Thelda’s Cherry Cheesecake

Theldas cheescake I got this recipe from my mother-in-law who got it from her mother who got it from one of her friends named Thelda. That’s all I really know about the origins. I do know however, that this is one of my husband’s all time favorite desserts. The only thing that would make it better would be if we had home bottled cherries to put on top.

 2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Cream butter; add sugar, flour and nuts, if desired. Combine well. Spread loosely on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Crumble with a fork often while baking (I usually do it every 5 minutes). Remove from oven and cool slightly. Line a 9x13 baking dish with 2/3 of the crumbs.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
4 cups cool whip or 1 pint whipped cream
1 teaspoon vanilla.
Mix all together until well combined. Spread over crumbs in baking dish. Top with 2 cans thickened pie cherries (cherry pie filling). Sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top. Chill well.

*This dessert can also be made using 2 cups fresh strawberries and 1 package of Danish Dessert in lieu of the cherries.

Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak I was wanting something warm and savory for dinner and with several pounds of hamburger in my fridge this seemed like a good option.

1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 large egg
1  packet dry onion soup mix
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Mix all together and form into 6 hamburger patties. Fry in a large skilled in 2 tablespoons of oil (I used canola) over medium high heat (350 degrees), three minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Make gravy:
1/2  to 1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces sliced fresh baby Portobello mushrooms (can use white mushrooms if preferred)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch cayenne pepper (to taste, optional)
1 can beef consommé OR 1 can Campbell’s beefy mushroom condensed soup
1 soup can full of water (you can use 2 cups beef broth instead if you don’t have the consommé or beefy mushroom)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper to taste

Add sliced onion and mushrooms to drippings in the skillet. Stir well making sure to scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, (or until onion is soft and transparent) stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes more stirring until flour is well combined. Add the consommé and water stirring until thickened and bubbly. Turn heat down to simmer. Return hamburger patties to pan and cook uncovered for 25 minutes over low heat. Flip patties once halfway through cooking. Serve with Velvet Mashed Potatoes for a great comfort food meal.

*This is a slightly modified version of this recipe.

Velvet Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes are so creamy. I made them to have with our Salisbury Steak tonight and the family could not get enough. They are pretty fattening so I don’t do it this way all the time but they are seriously delicious. We even discussed whether we wanted to just eat more potatoes instead of having dessert.

7 or 8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 ounces cream cheese, cubed and softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter, cut into small chunks for quicker melting
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons half and half
a little more milk to reach desired consistency

Put potatoes into a large pot and add cold water until they are just covered. Add a little salt to the water if desired. Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes or until done. Drain. Add cream cheese, butter, salt and half and half and stir gently until butter and cream cheese are kind of melty. At this point I usually use my electric beaters to mash the potatoes the rest of the way but if you are not careful the potatoes can become gluey.  The best way to mash them is with a potato ricer or potato masher (I do not own one yet, but I hope to someday own one). Serve while hot. These are wonderful even without gravy.

Green Chili Burros

This recipe was created by my Grandpa George. It is a special meal at our house. Whenever I taste it I can see Grandpa standing in his kitchen, smiling.
The problem with my Grandpa's recipes is that he never measured anything. He taught my mom to cook that way, and that is how I was taught. This recipe is too good not to share, so I will do my best.

2 1/2 lb beef roast
1 cup of water
1 medium sized onion- diced
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 to 2 TBSP cumin
1/2 -1 TBSP chili powder
3 - 7 ounce or 4 -4 ounce cans of chopped green chilies
salt to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
2 tsp of corn starch
around 10 large flour tortillas
grated cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
diced tomato
sour cream

In a crock pot place your roast,(you do not need to brown the roast first), water, diced onion, garlic, cumin, and 2/3 of your green chilies. (2 - 7 ounce cans, or 3 - 4 ounce cans)
Cook that on high for about 6 to 7 hours, or until the meat easily shreds.
Shred your beef. Stir in the last can of green chilies. Add your salt to taste, red pepper flakes, and any additional chili powder, or cumin you feel it needs. Stir in the corn starch and incorporate it evenly.

