Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pecan Pie Truffles

I love to make candies for holidays
and decided this year that
needed a special candy all it's own...

pecan pie truffles!

Pecan Pie Truffles
makes 4 dozen

2  1/2 cups pecans, divided
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 package chocolate candy coating

Combine 2 1/4 cups pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, salt, syrup and flavorings.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Roll into balls and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Dip balls into melted candy coating and sprinkle with a bit of pecans.
Place on wax paper to harden.

(Adapted from original recipe at High Heels and Grills.)

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

for pastry

2 cups flour
2/3 cup shortening
6-7 tablespoons ice water

for filling

1 large granny smith apple, diced fine
1/4 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
6 caramels, cut into 8 pieces each
1 pinch of salt

for topping

1 egg, beaten
sanding sugar

~prepare pastry~

Combine flour and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Toss with 6 to 7 tablespoons of cold water until dough comes together.
Roll out dough and cut into 24 small circles.
Place 12 circles onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

~add filling~

Combine diced apples, sugar, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon.
Top twelve dough circles with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of apple mixture,
4 pieces of caramel and a bit of salt.

~finish pies~

Place the remaining 12 dough circles on top of filling.
Using a fork, crimp around the edges to seal pies.
Brush pies with beaten egg and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake pies at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Let pies cool, filling will be very hot. 


(Adapted from original recipe at Just a Taste.)

Quick Cranberry Sauce

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Boil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cranberries will pop and sauce will start to thicken.
Let cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge for up to one week.

Makes 1 pint.

If you have more time and want to make lots of cranberry sauce 
to share with friends for their holiday table you can go here.

Autumn Fruit Salad

Fruit salad was on my list of things to bring to Thanksgiving this year 
and I searched for a recipe using fall fruits.

I didn't find anything to my liking so I decided to just go simple and easy.
Just fresh fruits of the season.
No added marshmallows, cool whip, nuts, etc… ;-)

~Autumn Fruit Salad~

1 apple, chopped
1 pear, chopped
2 persimmons, chopped
2 cups grapes
1/2 cup cranberries
seeds of 1 pomegranate 
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 large sweet navel orange

Combine and serve.

Simply delicious! 

Monday, November 25, 2013


Show pig 2014 has arrived.

Meet Merle.  He's a Duroc like last year's Hank.

He's a little bit feisty,
and a good eater.

Enjoying the last days of autumn...

I love this picture of Patsy Cline the 2nd and Taylor Swift.
You can really see the green in Taylor's feathers here.
She is so pretty but her true feather colors rarely show up well in pictures.

The ducklings are seven weeks old now
and have been loving the cold rainy weather!

Their coloring is starting show.
And they're quacking!  So cute to hear!

Donald on the left and Daffy on the right.
I am thinking we have a male and a female because of the different markings.

They are supposed to be mallards,
but Mr. H. told me not to be surprised if they are a mixed breed
and only part mallard.

I was so thrilled that a bunch of zinnias came back 
after all the rain we've had over the last few weeks.
They were dead and gone towards the end of September,
but I crushed all the heads like my mom showed me to
and they came back like crazy.

We've only had temps dip below freezing one time this fall
and I covered them with a sheet.

I hope I get to enjoy them for a little bit longer!

And oh sweet Reeses...

how I love this dear cat
that decided to claim us as her family. :-)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chocolate Hype!

Well, we tried using a chocolate cake mix with the


Best, most moist chocolate muffin I've ever eaten.
You must try them! :-)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

These were so much fun to make!
And so tasty - I'm taking one to work for lunch on Monday. :-)

Individual Chicken Pot Pies
4 servings

for filling
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/4 cup diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken

for crust
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten

In a small saucepan, sauté potato, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon butter until browned.  Add broth and seasonings and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender.  Meanwhile, in another pan over medium heat, melt two tablespoons butter.  Add flour to butter and whisk until combined.  Gradually add milk and whisk until smooth.  Add flour mixture to vegetables and broth and stir.  Stir in cooked chicken. Divided filling into four ramekins or small oven-proof bowls.  Place bowls on a cookie sheet.  To prepare crust, cut shortening into flour.  Add 6-7 tablespoons cold water and mix until dough comes together.  Roll out dough and cut four circles.  Place dough circles over filling and slit to vent.  Brush beaten egg over dough.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Broil for 1-2 minutes or until crusts are brown.  Let pot pies cool slightly before serving.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

The weather forecast calls for it to be
 chilly, rainy and dreary for the next few days at my house.

I thought I'd start the weekend off 
with something warm and healthy for my tummy.

I've been enjoying these recipes lately.

For one serving

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger

Combine all ingredients and cook on low for 10 minutes or until oatmeal thickens.

