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Showing posts from 2018


Sweet Potato Sausage Balls

We love to entertain our friends and family and that means I need to have a great little appetizer that is easy and always crowd pleasing. Our Sweet Potato Sausage Balls do just that, this is a recipe that can come out of the freezer and be on the table in no time. The flavors in this sausage ball are a blend of American cuisine, with a vegetable,and a little heat in the back of your mouth, just wait for it. Our cottage visitors just love this recipe!


Tex Mex Brunch Casserole

We often times have weekend brunch here at the cottage which happens to be a gathering place for friends and family on the weekend. We are a short walk to the lake along a lovely country road, so it is a great get away for city folks. A great brunch casserole is always a big hit with the crowd and easy for me to prepare so I can spend more time with guest. This Tex Mex Casserole recipe is just one of those favorites that we get special request for, it is delicious! It has a blend of Tex Mex ingredients and is topped off with a great garnish of our homemade hot salsa and sour cream, it really doesn't get much better than this. The casserole is a make a head recipe that can be frozen for up to 3 months after cooking and is a winner at any meal.


Whats For Dinner Next Week 12-16-18

Just one more week before Christmas and we are busy! Making meal plans this time of the year is so important for saving time and money. We are entertaining here at the cottage several times in the next couple of weeks so it will be very important to have the meal plan in addition to the flow chart for the parties. We are looking forward to enjoying every minute of the festivities!


Full Plate Thursday,410

Only 12 days til Christmas and so much to do, so many wonderful recipes to try, so much fun! I love the excitement of the season and all the activities, especially the amazing food that we enjoy at all the functions. That food all starts with great recipes from bloggers like you who have worked hard in your kitchens to perfect the award winning recipes that you bring here every week. We have some great features from last week that you will want to check out with wonderful time saving ideas and delicious flavors! It sure is good to see you here today and thanks so much for stopping by!


Gifts From Miz Helen's Kitchen 2018

One of the special projects that I really enjoy at Christmas is giving my homemade gifts from the kitchen. I remember through the years that the homemade gifts I have received are always so precious to me, because I know how much love goes into the planning and preparation of the gift. It gives me more joy than you will know to be able to give a gift from my kitchen and I am sharing with you some of the gifts that I will be giving this year. My wish would be that I could share one of these gifts with each of you, because you'al are so very special to me.


Cranberry Jelly

We can and preserve much of the harvest from our garden every year and we love to share those products with our friends and family. Through the years we have shared an abundant garden harvest and it gives us much joy to do so. Every year we like to make a very special canned good to share at Christmas with friends and family. This year we have made this beautiful Cranberry Jelly. What could be better at Christmas than a nice jar of Cranberry Jelly. This Jelly is delicious and can be paired with meats, poultry, and great with vegetables. We have been enjoying it with our sour dough bread and toasted bagels. It is a great jelly and providing we have some left by Christmas, we will be sharing a jar or two.


Whats For Dinner Next Week,12-8-18

We have enjoyed a little slower pace this week and starting to enjoy the fruits of our decorating labor for Christmas. I just love it when we get all the decorations finished and sit by the fire with a nice cup of cider to just enjoy the cottage. I am excited to make the meal plan this week as one of my friends will be coming to the cottage and has requested a special recipe, I just love it when my family and friends want something special on the plan. I need to get started on this plan while my cider is still hot.


Full Plate Thursday, 409

We are kicking off December with great features and looking forward to lots of fabulous food for the party today. It is a perfect time of the year for parties and party planning, whats a great party without great party food. We have some of the greatest cooks on the planet that are a part of our community here and we are so happy that you are one of them, we are sure looking forward to what you will be sharing with us for the party today!


Pear-Cranberry Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

We love bread pudding, it is always so comforting and full of flavor. I made this bread pudding with some of the pears that my neighbor gave me, those pears are so delicious. I added some dried cranberries and pecans then drizzled some caramel sauce to finish the dessert. This one sure didn't last long, next time I will make a bigger one to enjoy a little longer. I love recipes that just happen, sometimes they are the very best!


Honey Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

We have been getting some great carrots from the garden they are so fresh and tender. The fall garden vegetables have been great this year and I have had fun developing new recipes. I used a really different spice with this sheet pan recipe and it is delicious. I didn't have many carrots for the recipe so the next time I make it I will double the recipe, it was that good!


