Monday, July 29, 2019

Perfect Potato Salad

My mom has a really good German potato salad that I love that uses Italian Dressing. My MIL's potato salad is a family favorite too. It's mayo based. Of course, I never met a potato I didn't like and when this recipe popped up in my Pinterest page, I thought I'd give it a shot.

One note: the original recipe calls for Famous Dave's Signature Spicy Pickle Relish. It's not available here so I just used a regular dill pickle relish. Jen has a great post with lots of tips for making this Kicked Up Potato Salad. I've added her link below. As always, I'm just posting it here so that it'll be handy for my friends and family. I can always put my finger on it if I've posted about it. 😉

Carlsbad Cravings Potato Salad

3 lbs Yukon gold or white potatoes
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 C dill pickle relish
6 green onions, diced
1 C chopped celery
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream
1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp mustard
1 Tbsp Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper

*Cook potatoes, adding salt when water comes to a boil. Do not overcook. Refrigerate overnight or until cool. Peel and cube. Mix all dressing ingredients in same bowl you will add your potatoes.Stir in relish, green onions, celery and eggs. Chill overnight. Stir in bacon. Add additional salt and pepper.

Potato Salad isn't DH's favorite, but he really liked this and I found him digging into it more than a few times. That makes it a keeper and earns it a spot in my favorite recipes book.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Here a Goose, There a Goose...


Everywhere a goose, goose...


I've been collecting blues for a quilt for our boy for some time. Finding them has been a challenge, but I think I finally have a good selection. I have a large bin of blues, but most of them are tone on tone and I'll incorporate some of those, but I felt like the quilt was going to need some more lively geese.

And then I hemmed and hawed over a background fabric. I knew I didn't want white, but gray was definitely a possibility. It just had to be the right gray. Sigh. I had a couple of yards of this and I finally settled on it:

It's a Robert Kaufman, Architexture. Then I waited for inspiration to strike. Finally, it did, in the form of this:

There's no pattern and I contacted the blogger, but as of yet, I haven't received a reply. So my handy, dandy graph paper and I started sketching things out. Then I put rotary cutter to fabric and stitched up some blocks. I love the movement in this quilt and I hope the background I chose will not be too stark, yet showcase the fabrics.


And then things went awry. Flying geese quilts began to pop up on my radar and I found myself changing directions. Second guessing myself. Playing with other options. Digging through more ideas. Making more geese. This is so silly. So geese construction continues and who knows where they're going to land.

And no, the birds in the above photo are not geese. Humor me. 😉 But I did take it.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Arkansas Possum Pie

Yum. YUM. And double yum!

This is a new recipe I tried out on the crew last week and when the bowls came back, they looked as if they had been licked clean. The boys are well mannered so I doubt they did, but those bowls were pretty darn clean. I think that's a sign that they'd like for me to keep this pie in my menu rotation. "Darn! That's GOOD pie" also seals the deal.

 Confession: In all my years as a ranch wife, I have never made a chocolate pie. I am hanging my head in shame, but I still see those of you who are shaking your fingers at me. Put those fingers away. chocolate pie: aka: Arkansas Possum Pie, has now been added to my recipe collection.


And yes, it was the name that first caught my attention and although this is a chocolate pie, this is no ordinary chocolate pie. Haven't a clue as to where the recipe originated, but from what I have been able to deduce, it is served in many establishments in Arkansas. I found it at here at

                                                                    House of Nash Eats

 I've seen recipes for Chocolate Lush and 4 layer desserts, but Amy's is different.

Yes, you will mess up a lot of bowls. Yes, you will question making the crust, and the pudding, and the whipped topping from scratch. Yes, you could use a prepared crust, a boxed pudding mix, and cool whip, but then you would miss out. The messy bowls and extra effort is worth it. Mess up those bowls. Cook that pudding. Whip the topping. I have to wash everything my hand because I don't have a dishwasher, but that won't stop me from making this pie again...and again...and again.


1 C flour
1/2 C butter
1/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C finely chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Layer
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream

Pudding Layer
1 C sugar
1/3 C cocoa
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp flour
Pinch of Salt
3 egg yolks
2 C whole milk
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Whipped Cream Topping
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp toffee bits
grated chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in small bowl. Add flour, brown sugar, and pecans - mixing well with a fork. Press into deep dish pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes - just until crust begins to brown around the edges. Let cool.

Cream Cheese Layer:
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and heavy cream in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Spread over bottom of cooled crust.

Chocolate Layer:
In a saucepan, add sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, flour and salt - whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and milk and whisk well. Add to mixture in saucepan - whisking to combine. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until pudding begins to thicken and bubble. (About 7-10 minutes). I let it get pretty thick because I didn't want to risk a runny pie. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla, stirring just until the butter is melted and combined. Pour the chocolate pudding into a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap - placing it on the surface of the pudding to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to cool down. When filling has cooled, remove plastic wrap and stir - spread over cream cheese layer. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to set.

Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until whipped cream becomes thick and stiff peaks form. Spread over top of pie. Sprinkle with toffee bits, and chocolate shavings and dig in!   

The only changes I made to the original recipe was to change out toffee bits for pecans on top - it just sounded good. And for the shaved chocolate - all I had was chocolate chips so I just ran 5 or 6 over my microplane.

No possums were harmed in the making of this pie. 😉

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rise and Shine

I'm rising, but the shining is a struggle. 😊1.5 days down. 2.5 to go. Last night I told DH that we hadn't even begun and I was already tired. His reply? "Remember when this used to be fun?" LOL. Our perception has changed with age. Even though I know that alarm is going to go off at 2:30, it is a rude awakening when it does:

Crazy hours. After breakfast, I rinsed off the dishes right quick and set them in soapy water before heading out to haul the boys to the east side. I was gone for almost an hour and a half and it was too dark to take pictures until I turned back in to headquarters:

I probably shouldn't try to buy $300 worth of groceries after work, but ya'll know how much I avoid trips to town and I was loath to give up my Sunday for groceries, so groceries after work it was.

Biscuits, gravy, eggs, sausage, jams and honey and fruit were yesterday's breakfast offerings. Taco Lasagna, corn, taquitos, salsa, and salad with peach cobbler and ice cream for dinner and dessert.

I'm trying a new dessert today. Arkansas Possum Pie and yes, it was the name that caught my attention and made me want to try it. I'll be back in a few days with the review from the crew:

I'm headed back into the kitchen to mix up a batch of cookies. We've got fellas coming out this afternoon to meet with DH and cookies are always an easy, portable treat with a glass of tea.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

What I've Been Up To

I didn't intend to take a blog sabbatical. It's been HOT here. We logged in 112° last week and it's been over 100 day after day. You would think that would translate into more computer or sewing time, but that has not been the case. I figured I'd pop in and let ya'll know what I've been up to. We are giving thanks for rain - 1.7" here at the house. 4.3" on the east side.

Before the 4th, I did manage to piece this little top:

Our girl came home over the 4th and that's always a treat for her old folks.

DH fired up the smoker:

And we enjoyed catching up.We didn't really get her for an entire week though, as we had to share her. She headed to my in-laws' on Friday to attend the ranch rodeo with her grandpa and then headed south to spend some time with her brother and some friends before migrating back home on Sunday. But Skeet was reunited with his hound dog compadres for the week and they plumb wore each other out

They would disappear for hours and return looking like this:

DH shot a couple of pistol matches and when you live where we do, that means it's a 2 hour trip -or more- one way:

I've done some sprucing up outdoors under the watchful eye of a member of the kitty brigade:

And spent lots of time doing this:

The spring winds blew in so much dirt into the yard that it killed all of my grass, but it allowed these lovely green weeds to thrive. 😏 We're branding the Corrientes this week so after work at the Sale Barn on Monday, I'll be hitting the grocery store and then cooking for a crew for 4 days. That means I am in list making mode today. So if I'm needed this week, you can find me in the kitchen and I'll do my best to check in now and then.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake

I'm sharing another recipe today for this old-fashioned brown sugar cake. I fixed this a few weeks ago for the crew and everyone loved it so that makes it blog-worthy. It reminds me a little of my Cajun Cake I've made for years, but I'm adding this to my permanent cookbook of favorite recipes too because it's different and we love it. This is a King Arthur Flour recipe and I have yet to be steered wrong with one of their recipes. You can click the link above to print the recipe from their site.

Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake

1/2 C butter
2 C brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 C buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 C flour

6 Tbsp melted butter
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 C chopped pecans

*Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9 x 13" baking dish. Beat butter and brown sugar together until well combined. Beat in eggs. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Add baking soda, salt, and flour into wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour batter into pan and bake for 40 minutes. Prepare topping towards the end of baking time. Stir butter and sugar together. Add milk, pecans, and salt. The topping will be thick, but spreadable. Cover warm cake with topping and return cake to oven for another 10 minutes. Topping will look very runny when removed from oven, but it will set up after a few hours.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Under the Needle: June

Sheesh! How in tarnation can it already be the first week of July?! Seems like every time I turn around, I'm gearing up for another Under the Needle post. I've gotten pretty good at sneaking into my sewing room and pressing or piecing or cutting or pulling something for one project or another when I get the chance.

Before I dive into my post, I wanted to drop a note for one of my readers, Violet - I wanted to reply to your very kind comment on my last post, but I have no way to contact you. If you'll drop me an email or leave me your e-mail address, I'll get back to you. :)

This month I made 150 flying geese for a quilt for our boy:

I pieced this quilt using a jelly roll I bought a few years ago:

And I made 40 pinwheels for another quilt using charm squares of Bluebirds and Roses that I have:

We went to the mountains and spent Father's Day with my FIL. DH shod his Dad's horses and they rode through mountains:

I visited with my MIL and added some stitches to my EPP project.

This quilt would get done a lot faster if I lived here because I want to spend hours on their deck, soaking in the cool mountain air. I would start every morning out here:


This is the perfect binding spot:

And my finish this month is this little Spring Splash Paisley Quilt:


And a second bonus finish is this Monkey Business Quilt:

And that's a wrap for June. 😊
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