Welsh Cakes

If you like candied fruit and spicy baked goods, you’ll like these old-fashioned cookies.
Welsh Cakes are like scones but spicier and thinner. These are some of my favorite cookies and I only make them at Christmas. They go really well with a bold tea like Welsh Breakfast, Scottish Breakfast or English Breakfast.



2 cups flour
1/2 level tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) butter
1/3 cup caster sugar (superfine granulated)
1/2 level tsp Mixed Spice (All Spice / Pumpkin pie spice) (optional)
1/2 cup or about 2 oz candied peel. I used what I had left over from fruit cake making.
1 egg, beaten
Cream to blend…. you really do need to use cream in this.

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.
2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. Add the peel.
3. Stir in the egg, then add enough cream to make a firm dough.
4. Roll out the dough to 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick, cut it in to 3 inch rounds

Traditionally, you would cook them on a hot buttered griddle iron or in a heavy frying pan for about 10 minutes, turning when the underside is brown. However, I baked them in a 350* F oven on a stone until they were lightly browned.
Serve warm with butter and honey. Makes about 10

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Turkey Vegetable Soup with Homemade Noodles

I was given the turkey carcass from last night’s fellowship dinner at Church. So tonight I am making turkey soup. With homemade noodles.

I have cooked the carcass in a big pot of water with some carrots, celery and onion for flavor and a splash of apple cider vinegar to help the bones release minerals.  No, the soup won’t taste vinegary, I don’t use that much just a ‘glug’ from the bottle.

After it has simmered all day, it’s ready to make soup. I strain the broth out. What I don’t use tonight will be pressured canned or put in the freezer for later. It will develop a wonderful jelly like layer over the top of the liquid. That jelly is filled with protein and nutrition. Its great for simple lunches and recipes both.

Then I pick the meat off the cooked bones and set it aside. I save the cooked veggies for lunch tomorrow.

In a smaller pot I put enough broth for tonight’s soup.  Just about 8 cups or so. Then I add some meat, about 1/4 cup per cup of soup so about 2 cups of meat in this pot. Next I add chopped carrots, chopped celery and a diced potato. I just eye-ball the amounts. You don’t need to add the potato, but it makes the soup heartier.

Now add some salt and black pepper to taste.

Once the potatoes are about done, and it won’t take long because they’re diced, I add the homemade noodles. I have some in the freezer from where I made them last week.

The noodles only take 10 minutes or less to cook. Taste the soup and add more salt and black pepper if needed.  This soup is so simple and satisfying, it doesn’t need a bunch of herbs or seasonings, it stands on it’s own.

The Noodles

I’ve been watching a lot of episodes of Pasta Grannies and learned that the flour I can buy here is not like their 00 flour.  So I ran some plain flour through my VitaMix and made a flour that is like powder, much like the Italian 00 flour. And oh my does it ever make great noodles!

I use 1 egg and a glug of olive oil for every cup of flour and a pinch of salt. I’m kind of big on glugs, aren’t I?  Mix it all up and knead til its smooth and soft, elastic.  Let it rest about 20 minutes before rolling out the noodles.

You can run it through a pasta roller or hand roll it with a rolling pin. I suggest you roll it out about 1/4 inch. I use my Kitchen Aid pasta roller.  Then you can roll it up and cut the noodles or use an old fashioned thingie like this pasta/noodle roller. That’s what I usually use.




Keep the noodles floured well and separate them to dry a little while before you cook them, maybe another 15 minutes.



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Meals For Large Crowds ~ Oven Fried Chicken

Oven Fried Chicken is a favorite of just about everyone who likes chicken. Its moist, flavorful and has a bit of a crust. Its not any more healthy than skillet fried chicken, but when you have a lot of people to feed, its easier to fry it in the oven than stand over a hot skillet for a few hours or even over a big outdoor deep fryer.

Oven fried chicken takes 2 hours to bake so prepare accordingly.

