Vickie's This and That

November 19, 2020 - Good afternoon, I hope everyone is having a great day. It has been a very busy week for me as I have been cooking preparing for our family Thanksgiving. We always have it the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Lots of good food and visiting with extended family. I am including one of my favorite recipes for a breakfast brunch. I cook this recipe when I have a house full especially at Christmas.

Frittata Recipe

3 cups of shredded cheese (mozzarella/Provolone)
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup of thin sliced celery
1/4 olive oil
1/2 medium red bell pepper or can use jar of pimento or roasted tomatoes
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained or fresh, sliced thin
1 pkg of diced ham
8-10 eggs
1 1/4 cup of Half-half
4 tablespoons butter
8 oz sour cream
3-4 med potatoes sliced crossways and cook until done but still firm
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. marjoram 
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 dried thyme 
1/8 dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste


Place sliced peeled potatoes in salted water and cook until done but still firm. Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat, add onions, bell pepper, celery and mushrooms, cook until tender. In large bowl beat eggs well and add salt, pepper (to taste) and other spices, mix well. Add half-half and sour cream. In a sprayed 13x9 inch pan layer potatoes and ham then vegetables (onions, bell peppers, celery, and mushrooms); add 1/2 of cheese. On top of this add the egg mixture. Then sprinkle other half of cheese on top.

Can cover and refrigerate the night before. Set out to let casserole reach room temperature before baking. To serve, heat oven to 350 degree and bake uncovered for 55 to 65 minutes or until mixture is set and top is browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Can garnish with fresh red bell pepper and fresh parsley.

This version is more Italian; to make it Southwestern use: Mexican cheese blend, 2 cans chopped green chiles, sour cream and half & half milk, 2 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp of cumin. Omit celery, marjoram, basil, parsley and thyme. Top with salsa and chopped fresh cilantro.

Squash Dressing

1 pkg of cornbread mix
1 can cream of chicken
2 cups milk
2 cups squash, cooked and drained
1 cup bell pepper
1 cup onions, chopped (can use green onions)
1 cup celery, diced
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake cornbread as directed on package, once cool crumble. To crumble mixture, add remaining ingredients. Mix well and add mixture to greased 9 x 13 pan, place cut up butter on top of mixture. Can add browned breadcrumbs to top of dressing. Bake in oven until dressing is done according to your likeness. Just be sure to not overcooked so you don’t dry out the dressing.

Maple Cream Pie (1 pie)

1 deep dish pie crust
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
4 Tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp maple flavoring
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, bake crust 10-12 minutes. In medium saucepan, melt butter and heavy cream, whisk in cornstarch and sugar stirring continuously until thicken. Stir in maple and vanilla flavorings and salt. Pour filling into baked crust then drizzle melted butter over pie. Then add sugar and cinnamon. Bake 30 minutes or until done. Pie will giggle slightly in middle when done.

Kitchen Tips

Prevent bubbling over with a wooden spoon - quickly place a wooden spoon across the rim of the pan.

Use salt to soak up eggs - In the off chance you drop a raw egg (this is the worst and most common kitchen problem ever), throw some salt on the remnants. It'll soak up the egg whites.

Freeze leftover tomato paste into a plastic baggie - All you do is spoon the leftover tomato paste into a bag, then spread it in an even layer pressing the air out. Zip the top then separate the paste into rectangles using your fingertips. Since the paste is so thick, it will stay put. Place the baggie into the freezer, then when you’re ready to use just open the bag and push a segment out. Easy as that!

October 7, 2020 - Good afternoon, it is a beautiful fall day. I am really liking the cooler weather. I am going to share a recipe I got when I was in Maine in 2016. These are delicious.

Maple Butterscotch Brownies

2 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
3 tsp of Maple flavoring
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1 – 12 oz pkg vanilla chips

In bowl combine sugar, butter and maple flavor. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine flour and baking powder and add to butter mixture. Stir in walnuts and chips. Pour into greased 9” X 13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack. Makes 30 to 32 brownies.

