Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Blueberries

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Blueberries

If life gives you lemons, make lemon bread. Or something like that. In this case lemons were presented as the feature for Saturday Dishes so I made Lemon Bread with Blueberries. It needed some color and a twist. Get it? (A twist of lemon.) I must be tired. This has been a stressful week at work and it was cold again so I couldn’t even go out in the garden after work to get some relief. But baking is second best to gardening for me. So there stressful day! I made Lemon Poppy Seed Bread With Blueberries.

I’ve always been able to make-do. That was my momma’s favorite line. That and “when I get around to it.” Which meant to us kids – NEVER. It bought her some time and we usually forgot about whatever it was because we knew it wasn’t gonna happen anyway.

We weren’t exactly rich when I was a kid, but we never felt poor. My momma could turn a meal into a feast. She could make a simple family birthday into a very special day. She made Christmas happen even in the leanest of times and we didn’t know the difference. She knew what to prioritize to always make the best of things. That’s what I’m working on today. The bread was just a way to think things over. Baking and writing it down for you is a good stress reliever for me.

Hope you enjoy the bread. I’ll be in the garden tomorrow.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Blueberries

I hope you will bring your best lemon dish over to Saturday dishes.  Or if you are looking for some lemon inspiration, I can’t think of a better place to start!

Saturday Dishes

Banana Bread Pudding with Peanut Crumb Topping

I’ve had this loaf of Double Banana Bread in the freezer for quite some time.  I’m in the process of “eating down” my freezer before garden season allows me to fill it up again.  I’m out of room for anything else.  This loaf of bread kept falling on the floor whenever I reached for a package of zucchini or okra or green chiles.  So I decided to do something with it.

Banana Bread Pudding

I was inspired by my grandmother’s Banana Salad.  It is a luscious layered custard, banana and peanut salad.  I don’t know how it got the name salad because it is truly a dessert.  I had the ground peanuts in the freezer too.  So why not give this a whirl?

When I begin to develop a recipe I have to have the ingredients on hand or I don’t make it.  Thank goodness I had canned milk because all I had in the frig was 0% fat milk.  I wasn’t sure that would make a good custard. I have also included the banana bread recipe in case you don’t have any laying around.  I got it from Silver Boxes way back in November. That is how long it has been in my freezer.  It is good all by itself.

Banana Bread Pudding

Happy Friday!  Did you get a chance to stop in and check out New Friend Friday?  Talk about some REAL Housewives!  You shouldn’t miss this.

I am taking this divine dessert to brunch at Saturday Dishes.  Come and see all of the great recipes that are there starting this Saturday morning.

Saturday Dishes


Yo! Philly Cheesesteaks

I love bread. I think I’ve said this before.  I had this roll and had to do something with it.  I could have put it in the freezer to make bread crumbs with.  Then I would have ended up deciding it was too dried out and thrown it away.  So the red peppers, onions and small flank steak just spoke to me calling out, “sandwich”.

My oldest daughter lived in Philadelphia for a long time.  When I went to visit the beautiful landscape, historic sites and wonderful shopping were highlights.  But the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich was the best!  I think it is the bread.  Nothing in Texas can compare to the bread.  As far as a sandwich is concerned, we do have delicious beef and of course our Tex-Mexican food can’t be beat.

Philly Cheesesteak

This is a quick fix meal.  I served the sandwich with a few frozen sweet potato fries I put in the broiler while I made the sandwich.  But a big batch of French fries is how I remember them from PA.   Enjoy!   It was one of the best I’ve had in a while.


If you haven’t had a chance come join the party.

Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa

Super Bowl Star Appetizers

We have spicy, rich, succulent so now we have a savory appetizer for my Super Bowl party.  This came about because a friend at work, Sue, gave me some cute little tubes to bake bread in – a star, a heart and a flower.  I had to try them out.  But what was I doing to do with a loaf of bread?

The star looked most appealing and if a certain Texas team had made it to the Super Bowl, they would have been perfect –  not to be this year, at least.

Savory Bread Stars

These are pretty simple and any good crusty bread would work. You could even use baguette rolls or a long loaf of crusty French bread.  Just don’t make them too far ahead.

This is the perfect appetizer for any party.

BBQ Wrapped Lil’ Smokies

I love bread.  There, I’ve said it.  That being said whenever there is a celebration some kind of bread sneaks into the menu.  Now for the Super Bowl I could come up with a long list of bread related food.  Carbs and football go together.

When I picked up this package of Lil’ Smokies I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.  I have a bar-b-que sauce that they can simmer in and be eaten alone.  Boring.  Then I came to the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in the can.  You know, the kind you unroll and make all kinds of wonderful sweet and savory food items with?  I can’t remember the last time I baked them as they were originally intended.

This meets most of the requirements for good food.  One is bread; two is savory sausage, and three is salty sweet bar-b-que sauce.

