Friday, September 30, 2011

Hush Puppies

2 cups Shawnee's Best White Corn Meal Mix
(Shawnee's is Made in Oklahoma)
1 cup buttermilk or sweet milk
1 medium chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
Mix all ingredients.
Drop by the spoonful into hot oil.
We used a tablespoon, normal people use a teaspoon.
Brown on both sides.
(This oil looks dark because it was used to fry fish before the hush puppies.)
Take out of the skillet and drain on a paper towel and serve with fish, brown beans or any other meal you might like a cornbread type side.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 Ingredient Coleslaw

3 Ingredient Coleslaw
1 medium head cabbage
1 bottle of Kraft Coleslaw dressing
1 tablespoon or more Chef's Style or Salad grind Black Pepper
Quarter the head of cabbage.
Corsely slice the cabbage.
Pour on the entire bottle of Kraft Coleslaw dressing.
Add at least one tablespoon or more of Black Pepper.
Mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate to allow the ingredients to combine the flavors.

This coleslaw tastes just like the coleslaw that was served at Fred's Hickory Inn in Bentonville, Arkansas when I lived there. I loved going to Fred's for their slaw and baked beans. I think it is because of the larger pieces of the cabbage, that the slaw is so good. Other slaws have the cabbage in grated small pieces and have runny dressing. This is the perfect coleslaw!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

This is my new favorite thing! Spicy Sweet Potato Fries.
They also come in a plain variety without the spice.
To cook just preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Wow how time is already my sister Gwen's birthday again! Another year!!
Dad, Mom, Gwen and Me

Gwen and Mom at Gwen's wedding.

It seems as we get older the years roll around with alarming speed. All we have are the memories of the days gone by, the fun we had along the way, and the knowledge to be thankful for the blessings we have received.

When my sister was born and "dethroned" me I did not think she was such a blessing, BUT after 56 years I have learned how lucky I am to have her! Happy Birthday to my baby sister...I love you! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kobel's Station Foss, Oklahoma

Foss, Oklahoma on Historic Route 66 is another town that suffered with the building of Interstate 40. Foss today is only a reminder of a town that started in the late 1890s. The shell of Kobel's Gas Station, which also served as a cafe and bus station, can be seen in the photos below.
Sad site of once busy corner.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Do you ever start to fix something only to find that you do not have the exact ingredient called for in the recipe? Here are some SUBSTITUTIONS you might want to try:

Recipe calls for:                                       You can use:          
1 T. cornstarch..........................................2 T. flour
1C. cakeflour............................................1 C. less 2 T. all-purpose flour
1 square chocolate..................................3 T. cocoa and 1 T. fat
1 C. melted shortening............................1 C. salad oil
1 C. milk....................................................1/2 C. evaporated milk and
                                                                   1/2 C. water
1 C. sour milk or buttermilk.....................1 T. lemon juice or vinegar 
                                                                    and sweet milk to make 1 C.
1 C. heavy cream......................................2/3 C. milk and 1/3 C. butter 
1 C. heavy ceam, whipped......................2/3 C. chilled evaporated milk
Sweetened condensed milk...................No Substitution
1 egg.........................................................2 T. dried whole egg and
                                                                   2 T. water
1 tsp. baking powder...............................1/4 tsp. baking soda and
                                                                   1 tsp. cream of tartar or
                                                                   1/4 tsp. baking soda and
                                                                   1/2 C. sour milk, buttermilk
                                                                    or molasses; reduce other
                                                                   liquid 1/2 C.
1 C. sugar.................................................1 C. honey; reduce other
                                                                   liquid 1/4 C. and reduce
                                                                   baking temperature by 25
1 C. miniature marshmallows.................10 Large ones cut up
1 medium onion.......................................2 T. instant minced onion or
                                                                   1 tsp. onion powder
1 garlic clove............................................1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 T. fresh herbs........................................1 tsp. dried herbs

Do you have substitutions you use when cooking? Leave a comment on this blog post and share your ideas.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

7 Tax Tips for Job Seekers

TaxACT On Line

TaxACT online is a site where you can fill out your yearly income tax information and send it to the IRS. I receive e-mails from them with tax information updates. We can always use tax tips!

IRS Tax Tip 2011-11

Many taxpayers spend time and money updating their résumé and attending career fairs. The Internal Revenue Service reminds job seekers that you may be able to deduct some of the expenses on your tax return.

Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about deducting costs related to your job search.

1. To qualify for a deduction, the expenses must be spent on a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses you incur while looking for a job in a new occupation.

2. You can deduct employment and outplacement agency fees you pay while looking for a job in your present occupation. If your employer pays you back in a later year for employment agency fees, you must include the amount you receive in your gross income, up to the amount of your tax benefit in the earlier year.