Greatest Queso Ever

1 block (32oz) Velveeta cheese
1 – 8 oz cream cheese
1 can (10 oz) Rotel
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1-pound ground beef or sausage

Brown meat in pan over medium heat (drain if necessary) and set aside. Cut up Velveeta and cream cheese into cubes and place in crock pot. Pour in Rotel and cream of mushroom soup and stir together. Place crock pot on low setting for 1 hour, letting ingredients meld. After about 30 minutes, add browned meat and continue to cook, stirring as needed. 

InstantPot Pork Chops

Boneless pork loin chops – cut ¾” to 1 ¼” thick
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil – 2-3 Tbsp
Butter or additional olive oil to keep recipe dairy free
Onion, diced
Baby Bell mushrooms – can also use button mushroom
Garlic (1 bulb, chopped)
Beef stock or Chicken stock
Thyme – 2 tsps more or less
Worcestershire Sauce – 2 Tbsp

Generously season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Turn InstantPot to Sauté, once heated add oil. Sear chops on each side for 1-2 minutes or until fully browned. (Do in batches to not over-crowd the inner pot of the cooker). Next remove chops and place on plate. Add in mushrooms and diced onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until onions start to break down. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Turn the InstantPot to OFF. Deglaze Inner Pot by pouring stock into pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape off any browned bits on bottom of cooker. Use 1 cup stock for 6-quart InstantPot or 1.5 cups stock for 8-quart pot. Add thyme and Worcestershire to inner pot. Nestle pork chops into sauce, adding any juices released while resting. Place lid on cooker and be sure vent know is set to seal. Cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. This is enough time for the chops to get tender and absorb the flavor of mushroom gravy without drying out. Once cook time has elapsed, let pressure naturally for al least 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. Thicken Gravy – turn Pot Off and then turn to SAUTE. Remove chops from Inner Pot; then form a cornstarch by mixing equal parts cornstarch to water. Mix well. Pour cornstarch slurry into inner pot, whisking well. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until gravy thickens, whisking well while cooking.

September 10, 2020 - This has been a busy week. Many are still cleaning up from the affects of the hurricane. Our family cemetery is in the Sabine National Forest and it was several days before I could drive there to check on the cemetery to see if there were any damages. Luckily, there was not any damage to trees or tombstones.

I had a new great-grandson born this week. He makes number seven, 5 boys and 2 girls. He has had some breathing problems but is doing much better. Hopefully, he and his mom will be home tomorrow. I am ready to meet him. 

I hope everyone is doing well and please remember tomorrow as it is Patriot Day. Patriot Day is an annual observance on September 11 to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Many Americans refer to Patriot Day as 9/11 or September 11. It is hard to believe it has been 19 years since America was attacked.  Please pray for all the families who loss loved ones that day and all the others who have lost their lives fighting against the terrorists. Our own VFW Post 8904 will be holding a remembrance at 10am at the Veterans Memorial on the Square. They will play Taps for the lives lost that day in the days that followed. I had the opportunity to visit the9/11 Memorial located at the World Trade Center in New York City. It was a very humbling experience. 

Chunky Chicken Casserole

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 can mushroom soup
½ cup milk
1 Tbs. minced onion
½ pkg of Seasoned Bread Stuffing Mix 
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 can (4oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Pour chicken into buttered 10” baking dish. Combine soup and milk and add remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Mix ½ of an 8 oz pkg of Seasoned Bread Stuffing Mix according to package direction for dry mix. Sprinkle over top of chicken and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

Oven Barbecued Meatballs

1 ½ lbs ground beef
1 c. bread crumbs
½ c. finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten well
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. flour
3 Tbs. oil
Barbecue sauce
Hot cooked noodles spaghetti or rice

Combine beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, salt, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Shape into 1 ½” balls. Dredge meat balls in flour. Heat oil in large skillet. Add meat balls to oil browning on all sides. Remove meat balls from skillet; drain on paper towels. Arrange meat balls in a lightly greased 2 qt. casserole dish. Pour barbecue sauce over meat balls. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Serve over noodles, spaghetti, or rice.  Note: for barbecue sauce can use your favorite brand or make your own.