BBQ Wrapped Lil' Smokies

I still wanted a little bar-b-que sauce too. What to do?  I unrolled the crescents and cut the little sausages in half.  Next I spread my favorite bar-b-que sauce (from Rudy’s) on the piece of dough.  I used a pizza cutter to cut each crescent into thirds (long narrow strips) from wide end to point and rolled a piece of sausage in each third.  I began at the wide end and rolled to the point.  Placed them(point down) on a lightly greased baking sheet and baked them for 15 minutes at 350°.

The sauce sort of gets all over the dough and your fingers as you roll.  I sprinkled a little freshly ground black pepper over them before I baked them.  I will serve them with a little sauce to dip them in just in case it is needed.

What are you fixin’ for the Super Bowl?  Do you care who wins?  Or is the food most important? Come share your stuff at my party.

Tumbleweed Contessa Superbowl and Chili Party


Summer Squash Soup

I had the best garden this last summer.  Now I am enjoying my harvest.  That’s what this time of year is about, right?  Enjoying the fruits of my labor so I can get excited to do it again.  I put yellow and zucchini squash in the freezer for just such a day.  This was warm and comforting for my laryngitis although it did not restore my voice.  Some day we may talk about how hyper I get when I can’t talk.  Let’s just say it is not high on my list of things I wish for!

Serve with corn muffins or a flour tortilla or a fresh baked hot roll.  I made these yeast rolls from a recipe at The Southern Lady Cooks.

It is time for New Friend Friday and do I have a treat for you this week.  If you haven’t met Marci or heard about her lovely home, come on over and sit with us a spell.

Sharing with:
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Southern Yellow Cornbread

This is the base for my Southern Cornbread Dressing.

Southern Yellow Corn Bread

  •  2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix the soda with the buttermilk and set aside to develop.  Mix cornmeal and salt.  Add the buttermilk and eggs.  Meanwhile melt 4 tablespoons butter in a baking pan (9 x 13”) is ok for a nice thick slice of cornbread.  I bake mine in a cast iron skillet.   Melt the butter in the skillet while preheating the 350° oven.  Add the butter to the meal mix and stir in quickly.  Let this sit for about 20 minutes before putting it into the oven.  This allows the cornmeal to absorb the liquid.

Put the skillet back into the over to keep hot after adding the butter to the corn meal mixture.  Pour the mixture into the hot pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  You want to hear a little sizzle when you pour it in.  Bake until a nice brown crust has formed around the edges and bottom.  We will refer to this recipe a lot.  This is one of those regulars with good food.


Happy Fall Ya’ll! Decorations to FALL for


I really enjoy the weather and the changes of the light this time of year. It is the nesting instinct I think. It’s time to think about getting cozy, snuggle up under the blanket with a cup of hot tea, make casseroles and soups and going home. I have more decorations for Fall than any other season, well, except Christmas, of course. I so enjoy those bright oranges, yellows and reds in the bright sunshine the best. Krista lived in PA for a while and the Fall colors there amazed me. They actually made me cry the first morning she took me out for a view. It doesn’t take much to stir up my emotions, but those colors were beautiful and that Fall was very special to me. Here in West Texas we have to create our own color spots because we certainly don’t have the climate or the trees to recreate that blaze of color. We can travel to nearby New Mexico and see some aspens that are brilliant yellow. But once you’ve seen the leaves turning it sort of gets in your blood. You want more!

I bought this little set years ago from some catalog that was going around at work. The pieces (head with hat and sign with gloves for hands) are wooden and have dowels to insert into a real pumpkin and made this little “squatty-body” guy. I had a brilliant idea this year. Why not buy one of those beautiful artificial pumpkins and have this to use forever! I’m a little slow, but when the creative juices get flowing I feel very clever! And it will last forever!  I added a few fall leaves with a glue gun and put him in a large flower pot.   Now isn’t that clever and cute?

I’ve added a short strand of colorful artificial leaves to my ristra I made last year and it has a bright little splash of color.  Click here to learn the basics of the ristra.

I had it hanging on a hanger with a plastic bag covering it since last Fall. The colorful leaves added a real bright spot and the bag keeps it dust-free. My garage has a wall of wreaths. They are all hanging with plastic bags over them and I just switch them out for the seasons. Maddie gets concerned when Lita’s house isn’t decorated with a wreath. Not to worry, I have plenty!

These two wreaths have been in use for about 15 years. The one on the red door hasn’t had anything added to it in several years. Next year it will get a new bow, I think. It is actually a small wreath (center) that I added it to a larger grape vine wreath and added the swag of leaves around the larger wreath and the bow on top.

I totally refreshed the straw wreath on the outside door this year. I made new bows and fresh swags of leaves and flowers to brighten it up. It’s hard to see, but on the right hand side is one of my favorite finds. She is a corn husk angel with a basket of bright colored fruit. She has faded over the years, but she is always there each Fall when I put out this wreath.

I made this pumpkin floral arrangement last year. It was so quick and easy to pull off the shelf of the closet and put it out on the table. Instant Fall in my kitchen!  Click here for directions.

