Pecan cinnamon rolls



These are A M A Z I N G! If you have never had a fresh home made cinnamon roll, you are missing out.

I have to say that they will disappear really fast. They are not hard to make at all. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise, but we all have a lot of time on our hands these days.




1 packet of quick yeast

1/2 cup 100 degree water

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter flavored shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3 1/2 cup all purpose flour



1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon



1/4 cup cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter

1-1.5 cup powdered sugar


Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The water temperature is so very critical for this to work. Check the temperature with a thermometer.



In a large bowl, melt the shortening and the milk in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Mix in the sugar, egg,  and salt. Stir until combined.


Add the flour and mix well. Pour in the yeast. Mix with hands until fully combined. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. The dough should double in size. You can use the bread proof setting on your oven. The warm place should be about 80-100 degrees.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Punch the dough down and move it to a flowered surface. Roll it out into a rectangle that is roughly 9×13 or the size of a tea towel. Pour the melted butter on the top. Combine the cinnamon and sugar and place this on top as well. Sprinkle the pecans.



Roll the dough starting the from the long side. Use a sharp knife to slice it into 1-2 inch circles. Lay these slices in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Place them about 1/2 inch apart. As they continue to rise you will want the edges to touch. Let them rise for another 30 minutes. Bake them for 30 minutes.



For the glaze, melt the cream cheese and butter for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir to fully combine. Add in the vanilla. Mix in the powdered sugar. Pour this over the warm rolls.

Crisco flakey biscuits


These biscuits are super easy and were very good. I think they might have been the best I have ever made. It made 8 biscuits which was perfect for the 5 of us. I am not really a fan of leftover biscuits because they don’t store well.


1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco

2 cups white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until fully combined. Begin to add the Crisco by mixing it into the flour with a fork. The mixture will become crumbly. Mix until it appears as the photo below.


Add in the milk and stir until just combined. Do not over stir.


Prepare a floured surface on a tea towel or baking sheet. Transfer the dough to this surface. Do not roll the dough. Press it gently with your fingers until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use a round biscuit cutter or a floured end of a glass to cut rounds. Keep the rounds as close as possible because if you re-mix the dough it will not look the same and will fall apart.

Place the rounds in a prepared baking pan with the edges touching. Bake in the 425 degree oven for 9-13 minutes or until golden brown. Rub the tops with melted butter. Bake 1 additional minute.

Sugar cookie bars


These bars are buttery and just lightly sweetened. They are almost like a shortbread cookie but have a doughy sugar cookie center.


12 tablespoons room temperature butter

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, almond extract, salt, and baking powder. Remove from the mixer and hand mix in the flour until just combined.

Press the mixture into a prepared 9×13 baking pan. Add sprinkles. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes until the edges are light brown and the center is set. The center will curve outward slightly when done. Do not over bake. Cool 10 minutes and then cut into squares while in the pan. Allow to cool about an hour before removing the bars from the pan.


Pineapple upside-down cake



This is a very old fashioned recipe from my grandma. I really like the cake portion. Since this is a very sweet kind of cake, I feel like the traditional box mix type cake is just too much sweet. Also, the texture of this cake is unique and similar to angle food cake. The edges remain crisp while the top is gooey.


1 large can pineapple slices

1 small jar maraschino cherries

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 eggs – separate whites from yolks

1 cup white sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the pan (whether a glass pie dish or cast iron skillet), place the butter and dark brown sugar. Place this in the oven and allow it to melt and cook while you prepare the cake.


Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl. Mix on high speed until fluffy. They should be just before they begin to form peaks and look like this.


Add in the sugar and then the egg yolks.


Next, add the vanilla, baking powder, and then finally the flour.


Remove the pain with the sugar and butter from the oven. Layer the pineapple slices as well as the maraschino cherries. Use as much as you like. There is no right or wrong on this step.


Pour the cake batter on top of these fruits. Return the pan to the oven. Bake for 20-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cast iron baked cake takes longer. A glass pie plate will cook faster.


Allow the cake to cool 10 minutes. Place a plate over the cake upside down. Grab both dishes and flip the cake to where the pie pan is now on top. Slowly lift the pie pan and the cake will fall out onto the plate with the fruit layer on top. Cool fully before eating.



