What joy the gospel gives me. I can approach the throne of God with confidence, not because I've done a good job at my spiritual duties, but because I'm clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. ~ C.J. Mahaney

Snow Dudes

Last week, I dragged out all my cheery, Christmasy prints and fashioned this guy onto a pillow. I think he's pretty cool. (cough, cough...) My inspiration was a paper plate printed with a snow man similar to this one.

I do that. All the time. I look at something and think, "Hmmmm, how can I copy that into a quilt, or pillow, or something....?"

So, anyway, this guy just spoke to me. I have a thing for snowmen. (Not like an obsession or anything--just a strong "like.") They're just happy, jolly fellows. Always smiling. Full of personality. Maybe it's just my way of bringing a little snow here to South Carolina where we rarely see any. So, yeah, I have a few snow dudes that come out at Christmastime.

I think I'll show you a few more. Hang on.....

OK, these were a stitching project from last year. I made a bunch of these felt ornaments as gifts.

This snowman quilt is a Thimbleberries pattern. Totally makes my heart happy.

Found this guy at a thrift store for a buck. He's made from wool felt.

This I won at an ornament swap. And you better believe I "stole" from somebody to bring this guy home! Have you ever done that? Everyone does that around here. Freaked me out the first time I went to a party and they played that game. But now, I steal with the best of them. And look what it got me....

My mother stitched a pair of these tea towels when we lived in Japan. She gave them to me when we first got married. Look what you started, Mom!

Another thrift store find. This guy was 25 cents!!! He's an old, retro ornament probably from the 50's or 60's.

Our cookie jar. Mom won him in a contest and gave him to me. Thanks again, Mom.

And last, but not is "Willy Melt?" Alyssa won him by naming him in the contest last year on my blog. He was inspired by a gift box. No shortage of inspiration on those.

So there they are... my snow dudes on parade.

Let it snow...Let it snow...Let it snow!

Laura Lee

Roy's Rockin' Pecan Pie

Needing a southern pecan pie recipe yesterday, I contacted our friend Roy, a man of many culinary talents. Roy, a Southerner through and through, really knows his stuff when it comes to southern cooking. I knew I could count on him to come through with a great recipe, so I fired off a quick email. He wrote back saying he a had a perfect recipe and, even better, it didn't have Karo syrup! I'm not exactly sure what the big scare is about Karo syrup these days. I know, I know, it's high fructose corn syrup and it's in everything from fruit juice to ketchup to crackers. And for some reason, it is now to be avoided at all costs unless you want to die a sticky, slow death,

...or something like that.

"Fine, no Karo. I'm cool with that. But what I want to know is, will this provide THE Southern Pecan Pie Experience? Can it deliver? I have a girl here who is spending her last Thanksgiving at home with her family before she marries and moves two million miles away from me. And she has requested a true-blue, gen-u-ine Pea-Can Pie. This is serious business! I can NOT let her down."

At this point, Roy starts to get a little nervous. He begins to question whether his recipe is going to live up to the high expectations being placed on it. Will it be THAT good?? What if she is....disappointed?

Well, I'm happy to say that The Pie came through for us. It delivered. It hit the spot. It brought a big smile to my girl's face. It was perfect.

Yes, it was THAT good!

So, of course, now I have to share this recipe with all of you. I had faith that it was going to be a rockin' good recipe, so I even made photos while I was assembling it. You'll just have to try it out and see for yourselves.

Thanks, Roy. Your pie has earned a permanent spot on our Thanksgiving dessert buffet. And we're going to call it:

Roy's Rockin' Pecan Pie
(makes 2 pies)
1 Box (16 Ounces) Brown Sugar

1 Stick Butter

4 Eggs

2 Tablespoons Corn Meal

2 Tablespoons Water

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Flavouring

1 Pinch of salt

2 Cups crumbled pecans

2 unbaked deep dish pie shells

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Pour 1 cup of pecans in each pie shell
Mix all ingredients and pour over pecans
Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes

The chopped pecans go in first.

This is almost a Paula Dean....Lots-o-butter and brown sugar!

There's Roy's Rockin' Pie, down front, before my girl attacked it.

Well??....The suspense was killing us!

What more can we say??

Hope you all had a rockin' good Thanksgiving Day!

Laura Lee

Peanut Butter Pie

OK, I want to know who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter? I mean, be real! I believe it must be a combination created in heaven. No, I'm certain of it. And this simple dessert adds in a chocolate chip cookie crust to boot! So, it's about as close to peanut butter-chocolate-heaven as you can get.

Sharon sent me this recipe. A lot of my super awesome recipes have come from her. So do yourself a favor and trust me on this one. It is simply divine!

Peanut Butter Pie
  • 1 roll chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press cookie dough into bottom of spring form pan. Bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and water. This will be STIFF. Spread over cooled cookie crust.

Melt chocolate chips with butter. Spread over peanut butter. Cool in refrigerator.

Dinner's Ready When the Smoke Alarm Goes Off

Abby and I are in Morton, IL visiting Jonathan, her fiance'. On Saturday night we thought it would be fun to do a little cooking so we ventured out to Wal-Mart to purchase all the necessary ingredients for Blackened Chicken Pasta.

This is a recipe his mother put together for him modeled after a dish they had once at Steak and Ale. He assured us we would love this and he was right. This is really, really good! The Blackened seasoning is very spicy and he used a LOT of it. Cooking over a high flame, it was blackening all right, and also smoking up the whole apartment. But it was worth it. Try this one out!

Heat butter in the skillet and fry the seasoned chicken.

Sprinkle on a LOT of this.

You pretty much want to cover the chicken in this stuff.

Get the noodles started while the chicken is cooking.

Working on the sauce.

Cover the surface of the sauce with more seasoning...

Oh, that's starting to smell really good!

Garlic bread...most definitely.

Pop the bread under the broiler. (That chicken is starting
to really smoke now! Time to open the doors and windows!)

You look pretty comfortable in here, Abby.
Better get used to it!

Putting on the finishing touches. Your mama would be proud!

Welcome to J&A's Bistro. Lovin' that black china, Jonathan!
Very impressive!

Mrs. St. Clair's Blackened Chicken Pasta
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pint half and half (or just use three cups milk)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 stick butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Blackened or Cajun seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • 1 lb fettucine or linguini, cooked and drained
Sauce: Put milks, cornstarch, and 1/2 stick butter in saucepan. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and blackened spices to taste. (We decided it was at least 2 tsp of blackened seasoning in the sauce.)  Cook on medium heat until thickened.

Wash chicken and coat with blackened seasoning. Fry in butter in HOT pan until cooked through. Slice into thin strips. Serve pasta topped with chicken, pour, sauce on top. Serves 6 or 7.

Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs

This recipe is straight from the archives....ninth grade home ec. class, to be exact. It was 1976 and I was living in Japan at the time, stationed with my family at Yokota Air Force Base. We had a brand new classroom with well-equipped kitchens and the prettiest, nicest young teacher! Not only was she beautiful and sweet, but she married a very handsome fighter pilot that year, which I thought was totally cool and very romantic!

Anyway.... I LOVED that class. My best friend was in there with me and we had so much fun together. A few times a week our teacher showed us wonderful new recipes and I couldn't wait to get in there and try them! Several of them I still make today, including this one. (Debra, you still make these, too, don't you??)

This one was a Pillsbury Bake-Off contest winner. It involves crescent roll dough (seriously,what doesn't taste good with crescent roll dough, I want to know...?), marshmallows, butter, sugar and cinnamon. That's the way we made it anyway. I recently Googled the recipe and found it online. The original recipe uses a glaze and nuts on the puffs after they come out of the oven. Since I never made them this way, and they are just perfect without the glaze and nuts, I'm going to leave that part off. I mean, why mess around with perfection??

What is "magic" about them, you ask? Well, you roll the marshmallows in butter, sugar and cinnamon. Then you seal them in the crescent roll dough and place them into a greased muffin tin, drizzle with more butter, sprinkle with more cinnamon-sugar and bake. The marshmallow "disappears" and creates an ooey-gooey filling that just melts in your mouth. If you're making these with children, which I highly recommend, please DO NOT spoil the surprise. Let them discover what happens to the marshmallow! Children are so easily fascinated and will be very excited to see that it disappeared! I think this would be a great treat to make on Halloween, to teach the children that there is really no such thing as magic.

We were using jumbo crescent rolls and rather dinky marshmallows. Thus, we used two marshmallows for each roll. If you're using regular crescent rolls and normal-sized marshmallows you'll just want 8 of each.

Hope you have fun with this!

Laura Lee

Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs
  • 1 can crescent roll dough (8 rolls)
  • 8 marshmallows
  • 2-3 T melted butter
  • sugar mixed with cinnamon
Separate the crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Roll each marshmallow in the melted butter and then in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place at one end of the crescent roll and roll it all up, sealing the edges really well. Dip the top of the roll into the melted butter and place in greased muffin tin. (spray with Pam) Repeat for the other seven rolls. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon/sugar.

Bake at 375 degress until golden brown and puffy, about 10 minutes.

Butterscotch Brownies

Here is a simple and delicious recipe from Cotton Country Cooking, a classic cookbook from the Junior League of Morgan County, Alabama. Sharon gave me this cookbook 20 years ago and, as you can tell from the photo, it has seen its share of use. Thanks, girl. Its the gift that keeps on giving.

These soft, moist brownies whip up in a jiffy. Perfect if you want something without chocolate. Unlikely, I know. So, in my case, it's more like.... when you've eaten all the chocolate in the house and still want dessert.

Why don't you try a batch today???

Butterscotch Brownies
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • pinch salt
Place sugar and butter over low heat until melted. Remove and cool slightly. Add eggs and beat well. Add other ingredients and pour into lightly greased pan, 7X11 inches. Bake in 350 degree oven, about 30 minutes.

Hold on, sweetie. Let me cut them first!

Have a great weekend!

Laura Lee

A Girl, A Dog, and a Cookie

I just know my faithful blog readers are starved for yummy recipes, so I'm doing back-to-back food posts. Your taste buds will thank me, I'm sure.

You know you're dying for some more decadent cookie recipes. So Maggie and I decided to oblige today and whip up a batch of these delicious treats. This is a variation on an old favorite--the ubiquitous chocolate chip cookie. However, these are even better because they have oatmeal in them. So they are more substantial and are really chewy and good.

Back in 1987, a friend brought these to a cookie swap I attended. She called them "Dad's Favorite Oatmeal Cookies." We think you're gonna love them.

Time out to lick the beaters!

"Come on, Bella. Let's go play while we wait....."

"Why does it have to take sooooo long??"

"Yay!! They're ready, Bella!!!!!"

"Oh, good dog! Here's a bite for you!"

Dad's Favorite Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Stir oatmeal into creamed mixture. Sift flour, soda, and salt together. Add to mixture, stirring well. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 6 dozen cookies.

Enjoy a beautiful week! 

Laura Lee