Category Archives: Recipes

Homemade Wedding Favors

Strawberry Jelly: A Family Tradition aka Wedding Favors

Homemade Jelly Wedding Favors

Have you ever thought about the fact that your family has it’s own culture? I tend to think of culture in the broad sense…as in Native American culture, Southern culture, Western culture, etc.

One of Webster’s definitions of culture is...the characteristic features of everyday existence shared by people in a place or time. 

Every family has it’s own culture. Some good…some bad…(we’re dwelling on the good here)…things like Friday night pizza night, a specific holiday menu, extended family weekend at the lake, cousin sleepovers at the grandparents house and in this case…

Home Strawberry Jelly. 

Wedding Favors (5)

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Raspberry Freezer Pie (3)

2 Delicious Summer Recipes: Grilled Veggie Burritos and Raspberry Freezer Pie

Grilled Veggie Burritos 1

photo via The Pioneer Woman

Today I’m sharing two of my current, all-time-favorite summer recipes. Current because you know this kind of thing is always subject to change.

First is The Pioneer Woman’s Grilled Veggie Burritos.

Oh.My.Goodness. These are so good!

Since I found this recipe several weeks ago we’ve had our own, slightly varied, version of 3 times! Here’s how we changed it up a bit…

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Spicey, Yummy, Can't-Put-em-Down Pretzels

Spicy, Yummy, So-good-you-can’t-put-em-down Pretzel Recipe

Spicey, Yummy Pretzels

At the moment this is Scott’s snack of choice. About the time he’s running out he’s asking to put pretzels on the grocery list.

And when I say they’re spicey and yummy and you can’t put them down? That’s pretty much true.

In fact, when my friend, Charletta, first offered these to me she asked if I wanted any “crack pretzels”. She said they called them crack pretzels because once you start eating them it’s hard to stop! LOL!

Here’s what you need to make your own.

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Hearty & Healthy Soup

3 Delicious Soup Recipes Perfect for Cool Weather

Hearty & Healthy Soup

One of my favorite things about Fall is the change in what we eat. While I love to grill out, as soon as there’s a nip in the air I’m pulling out the soup recipes.

I have no problem eating soup all year round but my family pulls a big veto on eating soup in the summer. So I eat soup for lunch and patiently wait for Fall to pull out Soup for Dinner.

I’ve been making these for several years and they’re still a crowd pleaser and a favorite.

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Homemade Bread 1

Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

I love bread. Especially the homemade variety.   

When I make homemade bread, it has to be tasted as soon as it comes out of the oven. It’s mandatory. All nice and hot, with the butter melted and dripping. There’s nothing better.  

Well…except my Mom’s biscuits. Nanny Betty (as she’s called by the grandkids, a good majority of the grandkids’ friends and various extended family members who are not grandkids) makes the best biscuits you-will-ever-taste. Hand down. Paula Deen has NOTHING on Nanny Betty.

But I digress. This post is about homemade bread not biscuits. Forgive me. I’ve been eating my Mom’s cooking for the past two weeks. I must have biscuits on the brain. They’re definitely on the hips. Continue reading

Hearty & Healthy Slow Cooker Soup

I haven’t posted a lot of recipes but this one is a keeper so I thought I’d pass it along.
I found the original version of this recipe about four years ago but have altered it a bit. So, you get the Sonya version! 
Hearty & Healthy Soup
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb turkey sausage
1 onion finely chopped 
1 tsp garlic or garlic powder
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
5 cups tomato juice
2 – 14.5oz cans French style green beans, drained
1 to 2 cans sliced mushrooms, drained
1 lg can petite diced tomato
2.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dried crushed basil
2 tsp dried crushed oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 to 2 bay leaves
In a large skillet, cook turkey, turkey sausage, onion and garlic until meat is done. (Carrots and celery can be added to skillet and cooked with meat if preferred.) Drain. Add meat mixture to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat for 6 hours. *Remove and discard bay leaf.
This recipe is just as delicious made using the stove top and a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.  Again, don’t forget to remove the bay leaf. 
This is a delicious, hearty soup perfect for cold winter evenings! Leftovers freeze well, also. Enjoy! 



This is the BEST Baked Potato Soup!

