Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grandmother Cates Tea Cakes

I am so fortunate to have grown up with a Grandmother who loved to teach me how to cook.  I spent many an hour learning how to bake cakes and cookies and just regular every day dishes when I was visiting her home!!  She had written out many recipes and put them into a vinyl binder which I found after she had passed away.  When you see something written in a loved ones handwriting it's always almost like having them right there with you!!  As I was browsing through the recipes last night I realized that she had written out the Tea Cake recipe that had belonged to my Great Grandmother!!  I was beyond thrilled, so I thought I would share it with y'all today!!  I had big plans to make them today, but it looks like I need to run to the store for some nutmeg!!  :)

Hope everyone enjoys them!!


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 stick butter (the recipe actually called for "Oleo" but hardly anyone knows what that is either a stick of shortening or a stick of butter will do)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Milk
Add enough milk to make the proper consistency.  Roll out thin.  Cut and bake  8-10 min at 375 degrees.  (I realize for those of you new to baking this is not really helpful....this is just how the recipe was written :)....HOWEVER....I will put it into my words here.....Mix all the ingredients EXCEPT the milk.  Pour maybe 1/4 cup of milk into a measuring cup and pour a little at a time into your dough and stir stir.  You want it to be a little sticky where it rolls into a giant ball when you stir it.  Remember you can always add a little more but you can't take it back out!! 

Flour your rolling pin and flour a flat surface to roll out your cookies!!!

Sometimes it helps to pick up a ball of dough and put a little flour in your hands and pat that ball with the four all around before rolling it out.  Not a gob of flour, you don't want to change the taste of your cookies but just a "dusting" to help them roll easier!!

Let me know how these turn out for you!!

As soon as I buy some nutmeg I will bake some and we can all compare notes!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Storytime with Baby A ~ One of my MOST favorite things!!

As many of you know I have had the awesome privilege of babysitting my grandchildren  every day for their moms for the past five years.  :)  One of our most favorite things to do each week is to go to STORYTIME at one of our local public libraries.  I had read that this week they would have a different high school symphony orchestra come in and play for the kids.  When I saw that I knew I had to take Baby A even if this library is over 35 miles away from my home!!

We walked in right as the drum line was starting to play....It was AWESOME!!  And who doesn't love a good drum line?!?!

There were several different band "sections" there....I don't think I can name them all....they had the trumpet section, flute section, etc.....

Baby A had a good time and even started swaying back and forth with the music once or twice!!

The library even had thought ahead and gave every kid their own "instrument" to play along with the band.  She had such a good time banging on her coffee can drum!!

I just had to take a photo of her standing next to the TUBA!! 

After the performance was over the band director let the little ones have the opportunity to go look at all of the instruments and even bang on a drum or two!!  :)


I had to stop by the mall to return something to a store and she asked me for some "cream" being the AWESOME MiMi that I am I stopped at Dipping Dots and got her some Strawberry ones!!  On the way out of the mall she tripped a little and shook my arm and I sprinkled Dipping Dots all over the J.C. Penney floor....I know they appreciate those things roll everywhere!! 

Sweet Baby A in the backseat enjoying her dots!!

Then when I got home, this surprise was waiting in the mailbox!!  Talk about making MiMi's heart melt!!  My grandson just moved two hours south of me.  He and his mother have lived with us on and off for the past five years so it's been quite an adjustment to have him so far away.  I took him shopping last weekend and he is coming up to spend the weekend this weekend because they have an extra day out of school!!  I will not turn down a chance to spend time with my favorite little boy ever!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shrimp Chipotle Alfredo ~ Go Ahead and put it on your FAVORITES :)

I just have to share another awesome recipe I found on Pinterest.  After some searching and reading the blog that posted the recipe I've also found an almost identical one on  The one I found this recipe at is

I cooked this for supper Saturday night, and since it was just the hubby and I, we had plenty of leftovers for Sunday afternoons dinner as well!  I have to say that it is equally as delicious the second day as the first and another dish the hubby just RAVED about!!  I've changed the recipe up some to suit my taste and the way it is cooked, so this is my take on the recipes from both sites!!

Here are the ingredients

  • 1 pkg of sliced baby portobella mushrooms
 (I used one of those blue styrofoam containers of mushrooms)(The Kraft website does not use mushrooms, this is TOTALLY add only if you like mushrooms kinda thing)
  • 1 tomato (seeded and diced)
(seeding a tomato is much like slicing a green pepper, just scoop out the middle and chop up the remaining tomato into cubes, and once again, the Kraft website also omitted this ingredient)
  • 1 lb Fettuccine, uncooked
 (I used about 3/4 of a box and for 2 people it was MORE than enough....really...there was enough for 8 servings so I would not suggest using a whole box unless you have a large family to feed)
  •  6 Tbsp butter
  • 2 lb shrimp
 (the recipe calls for uncooked shrimp...that's a lot of trouble...I just buy the frozen cooked shrimp in a bag, FYI I USED MEDIUM SIZED SHRIMP. I open the bag and empty the shrimp into a bowl of hot water to thaw, pull the tails off and add just like much simpler)
  • 8 Oz pkg cream cheese, cubed
  •  1 cup skim milk (I used 1%)
  •  3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 (use the actual grated Parmesan you find next to the grated cheddar in the dairy aisle)
  • 1 Tbsp canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
(and once again, these are very might just use a Tbsp of sauce and not the peppers or just use sparingly say like maybe 2 teaspoons of sauce only)