Barbecue Sauce

¾ cup ketchup
¾ cup of water
½ cup of finely chopped onion
3 Tbs. vinegar
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. brown sugar
½ tsp celery seed
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Bring to a boil, pour over meatballs.

August 4, 2020 - August is here and that means summer is nearly over. This year has been so different. Schools will soon be starting and there are so many unanswered questions about how this will work with Covid-19 with many active cases in the area. Please be in prayer for the students, parents, teachers, and all school employees as school starts up throughout the county.

Swiss Steak

2 ½ lbs of boneless round steak, 1” thick
½ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 large onion, cut in ¼ slices
1 bell pepper, cut in rings
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup ketchup
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. powdered mustard
½ cup beef broth
1 can whole tomatoes, chopped

Cut steak into serving pieces. Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Pound into steak on both sides. Melt 3 Tbs. Crisco in a large, deep skillet, and brown steak on both sides in oil. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cover, and on low heat, cook 3 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over mixture in skillet. Cover and on low heat simmer 45-50 minutes or until steak is tender. Remove cover and lift mixture from bottom 2 or 3 times to blend.

Tuna and Rice

2 cans of tuna, drained
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup diced onion
3 Tbs. diced pimento
2 Tbs butter
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/3 cup milk
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
Crushed cracker crumbs

Sauté celery and onion in butter for 4 minutes. Blend soup and milk together. Combine all ingredients, except crumbs and pour into a 2 qt casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cover with cracker crumbs and bake until brown (5-6 minutes).

Deluxe Egg Custard Pie 

1  ¾ cups sugar
2 Tbs. flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¼ cup butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups warm milk
½ tsp. vanilla or lemon flavoring
4 egg whites
4 Tbs. sugar Nutmeg or cinnamon

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Cream in butter. Add egg yolks and mix together thoroughly. Stir in milk, and flavoring. Beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly beat in 4 Tbs. sugar and continue to beat to soft, glossy peaks. Fold into custard mixture. Pour into prepared, unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat and bake 30-35 minutes more.

July 31, 2020 - Good evening, I thought I would share some recipes on This and That today. I know it has been hot this summer but if you are like me and stayed inside it hasn't been too bad. With the rain we have gotten, everything is still very green; not the normal dryness we usually have in late summer. I hope everyone is staying well during this craziness. I am ready for life to get back to normal and I don't mean the "new normal." I am old fashion and want my life back and I am sure most of you do too.

Everyone needs to say a prayer as schools start back. This will be hard on the students, the teachers, and the parents. 

My verse for today is "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" I Corth 3:16.

May God bless each one of you tonight!

Best Fruit Salad

1 (29 oz) can peach slices
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 (3 1/8 oz) box of dry vanilla pudding mix (unsweet)
1 lb of strawberries, quartered
1 banana, sliced
1/2 pint blueberries
1 bunch of grapes (green or red)
1 - 2 tablespoon sugar (optional)

In a large bowl, combine peaches, pineapples, and vanilla pudding mix including juices from the cans. Mix well until pudding is dissolved. Stir in strawberries, banana, blueberries, grapes and sugar if desired. Chill

Mother's (Avis Sample) Berry Pie

3 cups of berry juice
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of butter
2 big heaping Tablespoons of flour
Crust (enough crust, homemade or bought, for 2 pies)

To juice the berries, place berries in a pan and cover with 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to simmer, cooking until berries are lighter in color. Roll out the crust and bake in a 450 degree oven until the crust is light golden brown. Sprinkle a little sugar on the crust used for the top before baking. (I usually let juice set overnight and cook the crust). In the morning remove seeds/berries from juice and set aside. In a large pot, blend flour and sugar together, and then add to juice. Add butter and cook until thickened. Once berry juice is thickened, turn off fire and break the crust into medium size pieces adding to juice. Place the sugared piece of crust on top (I cut to fit the pan). I like the pie/cobbler to be a little juicy so if you like drier pie/cobbler add more crust to juice.

