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

Easter Egg (or spring forward) Casserole with Fresh Salsa and Cheese Sauce

I liked to have a casserole to serve for Easter breakfast.  It was easy to serve and could be made the night before and popped in the oven while 3 kids were looking for eggs and going through their Easter baskets.  We almost always had to hide the eggs inside the house.  It was either very cold or very windy on Easter Sunday.

It was always such a scramble (no pun intended) to get the eggs gathered, kids dressed for church (when did I ever have time to get dressed?) and have something for breakfast.  The church service was always longer than usual so we had to have something for breakfast.  Especially after all those jelly beans and chocolate bunnies had been nibbled on.

This is easy and can be enlarged or even doubled for a large crowd.  I served it with fresh fruit and made a side salsa of diced tomatoes, green onions and halved grape tomatoes with just a little red wine vinegar.  I usually served the cheese sauce on the side.

Easter Egg Casserole

Hugs and Kisses Eggs

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days.  For me it means sweets to eat and sweeter still notes declaring my fondness, affection and love.  It is just a sweet time.

I met my husband near Valentine’s Day.  I had never received roses from anyone before.  He sent me a yellow rose.  (Those were his favorites.)  In high school I had an English teacher who said if a guy gave you one rose, you should ask where are the other 11?  If he came back with 11 roses he was a “keeper.”  So I did.  They came the next day!  A girl never knows if she doesn’t ask, right?  It must have been ok.  It seemed to work out.  It was so sweet to get roses.  I love flowers too.

Anyway, Hank loved breakfast.  I think it was his favorite meal, especially on the weekends or on vacation.  He had a pretty strict menu.  Eggs, pork of some type, grits or potatoes (maybe gravy) and toast, coffee and orange juice were the order.  How it was prepared and in what combination didn’t matter.  So I was trying to think of a Valentine’s Day breakfast meal when I spied two slices of white cheese and a large bell pepper.  Why not try to cut the bell pepper into a slice that looked like a heart.  It didn’t work.  Next was to use the cookie cutter to cut the cheese into a heart.  That was much better.  Thus, eggs in pepper rings with cheese hearts came to be. Just thinkin’ about Hank and breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Valentines Breakfast

Cast Iron Skillet Frittata

I had an inspiration this morning for another leftover ham dish.  I fixed it for brunch, but it would be good for dinner or any time.  If you want to mess up all those dishes so early in the morning, be my guest and make it for breakfast.  I am a messy cook and can use almost every pan in the kitchen on a good day.  Just ask my girls.  But today it was me on my own to cook and clean!

Back to the leftover ham.  I had put it in the freezer, so I had to peel off about three slices and defrost in the microwave for a couple of minutes.  At that point it was ready to dice.  At this rate I think I have about 3 more meals, maybe 4 from a small, sliced ham I received as a gift for Christmas.  Be thrifty and use up those gifts.

Anyway, it is a cold, grey day here today and the kitchen is the place for me to be.  Even at work on a day like this I would prefer to be at home baking.

As we move into a new year the Tumbleweed Contessa crew wishes you the best.  May you have all you need and your health, your faith, and your family be secure.

Blessings and best wishes for a Happy New Year!     The Contessa (Linda)

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancake Variations and A New Feature

“Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.”    
That is what I taught my Girl Scouts.  Some things don’t change.  I was privileged enough to be caught up in the  fantastic world of Online Blogcon.  I met around 200 new friends just like that!  In a space where folks could be really competitive, they were anything but that.  I discovered a group that is supportive, sharing and hysterically funny.  They are great and wonderfully talented individuals that have already taught me so much.  I wanted to introduce them to you.  So, for the foreseeable future, I will shine the spotlight on one of them each Friday.  Read a little bit about them and then take a ramble over to their site and check them out. Don’t forget to read my recipe and leave me a comment.

My first introduction will be to Brenna from Life After Laundry.  Besides her cool colored clothespins she has some great and very practical ideas.  I love to PIN magnificent things but the ones I do are usually the most practical.  I expect I will be putting some of Brenna’s ideas to use very soon.

Brenna says, “I am married to a wonderful man that is supportive/tolerant of all my blogging adventures. After our son was born I quit my job in banking to stay home with him. My son is now 2, and everyday is full of excitement.

My blog is about what I do in my time at home. (You know, besides the usual mommy chores, like laundry) Every week I share a recipe from my “Cooking From Scratch” challenge, and a craft or sewing project. Soon, I will be adding another post each week about Pinterest DIY’s, and whether all those things that we have been “repinning” really work or not. I hope you will stop by. I would love to have you.”

Now another ramble from my oldest daughter.  She is an experimenter.  Always dabbling with one thing or the other.  I like to encourage her creativity and despite the pictures this is a great recipe.

I am not a big pumpkin pancake fan but my fellow food bloggers have piqued even my appetite for these fellows.   Check out these from Yes, They’re All Ours.  I love the pumpkin syrup idea.  With a crowd as big as that, you better be ready to cook.  They were one of the bloggers who worked on the Pumpkin Delight Series with Savannah from Hammock Tracks.