  • Cook Pasta as directed, omitting salt  - drain and set aside into large serving bowl
  • While pasta is cooking, melt 2 tbsp of butter in skillet.  Saute mushrooms until tender. 
  • Set mushrooms aside and melt another 2 tbsp butter in same skillet.  Saute tomatoes for about four minutes until tender and set aside.
  • In large skillet add your cubed cream cheese, skim milk, Parmesan cheese, and the adobo chipotle sauce.  Stir with whisk for about five minutes or until cream cheese is completely melted.  Be sure and stir constantly.  Stir in the shrimp (I pretty much cooked all of this on med low or maybe up just a scritch past don't want it so hot it scorches all of your cheeses)
  • Add in the mushrooms and tomatoes and stir.  Let the shrimp, mushrooms and tomatoes blend in and warm for about three to four minutes and the mixture will bubble slightly just keep stirring with your whisk. 
  • Pour sauce over noodles and toss to mix in all the ingredients with the noodles. 

I served our dish with crusty french bread and a salad.  It was really really delicious!! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One of My Favorites ~ Pecan Finger Cookies

I helped my daughter Jackie make these cookies for her Christmas Celebration, and then I made another GIANT batch for our families Christmas Celebration....and all but ONE was gone by the time the day was done!!  Jackie said they flew off the plate at her home too!!  These cookies are just good all year long!!

Pecan Finger Cookies

1 C butter, softened (I actually used's pretty much an either or, mine turned out just fine)
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 C pecans, finely chopped (I bought a large bag of finely chopped pecans, it measured out to a cup and a half but that works just fine as well)
Garnish, powdered sugar (basically pour a cup or so of powdered sugar in a bowl or on a plate to roll your hot cookies in)

Cream butter, mix in flour, powdered sugar and vanilla. 

Roll into finger lengths (basically pick up a small ball (tsp size) and roll it between your hands until it turns into kind of a rope like finger and then curve it like a moon)

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for one hour.  I did not grease the baking sheet but you might for good measure. 

Once you take them out of the oven roll them in powdered sugar once they have had a chance to cool for a few minutes. 


I cut my butter into a bunch of little pats

Just start stirring it all around together, mashing the butter into the flour

After a few minutes, this is what it looks like

Add the nuts and stir them in well

This is what they should look like once you "roll" them :)

The first few that came out of the oven, on one of my grandmothers/great grandmothers serving dishes (another of my favorite things LOL)....I made about 70 or 80 and literally all but one were gone by the end of the day!! 


Monday, January 2, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

If my house were to be on fire, this is the first thing I would grab:

If you were a fireman you would probably think I was a crazy cat lady and I was saving my cat food. 

What I am really saving is something that means the world to me!!


This is a box that my grandmother had saved for many years and had out in her storage shed.  After she passed away I brought it back to my house, contents unknown at the time.  My grandmother had a great passion for saving all things that might have a historical significance.  I have a whole bag of old newspapers, from when Alaska became a state to the first man on the moon.  That will be a different blog :)

This, my friends, is a box of letters and tax receipts.  They are from my great great grandparents and great grandparents.  There are also several things in there from my dad to my grandmother when he was a just a boy...she kept so many of the little things he made!!  Like this card:

Inside it says:
To Mother Who Is The Sweetest One
Here Is Love From Her Son
It makes me wistful, I have a five year old grandson, so I can pretty well imagine what my dad was like as a young boy, still innocent and sweet and writing that to his mother. 

and his school photo from 1940-1941.  He was 8 years old at that time.  Just seeing this photo makes me miss him so much. 

This is a promissory note written by my great grandmothers father to someone else.  It is dated Jan 1, 1880.  It's hard to believe that I am holding a document in my hands that was once in their hands and reading the words that they wrote over 132 years ago. 

This is a tax receipt from 1884 for some of the land they owned.  I've done so much research on that side of the family, the land that they owned is only about 70 miles from where I live now.  This box is full of tax receipts for their land.  I don't even remember how far back the oldest date is, but they are really really old.  I have traveled back there and looked around.  My dad and his family lived in that little town when he was small.  When the train came through it just devastated that small town. 

So now you know, one of my most prized possessions.  Just a box of history, but it means the world to me.  It brings me close to those who traveled before me, and some who have guided and influenced me greatly, and in whos steps I can only hope to follow!

Oftentimes when I am outside and the wind is blowing softly through the East Texas pine trees and I watch the grass sway and bend in the pastures, I think of my forefathers, what they endured to travel to Texas in the 1800's, how they worked so hard to establish their land, how they signed up to fight in the wars and raised families.  I am very proud of my heritage, and very proud to be an American. 


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