3. You can deduct amounts you spend for preparing and mailing copies of your résumé to prospective employers as long as you are looking for a new job in your present occupation.

4. If you travel to an area to look for a new job in your present occupation, you may be able to deduct travel expenses to and from the area. You can only deduct the travel expenses if the trip is primarily to look for a new job. The amount of time you spend on personal activity compared to the amount of time you spend looking for work is important in determining whether the trip is primarily personal or is primarily to look for a new job.

5. You cannot deduct job search expenses if there was a substantial break between the end of your last job and the time you begin looking for a new one.

6. You cannot deduct job search expenses if you are looking for a job for the first time.

7. The amount of job search expenses that you can claim on your tax return is limited. You can claim the amount that is more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. You figure your deduction on Schedule A.

For more information about job search expenses, see IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. This publication is available on or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

TaxACT Free Federal and Deluxe Editions include the guidance and forms for job search expenses and other miscellaneous deductions. For more guidance on the tax implications of changing jobs, unemployment, and dozens of other major life changes, take advantage of TaxACT Life Events. Free Federal Edition users can view one event; Deluxe users can view an unlimited number of events. Start your TaxACT Online return now

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quilt Show

These are only a few of the quilts that were on display at the Historical Society Quilt Show.
Check out the detail in work around the edge of this quilt.
This quilt square was made at Elk City, Oklahoma in 1933!
There must have been a quilting club, because there were several squares of the same type with different ladies names on them. It made me wonder why they did not put them together and make a quilt. With all the different fabrics it would have been a bright quilt!
Look at all the little pieces of different fabric on the "fan" of this pattern.
I love all of the top stitching that adds to the design of this bright colored creation.

I remember the first time our 4-H Club, when I was a very young child, got together at our leader's house and made a quilt for a family that had lost all of their belongings to a house fire. Our leader taught each of us exactly how to make the proper stitches. She had a huge quilt frame set up in her living room, and we all gathered around to fininsh the quilt. We were all very proud of that quilt and even more proud to give it to the family.

This quilt show made me think of all the hours of work it takes to make a quilt without the modern sewing machines and quilting machines. I think both hand quilted and machine quilted are beautiful works of art. It is sad the youth of today are too busy to learn how much fun it can be to make a quilt.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elmer's Crafting Memories Sweepstakes


The Crafting Memories Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time ("E.T.") on 2/15/2011, and ends 12/31/2011 ("Promotion Period").
All entries must be received by 11:59 pm, E.T., on 12/31/2011.
SPONSORS: Meredith Corporation, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, IA and Elmer's Products Inc., One Easton Oval, Columbus, Ohio. (hereinafter referred to as "Sponsors").

(1) Online Entry: Visit and follow the directions provided to submit a completed online entry form; OR
(2) Wireless Entry: If you are a wireless service subscriber and have a QR code reader installed on your device, use your mobile device to scan the code in one of the following magazines:
Scrapbooks Etc. November/December 2011
Scrapbooks Etc. Halloween Tricks & Treats September/October 2011
Scrapbooks Etc. Christmas Ideas October/November 2011
Family Circle November/December 2011
Better Homes and Gardens November 2011
Paper Crafts Card Creations May 2011
Paper Crafts May/June, September/October, November/December 2011
Paper Crafts Holiday Cards September 2011
Creating Keepsakes May/June, September, October/November, November/December 2011
CK Scrapbooking August 2011
CK Holidays/Celebrations November 2011

Message and data rates may apply, according to your service agreement with your wireless carrier. Each wireless carrier's rate plan may vary, and entrants should contact their wireless carrier for information on messaging rate plans and charges relating to your participation in this sweepstakes. Any mobile form of entry into this sweepstakes will be deemed made by the named account holder whose mobile phone number is assigned at the time of entry to the mobile messaging device so used.

LIMIT: Limit one (1) entry per person, regardless of method of entry. Any attempt by any participant to obtain more than one (1) entry by using multiple/different phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, identities or any other methods will void all of that participant's entries.

Entry may not be possible using certain wireless carriers. Sponsors, in their sole discretion, reserve the right to add or delete a wireless carrier at any time, without notice.

Entry into the sweepstakes constitutes entrant's consent to participate in this sweepstakes and acceptance of these Official Rules. Mobile entry constitutes entrant's consent for Sponsors to use entrant's name, address and other information for the purpose of administering this sweepstakes and for other uses by Sponsors as permitted by applicable law. Entries will not be acknowledged or returned. Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for lost, late, stolen, incomplete, misaddressed, garbled, undelivered or misdirected entries or text messages.

ELIGIBILITY: Legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, 21 years of age or older are eligible to enter, except employees of Sponsors, and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Sweepstakes and/or their respective agents, affiliates, subsidiaries and members of their immediate families or household members. "Immediate family members" shall mean parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, or spouses. "Household members" shall mean people who share the same residence at least three months a year. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.

