day of school. I know how my daughters feel this morning and I know what's ahead for them for the next 9 months... helping with homework, packing lunches, attending school functions and along the way making memories that will last a lifetime!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Springfield Style Cashew Chicken

I was pinning away the other night on Pinterest, when I came across one of my recipes posted back in 2011 for "Springfield Style" Cashew Chicken. When I grew up in Missouri in the 1960's, there just weren't a lot of Asian restaurants. I can remember the first time I went, my future sister-in-law Terry asked if I'd like to go to lunch. I think I was 14 and other than La Choy in a can, I'd never had Chinese. The restaurant was decorated with black lacquered chairs and tables, white paper screens and lanterns, and a waitstaff that gave 5 star service... it left an impression! When our orders of Cashew chicken arrived at the table, they smelled delicious. Crispy fried chicken pieces smothered in a rich brown sauce and topped with salty cashews, alongside a snowy bowl of purest white steamed rice. From that moment I have loved Asian cuisine!

Leong's closed their doors in 2000, but lucky for you their recipe lives on in many restaurants across the state. When you think of regions of Chinese food, Sichuan, Cantonese or Hunan come to mind... but don't forget to add Springfield Style to the list!

Just click on the title to print the recipe!

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (per person)
2 eggs per pound of chicken
1/4 cup milk per egg
salt and pepper
peanut oil for frying

2 chicken bouillon cubes per cup of water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
chopped green onions
cashew halves
hot rice for serving

Heat water to boiling and dissolve bouillon cubes. Stir 1/4 cup of broth into cornstarch to make a smooth slurry. Stir cornstarch slurry into broth with sugar and oyster sauce. Set aside and let sauce thicken as chicken cooks.

Heat oil to 350-400° in deep pan or fryer. Cut chicken into small pieces, dredge and let stand in flour for 15 minutes. Mix together egg, milk, and salt & pepper. Remove chicken from flour and let stand in egg mixture for 10 minutes. Roll chicken pieces in flour and deep-fry, in batches if need be, until golden. Drain well on paper towels and keep warm in covered pan in 200° oven.

Serve chicken over hot rice, topped with sauce, cashews, and chopped green onions. Pass soy sauce at table.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Time Out

We like to sit outside under the trees after supper and relax on lazy weekends, just enjoying the sounds of summer. I allow myself to just sit there, literally thinking about nothing...content to listen to the crickets and watch the fireflies do their magical dance. I sit there totally relaxed and happy.
There is something about the “great outdoors” that seems to put all things in perspective. It's good to slow down our lives and breath in all that is right with the world. Sometimes it feels like the world just wants us to absorb the negative. Newspapers and TVs blast it at us.
After a time out, it's easier to let go of the little things, allowing them to just pass by and not getting hung up on the things that aren’t quite right. There are so many things in my life that are right. Things like the joy that our kids and grandsons bring us, good health and a marriage that has endured the test of time.
So fix yourself a glass of iced tea and go outside after supper tonight, just to listen to the sound of the crickets singing their "Summer Song!"

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Mother's Hand

The Mother’s Hand (1966) by Antanas Sutkus
Mother's Day is today, I didn't have to tell you though. All of us who have Mothers, had Mothers or have been Mothers know when it's our day. It can be a day of pampering, but most likely it's not. You still cook or clean or straighten up after kids or husbands! But Moms just do that, they don't think twice about picking up the family room before bedtime or folding a load of clothes while dinner is cooking. My Mom was a typical 1950's Mom who stayed home with my brother and I and gave up all aspirations of career or fame so that she could wipe our noses and attend every school play we were ever in. Daddy went to work and Mom did the rest. If you think about it, childhood is a very small part of our lives. In 12 years we make the memories that we carry with us the rest of our lives. Not enough time really to do all the things that make for a happy childhood. ... unless you had a Mom like mine!

Wishing a Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there that have been a Mother to someone or SOMETHING, that includes Moms of pets~ Dad's of course and Grandparents who step up and fill in when needed. I was so lucky to have had the BEST Mom in the World!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Texas Sausage-Cheddar Kolaches

Kolaches on the brain here lately, I get this way when I can't find Texas food. There was this little bakery just off the Judson Road exit in northeast San Antonio that made the best sausage-jalapeno-cheese Kolaches. Our grandson Jackson would spend Friday night and on the trip home Saturday mornings... somewhere around Garden Ridge on I-35, he'd remember the cream filled donuts at this little place and beg for one. It didn't take much coaxing because we knew we could order Kolaches!
If you have the time to make the dough, it's definitely worth it. But if you have a craving AND you have Rhodes frozen dinner rolls in the freezer, you can easily make these if you plan ahead the night before! We had them for breakfast this morning and I feel better now. The world is round and life is good...

