Month: November 2013

Andrea’s answer to, “You’re gonna make pumpkin bars for Thanksgiving right?”

Of course I am!  Don’t I every single year?

I can’t find the actual page that I ripped out of the Woman’s World Magazine with the recipe on it, so I don’t know the actual year I found this recipe.  I have googled it many times but it never seems to pop up on the internet anywhere.  I had luckily made an extra copy when I made a copy for a friend a few years back as well as typing it up for my personal recipe binder.


This recipe is requested often by friends and family.   When I’d get together with my girlfriends they’d start requesting these bars as soon as the fall season rolled around.   I did see Paula Deen make these bars awhile back on her show on Paula’s Home Cooking, there was only a slight variation in some measurements but the ingredients were all the same.



Pumpkin Bars


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can (16 oz) pumpkin pie filling

1  2/3 cups sugar

1 cup oil, preferably canola

4 eggs


1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 package 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and 15″x10″ jelly roll pan.  Combine first 5 ingredients.  In bowl with mixer at low-speed beat pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs until combined.  Beat in flour mixture until just combined.  Spread in pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan 45 minutes.


In bowl with mixer at medium speed beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until combined.  Beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Spread over cake; cut into bars.


** Lately I have been cheating when it comes to the frosting.  I started using Duncan Hines Creamy Home-style Cream Cheese Frosting.  This stuff is gooooood!  It really tastes homemade.  When no one complained it sorta just became a “habit” to use this shortcut.




Here’s Paula’s if you want to check hers out.


Andrea’s answer to “What would be your second choice for your favorite Pinterest recipe?”

It would have to be Mommy’s Kitchen’s  “Chicken Pot Pie”.  Trust me I have tried many chicken pot pie recipes over the years and I hit the jackpot when I found this one on pinterest.    I’ve not yet tried the recipe for her crust., someday…..  but for right now the Pillsbury pie crusts do just fine.   I think next week I may try to use some leftover turkey in place of chicken.    It’s not like it would be frowned upon in this house having Pot Pie twice in a matter of a week or so.


Chicken Pot Pie With Cream Cheese Pie Crust
From: Mommy’s Kitchen
Pie Crust: 
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons celery seed, optional

 1- 8 oz. package cream cheese, cold

1/3 cup  butter, cold
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 whole chicken, pulled from bone and cut into pieces
1/3 – cup butter
1/3 –  cup all-purpose flour
2 – teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 – teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1-1/2 cup warm water
2/3 – cup milk
3 – chicken bouillon cubes

1 – cup frozen mixed veggies

3 – individual sized tin pie bowls
For the crust combine the flour, cream cheese, and butter in a bowl. Cut in the cold cream cheese and butter until you have a crumbly mixture. Then starting working it with your hands, kneading until you have a ball of dough:

On a floured surface, roll out the dough in to a flat square. Take one of your tin bowls and trace and cut an overlapped piece of dough. Place it into the bowl and softly press it into the corners: You will get three servings out of this recipe.
Roll out a total of 6 squares for 3 bottom crust and 3 top crusts. Or you will get one large pot pie like mine.
To make the filling in a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, garlic, and spices till blended.   Slowly stir in the warm water, bouillon cubes, and milk. Slowly bring a soft boil and stir constantly for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add the frozen vegetables and the chicken.  Fill the pie shells, put the tops of the crusts over this and seal the edges. You can use a fork to make a fluted edge. Make a criss cross slit in the center: Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Serve over mashed potatoes or right out of the bowl. If making one large pot pie bake about 30-40 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t get to brown on top. If it browns too quickly cover it with foil sprayed with non stick spray.

A big thank to Mommy’s Kitchen from this Mommy’s kitchen.  The search for the perfect pot pie is officially over.

Andrea’s answer to “what is one of your favorite recipes you’ve found on Pinterest?”

There are so many but the one that pops into my head immediately is the “Shrimp Garlic Lemon Bake”   When I saw this I could not wait to try it out and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!!   Everyone LOVED this.    It tasted like the shrimp scampi I get from one of my favorite restaurants, Oyster Creek in Leeds Point, NJ.  We visit this restaurant whenever we head to the Jersey Shore and I ALWAYS get their shrimp scampi that they serve over pasta.    So of course I served my shrimp over pasta as well!

I love the fact that it’s done in the oven and you cover up the baking sheet with foil so it’s easy clean up.

You’ve got to try this you won’t be sorry.


“Shrimp Garlic Lemon Bake”

From: Southern Girl Cooking

2 sticks of butter
1 extra-large lemon juiced
6 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of basil
1 tablespoon of oregano
3.5 pounds of peeled shrimp

Melt butter. Add garlic, cook till tender. Add basil, oregano, and lemon. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over shrimp that should be lined on an oven pan with aluminum foil.

Bake at 400 for 12 minutes!

Here’s the link to my pin on pinterest:

** When I don’t have fresh lemons or garlic on hand I use bottled lemon juice and the jarred minced garlic.  I also like to top it with some parsley.

Andrea’s answer to……”can I throw away these brown bananas?”

Me: “Noooooooo!!!  I’m gonna make banana bread.”

Husband:  ”You’re going to make banana bread……with those?  Really?”

Oh how I love banana bread it smells so good baking in the oven.   I do have to admit though those over ripe bananas did look pretty icky but they sure don’t taste icky when you bite into this super moist banana bread.    You’ve gotta try it.  It just may be “The Best Banana Bread” you’ve ever tasted.