WINNER SELECTION: On or about January 14, 2012, Sponsors will conduct a random drawing from among all eligible entries received. ODDS of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

PRIZING: One (1) grand prize winner will receive two (2) Elmer's/X-ACTO prize packs consisting of one of each item in the line, retail value ("RV") $438.00 each, and two (2) $1,000 Walmart gift cards; total RV of grand prize package is $2,876.00. Ten (10) runner-up winners will each receive one (1) $25 Walmart gift card. Gift cards are subject to issuer restrictions. Total RV of all prizes awarded is $3,126.00. Potential winners will be notified by phone, text message, and/or mail and prize delivered approximately thirty (30) days from date of winner verification. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if prize cannot be awarded as described. Sponsors will determine all elements of prizing in their sole discretion. Prizes may not be assigned, transferred, changed or redeemed for cash, except at Sponsors' sole discretion. Prizes are awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee express or implied by Sponsors. Sponsors disclaim all and any liability for the actual provision, quality or nature of any third-party product or service accepted by the winners. The awarding of any prize is contingent upon full compliance with these Official Rules. Entrants agree to be bound by Official Rules and agree that if any winner fails to provide proof of identity, is found to have violated Official Rules, or otherwise does not meet eligibility criteria, prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner in a random drawing.

During the Promotion Period, Sponsors, at their discretion, may send entrants additional notifications regarding the sweepstakes. Entrants may be charged standard carrier-specific message or data rates, depending on entrants' individual wireless or non-mobile pricing plans, for these additional notifications. There is no limit as to the number of notifications the Sponsors may send during the Promotion Period or restriction on when notifications may be sent.

PRIVACY: By entering and providing the required registration information, you acknowledge that Sponsors may send you information, samples, or special offers they believe may be of interest to you about Meredith's publications or other complementary goods offered by Meredith or by Elmer's Products, Inc. Meredith may also include your name and postal address in postal address lists that Meredith sells or rents to third parties for marketing purposes. For more information about how Sponsors use the information you provide, see Meredith's privacy policy at and Elmer's privacy policy at IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SHARE YOUR INFORMATION, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THIS PROMOTION.

WINNERS' LIST: For winners' list, available after February 18, 2012, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winners' List, Elmer's Sweepstakes, c/o Meredith Marketing Solutions, 125 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10017.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Easy Swiss Steak

My favorite thing to do while shopping the meat counter is to first go down the line to see if there is anything with a REDUCED sticker. As you can see by the label I scanned below the savings can be huge. Always look at the sell by date, if you do not intend to go home and use it within the time frame just stick it in the freezer. 

When I saw the round steak I thought SWISS STEAK! We make EASY SWISS STEAK...only three ingredients. Round steak, onion and a can of tomatoes with green chilis already in them.
Put the round steak in a large skillet. My husband cut this steak into serving size pieces before he put it into the skillet. Cut the onion into large pieces and put on top of the steak. Pour the tomatoes with green chilis on top. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, cover the skillet with a lid. Cook until the meat is fork tender. My husband cooked this steak for about one and a half hours.
We ate this cheap-n-easy Swiss Steak with hominy and canned okra. It is a "old people" thing to eat like this, so you can serve with your favorite veggies, cause I know you said "yuk" when you looked at my plate below.
We had enough Swiss Steak to have our supper, lunch the next day for both of us and a couple servings we put in the freezer to have for later. We often cook enough to have at least four servings, because we both take our lunches to work. This is a major money savings to not go out any buy lunch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teen Fashion?

Today's teen fashions make me crazy. This half teeshirt came out of Rue21 brand new looking like this! First of all just going into Rue21, with the music blaring and the clothing racks so close together, made me nuts. I went with my granddaughter, to get a couple pair of jeans for school, and came out with this prize possession. The front of the shirt is cute with a leopard print heart, with 'Flirt' written in hot pink, but the bottom half of the tee shirt is missing. I am aware that layering is the big deal right now, and she certainly has to layer something under this tee!
Looking at this photo I see the Me, Myself, and I poster she had to put together for school, when she was seven years old, and think to myself...things were so much easier ten years ago. She certainly did not wear clothing with holes in them, or with the back slashed out in the name of fashion. The poster says her favorite color was pink, and she still likes pink, but at the moment her favorite color is purple. The poster has fake nails attached and today she nearly strokes out if her nails aren't perfect. I love her with all my heart, but I do not like the things she wears.

Monday, September 19, 2011

26 year old cookbook

I was so excited when my Mom gave me this 26 year old cookbook she found in a box of stuff she had purchased at an auction. The book Thirty Years at the Mansion is by the Arkansas Governor's Mansion cook Lisa Ashley who started at the Governor's Mansion in 1955.

