Archive for the ‘Worth Reading’ Category

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In a hurry? Gooseberry Patch has a new cookbook just for you!


Hearty, satisfying recipes for busy families…from fridge to table in 30 minutes or less!

And really who isn’t in a hurry from time to time?  Or most of the time!?  Well I am!  I have several  WONDERFUL recipes for you, the first one  this morning. I am also happy to announce you can enter to win a copy of this amazing new cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. This giveaway will go a little faster that the last.  You will only have a week to get your name in the drawing so leave me a comment, letting me know you want to add your name and be sure and try these recipes – they were huge hits here at the Dahlem house. I will draw the winner’s name next Saturday January 22 at noon CST.  But hey don’t just leave your name today and then not check back.  There will be opportunities during the week to get your name in a second, third or maybe even fourth time!  So try to check back.

I really can’t say how much I loved reading this cookbook.  So many great recipes plus helps and hints on nearly every page.  A real treasure.  As you can see, I have a few things marked to try – in fact making one today that I will post tomorrow (and another chance to enter for you!)  As you can see I have quite a few recipes marked 🙂


And one of the greatest things about the book is it isn’t just for supper meals.  There’s a whole section on Busy Day Breakfasts!  I am telling you for reals, if you don’t win it you so need to buy it.

My first recipe is for On-the-Run Chicken Pot Pie. This homemade chicken pot pie is done in less time than you can open the box and bake a store bought one.  Can you beat that???  And just look at it!


My kids LOVE chicken pot pie.  They even love the little boxed ones but they LOVED this one.  Ooo’d and ahhh’d and there were NO leftovers.

On-the-Run-Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 10 3/4 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 /2 cup milk
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 9 inch pie crust cut into one inch strips
  • 1 egg beaten

Place potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and 1/2 cup water in a microwave safe bowl.  Cover and microwave on high for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat soup with milk and remaining water in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in chicken, salt and pepper.  When vegetables are done, drain and place in an uncreased two quart casserole dish.  Add peas, spoon chicken mixture into dish.  Arrange pie crust strips on top lattice style; brush with egg.  Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and mixture is hot and bubbly.  Serves 4.


YUM and here is my little crustless pie ~ gluten free 🙂   Baked it along with the other one.  Delish!

Jan2-2010 GooseberryRecipes 129


Happy Saturday Peeps! And best of luck – I wish you could all win!  However since that’s not possible, as soon as we all congratulate the winner on January 22, and if you are not that lucky duck, zip over to Gooseberry Patch and get yourself a copy of Homestyle in a Hurry.  Oh heck ~ go ahead and order several – they make great gifts for all your foodie friends.  Now leave me a comment and get your name in.

More great places to find Gooseberry Patch:

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On a personal note: If you are following the news you know of the hell that Tunisia has become quickly and almost over night and you know if you follow my blog that my Jerry works in Tunisia.  He is home safe and sound. Now I just want to hear that all his co-workers are out of Tunisia and someplace safe. Preferably with their families.   It’s amazing to me how quickly things became complete chaos. I know the office personnel sent their families out of the country two days ago. But the men are still there. I am so thankful when Jerry was asked he declined to stay over. They needed him but he said no. With the few extra days he was needed, then the weather between here and there it is very likely that he would have been in the country trying to get home when all this happened. I think you know about how well I would have handled it. No idea how this will affect his job.  Jerry said the crew going out made it to the rig. But the crew coming in had to stay. No flights in and out. At this point hey are probably safest on the rig.


Welcome 2011! Let’s get this party started!

If you are reading this you are in for a treat my friend!  I have been sitting on an amazing bit of bloggery goodness for a couple of months and am so happy to invite you to join me in the fun! Back in October I got the most amazing email from a sweetie pie named Jennifer at Gooseberry Patch asking if I was interested in being an Early Bird Reviewer for Gooseberry Patch.


Ummmm…interested?  INTERESTED? Was she serious? OH I was interested alright!  Interested!  Excited! Delighted! I quickly zipped an email back to her saying YES YES YES and waited patiently (ha) to hear back that I had made the list of lucky bloggers.  Since about 5 long hours had passed since I received the invitation until I found out I was an Early Bird Reviewer, I was a giddy girl!

I suppose you would like for me to get to the part that involves you and your chance to win a copy of the newest Gooseberry Patch Cookbook! This month is especially special (does that sound redundant??) because you have a chance at two new Gooseberry Patch books!!! These two amazing books will be available in stores this month and I have to tell you they are wonderful!  Just as I expected!  I have quite a collection of Gooseberry Patch books and I have to say I have never been anything less than thrilled!  These two absolutely live up to my expectations and then some!

