desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

A Favorite Recipe: USDA Pecan Pie

I found this recipe in my early twenties when I was first learning to cook. Each week I would visit our local library and borrow a stack of cookbooks which I read in the evenings as if they were novels. I found many of my favorite recipes that way, including this one. As I recall,… Continue reading A Favorite Recipe: USDA Pecan Pie

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desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

“The Homecoming” Christmas Applesauce Cake

I watched my DVD of "The Homecoming" the other night. In the movie, Olivia Walton bakes her traditional Christmas applesauce cake. Feeling inspired, I went looking for the recipe. I found a number of recipes for "Olivia Walton's Applesauce Cake." One recipe said "this is the cake she made in the movie." (It wasn't). One… Continue reading “The Homecoming” Christmas Applesauce Cake

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Start the New Year with M&M Party Cookies

I don't know when this recipe was first published but I first became aware of it in the mid-60s. It was part of an advertisement for Crisco shortening and M&M's in one of my mother's magazines. In those days, recipes were often a part of a advertisements for some product or another. My mother cut… Continue reading Start the New Year with M&M Party Cookies

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Who doesn't love a peanut butter cookie? Combine it with a chocolate Hershey's Kiss and you get a cookie favorite that shows up on most cookie trays these days. Traditionally they are made with milk chocolate kisses. But try dark chocolate kisses for an extra rich treat or for those who don't like chocolate (yep,… Continue reading Peanut Butter Blossoms

Arts, Crafts and Creations, Holiday Designs, Recipes: Only the Best!

Cinnamon, Salt Dough, and Baking Soda Clay: Recipes for Non-edible Ornaments

If you are looking for a project to do with the kids, an easy and cheap solution for decorating the Christmas tree, or you just want to have some creative fun on your own there is plenty to keep you busy with these non-edible ornament recipe. Traditional Salt Dough 4 cups flour 1 cup salt… Continue reading Cinnamon, Salt Dough, and Baking Soda Clay: Recipes for Non-edible Ornaments

Main Dishes and Sides, Recipes: Only the Best!

The Best Applesauce You Will Ever Eat (And The Easiest Recipe You Will Ever Make)

I love homemade applesauce. It's a regular dish on our Thanksgiving table and we eat it often throughout the winter. It's simple to make. The hardest part is peeling the apples. Once I tried it I couldn't settle for store-bought cans or jars ever again. 1) Start by peeling the apples. I've tried using Granny… Continue reading The Best Applesauce You Will Ever Eat (And The Easiest Recipe You Will Ever Make)

desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

Betty’s Butterscotch Pie

For all the years I've been married my husband, John, has talked (raved) about his mother's chocolate and butterscotch pies. They were favorites of his and his siblings and my mother-in-law made them often to feed her hungry family and the farm hands who lived and worked on their Idaho potato farm. Unfortunately, I failed… Continue reading Betty’s Butterscotch Pie

Main Dishes and Sides, Recipes: Only the Best!

“Just like Mom’s” potato salad recipe

What is up with store bought potato salad? Small chunks of potatoes drowning in an overly sweet, sloppy sauce. Everybody buys it because it's convenient but nobody really likes it. Why can't they make a potato salad like Mom's? It's 11:59 p.m. on July 4 and I'm raiding the leftover potato salad bowl. My Mom makes the… Continue reading “Just like Mom’s” potato salad recipe

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The best oatmeal cookie recipe isn't hard to find. It is printed on the lid of the Quaker oatmeal box. And it makes sense doesn't it? Who would spend more time testing oatmeal cookie recipes to find the very best one than an oatmeal company? This is the same recipe that my mother used to… Continue reading Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

These cookies may look rather plain but looks can be deceiving. These puffy, sugar coated rounds are packed with flavor. I bake them throughout the year as a special cookie jar treat. Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies 1/2 cup shortening (part butter or margarine) 1 cup sugar one egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 2/3 cups all-purpose… Continue reading Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

Peanut Butter Pie

In the early 90s, I completed part of my college coursework locally, at one of Kent State University's branch campuses. I worked at a local bakery in the morning. In the afternoon I hurried off to classes. Those were fun days filled with friends and a heavy schedule of student activities (I was student body president… Continue reading Peanut Butter Pie

desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

Baking Pumpkin Pie: the Best Ever Recipe Trick

Pumpkin pie isn't just my husband's favorite pie. It's his favorite food. My dad's too. Both men live for Thanksgiving when they get the first pumpkin pies of the season. The first time I made pumpkin pie for my husband he declared it to be the best pie he'd ever eaten.   When I started… Continue reading Baking Pumpkin Pie: the Best Ever Recipe Trick

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Coconut Washboard Cookies: an Adaptation of an Old-Time Recipe

Coconut Washboards are an old fashioned cookie that has been around since my great grandmother's day. When I came across a few original recipes I was reluctant to try any of them because the reviews weren't very good. But with half a bag of  coconut in my fridge that I wanted to use up I made some adaptations to fix the problems that… Continue reading Coconut Washboard Cookies: an Adaptation of an Old-Time Recipe

desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

A New Year Treat: The Best “Ambrosia Salad” Recipe Ever!

I love Ambrosia salads but find many of them to be too wimpy. This one is rich and creamy and has enough body to hold up in the fridge for several days so there's no problem making it the day ahead of a big, busy holiday meal. For a summer treat try using Strawberry Jello… Continue reading A New Year Treat: The Best “Ambrosia Salad” Recipe Ever!

desserts, Recipes: Only the Best!

Recipe #12: Fudgie Scotch Ring

Recipe #12 is not a cookie at all. It's a simple and easy retro candy recipe that my mother first made back in the 70's. At the time, the recipe could be found in every "woman's" magazine. It soon became an annual favorite in our family. The special flavor created with a few simple ingredients is hard to… Continue reading Recipe #12: Fudgie Scotch Ring

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Lemon Squares

This flavorful, tart square needs to be handled carefully but once you get it cut and arranged on a tray it's fancy enough for your most elegant party. Crust: 1/2 cup butter 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup confectioners' sugarFilling: 2 large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour… Continue reading Lemon Squares

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

  Packed full of holiday spices, there's no mistaking the flavor of this spicy gingerbread treat. These cookies can be rolled and cut into gingerbread men or made into traditional soft and chewy rounds. 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 T. ground ginger 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 3/4… Continue reading Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Mrs. Germack’s Pecan Delights

At the age of 19, I lived in an apartment building next door to an 80 year-old German woman. During my first holiday season there, she taught me how to bake her favorite Christmas cookie. The recipe for Pecan Delights looks simple. The cookie itself is a small and simple looking pale colored disc with a pecan centered on… Continue reading Mrs. Germack’s Pecan Delights

cookies, Recipes: Only the Best!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I found this sugar cookie recipe many years ago in a book filled with early American recipes. It has the best flavor of any I've tried and I'm often asked for the recipe. In the cookbook where I found it, a story was told about a young woman in colonial times baked and sold these best selling… Continue reading Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies