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

Raspberry Brownies


I love reading cookbooks--cheap entertainment, and I get serious inspiration.  The other day I was perusing this beautiful cookbook, Southern Scrumptious, How to Cater Your Own Party, by Betty Sims. Betty was the proprietor of Johnston Street Cafe' in Decatur, Alabama for years.  Back in the late 1980's, when I lived in Decatur, my sister-in-law, Lynn, and I would occasionally stop in the quaint little cafe' for their tempting sandwiches and specialties.  All of their fare was truly scrumptious.  And so is every recipe I've ever made from this delightful cookbook.


Have I ever told you that I love chocolate?  No?  I thought for sure I had.  Well, my eyes landed on this recipe for raspberry brownies, and there was no turning back.   I did not pass "Go", I did not collect two-hundred dollars...I went straight to the kitchen.

I couldn't trust my own judgment completely, since I have never met a brownie I didn't like.  Therefore, Brad was willing to be my official taste tester, and to quote the expert, these are "Decadent, blissful, super moist.... I can't stop cutting little bites out of the pan."  Pretty much a party in your what he's sayin.'

The original recipe makes a massive pan of brownies.  I cut it in half and it still made twenty-four big, thick brownies.  Next time I'll probably cut it down again by half.  Below is the size of the recipe I made.  Be sure to cut these with a plastic knife!  My mother-in-law sent me that handy tip recently and it really works!  The brownies will cut out very nicely.  Try a batch yourself and let me know what you think! 








Raspberry Brownies
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup raspberry preserves
  • Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
Combine chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted.  combine sugar and eggs in a bowl and mix well.  Stir in chocolate mixture, flour and salt.  Add pecans and mix well.  Spoon into an 11"X 7"  (or 9"X 9") baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Spread with raspberry preserves.  Let stand until cool.  Spread with Chocolate Glaze.  Cut into 24 squares.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half
Melt chocolate in a small saucepan.  Add the cream and whisk until smooth.



Baby, It's Cold Outside!

IMG_9195's cold outside.

Sure glad I'm inside by the fire.


So, whatcha doin' today?

I have a lot I could do, but I think I'll just take a nap.....



Yummy Mexican Stuff


Here is a really yummy Mexican casserole I dreamed up recently.  It all started when I found these rolls of taco-seasoned ground turkey in the freezer case at Wal-Mart for $1 apiece.  I had planned to use them in tacos or burritos, but that never happened.  What did happen was this delicious combination of meat, salsa, corn, cottage cheese, sour cream, and cheddar cheese topped with a cornbread crust.  And believe it or not, this tastes even better as left overs the next day. 

My family says this is good.


My family says this is great!


My family says "This is the MONEY!"

For real.  This is amazing.  You gotta try it.


Start by browning the two pounds of ground turkey and drain well. Obviously, you could use ground beef and just add some taco seasoning.  But we really like the flavor and soft texture of this ground turkey.  And it's cheap!   I don't know about where you are, but around here, ground beef runs almost three times more per pound.  So I'm sticking with this turkey for as long as I can find it.


Next add corn, salsa, sour cream, and cottage cheese.  Believe me when I tell you that the amounts are strictly up to you.  I use about a half a cup of everything but the sour cream.  For that, I use 1/4 cup.


Now, sprinkle this with about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  More or less.  More is good. 


Finally, mix up my cornbread recipe and spread if over the top to the edges of the casserole.  Do yourself a favor and try my cornbread recipe.  You won't be sorry.  I've tried boxes before and mine is way better.  Just saying.

OK, for those of you who want exact amounts, here you go.  And the cornbread recipe follows as well.  Obviously, you could halve this.  But then you'll need to halve the cornbread recipe or it will be WAY too much.  And it gets to be difficult halving an egg, you know?  Seriously, if you have a little family of dainty eaters, by all means, halve the recipe.  And you could just bake the other half of the cornbread in a separate pan or iron skillet, freeze it, and eat it later.  Whatever blows your skirt up.

Laura Lee's Yummy Mexican Stuff

2 lbs taco-seasoned ground turkey, browned and drained
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup corn (frozen or canned,drained)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Layer all the above ingredients in a lightly greased (sprayed with Pam) 9X13" casserole dish.  (It doesn't really layer, so just smoosh it all around.)

Spread cornbread batter over top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown.

Cornbread Crust

1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cups flour

Place dry ingredients in a bowl.  Place liquid ingredients in another bowl and mix well; pour into dry ingredients and mix well.  Spread on top of casserole.


I was so hungry, I didn't take the time to get a great picture of the final product.  But you get the general idea. 

OK, I'm hungry now.


Like Cold Molasses in January


I feel like I've been moving in slow motion since the New Year.  The Christmas decorations are down, but not all put away.  The house looks a little less heavy--like it's undertaken a New Year's weight loss plan.  The lighter, less-cluttered space would normally prompt me to start some fresh projects.  It's just been so C~O~L~D here the past three weeks, all I want to do is just curl up on the couch, by the fire, under a warm quilt, with a cup of hot tea and a good read.  I feel about as sluggish as a bottle of cold molasses in January.

Not that there is anything wrong with relaxing a little after a busy holiday season.  We had lots of company, so there wasn't much time to be lazy.  I'm just making up for it now.

January is a good month for hand-quilting.  I started this quilt a few weeks ago, before the company started arriving.  It was super simple to cut out the five inch, mostly flowery squares from my stash and piece them together in rows.  When I started, I had no idea if I would machine or hand quilt it.  I wanted it to be the perfect cuddle quilt, and machine quilting is stiffer.  So I opted to hand quilt it, one quarter inch from all the seams.  Easy peasy.  Just time-consuming.  But, that's ok.  'Cause I have all winter!


So did you make New Year's Resolutions?  I never do, really.  However, the girls and I have "resolved" to take an afternoon walk each day that the weather is above 40 degrees and it's not raining.  And I've started B90X, reading the Bible through in 90 days.  It sounds like some heroic feat, but really, it's very doable.  So far, I've been able to do the daily readings in just under an hour.  I'm really looking forward to moving along at a fast clip, because I've never read the Bible through in one grand sweep.

What else...

I've made lots of soup so far this winter.  I'll post one of those recipes soon.  Oh!  And I baked the BEST bread the other day.  My sister-in-law, Beth, shared this recipe for Orange Oat Cranberry Bread.  Oh my goodness!  Baking this made the kitchen whole downstairs smell heavenly.  (There were more cranberries than this picture shows. )  This one is going straight to the inside of the cupboard door, where I tape my favorite recipes so I can see them at a glance.

Give this one a try!


Orange Oat Cranberry Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, oil, and egg.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Bake in on 9X5 inch loaf pan, or two smaller loaf pans for 50-60 minutes.  Cool in pan.  Remove from pan to rack to continue cooling.  (Bake for shorter time is using two smaller pans.)