Microwave Bread and Butter Pickles

bread and butter pickles 2012This is a standard recipe found everywhere. The reason is simple. It works perfectly every time, and is exactly the perfect recipe to make two pint jars at a time. The time in the kitchen is minimal and they are ready to eat just about immediately, although chilling thoroughly is recommended.

You can make these all year and avoid those flaccid and sometimes over-sweet commercial ones.


  • 4 C sliced cucumber (1 1/2 english cucumber, or 4-5 pickling cucumbers) You can use regular cucumbers but I love the english which are firmer and are really crunchy with a thin skin.
  • 1/2 of a medium (between  a hardball and softball), sliced very thinly
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric and celery seed each


  1. Place all in a microwave safe large bowl. Turn on high for 4 minutes. Stir. Cook on high for another 4 minutes.
  2. The onion should be translucent.
  3. Bring two pint jars just off a boil in a large kettle.
  4. Ladle the pickles into the jars until just at the lower rim of the jars. Fill with the liquid until the liquid hits that lower rim, leaving 1/2 head space.
  5. Cover with a new sterilized lid and then a screw top. Let cool on counter.
  6. Refrigerate until consumed.

SERVES: 2 pint jars

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


Brussels Wrapped in Noodle Love

brussels-sprouts-and-bacon-pasta-11Unlike a lot of folks, I really adore Brussels Sprouts. But they must be done right. Otherwise they are bitter, strong, and unappetizing.

I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate these gems into my menus, and after trying a couple of casserole types, I kind of combined the best of several recipes into this one.

There is still plenty of great taste from the veggie without it being all alone on the plate. Since we marry some pasta with it, it functions as both a starch and a strict vegetable, so you can serve this with any meat and a salad and have a pretty complete meal.

Hope you enjoy it.


  • About 8 oz of brussels, fresh, cleaned and cut in half through the stem end.
  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into one inch pieces, fried and drained.
  • 1/2 of a medium onion
  • 1 lg clove of garlic
  • 8 oz of egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 c milk
  • 4 oz white cheddar shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2-4 oz of fried onions
  • panko crumbs


  1. Place the cleaned brussels in a pan with salted water to cover and simmer just until fork tender–a bit al dente is best. drain well.
  2. Pour off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon grease and saute the onion. When it is opaque and softened, add the microplaned garlic. Stir until fragrant.
  3. Add the butter and flour and stir until the flour is cooked, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the milk and whisk until it comes to a light boil and starts to thicken.
  5. Add the cheddar and stir until melted.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. The sauce should be pourable. You can add more milk if it is too thick. You want it nice and creamy, a little thinner is better.
  8. In a baking dish, rub about a tablespoon of butter to coat the surface.
  9. Pour in the noodles and spread. Add the brussels evenly, then the bacon.
  10. Pour the sauce over the top.
  11. Sprinkle lightly with panko crumbs–you don’t want a complete covering.
  12. Then sprinkle with fried onions.
  13. Bake covered with foil in a preheated 375° just until bubbly. About 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 more minutes.


NOTES: You can change out the cheese to any kind you wish. The more strong of course, the more it will dominate your brussels, so I would be careful. A Pepper Jack might be fun. Parmesan is a good fall back.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


COOKING TIME: 20 minutes


Puffed Up Potato Mashies

CheesyPotatoPuffs_bI found this recipe somewhere, but it was not acceptable since it was made with all kinds of fake food, such as boxed mashed potato flakes (gasp) and bacon bits from a jar.

I mean seriously, that is not food.

But the idea was good, you just need to actually cook real food.

Takes very little extra time.

Tastes vastly better.

Much healthier since there is not God-knows-what in the box.

So whatcha waiting for?


  • 3 lg russet potatoes peels and diced and cooked until fork tender (enough to make about 3 cups)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 c cream
  • 4 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces and fried crispy, drained on paper towelling
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper


  1. Mash your taters, adding the butter and cream and salt and pepper as you would normally for mashed potatoes.
  2. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Once cool, add the bacon and the cheese.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop up balls of the mixture and place each on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  5. Place in a preheated 425° oven and heat until cheese has melted, and the potato is crisping on the edges, about 20 minutes.


NOTES: You could substitute other cheese, add scallions as well if you wish, or chives or parsley.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

Pumpkiny Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls-1So you like Cinnamon rolls?

I know that you do.

And so do I.

And so it’s fall and all.

And pumpkins are in the air.

Well, actually they aren’t, but we are sure thinking about them.

And carving them.

And finding new ways to eat them.

So, make these babies and sit back and watch the leaves fall.