Whats For Dinner Next Week, 12-2-18

Here we are at the first of December already and the cottage is beginning to look a lot like a winter wonderland. The decorating and baking process has begun. Decorations being sorted and placed so carefully: to cookies coming out of the oven, it is a special time of the year. My meal plan this week will begin with a Hanukkah meal to honor my friend who celebrates Hanukkah, I am always excited to do that for her.


Full Plate Thursday, 408

Welcome to Full Plate Thursday and the Top Ten features from last weeks party!
I sure hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of wonderful food and fellowship with family and friends. Now we are all ready to move on to the Christmas and Hanukkah season, one of my favorite times of the year. Come on in and get you a cup of hot cocoa and a cookie, there is plenty of room to warm up by the fire. I love Thursday because I know that you will soon be here with your fantastic inspirations!


Holiday Cookie Exchange Link Party

Cookies and Christmas just go together and what more fun at Christmas and Hanukkah than a great Cookie Exchange Party with your friends. We have a fabulous blogging community here with some of the greatest cooks on the planet. I am looking forward to the awesome collection of cookies that we will have here. At the end of the party I hope we have some fabulous cookie recipes to take home that we can enjoy for years to come! Thanks so much for bringing your cookie recipes to share with us, we will cherish the love that has gone into everyone of your recipes!


Texas Pecan Praline Cookies

There are pecan orchard's and pecan trees all around us and in the fall of the year when pecan harvest is going on there are plenty of pecans for everyone including the little squirrels. A favorite southern treat is a praline, so for this recipe I am combining a nice spice cookie with a praline topping making this a very special cookie! This cookie is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside topped with fresh pecans from East Texas, just delicious!


Whats For Dinner Next Week, 11-25-18

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving with lots of wonderful food and fellowship with family and friends. It is really winter time cold here, I think we must have skipped most of fall, so we are on to warm cozy foods to fill our meal plan for the week. I am off to the pantry, then the barn to see what supplies have been depleted after Thanksgiving. I always check my inventories before I start planning meals, it just make's my life easier and we all like to have life a little easier. I can see some Slow Cooker recipes coming up next week.


Full Plate Thursday,407

Welcome to our special Thanksgiving Edition of Full Plate Thursday! The cottage is very busy this week as we prepare for friends and family to sit around the Thanksgiving table and enjoy great food and fellowship. That is exactly why we are having an early Thanksgiving with all of our blog friends. We have some awesome features today and I really can't wait to see what you will be bringing to share with us this week, you'al are the greatest! Thank you so much for being a part of Full Plate Thursday and being a part of this community!
Wishing You and Your Family An Abundant Thanksgiving Filled With Special Blessings, Love and Joy!


Cranberry-Pretzel Dessert

My original recipe for this dessert is very old and the card is yellowed, we have made it for many years. Some of my friends make a recipe that is very similar and they call their recipe a salad, but to us it has always been dessert. It has layer's of flavors starting with a salty base then a creamy sweet layer and ending with a tart cranberry topping. This is a great dessert to serve anytime but is especially great for holiday meals and events. Take it to your covered dish dinners, luncheons, and then it is perfect for that special family gathering.


Whats For Dinner Next Week 11-17-18

The cottage is buzzing this week, we are preparing for Thanksgiving, with the wonderful food, family, friends and an opportunity to enjoy the harvest of our lives. For several weeks now I have been making sure that my pantry will be fully stocked with the staples that we will need to get the meals prepared for the number of folks that we will have here this week. I am so excited to be able to enjoy cooking the meal and not worry about what to cook, because we have our meal plan.

When We Sit At Our Thanksgiving Table Please Know That I Count Each Of You
Among My Many Blessings May God Bless You Abundantly


Full Plate Thursday, 406

Oh my goodness, come in the cottage and warm up by the fire, winter has arrived! We are going to have many wonderful recipes on the table today that will bring you cozy comfort during this cold weather. We had a great party last week and are featuring some of your most popular post from that party. Be sure and check out the NOTICE OF CHANGE For Thanksgiving week here at the cottage and for this party. I can't wait to see all of you today so lets get the party started!


Creamy Herb Mashed Potatoes

The men and most of the women in our family love a great potato dish. We have made a number of different potato recipes in my day, and this is one that they all love. It is a very special recipe with herb infused cream and very creamy potatoes that just melt in your mouth. This is a potato recipe that I make for very special occasions and very rarely have a left over. It has gone to church dinners, ladies covered dish events, and football banquets. It is a great recipe for a family gathering of any kind.


