Pick a Peck of Peppers, Miss Mom, Make Pepper Jelly, Miss Mom…

One of my favorite jellies to make was also one of Mom’s favorites…

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly!

Hot & Sweet Pepper Jelly...on a cracker

Hot & Sweet Pepper Jelly…on a cracker

If you’ve never had pepper jelly you are missing out on a quirky but tasty treat! The jelly pairs well with cream cheese and crackers. I had some Ritz crackers to enjoy my new batch of jelly on but my husband prefers this treat on Wheat Thins. For me…any cracker will do!

I have read that this jelly is an ‘Antebellum’, Southern treat! I can just picture those Southern Belles enjoying this spicy jelly on some fancy crackers! Pepper Jelly and Sweet Tea…yum huh! Mom loved both!

I had planned to make this jelly for a surprise gift for Mom this fall. Sadly…I lost my sweet little Mama this year in June. Making this jelly is just one way that I can honor her. Oh…this may seem a very small thing but I found some healing and great joy in the process. Okay…I had a small break down right there…onward…

One of Mom’s friends (and her manicurist) called Mom…‘Hot Little Mama’! She was…all that and more! My little Mama was “class n’ sass”!


Hot Pepper Jelly... for my 'Hot Little Mama'

Hot Pepper Jelly…
for my ‘Hot Little Mama’

I have made the green (Jalapeno Pepper Jelly) many times. The Spicy Red Pepper Jelly is a first for me. I LOVE it! If  you think you’d like to try your hand at making some pepper jelly….go to either link below for the recipes. The Jalapeno Pepper Jelly recipe was one given to us by one of my husband’s c0-workers, years ago. The Spicy Red Pepper Jelly recipe that I used is from Epicurious. Both recipes are very easy to make. One word of caution! When making the Jalapeno Pepper Jelly…use gloves! The burn on your fingers from the pepper oils will burn, relentlessly, for a very long time! I’ve learned! The red pepper jelly is easier in that regard because you just use dried pepper flakes.

Both are pretty…and pretty tasty!

Use these links to get to the recipes for Jalapeno Jelly and Spicy Red Pepper Jelly…




This jelly and this post is for Mom! I know that she would want me to continue doing the things that I enjoy and all of the things that made her proud of me! I am returning to my blog after a very long break because Mom’s spirit and encouragement remain…always in my heart! She is still the light in the harbor…bringing me home on a churning sea. Weather a storm of sorrow, pray for the calm, call forth the joy in remembering her…all this I must do! And…make jelly!

To everything…

Excerpts of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8…

To everything there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under Heaven…

A time to weep and a time to laugh,

A time to mourn and a time to dance…

My Sweet Mama

My Sweet Little Mama

 Fern Bushong Christiansen

July 17,1933 – June 6,2014

I am thankful for a Season shared with this wonderful woman…my Sweet Little Mama!

‘Til we meet again…

at Jesus’ feet…

God Be With You…

‘Til we meet again…

Rest in His love Little Mama!


A Wreath for Mama


Oh Babycakes….Cinnamon Swirl Cake!

Hey there…Babycakes!

That is one of my favorite terms of endearment! 

OK…moving on…

There is something so fun and special about the celebration of an anticipated blessing!


This was my creation for a co-worker with

a little one on the way …

A Babycakes Onesie!

A Babycakes Onesie!

I made this a double layer 9x 13 cake.  The design wasn’t perfect…but it was fun to make and the taste was perfection! This is one of my favorite cakes and now it’s one of Poppy’s new faves as well.  So simple but…so so good!

Moist & Tender Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Moist & Tender Cinnamon Swirl Cake

I have only a few cake recipes that are not completely from scratch…as in…

you use a cake mix in the mix!

But this is one of those cakes and it is nothing to be ashamed of! It gets a thumbs up and ‘oh I could eat the whole cake’ responses….

every time I make it!

Very easy to make…

I use one Duncan Hines ‘Signature recipe’ French Vanilla cake mix

Mix with…

one cup sour cream

4 lightly beaten eggs

and 3/4 cup vegetable oil.

Mix by hand and pour into a lightly greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.

In a small bowl…

mix together 1 cup brown sugar and 1 T. cinnamon

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Swirl / slice a knife back and forth until the sugar mixture is ‘swirled’ throughout. Be careful not to overmix.

Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until cake springs back lightly…or golden.

When cake is cool…

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed for consistency)

1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla

Blend well…

frost cake…

eat cake!

A Babycakes Onesie!

Oh Babycakes! 

For a printable version….



‘Til we meet again…

May you experience the sweetness of anticipated blessings,

terms of endearment…

And eat cake!

Happy Trails!


Vee's Home and The Range

Vee’s Home and The Range

New Year, New Recipe… Crazy Good Blueberry Ribbon Coffe Cake!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here we are…already nearly one week into the new year!

Do you have any resolutions for the year?


Adjective: Admirabley purposeful, determined, unwavering.
Synonyms: Determined – firm – decided – resolved – decisive

I have a month to month plan and…categories! I find that I am resolute in some categories and I will work on being resolute in others!

In my Creative Cooking and Baking Category…

I resolve to continue creating tasty recipes in my kitchen…possibly on the lighter side, this year!

I’m off to a great start! Maybe not on the lighter side of things yet…but I definitely came up with a new and tasty recipe to add to my favorite brunch recipes.

Coffee Cake Brunch

Blueberry Ribbon Coffe Cake …with brunch

I started the year in the kitchen…creating a fantastic new recipe that we enjoyed for brunch on New Year’s Day.  In my New Year Kitchen Adventures… I want to include new ingredients or use some new kitchen gadgets. I believe this will help me explore and develop new cooking skills. And I do resolve to try cooking and baking on the lighter side….uh…I think! There are, certainly, some tasty ways to prepare some favorites on the ‘lighter side’ that will fit well into my overall plan of enjoying the kitchen and maybe a smaller dress size as well!

My new favorite addition to the pantry…

Powdered Buttermilk for Baking

How many times have you wanted to try a recipe that included buttermilk…and you didn’t have any? I know the trick to make your own…use vinegar or lemon juice in milk…but I always prefer the real thing…buttermilk. It is not something that I always have in my refrigerator so I was happy to give this dehydrated version of buttermilk a try. It is great! The baked result was a delicious and moist coffee cake!

Vee's Blueberry Ribbon Coffee Cake

Vee’s Crazy Good Blueberry Ribbon Coffee Cake

This new recipe is crazy good! My husband loved it so much he was trying to come up with a marketing scheme to mass market the stuff! OK…new recipes…off to a good start. This delightful brunch addition was worth the weight …I mean wait…on my resolve in one of the other categories!

Here is a link to a printable version of the recipe:


I hope you’ll give it a try because it really is crazy good!

I hope the New Year has greeted you with great joy and blessings!

Until we meet again….

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Happy Trails!