And eat them.


For the filling:
    • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
    • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
For the dough:
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided), melted and cooled
For the icing:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup powdered sugar


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
For the filling:
    1. Combine pumpkin puree, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Set aside.
To make your dough:
    1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter to the buttermilk and whisk to combine. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth. This took about 10 kneads for me.
    2. Using your hands, pat the dough into a 12 x 9 rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, then spoon the pumpkin filling mixture on top, leaving 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle nuts over the top, if desired. Press the filling down lightly so it will stick to your dough.
    3. Starting with the long side of your dough, roll dough to form a tight cylinder. Pinch the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife or dental floss, cut the dough into 8 equal segments. Slightly flatten each bun to seal your open edges and keep your filling inside. Put one roll in the center of a 9-inch cake pan. Place the remaining 7 buns around the perimeter of the pan. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.
    4. Bake until the edges of the buns are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. If desired, remove buns from pan to a wire rack. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before icing.
To make the icing:
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute, then add in vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk until well blended. If needed, whisk in additional powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Remove from heat and drizzle over buns.


NOTES: This dough is really great and very quick to run up, so I would use this dough recipe and vary the fillings as you desire. Just start out with the butter and then add whatever else you might get a desire for. I can imagine even using apple butter, jam of any kind, and then nuts that go with your innards. You can get these together in a jiffy, so do try them. Make a double batch and freeze one!

SOURCE: Kitchen Meets Girl

OVEN: 425°

OVEN TIME: 23-25 minutes

Apple-Pumpkin Bliss Butter

applepumpkinbutterFall brings apples and apples bring bliss.

I don’t know why I was feeling all homemakery but I was, so I thought I would really step out and try something new.

Glad I did, for this was utterly grand.

I’ve never been an apple butter person (not the commercial type at least) and didn’t figure that homemade would be THAT much different, but oh Lordy was I wrong.

I think you could probably leave out the pumpkin and this would still be just fine.


  • 8-12 apples (8 if large, 12 if medium-sized) of your choice
  • 1/4 c apple juice
  • 1 c + 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp each of ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger
  • juice of one lemon
  • pinch of salt


  2. Day One:  Put peeled, cored, diced apples in a crock pot with the apple juice, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tsp maple syrup, and 1 tsp of the cinnamon. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Let the mixture cool. If your crock pot allows, place the dish in the fridge until tomorrow.
  4. Day Two: Puree your apples from the day before in your food processor until fairly smooth (this is up to you how smooth) Then place back in the crock pot and add the balance of sugar, the pumpkin, and spices, lemon juice and salt. Cook on high for 6-8 hours until it has reduced by about a 1/4. Taste and add more sugar if you wish.
  5. Cool and place in sterilized jars. Cap and let sit until cooled then place in the freezer for up to six months or the fridge for a couple of weeks.

SERVES: 5 pints

NOTES: If you wish to omit the pumpkin, then I would omit the ginger and nutmeg as well.

SOURCE: Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks

Basic Caramel Frosting

caramelfrostThis is a basic recipe that you can find almost anywhere.

It is annoying only insofar as you need to use a thermometer in order to get the recipe right.

Other than that, it’s simple and really is delightfully caramelly good.

So drag out the thermometer and make it.

It will work well with plenty of different cakes, even chocolate if you have some adventure in your heart.



  • 1 c cream
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Bring everything but the vanilla to boil in a saucepan (add a pinch of salt), and boil for 12-15 minutes until the temperature reaches 210-212°. Take off heat and add the vanilla Cool for a bit but not until it starts to harden up too much.
  2. Pour over the cake and spread around evenly.


SOURCE: Lottie + Doof

Tasty Non-White Cake

caramel cakeThis is not a spice cake, nor a yellow cake, nor a white cake.

It’s just a tasty one.

The good thing is that it mixes up in a bowl and makes a nice sized 10 x 14 sheet cake.

And you can frost it however you may wish, but I like it with a caramel pourable frosting that you can just pour over the top, let it collect at the sides and smooth is around quickly. It makes for a nice dessert without a lot of work.

See how you like it.


  • 1 c butter
  • 1 c apple juice (or cider)
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Melt the butter slowly in the apple juice, just off the boil
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and spices together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix well.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, the sour cream and the vanilla.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Pour into a greased and floured 10 x 14 baking dish.
  7. Place in a pre-heated oven at 350° 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  8. Cool and frost as desired.


NOTES: You could use plain water instead of the apple juice. Also consider other juices.

SOURCE: Inspired by Juanita’s Cochina

OVEN: 350°

COOKING TIME: 30 minutes