Thursday, January 30, 2020

Turkey Pot Pie from Leftovers!

Oh mah stahs, I can't get ovah the commersheeyul Cate posted yestahday, straight from Boston!


Oh I will smile all through the Super Bowl, thinking of this commercial, although I did see a really funny Bud Light Seltzer commercial on Twitter, too.... so we'll see.

Anyway, it's been a busy week here on the farm, unusual for mid-winter, but just how it rolls sometimes, so while I did a turkey breast for Sunday (like a real, proper Sunday dinner!), it gave me awesome Monday leftovers.... which I turned into a mashed potato-topped pot pie.

And it was easy and delicious and I served the leftover stuffing on the side.

Stovetop, by the way..... I got a box of 8 Turkey and 8 Chicken in November.

So here's the easy peasy:

Heat the leftover gravy or use a large jar of gravy and pour it into a 13 x 9 pan.

Thin gravy with about 1/2 water (so if two cups of gravy, one cup of water)

Add 1/2 10 oz bag (or the whole thing) of mixed vegetables.

Add about two cups of cut/chopped leftover turkey or chicken

Pop into oven....

Once hot you can top it with leftover stuffing or potatoes. I used potatoes and then kind of wished I'd used the stuffing because the bottom of the potatoes got soggy.... the stuffing holds its own.

And here was the final look:

See what I mean? The spuds kind of sank.... mushed.... now it tasted great and the family loved it, but if I'd reversed the order and used the stuffing on top, it would have been better.

But there is something about such a wholesom, old-fashioned dinner, total comfort food.  And here are some fun pics of our Make a Gingerbread House Day... Oh my stars, we are not artists, but we had so much fun!!!!

Goofy kids....
 Moms pressed into service, well out of their comfort zone!!!

 Boys having fun in a quiet nook...

 Watching Beth/Mom assemble the houses....

Miss MacKenzie home in time from gymnastics to do a couple of houses!

 And a train!!!!!!

It ended up being a really fun family project... and that's the beauty of it!

Until next week.... post-Super Bowl where I'm cheering for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, so all youse Midwesterners will be cheering with me, I expect!

Bestselling novelist Ruth Logan Herne is tucked into her very old farmhouse (with heat, this year!) and she's excited about the heat and about all the fun projects she's brought into 2020... and she loves talking to readers, so she'd love to have you follow her on facebook, visit her website and/or email her at She's a pretty regular joe, so don't be shy... All are welcome!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Super Bowl 2020

I read a comment somewhere yesterday that for the first time in many years, New England wasn't going to be at the SuperBowl - except in an ad.

So in my husband's honor, here's the ad.

Last year, I felt duty-bound to watch and cheer on his Patriots. This year, I will likely be writing rather than watching.

But there are still snacks!

I never made SuperBowl snacks because he could never eat while he was watching - too many nerves.

But I found this site with 100 Supper Bowl snacks.

What are some of your Super Bowl snacks??

Will you be watching?

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Revisiting a Simple Dessert

Since I've got nothing new to share with y'all today, I went back into the archives and found not only adorable newborn baby pictures, but a yummy classic dessert--Cherry Yum Yum. Let's have a look.

Mindy here, fresh off the heels of ten-day visit with our brand new granddaughter, where I, hopefully, helped her and her mama adjust to their new life together. 
If you've ever had children, you, no doubt, remember those first days at home with your newborn. The joy of getting to know one another, adjusting to each other's schedules... Not to mention the sleepless nights. Fortunately, Grammy's an early riser, so she took advantage of some sweet time the baby while Mom got some much-needed rest.
But before I left, we took time to celebrate my SIL's birthday and one of his favorite things is Cherry Yum Yum.
Personally, I think that's a rather strange name for a dessert, but I wanted to make the boy happy.

Actually, this recipe has been given a few other names over the years. It's been around for a while and is so easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill.
To make it, you will need:
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs, divided
  • 2 packets Dream Whip (Yes, they still make that stuff!)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cans cherry pie filing
Mix melted margarine and 2 1/2 cups graham crackers together and press into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
Beat Dream Whip and milk until soft peaks form.

In a separate bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar.
Add cream cheese mixture to Dream Whip.
And mix until smooth and creamy.
Spread over the graham cracker crust.
Top with pie filling and remaining graham cracker crumbs and put in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
Tried and true. Simple and delicious. 
The SIL was one happy camper. However, I think the creamy filling might have tasted even better with a SECOND 8 oz. brick of cream cheese added. I'll have to try that next time.

On my drive back home, I couldn't help noticing how winter had settled over the Texas landscape.
And while there's no pretty snow to look at, the land is at rest. That time between harvest and new growth. Think about that. Don't we all need some time like that?

I have to say, after all the chaos of 2017 and the frantic rush to get into the big house before the holidays, it was nice to have some time away. A time to be still and stare into the face of one so pure and completely innocent.
Unspoiled by the world.
Life in its purest form.

Goodness, a yummy dessert and an adorable baby. I don't know about you, but that just about makes my day.

So what's going on in your world these days?

Three time Carol Award finalist Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more a

Monday, January 27, 2020

Things I Used to Do: Smocking

by Jan Drexler

Happy Monday morning, everyone! Can you believe we're starting the last week of January? And *poof* just like that one twelfth of the year is gone!

About five and a half years ago I shared a post here at the Cafe that I called, "Quilts, Pieces, and Memories." In that blog I wrote, "I wanted to call this post, "Among the Things I Used to Do." (Go here to read that post!)

I guess you could call this post the second in a series. :-) Because not only have I started working on the quilt I mentioned in that post again, I've also resurrected another favorite craft.

Long, long ago when we lived in Texas, one of my friends was a smocker. She offered to teach a couple of us, and I was in heaven! I was able to make two dresses for my daughter before we moved, and I enjoyed it so much.

When we moved, I lost my access to a smocking pleater. And with the birth of our third child just before that move and our fourth child a couple months after that move, I, well, ran out of time and energy.

But the pleater was the main thing. I tried to find someone who I could pay to pleat my fabric, but was never able to make the connection. Smocking became one of those "things I used to do."

Many years went by, then a few years ago my dear husband was able to find this pleater for me at a reasonable price (I love used items!) I was so excited to start smocking again, but I had book contracts, weddings, dogs...and too many excuses.

This year I made up my mind: If I wanted to do the things I enjoyed, I needed to make time for them. So out came the forgotten quilting project!

It's amazing how much you can get done in one hour a week!

Then a friend had a baby girl...and another friend had another baby girl...and I decided it was time to dust off my smocking skills. Keep in mind that it had been nearly thirty years since I had first learned to smock!

I got my pleater out, but was immediately lost. I couldn't even remember how to thread it! YouTube came to the rescue! (I love that place!)

I wrestled with my aging brain and memory, and dove in...

I learned how to move the needles in the pleater to pleat half rows - an indispensable skill when smocking baby outfits.

After a couple practice runs with scrap fabric, I pleated the material for my project.

I adjusted the pleats so that this skirt would fit into the yoke in my pattern and tied off the pleating threads. Then I was ready to start. Smocking is just a form of embroidery, with its own types of stitches. The smocking keeps the pleats in place after you remove the pleating threads.

Hmmm, I can see the mistakes, but I guess it isn't too bad for my first try after so long!

Once the smocking was done, I could start sewing the little sundress together.

And here it is, nearly done. I still need to sew the side seams. And I need to hurry! This dress is for little Ella, but little Ruthie's baby shower is next week and I haven't started her outfit yet!

But now that I've refreshed this skill in my memory, the next smocking project should be a little bit quicker.

After the smocking projects are done, and the quilt wall-hanging is finished, I'll resurrect another craft I used to do...

Needle-felting, anyone? This little guy was my first attempt about seven years ago. I'd love to make some of the cute items I've seen on Pinterest!

Do you have a list of "things I used to do?" Are there any that you would like to start doing again?

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her dear husband. They enjoy hiking in the Hills when the weather cooperates, and when it doesn't, they just drink in the beautiful view from their back porch. When Jan isn't giving life to the characters who live in her head, she enjoys all kinds of needlework. Find out about her books on her website,, and find her on Facebook:

Friday, January 24, 2020

Roasted Veggies and... a Natural Hand Treatment!

Missy Tippens

I wanted to share something today (and hope I haven't shared it already, because I've considered sharing it many times): A build-in natural hand treatment that goes along with roasting vegetables. :)

The other night we had Meatless Monday Tuesday. I chopped up asparagus. I also had pre-packaged cauliflower steaks. And I had bought a new type of mushrooms. I usually get portobellos. But this time I picked up a package of shiitakes.

I drizzled it all with olive oil, and then sprinkled on a good helping of seasoning salt.

Next comes the hand treatment! I toss the vegetables by hand to coat them well.


When I'm done tossing, I massage the oil and salt into my hands, being sure to also exfoliate the tops of them. A built-in conditioning scrub and treatment! When I'm done, I only rinse in warm water to dissolve the salt. I don't use soap, which would remove all the good oil. Then I just pat them dry with a paper towel and leave the rest of the moisture to soak in.

Voila! A free spa treatment. :)

Oh, and you end up with some delicious veggies for dinner! Add in some Bob Evans mashed potatoes and fresh cherries, and you've got a hearty meal.

You'll have to let me know if you try the hand treatment!

Thursday, January 23, 2020


This is such a wonderful one-pot dish and it's now a new favorite around here.

This recipe is easy and I've used various sausages and it came out great... and I've done it without shrimp and it came out great, but I love that Southern one pot of great stuff tradition so that's what I'm going with here.

I saw a Zatarains commercial.

That's what got me started.

It looked so good, which only shows you the power of advertising because now I'm making Jambalaya and loving it.  And this happened last Thursday.... Farmer Dave hit a big deer on our road and it spelled the END of my 2012 Chevy Cruze....

Rosie the car being taken away.....

It was a good car.

But neither the deer, nor the car came out well after that encounter.

But Dave wasn't hurt, and that's always the part that matters. Everything else is replaceable. Not people!

I started with a basic online recipe and tweaked with what I had on hand.

2 tablespoons olive oil (any oil works, and coconut oil works well, too)

1 large chicken breast, cleaned and chopped
1/2 pound sausage (Andouille, Polish, Italian, Summer sausage, Salami) chopped
3 or 4 large shrimp per person
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1 large or 2 slim stalks celery, chopped
1 rounded Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
2 cloves minced garlic or 1teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 16 oz. can peeled, chopped tomatoes (can use crushed, I like the chunks)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup uncooked white rice
2 1/4 cups Chicken broth (I used the 2.25 cups water mixed with Tone's Chicken Base)

In large frying pan or Dutch Oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Brown sausage gently. Lift away to side dish to hold. Repeat with chicken, sprinkled with Cajun seasoning.

Add other tablespoon of oil. Saute veggies until crisp-tender, not overdone.

Add can of tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper. You can add hot sauce, if desired. I'm kind of a baby when it comes to too much spice, so I go a little gentler than most.

Heat for about five minutes.

Add Chicken broth and rice, then heat to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for ten minutes. Add shrimp, cook for about ten minutes more.

 This week I did it again and I added frozen corn for a spot of sweet color... And it was still marvelous!

And then there's this, on shelves for one more week!!!!  At Walmart, Winn Dixie, Kroger, Harris Teeter, wherever mass market paperbacks are sold.... and it's such a lovely book. A story that touches hearts and souls, my friends.

 And here is a link to Amazon if that's easier.... LINK TO AMAZON

I love one pot meals and this one was a people pleaser, and easily one I'd make for a crowd for a main dish or a really fulfilling side dish.... Maybe for the big game day coming up?

Sending you snowy blessings from Western New York!

USA Today bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is holed up in WNY at this very moment, penning a mystery for Guideposts while she contemplates the fate of a brand new set of protagonists in a new small town! She loves making up stories and not getting into trouble for making up stories is Pure Bonus!!!! Email her at, visit her website or visit and friend her on facebook.... it's her fave social media!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Pineapple Chicken for the Win

Last weekend the wind was howling, the snow was blowing, and I didn't feel like eating soup.

I had leftover chicken, and in the process of FINALLY unpacking my kitchen after the renovation, I discovered a can of crushed pineapple.

I know you guys make fun of me for the things I mix together, but this one was a HIT!

First up - Jasmati rice. I love this one.

Next - The chicken was already cooked, so I shredded it.

I emptied the can of pineapple into a pan, added some freeze-dried garlic and simmered. After a few minutes, I added the shredded chicken and simmered some more.

And just like that, it was ready!

So easy!

So delicious!

So - almost tropical on a snowy day.

What do you think? If pizza can have ham and pineapple, why can't my rice get chicken and pineapple?

I decided the leftover chicken and pineapple would make a great slider on these rolls.

And to show more about our weird weather. It was freezing when I took this picture, but the blue sky looked like summer with its fluffy clouds.