I grew up in a wonderful home with an amazing mother. My 2 grandmothers lived close by and we were spoiled by them. One was named Anna and the other Rhea Anna. And so my handle if you will is Granny Ann. Together those 3 women taught me everything and taught me how to love living life by hand. I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I have.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Raspberry Lemon-aid Cup Cakes

This 'Dreamy Recipe' is a crowd pleaser to be sure. To make the frosting truly yummy it needs homemade raspberry jam using the MCP pectin recipe for freezer jam. But if you don't have your own garden of raspberries to make jam use bottled jam from the store. The cake itself is yummy. In fact, most of the time several of the cupcakes get eaten by my family before they are cool enough to frost.

Cake Recipe:

1 box Betty Crocker Lemon cake mix
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 sm. pkg. lemon instant pudding

Mix according to package directions adding dry pudding with all other ingredients. Be sure to mix for a full 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after 30 seconds.

Fill cake tins 2/3 full. Bake according to package directions. If you choose to bake without using paper cup liners the cupcakes will be done in 13 minutes for regular cupcakes or 18 minutes for large cupcakes instead of 22-25 minutes. Be sure to generously grease your tin if using this method.

Frosting Recipe:

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
1/3 cup raspberry jam
4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons milk
Beat all ingredients until smooth. Frost cool cupcakes.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

This is such a surprisingly yummy and different chocolate cupcake. The surprise is the cream cheese filling baked into the middle and the different is the vanilla pudding frosting.

Cake Recipe:

1 box Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
3 1/2 eggs (see filling recipe)
1 1/3 cups + 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding

Mix according to package directions adding dry pudding with all other ingredients. Be sure to mix for a full 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after 30 seconds.

Fill cake tins 2/3 full. The ones pictures are the large cupcake tins.

Filling recipe:

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 egg
2 Tablespoons sugar

To get half of an egg, whisk the egg in a bowl. A large egg is usually 1/4 cup.

There are 4 tablespoons in a 1/4 cup so take 2 tablespoon of the egg and add it to the cake recipe. Use the remaining egg in the filling.

  Add the cream cheese and sugar then beat until smooth. Add filling by a spoon to the center of each cupcake.
 No need to push it in. . .

 No need to push it in. . .

. . . as you can see in the picture, it drops down just enough. Bake according to package directions. If you choose to bake without using paper cup liners the cupcakes will be done in 18 minutes instead of 22-25 minutes. Be sure to generously grease your tin if using this method.

Frosting recipe:

1 sm. pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 cup milk
8 oz whipping cream, whipped
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix pudding in milk and whisk for 1 minute. Set aside. (It is going to set-up very thick.) Fold in powdered sugar to whipped cream. When pudding has set add to sweetened whipped cream and beat until smooth. This is your frosting and it is now ready to apply generously to your cooled cupcakes however you want. I use a Wilton frosting bag with a large tip. Do not be surprised by how yummy these are.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cheery Cherries

My daughter-in-law saw a quilt that was an Irish Chain with cherries in the middle and loved it. I had never made an appliqued quilt before and this would be a fun project to start with. So I drew this one up and hoped it was what she was wanting. She loved it so much that it hangs on the wall. I put it on E's bed one day just to see how it would look. But it is her qift and she can do with it what she wants.
I drew the quilt out on graph paper first. I wanted it to be 40 x 60 inches with 2 boarders. Here is what turned out.

The middle of the quilt is 5 squares by 6 squares. There are 2 different designs of the squares. This pieced square has 5 different fabrics. The center fabric is used in the outside boarder.

These squares are just transverse of each other but the same design. They are made from 3 green fabrics and 3 pink fabrics and appliqued onto the white square. I used 1 of the pink fabrics for the inside boarder.

I quilted around the cherries, stems and leaves. In the center of the pieced squares I quilted a flower.

Charm packet quilt

This little baby quilt started out with a charm packet.

I wanted to make the quilt 40 x 60 inches so I needed to find some fabric to add a few more squares. I used the same fabric as the 2 boarders.

Scalloping the outside edge was tricky but a nice touch for this old-fashioned looking quilt.
I machine quilted the entire quilt with vines, leaves and flowers. This time I used flannel on the back making it so soft and warm. Now if I can just get her mother to let her use it and not hang it on the wall like the other quilt I made her.

