Monday, December 28, 2009

Not forgotten

No, I haven't forgotten about my blog. I was traveling over the Christmas holiday and just returned this past weekend. As soon as I get back to my old routine, I will have more recipes for everyone.

Until then, here is a handy kitchen tip:

When a recipe calls for crumbled bacon, dice it before frying for more even cooking.

I hope everyone had a great holiday.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Q & A

Author Kenzie Michaels tagged me from her blog with the questions below. Please take a few minutes to go visit Kenzie's Place.

1. What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?

Love, Lies & Deceit was the last thing I wrote. The first thing I wrote that I still have is called CIA Man. It's a good story, but my writing was horrible.

2. Write poetry?

I don't even try.

3. Angsty poetry?


4. Favorite genre of writing?

Romantic suspense

5. Most annoying character you’ve ever created?

I love all the characters I have written.

6. Best plot you’ve ever created?

I really like the plot of the book I'm writing now. It's about an unsolved mystery of a missing family.

7. Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?

Same as above.

8. How often do you get writer’s block?

Not too often.

9. Write fan fiction?

Once, but not any more.

10. Do you type or write by hand?

Mostly, by hand.

11. Do you save everything you write?


12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?


13. What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

That would be my current project about the mystery of the missing family.

14. What’s everyone else’s favorite story that you’ve written?

I have no idea.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?


16. What’s your favorite setting for your characters?

Rural areas, small towns in the country.

17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?

I currently have three projects in the works, the missing family mystery, a murder mystery, and my pizza cookbook.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Yes, Love, Lies & Deceit won second place in the 2006 Wisconsin RWA Fabulous Five Contest.

19. What are your five favorite words?

Love, Life, Family, Faith, Peace

20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?

The heroine in my current project is a writer. I think it would be her.

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?


22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Not yet, but I have made notes about dreams I have had for future use.

23. Do you favor happy endings?


24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?


25. Does music help you write?

Believe it or not, I write better with the television on.

26. Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops into your head.

From my current project called, Saved by the Sheriff:

Just then, Annie walked back into the room. "Jaime, there's someone

I want you to meet. This is Benjamin Hunter. He's our county sheriff."

Behind her stood a tall, handsome man, not wearing a uniform, but instead dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt, a badge hung from his belt. He ran his fingers through his thick sandy brown hair that perfectly matched his brown eyes and neatly trimmed mustache.

"This is Jaime Wilson from New York City. She's going to write about the Murdock family disappearance for her magazine."

Hmmm...who's not been tagged yet? How about Marian.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My e-book Now Available

My e-book, Love, Lies & Deceit, a romantic suspense is now available for purchase at Red Rose Publishing. You can also learn more about the book at my website,

Thank you,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pasta Salad

I will be traveling for the next two days and have an office Christmas party on Wednesday when I return. I'm taking Pasta Salad for the lunch and know I will be way too tired to get up Wednesday morning to make it by noon. To help myself out a little, I am going to boil the pasta today and freeze it. Pasta freezes very well. Once it's completely cooked, I will let it cool and then put it into a zipper freezer bag. On Wednesday morning, I will put the frozen pasta, bag and all, into a warm bowl or pot of water to thaw. After it's completely thawed, all that's left is to mix up and add the additional ingredients and dressing. The best thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you want, or leave out whatever you want. I don't have measurements for this recipe because it's one of of those where you've made it so many times, you just do it. Basically, you just add the additional ingredients to taste.

Yesterday, I made myself a cup of Hills Brothers' Instance English Toffee Cappuccino. You could smell it all through the house and it was so good. I highly recommend it. I was gone when my husband got home from work, but the aroma was still in the air. He told me later he thought I had made some fudge and was searching all over the kitchen for it. So, today I will be making my peanut butter fudge for him.

Also on my To Do List for today is using the leftover roast from yesterday to make Beef and Noodles for supper tonight and I can't miss watching the Indianapolis Colts game today. Buttered popcorn is a must for the game. Enjoy your day and I hope you have your Christmas shopping finished. The mall was a mad house yesterday.

Go Colts.

Pasta Salad

1 - 12 oz box corkscrew pasta (also known as rotini), cooked
green pepper
bacon, fried and crumbled
black olives

Miracle Whip

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box and let cool. Chop the other ingredients into small pieces and add to the bowl of pasta. Mix well.

For the sauce, mix equal amounts of sugar and Miracle Whip. Add a little milk to make it creamy and pour onto the pasta and stir until well blended. Make sure you taste the dressing for the correct sweetness. Serve the pasta chilled.

This dressing is the same dressing I make for cole slaw.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

French Toast Casserole

I think this is a perfect breakfast for a cold Christmas morning. Of course, it can be made anytime, but it just sounds so Christmasy. This works really well for Christmas because you mix it together the night before and all you have to do in the morning is place it in the oven.

French Toast Casserole

1 - 10 oz loaf of French or Italian bread
8 eggs
3 C. milk
4 t. sugar
1 T. vanilla
2 T. butter
powdered sugar

Grease a 9x13" baking dish. Cut bread into 1-inch pieces and layer the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste and dot the top of the bread with butter. Beat the eggs with the milk, sugar, and vanilla and pour over the bread. Cover the dish with foil and place in refrigerator the night before.

When ready to bake, place in a 350° f oven for 45-50 minutes or until puffy and light brown. Sprinkle the dish with powdered sugar and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with warm maple syrup.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Love, Lies, & Deceit"

The above is the trailer for my e-book, Love, Lies & Deceit available December 17 from Red Rose Publishing.

