FUNERAL POTATOES (aka Nauvoo Potatoes)…and we call them ‘HAPPY POTATOES’!

Announcing the death of ‘funeral potatoes’….we now call them ‘happy tators’!

"Happy Tators"

“Happy Tators”

I have been absent for a while…at least not posting much here at Home and The Range. I was beginning to think my  job may be the death of me…I mean my blog! I truly miss this little blog when I’m away!  Home and The Range is my journal of the people, places and things that I love.

Speaking of people that I love…

I had opportunity, a couple of months ago, to spend time with some of my loved ones that live out West. It was a wonderful time! Three of my children (and my daughter’s fiance’) made the trip from Arizona to Utah to visit with me and all of our family there. There was much to celebrate! Dad just turned 83, Dustin (our hero…still battling through his Muscular Dystrophy) just turned 30, Waylon just turned 5, Darryl just turned 53 and one of my daughters is newly engaged.

A few highlights from Home…where family gathers!

And from the Range … some food that we love!

A grand meal shared with loved ones that included funeral potatoes!

"Happy Tators"

“Happy Tators”

This is a popular dish in Utah. I love these creamy, cheesy delicious potatoes! A few years ago my youngest daughter suggested we name this delicious dish ‘happy potatoes’ because funeral potatoes sounds a bit depressing. So we now call them ‘happy potatoes…or happy tators’!

They have been so named ‘funeral potatoes’ because they are often made for the dinner provided for a family following a funeral. The Relief Society in the LDS Church provides the comfort of a home cooked meal for family and close friends in attendance of a funeral. The name ‘Nauvoo Potatoes’ has to do with the history of the LDS Church and Nauvoo, Illinois.

My sister made the ‘happy potatoes’ for our get-together in Utah and I was reminded of how much I love them.  I made them when I got back home to Kentucky as part of our Easter meal. I’m bringing the West and Southwest…to The South!

The green onion adds to the unique flavor of this dish and the crunchy corn flake topping makes this recipe…tops!

There are a few versions of this dish on the internet but I LOVE this recipe that my sister and I use (she gave me the recipe several years ago).

If you would like to try the recipe that my sister and I use …select the following link:

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/-happy-tators

Until we meet again…

Wishing you the blessings of home, family…and maybe some ‘Happy Tators’.

Happy Trails!

Vee

Find joy in the journey

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Remembering Honest Abe….his Kentucky home and favorite almond cake!

Today was the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday!

I thought this would be a good day to post some pictures of Abe Lincoln’s Kentucky home. Poppy and I went to see Abe’s birthplace last fall. The grounds and surroundings are beautiful and we could imagine Abe running in those woods as a child.

Abe's Stomping Grounds, KY

Abe’s Stomping Grounds, Hardin County KY

There is a small log cabin, kept in a building for preservation, that was once believed to be the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.

The building is home to the little log cabin from Abe's era.

Home to the little log cabin from Abe’s era.

The staff explained that the log cabin is no longer thought of as Abe’s birthplace but is, rather, a log cabin from this area in Kentucky and from the 1800 era.

Log Cabin from the 1800's.

Log Cabin from the 1800’s.

Poppy reads the plaques outside the monument.

Poppy reads about an idyllic frontier.

Idyllic Frontier

Hey Poppy….who is that with you on the porch?

Poppy and Lincoln on the porch!

Poppy (Bud) and Lincoln on the porch!

Well….Southern gals find a recipe for every topic of conversation! So…to honor that tradition, and satisfy my curiosity, I looked up Abe’s favorite cake recipe…of course!

This is a deliciously moist, tender cake and has a delicate almond flavor…not overpowering.

Abe's Favorite Cake,Mrs. Lincoln's White Almond Cake

Abe’s Favorite Cake,
Mrs. Lincoln’s White Almond Cake

Here is a little bit of history ….an excerpt from LINCOLN HOME, National Historic Site

http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/liho/printVersion.html

Food  and Entertaining Mary loved entertaining.

Mary’s main homemaking interest appeared to be cooking, especially  making sweets.  The  cookbooks she purchased after getting married are in the Presidential library  in Springfield.  Her white almond  cake was one of Mr. Lincoln’s favorite desserts.  She had brought the  recipe from her favorite bakery in Lexington, Kentucky.  Mary baked the white cake for Abraham Lincoln when they were  courting, as a Springfield housewife, and when she was First Lady.  Today, there are many versions of it,  including the one listed below.