Nana's Sweet Potato Cake

We are sweet potato lovers and this is a great cake recipe that we really enjoy here at the cottage. Sweet potatoes are one of the crops that farmers produce in this area, so we are blessed with wonderful fresh sweet potatoes. This is a very special cake recipe that was developed and served for a special party for one of our Grandchildren and that's when it became, Nana's Sweet Potato Cake. This cake is so easy to put together and is full of warm cozy flavors, and is often time's requested from friends and family. Very moist and it is almost like a pie, we like to top it with a nice dollop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel!


Whats For Dinner Next Week,11-11-18

We are planning a very special meal for the Veterans in our family to honor them in some small way for the service that they have given to our country. We have had so much rain here and it is very cold, so all of our activities will be indoors this week. I am preparing for the Thanksgiving Feast meal plan and beginning to put together some staples that will be needed for that meal, planning ahead always helps. I am going to sip on some wonderful Spiced Cider while we put together this meal plan for the week.


Full Plate Thursday,405

Welcome To Full Plate Thursday
When you come to the country and down the country roads to get to the cottage, you will find that fall is surrounding us with beautiful color, a chill in the air and I am so happy to see you! We will have some hot cider for you to sit by the fire and enjoy the fellowship with all our friends that gather here every Thursday! The recipes, thanksgiving ideas, fall decor, all so special this time of the year. Our party links are the best in  blogger land and we feature some of them every week, which I hope you will go by and visit these awesome blogs. I am getting so excited to see what all of you will be sharing with us today, so lets get busy and get this party started!


Roasted Butternut, Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

We love roasted vegetable combinations that are so full of flavor. When we are serving a crowd or just a simple family dinner, this is a very simple but delicious way of preparing a great side dish. For this dish we are going to the garden to harvest some of our home grown butternut squash, it has a very rich flavor when roasted. We are mixing some Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries and great seasons to make this a favorite for the season!


Grandmothers Pumpkin Pie

When the holidays would be close, my Grandfather would begin to gather the pumpkins from the field and bring them up to the house. My Grandmother would cut the pumpkins, take the seeds out to clean and dry, then she would roast the meat of the pumpkin. I remember getting to help carve one of the pumpkins, with a funny mouth before it was roasted. There is a very rich smell that fills the kitchen with the roasting pumpkin in the wood stove oven. The pumpkin meat was cooled then she would mash it up and next was the pie. Much later when that pie came out of the oven it was amazing, I can still smell it and almost taste it. I am so grateful to have my Grandmothers recipe for that pie, so that I can re create those memories and share them with family and friends.


Whats For Dinner Next Week, 11-4-18

Welcome November and it came in with a bucket of rain at the cottage. It is cold rainy and fall has arrived, definitely time for cozy fall meal plans. I am having fun looking at recipes, checking the pantry and making the plan, hope I don't have to get out in the rain to go to the market. This week I may be able to make the meal plan without having to go to the market, that would be great and what a great time of the year to save a little money for the holidays that will be coming up. Now I have challenged myself to cook from the pantry this week so lets see what we can do, I love a challenge!


Full Plate Thursday,404

Welcome To Full Plate Thursday
What a busy week we are having here at the cottage. By the time you get this post, we will be busy with the little ones coming to our door for treats, and there will sure be some cute ones. Then here we go into November and the big feast that we look forward to. Full Plate Thursday is just the place that folks come to find fabulous recipes for their special holiday meals, and I am so excited you want to be a part of that. We have some great features from last weeks party and I sure hope you will stop by these awesome blogs and say hello. I can't wait to see what you are bringing to share with us today so lets get the party started!


Black Bean-Butternut Tostada's

We have had a bountiful harvest of butternut squash this year and I love developing different recipes that we will enjoy with our fresh garden butternut squash. This recipe is so easy and so full of fabulous Tex-Mex flavors. These Black Bean-Butternut Tostada's will make a great lunch or light supper, plus they are on the table in no time.


Sirloin Tips On Rice

When I make my meal plan for the week, I always ask my husband if there is anything that he would like included, and for this week he wanted Sirloin Tips on Rice. He said "you know like the kind we used to get at the old cafe on the square in our hometown", I said sure let me see what I can develop, this is the recipe that I came up with and have to say that it is really close and so good, it sure took us down memory lane. Food always makes good memories!


Whats For Dinner Next Week, 10-27-18

This is always a fun week for us here at the cottage. We always look forward to all the little trick or treater's that stop by the cottage. There several fall festivals that we always enjoy attending in the community. It has been sweater and jacket weather so we are definitely into the fall meal plans this week. We always have chili on the 31st so I will be serving one of my new chili recipes this year. I better get started on this meal plan, I am getting hungry!


