Sunday, November 30, 2014


Oh my!  If you are a cheesecake lover you are in for a real treat with this recipe.  If you are not a cheesecake lover (which I must admit I can usually take it or leave it) you will be smitten by this  delightful cheesecake recipe.  Olivia made it and when I tasted it, I could not believe how similar and yet different it was from other cheesecakes.  It is lighter and fresher.  Light and fresh are not usually how you would describe a cheesecake, but this one literally melts in your mouth and has just the right amount of refreshing peppermint.  The group of people who tried Olivia's cheesecake masterpiece agreed with me and raved about it.  Olivia found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine.  It would be such a festive addition to your holiday table.  Enjoy!


12 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 70 min. + chilling


  • 20 peppermint or mint creme Oreo cookies, finely crushed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies
  • Additional crushed candy canes or chopped Oreo cookies, optional


  • Preheat oven to 325°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a
  • double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil
  • securely around pan. In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter;
  • press onto bottom and 1 in. up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate 10
  • minutes.

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in
  • sour cream, flour and extract. Add eggs; beat on low speed just
  • until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups of batter to a small bowl; stir in
  • crushed candy canes.

  • Pour plain batter over crust. Drop candy cane batter by
  • tablespoonfuls over plain batter. Cut through batter with a knife to
  • swirl. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot
  • water to larger pan.

  • Bake 70-80 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
  • Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack 10
  • minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1
  • hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.
  • Remove rim from pan. Top cheesecake with additional crushed candy
  • canes if desired. Yield: 12 servings

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Olivia had a gathering at her home recently and someone brought this adorable fruit turkey pizza to share with those attending.  If you are looking for something new and different to add to your Thanksgiving table, this may be just the thing.  It may be a great hit with the children in the crowd and may even be a way to get a little healthy fruit on their plates.

Olivia and I hope you and those you love have a very happy Thanksgiving.  Make it a fun, festive, memorable day!


pkg.  (16.5 oz.) refrigerated sliceable sugar cookies, sliced

pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

cup  sugar

tsp.  vanilla

cups  assorted fresh fruit (kiwi and strawberry slices, red and black raspberries, drained canned mandarin oranges, grapes, etc.)

cup  apricot preserves, pressed through sieve to remove lumps

Tbsp.  water

Make It

HEAT oven to 375°F.
LINE 12-inch pizza pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Arrange cookie dough slices in single layer in prepared pan; press together to completely cover bottom of pan. Bake 14 min.; cool completely.
INVERT onto plate; carefully remove foil. Turn crust over; place on plate.
BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended; spread onto crust. Top with fruit.
MIX preserves and water; brush onto fruit. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Pork Carnitas
In the picture below, some home canned pork carnitas are in the jar second from the left.  Canning this delicious pork makes for an excellent quick meal when you come home and don't have a clue what to make for dinner.  If you don't wish to can the pork, you can mix the spices in smaller quantities and place them over shredded pork.  Either way it makes for a delicious meal.


Mix together in a bowl:

5 tsp. Kosher Salt
10 tsps. Oregano
10 tsps. Cumin
5 tsps. garlic powder
5 tsps. onion powder

Additional ingredients needed:

pork loin with fat trimmed and removed, cubed (enough to fill 12 pint jars)
orange juice concentrate (One can is more than enough for this recipe; you'll have lots leftover.)
12 bay leaves

Fill jars with pork to one inch of the top.  Add 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture to each pint jar. Add just shy of a tablespoon of OJ concentrate and one bay leaf to each pint jar.

Wipe the rims of the pint jars, place the lids on, and screw on the rings.  Pressure can for 75 minutes for pints at 11 pounds pressure.

To serve, discard the bay leaf, and place the pork pieces, along with the juice, in a baking dish.  Cut the cubes to bite size pieces if needed.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the edges are crispy.  Serve with tortillas, salsa, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

Sunday, November 2, 2014



    This recipe is an adaptation of one I found on  The original recipe was done in an iron skillet.  I cooked my pork tenderloin in a crock pot and then finished the dish off on the stove top.  It was a delicious fall recipe and combines the best fall food has to offer.  A friend of mine fell and was having a hard time getting around, so I took some of this to her.  She was very happy with it and even asked for the recipe!  I found it was even good warmed up the next day when I packed some for my lunch.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

1 1/2 cups apple cider or apple juice
3 T cornstarch
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp stone ground mustard
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 port tenderloin (a 1-1/2 pounds)
2-3 cored apples (I used gala)

Place tenderloin in crock pot and pour apple cider over it.  Put in maple syrup, mustard, and all spices.  Cook on low until tender (to your taste--I like mine falling apart).  You will probably want to cook at least 4 hours.  Remove meat and put liquid in a stove top pan (I use my corning ware).  Heat the liquid to bubbling and put in cornstarch.  Heat until thickened, turn down the temperature, add apples and cook until they are just tender.  Pour liquid and apples over the meat and serve.  It is so very good!  Enjoy!