You can make any sides you like for this dish. I make mashed potatoes and green beans.  Watch the serving sizes on cans of green beans and buy what you need plus a few servings more.  If you decide that 1/2 cup is not enough green beans, then buy more accordingly.  I make instant mashed potatoes and most people can’t tell the difference between them and regular mashed potatoes because I use sour cream and butter in them. I buy a big box and make the whole box but I make them in two batches. Its easier to stir them even with a hand held mixer when you make them in batches. Again watch your serving size. The folks I know LOVE their mashed potatoes so I make sure the serving size is about 1 cup.

For the chicken you’ll need:

1 leg-thigh quarter per person. Add a few legs and thighs cut apart for those who don’t want two pieces of chicken and for children.

Cooking  oil  of your choice
Seasoned Salt

The night before you cook the chicken………..

Yes, you need to start the night before. Cut off dangly pieces of chicken fat and trim up the pieces neatly. Do not cut the thighs and legs apart except for the few pieces I mentioned above. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl, cover with cold water, sprinkle over about 3 tablespoons salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.

The salt water draws out all the blood from the meat and helps your chicken pieces cook more evenly. It also flavors the meat a tiny bit with salt. That’s a good thing.

The next morning………….
….Or right before you cook the chicken.

Heat the oven to 350*F. Place about 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup butter on each baking sheet you will be using. Put the prepared baking sheets in the oven to preheat. If you use really big baking sheets, then you can increase the amount of oil and butter you put on each sheet. You don’t want them to over flow but you want enough oil and butter to cook the chicken.

Put about 5 cups of flour in a large bowl. You can either add about 1 cup seasoned salt to the flour or you can wait and sprinkle the seasoned salt over the chicken after you dredge it with flour.

Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour. Set aside.

Take the HOT pans from the oven. (OR you can place the chicken pieces in the HOT oil while the pan sits in the oven using tongs. I actually do this more often than taking the pan out of the oven. It’s kind of hard to move a flat pan filled with hot grease!)

Place the pieces of dredged chicken skin side down on the baking sheet and in the oil/butter mixture. (If you did not add the seasoned salt to the flour, now is the time to sprinkle it over the chicken). Fill up your baking sheets and place them back in the oven.

Allow the chicken to cook for 1 hour. Gently, using a spatula, lift each piece of chicken and turn it over. Allow the chicken to bake for 1 more hour. If you find that the chicken pieces are getting too brown too quickly, you can lightly cover the baking sheet with foil while the chicken cooks and remove it toward the end of the cooking time.

After the chicken is done, the juices will run clear when you press the chicken with a spatula.

Once its done, I remove it to a heated serving pan and cover with foil until time to serve.

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Easy Taco Soup Recipe

Its getting to be soup time!  Cooler weather makes me crave a good soup.  If you like tacos, here is a soup recipe that is bound to please you!  This recipe isn’t my usual whole foods type but contains mixes and canned ingredients. Feel free to change it up as you like.

Taco Soup

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
  • 2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
  • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing mix


  • Corn chips
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese
  • Chopped green onions

Brown the beef and onions together, drain if needed.

Add all other ingredients, transfer to a slow cooker.  Cook on LOW for 6 hours.  Serve with garnishes.

For a thinner soup, add a little beef broth.

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Baby Balm Recipe

I made some Baby Balm recently, what with all the new grandbabies … but its also great for dry heels and elbows and even to protect facial skin before going out into the wind or cold.

This balm is soft and smells so good. The best thing about it is that it WORKS for helping rashes heal and protecting baby’s skin from moisture and diaper messes.

Here’s my recipe, if you know anything about herbs and have preferences, you can substitute which herbs you like.   I used these particular herbs because they are safe for baby’s skin.