When the temperatures drop there is nothing that tastes better than soup.  Much to my family’s dismay I could eat soup 7 days a week. But no one complains when the answer to, “What’s for supper?” is
Baked Potato Soup!
Picture courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens Recipes
This happens to be our absolute favorite potato soup recipe.  Even my kids love and ask for this!  If you’re looking for a nice healthy soup, sorry…this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for filling and delicious, this is a great recipe!
Since I didn’t have a picture readily available, I found one at BH&G that actually looks fairly close to the actual soup.

10 slices of bacon with drippings
1 1/2 to 2 C chopped onion
1 1/3 C flour
12 C chicken broth (or chicken bouillon & water)
8 C chopped baked potatoes, skins on.
4 C heavy whipping cream (I often use half & half or milk)
1 tsp garlic or garlic powder
3 tsp dried basil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 – 2 tsp black pepper
2 C grated cheddar cheese
1/2 C green onions to garnish (optional)

Bake potatoes. I fill (as many as you can) a 9×13 pan with potatoes, cover with foil and bake at 450 for 1 hour. This is the perfect number of potatoes. Allow to cool. Potatoes will be easier to chop when cool.

Fry bacon in a large soup pot. (Do not remove grease.) Remove bacon and crumble. Set aside.
Cook onion (and garlic if using real garlic) in drippings for 3-4 minutes until onion is tender. Add flour, stirring to prevent lumps. Cook 3-5 minutes until golden brown. (Using a whisk helps in this step.) Add chicken broth gradually and cook until soup thickens, stirring often. (This step takes a while. Continue to use the whisk to help dissolve lumps.)

Start adding spices and Tabasco while waiting for soup to thicken. Chop potatoes. Just as soup begins to boil or reaches desired thickness, reduce heat to simmer. Add potatoes and whipping cream. Simmer to heat thoroughly. Add cheese until melted. Add bacon OR use bacon as a topping along with green onions and/or extra cheese.

This is a doubled recipe.  Makes 10-12 servings. 
Delicious as leftovers as well!


Red River Gumbo

“The Knitters” and Delicious Red River Gumbo

Do you have a close girlfriend?

How about a group of girlfriends that get together regularly? What about in 50 years? Will you still be friends? Will you still get together?
This post is all about celebrating the remarkable, enduring  friendships of women! And a great vegetable soup recipe!

Over 50 years ago, there was a group of young mothers from small town in Oklahoma, who decided to get together once a month for a Girl’s Night Out. 
“The Knitters” October 1992 (Iva with her granddaughter Jesse)
This group of 12 ladies would meet in each other’s homes, taking turns as the hostess, eat, talk, laugh and have a great time.  
They called themselves “The Knitters.”
When these ladies were in their mid 50’s they decided to start taking a trip, once a year, to Taos, New Mexico.
In between a lot of shopping and “a little bit of knitting” the ladies would pair off and take turns cooking.
This amazing soup came about from one of those trips. 
As my friend Iva tells it, they each made suggestions as to what should be in the soup.  And a brand new recipe was created. 
And since they “had to call it something…why not Red River Gumbo?” 

1 Lg. rotisserie chicken (OR whole chicken or chicken breasts cooked and shredded or diced)
2 lb bag frozen okra
4 C frozen corn
2 cans black eyed peas (drained and rinsed) I only use one can
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 12oz can tomato paste
2 cans Rotel
1 lg onion (or to taste)
8 cups chicken broth (or 8 c water plus chicken bullion)
garlic or garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and Tabasco sauce (Sorry, this is all by sight! LOL! It was the way the recipe was given to me!) If I had to guess: 1/2t – salt and pepper.  1t –  Tabasco, basil, oregano and garlic.
Place all ingredients except chicken in soup pot and simmer for 1.5 hours.  Add chicken and cook 30 more minutes.

I decided to add mushrooms for this batch!

Iva said they always served it with Mexican cornbread. 
Using cornbread mix, replace milk with salsa and mexicorn-drained. EASY!

This soup is delicious! Even my kids love it!

Iva just celebrated her 85th birthday! The friends who are still living remain close to this day.  Five of them chose to live in the same retirement home!

Iva told me that Ruth, the first “knitter” to pass away, told her friends she wanted everyone to share a banana split with her at her grave site!
And they did! 

And that’s the story of The Knitters and Red River Gumbo!

Good food and good friends! What could be better?


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