Texas Sausage Cheddar Kolaches
Rhodes dinner roll dough, thawed
hardwood smoked jalapeno sausage, cut in 2" chunks
Vermont cheddar cheese, sliced/chunk
Thaw rolls in fridge overnight. The next morning flatten the roll into a 4-5" circle and add a 2" chunk of smoked sausage and a slice of cheese, fold dough up around the deliciousness and pinch closed. Place seam side down on greased baking sheet and allow to rise for about 1/2 hour in warm place (I turn oven on, then off and set them inside with door open) all the while Jerry was like "How much longer???"  Bake 375 for 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter when they come out of the oven. Serve with spicy mustard.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Craving Kolache

When we lived near New Braunfels, Texas in the mid 90's, we were lucky to have not only the best Tex-Mex food, but descendants of Czech immigrants continued the rich tradition of making the kolache. In central Texas, kolaches outshine doughnuts. “Koláče (the Czech spelling) are little square pastries that hold a dollop of fruit (apricot or prune, apple, strawberry or blueberry) rimmed by a puffy pillow of dough. Fruit and cheese kolaches are old-world standards but a sausage link version, Czech klobasniki (pigs-in-a-blanket) are a Texas breakfast favorite. Bakeries offer regular and hot-sausage versions, adding cheese and jalapeño peppers and even sauerkraut. Americanized meal-in-one kolaches with pockets of bacon, egg and cheese are served at convenience stores along side sausage biscuits.

Naegelin's Bakery in New Braunfels turns 144 years old this year, being the oldest continuously operating bakery in the state of Texas. The fresh cookies, pastries, pies and cakes from the family-run bakery are of historic proportions and a timeless quality. The Granzin family still uses recipes developed by the Naegelin family during more than a century of experimentation to get just the right ingredients.

As you walk into the front door of the bakery the sweet smell of baked foods engulfs you like a warm blanket. The glass cases are full of what seems like an almost endless array and rainbow of cookies and pastries.The bakery is still famous for their strudels that Naegelin perfected years ago. The Granzin's have added terrific sausage kolaches to the menu of fruit filled ones.

This recipe is from the Texas Holiday Cookbook by Dottie Griffith
(Dottie is Dining Editor and Restaurant Critic for the Dallas Morning News).
It's my go~to cookbook for treasured Texas recipes that are hard to find...

(Czech Sweet Rolls)
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm (105~115 degree) water
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugarKolaches
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
5~6 cups flour
Fillings (see below)
Sprinkle yeast over warm water, stirring to activate. Set aside.

Heat milk to almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir to melt. Add sugar and salt. Pour into large mixing bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm. Stir in egg and add yeast mixture.
Add flour gradually, about 2 cups at a time, stirring after each addition to make a soft, sticky dough. Do not add too much flour or kolaches will be dense and dry. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Begin preparing fillings while dough rises.
Grease a baking sheet well. Rub hands with grease too. Using well greased hands, shape dough into 2- inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your thumb, make and indention in the center of each roll, leaving a 1-inch rim. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Fill with about 1 tablespoon fruit or cheese filling and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Makes about 3 dozen
*Combine 1 cup dried fruit (6-ounce package of apricots, prunes or apples) in just enough water to cover in a small saucepan. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until fruit is soft, about 10-12 minutes. Drain fruit and chop fine. Return to saucepan along with 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 4 tablespoons butter. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture thickens like jam, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

*Combine 1 cup cream cheese or dry curd cottage cheese with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons melted butter. Mix until smooth.
Printable Recipe

The version I'm craving today is the breakfast Sausage and Jalapeno Kolache that Texans enjoy at their favorite drive-thrus! Easy to make, simply wrap a three-inch flattened piece of dough around a two-inch piece of sausage and a couple of pickled jalapeno slices. Bake 375 for 12- 15 minutes. If I could just get my hands on some Meyer's Elgin Sausage....

Monday, March 4, 2013

Why was the cat on your head?

The kids came over for dinner last night and we started looking through Grandma's pictures. We are now the "keepers of the memories," thick albums of pictures going way back. Our family is small, and sharing these treasures is something we are doing now rather than later. Both of our daughters have the "picture gene," they love to plow through the old ones reliving memories. Too many to look at in one setting, Stephanie took them home last night...

This morning I woke up to them being on Facebook!! Some of these aren't too bad, the first thing I notice is my weight... vanity! Then the hairdos and the styles of furniture and clothes. You can peg the decade pretty easy in these. This one was the 1990's, Fayetteville Arkansas. I think this was Christmas 1993, the year before our first GRANDson was born. We were all so excited planning his arrival!
Stephanie is much braver sharing old pictures. She was Miss Fashion in the 80's, now the stirrup pants and big hair just look funny!

This picture tells so much, she was thrilled to get this first pair of cowboy boots. The look on her face is because she had been wanting heels and Momma had said "no." In one Christmas present Grandpa had granted both wishes!
Just pick up an album and you are transported back to a favorite day, I can remember how surprised Grandma looked when she saw all her family gathered on her 70th Birthday!

Family, that's what it's all about.

Sunday best..


Aunt Amy and Jackson, 1994

Great Grandpa and Grandma and Jackson, can you PROUD?
Speaking of PROUD!!!

Some of the pictures are just a little hard to explain...
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