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the base, it calms itchy skin and contains vitamin E.
  • Shea Butter for calming rashes, reducing swelling and calming itchy skin.
  • Beeswax – I use pastilles because I don’t like grating wax, but its essential in this recipe. The beeswax keeps the balm in a more solid state. In warm weather you can add a bit more to keep the balm more solid.
  • Chamomile and Arnica for soothing chapped skin and Arnica has an anti-microbial action. You could use Calendula in place of Arnica if you prefer.
  • St. John’s Wort used externally this herb has antiviral and antibacterial properties and is a great addition to this balm just in case your baby does get a diaper rash.
  • Plantain for healing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Lavender essential oil or Lavender flowers if you prefer not to use essential oils for its antiseptic qualities plus is smells good.

A kitchen scale is a great help with creams and balms. You’ll need to weigh out the beeswax and shea butter.  The olive oil can be measured in a regular measuring cup.

First you’ll need to make infused oil.  You’ll need extra virgin olive oil for this and organic herbs.  Most of the herbs that I can’t grow, I purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs. This isn’t an affiliate link I just like their products.

Making An Infused Oil

Put 1/2 cup of each of your herbs in a glass mason jar. Next, pour in extra virgin olive oil to cover the herbs and fill the jar all the way to the top. Just leave enough space that it won’t spill out easily when you move the jar around.

Cover the jar with a fitting lid and put it in a deep, Heavy bottomed pot.
Fill the pot with water to the level of the oil in the jar.
Place the pot over low heat and allow it to simmer for 4 hours, adding water if needed.

You could use an Instant Pot for this as well. I learned this method from Haniya Cherry at Traditional Cooking School. Place the filled jar in the insert pot of your Instant Pot and place it in the Instant Pot, fill with water to the level of the oil in the jar. Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Use the Slow Cook function and cook for 3 hours.

After the cooking time, strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth.

Add 15 – 20 drops of Lavender essential oil and stir it well.

You’ll have around 18-20 ounces of infused oil to work with now. If you were going to use this for adults and hard working hands and feet you might even want to infuse it again with more herbs to give it more healing power. But for babies and every day use , this is fine.

We’ll start by using 3 ounces of infused oil, 1 ounce of beeswax and one ounce of shea butter. Remember to grate your beeswax or use pastilles. You can always make more than this, just remember that your ratios are 3 parts oil, 1 part beeswax and 1 part shea butter.


Put the beeswax and shea butter into a small pan and heat it on low til its melted.  Now you can combine the melted wax, shea butter and olive oil. There are a couple of ways to do this.

You can just combine them and stir with a spoon.

Or you could mix them together in a wide mouth mason jar using a stick blender. This is what I do.  I think it blends up the ingredients and gives the balm a lighter, somewhat fluffy texture. To clean your stick blender afterward, just run it in some boiling water, carefully.



Once melted, you just pour it into your prepared containers. The amount you make is up to you but if you used 3 ounces of oil and 1 ounce each of wax and shea butter you’ll have 5 ounces. Be sure you label the containers and if you’re giving it away be sure you write the ingredients down for the one you’re giving it to.


I buy containers from Specialty Bottle.

Let it cool and its ready to use.

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A Conversation With A Young Woman


Hello!  What a surprise!  I’m glad you stopped by come on in.  Sit there at the table, I’ll make tea. Do you like cream or lemon?

What’s on your mind? You look a little lost today.  OK, just breathe and tell me what you want me to know.

Here, have some tea, here’s a cookie too.

That’s really hard, friend.  Really hard.  But you and I know that there is nothing too hard for our God so let’s pray.

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Keepers Of Their Homes Is Not Out Of Date


Its not politically correct these days to promote biblical and godly living.  Its not PC to tell women to be careful of their homes and keep them as clean and organized as possible either. I’ve never really been in to being PC.

What I’ve noticed is that women today are under the impression that they simply don’t need to be concerned about a clean home, organized possessions, tidy children, modest clothing, a gentle spirit or planned meals… because happy children, a pleasant life, a relaxed mom, nice vacations or something else is more important. Who doesn’t want happy children, pleasant life, etc.? We all do! But there is a balance lacking in today’s teachings toward women. Its very much like what I always taught my children: You can’t have the fun times until the work is done.

