all the things I do in my hideaway

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Easy cookies…

I have a baptism to attend today, and I want to take some cookies for afterward.  Well, busy Saturday ahead.  I got up just after 5 am to finish a science investigation for my students.  (That’s another story for another post.)  Decided to make the cookies before leaving, using the fastest cookie recipe I know.  I will replace the “emergency cookie supplies” when I shop today.  Then I am always prepared.   Here goes:

Pumpkin Cookies


All necessary materials (other than the oven, can opener, cooling rack, and hot pads)  assembled.  That is right – a spice cake mix and a small can of pumpkin.  Other optional ingredients:  chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, your choice.

Mix cookie mix and pumpkin together.  This is a fairly stiff, cake-like dough.  Add desired “other” ingredients.  I chose chocolate chips for two reasons.  The girl being baptized likes chocolate, and I will not eat the cookies (keeps down the calorie intake for the day).


Ready for the oven.  An added bonus to this recipe.  For those of you who tempt the “Salmonella bug” by eating raw cookie dough in spite of the raw eggs, there are no eggs added to this recipe.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet, 375 degrees, 9 minutes (in my oven).  These don’t brown much, test with a toothpick on your biggest cookie until you know the timing for your oven.


Cool on a rack.  Note:  Cooling not required, yummy when hot!

Yield:  depends on the size of your cookies.  I made 4 dozen nice sized cookies, not the “itty bitty” kind.  Yummmmm!

Note:  the wonderful new mixing bowl is the smaller of a set of two I got at the annual YW garage sale two weeks ago.  I have wanted some heavy mixing bowls, but the price was more than I am willing to spend.  These were priced just right!  First time I’ve used it, and oh, so nice to work with.


A beautiful Saturday…

Today, rain falls from the sky, and the temperature will never make 60 degrees.  But yesterday…that was another story.

What more could I ask for than…


(Looking southwest from my driveway…)



The bedroom had a heavenly fragrance last night.

I decided to make homemade yogurt.  A friend taught us how to do this at Relief Society earlier this month.  I tried last week, made a huge mess, but the result was okay.  Today, was much better.  Takes time, but really easy, and so much better than anything I have ever bought.



1/2 gallon milk (whole, 2%, 1%, non-fat, your choice.  I used 1% both times)

Sweetener (if desired – I don’t use any, just add fruit and a dash of cinnamon when I eat it.)

6 oz plain yogurt, at room temperature when you use it (any kind, use as a starter.  You can use your own yogurt as the start for the next batch.)

Clean glass jars with lids (I used 4 pint jars and 1 – 1 cup jar)

Small cooler (see picture)

Candy thermometer


Muslin (see picture)


1.  Heat milk to 180 to 185 degrees

2. Cool milk to 105 – 115 degrees (I pour mine into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and check temperature as it cools.  Mine took 1 hour in the refrigerator to reach proper temperature.)

3.  Gently whisk in starter, add sweeteners, if desired

4.  Pour into clean jars.

5. Place in cooler and fill cooler with hot tap water (hottest from the tap, I put the water to the bottom of the rings on the jars.  I put something under the shorter jar so it is the same height as the pint jars.)  Put on lid and leave it for at least 4 hours.


6.  Let sit until yogurt is set, 4 – 6 hours.  Mine was set at 6 hours.

7.  Line colander with clean (no fabric softener) muslin, place in bowl, allow whey to drain off until yogurt is the thickness you want.  I let mine drain for about 90 minutes.  The longer it drains, the thicker the yogurt.  Strain longer to make a cream-cheese like spread.  I haven’t tried this yet.  Picture:  colander ready for the yogurt from the jars.


8.  Spoon into container, whisk gently until smooth.  This will stay smooth and will not separate.  Flavor as desired.


Already had two servings…I like it on cereal with fruit and cinnamon.

Saturday…a wonderful day.  The memories will keep me going through the rainy week ahead.

Creating special things…

The past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to “create” in several ways.

The first “creation” was a tote bag with a smaller “tape measure snap closure” bag, a kleenex holder, and a fold-up shopping bag from fun zebra print and black/white polka dots.  This will be packaged up this afternoon and mailed to Marsha, my daughter-in-law’s mother and a friend since the wedding.  I am excited – it turned out the way I hoped it would!  We saw one similar to this while on our cruise together in December.  Marsha loved the bag and I am so happy I was able to make one like it for her.


Next, I was able to create memories and fun with two of my grandsons during the Presidents’ Day school holiday.  Here are some of our memories and other special things:


Cinnamon roll waffles – the left-overs (that “disappeared” in the next couple of hours)

Directions:  Purchase ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.  Separate package of 8 rolls into groups of two rolls each.  Unroll one roll and wrap around the other one, making a “giant” roll.  Smash (RDG’s description) between two pieces of wax paper.  Place in waffle iron.  Frost and eat!  Yummy!  (

Waffles in the picture were smashed individually, rather than making the “preferred for breakfast” waffles.  This was the way they wanted to make the “leftovers.”

IThey did have fruit and milk to go with this…a little bit of healthy with the waffles.)


Our “igneous rock” – melted crayons


ACG and the puzzle we put together – this is 500 pieces, and took us two visits to complete.  We also did three 100 piece Planet Earth puzzles.  We have other puzzles just waiting for our attention.  We love the challenge.


We played “science.”  This visit was dedicated to rocks and minerals.  The boys chose quartz crystals for their observations.  RDG especially liked using a flashlight to observe the transparency of his amethyst quartz crystal, while ADG loved using the copper scratch strip to test hardness.

We also made popcorn, using a stove-top popper with a handle that you turn to keep the popcorn from burning.  My children would remember this, and the grandsons loved it! 