Place about 1/2 cup of your meat mixture across the middle of one flour tortilla and roll the tortilla up. Top with cheddar cheese and microwave for 30 seconds, letting it melt. Top that with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa, if desired.
I serve this with Mexican rice, and homemade beans.

I usually split this recipe in to 2. I freeze the leftover meat and use at a later date to make chimichangas. Another yummy dinner!

Speaking of Guacamole

Here is an easy, fresh tasting guacamole that my kids inhale.

1 avocado- peeled, pitted, and mashed with a fork
1 to 2 TBSP of sour cream
1/2 to 1 TBSP of chopped fresh cilantro, or in a pinch, 1 tsp of dried cilantro
Juice from half of a lime
salt to taste

Mix that all up, let it sit for a minute, and gobble it up. It never actually makes it in to my recipes because it doesn't last that long at my house. It's a treat here!

Tortilla Black Bean Pie

I originally got this recipe from my sister who saw it in an issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. It's simple and has fed our family on occasion when there wasn't too much in the cupboard. It's also a great vegetarian dish.
  • 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas (I have used smaller and just overlapped them to fit the pan)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn (I often use canned)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 1/2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (I usually use sharp but that's just me)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan, using the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and cumin; Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add beans and water to skillet, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in corn and green onions, and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on top layer. Bake until hot and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Unmold pie; sprinkle with additional green onions. To serve, slice into wedges. 

We often eat ours with sour cream and salsa. Esmiley had left a  comment on the original post that she has a guacamole and salsa variation. Sounds fantastic! 
(Recipe and photo taken from with minor modifications)

Another Hot Cocoa Recipe

I've been making this for the past few months and just can't get enough! 

2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup sugar (I bumped it up to 1 c.)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I have used "regular" size, as well as milk chocolate chips)
1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
1/8 teaspoon salt

Measure all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and pulse in a food processor (or blender, I suppose) until they are evenly blended. Store the mix in a tightly covered container at room temperature until you're ready to package it. Makes about 4 cups of mix.  To serve, mix 3-4 Tbl. of mix with hot water.


This is yummy in a bowl with milk, sprinkled on yogurt, or just eaten by the handful!

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
1 (6-ounce) package dried sweetened cranberries or other dried fruits such as cherries, raisins, coconut, or pineapple

Heat the oven to 300º. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, wheat germ, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil, honey, and water. Toss the mixture until the ingredients are well combined, then spread it evenly on a cookie sheet.Bake the granola for 40 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes to keep the mixture from sticking. Let it cool completely, then stir in the cranberries or dried fruit. Makes about 7 cups.

Favorite White Bread

I love this everything about this bread;  the taste, the texture, the ease with which I can make it.  I usually rely on my trusty Kitchen Aid to do most of the work, but have done it by hand without much effort.  This recipe makes two loaves, one of which I made into cinnamon raisin bread for the first time the other day.  As you can tell from the picture, it was a hit in my house -- those nubs are all that were left by the time I thought to get a picture!

6-7 c. white flour (I have substituted a couple of cups of whole wheat flour for the white in the past)
3 Tbl. sugar
1 Tbl. salt
2 Tbl. shortening
2 pkgs. yeast (4 1/2 tsp.)
2 1/4 c. very warm water (120-130 degrees)
Margarine or butter, melted

In large bowl, stir 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, shortening and yeast until well mixed. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.  Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with shortening. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

Grease bottoms and sides of two 8x4-inch or 9x5-inch loaf pans with shortening or spray with cooking spray.  Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin into 18x9-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 9-inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Pinch each end of roll to seal. Fold ends under loaf.  Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with butter (or spray lightly with cooking spray). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 35 to 50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 425°F.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush loaves with butter (most times I don't bother with this); cool (most times I don't bother with this :).

