Monday, November 25, 2019

Easy Pilgrim Hat Treats

 The week before, Cissy texted me and said, "Can I start coming to your house again bc I don't have to cheer so I'm free?"  I wrote back and sad, "Of course you can my darling girl." She has been so busy with cheerleading and volleyball, but I was so happy to have her again.  She assembled these pilgrim hats treats with Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies, miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and "glued" together with frosting that she piped on.  We "glued" part of a candy corn for the buckle of the hat, but an M&M would work, too. 

 Before we began our treats, we enjoyed our favorite teatime together.  Cissy's favorite tea is Bigelow's Chai Vanilla tea, and she loves whipped cream on top!  Now, I do, too!!  She said to me, "See Nana, I taught you something", and I replied, "Yes, you did!"

 Here's Cissy's version of a good cup of tea!  She always chooses this cottage teacup, and one day I'll give it to her.

 Can you tell that she loves it??

 I also was able to have lunch with my nine-year-old granddaughter, Ella.  I brought Chick-Fil-A to her, which is a favorite. 

My youngest son invited me to go to Harper's Thanksgiving program at her school, which I was happy to do.  

I'd like to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I know that I am counting my many blessings. 

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, November 18, 2019

Pasta Fagioli Soup - Instant Pot Version

I've converted my very favorite soup to an Instant Pot variation. If you would like to try the slow version, it can be found here.

Yield: 5-6

Pasta Fagioli Soup - Instant Pot Version

Pasta Fagioli Soup - Instant Pot Version

This is my all time favorite soup! I never cook the pasta in it, but cook it separately, so that it doesn't get mushy and overcooked, even when cooling. Don't tell Olive Garden, but I like this better than their Pasta Fagioli Soup!


  • 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage + 1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage (or 1 lb. ground beef)
  • 1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans beef broth (I used 4 teaspoons of Better Than Beef Bouillon + 4 cups water)
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon, pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon, marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional
  • 1 teaspoon, dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon, dried oregano
  • 3 cups of cooked small pasta, like ditalini


How to cook Pasta Fagioli Soup - Instant Pot Version

  1. Brown the sausage in your Instant Pot, on saute' setting. 
  2. Add the celery, onion, and garlic, and saute' for a minute or two.  Add the rest of the ingredients, EXCEPT the pasta, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to get all the bits of browned sausage to release.  Cancel the saute' setting.
  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, and move the lever to the seal position.  Hit the Pressure cook button and pressure cook for 10 minutes. 
  4. When the time up, let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes.  (You can cook your pasta separately in a saucepan during this time).  After 15 minutes, move the lever to vent position, and let the button drop before opening the lid. Stir the delicious soup.
  5. Place some cooked pasta in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup on top.
  6. Grate some Parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

 Cissy was recently one of a group of students who were awarded The Lion's Pride Award at her school!  Teachers nominate students for the award, and it could be for being organized, kind to others, for being helpful, for making the teacher a better teacher, etc.  The teachers write up a paragraph on why they nominated the particular student.  It was all very inspiring, and humbling. 

My handsome grandson, Riley, turned 16 last week!


I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, November 11, 2019

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

 Recently, Julie, at Julie's Creative Lifestyle, shared an easy pumpkin bundt cake, and I decided to make the cake into muffins, and put a crumb topping on.   I'm trying to make my way through my Republic of Tea Pumpkin Spice, and Twinings Chai Pumpkin Tea, before I start on my holiday teas.  My pumpkin tea towel and adorable pumpkin are from a sweet blogging friend. 

 My youngest son and daughter-in-law went out of town again, and this time, my son, Mike, and I went to their house to watch the girls.  Here's Harper mixing up the easiest muffins or cupcakes ever. 

 Hayden wanted to help, too, and she's putting on the topping.

 She looks quite pleased with herself, don't you think?

 My morning friends are enjoying their breakfast. 

Yield: 12 muffins

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

These are the easiest and most moist muffins ever! I think a yellow cake mix would work, too, but add maybe 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice to it. Cream cheese frosting on top would be great if you want cupcakes!


  • 1 Spice cake mix
  • 1-15 ounce can pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Topping (if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons of softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


How to cook Easy Pumpkin Muffins

  1. For the muffins:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Line the muffin pan with cupcake liners, or spray with cooking spray.
  4. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. 
  5. For the topping:
  6. Mix the butter, flour and brown sugar together to form crumbs.
  7. Fill the pan with the batter, filling to the top.
  8. Sprinkle on the topping, if desired, or use some sparkling sugar, or leave plain.
  9. Bake for about 18 minutes.

Created using The Recipes Generator

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, November 4, 2019

Pumpkin Date and Nut Bread

Since we've had freezing temperatures already, please join for an inside tea with some wonderful pumpkin date and nut bread and some pumpkin spice tea. 

I found this Autumn Delights cakelet pan last year, and love using it for Autumn treats.  

These little loaves are perfect for gifting!

Yield: i large loaf, or four mini loaves and six cakelets

Susan found this recipe from a friend, but the recipe comes from Maida Heatter's Cakes Cookbook. If you love dates, spices and pumpkin, you'll love this bread!  Aldi has whole dates at a good price.


  • 2-1/2 cups  flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1- and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • about 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (my addition)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 -15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 8 ounces pitted dates, cut up with kitchen shears
  • 1 cup walnuts, broken or coarsely chopped (I toasted mine)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of raw sugar for sprinkling on top of the loaves, optional


How to cook

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and place rack to the lower third of the oven. Butter or spray a 10x5x3 inch loaf pan .  (I used four mini baking loaf pans and my 6 cavity Autumn Delights cakelet pan.  )
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon,  cloves and nutmeg and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer set on low, beat the eggs just until combined. Add the sugar, beating just to blend. Add the oil, beat just to blend. Mix in the pumpkin, then add the dates. Add the flour mixture and stir or beat only until it is blended, then stir in the nuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top. Sprinkle with a little raw sugar over the top of each loaf.  (I didn't add any sugar to the cakelet pan.)
  4. If you are using a large pan, bake for 70-80 minutes. If using smaller pans, baking time will be less, about 45-55 minutes.  My mini leaves took  50 minutes and the cakelets took 25 minutes.  Start checking the loaves with a clean toothpick before the recommended time is over as all ovens are different. The toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf should come out clean. Cool in the pan(s) for 15 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.
  5. Cover and store at room temperature or refrigerator for several days or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Created using The Recipes Generator

 This little cutie pie, Harper, has a birthday this week, and she had her five-year-old birthday party.  Can you tell that she's having fun at her gymnastics party??!!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

My handsome Marine grandson, Connor, is celebrating his 19th birthday this week! Happy Birthday, sweet boy (he'll always be a boy to me)!


I am sharing this with  these lovely parties:

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