Cooking Without Photos – Calico Squash Casserole

Shoooweeee! It’s about that time in the South, y’all. That’s right. Squash every night time! If you have a garden, you know exactly what I’m talkin’ about. You try to sneak squash into every meal to use it all up. Then, you give away what you can’t use.

I found this recipe in the previously shared cookbook, “Hungry Like A Wolf: Lake Hamilton Bands”. Calico Squash? Sounds interesting. Let’s do it!

Couple of things:

  1. There’s no way to get exact “cups” of squash without cutting and leaving some behind for something else. I just used a tad more and put the mixture in a bigger pan.
  2. Years ago grocery stores carried 2 Oz jars of pimentos. Maybe they still make them. I couldn’t find any🤷🏻‍♀️. I used half of a 4 Oz jar and saved the rest for next time around.
  3. Make sure you really drain the squash. I’ll do better next time.

Y’all, you’re gonna love this one! It’s so good!!❤️


Cooking Without Photos – Beef Pot Pie

Ahhhhhhh Lake Hamilton! one of our fave places to get away❤️. This week I chose a recipe out of the cookbook, “Hungry Like A Wolf” compiled by Lake Hamilton Bands. Lake Hamilton School District consolidated several smaller schools, one of them being the Bear community.

Bear, AR was once a boom town thanks to wild rumors of gold, silver and other precious metals being found in the Ouachita Mountains surrounding Bear. Folks flooded the area in the late 1800’s. As quickly as it grew and once the truth was found out, population declined just as fast.

At one time Bear produced two newspapers, had 35 mining companies, 5 hotels, 2 saw mills, a post office and of course their own school. Not everyone believed the hype about gold and silver being in the area. The State Legislature revived the Geological Survey of Arkansas and Theodore Comstock was sent to examine the mines surrounding Bear.

In 1888, it was reported that the survey disputed that there was anything of value in the hills surrounding Bear. Once this survey report was made known, mining company stock was made worthless and the town ultimately fell apart.

Sad day, Fam.

On to the recipe!!!

Y’all, when I saw this recipe, I just stared in amazement. How in the world have I never thought of this before? Using beef stew for BEEF POT PIE?! What?!

Couple things:

  1. You’re gonna need salt.
  2. I used jumbo biscuits but I can see how smaller biscuits would be good too.
  3. You could also use pie crust.
  4. Was it the best thing I ever ate? No. But for a quick dinner fix, we will for sure do it again.

Cooking Without Photos – Pasta Salad

Mountain Fork, AR in Polk County. Never heard of it? Neither had I🤔🤔. There’s just not a whole lot written about Mountain Fork. Seems to be just a tucked away place in Polk County, very near the Oklahoma border.

I’ve added a photo (not mine) of their Mountain Fork Bridge. This bridge is on the historical register and celebrates 100 years this year❤️

This week’s cookbook, “Heart & Soul Cookbook”, was compiled by the members of Christ’s Church at Mountain Fork. The community first began hosting Sunday school in 1954 at the school house. Construction of the church began the following year and the doors opened April 1958. They are still holding services today.

Since summer is upon us, I chose to make Pasta Salad. This was very tasty!

Couple of things:

  1. Kraft stopped making Seven Seas dressing in 2012. I chose to go with straight Kraft.
  2. I used Roma tomatoes because they just make sense as a pasta tomato. Not too much juice and I cut out the seeds.
  3. I also put the cheese in last because to me it gets too soggy if you put it in and leave it.


Cooking Without Photos – Camp Nachos and Walking Banana Pudding

This weekend we were on a camping trip and the weather was perfect! We won’t talk about how it rained all night the first night and I was the only one concerned🤔

We stayed at Lake Nimrod and it was fabulous! I learned today that this was a favorite place of my Great Grandfather’s. No wonder I feel at home there. ❤️

Lake Nimrod is the oldest Army Corp of Engineers project in Arkansas. It was created to help control flooding along the Fourche La Fave River and was completed in 1942.

Situated alongside the Nimrod Wildlife Management area, Lake Nimrod is a great place not only for fishing but also water fowl hunting or observation. With 5 campsites available, it’s a great place to take your family for a weekend of fun any time of year.

