Red Pepper Flake Seasoned Crackers {Jennifer's Recipe}

Red Pepper Flake Seasoned Crackers  are a sure way to  wow  your guest at any gathering.  I have been making these for years with oyster crackers, but in the last years, my daughter began to make them with saltine crackers, and her husband introduced the red pepper flakes. A perfect match to an already delicious cracker! When I take them somewhere, I have people so intrigued with these crackers.  They will take a bite and then ask, "how long do you bake them, and how much butter is in them?"  You almost want to keep them a secret....giggles.

Mince Cream Cheese Pie {aka Mincemeat Cheesecake Pie}

At Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are plenty of pies on the dessert table , but there is one that stands out to me, my Mincemeat Cheesecake Pie .  The traditional Mincemeat Pie is made with a double crust and filled with a homemade mincemeat. For years, I made a more traditional one with a boxed mincemeat that had to be softened in water, somewhat how you would plump up raisins in a recipe. In 1976, I came across this recipe for Mince Cream Cheese Pie in my Betty Crocker Cookbook and have been making it this way ever since for the Holidays.  This summer, I made another adaptation to this recipe using apples, Apple Cheesecake Pie . This cookbook is full of standout recipes I have made over the years.  Don't you just treasure this kind of cookbooks! 

Linzer Christmas Cookies

Linzer Cookies are Austria's most famous dessert.  Traditionally the cookies are made with almond flour, and the cookies are sandwiched together with a layer of jelly or jam.  The top cookie is dusted with powered sugar and has a cutout so the jam, typically raspberry,  is visible making them very decadent. Linzer Christmas Cookies are an embellished version of the real thing.  I make mine from my favorite sugar cookie recipe, sandwich them with seedless jam, and embellish them with drizzled white chocolate and sprinkles of coarse sugar, which makes them irresistible.

Inspirations and Thoughts #3

Classic Christmas music from my younger days...hope you enjoy! Join the fun here !

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie {My New Favorite}

This pie recipe is a twist on an old favorite cookie recipe.  It reminds me of the Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe you mix up almost the same ingredients as the cookie--- flour, brown sugar, butter, egg, and semi-sweet chocolate chips, and pour it in an iron skillet and bake.

Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole {Granny's Recipe}

Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole , bubbly, cheesy, rich and so very good.  The perfect old fashioned side dish that graces our table every gathering. This Broccoli-Cheese Rice Casserole goes way back.  In the 70's, it was on every dinner table as the star side dish .

Crusty Italian Bread {C-r-a-z-y Easy To Make}

Crusty Italian Bread is an easy homemade bread recipe made with two main ingredients, flour and yeast.  The rest is salt and water.  It has the perfect crust, crunchy and slightly chewiness.  And the inside is dreamy soft, and delightful!  All you want in a loaf of crusty bread. Making a Crusty Italian Bread doesn't have to be as pain laboring as I thought.   As soon as I saw this recipe over at Food For A Hungry Soul , I knew it would be my go-to crusty bread recipe too.  There is no kneading; you just mix all the ingredients, let it rise for four hours, shape it into loaves, and bake.  How c-r-a-z-y easy is that?

Minestrone Soup {Olive Garden Copycat}

Oh wow!  It certainly is soup weather these days.  The nights have been in the 40s and the days warming up a little.  Soup and cold weather just go together. One of my favorite places to go with a dear friend of mine is Olive Garden to eat their Minestrone Soup .  We get their lunch special of endless soup, salad, and breadsticks because it easy to order, we know it is going to be delicious, and the salad and breadsticks are first on the table. Yum! We don't get to do this very often, but when we do, we just talk and talk and talk.You might say endless talking (giggles). This Minestrone Soup is the perfect soup to warm you up.  It is chock-full of vegetables and just enough pasta to make it filling.  The base of the soup is simple, with sauteing an onion and going from there.  You build on flavors by adding the broth and some of the vegetables.  I am not sure if Olive Garden does this or not, but this is an Italian soup, and by adding a big chunk of Parmesa

Healthyish Chicken and Rice {aka Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole}

Healthyish Chicken and Rice, rice, chicken breast, and chicken broth and a secret ingredient bring this casserole in the category of a healthy dish. The motivation to make this  Chicken and Rice dish came about when I wanted to make my traditional Chicken and Rice dish that I have always made for years.   As always, when you have your heart set on making something, and you go in the kitchen and look in the cabinet to grab the soup and the onion soup mix, and there is none to be found, your words are---Oh My This Can't Be!   I am a huge fan of chicken and rice and have been ever since my mother made this dish for my birthdays when I was in college.    So my expectations are high as to a substitute of any kind. I had the chicken and the rice, so what next?  Just imper-vise is what I say---take it to a new level.    So I created a new healthy but rich dish that consists of chicken, rice, chicken broth, vegetable broth, and the secret ingredient Knorr's Classic V

Inspirations and Thoughts #2

In the light of our days we have had in this last year, we appreciate the small things in life. We are so grateful for life!