The Lincolns purchased macaroon pyramids  (macaroon cookies stacked in a pyramid and covered with caramelized sugar  drizzle) from local confectioners when they had a big party. Mary often  served strawberries and cream, probably with cookies.  Oral tradition had it that the neighborhood  children were guaranteed a cookie or donut from Mrs. Lincoln when they played with  the Lincoln boys.  With Mary’s copious  amounts of sugar purchased, there were plenty of cookies.  During the course of one week in 1849, Mary  purchased 13 pounds of sugar!

Abe’s favorite cake…
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake 

(Recipe from Lincoln’s Table by Donna D. McCreary was adapted by Janice  Cooke Newman)

1 cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they

resemble a coarse flour

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

6 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

confectionary sugar

  • Preheat  oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  • Cream  butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter  and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
  • Beat  egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Pour  into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out  clean. Turn  out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top

A basic white frosting sprinkled with  almonds was also popular.

I made this cake with a few changes….I used toasted, slivered honey almonds, added 1 teaspoon cardamom (goes well with almond), buttermilk , instead of milk,  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  I frosted the cake with an almond cream cheese frosting.

A tasty slice of the past!

A tasty slice of the past!

We stopped in at the gift shop and visitor’s center and I purchased this very cute country style sampler.

Country Bear Sampler

Country Bear Sampler

Only after bringing it home did I see that on the tag it read…Made in China!

I’m sure we could find some Kentucky folk to make these! It just doesn’t seem to fit into the whole ‘Idyllic Frontier’ theme…does it? Oh well…such is life on the new Frontier!

Until we meet again….

Happy trails on your Frontier…wherever that may be….Kentucky, China…wherever!

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply….

and simply blessed!

Vee

Barn in the mist

Snow and Yoberry (Yogurt Strawberry) Muffins…What a great Saturday!

We have had some very strange weather this winter in Kentucky! It has gone from cold to high 60’s, back to the teens, tornado weather and….finally….snow, beautiful snow!

A peaceful winter morning.

A peaceful winter morning.

We have waited for the snow since the last snow just after Christmas!  The snow we had then didn’t stay on the ground for long. Our weather has been crazy! After the tornado like weather last week we had snow flurries but nothing stuck to the ground. The snow flurries were fun though. The snow flakes were large feather-like flakes and the wind swirled them around in circles. I heard someone say that it looked like being in a snow globe! I thought that was a great way to describe it and I quite enjoyed watching the big flakes swirl around throughout the day…in the snow globe! I was overjoyed when the snow started up again and actually started sticking to the ground at about 12:00 a.m. on Friday morning. I want to take in every minute of it that I can. I went for a walk in my P.J.’s…at midnight!

P J's, snow boots (not tied)...and snow...yes...snow...at midnight!

P J’s, snow boots (not tied)…and snow…yes…snow…at midnight!

The snow was nearly all melted away by Friday night. What a wonderful surprise to wake up on Saturday morning to a soft falling snow…sticking to the ground!

I LOVE it!

Snow Love!

Snow Love!

OK…never mind where I got a little off balance…it’s still a heart! And…next time this old gal is going to make a snow angel!

I love the peace that the new snow brings. The sweet, peaceful calm is so welcome and so beautiful!

The quiet of nature.

The quiet of nature!

What a great Saturday morning…watching the snow…and baking some muffins!

Yo...berry muffins!

Yo…berry muffins!

I wrapped these fruit filled, tasty muffins in some wintery fun…

Wintery muffin liners.

Wintery muffin liners.

Poppy and I enjoyed the day…and the muffins!

The dogs enjoyed the snow too!

Poppy and Nella enjoy the morning walk in the snow!

Poppy and Nella enjoy the morning walk in the snow!

Poppy and Bear in the snow!

Poppy and Bear in the snow!

Pogo and Snow...he loves it!

 
Pogo and Snow…he loves it!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you peaceful, sweet moments to treasure…

with a day that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Happy Trails!

Vee

Simple treasures.

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?

res·o·lute!

Definition:
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:

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/vee-s-crazy-good-blueberry-ribbon-coffee-cake

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!

Vee

DSCN3921_1475

Pray a Latte’! A recipe for happiness!

Saturday morning was a misty morning with a light soft rain. A perfect day for a homemade latte’!

Misty Morning Latte’

This luscious latte’ was every bit as good as the expensive coffee shop variety! It is quite easy to make, less expensive and you can stay in your pj’s! What a way to enjoy a misty morning!

To make:

Brew some strong coffee…or espresso. This was the coffee that I used for my latte’…Cafe Goya.

Rich Bold Espresso

Heat some 2% milk in a pan…till you see a layer of ‘skim’ and it starts to bubble.

Funky Milk…perfect stage to whisk into a foam!

Then whisk into a bubbly foam….

a Perfect Foam!