Full Plate Thursday, 403

Welcome to Full Plate Thursday

 This will be the last Thursday of the month already and on the last Thursday of the month we have our Top Ten from the last weeks party. The Top Ten that have the most page views and we really good ones this week. Hope you will visit all of these great bloggers and say hello! I am excited that you are here today and can't wait to see what you will be sharing with us. I love all of the wonderful fall recipes and fun parties that you are bringing to share with us and thank you so much!


Butternut-Pear Crisp

My neighbor gave me a basket full of pears the other day and they are beautiful, plus I have several butternut squash from the garden, it sounds like a great combination to me! I got busy and made a delicious crisp that has all the seasons and flavors of fresh fruit from a grandma's kitchen. This is a very easy crisp to put together and I love the butternut squash and pear combination!



Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Chili

When the temperature drops I begin to think of a great bowl of warm chili and it is time to get a pot of chili on simmer. When you walk in from a cold rainy day there is nothing like the smell of a great pot of chili on the simmer. I am making a new recipe today that I started working on sometime back and now it is ready to share with all of you. This chili is just delicious and so easy to put together, filled with the flavor of Salsa Verde, vegetables and a great mix of seasons. Lets get this chili cooking!



Whats For Dinner Next Week,10-21-18

I am sitting by the fire today to stay warm and cozy while I work on this weeks meal plan. Winter has definitely arrived here at the cottage plus we have had historical rain fall for this time of the year. I have been busy making sure that my pantry, and freezer inventory is in order. Our cold bins for root vegetables are full going into the winter months and that is great, lots of home grown sweet potatoes, white potatoes and onions. I will be doing some baking and enjoy baking in the oven this time of the year, it makes the house smell so good and just give a cozy and homey feel to the cottage.



Full Plate Thursday, 402

Winter has arrived at the cottage, it was actually 42 degrees and rain this morning. Sounds like a real cozy day for a pot of stew, soup or a great chili, yum! We had a great party last week and you can sure tell that fall is in the air and we are all getting ready for the fun holiday parties coming up.  I have talked to a couple of you this past week and know that you are bringing some really special dishes today, we can't wait to see all the delicious recipes, beautiful decor, and just great blog reading!



Chicken Salad with Fall Salsa

We often times enjoy a lovely salad for lunch or a light dinner. I try to keep some ingredients on hand that I can make one of these salads in just a few minutes as most of the time when I have a salad like this it is a very busy day. I like to keep salad greens and chopped vegetables and fruit on hand in the refrigerator ready to go into a great salad. Another thing we keep on hand is poached chicken breast that we can slice or dice to use in a salad, casserole or soup. These things make putting a great meal on the table in a hurry a lot easier. This is one of the awesome Chicken Salads that I made recently and used one of my new Fall Salsa's to top it off. It is delicious and I sure hope you enjoy it!


Fall Salsa

We love a great salsa here at the cottage and this Fall Salsa is so versatile and delicious that I actually keep some on hand in the refrigerator and have used it in so many different ways. This salsa is a blend of fall fruit and a flavorful dressing that make it a real hit!


Whats For Dinner Next Week,10-14-18

When I started the meal plan for this week, I immediately thought of some comfort food. It was a really rough week last week with the horrible storms hitting our Gulf Coast and leaving such devastation. While in the military we had lived in that area at one time,then later having family members stationed in the area as well.Our hearts just broken when we saw so many of the places we loved gone forever. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all the folks on the coast as they begin to re-build their life.


Full Plate Thursday, 401

Hello everyone and welcome to Full Plate Thursday! I sure am glad to see you today, it is a beautiful time to take a drive in the country and enjoy some fantastic fall food. We had a great party last week and have some delicious post from that party. I sure hope that you will visit some of these awesome bloggers and say hello. I know that you are bringing some fabulous recipes to share with us today and we can't wait to try some of them!

Late Addition To This Post
Hurricane Michael is about to make land fall in and around Mexican Beach, Tyndell AFB, and Panama City Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who will be affected by this historical storm. God Hold You In His Mighty Arms and Be With You


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

When the pumpkins start showing up at the Farmers Markets I know it's time to get all the pumpkin recipes out and get to cooking. This year I decided to make a new pumpkin cookie, just a real simple soft sugar cookie that is filled with a pumpkin spice and flavor and then cover with a flavored sugar. It really doesn't get much better than this, and I already know that I can't eat just one of these cookies!




