Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Ok here's the deal: normally I don't make things that take more than two steps.  However, I had a few extra minutes and these are said to rival Starbuck's so  - well, I just had to try!  So if you're looking for quick, don't start with this.  If you're looking for absolutely-to-die-for, ya gotta go for it!!!


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Makes 24 muffins

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 15-oz can of pumpkin
1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold margerine, cut into pieces

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours. The mixture will still be somewhat soft but firmer.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well (see note). You want to put the cream cheese lower than you think because it will rise a lot during the baking process. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.
*Note:  You will need 24 slices of cream cheese mixture.  If your's is still soft like mine was, just mark off 24 even sections with a knife, then scoop them out with a spoon.  No biggie.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. These are absolutely YUMMY!!!
Source: from Annie's Eats
Printed from:


Well, what's Thanksgiving without the Pumpkin roll, right? Don't you just love that creamy goodness in the middle???

Ingredients for Pumpkin roll:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8 oz. pckg. softened cream cheese (set it out when you begin making pumpkin roll)
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Cream together while pumpkin roll is baking.

Directions for Pumpkin Roll:

  1. Beat eggs until light and fluffy.
  2. Add sugar, fold in pumpkin, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, and spices.
  3. Pour into greased cookie sheet.
  4. Top with nuts if desired.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.  Prepare Cream Cheese Filling.
  6. Remove from oven, spray a piece of waxed paper with cooking spray and lay on top of cake.  Place another cookie sheet the same size on top of waxed paper (bottom in) and flip over so cake comes out of cookie sheet.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  8. Roll up carefully in the wax paper, then roll up again in plastic wrap.
  9. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours. 
  10. Unroll and spread with cream cheese filling.  The best way to do this is to put the filling in a plastic sandwich or quart size baggie, cut off one of the lower corners, and squirt it out that way.  Use a knife to spread afterward if necessary.
  11. Roll up and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  Chill for at least 2 hours.

 Try to roll tightly - I'm still not great at this but it matters not as far as taste goes!  Enjoy!


      The picture doesn't do this simple cheeseball justice. My sister-in-law gave me the recipe years ago and it's my all time favorite of any cheeseball out there. Plus, it's simple!!!


  • 2 8-oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. Accent
  • 1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 small package Carl Budding ham, chopped (I use my food processor)
  • 3 Tbsp. dried, minced onion, soaked in 2 Tbsp. water, drained

  1. Blend all ingredients together with mixer.
  2. Chill. Literally.
Serve with crackers and enjoy!



I made this for superbowl - gotta love a hot dip, it's so cheesy and flavorful!


  • 8 oz. pepperoni, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 small can green chilis
  • 1 small can black olives (I omit due to lack of olive appreciation)
  • 1 cup mozzerella cheese
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat all ingredients together in mixer.
  3. Bake in heated oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with toasted chunks of French bread or crackers.



     A couple of years ago when we had our homeschool home ec class, the girls made these and in my opinion, they're way better (not to mention softer) than any store bought croutons out there.  And - key word - SIMPLE!


  • 4 slices stale bread any kind (fresh bread will work too)
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. each:  Oregano, celery salt, garlic salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil


  1. Combine seasonings with oil in small bowl.
  2. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Add bread cubes to seasoning mixture and toss well to mix.
  4. Bake at 325 in a single layer for 10-15 minutes until crisp.  Cool.  Store in a sealed container.


Yes, this is indeed the recipe everyone is raving about - ENJOY! 



6 large baking potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 quart chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed) (see Note)
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cream or half-and-half cream
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 cup sour cream (optional)
8 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
cheese, for sprinkling

Note: I rarely use real garlic.  However, I happened upon a squeeze bottle in the grocery store, so there's that, but did you know you can substitute 1/8 tsp. of garlic powder for 1 clove of garlic?  Done it for years!


Combine first seven ingredients in a large crockpot; cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours (potato should be tender).

Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soupy is slightly thickened. Stir in cream, cheese and chives.

Top with sour cream (if used), sprinkle with bacon and more cheese.



     Ever since I was a young mother I've made my own spaghetti sauce.  I'm not talking "canning", I just make it from scratch for dinner.  I first used the recipe from the back of a tomato paste can, then I modified, tweaked, and tasted down through the years.  I never could get into Ragu, Prego, or any of that other fast stuff. This isn't rocket science, there's nothing hard about it, it's simply a few ingredients thrown together, and I just like it better. I usually throw it in the crock pot - and I like anything that can cook itself!  See what you think - try it and tweak it to your tastes!