Note: For berries in pie, just add some fresh berries to the juice. I usually double the recipe and never have much leftover. 

Meat and Potato Casserole

6 lg potatoes, sliced crossways
1 1/2 lb hamburger meat
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 -1 1/2 c. grated cheese
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder or chopped garlic

First boil potatoes until almost done but still firm in salted in water. Drain and set aside. Then brown hamburger meat and onion together until meat is done, drain well. Next add both cans of mushroom soup to the meat mixture. If the meat mixture is thick, add a little milk to thin. In a greased casserole dish, place a layer of cooked potatoes, layer of meat mixture, and then grated cheese alternating layers until all ingredients are used. Top with cheese and bake at 350-degree until cheese is melted and mixture is well heated, about 20-25 minutes.

Nanny's Mexican Chicken

1 pkg of corn tortillas (quartered)
1 chicken, boiled and then debones (thighs are great)
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 c. celery, chopped
1 can chopped green chilies
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 jalapeño peppers (more or less to taste)
1 lb Mexican blend cheese or Monterey jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil chicken, when done debone (boneless/skinless are good), and reserve broth. In a large saucepan combine butter, broth, onion, and celery cooking until tender. Add milk, chicken, peppers and green chilies; Bring mixture to boil to blend flavors. Spray casserole dish and cover bottom with quartered tortillas, milk mixture, cheese then alternate layers until all ingredients are used ending with cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven until golden brown for about 35-40 minutes.

May 19, 2020 - I know I have been a little slow in the last couple of weeks with ‘This and That’ so I got to work on it last night. I am sharing a recipe for sweet sliced pickles since cucumber are coming into season. Just make sure your cucumbers are not too big with large seeds. I used to can about 20 quarts of pickles to get me through the year when my children were small. We just don’t eat as many pickles these days, so it is easier for me to just buy pickles or relish. I also canned dill pickles but not as many.

If anyone wants more pickle recipes, let me know and I will share. The recipe below came from a 1934 cookbook but is basically the same one I used for my sweet pickles. I've also included more recipes for you to try with your family.

These recipes came from a 1934 Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. 

Sweet Sliced Pickles

This recipe should make about 10 pints or 5 quarts of pickles, I think.

2 gallons of cucumbers, 3 to 5 inches in length, (small size so no large seeds)
14 small white onions
4 large green peppers
¾ cupful of salt

Slice the cucumbers into 1/8-inch slices without paring. Slice the onions likewise. Cut the peppers into fine bits. Mix the salt thru the combined cucumbers, onions, and peppers. Place a weighted lid on them and let stand 3 hours. Drain and add the following:

10 cups of sugar
1 tablespoonful of turmeric
1 teaspoonful of ground cloves
1 teaspoonful of celery seed
¼ cupful of mustard seed
2 ½ quarts of vinegar

Combine the dry ingredients, add the vinegar then the prepared vegetables, and place over low heat. Heat thru thoroughly but do not boil, stirring often. Pack into jars and seal. This makes a very crisp sliced pickle.

Corn Bread

¾ cup of cornmeal
¾ cup of flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/3 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten (I use to as I like fluffy cornbread)
¾ cup of milk
3 tablespoon of melted bacon fat or oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix in the order listed, beat thoroughly, and bake in greased shallow pan in hot oven (400 degrees) about 20 minutes. (I add a little oil in pan and heat before adding batter, instead of greasing pan.)


