Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

ahhhhhh… Herbal Iced Tea and a summer day

August 22nd, 2013

Private dock

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

This is one of my favorite photos of the Tualatin River — can’t wait to get out and canoe some more.

Trying to kick coffee/black tea. New delight:

Herbal Iced Tea

4 bags Passion Fruit herbal tea
2 bags ginger tea
A couple splashes lemon juice
3 cinnamon sticks

Put in a big jar, cover with cold water, leave out for sun tea.



Chicken and Dumplings, a la Granny, and… her cookbook is for sale!

August 2nd, 2013

Cookbook is ready!!! You’ll find it on CreateSpace, on Amazon, and on Kindle… soon.

From my Dear Late Granny’s upcoming COOKBOOK! which, yes, is FINALLY DONE after just eight years or something. will be available thru Amazon and Kindle in the next couple of weeks, so watch for it… I’ll post a link when it’s ready for purchase. In the meantime, here’s a recipe.



Chicken & Dumplings (from Margie & Nancy)

This is a variation on my Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings recipe. She would not use shortening; she would use lard or bacon grease. She also would not add lemon, thyme or a bay leaf; she would add lots of black pepper and call it a day. If the Pioneer Woman (Bree) was making this, she would say forget the lemons and add a little apple cider. She would also suggest adding cornmeal to the flour mixture. Keep experimenting until you get it exactly how you like it at your house.

1 (3-pound) whole chicken
1 onion, quartered
2 slices lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

In a heavy pot with a lid, place the chicken, onion, lemon, salt, pepper, water, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until tender, about 1 hour.

Let chicken cool slightly, then take out of pot and remove meat from bones. Discard bones and skin and skim excess fat off the broth. Discard onion, lemon and bay leaf. Return chicken pieces to the pot. Simmer over low heat while making the dumplings.

To make dumplings: In a medium mixing bowl, cut shortening into the flour and salt. Stir in 1/4 cup water (more if needed) to form a soft dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface until very thin. Cut into 1-inch strips. Tear off 1-inch pieces from these strips and drop into simmering broth and chicken meat. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off, then 10 minutes more with the lid on. Serve immediately.

Wednesday Recipe Club: Trisha Yearwood’s Lemon Squares

July 17th, 2013

Best, easiest recipe ever for Lemon Squares. Serve with fresh blueberries on the side. Bon appetit, babies!

– wm

Lemon Squares

15 squares


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling


4 large eggs
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large lemons)
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


For the crust: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Mix the flour and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and add the melted butter, mixing until a dough forms. Press the mixture firmly into a 9- by 13- by 2-inch pan. Bake the crust for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the filling: While the crust is baking, with an electric mixer, combine the eggs, lemon juice and zest until smooth. Add the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder and salt, and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture over the baked crust. Reduce heat to 325 and bake for 20 minutes more.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely. Sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares and serve.

Pasta a la LaLa, also known as Monday Recipe Club

July 1st, 2013

Room with a view

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

My kids are learning to cook. This leaves me more time for reading. Yes, yes and yes. I am not always the most patient person, who it comes to teaching others to cook. Steve is a bit more patient than I am, but also more likely to say, Sit down and I’ll just do it for you. Our kids are patient with us, thank God. The goal is that they know how to cook by the time they move out, and honestly? They kinda already do, so go us.

Tonight my daughter came up with a good pasta recipe, with a tiny bit of help from me and our friend Giada. OK, yeah, we love pasta. Is that wrong??? Here is…


* Cook half a pound of conchiglie pasta until tender

* Add some sliced carrots to the pasta water during the last five minutes of cooking time

* When pasta and carrots are done cooking, rinse with cold water and put in bowl

* In same pot that you cooked pasta in, saute some onions and pea pods in olive oil

* When done, add to pasta and carrots

* Make a vinaigrette from 1 part balsamic vinegar, 3 parts olive oil, salt, pepper and a teaspoon or so of paprika

* Pour over pasta and stir in

* Chop some sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives; stir those into pasta, too! Add some feta cheese if you would like!