It's freezing in my neck of the woods this morning, so grab yourself a cup of coffee or hot tea, sit back and enjoy the short trailer above.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peanut Butter Fudge

I spent years trying to make peanut butter fudge, or any fudge for that matter, and the result was that we usually had to eat it with a spoon. The times that I didn't have to eat it with a spoon, I had to dump it in the trash because it was burnt. I finally decided the problem was with my candy thermometer. I got a new thermometer, actually my mom gave me an extra one she had, and the texture problem was solved, then I had to deal with the burning. That was the problem with the cook (me).

When you make fudge, it is so important to stay right with it and stir. I have a habit of multi-tasking when in the kitchen. Honestly, who among us doesn't try to do two or three things at once when working in the kitchen? With fudge, it's best to keep your attention to the fudge.

I've tried several recipes for peanut butter fudge and have finally stuck with one that a former co-worker always made. It's easy and delicious. The story to go with this recipe can be found in my Masters & Disasters of Cooking cookbook (shameless plug, sorry). I'll be going grocery shopping tomorrow and will definitely be putting the ingredients on my list.

If you use a candy thermometer for your cooking, it is a good idea to check it to make sure it measures correctly. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil, clip the thermometer to the inside of the pot, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom but is in the water. When the water comes to a rolling boil, check the temperature. At sea level, water boils at 212° f. Also, if you want to check to see what temperatures to use when making candy, here is a web site that has the different temps listed.

Peanut Butter Fudge
3 C. granulated sugar
1 C. evaporated milk (I use Carnation)
1 stick margarine (can substitute real butter)
26 large marshmallows
1 C. creamy peanut butter

In a 2-quart pot on top of the stove, cook the first 3 ingredients to the softball stage, 235° - 240° f. Then, add the marshmallows and stir constantly. When the marshmallows have melted, stir in the peanut butter. After the peanut butter is mixed well, pour the batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan and let cool.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy the fudge,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Gift for my Readers

The authors of Red Rose Publishing have compiled a free cookbook, Kissin' Don't Last, Cookin' Does, as an appreciation gift to our readers. My new novel, "Love, Lies & Deceit" will be released from Red Rose Publishing on December 17 and I wanted to pass along this gift to all of you. The cookbook is in .PDF format and can be downloaded by clicking here. If it doesn't work, please email me at and let me know and I will make sure you get a copy.

Don't forget that Christmas is coming up and my own cookbook, Master's and Disasters of Cooking, makes a wonderful gift and is still available at and recently on

Again, remember that my novel will be released on December 17. For more information on any of my books, please visit my web site,

Have a great Thanksgiving, be careful traveling and don't eat too much.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thanksgiving Decorations

This is a busy weekend for me, so today I am cheating on here a little. I am going to refer all of you to another site that I found for Thanksgiving Decorations. If you put a little thought into your decorating ideas, it can be pretty inexpensive and easy to decoration for the holidays. For instance, I have a clear glass pumpkin shaped bowl with a lid. At Halloween, I take it to work and crumple up an orange sheet of paper (sometimes it takes 2 sheets) and put it inside. Viola, I have an orange pumpkin decorating my office. I can do the same thing at home for Thanksgiving. My favorite decoration is a ceramic turkey candy dish that I bought at a craft fair years ago. The top half of the turkey lifts off to get to the candy.

Now, for the referral to the other web site. I don't know the person who has this site, but it has pictures of the neatest Thanksgiving decorations on it. I have copied my favorite below. The site is DigsDigs. It's their "60 Cool Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas page.

I think the bowl above is just the coolest idea I've seen in a long time. If you already have some sort of clear glass bowl like this, you halfway there and small pumpkins and gourds are so inexpensive. I think I am going to get some today while I am out. Which reminds me, I am already running late to go buy a new tire for my car.

Okay, so it's not flat yet, but if I don't get a new one today, it will look like the one above real soon.

Until next time,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Days - Thank you

I want to give a big thanks to all of our military veterans on your day. They risk their lives for us every day and am very proud to say I come from a family full of veterans. God Bless them all.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey Safety

November is a very busy month for me. As always, I am participating in the National Novel Writing Month project. I am having a minor surgery later in the month, I have to work on the marketing and publicity for my novel that will be released in December (more on that later), and of course there's Thanksgiving. Needless to say, I may not be posting as often on here this month as I usually do.

I thought this would be a good time to write about preparing your Thanksgiving turkey. I remember my first attempt at baking a turkey all by myself. Like many people, I forgot to take the giblets out and they baked right along with the turkey. That was almost 26 years ago and in that time, I figure I have baked over fifty turkeys. Now, that is a lot of poultry. I've learn so much from those many years of baking and I would like to pass along a few tips on preparing your turkey safely.

1. Thawing a turkey at room temperature or in warm water promotes the rapid growth of bacteria. It's best to thaw it in the refrigerator. Calculate your thawing time by figuring 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey.

2. When you're ready to bake it, remove all of the netting and wrapping from the turkey. Remove the giblets and neck bone (check both ends of the turkey) from the body cavity. Discard the giblets, if not using. If you do plan on using the giblets, rinse them in cold water, pat dry and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Thoroughly rinse your turkey in cold water inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. After handling a raw turkey, your hands will be contaminated. Do not touch any other food until you have washed your hands with soap and water.

These are just a few tips for making sure your turkey is prepared the safest way possible. If you have any questions about baking your turkey, I would recommend visiting the Butterball web site. I found that they even have a video on there showing how to carve a cooked turkey. That is something I wish I had seen the first time I served a turkey. Butterball also has a tip line that you can call with your questions, 1-800-288-8372 for residents of the U.S. and Canada through November and December.

Good luck with Thanksgiving cooking this year and don't forget to check a few days before to make sure you have all the ingredients that you will need.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sour Cream Cookies

I just received word today that my aunt passed away. She was like a second mom to me and one of the things I remember most about her was her cookies at Christmas. They were wonderful. She generously shared her recipe with my mother so she and I could make Christmas cookies together. I continued that tradition with my daughter, always making those cookies at Christmas with her.