My next creations will be using a technique I found on Pinterest that makes EASY mitered corners for baby blankets and other things…more to be posted in the next week or two about that, with pictures.  The boys want to make quilts for their beds, similar to the one they made for their parents for Christmas, so we have to schedule a trip to get supplies for them one of these days….

Good eats…

With all the snow and ice, soup and rolls sounded a great dinner.  I had homemade vegetable beef and barley soup in the fridge, so I decided to try using my nine grain cereal mix in a roll.  After searching the web for recipes, I found one to try.  The dough, made as listed, was a bit stiffer than I would like, so when I make them again, I’m going to use more liquid.  Here is the recipe as I made it:

Mix together:

5/8 c. nine grain cereal mix (or whatever mix you have)

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

2 T. butter

Pour in 1 1/8 c. boiling water, stir, let sit until 110 degrees.  (This seemed a bit “dry” when it sat, but I wanted to try the recipe “as is.”)

Mix 1 pkg yeast, 2 T. honey, with 1/4 c. warm water (as listed on yeast package)

Add yeast to cooled grains.

Use white flour as needed to make dough the right texture.  Knead for several minutes until elastic.  Let rise, form rolls or loaf of bread, let rise again, bake 375 degrees.  My rolls needed about 14 minutes to be just right in my oven.

I rolled out the dough, cut circles, dipped them in butter, and folded them in half.  Traditional roll shape in my family.

Next time:  more water for the grain to “soak up”.  Let the rolls rise a little longer before baking.  Eat and enjoy!

Thinking about food…

I’ve been thinking about the recipes I got from Katherine during our recent Kansas visit.  We ate so well, yummy food.  I only cooked one thing while we were there.  I made a peach soda pop cobbler for Rob.  He asked for some other recipes, so…today, I’m thinking about food.  Enjoy!

Fruit Crisp:   (8 x 8 inch pan, double for 9 x 13 inch pan)

Mix together with a fork (or clean fingers!):

3/4 c. sugar (I like to use brown, although white or a mix will work)

1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. oatmeal

1/4 c. butter (not melted)

3/4 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp nutmeg


*For unthickened fruit, such as canned peaches, add 2 T tapioca/quart fruit, sugar and spice to taste  (Rob got the “lite” peaches for the cobbler I made, and it was plenty sweet.), let tapioca soak in the juice 15 – 30 minutes before topping and baking.

*You can cook the fruit (I do this with fresh berries and rhubarb) and thicken with tapioca while cooking.  Be sure to add sugar to taste, as well as desired spices.  Cook the fruit just before baking the crisp, or make it the day before, refrigerate, and then you are ready to go.  I did this for a soda-pop cobbler at the ward campout with rhubarb and strawberries.  (Recipe to follow)

*Apple crisp:  Find your favorite apple pie recipe, prepare fruit as for the pie, put in the pan and top as above.

Bake 30 – 45 minutes, 350 degrees, until bubbly.  Tastes great hot with ice cream, great as left-overs!


Rhubarb/Strawberry Pudding   (for 8 x 8 inch crisp, or as desired)

2 1/2 c. rhubarb, cut in 1 inch pieces

1 lb strawberries, cut in pieces – don’t add yet

2 1/2 c. water

1 1/2 c. sugar (I usually use less, add some, taste, add as you like)

1/4 c. tapioca

dash salt

Cook all but strawberrries until rhubarb is tender, smash the rhubarb.  Add strawberries, red food coloring (optional, if you want the filling a brighter red), cook for 1 -2 minutes.  Serve warm alone, on vanilla ice cream, or make into cobbler or crisp.  Yummy


Banana Bread – one loaf

1. Mix 1 egg and 4 T oil or melted butter, set aside

2. Mix dry ingredients below together, being sure the soda is mashed up and mixed in.  Sifting is a good way to do this, but you can stir it well with a spoon.  Set aside.

2/3 – 3/4 c. sugar

1 tsp baking soda

2 c. flour ( I use 1 c. wheat flour and 1 c. white)

dash salt

nutmeg and/or cinnamon if desired

3. Mash 4 bananas (Yes, I know.  This is more bananas than other recipes call for.  But you want moist, yummy bread, and this is the best recipe I have ever found.)

4. Nuts are optional.  I don’t like walnuts, so I don’t add them.

Add bananas and egg/oil mixture to flour mixture.  Mix well.  Bake in greased pan, 350 degrees, about 1 hour.  I start checking it at about 50 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf will come out clean when done.  Sometimes, I make smaller loaves, and adjust cooking time as needed.  Remove from pan and cool on a rack.


In case you are wondering…. Soda-pop Cobbler

Prepare fruit as above.  Pie filling recipes are a good source of ideas and directions.  Prepare enough for a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Put fruit in pan.  Pour one cake mix (vanilla, yellow, your choice) on top of fruit.  Don’t prepare the mix, just pour the dry mix on the fruit.  Pour 12 oz (1 can) lemon lime soda on top of the cake mix, stir it around on the cake mix, no need to mix well.   Bake 350 degrees until bubbly and brown.  This is a Young Women’s Camp recipe, and works well in both Dutch ovens or the “in your home kitchen” kind.


If you don’t have tapioca, you can thicken the fruit juice with cornstarch.  Put juice in pan, removing about 1/2 c. Bring juice to a boil.  Mix the 1/2 c. juice with 1 – 1 1/2  T. cornstarch for each cup of juice (I just guess at it – sorry.  I like to cook like that.)  Add the juice/cornstarch mixture to the boiling juice, stir.  The juice will thicken quickly, add to fruit, and make your dessert.


Happy cooking!