Southern Natchitoches Cajun Casserole

If you have ever been to Natchitoches, Louisiana or heard of it you know that they are famous for their delicious meat pies. Every year the community has a festival that surrounds their little meat pie that originated when the French settled in their area in 1714. The filling that goes into these little pies is simply delicious and our family loves the Natchitoches Meat Pies. We recently had a family gathering and some of the folks wanted the pies and I just did not have time to make that many little pies, so I developed the Natchitoches Cajun Casserole, everyone loved the casserole and it is sure easier and quicker to make than all those little pies. In addition I found that it freezes really well and can be made up ahead of time, lots of great recipe features!




Whats For Dinner Next Week, 10-7-18

We have had a very special week here at the cottage. Our youngest son was able to come and spend some time with us and we got to celebrate his birthday while he was here. These are special times for us as he lives across country from us. We will be planning some awesome meals for this coming week, fall has really arrived and the air is starting to be a little crisp in the mornings. It is nice to include the fall recipes and vegetables in the meal plan again.



Full Plate Thursday ,400

I am so excited to see you today for our Number 400th posting of Full Plate Thursday. Wow that is a lot of plates filled through the years, and many thanks to each of you who show up faithfully with your amazing creations to help make this linky party a success, without you it would just be an empty plate! Today we have some very special features from last week's party that I hope you will visit and get to know these great bloggers! I can't wait to see what you are bringing today so lets get the party started!


Vintage Apple Cobbler

My Aunt Ann wrote that when my Grandmother finally gave her this recipe, it used terms like stoke up the fire in the wood stove and use the fresh milk from this morning's milking. Be sure and use the fresh apples from this years harvest and be sure and set the peelings aside for the preserves and jelly. Well certainly some of our methods have changed but the basics of this recipe are the same. I can still picture my Grandmother taking out a fresh baked cobbler from the old wood stove that sat at the back of her kitchen and the smell of that cobbler, oh my goodness I would sure love a serving of that cobbler, so lets just make it!




Slow Cooker Mustard Pork Roast With Sauerkraut

Our Slow Cooker Mustard Pork Roast With Sauerkraut is a perfect recipe to serve for a big game day, a Sunday dinner or a weeknight family supper. This is a very flavorful recipe that will have you coming back for seconds. The pork just falls apart and is so tender and juicy that no more than a fork is needed. The seasons for this recipe gives it a very special flavor and is perfect for any gathering.


Whats For Dinner Next Week, 9-30-18

We are excited here at the cottage to be going into the first week of October. Our Farmers Market are beginning to look like fall  has arrived. I have enjoyed going through my fall recipes looking for our family favorites and adding new recipes that our family will enjoy. I will finalize my fall pantry inventory this week and restock the items that I use more in the fall months. I like  to keep a fully stocked pantry so that I have the ability to prepare meals and meal planning in a more efficient way. I am about to take a very flavorful apple pie out of the oven so lets get started!


Full Plate Thursday,399

It Is Officially Fall Welcome To Full Plate Thursday
We are featuring our Top Ten Post from last weeks party as is our custom on the last week of the month, and these are great post. I sure hope you will take the time to stop by and say hello to these great bloggers. I love all the fall recipes that you are sharing and I can't wait to see what you are sharing for the party today!



Nana's Mac N Cheese

I was helping one of my Granddaughters with some recipes the other day and she wanted my Mac N Cheese recipe. After she asked me for it I realized that I did not have it on my blog yet, so I got busy and am posting it today. I can't remember how many years ago I started making this recipe, but through the years I have changed it from time to time as new ingredients come on the market, but the basics of the recipe have remained the same. We still love our Mac N Cheese and this is definitely one of our family favorites.



Spicy Pumpkin Cake

It's officially fall and when the pumpkins start showing up in the Farmers Markets along side the country roads, it is time to get out the pumpkin recipes. The Pumpkin Cake recipe that I am using today was my Aunts recipe that I have made a little easier, and gave it a fantastic frosting.  Aunt Ann you will never recognize your recipe, but I will never forget where the inspiration came from and the wonderful role model that you were for me, thank you!



Whats For Dinner Next Week, 9-23-18

Hello everyone, hope that you are having a great week and are ready to make your meal plan for the week. I have been recently mentoring a working Mom on meal plans for her family, when she found meals were unplanned, and the dinner hour being moved later and later. Meal planning will enable her to know exactly what will be served every night and what time it can be on the table. I am grateful that I can pass this information on to someone else to help them enjoy a better quality of life.