Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sesame Pumpkin Bread

My youngest son moved out of the house and into an apartment a week ago today. The empty nest syndrome hit  me harder than I expected. So, after crying around the house for a few days, I started looking through some of my favorite cookbooks and found a recipe for Sesame Pumpkin Bread. It smelled delicious baking in the oven and tasted so good with a pat of butter and a nice cup of pumpkin spice coffee!

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon sesame seed

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a baking sheet. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of milk and the egg; beat until well blended. Stir in the pumpkin puree and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour the pumpkin mixture and, using a fork, stir until all the ingredients are well blended.
Lightly flour a work surface. Turn out the dough onto the work surface and knead lightly until the dough is smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a round loaf and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross over the top of the loaf. Brush lightly with the remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. 
Bake the loaf 25 minutes; reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Whole Acorn Squash Cream Soup

Tonight will be a busy night......so I dusted off my broom,

and pulled out my favorite cookbook!

I found the most glorious recipe to use up the rest of the acorn squash that I had in the pantry!

You will be using the Acorn Squash as a bowl so make sure you choose a squash that stands upright. 


4 medium acorn squash
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off about 1" of stem ends of squash to reveal seeds. 
Scoop out and discard seeds and membranes.   

Arrange squash in a 13" x 9"  baking dish.
Place 1 Tbsp. cream cheese in each squash cavity. Pour 1/4 cup each heavy cream and chicken broth over cream cheese in each squash, and sprinkle each cavity with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Add water to baking dish to a depth of 1/2".

My kids think this is a weird recipe....so that is why I prepared only one squash. It is easy to do that with this recipe!

Bake squash, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until squash are very tender. 
To serve, carefully set each squash in a shallow soup bowl.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This recipe is a big favorite at my house. It is very easy to make the recipe your own. I have used barbecue chips, sour cream and onion chips, and different flavors of Cheez-Its. But, our favorite way to make this dish is with Mama Zuma's Habanero Chips. My husband travels to Washington D.C. a lot, and he buys these chips at a nearby sandwich shop. At first, I would mix them in with the barbecue chips to help tone down the heat. But now, we pride ourselves by eating it with just the habanero chips and boy, does it set our mouths on fire! 

I used a bottle of Spicy Ranch dressing instead of mixing my own.

    Barbecue Chip Chicken

1/2 cup ranch salad dressing

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Bag of barbecue potato chips, crushed.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut in strips.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a shallow bowl, combine dressing, garlic powder and red pepper. Place crushed potato chips in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken into the dressing mixture, then into the potato chips, coating both sides completely. Place on a rimmed baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Iron Skillet Apple Walnut Cake

This is a delicious cake that has a crunchy crust on the outside. Great with ice cream!


1 cup white sugar                                                         
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp soda                                                                      
2 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks butter  (softened)                                     
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup apples chopped                                                
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp vanilla                                                                      
4 Tbsp buttermilk

Mix flour, cinnamon, and  soda together in a bowl and set aside.  Mix sugars and butter together until creamy. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla to sugar mixture.  Blend well.  Slowly mix in flour mixture.  Stir in apples and walnuts. Pour into a well greased iron skillet. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baptist Sangria

This recipe was printed in our local newspaper several years ago. I have served this drink
at several family gatherings and everyone really enjoyed it….maybe because they are 
all Baptist! I usually use sweetened tea with lemon flavor but this time I used the 
unsweetened tea. I like the sweetened with lemon much better! Also, be careful adding 
the instant tea. It spews over every time I get in a hurry adding it! 

Baptist Sangria

1- 2 liter bottle lemon-lime soda
1 cup instant tea powder
2 oranges, sliced into rounds
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
3 cups ice

Pour soda into punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in instant tea. Float lemon and orange slices in punch. Add ice.

This is what happens when it goes in too fast!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Walk Outside

It was a beautiful day here yesterday so I took a walk around the yard to admire all the plants that were blooming. Both my grandmothers were big gardeners. Some of my most cherished memories are of being in the garden with them when I was a child.  The past several years I have become more interested in gardening. I keep adding more space for my vegetable garden and have added several more flower beds. It’s not quite how I want it to be yet. I’m still learning and have a lot of dreams and ideas of how I want it to be. Mostly it’s a place where I find closeness to God, peace, joy, excitement, and yes, a lot of weeds. Anytime I feel down or stressed I can go out and pull weeds and it helps every time! Anyway, here are a few pictures of what I have growing around our home.

Pretty Purple Mums

Red Knockout Roses still blooming

I love these orange mums

Looking down the side yard through our new fence gate!

Burning bush getting fired up!

Hydrangea’s and Inpatients 

A new garden project

Still a lot of work to do!

Blush Knockout Rose Bush - my favorite!

Rose Tree

One last clematis bloom

More inpatients

Encore Azaleas

Purple Fountain Grass

Another beautiful orange mum

More Hydrangea's

Cut a few and brought them inside


Collard and Turnip Greens

Garden - not much left

This is my dream garden!

Here are a few visitors we had in the garden this year

Hope you enjoyed your walk around the yard with me today. Thanks for stopping by!