Of course with the Fall comes Pumpkin Bread. It really says “Fall is here” to me. This is the one recipe of my Grandmother’s I can make that tastes just like hers. I’ve made it for years and shared this recipe with my church for our cookbook. I make it for friends and neighbors and my family. It is a welcoming smell in any kitchen. Plain, unadorned Pumpkin Bread.

I made this ceramic bread basket years ago at a shop near my home. I sort of became the neighborhood ceramic lady for a while. I still enjoy this piece.

In case you can’t tell, I like to keep things and reuse them. Memories, you know….. that’s what it’s all about.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs, well beaten – room temperature
  • 1 small can pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
  • 1-¼ cups vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Add pumpkin, eggs, and oil and blend until well moistened.

Bake in well-greased loaf pans for 1 hour at 350° or until skewer inserted in middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven onto wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Then put on sheets of foil and wrap tightly while still warm. Leave out to cool completely. This helps the bread become very moist. Resist eating for at least 24 hours.

If using small loaf pans, adjust the baking time slightly. You can also make muffins with this recipe. I make the mini muffins. Baking time is 20-25 minutes.

Store in airtight containers for storage. These freeze well.

My favorite Fall decoration is this little angel. She’s made out of fabric with a grapevine halo and she holds a cornucopia. Her wings are leaf-shaped and her dress is a Fall plaid. (My mother would love her dress.) She sits on anything I can find to make her the centerpiece of my Fall porch decorations.

Leaves are falling
Frost is near
Autumn’s angels gather here.


Apple Bread

I knew something was the matter with me.  I found this recipe and decided to adapt it from Gooseberry Patch.  But I just didn’t have the energy to retrieve the apple peeler/corer/slicer from the shelf, attach it to the counter and let it do its work.  It took a week before that happened.  I was sort of sick.  I’m better now!  Sort of.  But this bread was worth the wait.

I love that little apple machine.  I have had it for years.  I need a new rubber foot to help hold it on the counter top, but I’ve worked around that.  It takes no time to finish off a bag of apples.  I always end up with more than I need for a recipe.  It’s just fun to use!

My son walked in and smelled it and took a loaf home with him.  I shared the other with my Sunday Supper group.

You should give this a try.  It has simple ingredients you probably have on hand in your kitchen and it will make the entire house smell like you have been slaving all day.  It inspired me, so I did some fall decorating with my centerpiece from last year.  Check it out. 

Apple Bread

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups apples, cored, peeled, sliced, and diced

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease and flour 2 9”x5” loaf pans and set aside.

Mix the beaten eggs, sugar and vegetable oil until well blended.  Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.  Add the apples and fold in by hand.

Pour equally into the two loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes.  Until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Don’t over bake.  You want it moist.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Turn onto sheets of foil.  You may need to run a knife around the edges.  Cover with the foil in a tube, but don’t seal the ends until it has cooled.  Wrap tightly and allow standing overnight before serving.

The longer it waits, the more moist it will be.  I am sharing this week with: Growing Home

  Thursday Favorite Things Freedom Fridays

Foodie Friends Friday


Zucchini Overload Bread

This is a small loaf.

Help!  I’m in zucchini overload!  The crop is really producing a lot of squash and I can’t eat it all.  We finally had a cooler day (high 86° on July 4!) and I felt a need to bake.  As children my mom always made cookies on one of those rare mid-summer rainy days.  I think it was to keep 4 children who were in the house all day from driving her crazy!  The benefits to us were wonderful.  Lots of chocolate chip, orange almond ice box and oatmeal cookies for snacks!

I made 2 batches of zucchini bread.  I made one with nuts and chocolate chips and one plain.   I made that with chocolate chips and pecans in regular sized loaf pans and took one to a friend for dinner last night.  The other I brought to work for my friends today.  The other batch I made without chocolate and pecans and took one to the sweet girls at the allergy clinic, gave one to Nelda and I guess I’ll keep the third small loaf.  I may make another batch to take to the Blog Hop til You Drop, It’s So Very Cheri and Katherine’s Favorite Things


Use the fine grater blade on your food processor.




  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups grated zucchini (2 medium zucchinis)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • *Optional:  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat eggs, oil and sugar until light.  Add vanilla and zucchini.  Mix well.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients to lighten and add to the wet ingredients and blend by hand.

Prepare 2 regular loaf pans with non-stick spray and divide the batter evenly. Or use 3 small loaf pans prepared the same.

Bake at 350° for about 55-60 minutes until lightly browned on top and when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean.   Bake at 350° for 45 minutes for the small loaf pans.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans and immediately loosen and remove from the pans.  Wrap in foil, but don’t seal the ends while still hot.   Seal well when cooled.

This is best after resting in the foil for 24 hours.  Very moist.

*I added the chocolate chips and pecans because I wanted something a little sweeter for a dessert.  It was very good.