Here is a picture of my daughter decorating them when she was about three years old. Many times, I gave them as gifts. I will surely miss my aunt and as a tribute to her, I am posting her cookie recipe so everyone can enjoy them.

Sour Cream Cookies

6 C. flour
3 C. powdered sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. soda
3 T. vanilla
1 C. margarine
2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, powdered sugar, and soda. Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, margarine, and vanilla. Add sour cream and then gradually add the flour mixture a little at a time. The dough will become very thick. When ready, roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.

Cool the cookies and then frost with your favorite icing and decorate with colored sugar or candy pieces.

Rest in piece, Aunt Hilma.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Thing or Two about Celery

When celery loses its crispness, place it in a pan of cool water with some raw potato slices for a few hours. When you remove the celery, it should be crisp again.

To help keep the odor to a minimum when cooking cabbage, put a stalk of celery in the pot to cook along with it.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Latte

The nearest Starbucks to where I live is an hour drive away. So, when I'm out shopping or on a business trip and see a Starbucks, I have to stop.

I do have my favorites, in the summer it's any flavor frappuccino. In the winter, it the Caramel Macchiato Latte and at Christmas I cannot pass up their Peppermint Mocha Twist. Actually, it's probably a good thing I am not near a Starbucks or I would be more over weight than I already am.

This Fall, I have been looking forward to their Pumpkin Spice Latte and this week, I had an out of town business meeting and knew I would be driving by a Starbucks. My plan was to stop and get one to drink for the drive back to my office. To my extreme disappointment, they were out of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. OMG, if they only knew how my mouth had watered all morning with the anticipation of that drink. How could Starbucks do that to me!! So, I ended up with my regular Caramel Macchiato and it was really good, but I am still craving that Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In a week, I have a three-day out of town business trip in a large city. There has to be Starbucks near the hotel and hopefully, I will get my Pumpkin Spice Latte, or I will be one unhappy lady.

I'm doing something a little different this week. I don't have a recipe of my own for the Latte, so I have posting a link to one for all of you to try. This is a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe made in a slow cooker and from the ABC News' Good Morning America web site.

What are your favorite Starbucks drinks? Post your answer in the comments. Thanks and enjoy your drink.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sandwich making hint

In my opinion, there is nothing worse that soggy sandwich bread. I don't know how people can eat one of those Arby's sandwiches that you dip into the broth. My husband likes them, but not me. When I make a sandwich to take to work for lunch, I usually don't add tomatoes because they are the worse at making bread soggy. Sometimes, I don't add any dressing for the same reason, but then the sandwiches are too dry.

My solution is to spread a thin layer of butter or margarine on each piece of the bread or bun. This acts as a barrier to any liquid from the tomato, lettuce, or dressing. It works great. I took a turkey sub to work today for lunch and did just that. I had a nice dry, but fresh bun and a very enjoyable lunch.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Buttermilk biscuits

My first mistake this morning was looking for a recipe to post before eating breakfast. I was hungry before I started my search and now I am starved. I've always heard to refrain from grocery shopping while hungry. My advice to add to this is never, ever look through your recipes while hungry.

My second mistake is looking through my recipes while on a diet. Bread is one of my favorite foods that I have drastically reduced from my meals. I do allow myself an occasional Subway Sandwich to get my bread fix, but by reading over my biscuit recipe, my craving has started. Maybe subconsciously, my craving for bread had already started and that's why I decided to post my biscuit recipe. Either way, I've got to get something to eat for breakfast as soon as I get this posted.

Cold weather has hit my portion of the state and when that happens, we all want comfort food. (Did I mention I'm freezing right now?) What could be better than a hot, buttered, rich buttermilk biscuit? I don't just serve them for breakfast, I make a big batch and serve them at every meal. For instance, we're having guests over this evening and I plan on making a big pot of vegetable soup for our meal. While I'll probably have crackers out on a plate, I will also have a platter of biscuits for eat with the soup. I don't know if it's just me because my husband does not like this, but I love a good hot biscuit with a bowl of Denny Moore Beef Stew. No matter what you like to serve, here is a really good biscuit recipe to go with it.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 to 1 c. of buttermilk
1/2 stick butter
2 c, flour
1/2 t, salt

In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Cut butter or shortening into the flour with finger tips until the consistency is like small peas.

Blend buttermilk a little at a time until all flour is moist and in center of bowl. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and kneed lightly till easy to work with not sticky.

Roll out and cut biscuits to your favorite size. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 450° F.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter and serve hot.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Smoke Detector Cooking

I think I have another story for my next Disaster cookbook, should I write another one. I set off our smoke detector while making supper Sunday evening. Actually, the meal wasn't a disaster, it just sounded like the house was burning down. Of course, the alarm went off just as my husband was getting home from work. I raced to the door to tell him he didn't need to call 911.
It all started because I wanted some KFC grilled chicken. Unfortunately, the nearest KFC is at least a 45 minute drive and I didn't have a car on Sunday. Instead, I search the internet for a recipe. I found one on the Top Secret Recipes web site, but you have to pay 99 cents for it. Being the thrifty person I am (read that as cheap), I refused to buy it. By the way, that is a great web site for recipes, if you want to pay for them. After that I made several attempts to find a recipe that I liked, I searched for grilled, baked, roasted, but didn't find anything that really appealed to me.

After about 30 minutes of searching (I am persistent), I decided to develop my own recipe. Well duh, I should have thought of that in the first place. After taking the battery out of the smoke detector to keep it from screaming, the chicken came out pretty good. The problem was that I used too much olive oil. I forgot how bad it smokes when it gets hot. If you try the recipe, you'll have to determine the amount of ingredients to use, everything is pretty much "to taste."