Nine star, nine patch baby quilt, boy version

It is so fun to make the same quilt twice. I didn't have to make a new pattern. I just used the old one. And they look totally different or they could have looked totally different but as you can see I am addicted to stripes. Stars and stripes actually. I must just be very patriotic.
If you would like to see how I drew this quilt out just tell me in the comments and I will email the instructions to you.
When I quilted it, I did swirlies and stars in the middle. I skipped the brown boarder. Then I just stippled the stripes. Simple yet so fun.
Here is my girl version.

Monday, July 11, 2011

MarChele's Prime Rib Coating

1 cup salt
1/2 cup coarse ground pepper
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons marjoram
2 Tablespoons thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic

Combine all ingredients. Cover container with lid. Use as needed. Works great on baked chicken and ribs as well.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hamburger Buns

There is nothing better than an outdoor b-b-q in the summer. Even better is when friends and family just drop by and a party starts.
Several of my grandchildren can only whole wheat so I started making homemade whole wheat rolls. Turns out everyone loves the whole wheat ones better. So when quests drop by unexpected it's always fun to throw a b-b-q together without having to go to the store for buns.

Start with my regular bread recipe. Follow the directions until the step where the dough is patted out into a rectangle. Divide each of the 4 sections of dough into 12 equal parts. If you divide the section of dough into 4 equal parts and the pinch off 3 equal parts of that it may be easier to determine the correct size of your dough balls.

Let the dough balls rest on the pan for a few minutes. Then using your fingers press each ball into a circle.

Let dough rise until double. Bake on 350º F for 13-18 minutes.
If you don't need 48 buns just start with maybe half of a batch. However these also make great sandwich buns. Delish.

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

It doesn't matter what you are having for dinner, if you serve it with fresh hot bread it becomes a feast. Just the smell in the house makes even the grumpiest person perk up.

For these rolls start with my regular bread recipe. Follow directions up until the step where the dough is divided and patted into a rectangle. From here you pinch off the dough into the size of rolls that you want. For these rolls pictured below, I divided the dough (the quarter of the entire recipe) into 3rds and then each into 3rds, giving me 9 equal dough balls. Each ball weighed approx. 2.5 - 3 ozs. Place dough balls in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
Proceed as usual, letting dough rise until double.
Bake in a preheated oven @ 350º F for 13 - 20 minutes depending on what size you make them.
An entire batch of bread would yield 3 dozen large dinner rolls.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Becky's Banana Nut Bread

Another recipe from our dreamy collection. Our family loves bananas; all except for my husband. I eat one everyday. They are so good for you and yummy. We have many recipes for baked goods which include bananas. This is one of my top 2 recipes. My daughter found it and bakes it all the time but I still say it is one of my recipes.


3/4 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients well. Pour into 2 greased bread pans. Sprinkle on cinnamon topping (recipe below). Bake 350º F 1 hour. Shield top with foil last 15 minutes to prevent over browning.

Cinnamon topping

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lime Cupcakes

Another recipe from the 'Dreamy' collection. These are really limey but so so delicious.
Lime Cupcakes

1 box golden vanilla cake mix
1 sm. box vanilla instant pudding
3 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 c. lime frozen concentrate (straight from the can do not dilute)
1/3 c. oil
green food coloring (5 drops?)

Mix all ingredients for at least 2 minutes. Scoop into well greased muffin tins. Bake 350ºF 13 mins for reg. ccakes, 8 mins for mini ccakes, 18 mins for large. Makes 50 mini, 24 reg. 13 large ccakes.


4 oz. cream cheese room temperature
1/4 cup butter room temperature
1 teaspoon lime zest
juice from 1 lime
4 cups powdered sugar

Divide the sugar in half. Add remaining ingredients to sugar. Beat until smooth. Gradually add remaining sugar. Beating until smooth.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Uncle Bill's Beef

My husband's brother Bill was just older than him. He loved our children and was always so kind to them. He really knew how to have fun. When he passed away, after a long fight with brain cancer, his funeral was a grand celebration of his life. The ladies of the church made a wonderful meal for us which was a great undertaking for our large family. Eight siblings and 63 nieces and nephews plus their children is quite a large group and that's not counting other family and friends. The beef they prepared was so amazing that my children made me ask for the recipe. Of course it didn't take much prompting from them, I always visit the church kitchen for any event. That's where all the fun happens anyway. They said they rubbed the meat with oil and then some spices. Cook the roast with 1/2 cup water on 350º F for 3 hours. Slice the meat, add au jus to the drippings, return meat to pan, let sit over night. Reheat for 2 hours on 250º F. Delicious. And because we named it Uncle Bill's beef, it's a party every time we eat it.
Here is exactly how I do it:

Uncle Bill's Beef

Roast beef 3-4 pounds
2-3 tablespoons MarChele's Prime Rib Rub
1/2 cup water
1 packet au jus
1 roasting bag, opt*

Rub all sides of roast generously with rub. Place in pan with water. Bake on 350º F for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Remove roast from pan. Slice roast in very thin slices. The trick here is to slice it across the grain.
You can see here that this roast cannot be sliced in the usual way. It will have to be cut in half.
Turn the meat on it's side and then slice cutting across the grain of the meat. Add a packet of Au jus to the drippings and 2 cups of water. Stir until dissolved. Return meat to pan making sure it is covered in the au jus. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Reheat on 250º F until hot. Serve with Uncle Bill's Beef and Creamy Smashers.