4 whole eggs or 8 yolks (4 whole eggs for individual custards or 6 for 1 large custard)
1/3 to ½ cupful of sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of vanilla
½ teaspoon of orange extract
4 cups (1 quart) of rich milk/whole milk

Beat the eggs only until mixed. Add the sugar, salt, and flavorings, and stir slightly. Heat the milk to the scalding point and add to the egg mixture, stirring well. Pour into individual molds or 1 large mold. Fill the cups or large mold nearly full. Coconut, nutmeg, or cinnamon may be sprinkled lightly over the top. Set the custards in a shallow pan, add about 1 inch of hot water to the pan and place in a moderate oven (325 degrees). Bake individual cup custards 30 to 40 minutes and the large custards 60 to 75. To test, if the custard is done, insert a silver knife in the center of the custard, and if done the knife will come out clean. Chill and serve plain or topped with whipped cream.

Variation: Add 2 cups of cooked rise to the plain custard recipe and bake as directed. Shortly before it is done a meringue may be piled roughly over the top and baked. Return to the oven to brown.

This recipe is from a 1976 cookbook. One of my favorite recipes. Can add mushrooms, either fresh or canned, if your family likes them.

Salisbury Steak

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ c. chopped onion
½ c. breadcrumbs
½ tsp salt and pepper or to taste
2 Tbsp parsley

Blend soup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce; set aside. Combine beef, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, salt, and pepper. Blend in 2 big Tbsp of sauce. Shape into 6 patties; brown in skillet, turning gently.  Drain off fat, then add soup mixture and parsley. Cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 4-6.

Oven Barbecue Chicken

1 fryer, cut into serving pieces (or can use 4 thighs and 3 chicken breasts; boneless would work too)
3 Tbsp shortening
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp vinegar
½ cup water
½ Tbsp prepared mustard
1 cup (15 oz.) tomato sauce

Heat shortening in skillet; add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove and place in shallow baking pan. Add onion to oil in skillet and cook until brown.  Add all remaining ingredients; simmer 30 minutes to make sauce. Pour this over chicken in baking pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes or until chicken is done.

April 6, 2020 - I hope everyone is managing their quarantine. I know for those who like to be out and about this is a hard time. Please, please just stay home! I know it is tempting to do things that you have been wanting but just stay home. A trip to town to get things except for food and medicine should not be taken now. Staying home and isolating is the way to stop the spread of this nasty virus.

Many are cooking more than usual including myself. This made me realized I have gotten lazy in the cooking department. Hopefully, I will break this bad habit and get back to where I was 40 years ago. During that time, I was a busy mom with a husband and three children on a limited income. My husband Bruce worked at Shelbyville school and payday was monthly. I usually only brought groceries once every 2-3 weeks, so I had to do meal planning to make sure I had enough to feed that hungry bunch.

I am sharing some of my easy to fix meals. As you read this, you will see I don’t have a true recipe; it is 'guess-a-mation.' Amounts can vary to what you and your family like!

Grilled Seasonal Vegetables

1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 onion
1 bell pepper
1 carrot
Fresh mushrooms or jar of mushrooms

Slice vegetables thin. While slicing vegetable add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet to get the skillet hot. Once the skillet is hot, add your cut up vegetables and let them brown some before turning. Add any seasoning you like (such as salt, pepper, garlic, steak seasoning, rosemary, thyme, paprika – whatever you like and/or have in your cabinet). Add a little more olive oil and about 2 teaspoons of butter and continue cooking until desired doneness; I like my vegetables to be a little firm.

This can be eaten with grilled chicken for your protein. Variations: you can also add a potato or sweet potato. Just make sure any veggies you add are sliced thin. If I add sweet potatoes, I put them in first in the hot skillet to let them brown some before adding remainder of my vegetables. Variations for meats: can also use ham, shrimp or smoked sausage.

BBQ Meatballs and Rice 

I looked in the freeze and saw a package of frozen meatballs so that is what I am cooking for supper. I don’t have any spaghetti sauce to make spaghetti so I will make BBQ meatballs and rice.

Place 1 cup of BBQ sauce in saucepan and then add 1 cup of water, may need more water if you want mixture to be thinner. May also want to add some Worcestershire sauce to boost flavor or even a little mustard. Once this comes to a boil, add enough meatballs to sauce to feed your family. Cook until meatballs are done; serve over rice. A salad would go well with this meal.

