May 30, 2012

Strawberry Bars

Hubby really liked the apricot bars, but they didn't last too long.  Everyone else liked them, too!  Since he was sick this weekend he wanted a little something special to nibble on. I was out of apricot jam, coconut and walnuts so I came up with this little gem.

Strawberry Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup chopped almonds or cashews

Mix flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda.  Cut in butter.  Reserve 1 cup of the flour mixture.  Press remaining flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan.  Spread the jam over the top (if it's really stiff jam add a teaspoon of water and mix it up so that it's spreadable).  Sprinkle with reserved flour mixture.  Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top and press in lightly with your hands.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Coll in the pan on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.

Makes 24 bars.

May 29, 2012

New Lovelies!

I thought I'd take a moment to post a few new items that have been added to my Etsy shop. I have several readers who aren't on Facebook and sometimes can't see the etsy links in the side bar and I didn't want them to miss out.

This morning I posted this little lovely...

 It sells for $30.
You can find it HERE.

I also posted this little lovely and within a few hours it was spoken for...

It sold for $18.

I have another sign that I'm working on that will be black and have the "Serenity Prayer" in white.  It will be about the same size as the sewing one (11x12x1).  If you are interested leave a comment with your email and when it's done I'll send you an invoice on Etsy.  

Note:  I also have two signs in white that I will be stenciling soon.  I can do either the "Serenity Prayer" or the sewing stencil.  You can also pick your color for the lettering!  Leave a comment or email me for that order as well.  

Thanks a bunch sweet peas!


Serenity Prayer  $18

But...I have two boards in white ready to stencil either Serenity Prayer or Sewing Room on.  Email me for details.

Apricot Bars

A friend of ours made these and my husband loved them!  He requested the recipe for me to make them for him.  Our friend passed along this recipe from Taste of Home. Little did he know that there is coconut and walnuts (two things he really does not like) in these lovely little dessert bars.  I made them the other day and didn't even get a chance to take a picture of them they were snatched up so quickly!  I don't think he minds the coconut or walnuts so much in these little lovelies!

Apricot Bars

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 jar (10-12 oz.) apricot preserves

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add egg; mix well.  Combine flour and baking powder.  Gradually add to creamed mixture. Fold in coconut and walnuts.

Press two-thirds of dough into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Spread with preserved; crumble remaining dough over preserves.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.


May 28, 2012


Only two defining forces ever offered to die for you: 
Jesus Christ and the American soldier. 
One died for your soul. 
The other died for your freedom.
Take some time today to remember...
photo credit 

May 25, 2012

BBQ Chicken Salad

I can't remember how I stumbled upon this recipe months and months ago over at Two Peas and Their Pod, but I was going through my recipes that I had bookmarked to look at some other time and found this. The picture alone makes it worth while, huh?  They have a lot of other fun recipes on their site as well!

See what I mean?!  
Don't you just want to reach through the computer and grab a bite?! 
They do a lovely job of photographing their recipes!

Here goes the recipe...

For the Blue Cheese Vinaigrette:
(There's an avocado vinaigrette that I made but we didn't like it a's an acquired taste.)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 medium shallot, chopped  (I omitted that)
1-2 garlic cloves, dry pan roasted and chopped  (I used chopped garlic from the jar)
2 tablespoons peach jam
1 cup sour cream
1 cup blue cheese or Gorgonzola  (I used a 4 oz. container of blue cheese)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the potatoes:
2-3 pounds red potatoes, washed
1 stick butter
1 medium shallot, minced  (I substituted a few shakes of the dried minced onion bottle.)
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped

For the chicken:
Chicken breasts (I used is not my favorite brand. The texture is a bit chewy.  I prefer our home raised chickens, but they don't grill too well.)
BBQ sauce-use your favorite brand   (We use Bulls's the only gluten free that we've found)

For the salad:
Mixed greens
Tomatoes, chopped
Black beans, rinsed and drained
French fried onions   (If you're gluten free you need to omit these.)


1. To make the avocado vinaigrette-put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth.

2. To make the blue cheese vinaigrette-put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth. If the dressing is too thick, add a drizzle of extra olive oil and mix again.

3. To make the potatoes-boil a large pot of water and salt well. Boil potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain the water and return potatoes to the pot. Stir in butter, shallot, and parsley. Stir well. Set aside and keep warm until serving.

4. Grill the chicken and brush each piece liberally with bbq sauce. Cut into strips and set aside.

5. To plate the salads-place mixed greens on a plate. Lay the sliced chicken on top of the greens. Top with tomatoes, black beans, corn, and fried onions. Place a few warm potatoes on the side. Drizzle entire salad with avocado vinaigrette and blue cheese vinaigrette.

 ~ ~ ~

It was super yummy!  We paired the meal with some rolls and butter and served apricot bars for dessert!  (Apricot bar recipe coming soon!)