Today I chose to share a few recipes you could take with you while camping. Since I didn’t find these in a cookbook, don’t be upset. Next week we are back to normal😆

The first I’d like to share is one that I’ve been trying to figure out for a bit. You may look at this one and decide you want something different too. I won’t be sad if you change it to suit you. in fact, the next time I make it I’m putting in a can of chili beans🤔. Here it goes:

Camp Nachos
1 lb hamburger meat – browned
1 Onion – diced
1 Package Taco Seasoning
16 Oz Melting Cheese (Velveeta) – cubed
16 Oz Pepper Jack – cubed
2 Can Rotel
1 Can Cream of Mushroom
1/2 Cup Milk

  1. Get a fire going in your fire pit or start up your charcoal on your grill.
  2. Brown and crumble hamburger in a Dutch oven with onion. Drain and add taco seasoning. Set aside.
  3. In a foil pan, add remaining ingredients. Place on grill or fire pit grate.
  4. Stir every so often to avoid scorching until cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from heat. Add back in the hamburger.

Walking Banana Pudding
(Per Person)
1 Package Mini Nilla Wafers
1/3 Banana-Sliced
1 Banana Crème Pie Flavored Snack Cup

Combine all ingredients with a good stir and enjoy!

Lake Nimrod Sunset

Cooking Without Photos – Quartered Baked Potatoes

El Dorado, Arkansas! County seat of Union County! Did y’all know that El Dorado was once called the “Queen City Of South Arkansas” and was the center for oil production and refining? It’s a fact, Jack!

Founded in 1843 by Matthew Rainey, El Dorado started plainly as a single retail store and a pine pole cabin with a dirt floor. The city began with the incorporation of a duck pond at its center and expanded from there.

Cotton farms were prevalent in the area, but by the late 1800’s the railroad arrived and with it the timber industry began to climb. In the early 20’s, El Dorado boomed with oil production. In fact, there were 59 oil contracting companies, 13 oil distributors and 22 oil production companies. Population went from 4,000 to 30,000 in just 5 years. Whoa!

In the years that followed, population went up and down. Folks didn’t give up on their small city. In 2004 the downtown area was declared a historical district. Thanks to a $100 million dollar renovation project, the city is completing projects that include an outdoor amphitheater and renovation of their Rialto Theater.

While flipping through, “The Old Fashioned Way: A Collection Of Old And New Recipes” Compiled by the 1989 Ladies Fellowship Marrable Hill Chapel, I came across a recipe for Quartered Baked Potatoes. Have I made them before? Yes🤷🏻‍♀️ Have I thought to put Parmesan cheese on them before? no🧐

Let’s get into it. Nothing about this recipe is hard! Just do it and you won’t be disappointed❤️.

One thing: I didn’t use nearly as much oil as it said. I used about 1/4 of a cup and I doubled the recipe. Use your own judgement though. 


Cooking Without Photos – Lemon Orange Muffins

This week’s cookbook was suggested by my pal Mary Jane❤️. She found this treasure at the Oppelo Flea Market, one of my fave places😍. I zipped on over there and snatched it up! Whooop!

Fun fact: When I was growing up, I had a fascination with anything that had my name in it. I always thought they belonged to me. Turns out, I was mistaken🧐

Trinity Episcopal Church rests in Pine Bluff. This church has been around for 164 years. It’s also the oldest continuously active Episcopal church in Arkansas. They’re famously home to the 100 year Pancake Supper. Maybe I’ll show up there some day and be part of their history.

I chose this week’s recipe from “A Taste Of Trinity” for two reasons. 1. I love lemons! 2. We needed a new dessert. Good news! I didn’t steer myself wrong!

Few things:

  1. I didn’t know what a “butter cake mix” was. I’ve always called it a “yellow cake mix”. Surprise! It’s the same thing.
  2. I used butter because my mix told me to.
  3. I added a little bit more powdered sugar. Maybe my oranges and lemons were extra juicy🤔 Monitor and adjust❤️
  4. When the recipe said to make mini muffins, I wanted to see what it would be like if I made regular muffins and just put the frosting on top.
    Y’all, Blanche Choate knows what she’s talkin’ about. Make them mini and dunk them into that yummy concoction! Yaaaaassssss!

You’re gonna love them!

Cooking Without Photos – Texas Beef Skillet

We travel west to Woodward, Oklahoma. Woodward is the county seat of Woodward County which was originally named N County back in the day.

In September of 1893, thousands of folks came by horse, mule, wagon, bicycle and by foot to claim land lots. It was during this time that Oklahoma was being built from the ground up…literally.

With not many trees around, pioneers made their first homes out of prairie sod. Lumber soon began arriving via the railroad and proper houses were built on the ever changing prairie.

Soon, the town of Woodward grew and businesses of all kinds opened and flourished.

While reading this cookbook, I couldn’t help but laugh at all of the “Texas” recipes. It’s probably because of the close proximity to Texas, but it made me think of all of my cousins that wear Texas Longhorn gear. It’s the best😍😍. This one goes out to all you Okies in orange and white!