*If I am cooking several roasts for a big party I use a cooking bag and cook up to 4 in a half sheet cake pan. Bake as usual. After slicing I put the meat in a roaster oven pan. The next day I just put the roaster oven pan back in the pan and warm the meat that way.

Whole Wheat Potato Rolls

Sometimes you make a combination that is so yummy you can't believe your good luck in making it. These were such the case. I had a potato roll recipe from a friend's friend that I started out with, changed a few things, made it with whole wheat and voila!

WW Potato Rolls

3 cups warm water
2 cups mashed potatoes (I make real mashed potatoes with the skins on as you can see below.)
1 1/4 cups honey
1 1/3 cups butter, melted
1 tablespoon salt
13 cups fresh ground Whole Wheat flour
2 tablespoons yeast

Combine all ingredients in order listed in mixer using only 1/2 of the flour. Let the dough mix until all ingredients are wet. Slowly add the remaining flour and knead for 13 minutes total. The dough should be very sticky. Very. Let dough rest until it has doubled in size. Divide the dough into 3 separate pieces. Spray three large areas on your counters with Pam or oil. Roll each piece out into an 18 inch circle.
When rolling out the dough it helps to only roll from the center out a few times and then finish by rolling out around the edge of the circle. (It reminds me of when my grandmother would tell me to take care of the corners because the middle would take care of itself. But then she was talking about cleaning the house. It seems to work here as well.) Roll out all three circles before beginning to cut the dough. This allows the dough time to rest and relax to avoid excessive shrinking.
Cut the dough circle into quarters using a pizza cutter.
Cut each quarter in half.
And then each section in half again. This will make 16 triangles.

Roll each piece from the outside into the middle. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with Pam or using a piece of parchment paper. Place rolls on pan close together but with plenty of room to raise and not stick together too much.

 Be sure to place rolls on pan with the tip of the triangle on the pan. If not your rolls will end up looking like little Sargents saluting you when you pull them out of the oven.

At this point either let the rolls rise until double or if they are to be baked another day* skip the next 2 steps.
When rolls have doubled and are ready to bake. Bake in a preheated 370º F oven for 11- 13 minutes.
*If you are making these ahead of time to bake for another day, as soon as you roll them up and put them on a pan, wrap the pan with plastic wrap. I pull out a long piece and wrap the entire thing, pan and all. It will cover half the pan.
Then I pull out another long piece and wrap the other half. Be careful to make sure the second piece of plastic overlaps the first piece. Place rolls on pan in the freezer until the day you want to use them.
On the day you want to use them, take the pan out of the freezer. Remove the plastic. Leave pan on counter and let rolls rise until double in size. This will take from 3 to 4 hours depending on the warmth of your kitchen. If you want to proof them quicker simply place them in you oven to proof. If you don't have a proofing setting set your oven to 100º - 130º F. Place rolls in oven. Rolls usually rise in 45 minutes but watch to see when double. Bake as usual however, since rolls are warmer than when proofed on the counter top they may cook a little quicker.

Now for the really yummy part. Slice warm roll in half, butter and add a slice of Uncle Bill's Beef. Best little sandwich ever.

Happy July 4th

I love America and every thing Americana. I have my downstairs family room in Americana and even though it's not really in 'vogue' now, I'm not changing it. Here is my center piece table cloth that I use during the month of July and sometimes all summer long (when I forget to change it):I simply drew 5 different kinds of hearts for 5 different squares. Then I went to my sewing room and pulled all the odds and ends of fabric that were compatible with an Americana theme and starting having fun. I drew the hearts on 'Wonder Under' (some people use 'Heat N Bond'). Then ironed them onto the backside of my fabrics. Cut them out and ironed them onto my squares in the designs you see on the table cloth. I then appliqued them on with my sewing machine using navy blue thread.
This is a close up of one of the edges that hangs over the table. If you would like to see the pattern just email me.