I found this recipe on Pinterest from the “Life in the Lofthouse” blog.


“The Best Banana Bread”

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 large, ripened bananas, mashed
6-7 small, disposable loaf pans

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 6-7 small loaf pans onto a large cookie sheet. Grease each of the loaf pans with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, add the beaten eggs, butter, buttermilk and mashed bananas. Mix together with an electric hand-mixer on low-speed, just until combined. Or you can use a whisk and stir by hand until combined.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Stir until just combined. Pour batter evenly into the small loaf pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

**Note:  I made with this recipe four small loaves in my Pampered Chef Mini Loaf Pan and one larger loaf. Also, we like nuts in our banana bread so I chopped up about a cup or so of walnuts and added them to the mixture before baking.  This time I tried baking one of the loaves with just chocolate chips instead of nuts. It was good but I think I still prefer the banana nut the best.




Andrea’s answer to, “Mom can you make that soup with the potatoes and the bacon?”

Of course I can!  Just know there’s way more in it than potatoes and bacon, this is a chowder.

Years ago before I utilized the internet for my recipes I was a cookbook fanatic much like my mother. Taste of Home and all their publications became my go to for everything.  I found this recipe “Beef and Bacon Chowder”  in their  Ground Beef Cookbook.    This is another one of those recipes where I’m pretty sure you’ll have all the ingredients on hand and it’s super easy to prepare.  It won’t be long before it’s in your bowl with bacon sprinkled on top and you’re digging in this  hearty chowder.

“Beef and Bacon Chowder”

1 pound ground beef

2 cups chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cups milk

3 cups cubed peeled potatoes, cooked

2 cans (10 3/4 ounces, each) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

2 cups chopped carrots, cooked

salt and pepper to taste

12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled


In a soup kettle or dutch oven, cook beef, celery and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender; drain.  Add the milk, potatoes, soup, carrots, salt and pepper; heat through.  Stir in the bacon just before serving.  Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts)

Note: I personally hate to do dishes so if I can make something a one pot wonder I will.  I cooked the carrots and potatoes in the beginning with the celery, onion and ground beef.  I also am not a fan of soggy chewy bacon, I sprinkle the bacon on top once ladled into the bowl,  just personal preference there.

Andrea’s answer to….. “What’s on the dinner menu tonight?”

The pork chops I make in the crock pot with the gravy that y’all love, or more specifically, The Country Cook’s  Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Gravy.

Two years ago I was looking for a slow cooker meal with the pork chops I had in the fridge.   So I hit my computer and this one caught my eye.    I’m a very visual person and I love a photo with a recipe and I was sold after seeing her post.  It is easy with ingredients I already had on hand in my pantry which made it even better.

This recipe has become one of my family’s favorites.  You know it’s good when you start to hear the mmmmmm sound around the dinner table after every bite.  Most importantly when my youngest and the picky eater of our bunch says “mom when are you going to make this again?”,  you know you have a winner on your hands.

The Country Cook’s Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Gravy

4 bone in pork chops ( I used six  thick boneless pork chops)

1 ounce envelope  Lipton’s dry onion soup mix

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 can Campbell’s  10.5 ounce cream of chicken soup

1 – 1 ounce packet dry pork gravy mix


Place pork in slow cooker.  In separate bowl whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over the pork.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.   Although today I cooked it on high for 4  because I messed up and started it out on warm for about an hour before I finally realized it!   It didn’t change a thing it was still just as good.

I served the chops with mashed potatoes just like she suggested because of course you need to take advantage of all that gravy goodness!

Thank you for a family favorite.

Andrea’s answer to …… ” Why in the world would you start a blog?”

First let me start with this,  two years ago on October 18, 2011 I started a facebook page called I Tried the Recipe and I Liked It.  Catchy title huh?  Yeah not so much but really I just wanted an easier way to get a recipe that I may have raved about or something I made and friends asked for the recipe because they too liked it.  This made it easier to share so I didn’t have to worry about digging it out again after someone asks for it just.  one.  more.  time.  The text ” I hate to bother you but can you get me that recipe for your crab dip again?  Sorry I promise I’ll write it down this time!”.   I honestly didn’t mind texting,  emailing or reading a recipe over the phone truly I love to share.  But sometimes you just aren’t where your recipes are.    So,  I decided to start the page and I have almost 100 likes to date.  I also have two twitter accounts with over 100 twitter followers .  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but to me it is!   Now a lot of these people are my personal friends but some I don’t know from Adam.    So really this girl thinks it’s pretty cool.  


Fast forward November 2013.  I am blog obsessed, I love the site bloglovin.  I follow blogs on beauty, home, scrapping, crafting,  photography, organizing and my most favorite cooking.   I admire these bloggers on so many levels.  Their gift for words, their style, their creativity, their photos everything.  Those are all things I am certainly lacking BUT what I don’t lack is my desire to try (that was my word for 2013 by the way) new things and to share.  So last night when I said to my daughter ” I know this is crazy but I think I may start a blog”  She said “Why not?  If it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out.  No biggie mom!”

So Andrea’s answer to “Why in the world would you start a blog?” is “Why in the world not? If it doesn’t work out no biggie. Right?”  


Side note I change the FB page and twitter also to  Andrea’s answer to