Ingredients for Ruthie's Homemade Spaghetti Sauce


  • 2 cans any kind of tomato sauce (I prefer Hunt's because I can get it in the large box at Sam's)
  • 3 cans Cantadina Tomato Paste with Italian Herbs - there is no negotiating here, this is the secret!
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar - I like a sweeter taste to take the tartness off the sauce - if you don't, use less.
  • Gound beef or turkey


  1. Dump it all together, stir, let it simmer 15 minutes, add browned meat and simmer up to 15 minutes longer if desired.  POOF! Yer' done!  Oh, and add your pasta of choice.
As I said, this can be made in the crock pot with the browned meat.  Cook on high 1 hour, or low 3-4 hours.  I personally prefer the taste of of this slow cooked and I add a bay leaf, but it's yummy and fast either way! No seasonings to add because they're already in the tomato paste!

Serves 6




     See all the cheesy yumminess?  Yeah...this was DEFINITELY a keeper.  Not exactly as pretty as the picture I had of the original recipe, but so - SOOOOO delicious!

Bloomin' Pizza Bread


  • 1 unsliced round loaf sourdough bread
  • 12-16 ounces mozzarella or Provolone cheese, thinly sliced (I just used shredded mozzerella
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package pepperoni, halved
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet basil
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • pizza/marinara sauce for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting the bottom crust. This is a bit tricky but the bread is very forgiving.
  3. Place bread on a foil-lined baking sheet (with extra foil on the sides and top to roll the bread up in) and insert cheese slices and pepperoni between cuts. Combine butter, garlic powder, and seasonings. Drizzle or brush over bread with a pastry brush. Sprinkle bread with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Wrap bread completely in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and pepperoni is a little crispy.
Next time, I'm making two - one is NOT enough for this family of six!!!




     Who doesn't love chicken pot pie?  It's yummy, creamy, comfort food.  But who has time to roll out a crust most nights after a long day at work or home with the kids? Nobody.  Rolling out a crust just makes you mad, unless you are an expert pie maker like my mother-in-law.  Most of us aren't.  Most of us don't even wanna go there.  I can make a pie crust, I just get mad every time I do it because it doesn't look or taste like her's.  This is why she makes the pies for our Thanksgiving dinner every year - because I ask her to! Anyway, that's a bit off subject.  Back to not wanting to make a crust for a pot pie, yet wanting to eat one.

     A couple of years ago some of us homeschool moms decided our kids needed a home-ec class to learn how to cook.  We each sponsored a cooking class in our homes, and mine was - guess what - PIES.  Of all things.  We made individual pumpkin pies and everyone learned how to make a crust.  I even pulled off how to roll out a crust (without crumbling) and look like I knew what I was doing.  And then my wonderful friend and homeschool mentor Betsy introduced this wonderful pot pie recipe, and it has been a favorite at our house ever since.  The best part?  FROZEN PIE CRUSTS!!! This is so easy you can do it as a last minute throw together meal.  Keep these ingredients on hand for some night when you get in late and everyone's grouchy and wondering how you're gonna pull dinner off.  And then, you will. I don't know if any of those home-ec kids ever exercised their new pie crust skills, but at least we all got this practical and much-loved recipe out of the deal!


  • 2 Deep dish frozen pie crusts (one package = two)
  • 1 15-oz. can Veg-all (the one in the picture was too big - we only used half the can.)
  • 1 Can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Can cooked chicken (sometimes I use leftover chicken or turkey or boil a few frozen tenderloins that I have on hand.  But if I keep a few cans of these (from Sam's, naturally), it makes everything simpler!


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Mix Veg-all, milk, cream of chicken soup, and chicken together.  With canned chicken you need to cut the chunks up.  This doesn't take long.
  3. Prick pie crusts.  Pour chicken mixture into one pie crust. 


     4.  Top with the other crust.  Hint: keep these frozen until ready to use.  If you let the crusts get too
          warm, it's hard to slide the top one out.


       5.  You may pinch crust edges together if you like, but I don't because the crust tends to cave.
       6.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Be sure to place it on a pan or cookie sheet in
            case the filling spills over.

     Cut and watch it disappear!  It is so good, my family is sad when there are not any left overs, so usually I make two.  In which case, I use the large Veg-all can!



     These babies are a favorite at our house.  I stumbled across smoked paprika at the store one day, paired it with smoked sea salt, and came up with a vegetable dish everyone loves!  Do you realize what a feat this is?!  I have a family of 6!  SIX!!!! Never can you please everyone.  Except just this once.

     I found these at Sam's, of course in a giant bag.  This works wonderfully for us and lasts a while.

  • Frozen green beans
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Smoked Sea Salt


  1. Spray large skillet with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle pan with paprika and sea salt. Use your own judgement - I probably use about 1/4 tsp. each, but I just sprinkle it all over the pan - roughly 7 sprinkles.  (Is that a term?!) You don't want too much of it or it will overpower the beans.
  3. Turn oven on medium heat and let pan warm until you smell the smoked seasonings, then add frozen beans.
  4. Cook 15-20 minutes, you want them to still have their color and not be shriveled up.  That's when you know you've gone too far.

Enjoy!  Again, this little creation was purely accidental, I hope you like it as much as we do.