Fill a coffee cup 1/2 or 2/3 full of coffee,  add sweetener of your choice if you like, pour hot milk, holding back the foam, into the coffee, top off with some foam…sprinkle with cinnamon or your favorite spice. ENJOY…on the porch, in your jamms…or…wherever your morning takes you! It is yum-huh delicious!

Second cup!

While enjoying my latte’ I remembered the cutest coffee cups with the phrase…Pray a Latte’ on them…and a scripture.

I saw these in a catalog that my sister-in-law had…Catalog Favorites.

Prayer and Latte’

I searched for the cups. They are no longer available! I think I shall pray…a latte’…for them to come back. Should have ordered them before!

I Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

I thought about that scripture while enjoying my latte’.

I thought…

Pray a lot

To The Father Above

His love and mercy

To bless those that I love…

Friends and Family,

Those I hold dear….

I pray The Lord to hold them near.

I gave thanks for my loved ones, the morning, the soft falling rain…

Until we meet again…

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply…

and a day that is simply blessed….

with…a latte’ to be thankful for!

Happy Trails!

Vee

A Tailgating Tale, a Treasure Chest and Apricot Bars…my writing challenge entry!

WordPress has started a weekly writing challenge. Although I don’t consider myself to be a writer (although I do write), I was excited about the topic of this week’s challenge. The challege was to write about a favorite possession…

One of my favorite possessions is a little Cocoa Cola Cooler.  This little cooler warms my heart with some wonderful memories of my Grandparents, Grandpa LaNay and Grandma Alice, and our tailgate parties!

Always and Forever!

We took this little cooler, packed to the brim with a summer feast, and loaded it into Grandpa’s little white and blue Ford pickup. It was his fishin’, pic-nic’n truck! I don’t remember him using it for anything else!

Tailgating typically brings together sports and eating and fans of both! But Grandma and Grandpa had their own style of tailgating…no sports, just the sport of being in the beautiful outdoors and being together!

I am fortunate in having this memorabilia in my kitchen. Now holding a collection of collectible Cocoa Cola bottles, it once held some ‘made with love’ picnics to take along on our adventure paths of laughs, fun and love…our tailgate parties!

This little cooler was the champion of cool! It kept all of Grandma’s delicious goodies at the perfect temperature. I remember touching the cool metal sides of the cooler.  There is no cooler today that can come close to being as cool as my Grandma and Grandpa’s cooler, in more ways than one!

When we had our fishing hole mapped out we stopped for a bite to eat. Grandpa would say “let’s just have an appetizer and come back for more after we do some fishin”. I think he couldn’t wait to dig into the goodies!

Grandma always had some fresh fruit (it was always apricots if they were in season) in the top tray of the cooler.  I have had a fondness of apricots since then (resulting in the purchase of a baby doll named ‘Baby Apricot’ for my youngest daughter). There would also be an assortment of fresh veggies from Grandma’s garden…maybe some cucumbers or some of Grandma’s homemade pickles, or her fantastic spiced veggies that she canned.  I should learn to make those…they were excellent!

What a feast! Ah…now I know why we ate some before fishin’ and some…after fishin’!

Let’s go fishin’!

Grandma took such great care to pack a perfect lunch!

A perfect tailgate picnic!

There were always wrapped sandwiches (like egg salad and bologna) cut into finger sandwiches so that we could choose a couple of each.  And, of course, a homemade cookie (oatmeal or sugar ) or a piece of some homemade cake.

One of the most important things to bring along…some homemade tea, made from mint and canned raspberry juice from Grandma’s own garden! She brought that along in Mason jars. The tea stayed nice and cool in our little cooler and was so refreshing!

After we had a bite or two we headed on over to the lake or stream. Grandpa tried and tried to coax me into putting the worm on the hook. I couldn’t, no sirreeeeee, do it! He got a gigantic kick out of trying though!

After laughing it up a while he would put my mind at ease and hand me a pole, already baited…whew! Then I just had to worry about gutting the fish if I caught one! Yes…there were laughs about that as well!

After doing a little bit of fishin’ with Grandpa, Grandma and I would walk up and down the banks, skip a stone or two and admire the wildflowers. She loved Sunflowers and had her own garden of them. Mom has a picture of me standing in Grandma’s Sunflower garden.  See what this little cooler does? It tugs at my heart to know how Grandma loved me, her garden, and how I feel about my own Grandchildren! They are the flowers in my garden!

One of Grandma’s favorite flowers.

My Grandma Alice was a dedicated woman who valued her family more than anything on earth. She was not a woman of earthly possessions but felt herself to be a wealthy woman because of her family and her faith. She was a true example of commitment and dedication. She once told me that I should never serve myself before serving my husband. I later understood that she meant more than just serving supper and I understood just how much she treasured my Grandfather. I understand why they had such a wonderful friendship and marriage.  I cannot help but think of that…when I look at my little cooler.