And nope...not getting anything for sharing recipe...just really love it!

May 23, 2012

We Have a Winner!

I was so excited to see so many comments!  Some of you had really good casserole ideas!  I would love some of them!  One gal commented on the music.  I love it when you all comment on the music!  Makes me smile.  *smile*   One of you caught my oops on my Breakfast Casserole recipe!  And I'm so glad you did!  As a busy mom of 8 sometimes things don't get typed in like they're supposed to!  So I omitted the hashbrowns and had a ton of extra cheese in that recipe. Don't know how in the world that happened!  Wow!  It is now fixed!  I wanted to respond to each and every one of you, but time doesn't permit it lately.  We're taking a trip out east next month and our daughter has arm surgery at the end of June so we're trying to get school finished up and 4-H projects completed. Plus our garden needs to be put in and the pool needs to be relined along with lots of yard work, too!  So, you all will forgive me if I don't respond, right?

So...on to the giveaway!  The winner of the Gooseberry Patch 101 Cozy Casseroles is...

Terri Betz...Terri the Oregonian  *smile*  

Terri, email me your address at and I'll get your lovely cookbook out in the mail to you!

Thanks again to all who entered!

I'll have another lovely GBP giveaway next week so stay tuned!

May 19, 2012

Pleased to announce...

Summertime at the Homestead
ebook cookbook by Carmen Hyde at Old House Kitchen

After sharing well loved recipes with you here at Old House Kitchen for over two years I am so excited to have a printed cookbook to share with you! A summertime cookbook full of recipes from the website and some never before published! 

I hope your family and friends will enjoy these recipes as much as my family does. There is something here for everyone! There are recipes for breads and meals to bless your family, desserts and beverages to share at a party, recipes for treats to enjoy making indoors in your kitchen and outdoors over a roaring campfire. There are also some yummy breakfast recipes and also fun and messy outside activities to enjoy with your children. I have sprinkled many tips throughout, too! Tips for fun summer d├ęcor, serving ideas, tips to make your time spent in the kitchen a little easier, and so much more. 

Summertime at the Homestead is 57 pages full of recipes and tips for you to enjoy! 

rise -n- shine 
breakin' bread 
~  sweets for your sweet 
supper's on  
on the side 
this -n- that 
'round the fire 

Old House Kitchen's Summertime at the Homestead is only $5 over at my Etsy Store where you can pay securely through Paypal  with your checking account or with a debit or credit card!  

 Thank you so much for your continued support of Old House Kitchen!


May 17, 2012

Fabulous Baked Potato Casserole and Gooseberry Patch Giveaway

Here's a another yummy recipe from Gooseberry Patch's 101 Cozy Casseroles!  This recipe got a thumbs up from about half the family.  The younger kiddos didn't seem to like it.  I think it was the texture of the bacon pieces in the mashed potatoes.  The older kiddos and adults loved it, however!   I plan to make it again and hope that the younger ones get over their texture issue.

Fabulous Baked Potato Casserole

6 to 7 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
1 onion, sliced (I used 1 tsp. onion powder)
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

In a large saucepan, boil potatoes in water until fork-tender, about 20 minutes; drain and set aside to cool.  Combine cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and onion; mix in potatoes, tossing gently to coat.  Spread potato mixture in a buttered 13" x 9" baking pan; sprinkle bacon on top.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until golden and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Serves 8.

Order 101 Cozy Casseroles  through my Amazon store link HERE.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway HERE!!
It ends Tuesday the 22nd!

May 15, 2012

Mexican Lasagna and Gooseberry Patch Giveaway

Here's another yummy recipe our family tried from the Gooseberry Patch 101 Cozy Casseroles.  It got a thumbs up all the way around the table!  Hope your family enjoys it as much as ours did!  (My notes on how I tweaked it follow.  You know I just have to tweak every recipe, right?! *wink* )

Mexican Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef
1 - 1/4 oz. pkg. taco seasoning
8-oz. pkg. 10-inch flour tortillas
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened and divided
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
8-oz. can tomato sauce, divided

Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain.  Add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.  Spread 2 tortillas with 1/4 of the cream cheese and place cheese-side up in an ungreased 13"x9" baking pan; spoon 1/4 of the beef mixture over tortillas.  Top with 1/4 the shredded cheese and 1/4 the tomato sauce.  Repeat layers 3 more times, ending with cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Serves 4 to 6.

*Notes*   In place of the taco seasoning packet I used my own taco seasoning recipe HERE.  I just sprinkled about 2 tsp. of it on the beef and stirred it before putting it in the lasagna.  Instead of 8 oz. of tomato sauce I used about 14 oz. from a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce. It served the 9 of us that ate it very well!

Order 101 Cozy Casseroles  through my Amazon store link HERE.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway HERE!!

May 12, 2012

Breakfast Casserole and Gooseberry Patch Giveaway!