I want you to enjoy the anticipation of winning! So this lovely first day of 2011 I want to introduce you to 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes and tell you how you can win a copy and when!


Over the next 10 days I am going to share three recipes from 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes plus more about this beautiful cookbook.

How you enter to win is super simple.  After every recipe review you can leave a comment so there will be three chances for you to get your name in.  Sound good so far?  Yeah, I thought so :)I love this little gem! When I signed on as an Early Bird Reviewer I agreed to test 2-3 recipes from each book.  Well that proved harder than I thought!  How was I going to pick JUST 2-3??? But I managed and you will love them.  They passed my recipe trial with flying colors AND the taste test of my panel of experts! Then on January 11, 2011 I will pick a winner!  YAY!

Now calm down 🙂  I am not going to give you everything all at once.  You will be happy to hear there will be another Gooseberry Patch Early Bird Review of another NEW book on January 15th! WILD huh???!!! And of course another three amazing recipes and three chances to win that book! Squeeeeee!

Okay let me get to it.  The first wonderful (and might I add super easy?) recipe is for Pistachio Thumbprints. It was a little hard to pick just one but I needed another cookie to add to a friend’s box of Christmas goodies.  If you followed my crazy Christmas cookie marathon, you realize time was a factor and I knew a Gooseberry Patch recipe wouldn’t fail me.  A pretty Christmas collection of goodies was very important so daintiness and color were considerations.  In a nutshell the new cookie had to be special.  And it was perfect!  You will think so too ~ so give them a try.  Gluten free notes included 🙂

Pistachio Thumbprints

(this recipe is credited to Shawna Green from Dumas, TX)

  • 1 cup margarine, softened*
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3.4 oz pkg instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp shortening

Blend margarine*, powdered sugar, egg and extracts.  Stir in flour and dry pudding mix.  Form dough into one inch balls.  Roll in pecans.  Place on greased (or parchment lined) baking sheets; gently press a thumbprint  into each.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes; let cool.  Spoon (I piped) vanilla filling into thumbprints.  In a plastic zipping bag, microwave remaining ingredients until melted, one to 2 minutes, stirring (I kneaded the sealed bag) ever 15 seconds.  Snip off tip of one corner and drizzle over cookies. Makes 3 dozen.

Vanilla Filling:

  • 2 TBSP margarine*, softened
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP milk

Combine all ingredients: mix well.


*I used butter.


As you might already know, I am gluten free as of November 2010. And frankly in the short time since I eliminated gluten from my diet, I have found you CAN still enjoy lots of goodies with a little research and tweaking of recipes. And am VERY happy to report Jello Brand Pudding Mixes are gluten free and these cookies are delicious made with your favorite gluten free all purpose baking mix! I will be posting my thoughts on different brands of gluten free flours and baking mixes. For all my gluten free cookies this holiday season I used all purpose baking mix from Authentic Foods and I LOVE IT.

I know I don’t have to say this of course but you know to be sure your chocolate and shortening are also gluten free.  If you are gluten free you will agree, label reading becomes as natural as breathing after a short period of time.

AND one more thing I have found to be relevant to successful gluten free cookie recipe adaptations is weighing the substitute flour mix instead of measuring cup for cup.  I use 4.5 ounces per cup of all purpose flour as my standard of measure. So let’s all do the happy gluten free dance!

Happy Baking Peeps! And best of luck – I wish you could all win!  However since that’s not possible, as soon as we all congratulate the winner on January 11, and if you are not that lucky duck, zip over to Gooseberry Patch and get yourself a copy of 101 Cookie, Cupcake & Brownie Recipes.  Oh heck ~ go ahead and order several – they make great gifts for all your foodie friends!  Now leave me a comment and get your name in!

More great places to find Gooseberry Patch:



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Mundane would be such an improvement.

I woke up to no water this morning.  Nothing frozen.  It’s not that cold.  Somehow the pump lost prime and evidently run until it was to hot to run any longer.  I don’t know what this means but I will be calling the well repairman at 7 a.m.  I don’t know what else to do.  I think this repair is out of my range of expertise. Not the way I wanted to start out this week.  Not. At. All.

Almost as disturbing as no water on a cold November Monday is something I ran across this morning while perusing the web and waiting to see if a cooling off period would somehow miraculously cause my well to work again.  No, the cooling off didn’t help and neither did the news I found.  The beloved Tasha Tudor raised a bunch of ingrates who are now behaving in such a way as to sully Ms. Tudor’s otherwise fine reputation.  While sitting here trying not to cry over my lack of water, I became close to being physically ill reading the account of the four heirs not only fighting over the will Tasha left and the validity of it, but they were fighting over Tasha.  Or her remains, as it were.  Yes, these people, grown people, fought over their mother’s remains.  Oh the things I wish I didn’t know.  Could it be the prize of $2.5 million, that as things are going, the lawyers will divide?  Could it be resentment for the lives they led growing up?  We all had a very romantic view of Ms. Tudor’s life and work but as most always, things are not as they appear.  One daughter, Bethany, lives in a mobile home, on food stamps and waiting to hear if she qualifies for government housing.  If her brothers and  sister have their ways, she will indeed qualify.