This week I chose to make Texas Beef Skillet from the cookbook, “Country Cookbook: Church Of The Nazarene, Woodward Oklahoma”. Couple things:

  1. It didn’t say what kind of tomatoes to use so I chose Fire Roasted. Also, they’re jipping us an ounce these days.
  2. I added more chilies because of the above fact. What was I going to do with like half a can of chilies anyway?
  3. I assumed by “American cheese shredded” that it meant something like Velveeta. I don’t really care for Velveeta much. I’ll use regular shredded cheddar next time. I don’t see how it would hurt.
  4. You’re gonna need more spices than what it says. I do believe this is just to get you started on your journey. I’d also add pepper.
  5. I also didn’t crush up the corn chips. I think it’s prettier with whole chips. I even think you could use those Scoop chips. I plan on doing that next time.
  6. I served this with chips and dip because why not. And I also topped it with avocado and sour cream.

7. This would also be an easy meal to prepare while camping! ❤️

Delightful! You should for sure try it out on your bunch!

Cooking Without Photos – Rocky Mountain Pie

This week we hop on over to the small community of Floyd, AR in White County.

Floyd was started by a man named Levi Ricker. In 1820 he received a patent for 160 acres of land for his military service in the War of 1812. Lots of stories and legends surround the house that Levi first built. That’s a whole other story though.

Early businesses in Floyd included, a horse powered Cotten gin, grist mill, market for trading and fur trading. A school was started in 1856.

From what I’ve gathered, Floyd started as a small community and remains a small close knit community. While there have always been larger towns down the road, Floyd has remained small and they like it that way❤️

This time around I’m using the cookbook, “Sharing Recipes: A Book Of Favorite Recipes Compiled By The Ladies Auxiliary of The Floyd Volunteer Fire Department Floyd, Arkansas”. I found a recipe for a pie I had never tried before and it also sounded easy. My two faves🥰

This recipe for Rocky Mountain Pie is pretty straight forward. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect! It reminds me of a chocolate chip cookie…in pie form🤔. Anyway, you should totally try it! I paired it with vanilla ice cream. Yessssss!

I also have a feeling I’ll be sharing more from this cookbook soon. I just got it and it’s fabulous😍😍

Cooking Without Photos – Spinach Casserole

This week we make a trip north to Bloomington, Illinois.

After a couple of name changes, Bloomington became the county seat of McLean County in 1830. Farmers quickly arrived and the town began to thrive. Abraham Lincoln even frequented Bloomington as he was a lawyer in neighboring Springfield.

Sadly, in 1900 a fire swept thru downtown and destroyed most of the structures. Almost immediately citizens began to rebuild and Bloomington thrived yet again.

This time I chose a recipe from the cookbook, “Favorite Recipes: Park United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women Bloomington, Illinois 1975”. While flipping thru pages, Spinach Casserole caught my eye.

Couple things about this recipe: While it has a great flavor, I think it needs an egg or two. It doesn’t hold together well at all…probably because there’s nothing to hold it together😆 It doesn’t take the best photo either. It doesn’t really say what to do with the cream cheese. After cooking and draining the spinach, i cubed up the cream cheese and it melted really well. Also, I used Italian bread crumbs. It was interesting🤔

Tasty nonetheless! Kinda think it needs to be a holiday side. Reminds me of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner🤔

Cooking Without Photos – Banana Blueberry Pie

This week we mosey on down to Abilene, Texas. I‘ve never been to Texas. I do believe I bought this week’s cookbook at an estate sale in Conway🤔🤔

Anywho, here are some facts about Abilene that you may not have known.

  1. A cattle rancher by the name of Clairborne W. Merchant named Abilene, TX after Abilene, Kansas which was once a huge cattle town.
  2. Abilene won the county seat in 1883 because the Texas and Pacific railroad had just laid track down the middle of their town.
  3. Taco Bueno was started in Abilene in 1967 and I do believe the whole south thanks you😘😘😘

This week I chose the very tiny cookbook put out by The Vintage Tea Room that was once located in Abilene. I could not find any information about the business. I can only assume it is no longer in service.

Out of their cookbook called, “Favorite Recipes From The Vintage Tea Room”, I chose Blueberry Banana Pie to make.

Couple of things:
The ingredient list for this is kinda confusing. you’ll need the following for two pies:

2 crusts
2 cups sugar
2 8oz package cream cheese
2 bananas
1 can blueberry pie filling
1 small tub cool whip

Also, it says “sugar” and I used “sugar”. I could see though that it would be better with powdered sugar. I got no complaints though. Very much a Spring or Summer pie. Enjoy!!!