It is more than just a cookbook it tells the stories of Governor Francis Cherry, 1953-1954, Governor Orval Faubus, 1955-1966, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, 1967-1970, Governor Dale Bumpers, 1971-1974, Governor David Pryor, 1975-1978, Governor Bill Clinton 1979-1980, Governor Frank White, 1981-1982, and Governor Bill Clinton, 1983 until he became President Bill Clinton. It gives the different families favorite things to eat and thirty years of recipes for holidays and other special occasions. The cover shows the Clinton's who lived in the mansion at the time Mrs. Ashley wrote the book.
This next photo shows the First Lady Rosalynn Carter at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion in 1979 for a invitation only lawn party. One of my friends and I attended the lawn party, and got to meet the First Lady. There were hundreds of people there, and she went down the long  line speaking to everyone. It was a once in a lifetime event. We had to present our invitation to get in the gate. Secret Service was everywhere and watching those in attendance. 
These pages note that Governor Clinton's favorite Mexican dish was Chicken Enchiladas and that he loved lots of pies, but his absolute favorite was Lemon Chess Pie.
This page says that Governor Clinton's favorite meat was Beef Tenders and that it was served often at formal dinners. It is just beef tenders marinated in Wishbone Italian Salad dressing, sprinkled with coarse black pepper and cooked on the grill!
I have read this cookbook cover to cover and love all the stories that were so much a part of my growing up and young adulthood. It brought back wonderful memories like my Uncle Ralph arranging for me to get to attend a big youth day event  at Governor Winthrop Rockefeller's Winrock Farms up on Petit Jean Mountain. And the many years of chicken cookouts attended by Governor Bill Clinton in the Little Flock Park and big rallies at the County Fairgrounds. I was so thrilled my Mom found this book in her box of auction goodies! Thanks Mom.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hext, Oklahoma

If you have followed this blog, you have found out that I love old buildings. It makes me sad to see beautiful old buildings allowed to crumble to the ground. I find old WPA structures of special interest. I travel around Western Oklahoma and photograph as many of the WPA projects as I can to have a record of such beautiful historical sites built 76 years ago. One sad site is at HEXT, OKLAHOMA where only the school buildings and a church show signs of past life. There are a couple other buildings, but it is mostly farm land now. Hext, Oklahoma is between Sayre and Erick on Historic Route 66. No longer listed on the state map, there is a exit sign off I-40 showing Hext.
Hext, Oklahoma School
During the Great Depression, the U.S. Congress in 1935 created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to administer $5 billion for public works. The WPA's goal was to employ as many people as possible on projects that would provide long-term benefit to local communities. Ideally, workers would also receive on-the-job training to prepare them for further employment. The WPA made a significant impact on Oklahoma. Ultimately, of 166,000 Oklahomans certified for WPA jobs approximately 119,000 were employed at some point between 1935 and 1937. Many of these projects in Oklahoma are still being used today, but unfortunately a lot of them have just been left to decay through the years. Construction was the WPA's mainstay. Road building and improvement, especially farm-to-market roads, accounted for almost half its expenditures in Oklahoma. Hundreds of school buildings, numerous National Guard armories, drainage projects, dams and reservoirs, and a number of municipal buildings are a part of the WPA legacy. Wherever possible, construction used local materials, much of which was stone as a mainstay of WPA structures.
The Hext School was all fenced off so I could not get close enough to take a photo of the buildings behind this one. There are lots of trees grown up around the other buildings too. I would have loved to have peeked in the windows! There are so many interesting sites along Historic Route 66 and as you can see I get my "Kicks on Route 66."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hard Boiled Eggs

Husband's Method for Making Hard Boiled Eggs

Put eggs in pan and cover with about one inch of cold water above tops of eggs.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Bring to rolling boil.
Cook for 10 minutes.

Cool eggs imediately by running cold water into pan.
Pour it out and repeat process several times until eggs are cool to touch.
Crack each egg shell all around and leave in water.
Peel the eggs and rinse off.

Place on a paper towel to dry and completely cool.
Then place in zip lock bag and place in the frig.
 (or make egg salad or whatever you do with hard boiled eggs)

I cut this egg when it was still to warm, so it has the cracked look on one half. My husband says that this is a perfectly cooked egg. He says that if you cook them too long you will see a greenish ring around the yoke, where the yoke and white touch. He also says that eggs are the least expensive source of animal protien you can buy. If eggs are a $1.20 a dozen that makes them $.80 per pound! I take hard boiled eggs in my lunch a lot of the time.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Traveled From Kansas

This was quite a site to see all these old vehicles lined up at the Mark Motel on Historic Route 66. There were lots more of them around town. How fun it would be to travel down from Kansas, and get their kicks on Route 66. This looked like a club or group of people enjoying the trip.
Oklahoma has more miles of Historic Route 66 than any other state.