Roasted Chicken

1 chicken, cut up into pieces
olive oil
Mrs. Dash Original flavor seasoning

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with aluminum foil. You can also use a broiling pan, if you don't want the chicken baking in the grease. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the pieces in the pan and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Bake for 30 minutes and then turn over down to 350°. Do not turn chicken pieces over. Cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cover pan with aluminum foil until it is time to serve.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I wanted to buy some yogurt tonight while at the store and had a coupon for Weight Watchers brand yogurt. I bought the Amaretto Cheesecake flavor and have to say it is the best yogurt I have ever tasted. It really took care of my sweet tooth. I will definitely be buying that one again.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"20 pounds in 6 months"

Yep, that's what my doctor told me last week. I knew it was coming and I had already decided to go back on my diet AGAIN. I can usually lose weight pretty fast, but then I can put it right back on just as quickly.

Why is it when you start a diet, all the commercials on television are about food? Were they always there, or did I just not notice them before? It's not that I'm hungry, because I do get to eat plenty on my diet, but it those darn commercials. McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, they're all my favorites. At least I can eat at Subway on my diet. I love bread and can get my fix with a Turkey sub from Subway at least once a week.

Well, maybe since I have admitted to everyone on the world wide web that I am trying to lose 20 pounds, it will give me the incentive to stick to it. Oh, but don't worry. I will still have some great recipes on here. I won't resort to only posting diet recipes now. No way, this will be my own little way of legally cheating on my diet.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Bottle Tops

Have you seen the infomercial for Bottletops, if not click on the name and see what I'm talking about. I first saw these at my local convenience store and thought it was a pretty good idea. I finally bought one last week and used it tonight. I really like it.

It will be great for vacations, where we usually drink out of cans while on the road. I don't have to worry about about an occasional fly finding it's way into my can and then drinking it. YUCK! It also nice to not have to worry about knocking over a can and spilling the contents.

Personally, I think they are a little expensive. I paid $3.00 for just one at the convenience store. If you order them via the infomercial, they are slightly cheaper, but then you have to add on the postage. You also get either 10 or 12 when you order them. I think I saw somewhere that you can find them at Target, but not sure of the price.

Either way, I am happy with mine and my mother asked me to pick one up for her this weekend. One thing you must remember when using the Bottletop, you have to make sure you wash the top of the can. A lot of the drink stays on top of the can when you use it.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fake Baked Apple Pie

Sooner, or later we all have cravings for something sweet. It usually happens to me sooner than later, and more often than I would like to admit. Today, I want to help you with those cravings with something sweet, simple, mostly healthy, and hopefully with ingredients that you already have in the kitchen.

I plan on making some these to have for dessert tonight. My favorite football team, the Indianapolis Colts, play the late game this afternoon and dinner time will occur at just about halftime. Now that dessert is taken care of, all I have to figure out is what to fix for dinner.


Fake Baked Apple Pie

1 small apple
1 graham cracker, plain or cinnamon 2- 1/2 square
1 t. brown sugar
Cinnamon, to taste

Cut the small apple in half, core but do not peel. Put the graham cracker, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Using the back of a spoon, crush the cracker up to a large crumb consistency, then shake. Place the apples into a casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker topping over them. Cover and bake at 350° until the apple is very soft and crumb mixture is wet. Uncover and brown under broiler.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Christmas Candy

It's never too early to plan for Christmas and I really enjoy making Christmas gifts in the kitchen. Making up little gag gifts from food is something my family and friends look forward to each year from me. In the past, I have made Snowman Poop, Turkey Poop, Reindeer Food, Jelly Bean Christmas Trees, and Hot Chocolate Cones. This year, I think I will give a shot at making Pigeon Poop. I have included the recipe below.

What kind of odd food gifts have you given at Christmas? Let me know, I may want to borrow the idea.


Pigeon Poop

5 C. peanut butter crunch cereal
3 C. Rice Krispies cereal
2 c. small pretzel sticks, broken in half
1 1/2 C. mini marshmallows
2 lbs. white chocolate

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients. Melt the white chocolate in a double-boiler. Once melted, pour over the dry ingredients and mix well, but carefully. Spread the mixture out onto some wax paper and let cool. Once cooled, break the mixture into chucks. Store in plastic bags.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Grilled Cheese Casserole

I think casseroles are one of the most economic and easy dishes you could serve to your family. Most of the time, you can assemble everything in the casserole dish. Mix, bake and serve in one dish; very little clean-up, now that's my kind of meal. Today's recipe is for Grilled Cheese Casserole. It calls for four different kinds of cheeses, but don't worry if you don't like the cheeses listed, or don't have them on hand, you can easily substitute other cheeses in their place. I don't have a photo of this particular casserole and I couldn't find one anywhere on-line.


Grilled Cheese Casserole

1 tube of crescent rolls
1 C. each of shredded Muenster, Monterey Jack, Swiss, and Cheddar cheeses
1- 8 oz. package Cream Cheese, sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 T. butter or margarine, melted
1 T. sesame seeds, optional

Unroll crescent roll dough, divide in half and line an ungreased 8 x 8 inch baking pan with half of the dough Make sure and seal the seams. Layer with all the cheeses and then pour the egg over all of it.

Place the remaining crescent roll dough (seams sealed) on top. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake uncovered at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Southern Sweet Tea

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. It was a long holiday weekend and we had dinner guests on Sunday night. I had two slow cookers running, one with a pork loin in it and the other with my Chicken and Dumplings recipe. The pork loin cooked on high for about 6 hours and then I pulled the meat apart and added one bottle of my favorite BBQ sauce, Sweet Baby Ray's Honey. I actually think it needed more sauce, but I did set a second bottle on the counter for anyone to add more to their sandwiches. After having a house full of guests Sunday evening, I spent Monday relaxing on the couch.