Of course, I needed to come up with my own version of these little gems.  The basic batter is an amalgam of some of my favorite pancake recipes.  I just couldn’t pick the final piece though.  We ended up with a smorgasbord of pancakes.  Someone suggested there needs to be a support group for the taste testers of food bloggers.  They do have to eat some strange things sometimes.  We decided they were all good.  One of my testers liked the oatmeal-raisin and I loved the chocolate.  I favor traditional maple syrup but I also tried a glaze with soy milk and powdered sugar.   So, you pick or try them all!

Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground
  • ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup oatmeal and 1/3 cup raisins
  • ¾ cup applesauce for swirling
  • ?? Candy corn

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.  If adding cocoa powder, oatmeal or raisins stir into mix.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.  Add applesauce (swirled) or candy corn once you flip them.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with leaving well enough alone!

One more reminder from The Tumbleweed Contessa….share your cookie recipe with me for the Holiday Cookie Exchange.  I know it is not yet Halloween, but remember I am a Girl Scout.  Always Be Prepared!

Cookies 2012

Sharing this week with:
Thursday Favorite ThingsThe Mandatory Moochfeatured at  freedom fridaySimply Sweet Home Friday FavoriteThirty Handmade DaysLadybird LnsupersweetsundaypinMiss InformationBarns and NoodlesOr so she says


Homemade Apple Sauce

I have seen recipes for this everywhere.  I thought…what is the big deal?  Its applesauce.  Where is the big benefit to making this yourself?  How much of a challenge could applesauce be?  Why all the fuss?  Accordingly, I had to try this and see if I could make it better.

Wow….now I get it.  This was great.  I don’t think I could ever use a jar again.  If you are in the small minority of people who haven’t seen or tried a recipe for make it yourself, you should give it a shot.

  • 8 apples peeled, cored and cut in chunks (I used a mix of granny smith, golden delicious and honeycrisp)
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar (I love those pre-measured and sealed sacks)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon peel
  • Teaspoon of lemon juice

Place in a slow cooker on low for six hours stirring occasionally.  At the end of six hours remove the cinnamon stick and lemon peel.  If you would like a finer sauce use a potato masher or immersion blender to puree.  I had it just the way it was and I can’t stop eating it.  I already need to make more.  This makes about three cups.

Have you had a chance to enter your recipe or craft to our blog hop?  If not, here is the 411:
  • Enter your link below.  No ads please.
  • Please follow me using the buttons that are floating around here somewhere ;)
  • Please share the link to this page or the button above in your linked post
  • Tell your friends.
  • Come back on Friday (10/5) to see the most linked features from the hop.
  • Take a look at some of the other stuff out there and leave a comment or two.  You might make a new friend!

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Foodie Friends Friday

Oatmeal Stuffed Baked Apples

Have you had a chance to enter your recipe or craft to our blog hop?  If not, here is the 411:
  • Enter your link below.  No ads please.
  • Please follow me using the buttons that are floating around here somewhere ;)
  • Please share the link to this page or the button above in your linked post
  • Tell your friends.
  • Come back on Friday (10/5) to see the most linked features from the hop.
  • Take a look at some of the other stuff out there and leave a comment or two.  You might make a new friend!

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Today’s Recipe:

This is a perfect almost healthy weeknight dessert.  It also makes your house smell fabulous.  It tastes like a crisp but has much less calories and fat.

  • 1 large apple split in half and core scooped out
  • 2 tablespoons of uncooked oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and spray baking dish with PAM.

Mix honey and oatmeal together and place one half in the scooped area of each apple half.  Place in the baking dish and sprinkle one teaspoon of lemon juice over each half.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until apple is shriveled and cinnamon is browned.

Serve in individual bowls.  You could top with ice cream or whip cream, but it really isn’t necessary.

Sharing with Love Bakes Good Cakes and:
Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Growing Home



A Southwest Christmas Morning Breakfast

I am sure that you are busy wrapping up the odds and ends for the big day.  Me too!  If you haven’t planned something here for Christmas breakfast here is one of my family favorites.  I love this for Christmas morning brunch.  I look forward to making this again and again.  This recipe appears a little involved, but it really isn’t.  The sausage can be browned and ready to use in a container in the refrigerator.  The cheese can be grated ahead of time too.   This is warm and very flavorful.  It serves 8 or more with good sized portions.   A smaller version can be made by using half the ingredients too.

Grandma Birdie’s Banana Bread

My father’s mother deserves at least her own blog title.  Talk about an amazing lady.  The post mistress of the town where everyone knew and loved her.  A little house that could hold more people than you could imagine and there was always room for one more.  I’ll be sharing a lot of stuff from Grandma Birdie with you along the way.  I  remember her tiny kitchen and the drawer that would swing out where she kept snacks.  It was lined with tin so she could store breads, cookies, and other treats.  We would eat at the little table in the kitchen as kids.  When we were in Kansas to remove all the personal items before the sale of her house, that drawer still had the same smell of all her fresh baked quick breads like banana, pumpkin and dill/onion.  Her kitchen always had ripening bananas in it.  A hint of good things to come.