My Grandpa LaNay was a gentle man and a true gentleman! He had a kind and generous heart. I never heard him raise his voice or say an unkind word. He had a good sense of humor and loved making all of the kids laugh (and he enjoyed making my Grandma laugh too)! He treasured my Grandmother and always told me what a good woman she was. He was a very talented artist who loved painting nature. I treasure the memory that he has painted on my heart.

What a collectible little cooler! It holds a collection of some of my most treasured childhood moments with Grandparents that I treasure! One little cooler…two wonderful Grandparents!

Bottle opener on the side of the cooler.

On my trip to Utah this summer I was lucky enough to get copies of my Grandmother’s hand written recipes that my Mother now has.  I have not had a chance to start sorting through them or trying each recipe yet but I am looking forward to coming across some memorable dishes that Grandma made…maybe even some recipes that she used for some of our picnics.

Meanwhile…I found a recipe, that I tweaked a bit, for some Apricot Bars that are quite delicious! Even an apprehensive husband, who doesn’t particularly like apricots, loves them. I have named them Picnic Apricot Bars in honor of my Grandma and Grandpa and our picnics that we brought along in our little cooler!

Picnic Apricot Bars…shown here on my other Grandmother’s plate.

Here is a link to the recipe …

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/picnic-apricot-bars

(You can print the recipe from the page that the link opens up. Just go to the bottom of the page for the print button).

I am thankful for having such wonderful Grandparents and thankful for this precious cooler that helps me remember such wonderful times together…pretty cool! This ice chest is a treasure chest!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you the blessing of treasured memories…

and Happy Trails along the way!

Vee

By the way…that little Baby Apricot smelled like apricots for seventeen years, maybe more. My daughter gave her away when she was seventeen. I…was not happy about that!

A Matter of Life,Death….and a dessert ‘to die for’…Pecan Pie Bars!

No crisis….no emergency….just a bit about one of the ‘not so odd…ities’

in the South!

Here in the South….

Cemeteries are in the Church yard! Something that, at first, creeped me out!

Now…

I find it appropriate, thought-provoking and …bittersweet!

Come to the Church in the Wild Wood….

When I first moved to Kentucky, last December, I noticed that cemeteries reside in the Church yard.

It made me feel a bit uneasy….kind of like how I feel about burials, in general. I get pretty upset (who doesn’t) at a gravesite. Aside from the loss and the heartache, I also deal with the whole burial in the ground thing. I wrestle with that in my mind and in my heart. I can’t explain it very well and even writing about it…I feel that gut wrenching feeling of loss.

The location of a cemetery in most small towns out West…is the very edge…the very farthest edge….of town.

Growing up in a small town presented opportunity to have to find fun things to do. One of those ‘fun’ things was running around in the cemetery in the dark and getting scared half out of our wits while somebody told some obnoxious spooky story. I never quite knew why I went along because I really did get scared! I think that is part of the reason I have just never liked cemeteries!

It is definitely unique, for me, to see all of the cemeteries in the Church yards here. I told my husband that I didn’t like thinking about death when I went to Church! He always gave me a look…like….say what?

So over the past several months I have pondered this practice (of cemeteries in Church yards).  I drive past a little Church with a cemetery on the grounds, quite often. It is just around the corner from our house. I have grown to love this scene…and love the meaning that it has for me now.  What better reminder? We live our lives….in Jesus’ love. We should live our lives according to Our Father’s Will…and he does bring us home…to our peaceful rest…our Heavenly Home. How very sweet…to be resting near a place of worship. I quite like the idea of that now. At least…today I do!

Time for Revival!

This is the sign outside the little Church around the corner. Ironic if you ask me! Revival? I see a lot of head stones! Please….don’t be offended…it’s funny!

What do you see…on the streets where you live?

Our street…just around the corner from the little Cemetery.

So…now for that

‘to die for’ dessert….and they are so Southern and so yummy!

Pecan Pie Bars

Here is a link to a printable recipe…

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/pecan-pie-bars

These are gooey, nutty and delicious. I hope you’ll give them a try…or maybe be inspired to make a batch of your own favorite cookie bars.

By the way…

a note about the last post and Mock Tapioca Pudding.  Out of One Hundred Seventeen views,

I had….

drum roll….

6 ‘likes’! Six?

Wow….I had no idea there were that few of us who like Cream of Wheat! But the proof, as always, is in the pudding. Ya’ll really should try it! But if pudding isn’t your thing….give these Pecan Pie Bars a try…they’re great!

Until we meet again….

Happy trails….on the street where you live!

Vee