Today, I wanted to share a beverage recipe. After I finish my coffee in the morning, you can usually find me with a glass of iced tea. No matter whether it is winter or summer, I enjoy a glass of tea over a soda anytime. I've always heard that Southern Sweet Tea is just the best. I wondered what they did in the south to make it so much better, so I looked it up. Every recipe I found was pretty much the same way as I make iced tea. Who would have thought that I actually make Southern Sweet Tea and didn't even know it.

Southern Sweet Tea

3 Family size tea bags
2 C. cold water
1 C. sugar

Place the two cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and let steep for about five minutes. Pour warm tea into empty pitcher. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill remaining pitcher with cold water.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Craving Vegetables, 2 Recipes

Lately, I have been craving vegetables. This is a good thing since veggies are supposed to be so good for you. You're in luck today because you get two recipes for the price of one.

Last night, I had my heart set on a big pot of vegetable soup for supper. I thought I had posted my easy recipe for Homemade Vegetable Soup, but couldn't find it in the archive. So, just in case, here it is again.

I call this Basic Homemade Vegetable Soup because any vegetables can be added to the basic recipe below and I usually do that. Two of my favorites are fresh cauliflower and a can of Lima beans. My mother adds cabbage, which is another favorite. I've seen okra added, but not in my soup. When my husband makes this and we don't have cans of mixed vegetables, he starts opening and dumping whatever vegetables we happen to have in the pantry.

Basic Homemade Vegetable Soup
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cans mixed vegetables
1 large can tomato juice

Fry ground beef until done. Drain, and place in the soup pot. Add the mixed vegetables and tomato juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 30-45 minutes. This makes a large pot and leftovers can be frozen for use later.

My next recipe, which I plan to make this week after doing my grocery shopping, is called Marinated Garden Salad. This recipe belongs to my aunt and I've never made it, but I have eaten it and it's delicious. I've also seen many variations of it online.

Marinated Garden Salad
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can French-cut green beans
1 can peas
1 can mushroom pieces
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 C. celery, diced
1 C. green pepper, chopped

Drain all the juice from the cans of vegetables. Dump veggies in to a bowl. Mix together and set aside.

1 C. sugar
1/4 C. white vinegar
1/4 C. oil
1/3 C. water

Bring to boil, let cool and pour over vegetables. Store in glass jars and chill in the refrigerator.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blackberry Cobbler

My brother has been picking blackberries at our mom's house for many weeks and she's got a pretty good batch of berries in her freezer now. Although not my favorite cobbler, I love peach, blackberry comes in a close second. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and I'm in heaven. Personally, I can't wait to make a cobbler.


Blackberry Cobbler
1 quart berries
1/2 t. salt
1 T. flour
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 C. Bisquick Baking Mix
2 T. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 t. sugar

Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Combine blackberries, salt, flour and corn syrup and spread mixture into the baking dish. Mix together the Bisquick with 2 T. sugar and milk and pour over the berries. Top with 1 1/2 t. sugar. Bake in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An indoor picnic

The heat is unbearable outside, 90° temps and high humidity. For supper tonight, I decided to have an indoor picnic of Baked Beans, Macaroni and Cheese, corn on the cob, and hot dogs. I can't wait for my husband to get home from work so I can dig in.

I have made my baked beans and macaroni and cheese for so long, I no longer measure the ingredients. Both are just a "dump and stir" kind of dish now. I dump everything in and cook. For the purpose of my blog, I'll see if I can come up with at least close measurements.

Baked Beans with hot dogs

1 lg can or 2 small cans of pork & beans
about a 1/2 C. brown sugar
about a 1/4- 1/2 C. catsup

Dump all ingredients into the baking dish and stir. Put dish into the microwave, cover with wax paper, and cook on high for 10-15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, place several hot dogs that have been pierced with a fork into the dish and finish cooking. Let cool slightly before serving.

Macaroni and Cheese
1 1/2 C. macaroni, cooked
1 C. Velvetta cheese, cut into small cubes
1- 1 1/2 C. milk

In pot on stove, combine all of the above ingredients. Cook on medium to high heat until cheese has melted. Stir constantly to keep from burning. Season with salt to taste and serve. My mother makes this same dish in the microwave by combining all ingredients and cooking on high until the cheese is melted.

Well, my husband just walked in and I am hungry. I hope you enjoy your indoor picnic.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Are we tired of Zucchinis yet?

I might just get there tonight. Remember the big zucchini that I mentioned in my previous entry below? My husband brought another one home on Sunday and I am peeling, slicing, and shredding them tonight for the freezer. I'm afraid by the time I am done, I won't want to look at another zucchini.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

What to do with all these Zucchinis

It's zucchini time at our house. The harvest is coming in and the variety of ways to prepare them is challenging. In the past, I have made zucchini cake, zucchini bread, zucchini casserole, and fried zucchini. When my husband got home today, he brought in the biggest zucchini I have ever seen and told me that "we must have missed this one in the garden." For a split second, I believed him, then realized there was no way we would not have picked a zucchini before it got that big. He confessed that someone had brought several to work for anyone to take.

Honestly, it is really too big to slice and fry. The seeds alone would be huge. However, I think I can peel it and then remove the seeds, leaving just the meat, shred it, and put into zipper bags for the freezer. I'll have to check all my recipes for the right measurement before putting them into the bags, so I can have them pre-measured for certain recipes next winter.

Now, on to today's recipe, Baked Zucchini Sticks. It's a new one that I have tried and is actually very healthy, but don't tell the kids.