For cinnamon-raisin bread:  Stir in 1 c. raisins with the second addition of flour.  Mix 1/4 c. sugar and 2 tsp. ground cinnamon.  After rolling dough into rectangles, sprinkle each with half of the sugar mixture and 1 Tbl. water.  Shape as instructed above.

English Muffins

I first found this recipe in an issue of Family Fun magazine about 8 years ago;  it's a little labor intensive, but definitely worth it!

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup warm water (110º F/45º C)
1 package (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Combine the milk, butter, and honey in a medium-size saucepan. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat until the butter starts to melt, then whisk it briefly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the liquid to cool until lukewarm.  While the milk cools, pour the water into a medium-size mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir the liquid gently with a fork. Set the bowl aside for 5 to 10 minutes, until all of the yeast has dissolved.

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper and sprinkle on a generous amount of cornmeal. (This is where you'll set the muffins to rise.)

Pour the cooled milk into the dissolved yeast and gently stir the mixture until well blended. Add 3 cups of flour and the salt to the liquid and beat the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth (about 100 strokes). Beat in enough of the remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, so that the dough is firm enough to knead and no longer sticky.  Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Flour your hands as well, and knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes.

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, starting in the middle and pushing the pin from the center out, until the dough is a half inch thick.  Cut the dough into circles with a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Gather and reroll the scraps and cut out more circles (you should end up with 18). Now shape each circle into a heart: use a knife or scissors to cut a third of the way into the circle, round the cut side into the top of the heart, and then pinch the opposite side into a point for the tip (I think I only did this the first time I made them -- cute idea, but I usually just leave them as circles now).  Transfer the muffins to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them well apart. Sprinkle cornmeal on the tops. Cover the muffins with a dry, lightweight towel and let them rise until they are almost doubled in height--about 35 to 45 minutes.

When the muffins have risen, heat a large, heavy, ungreased skillet over medium heat. (If you have two skillets, you may want to prepare both so you can cook more muffins at once.) Or you can use an electric griddle heated to 300º. Carefully lift the muffins from the waxed paper and place them in the heated pan or griddle, spacing them an inch or so apart. You should be able to fit 4 or 5 muffins in each pan.  Cook the muffins for about 10 minutes on each side, using a spatula to flip them. You may have to adjust the heat if the muffins are browning too quickly or slowly. Transfer each batch of cooked muffins to a wire rack to cool before splitting and toasting them. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Broccoli Slaw

Esmiley's recipe for Waldorf salad reminded me of this delicious salad that Sally Johnson made a few years back;  broccoli coleslaw mix is usually found in the produce section.

1 package (12 ounces) broccoli coleslaw mix
3/4 dried cranberries
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 c. sunflower seeds, hulled
1/4 cup coleslaw salad dressing

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Navajo Fry Bread

This recipe was given to Sean by Brother "Lucy". It's the best thing he ever did for us. :)

-Bisquick and flour 1:1 ratio (I used 2 cups flour, 2 cups Bisquick and made plenty for dinner and dessert
- 1 tsp of salt per 2 cups of Bisquick mix
- Add warm water slowly until the mixture is tacky

Cover with a wet paper towel until you are ready to use it

Fill a frying pan with vegetable or canola oil. Get it REALLY HOT, but not boiling.
Do a test by throwing a small amount of the dough in to the oil. It should float right away if the temperature is right.

Roll out golf ball sized amounts of dough as flat as you can and place in the oil. After about 10 seconds flip the bread over and fry on the other side for another 10 - 15 seconds or until evenly browned.

For dinner we topped these with a mixture of black beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, green onion, salsa, and sour cream.
For dessert you can top with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. SO GOOD! Honey butter is also fabulous on these.

One thing that I did learn... these are better in the summer time. The air in my house was filled with smoke and we had to open some windows. It was 20 degrees outside!