Menu Plan

Supper Menus
November 24th-30th

Sunday dinner

Sunday supper
out for supper


meatballs, mashed potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce

tamales, corn and black bean salsa, tortilla chips

Thanksgiving breakfast - sausage balls, pumpkin spice muffins, cranberry scones, cinnamon butter braid
Thanksgiving dinner (my contributions) - autumn fruit salad, cranberry sauce, roasted autumn vegetables, sweet potato casserole, pecan pie trufflescaramel apple hand pies

supper at the ranch

snacky supper - summer sausage, cheeses, crackers, chips, dips 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Menu Plan

Supper Menus
November 17th-23rd

Sunday dinner
pot roast, dinner rolls, lettuce and tomato salad

Sunday supper

spicy romano chicken, ceasar salad

cheese enchiladas, spanish rice, refried beans

kung pao chicken, white rice

out for supper



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Believe the hype...

You know the "two ingredient pumpkin muffins"
all over pinterest?

Had to try it...
They're great!

1 box spice cake mix
(You can also use white, yellow or chocolate mix.)
1 can pumpkin
I added 1/4 cup water to make the batter a little less thick.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
Makes 18 muffins.


Cold Winter's Night Vegetable Barley Soup

This was a surprise hit at my house!
When I planned my menu for the week,
I knew chilly temps were in store. 
I really made this for myself thinking the family would be underwhelmed.
But everyone loved it!
My daughter even came home from school on Friday 
and had two bowls full for an afternoon snack. :-)

Cold Winter's Night Vegetable Barley Soup
8 servings

1 tablespoon oil
1/2 onion, chopped small
2 stalks celery, chopped small
2 carrots, sliced
1 can corn
1 small can young peas
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
16 ounces beef broth
1/2 cup barley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf

In a large sauce pan, saute onion, celery and carrots in oil until slightly browned.  Add corn, peas, tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, barley and seasonings to pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until barley is tender.  Remove bay leaf before serving and enjoy!

A bowl of this vegetable barley soup will warm you through and through. :-)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

'Round these parts...

Mr. H. has been working on the barnyard.

We've been laughing at the ducklings. 

They're five weeks old now and so funny!

And we've really been enjoying the cool fall weather.

But I'm hoping the first freeze is still a ways off!

My zinnias were all completely dead and gone towards the end of September.
But, all the rain we've gotten in the past few weeks sprouted dozens of new plants
with lots and lots of blossoms!

Hope we get to enjoy lots of blooms before winter. 

A Mr. H. Request

The other day Mr. H. said to me,
"You've never made me salisbury steak."
He wanted one "just like the tv dinner, but better and homemade." ;-)
So guess what I made him? :-)
Salisbury steak.  And he loved it!

ingredients needed -

1 1/2 pounds ground beaf
1 cup milk
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
splash or two of worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon oil
2 packages McCormick brown gravy mix

to make six steaks -

Combine beef, milk, oats, onions, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce.
Shape into six steaks.
Dredge steaks in flour, coating well.
Heat oil in skillet and brown steaks on each side.
Place steaks into a baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 400° 
for 45-60 minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile pour 2 cups of water into the sauce pan you browned the steaks in.
Bring water to a boil and scrape the drippings from the pan.
Add the gravy mix.
Boil for 1 minutes, stirring constantly.
Keep gravy warm until steaks are done.
Top steaks with gravy.

And serve with mashed potatoes.
Of course. :-)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Menu Plan

Supper Menus
November 10th-16th

Sunday dinner
salisbury steak with brown gravy
mashed potatoes
english peas
dinner rolls

Sunday supper

philly cheesesteaks, tomato soup

chili, baked butternut squash, cornbread


vegetable beef barley soup, biscuits

out for supper

invited to friends house for supper

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Opening Weekend

Opening weekend of deer season is like a holiday for my family.
We headed out to the lease Friday evening and Mr. H. and my son got up
early Saturday morning to sit in the deer blind for a few hours.

My daughter, Daisy and I slept in. :-)

After the boys got back to camp,
Mr. H. took me with him to put out a new pipe feeder
he had built.

And to show me the new deer blind 
his friend had brought out for this season.

He made it out of a shipping container.
I thought it was very nice.

It has a carpet remnant on the floor 
and it comfortably seats two hunters with room for a little heater.

It has windows on all sides that can be opened or closed.

My son hunted from the tripod stand.

One of Mr. H.'s very best friends and his Dad
are sharing the lease with him this year.

Daisy and I like to do lots of exploring during the middle of the day
when the hunters are resting.

Mid afternoon we headed into the bustling ;-) town of
Richland Springs to eat a late lunch at the Stagecoach Restaurant.

My family ordered one of their favorite things on the menu -

"fire starters." :-)

Then we headed a little farther down the road to the next 
town of San Saba - the "Pean Capital of the World."

We visited The Great San Saba River Pecan Company.

And I came home with a bag of the best tasting pecans,
some roasted pecan coffee and pecan fudge.

As the day began to wind down,
the hunters prepared to leave for the evening hunt.

Off they go!

Back at camp all that was left for me to do was 
 a little reading, a little knitting,


a little sunset watching. :-)

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