Baked Zucchini Sticks
2 medium size zucchinis
2 eggs
1/3 C. seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t. garlic powder
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425° f and spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Peel and slice the zucchini into 3" x 1/2" sticks. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and set aside. In a shallow bowl mix together the bread crumbs Parmesan Cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip each stick into the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place zucchini sticks onto a cookie sheet and sprayed them lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with Ranch dressing, horseradish sauce, marinara sauce, salsa, or any favorite dipping sauce.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Each year at the Indiana State Fair they hold a competition to determine the annual Signature Food of the Fair. Past winners have been Deep Fried Pepsi, which I blogged about a few years ago, and just about any deep fried snack food. Since this year at the State Fair, it's the Year of the Tomato, it only makes sense that this year's signature food would involve tomatoes. The 2009 Indiana State Fair Signature Food is...... drum-roll please...... Deep Fried Pizza. Okay, I agree, it's not as exciting as Deep Fried Pepsi, but who doesn't love pizza?

Since the fair has officially started yet (it opens this week), I only have information from what I have read in the newspaper about this delicacy. From what I understand, Deep Fried Pizza consists of hand-tossed pizza dough deep-fried to a golden brown and topped with pizza sauce and grated cheese and will sell for about $5.00. When I read this, I thought it was something new. Then, I did a Google search and found that Deep Fried Pizza originated in Scotland in the 1970's and there are tons of recipes online for it.

Now, on to my recipes. Since my State Fair said that it is the Year of the Tomato and the tomato plants in my garden are producing like crazy, I thought I would share a couple of easy recipes using tomatoes. First a disclaimer, I don't like or eat tomatoes. BUT, I love salsa, ketchup on my french fries, and a slice of tomato on my hamburger. Weird, eh?

A co-worker gave me her recipe for homemade salsa several years ago. It has the best flavor and is so easy to make. I first used it when we had an abundance of tomatoes from our garden. Then, I gave the recipe to my brother and he told me some time later that he uses canned tomatoes and makes it all year round. I love to can salsa for family and friends as a Christmas gift.

The second recipe is for a very popular dish around my part of Indiana, Fried-Green Tomatoes. When restaurants around here have them on their menu, they sell out practically every day. There's lots of versions of the coating for Fried-Green Tomatoes and I will go over that in the recipe below.

Homemade Salsa

12 C. fresh tomatoes, peeled (or 4 large cans of tomatoes)
6 green bell peppers, chopped and seeds removed
2 medium size onions, chopped
3 T. minced garlic
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. vinegar
3 T. canning salt
3-4 hot peppers, chopped

Stir all ingredients together in a large pot on the stove. Bring to boil and then reduce heat. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how thick you want it. Stir often to keep from burning on bottom. Pour into clean hot canning jars and place canning lids on. Jars should seal themselves, but you can process them in a boiling water canner, if desired. Make sure you check to make sure they have sealed. If not, store those jars in the refrigerator.

You can determine how hot you want the salsa by the type of peppers that you use. Experiment with different batches and see what you can come up with.

Once the salsa cools, serve with tortilla chips.

Fried Green Tomatoes
1 medium green tomato per person
salt and pepper

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices. Beat a couple eggs together in a bowl and dip each slice of tomato into it and then into a dish of flour to coat. Place slices into a large skillet with hot vegetable oil over medium heat and fry about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Another version that I have seen is to dip the slices into buttermilk instead of egg and cornmeal instead of flour. It's all up to the cook, so you decide which combination you want to try.

My zucchinni plants are really starting to produce, too. Next time, I will post some recipes for zucchinni dishes.

Until next time,

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Butter Pound Cake

I bet you all thought I had forgotten about my blog. No way, I couldn't forget about it or my readers. I was on vacation this past week and my husband and I went camping at a State Park not far from here. Once the rain stopped and the fog cleared, the views were spectacular.

Oh yeah, did I mention rain? Not just rain, but pouring rain all day on the day we arrived. We knew the forecast and had prepared for it, or so I thought. Once we arrived, I donned my poncho and my husband unloaded the tent and we started putting it up. Suddenly, I hear a naughty word come out of my husband's mouth. It turned out that he forgot to bring two of the tent poles. We went over our options, but the only one we came back to was to go buy a new tent. We drove to the nearest town and to Target and bought a new tent. We opted to go for a smaller one since we were on a budget and we figured the poles were at home somewhere.

The rain stopped the next day and we had wonderful weather. It was even cool enough to sit comfortably around the campfire that night.

I bet you're wondering what all this has to do with Butter Pound Cake as the title of this entry suggests. Well, while we were camping, I didn't have much to eat that was sweet because I have been trying to diet. We all know about those cravings when we diet and by the time I got home, I wanted something sweet. I probably should have stuck to my diet and made an Angel Food Cake. I had even left the box of mix on the counter to fix when we returned. But no, I wanted something sweet and not on my diet. I went through my recipes and decided on the Butter Pound Cake. This is a delicious cake and so easy to make.

Butter Pound Cake
1 C. butter
1 3/4 C. sugar
5 eggs
2 C. flour
1 t. vanilla

Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together. Add the eggs, beating well after each one. Add the flour and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan or angel food cake pan. Bake for about 1 hour at 325°.

This cake is good just itself, but I've seen it with a variety of flavored icings. You can drizzle a powdered sugar glaze over it, or heat a tub of chocolate store-bought frosting in the microwave just to the pouring point (make sure you have removed all of the foil lid before microwaving) and pour on top of the cake, letting it run down on the sides.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Whole Wheat Pancakes

I have to be brief today. My mother and I are will be to a book swap today and she'll be here to pick me up soon. I've started a diet.... again.... yes again. You wouldn't think pancakes would be good for a diet to lose weight, but it depends on the pancakes and what you put on them.