If any of you don’t want to do the work, that’s OK by me.  I don’t make your choices. But there has to be a reckoning day when you’ve had all the fun and you find that there is simply chaos, bickering, sadness and strife in your family life.

I will always stand up and tell you that the right thing to do is to care about the blessings of a home and family and to do your best with them. Its not a stay-at-home-mom thing. Its a human thing.  

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; foryou serve the Lord Christ.”                  Colossians 3:23-24

Women are generally tempted today to gratify and indulge all their personal desires and wants, even by a lot of Christian organizations and Christian mentors, instead of being encouraged to serve and be servants in life and in their homes. We’re told how much we deserve some time off (who doesn’t want a little time to themselves?) so we take it, lots of it. We’re told to let that cleaning go a few times too often and then we’re surprised when we’re still so stressed even after all the time off and relaxing.

The idea of being a servant has somehow become a horrible thing. But servanthood is precisely what Christ has called Christians to. I’m just here to tell you that this life is not all about YOU.  Life is about Jesus Christ and what He’s called us to do here. And one of the things He has definitely NOT called us to is a lack of self discipline and a attitude of entitlement.

The things you and I do to make our homes a pleasant place to live, does not make us heroes or martyrs.  Don’t misunderstand me here,  I believe many women do amazing work in their homes and in their places of employment, but a lot of attitudes could bear with some adjusting. Neglecting one’s home and family out of a place of self-centeredness is not admirable. Demanding attention or accolades for simply doing our duty as an adult is not admirable.

I’m going to always encourage women to build up their homes. I’ll always teach women to do their VERY BEST in keeping their homes a loving and inviting place. It may take scheduling for you to get it, it may take learning new routines and habits but I will always teach it. It may not be easy but nothing of value is ever easy.

I will never tell you that it is OK if your home is always sloppy or meals aren’t ever thought out. You and I both know that there are times in life when its impossible to do what I am asking you to do, but we know that those are the exceptions. The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) has to be; living up to what God has called you for and equipped you to do. When you’re tired, you pray for strength. When you’re confused, you pray for clarity. When you’re overwhelmed, you pray for grace and peace. He will provide what you lack.

I will always teach women to put Jesus Christ first in their lives and in their homes. Putting Him first means that everything else falls into place correctly. Doing our best with what He has given us and where He has put us is how we should be living, not just schlepping through life with nothing of value to show for it.



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Unexpected Company

Some years ago having unexpected company was not an unusual thing. I guess people have gotten away from showing up unannounced at someone’s house. When I was a child though it was pretty common.

I still do get unexpected company sometimes and when the children were all at home, we started each day of our home school with the attitude of expectation that someone might stop by. Many days, they did.

I think it’s a great thing to be ready for company, even if you invite someone over. In the past there have been times when a friend was in need of someone to listen, so I’d invite her over and my home was ready.

So, in case you are feeling like you need to pull things together and be ready for unexpected company, here are a few tips and ideas.

I’m not telling you that you have to have your house in a state of perfection. But there are things you can do ahead of time to make it possible for you to minister to folks without stress and worry about your home and what you’ll offer them in the way of food or drink or a clean place to sit.

  • Start the day with the idea that someone might come over, or that you may see that you need to invite someone over.

After a while, your home and your mind will be in a state of constant readinessIt does work! I’ve done it.

  • Change one thing at a time that will enhance the way your home feels to guests.

Get rid of piles of papers and stuff. Give things a good dusting. Move out unnecessary furniture and clear off a place to sit every day.

  • Make some freezable meals and treats.

Or buy some cookies that you can put in the freezer and bring out for guests. Have coffee, tea or lemonade on hand. If you have a meal you can pull out of the freezer and pop in the oven, it makes it easier to say, “Stay for dinner”.

  • Pray that God will use you and your home to minister.

I think women in general have gotten away from this. But hospitality is still an important duty for Christians. Ask God to show you how you can better equip and use your home to bless others.

Do you have ideas and tips about preparing your home and yourself for unexpected guests?

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