Sunday, December 29, 2013


If you are looking for a non-alcoholic way to toast in the new year, this drink is a winner.  The recipe comes for the Apple Barn Restaurant cookbook.  The Apple Barn Restaurant is a favorite of ours when we visit the Great Smoky Mountains.  Each meal there begins with a glass of this yummy  beverage.  It is a sweet yet slightly tart way to prepare your palette for a delicious meal ahead.  You can also use it as a breakfast juice if you like.  It is slightly different and really good.  We hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for sharing the year 2013 with us in our little corner of the world.  Olivia and I look forward to sharing more recipes and memories with you in 2014.  Feel free to contact us with recipes you think are worth sharing.  We love trying out new things and paying homage to tried and true favorites.  We wish you and yours a very happy new year!


1 quart unsweetened apple juice, chilled
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
1 cup orange juice, chilled
1/4 cup lemon juice, chilled

Combine all four ingredients with ice cubes; mix well.  Serve immediately.

Yield:  6 1/4 cups

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Divinity

Several people have asked Olivia about  posting the divinity recipe.  We whipped up a batch to add to our candy and cookie trays we give away each year.  We received lots of positive feedback about the divinity.  I am convinced it is one of those holiday confections that is somewhat tied  to one's age.  Younger people tend to often not know what it is and older people, when they find it on the tray, smile and reminisce about eating it as a child.  Being on that older end of the spectrum, I have fond memories of making divinity when I was a child.

It is a simple recipe but one that requires close attention to detail.  You need to get it to the right temperature (hard ball stage), be sure to beat it long enough, and then work quickly and with another person if possible to spoon the delightful little clouds onto wax paper. I remember making it as a child.  Olivia remembers making it as a child.  Holiday memories taste oh so sweet!  Make a batch and make a memory!

Olivia and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.  Although we speak often of our holiday traditions and memories tied to food, we celebrate Christmas as the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We hope you will join us in celebrating God's greatest gift.

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water.  Cook to a hard ball stage (260 degrees) stirring only till sugar dissolves.  Meanwhile, beat egg whites to stiff peaks.  Gradually pour syrup over egg whites, beating at high speed on your electric mixer.  Add vanilla and beat till candy holds its shape--about 4-5 minutes.  Act quickly dropping from a teaspoon onto waxed paper.  It works best to scoop with one spoon and push off the divinity with another.  Makes about 40 pieces.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Olivia made these outstanding biscuits for Thanksgiving instead of rolls.  They were not only delightful the first time around but made magnificent mini sandwiches or "sliders" days after.  I even used one as a breakfast sandwich one morning with a scrambled egg.  If you have ever had the cheddar biscuits served at a Red Lobster restaurant, these are very similar.  They have a wonderful depth of flavor and are very versatile.  I had one left when I used the last of the turkey to make turkey tetrazinni so I crumbled it on top for bread crumbs.  It was the crowning glory!  If you are looking for a dinner roll or biscuit alternative, you will want to give them a try.  They are scrumptious!


For the Biscuits:
4 cups baking mix
3 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
dash of Old Bay Seasoning

For the Buttery Topping:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.In a mixing bowl, combine all of the six first ingredients. Mix until dough is firm. Using a small scoop, place dough on the prepared pan.
3.Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
4.Combine the melted butter, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, Old Bay Seasoning, and parsley. Brush over baked biscuits immediately upon removing from oven.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Olivia's friend Deb is a fabulous cook and shares the greatest recipes.  This one was really a hit and comes to you just in time for your holiday baking.  While it is nice to use the traditional recipes your friends and families love, it is also great to mix it up a little with something new.

We hope all of you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as much as we did.  Olivia and I made our annual shopping excursion to the mall and beyond on Black Friday.  I must say since stores have started their sales on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday is not as crowded as it used to be.  I'm happy for the people who found bargains on Thanksgiving Day, but I am a purist.  Olivia and I still do our Black Friday thing.  This year we did something I have wanted to do for years. We had our picture taken with Santa and it turned out really well.  We laughed hard, shopped until we dropped, and had a jolly time.  We have fun but we never forget the reason for the season and the greatest gift of all!  We hope your holiday season is off to a great start!

VANILLA CHIP MAPLE COOKIES                                            
1 cup shortening  
2 t baking soda
1/2 c butter, softened           
3 c flour
2 eggs                  
1t maple flavor
2c brown sugar      
2 c vanilla chips
1 t vanilla              
1/2 c pecan pieces

Cream together shortening, butter, and brown sugar.  Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and maple flavoring.  Add baking soda and salt, mix well.  One cup at a time, add the flour, until all is incorporated.  Fold in pecan pieces and vanilla chips.

Drop them by spoonful and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet.