Perfect Waffles


This is a recipe we enjoy making in the evenings with some scrambled eggs and sausage links. 

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In glass measuring dish, combine egg yolks, milk, and oil; add to dry ingredients, beating just till blended. Carefully fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Do not overmix. Bake in preheated waffle baker. Makes 6 9-inch waffles.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Christmas Reindeer Snack


Here's a snack I made for my granddaughter last Christmas that she loved. We did too. Enjoy! 

3 cups pretzels
3 cups Bugles
3 cups Fritos
1 cup roasted peanuts
12 oz. peanut M and M's
10 oz. white chocolate bark

In a large bowl, combine pretzels, Bugles, Fritos, peanuts and M and M's. Set aside. Place chocolate bark in a medium glass bowl and melt in microwave in 2 minute intervals until silky smooth, stirring between each heating. Drizzle melted chocolate over pretzel mixture and stir to coat. When fully coated, pour mixture onto a baking sheet and spread it out to edges. Allow to cool completely. Break into pieces and store in an air-tight container. Makes 11 cups. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Orange Cranberry Scones


This is such an easy recipe to enjoy with a warm cup of tea in the morning or afternoon. This was the first scone recipe I ever made. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter
1 cup cranberries (chopped)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Add chopped cranberries, orange juice, milk, and egg. Knead 6-8 times. Pat out and place in ungreased round cake pan. Cut into 10 wedges. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. If desired, drizzle with glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon orange juice. Makes 10 scones.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Christmas Dinner Party Ideas

We always celebrate Christmas Eve with a special dinner. Here are a few ideas for a special dinner with your family.

Main Course Idea #1 - Creamy Vegetable Soup 

Main Course Idea #2 - Slow Cooker Holiday Ham,

Main Course Idea #3 - Molasses-Brined Baked Chicken Thighs with Roasted Root Vegetables, Green Bean Casserole, and Garlic Rosemary Braid

See more Holiday Menu Ideas HERE.

Mom's Pecan Brittle


Here's my Mom's famous Pecan Brittle recipe that she makes every Christmas. Enjoy! 

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 12/ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups pecan halves or pieces

Butter 2-15x12" baking sheets, and keep warm in a 150 degree oven until candy is almost done. 

In a small bowl, mix together baking soda, water, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water and syrup. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches 240 degree on candy thermometer. Stir in butter and pecans. Continue cooking and stir constantly until it reaches 300 degrees. Watch carefully, so mixture does not burn. Immediately remove from heat and stir in baking soda mixture until thoroughly combined. 

Pour half onto each warm baking sheet and quickly spread evenly and as thin as possible. Cool, and break candy into pieces. Place in an air-tight contained when completely cool.

Tip: The key to brittleness is thinness. To ensure this quality, be sure to spread candy mixture carefully and thinly.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ambrosia Salad

Here's an easy dish to make up for a family gathering or church dinner.

1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks
1 cup (11 oz) mandarin oranges
1 cup sliced apples
1 cup sour cream
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup coconut flakes

In large bowl, combine pineapple, mandarin oranges, apples, sour cream and marshmallows. Place in serving bowl. Sprinkle top with coconut. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. Easy and so yummy. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Baking Christmas Cookies


Here are Twelve Yummy Cookie Recipes to get you into the Christmas Spirit. Turn on the oven and put on your favorite Christmas music. This is a great activity to spend time with your family. Enjoy the moments . . . 

(Perfect for a Christmas Tea Party)

(wonderful with hot tea or coffee)

(My favorite for cut sugar cookies)

(We used to make these every Christmas Eve when the girls were little)

Click HERE for more cookie ideas.

Grandma's Chocolate Delight Dessert


My Grandma Swiler used to bring this to our family gathering every Christmas. It is still a popular hit. 

1 cup flour
2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
12 oz. whipped topping, divided
2 - 3.9 oz. instant chocolate pudding mix
4 cups milk

In small bowl, mix together flour, 1 cup pecans, and butter. Press into an oblong baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool.

In mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping until combined. Spread mixture onto cooled crust. 

In another mixing bowl, whisk together pudding and milk for two minutes until pudding begins to thicken. Spread pudding over cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle remaining 1 cup chopped pecans to cover. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight before serving. Serves 20-24.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Raspberry Vanilla Scones


Here's a delicious recipe to serve your family.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup half and half
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup raspberry jam + 1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter with knife or fork until mixture is crumbly. Add half and half, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir into flour mixture and work together until completely mixed. Pat out onto a floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cut first half into eight pieces and place each in lightly greased scone pan. Press to form into the pan. In small bowl, mix together jam and water. Spoon half of the raspberry jam onto dough. Create a second layer by repeating the process with remaining dough. Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons sugar. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Christmas Tea Party Ideas


One of my favorite traditions at Christmas is to have a tea party with our daughters and those who are special to us. Here are some recipe ideas for you to try. Enjoy the moments . . . 

CLICK HERE for more tea party recipe ideas.

Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies

Here's a delicious recipe to make for your next tea party or for the holidays. You may omit the chocolate on the bottom, if you so desire...they are delicious either way! Enjoy! 

1 cup salted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together salt and sugar until well blended. Mix in flour and salt. Add egg and extracts and mix until combined. Fill cookie press cylinder with dough and press cookies out onto an ungreased cookie sheet. 

Fill a decorating press with jam and dot cookies in the center with jam. Bake for 14-17 minutes until cookies turn golden brown along the edges. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. 

In medium glass bowl, melt chocolate chips in microwave in 2-minute increments until silky smooth. Using a decorating knife, glaze bottom of cookies with chocolate and allow to dry upside down on wire racks. Store in refrigerator. Makes 30-36 cookies.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

We love chocolate covered caramel pecan candies --chewy caramel, pecans, covered in delicious chocolate. A quick search through my cupboards revealed all the ingredients, so I decided to try a cookie version of the candy. We LOVED them. I hope you will too.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup caramel bits
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix in well. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture in three parts. Stir in caramel, chocolate chips coconut, and pecans. Scoop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on racks. Makes 5 dozen. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Gail Kittleson's Mellow Sugar-Free Cranberry Chutney

 When Gail Kittleson’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in one edit or another, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing workshops and classes, both in Iowa and Arizona, where winters find her enjoying the incredibly gorgeous Ponderosa forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters. Learn more about Gail HERE.

Gail's Latest Book Release: A Purpose True

Southern France - Spring, 1944

German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens? Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion - L’Invasion. Buy the book HERE.

Gail's Mellow Sugar-Free Cranberry Chutney

1 cup water
1/3 cup dry Xylitol
1/2 cup vinegar
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch allspice
pinch cloves
1 cup chopped apples

Boil water with dry Xylitol. Add vinegar, fresh cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and chopped apples. Bring back to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Serve warm with turkey, turkey burgers, or pork chops. Keeps well refrigerated.

Christmas Divinity


If you love light and fluffy sweetness, here's a yummy recipe to make this Christmas Season!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 cup chopped pecans

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup and cook until sugar is dissolved and comes to a boil. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 250-265 degrees (hard-ball stage). Remove from heat. 

Meanwhile, beat egg white in a large mixing bowl, until stiff peaks form. On high speed, carefully pour hot syrup in a slow, steady stream into the egg whites. Add vanilla and salt. Beat on high speed until candy loses its gloss and holds its shape, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in pecans. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Makes 36 pieces. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Party Sausages

Here's a recipe to try this holiday season for a family gathering. Enjoy!

2 - 14 oz. Lit'l Smokies smoked sausages
1 bottle (8 oz) Catalina salad dressing
1 bottle (8 oz) Thousand Island dressing
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup minced onion

Heat sausages in large skillet with 1 tablespoon oil. Transfer cooked sausages to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients to skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour over sausages. Heat on low for 1-2 hours. Serves 16.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mom's Turkey Dressing


Here's my mom's wonderful turkey stuffing recipe that she makes every year for Thanksgiving. Enjoy! 

6 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup hot turkey broth
*8 cups dry bread cubes (10-12 slices). 
1 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 1/4 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Turkey giblets and meat from neck/wing
1 cup chopped celery
1 package cornbread stuffing mix, prepared as package directed
1 package turkey stuffing mix, prepared as package directed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, saute onion in butter. Stir in turkey broth. In a large bowl combine dry bread cubes, poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper. Pour butter mixture over bread crumbs and toss to moisten. May add more broth, if needed. Mix in giblets and turkey meat. Stir in chopped celery and prepared stuffing mixes. Mix everything together and place in a foil-lined roasting pan. Bake for 30-60 minutes until edges turn crisp and brown. Serves 20-24.

*Dry bread cubes beforehand, slice and cube and freeze until ready to use. Do not use store bought as it is too hard.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes

Here's a recipe I enjoy making for family gatherings. So easy and can be prepared a day ahead.

5 pounds red potatoes (9 large), diced and unpeeled
6 oz package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons onion salt
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain. Mash until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Place in oblong baking pan. Cool, cover, and place in refrigerator. May be used anything within two weeks. May reheat in microwave or a 350 degree oven until heated through, about 20-30 minutes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Tracey Lyon's Pumpkin-Spice Angel Food Cake

An Amazon Top Ten bestselling historical romance author of the Adirondack Pinkertons and the Women of Surprise series, Tracey Lyon's novel A Changed Agent was a 2017 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award finalist. She sold her first book on 9/9/99! Her books have been translated into several languages and are available in print, digital and audio formats. A true upstate New Yorker, Tracey believes you should write what you know. Her historical romances are all set in the New York State area. Tracey considers herself a small town gal who writes small town romances. You can learn more about Tracey and her books by visiting her website at

Tracey's Latest Book Release: The Heart of An Agent  
Former Pinkerton spy Lily Handland has always dreamed of a quiet, safe life, free from chasing criminals and putting herself at risk. So when the opportunity to invest in a failing Great Camp in the Adirondacks comes to her attention, she quickly jumps at the chance.

Filled with grief, widower Owen Murphy wants to run away from it all. Though he’s worked hard to forge a future for himself, his guilt has kept him mired in the past. But all that changes when a headstrong, mysterious woman shows up at Owen’s door. Together, as Lily and Owen restore the beauty of the Great Camp, he begins to finally see a future. But will learning about Lily’s past destroy it all? Buy the book HERE.

Tracey's Pumpkin-Spice Angel Food Cake

1 package boxed Angel food cake mix (I use a 1-step brand)
1 ¼ cup water
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, beat cake mix, water, pumpkin and spices. Pour batter into a tube pan/angel food cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool cake completely before removing it from the pan. Serve with orange sherbet.

Creamy Vegetable Soup


Here's a recipe I like to make when I serve Christmas Chicken Pie. Enjoy! 

1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 cups half and half cream
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
5 cups chopped cooked mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower)

In small saucepan, melt butter and saute onion until tender. Add flour, then cook and stir till bubbly. Gradually add broth to this mixture. Cook and stir until thickened, about five minutes. Stir in the milk, cream and seasonings. Add vegetables. Cook gently until heated through. Makes 8-10 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Carrot Cake

Here's another delicious recipe from my childhood that reminds me of autumn.

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream Cheese Frostin
8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9 inch cake pans with waxed paper and spray with grease. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time along with vanilla extract. In small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture, mixing well. Fold in carrots, pineapple, and nuts. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes until edges have pulled away from sides and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on cake rack.

In small bowl, mix cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. May add more powdered sugar to desired consistency. Frost layers. Sprinkle top with chopped nuts. Serves 12-16.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.