This morning, I made whole wheat pancakes. Lots of fiber and very little fat, and that's a good combination. Most people put maple syrup on their pancakes, but honey can be just as good. From what I understand, both are about the same when dieting, but the amount makes the difference. If you make medium size pancakes, you can probably get by with about 2 tablespoons of syrup or honey and it will taste fine. The alternative would be to top your pancakes with fruit, preserves, or sugar-free syrup. Whichever you try, dieting or not, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. milk (1% if dieting)
3 large egg whites
2 t. oil (I used olive oil)
1 T. sugar or honey
1/4 t. vanilla
cooking spray

Mix all of the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well until there are no more dry ingredients. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and spray lightly with cooking spray. Pour enough of the mixture to make a medium pancake. When the pancake starts to bubble, turn with a spatula. Continue cooking until done.

Top with fruit, preserves, honey, syrup, or your favorite topping.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I want to take a quick minute this morning to thank everyone that has left comments on my posts. I do appreciate the feedback and hope that at least some of my ideas and recipes have helped. Thanks.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

An interview with Rick Mitchell

Today, I have the honor of introducing all of you to a friend of mine, Rick Mitchell. Rick is an Event and Wedding Planning and is also a consultant for Pampered Chef. I've known Rick for almost ten years, having met when we worked together planning a fan convention in Los Angeles.

Rick, thanks for taking the time for my questions. Could you tell my readers a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living?

Thanks Carol, I was born and raised in Michigan, but have traveled around quite a bit during my time in the military. I now live in Columbus, Ohio and have the wonderful opportunity to be doing what I love to do. First, I help people in their kitchens by bringing my knowledge of cooking and spectacular kitchen products from Pampered Chef. I show them how to use wonderful tools to make their kitchen time quick and easy so they can get back to their families. Also, the recipes from The Pampered Chef makes it truly easy to eat on a budget with is needed so much these days. As well as being a Pampered Chef consultant, I am a full time Event and Wedding Planner and owner of Amare Planning, LLC. I help clients plan amazing events by making sure they not only miss no details, but I also put them in touch with high-quality vendors that will make their special event truly memorable. (and they get to take the day of their event off, since I also manage the event for them when they hire me.)

What types of events have you put together in the past?

I have planned all types of events of every size. The first event I helped plan was actually with you, Carol, when we planned the Celebrity Fan event in Los Angeles, California. That particular event ( is now in its 10th year and is still the one event that is 'my heart' when it comes to planning. I have planned smaller events such as birthday parties, holiday parties, and even baby showers. Often I've worked with clients to plan their child's graduation celebrations. I've even done a few corporate events, such as a team building seminar for the local Social Security Administration office last year. While this is a large variety of types of events, the majority of my clients come to me to help them with planning their wedding day. More and more, brides and mothers-of-the-bride come to me because they are busy and realize that they don't have the time to make sure the money they spend on this one day is well spent. Also, most want very much to be able to step back the day of the wedding and just relax and enjoy the day and have myself and my staff manage their day and worry about all their details.

Does a wedding have to be a certain size before a wedding planning will handle it? Is there such a thing as too small of a wedding to plan?

The short answer is "no." However, the determining factor in whether a bride can hire a wedding planner really is the overall budget for the wedding. The national average for spending on a wedding planner is between ten and fifteen percent of the overall budget. If a bride comes to me and my set fee is more than that average, I am honest and guide her to a smaller package (such as simple event management and not pre-event planning) so I feasibly fit within her budget. Or, if the available budget is small enough I simply tell her that she would be better served by putting that money elsewhere and that a Wedding Planner might not be feasible for her. Unfortunately, there are "wedding planners" out there that will work with such brides on extremely tight budgets, and charge truly under-priced fees. I would warn brides everywhere in such a case - "You get what you pay for." An event and wedding planner that is experienced and a true professional is worth the fees they charge, and most times, can show you ways you can save at least the amount of their fees elsewhere in their budget.

My daughter recently got married right before her husband deployed to Afghanistan and they are planning a wedding reception after he returns next summer. Is there one thing she should be aware of when planning this reception?

First, I would ask her what the three most important things she wants for her reception are. These are items that we will then not "skimp" on.

Next, I'd tell her to be frugal in areas that aren't as important to her. If you don't need to have the top designer label for your dress, then look in places that will offer a better deal and yet still get you an amazing dress for the evening.

I could go on and on, I'm sure, with tips and such, but these are the two that will set the bar for everything else.

It's unusual to see a man selling Pampered Chef, but you seem to embrace doing it. What made you decide to become a Pampered Chef consultant?

For 10 years I was an avid Pampered Chef customer. I kept buying all the products and finally one day I realized I could be the person making the money off of me. (I am sure I made some decent paychecks for the consultants I'd worked with in the past. LOL) I've also come to love the fact that I can bring an evening of enjoyment to people as they invite their friends and family over for a night when I do the cooking and they get the credit for having a great party! My skills as an event planner only enhance my hosts' experience when they book a show with me. I've been told so many times, "I've never had an in-home party quite like this before. This was great!"

Do you have one Pampered Chef product that is your favorite?

My stoneware is the end all and be all of my kitchen. My favorite piece of stoneware is my 6 mini-bundt stone (now a retired piece through Pampered Chef). I love making small cakes and decorating them up and serving them to friends and family. Its always great to have a cake and it be personal size. My most used stone is my Deep Covered Baker. We jokingly call this the "Magic Pot" because you can do so much with this stone. I love that is can make a large meal and yet I don't have to turn on my oven since it fits in a microwave. There's even a recipe to make a pork tenderloin in ten minutes in the Deep Covered Baker. Truly Magic!

How can someone contact you about your Event/Wedding Planning or about Pampered Chef?

For event and wedding planning, you can reach me at or or by calling my office at 614.593.3547

For The Pampered Chef you can view our catalog and even order, 24/7, at my site at (there's also a contact page there if you have specific questions.)