Baked mushroom barley


I have always enjoyed side dishes that are low maintenance so I can put my time into other things. This dish is filling enough to also be a vegetarian main dish.

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound sliced mushrooms

1 cup pearled barley

2 3/4 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add the barley and cook 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and thyme. Bring to a boil. Cover and place the dutch oven into the preheated oven. Cook 60-70 minutes without peeking or stirring.

When you first open the dutch oven all of the mushrooms will be on top. Stir and top with parsley.


Chicken and wild rice soup


6 whole white mushrooms, diced

1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced

3 ribs celery, sliced

2 large carrots, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup wild rice uncooked

10 cups water

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

4 teaspoons chicken bouillon

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

2 cups milk
Place the rice in the bottom of a crock pot. Add all of the diced vegetables. Then add the spices. Lastly add the water. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Add the chicken. Remove the bay leaf. Time to add the cream sauce.

In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter. Add in the flour and stir until fully mixed. Slowly add the milk stirring constantly until all the milk is added. Continue to stir mixture constantly until thickened. Add this to the crock pot. Cook another 30-40 minutes. Serve.


Taco snack mix


3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon taco seasoning

1 tablespoon ranch salad dressing mix

1 cup Cheerio cereal

1 cup corn Chex cereal

1 cup wheat Chex cereal

1 cup cheese crackers

juice of 1 lime


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a 9×13 casserole pan while the oven is heating. When it is mostly melted, remove it and mix in the taco seasoning, ranch mix, and lime juice. Stir fully. Place it back in the oven until fully melted. Once complete, add in the cereal and stir to coat. Replace the pan into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir at the halfway point.




Turkey meatballs and lentils

These were a big hit with everyone. Not only did they cook quickly for a weeknight meal, I felt that the leftovers tasted even better than the original night.

What do I like about this meal? The spice level is perfect. There are very complex flavors in this meal. Also, this is a food that has minimal fat. It is full of vitamins and healthy proteins.

I found the original version at The real changes I made were to leave out the cinnamon and cloves as recommended. I also changed parsley for cilantro.


1 pound ground turkey

1/2 sleeve saltine crackers crumbled – about 15

1 egg

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper



2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup brown lentils

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained – 14.5 oz

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup sliced carrot

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

5 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the meatball ingredients until fully combined. Make meatballs that are about 2 inches in diameter or 1/3 cup of filling. Lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

As the meatballs cook, prepare the lentils.

Cook the onions, garlic, and carrots in the olive oil over medium heat. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until soft. Add the lentils, chicken broth, tomatoes, and the dry spices. Do not add the cilantro yet. Cover and reduce head to low. Simmer about 20-25 minutes or until lentils are done. Add the meatballs and cilantro. Toss to coat the meatball.. Let sit 5 minutes and then serve.






Pimento cheese potatoes



This came out perfect. The flavors in the pimento cheese are simple the perfect way to make au gratin potatoes. It also cuts down on the time needed to make a dish like this. Pimento cheese is easily found in the deli section of the grocery store. Of course, you could make your own also. I would definitely adjust the salt based ion the type of pimento cheese you buy.  You can also make it perfectly well without the jalapenos. This amount made enough for 2-3 generous side dishes.


2 russet baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 jalapeno peppers sliced

1.5 cups pimento cheese

1 cup half and half


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish. Begin by layering the 1/2 of the potatoes, all of the jalapeno, the 1/2 of the cheese.


Make another layer that is the same – the remaining potatoes and then the remaining cheese.

Pour the half and half over the whole thing. Cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.



Double chocolate chip cookies


Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. These are the perfect brownie like chocolate cookie.

Some cookies are easy to make by hand. When using crisco, it is almost essential to use a mixer to get the correct texture from mixing.


3/4 cup crisco shortening

1 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup flour

1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the crisco and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla. Continue to mix until fluffy. Add the baking soda and salt. Add the cocoa. Slowly add the flour. The batter will be firm. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Roll the batter into tablespoon size balls. Allow 1 inch between balls for spread during baking. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow them to cool before removing them from the baking sheet.