Of course I have googled for an hour this morning trying to see what has happened to this family and reflecting on how differently things went when my parents and Jerry’s parents passed.  I found articles all over the web from Salon to CBS News.  From the New York Times to the Burlington Free Press.  And all points in between.  How did I not know this?  I was stricken when she passed with a deep sense of personal loss for every time I looked a photo of Tasha, I saw my own beloved grandmother, BonDon.   I have written about BonDon before and what a mentor and influence she was in my life.  She and Tasha favored a little in looks and had that same spunky “just do it” personality.  No whining, no complaining, no consideration of how you felt about doing it.  If there was a task to be done, then just do it already! But I think maybe that is where the similarity stopped.  Evidently, Tasha was a much better author/artist than parent.  I think we can see that in the way things are going at present.  And these are not kids we are talking about.  People young enough that you could excuse some of their bad behavior by saying they haven’t lived long enough to deal with such things.  No these people are in their late  60’s!! For godsakes, their mother died and they fought over her ashes.  So clearly, this sibling rivalry, if you can even call it something so palatable, goes a little further than any monetary gain or loss on any of their parts.  I feel such a deep sense of disappointment this morning and I don’t know any of these people on any personal level whatsoever.  So many people loved and followed Tasha Tudor through the years. What a sad way to end things.

I could rehash all the things I read, many of which are definitely not opinions but facts since there are lawyers and judges and depositions and such but I won’t.  Just google Tasha Tudor Family Scandal and you will get all you can possibly stomach even if your day is going better than mine.  I will tell you however that your opinion no matter what it is of Ms. Tudor will likely change as you read.  We are never really what we seem to other people are we?  I try to be.  Sometimes it’s not a good opinion of me that people have.  I try to be myself at all times.  It’s just that my real self isn’t always nice.  Or sweet.  Or cooperative.  And you add to my real self, a hefty dose of depression and moodiness and I can be a handful . Or so I have been told 😉  November is really kicking my butt and it is only the 8th.  And frankly, I think I am holding up pretty well.  Especially considering my doctor and I are in the process of changing my anti-depressant.  I am not sure this was the best time.  My husband is gone, I have had to buy appliances, repair appliances (still no dishwasher until the 15th, unless you count my own two hands) and now the well.  The holidays are upon us and frankly, as much as I pretend not to, I find them very stressful.  Yet, I still have so much good in my life, I don’t want you to for one minute see my sharing as real honest complaining.  It isn’t.  I had the means to get new appliances and call a repairman for my dishwasher and now for my well.  So many don’t have that security.  Our family will have an abundance of food for the holidays and still have the means to buy gifts.  So I am grateful.  Just irritated and inconvenienced.  Trivial matters in the big scheme of things.

But back to what I started out to say when I brought up the Tudor family.  You really could not have asked for anything to go any smoother than any of the four of our parents funerals and dividing of their possessions.  None of them had a lot to divide but it all went without a hitch and as far as I know, everyone was happy with the way things turned out in regards to the inevitable task of dispersing worldly goods. I wonder if they had more, if that would have changed our behavior.  I want to think not. I want to hope not.  Jerry and I have joked that with six heirs our estate will not be worth dividing.  And I think I shall like to keep it that way.  I really don’t understand why or how heirs expect to inherit anything.  I have always thought whatever my parents had, the things they worked for, was theirs.  They didn’t owe me anything.  There were keepsakes I wanted but if there had not been one thin dime when they were gone, I wouldn’t have had ill feelings. And what little there was we divided equally three ways.  I also vowed years ago that I would never fight over it if any three of us disagreed about what to do when my parents were gone.   As it turned out, and just as I had hoped it would, not one of us wanted anything that wasn’t ours to have and never expected any less of each other than fairness and support for each other in our great loss.

I have a plan and I am hoping Jerry will go along.  Let us spend it all while we are alive.  And at the rate I am spending this time he is gone, that won’t be hard to do! Let us not leave enough that there is any chance or reason for any one of our children to be provoked into a dispute over what belongs to whom.  Hopefully by that time, they will all have busy fulfilled lives of their own and will feel like they are supposed to feel when they lose a parent.  Let them feel a loss, sadness, relief that the funeral is paid for ;).  They can have a big book garage sale and divide the proceeds equally after they pay for the signage and ad they took out in the paper.

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