Since this is a blog about food and one of my favorite things about Pampered Chef are their recipes. I can't let you finish without asking you to share your favorite Pampered Chef recipe.

I'm actually glad you asked for a recipe. The Pampered Chef, along with all their wonderful products, has a huge collection of recipes and for the vast majority of them, they focus on quick, easy and most importantly, economical meals. Many Pampered Chef recipes make meals that cost less than $2 per serving. Imagine feeding a family of 4 for $8 for the meal! One person can't go out to eat a meal for that.

Here is one of my favorites that is not only cheap to make, but you won't heat up your kitchen to make this hot meal!

Mexican Chicken Lasagna ~ made in our Deep Covered Baker ($65 ... but you can get this for FREE when you host a Cooking, Catalog or Online Show)

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese

1/4 C lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

2 C (8oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 can (28 oz) enchilada sauce

12 (6 in) corn tortillas

3 C diced or shredded cooked chicken

2/3 C chopped onion

Additional chopped fresh cilantro leaves (opt)

1. Place cream cheese in Classic Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until very soft. Add cilantro and 1 1/2 C of the Monterey Jack cheese; mix well. Spread 2/3 C of the enchilada sauce over bottom of Deep Covered Baker. Pour remaining enchilada sauce into large bowl; set aside.

2. To assemble lasagna, dip four tortillas into enchilada sauce in large bowl and arrange over sauce in baker using Sauté`Tongs, overlapping as necessary. Scoop half of the cream cheese mixture over tortillas, using Small Scoop; spread evenly. Top with 1 C of the chicken and 1/3 of the onion. Repeat layers one time. Dip remaining four tortillas into sauce and arrange over second layer. Top with remaining chicken and onion. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over lasagna and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C Monterey Jack cheese.

3. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 12-15 minutes or until center is hot. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro.

Rick's tips for this recipe - To add a bit of unique flavor to this dish, grill your chicken off on the bbq with your favorite grilling spices. Then chunk or shred the chicken and add to the recipe. It’s a small step but makes a big difference over canned chicken or pan grilled.

Yield: 8 servings (at $2 a serving, you can make this dish for less than $20 (price may vary slightly depending on market))

Again Rick, thanks so much for answering my questions.

You are welcome. Its been a pleasure. And, as always, I love working with you.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wasp Nest Cake

I've never made a Wasp Nest Cake, but a friend gave me the recipe and my co-workers at the office tomorrow will be the guinea pigs. Apparently, it is supposed to look like a wasp nest when it's done. I just don't see it. Ah, but I love butterscotch, my house smells sooooo good right now, and this is a super easy recipe. Give it a try and you be the judge.


Wasp Nest Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box ready to cook or instant vanilla pudding
2 c. milk
1 12 oz. bag butterscotch chips

Mix the pudding mix and the milk thoroughly. The batter will be very thick. Pour the mix into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle the top with the butterscotch chips and bake for 30 -35 minutes at 350° f.

Before baking:

After baking:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Harvesting the Garden

I canned green beans this morning. I didn't get as many as I had wanted, thanks to the rain. My husband had picked a bunch of beans earlier in the week, not thinking that I wouldn't have time to can until today. Many had to be thrown out because they had become too limp, or just not good enough to can. I must remember to remind him not to harvest the garden until late in the week. Oh yes, back to the rain. I was just putting my shoes on this morning to go and pick more beans when I heard the downpour. It rained all morning and now it's too wet to get into the garden. Oh well, there's always next weekend.

When doing home canning, I have to refer everyone to the Ball Company web site for proper instructions. I have a book that Ball company gave away for free that I got years before the internet was available. It gives instructions and recipes on preserving just about any food. You can also check your local library for books on canning.


p.s. I love hearing those jars "pop" indicating they have sealed.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Old Time Cooking

Happy Independence Day to my American readers!! How are you spending your celebration day, parades, cookout, festivals? Me? Well, my husband works on weekends and holidays, so my day will likely be spent at my mother's, where we, along with my brother, will enjoy a traditional 4th of July lunch.

Yesterday, my husband and I went to Corydon, Indiana, Indiana's First State Capital, for the first day of their annual Indiana Territorial Festival. The festivities didn't actually start until 7 pm and we were there at 4:30, but that was okay. We actually went so my husband could visit some of his friends that are re-enactors that were participating in an encampment on the town square next to the First State Capital building. My husband is also a re-enactor, but for the 1700's and Indiana's settlement was during the 1800's.

The encampment was a snapshot of how people lived in Indiana at that time. The thing that I like most about encampments is everything they do is period correct, right down to the food they eat. At least it's as close to it as they can come. I know because I usually help my husband get his food ready for his treks and I know that sometimes "near-enough" is good enough. For instance, the night before he leaves on his encampment, we sometimes baked a couple Cornish Hens. The next day, he wraps them in brown paper and then heats them up over a fire during the re-enactment. If any visitors ask him what he is cooking and they usually do, he can call it just about whatever small animal is native to the area.

My recipe today is an old time recipe for Bread Pudding. Back in the early days, it would have been cooked in a Dutch Oven (see photo above) in a fireplace at home. This isn't something that frontiersmen would have cooked on their treks, but instead as treat to prepare at home. My recipe is for the home oven. Enjoy and Happy 4th of July. Have safe holiday.

Old Time Bread Pudding

4 slices buttered toast
1/2 C. raisins
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1/2 C. sugar
1/8 t. salt
2 C. milk, warm
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
4 T. sugar

Preheat over to 350° f. Cut toast into quarters and place in a greased one quart baking dish. Sprinkle raisins on top. Mix together the eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla. Pour over the toast and raisins. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Combine the cinnamon and the remaining sugar and sprinkle on top of the pudding. Bake for 30 minutes.