Now, make some garlic bread out of hoagie rolls, butter and garlic salt. Toast under broiler.

Done! Bon appetit, babies…

Tomorrow night, peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwiches on hoagie rolls… mmmmmm… peanut butter and jam… mmmmmmm… As usual, I remain happy with a sandwich or a bowl of cereal. Or pasta is always good, too.



Quick! Cooky Swap!!!

December 12th, 2012

People, I love holiday cookies, is that so wrong? The neighbors came over on Monday when we all had the day off school, and it was the Best Cooky Swap Ever.

Grinch Cookies (add a red M&M to signify “his heart grew three sizes that day”)

Sugar Cookies


Soft Gingersnaps

Gub-Gub Brownies

Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies

i will have more, but that’s all for now…

xoxox sweet sweet sweetness,

Wacky Momminess

Post #2,085, Recipe Club: Babs’ Onion Gravy, Haystacks (no-bake cookies) (blogging day 23…)

November 23rd, 2012

Two thousand and eighty-five posts, that’s insane. Who writes that much? I mean, granted, I’ve been at this since… (stopping to look up dates) Valentine’s Day, 2005, which is, uh, I can’t add that high, it’s late at night.

EIGHT YEARS this coming October. I mean February. And sure, that’s a lot of (hours, days, months) years, but don’t you think 2,085 posts is a little over-the-top? Discuss amongst yourselves. Here’s another of Steve’s lovely pictures. Man, he has a good eye. Thank God. I barely know how to use the camera on my phone. My little techie students were jumping around in front of their computers. “We’re taking pictures of ourselves!” Sure you are, kids, please sit down. Turns out they really were — webcams installed on the fronts of all the computers. Yes, I’m a trained professional.

TG on MH

(Photo by Steve Rawley)


Here are the menus for the weekend, and here are two fast recipes for you. No, don’t serve them together, obviously.

Onion Gravy, from Babs (for Shepherd’s Pie, smashed potatoes, or any other dishes)

1 medium onion
2 1/2 cups broth
4 tablespoons white flour
1/2 stick butter

Carmelize onions in about 1/4 of the butter. Add flour and rest of butter, stir in, make a roux.

Whisk in broth a little at a time. Bring to boil, then simmer until thick. Done! Bon appetit!

Haystacks (No-bake cookies, from Shawnee TX at Food.com)


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1 dash salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut


In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, cocoa (I tend to go a little heavy on the cocoa) and salt.
Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.
When it has reached a rolling boil, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove pan from heat and mix in vanilla, oats and coconut.
Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
Work quickly!
Let cool.
Alternate/optional additions, add any one with coconut: 1/2-3/4 cup mini marshmallows or 1/2 cup walnuts.

You know what line I love, there? Work quickly! I need the encouragement, thanks, hon. Really good recipe, but of course I can never leave well enough alone and had to sub half milk chocolate chips and half white chocolate chips for the cocoa. (I stirred them in after I took it off the heat.) Also left out the coconut because 1) we didn’t have any and 2) I thought the guys in my family didn’t like coconut. Turns out they do! So we’ll go that route next time…

Happy weekend! Hope you’re having fun, whatever you’re doing.



day 18: November blogging, and another Recipe Club

November 18th, 2012

Fly Amanita

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

My daughter and I go to church; my husband and son go to nature church. Whatever works for you. Getting excited for Thanksgiving, and Steve’s birthday is this week, too. No turkey for us; the kids requested macaroni and cheese. No, not mine. The kind from a box. It’s a holiday, they can have whatever they want. Steve and I will make Shepherd’s Pie (with root vegetables and vegetarian gravy, with spuds on top), stuffing, squash and Pumpkin Mousse with ice cream. For his birthday, his request is always Vegetarian Meatloaf and Polenta. I’ll make a Pear Crisp with ice cream for dessert.

Giving thanks… for food. Shelter. Family. Love. And our three cuddly cats.

17th day of bloggin’ — Saturday Recipe Club

November 17th, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tell us about the best meal you ever cooked.