Enjoy and I'll continue to post recipes to help anyone struggling with cooking the same old things during quarantine.

March 30, 2020 - J.J. just called me with a request to start back with “Vickie’s This and That” with some recipe suggestions due to COVID-19 impacting our normal lives and limiting supplies. I have been thinking how I might share with you how to cook a meal with a limited grocery pantry. Before being quarantined, if I wanted to cook something and I didn’t have all the ingredients in my pantry, I would have just made a run to the grocery store. That might not be the wisest thing right now.

I have always said a recipe was a suggestion and that is exactly what I did for supper last night. Most recipes can be modified to fit your family’s likes or dislikes.
I am going to give an example of what I mean by cooking from what you have available. Last night for supper I cooked the following:

I took 1½ lbs of hamburger meat and browned it, then seasoned according to your likes. For me that was chopped onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Once the hamburger was browned, I then drained the fat off and added 1 can of cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken (whatever you have in your pantry). I usually would have added 2 cans of soup but to help save my pantry items, I only added one can using milk to make up the differences. I then looked in the refrigerate to see if I had anything to add to the mixture to improve the taste. I was going to add about 4 ozs of cream cheese when I noticed I had a package of Laughing Cow spreadable wedges with garlic and herb. So, I decided to add that instead of the cream cheese. I blended the Laughing Cow snack packages well before adding the 3 cups of cooked egg noodles. If you desire, you can top with shredded cheese. I served this meal in a skillet with green peas.

I am going to include a recipe for Pizza Crust which doesn’t have yeast in it since yeast is hard to find right now!

3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup milk
3/8 c. oil

Heat oven to 425 degree. Combine all the above ingredients stirring until mixture leaves side of bowl. Press into ball, knead 10 times. On lightly floured board, roll out to form pizza crust. Crust does not have to rise. (Will make 2 crust if rolled out thin.) For toppings: browned hamburger, sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, variety of cheese (such as parmesan, Monterey, provolone, etc). Any type of spaghetti sauce (I prefer Prego). To assemble add pizza sauce on crust, then meat topping, vegetables of choice and top with grated cheese. Bake in hot oven until done. (Then call me when it’s done).

When my children were home, I would have these topping in the refrigerator so they could make their own pizzas. For a crust safe and easy for kids - toast bread, both sides, then add sauce, toppings, and cheese then brown in oven to melt cheese. Great way for quick and easy snacks.

August 23, 2018 - I am sitting here thinking about how fast the summer has gone by. County schools have started and there are many happy children. I remember those days and have fast they went by. I have 5 grandchildren and only one is in school. The other 4 are grown with children of their own and next year some of the greats will be in Pre-K.

I am really getting excited for cooler weather to come this way. I didn’t take a vacation during the summer, but I am going to Maine in October to visit a cousin. I went to Maine in 2016 (drove that time, flying this time) and I just loved it. The October weather in Texas is still warm but should have lows in the 30’s by October in Maine. On my trip, I didn’t see a moose and I so hope I get to see one this time around. My cousin lives on a lake and I may even fish while I am there. My vacations are usually rush, rush, rush but this time I am going to relax and eat fresh Maine lobster more than once.


Mexican Chicken (Mother’ Favorite)

1 pkg of corn tortillas, quartered
1 chicken, boiled and deboned (or can use leg quarters)
1 large onion
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup butter
½ cup chicken broth
1 – 2 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1 can of evaporated milk (Pet)
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
3 jalapeno peppers (to taste) chopped finely
1 lb of grated cheese
2 cans of green chilies

Boil chicken, when done debone and reserve broth. In a large sauce pan combine butter, broth, onion, and celery. Cook until tender. Add can milk, peppers, and chicken. Bring to boil to blend flavors. Layer alternate with tortillas and chicken mixture. Top with cheese and bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown (abt 30 minutes).

