So Casey sends me this text:  “No idea why but this tree made me think of you  🙂  ”

Tree“It’s just like screw the rest of you, I’m yellow, deal with it.”

Love it!


Scraped-out buns

This is a weird thing my mom used to make. I have no idea where she got the recipe.

You will need:

Something like Cobblestone wheat sub rolls:

Underwood deviled ham.  You will find this with “canned meat” – tuna, salmon, Spam…

The ratio is 2 cans to 3 buns.
Chili sauce.  Note: This is *not* ketchup, but you will find it near the ketchup at the grocery store.
Onion.  You can use onion powder, minced onion, or fresh onion.  A little bit goes a long way, so don’t go wild.
Grated cheddar cheese.  I use sharp cheddar.

Mix up 2 cans of deviled ham, roughly 3 tbsp. chili sauce, maybe 1 tsp. of onion powder, and as much grated cheese as you like.  (I don’t have exact measurements for this one – I was taught to make this one by watching my mom and she didn’t measure either.)  Taste the mixture and if it’s not tangy enough, add another dab of chili sauce. Sneak up on this slowly so you don’t end up with a sloppy mess.  Then set this aside, you have to go mess with the buns now.



Stand the bun on end and carefully cut the top off length-wise. The goal is to cut off a thin layer to act as a lid later, after you pack it with the deviled ham mixture.


Hollow out the inside of the bun.  I usually cut the boundary and then use the fork to scoop out the insides.  It’s kinda like making a canoe! P.S. The stuff you dig out of the bun is great for snacking on while you make these.

Once you’ve hollowed out the bun, pack it with the mixture, put the lid on top, and put little dabs of butter on the lid.

Bake it at 400* for 10-15 minutes or until the lid is crisp and the cheese is all melted inside. (Works really well with a toaster oven.)  Take them out and eat!

Good Seasons chicken marinade

This is stupid easy and the chicken is delicious.

1 envelope Good Seasons salad dressing powder
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. grated lemon peel (just fake this step)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. oregano

Mix it up and use almost all of it to soak your chicken in it for 24 hours or so. Keep a little out to drizzle over the chicken as it’s cooking on the grill.  YUM!


This ain’t sweet cornbread, so if you’re looking for Marie Callender-type cornbread, keep looking.

1 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar (and even this is a bit much)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup Crisco

Melt a little bacon grease in a cast iron skillet.  Swish it all around and coat that bitch. Pour batter in there.  Bake at 425* for about 20-25 minutes.  Have some butter ready and eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven.  THE BEST.

Chocolate chip cookies

People ask me what my recipe is for these.  Uh, Toll House.  It’s on the bag.  Take them out of the oven, though, before they are all the way done.  Put a shitload of chocolate chips in there too.

1 cup Crisco
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla1/2 tsp. water
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2-1/4 cups flour

Stir it up.  Put in chocolate chips.  Spoon out onto cookie sheet.  Cook at 350* until they are not quite done.

Little pies

These are stupid easy and could probably be improved (lost my pictures in the Great Migration), but here’s what I’ve got.

Go get some pre-fab pie crusts. These are Pillsbury, but Food Lion has cheapo ones too. These will be in the refrigerated case at the grocery store.
Leave these out on the kitchen counter until they get to room temperature.  They are much easier to roll out and manipulate when they are not cold.
Also get yourself a can of pie filling.  These are typically on the baking aisle, or wherever they keep cake mixes.  Also get some powdered sugar (also on the baking aisle).

Sprinkle flour on your kitchen counter and unroll a pie crust.  Once it’s flat, sprinkle more flour on it.  You want to be able to roll it and without the flour, it will stick. Roll out the pie crust so it’s fairly thin. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use a soda can, peanut butter jar, whatever.  This is not an exact science, lol. You want to be able to fit roughly 7 circles onto the crust.  The circles are 4″ in diameter and I used a coffee mug to do it.

Peel out the stuff from in between each circle.  Put a spoonful of pie filling onto one half of each circle. Resist the urge to put a crapload of pie filling on there.  It will be impossible to seal – trust me, I tried, ha ha!

Have a small bowl of water nearby.  Use your finger to lightly dampen the edges.  This will be like glue.  Fold over to seal the fruit in the crust, push the two edges together hard with your fingertips, and then grab a fork.  Dip the fork into some flour so IT doesn’t stick, and use it to crimp the edges.

I used parchment paper (you can find this in the grocery store aisle where they have ziploc bags and tin foil).  You can bake on parchment paper and it doesn’t catch on fire in the oven, plus your goodies won’t stick to the pan and clean-up is easy! You can bake these without parchment paper, but be sure to keep a close eye on the pies so the side touching the pan doesn’t burn.  You may want to flip them mid-way through the baking process.

Put your little pies on a cookie sheet and bake at 350* until they are done.  “Done” to me means a nice light brown.

Sprinkle the baked pies with powdered sugar and eat!

You can *try* to mash together all the scraps you pulled out from in between the circles, re-roll them and make more pies, but pie crust is very finicky and doesn’t like to be rolled out twice.

Chocolate crinkle cookies

Okay, buddy – this is for you!

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
4 squares baking chocolate or equivalent

Eeeerrk!  Let’s take a moment here.  You can do one of two things.  Use Baker’s chocolate squares.  These are not sweet and you would never just eat one.  (Although Dad once tricked Uncle Rick into eating one, but that’s a different story.)

Or you can use cocoa + oil.  It will say on the back of the box, but 1 tablespoon (tbsp) oil + 3 tbsp. cocoa = 1 square of baking chocolate.  On a side note, I just saw that Hershey’s makes “Special Dark” cocoa – nom!  I typically use the cocoa method because I also use it for brownies.  Just sayin’.

Okay, back to the program.  Let’s take it from the top:

1/2 cup canola oil
4 squares baker’s chocolate or equivalent
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix it all together.  Cover the mixing bowl and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Take that time to make sure you’ve got some powdered sugar.

Once the dough has chilled, make little balls, roll it in powdered sugar and bake at 350*.  Keep a close eye on them – it’s hard to tell when they are done. These cookies are better if you take them out when they are half-done so they’ll be chewy.  Crunchy crinkles suck!

Updated December 2016:  I have found the perfect balance is to use the cocoa+ oil method, and use 50% regular cocoa and 50% Hershey’s Special Dark.  You loved them this past Christmas!