The kind folks at Gooseberry Patch have blessed us once again with a giveaway!  Details on the giveaway in a minute, but first I want to share this yummy recipe!  (My notes on how I tweaked it are after.)

Company Breakfast Casserole

1/2 lb. bacon
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 doz. eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
16 oz. pkg. frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
1-1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Crumble and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings.  Saute onion in reserved drippings until tender; set aside.  In a bowl, beat eggs and milk;  stir in onion, bacon and remaining ingredients.  Pour into a greased 13" x 9" baking pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, until a knife inserted near the middle comes out clean.  Serves 6.

*Notes*  I used about 1 cup of chopped ham leftovers instead of bacon.  I used about 1/2 tsp. onion powder instead of onion.  I used half dozen eggs instead of 1 dozen.  I used mild shredded cheddar instead of sharp.  This fed our family of 10 eaters.  My mom, who is gluten free, enjoyed it!

-  -  -

Purchase 101 Cozy Casseroles at my Amazon store HERE.


*  *  *


*  *  *
Please be sure you leave something that distinguishes you from other
comments like "Carmen from northern Indiana". 

*   *   *

Entry 1
Since this cookbook is about casseroles, 
leave a comment (in the comments at the end of the post) with your favorite casserole ever (not just my blog...your favorite casserole you've ever had).

Entry 2
Share the link for this giveaway on Facebook.
Leave a separate comment (at the end of the post) telling me so. (Another entry)

Entry 3
Blog about this on your own site.
Leave the web addy in a separate comment (at the end of this post).
(Another entry)

Please be sure you leave something that distinguishes you from other comments like "Carmen from northern Indiana".

**All entries need to be a separate comment for drawing purposes.  I count up the total number of comments and then enter it into picks a number then I count down to that number in the comment section.  If all entries are left in one comment unfortunately you will only get one entry.**

One blessed reader will win a copy of 101 Cozy Casseroles!

** Giveaway ends Tuesday, May 22nd at midnight EST **
(winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 23rd)
- - -

Tune in soon for another casserole recipe!

**Originally the giveaway was scheduled to end the 18th, but I made an error in my calendar calculations for the giveaway.  So...ya'll get a bit more time! 

May 7, 2012

Fabulous Four!

I can't believe the four years ago today I gave 
birth to our beautiful Abigail Elizabeth!  

She has such big, beautiful blue eyes framed 
by long and lovely eyelashes.  

She has a giggle that's as contagious as can be.  

She loves her brothers and sisters, especially Lydia Grace.  

 She is Lydia Grace's shadow.  
Whatever Lydie does, Abby does.  

 She's super cute and spunky and 
we love her so terribly much!  

Happy Birthday little peanut! 

May 2, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

My mom loves chocolate cake and since she's gluten free (she has Celiac disease) it's very rare she can enjoy it. (There's not a lot she can enjoy.  Anything with flour or caramel coloring (it has wheat in it) can make her ill for days.)  I found this recipe a while ago (not sure where) and decided to make it for mom's birthday!

6 1- oz. coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate squares
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1-oz. coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate squares
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a small cake pan with cooking spray; sides and bottom. 

Melt 6 oz. chopped chocolate and butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth.  Add sugar and salt and reduce heat to low.  Cook while stirring for about one minute. 

Remove pan from heat.  Whisk in eggs, one at a time.  Use a mesh strainer to sift cocoa powder into mixture.  Whisk until the batter is smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes.  The center of the cake should be just firm to the touch, but be careful not to overbake or it will dry out.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Invert the cake on a plate. 

Make the glaze:  melt 2 oz. chopped chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (in the same saucepan if you like).  When melted and smooth, remove the pan from heat.  Add milk, honey and vanilla and stir until smooth and glossy.  Let the glaze cool for about 3 minutes before pouring on the cake.

Pour all the glaze in the middle of the cake.  Use a rubber spatula to spread the glaze evenly over the cake, allowing the glaze to evenly run down the sides of the cake.


May 1, 2012

The big 7-0!

This birthday wish is for my mom.

She said she didn't want a party for this occasion so we've been showering her with lots of love and the kiddos have been giving her all sorts of fun projects they've made for her.  

Bekah made grandma a birthday hat and then took a picture with her camera.

Mom!  We appreciate all that you do for us!  From the many hours of helping us clean, take care of laundry, organize, and baby sit, to wiping tears and kissing ouchies. 

We sat around the table this morning and shared our favorite things about Nana (what the littles call her) and the most comments where that she's so helpful.  She's willing to do the things that no one else wants to do.  From cleaning a little chickie bum to helping birth a goat (she helped me deliver little miss Pixie), to cleaning up nasties when all the kids have decided to get sick at the same time!

Love you MOM!

(Mom with Dad in '04.  Dad's been gone almost 8 years now.)

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y !!!!!
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