Jewish Coffee Cake

2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 ½ sticks butter, soften
1 large an of evaporated milk (Pet)
1 cup of pecans, chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup of maraschino cherries, well drained

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Add soften butter and sugar and cream well. Add eggs beating well after each addition. Mix dry ingredients together then add dry ingredients to cream mixer alternating flour and milk starting and ending with flour mixer. Then add vanilla. Fold in well drained cherries (coating cherries with flour will keep the cherries from settling in the bottom of the pan) adding chopped pecans last. Pour batter into well-greased and floured bundt pan (if using Baker’s Joy be sure to coat pan well). Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until done. Do not overcook. Cool for a short time in pan before turning onto plate. (Don’t leave in pan too long or cake will stick).

Note: My mother cooked this cake all my life and was her go to cake; much better than just a plain pound cake. In all my years of collecting recipes, I have never found this recipe anywhere else. She got the recipe from Adell Fittz and I don’t have a clue where she found it. 

Fruit Cocktail Cake

½ cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 large (15 oz) can of fruit cocktail (don’t drain).

Mix together shortening and sugar, then add eggs. Then add dry ingredients to mixture and stir well. Add undrained fruit cocktail last. Bake in lightly greased and floured 9X13 pan in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Do not over bake.


2 cups sugar
½ stick butter
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large can of evaporated milk (Pet)

Mix all the above ingredients together in large sauce pan and cook over medium heat until mixture is thick. Pour icing over warm cake.

August 3, 2018 - Good morning Shelby County, it has been a while since I have written "This and That". I appreciate everyone telling me how much they miss the column. This summer has flown by and I can't believe school will be starting in only a couple of weeks. School time is always a very busy time of the year with activities, home work, and all the events children participate in during the year. Before you can turn around....Christmas will be here.

For the next couple of weeks I will be working at SCT to help J.J. and Scott. I probably won't be as much help as I would like as I have forgotten how to post so many things. If you see errors on SCT, you will know I have been working. lol.

I also volunteer at the Shelby County Museum each Wednesday from 1-4pm. The museum also needs a volunteer for Wednesdays. If you love Shelby County and history, that would be a great way to spend the afternoon. The museum is one of the best kept secrets in Shelby County. Have you been to the museum lately? Now would be a great time to visit as the museum has a World War I exhibit. Larry Hume with VFW Post 8904 has identified almost 900 men and women who either enlisted from Shelby County or are buried here. Come check out the exhibit and be amazed. Shelby Proud!!

Parmesan Chicken Bake

6 chicken breasts
1 C light mayonnaise or Greek yogurt (I have done 1/2 of each as well)
1/2 c fresh Parmesan cheese, plus more for the top
1 1/2 tsp seasoning, Lawry’s seasoning salt (This is NOT regular table salt. It is a mixture of seasonings)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray the inside of a 9×13 glass pan. Lay the chicken inside the pan.
2. Mix together the remaining ingredients and spread evenly over each piece of chicken, being sure to cover all the exposed raw meat (so it doesn’t dry out.) Sprinkle on a bit more fresh Parmesan over all the chicken.
3. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.  This dish is even better the next day, so just reheat in the microwave!


1 lb groundbeef
1 small onion, chopped
1 T. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/2 - 1 t. garlic powder
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
12 corn tortillas
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 10-oz can mild enchilada sauce

Brown beef with onion; drain. All chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and tomato sauce. Heat well. Lightly soften each tortilla in oil; drain. Fill each tortilla with 2 heaping tablespoons meat and about 1 tablespoon grated cheese; roll tortilla and put seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas. Top with more grated cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes.

Oldie but Goodie
Mississippi Fudge Cake

4 sticks butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 t. salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1 pkg. miniature marshmallows

Melt margarine and cocoa together. Sift flour and salt together and add to margarine. Beat eggs and sugar together; mix with cocoa mixture. Fold in vanilla and nuts. Bake in 13x9-inch pan for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from oven and cover with marshmallows; cool. Add icing.

1 box powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 stick margarine, melted
6T. milk
1 t. vanilla

Sift sugar and cocoa; add margarine, milk, and vanilla. Spread on cake.