Probably this one.

day 9 bloggy bloggin’: Friday Recipe Club… Thai Coconut Soup

November 9th, 2012

from my girl Liz:

My Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Ka Gha) turned out amazing! (Thanks Election Stress!) Started with this recipe.

But this is how I make it: Start w/ veg stock (homemade or 2 cans veg or chicken broth in water). Begin heating in a large stock pot on stove less than half full of liquid. Add 1 onion/chopped, 8-10 cloves garlic/chopped, 4-6″ ginger in thin slices and 2 stalks lemongrass (pounded w/ knife handle and sliced into 2 in” pcs). Cook a little on med heat. Add 1-3 jalipenos/sliced, 3 bell peppers cut into chunks, 4 zucchini in 1/2″ slices. Let that cook a little. Add 2 chicken breasts (or tofu) cut into 1+” chunks. Add 1-2 pkgs button mushrooms. Add 1-2 tbsp green curry paste and turmeric sprinkled in. Cook until chicken is done. Add 2 cans coconut milk, 1-2 bunches cilantro/chopped & 1-2 bunches thai basil or reg basil/chopped. Then add squeezed lime juice (1-2 limes). Add salt to taste. Serve right out of the pot or over brown jasmine rice. Yum!

Thank you, Liz! Miss you!

Tuesday Recipe Club: Stuffed Peppers, Crunchy Slaw and Crockpot Candy, thank you, Trisha Yearwood’s family

October 16th, 2012


(Photo by Steve Rawley)

(Anything in ital is notes from me. And yes, it was all Trisha Yearwood, all the time, this weekend. I came across an old issue of Redbook mag, and every recipe in it sounded good. wm)

Stuffed Peppers (from Trisha Yearwood’s uncle)

6 large red or green bell peppers (I used half red, half yellow)

2 cups long-grain white rice (or rice of your choice) (I used brown rice that I cooked with vegetable broth and some butter)

2 lbs lean ground beef (left this out, of course. sometimes I sub crumbled up garden burgers or meatballs, though.)

medium-size sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, with their juices

1 10-oz can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles

16 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 4 cups) (I subbed Parmesan cuz I was too lazy to grate cheese, and for some reason we have several containers of open Parm in the fridge)

tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Cut the bell peppers in half, top to bottom. Remove the seeds and the ribs. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, cook the rice according to package directions. In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Drain the meat. In a medium saucepan, bring the tomatoes to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, tomatoes, pepper, and salt and mix until blended.

3. In a 9132-inch pan, place the bell peppers skin side down. Evenly divide the beef mixture among the pepper halves. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the cheese on the top. Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.

Note from Gwen: Before using, wilt the pepper halves in boiling water for about 5 minutes. This will reduce the cooking time from 40 minutes to 15. Serves 6.

Crunchy Slaw (from Trisha Yearwood’s sister)

1 head green cabbage, finely chopped

8 green onions, finely chopped

cup sliced almonds

cup sesame seeds

cup ( stick) butter

2 3-oz packages ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded


2 Tbsp sugar

cup vegetable oil

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

tsp pepper

1. Mix the cabbage and green onions in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, brown the almonds and sesame seeds in the butter.

2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Just before serving, add the sesame seeds, almonds, and crushed raw ramen noodles to the cabbage and green onions. Pour the dressing, a little at a time, over the salad mix, then toss. Serves 10 to 12.

(For this one, I couldn’t find the almond bark, so I had to sub white chocolate buttons. It turned out great. In fact, it turned out so well, we had enough to share with the neighbors, and the rest we gobbled up. Steve calls this a “will u plz never make this again” recipe.)

Crockpot Candy (from Trisha Yearwood’s auntie)

2 lbs (36 oz) salted dry-roasted peanuts

4 oz (4 squares) German’s sweet chocolate

1 12-oz package semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)

2 lbs white almond bark

1. Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart slow-cooker. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips, and then the almond bark. Set the temperature on low and cook for 3 hours. Do not stir the mixture.

2. After 3 hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into cupcake pan liners, using about 2 tablespoons per liner. Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners. Makes 30 to 40 pieces.

« Previous PageNext Page »