Welcome Friends!!!

I am a scientist at heart, and my kitchen often looks like a laboratory with all kinds of jars and containers fermenting and brewing on the counters. I love to share my recipes, my herbal remedies and health tips, and I really LOVE to save money! We have a large extended family....two sons, their wives, eleven grandkids (and often a friend or two), my sister, Lanny's brother, and my parents that come over every Tuesday night for dinner...kind of a family reunion, only weekly instead of yearly! That adds up to from 17 to 22 or more people here every week. So I have to cook big, and cook economically!

So here we go! For all my friends and family that have been encouraging me to put all my recipes and ideas in one place like this....if you don't see what you are looking for, and cannot find it by using the "Topics" or the search field below right, just let me know and I will be sure to post it as soon as I can.

Be sure to check out our African Mission Adventure - we traveled to Malawi in August 2014 and you will find photo's and stories about our trip! LanDebLewAfrica.blogspot.com!!!

Lanny and I also have started devotional blogspots that you might enjoy:

Friday, December 25, 2020

Soft, Buttery Home Made Yeast Rolls...YUM!!!

1-Hour Soft and Buttery Dinner Rolls

Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Servings: Yield: 15 servings 

Source: gimmesomeoven.com 


1 cup water

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon active-dry yeast*

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

extra melted butter, for brushing on top


Prep your oven and baking dish. Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside.

Heat the liquids. In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, stir together the water and melted butter, then add in the milk and honey and stir until combined. Microwave the mixture for 1 minute and give it a stir. Continue microwaving the mixture in 15 second intervals, until it reaches 110°F (it will be warm but not hot to the touch) and the butter is completely melted.

Add yeast. Pour the liquid mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer. Then sprinkle the yeast evenly on top, give it a quick stir with a fork to combine, and let the yeast activate for 5 minutes until it is foamy.

Add dry ingredients. Add in 3 1/2 cups of flour (not all of the flour) and the salt.

Mix. (See alternate instructions in the notes below for how to knead the dough by hand.) Use the dough-hook to mix in the dry ingredients on medium-low speed until combined. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add in 1/4 cup more flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is only slightly sticky to the touch. (Only use up to 4 cups of flour total.) Continue mixing on low speed for 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Then form the dough into a ball with your hands and transfer it to a greased bowl.

I use my old Bosch mixer...this baby is at least 15 plus years old and I LOVE it...you should see the new ones!!

Let the dough rise. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or paper towel, and let it rise briefly for 15 minutes.

Form the rolls. Gently punch the dough down and divide into 15 equal-sized pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place the dough balls in the greased baking dish. Cover the dish again with a damp towel or paper towel and let the dough balls rise for an additional 15-20 minutes.

See my note below...this is where I change up the recipe a bit...

Bake. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden brown on top and cooked through.

Brush with more butter. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack and brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.

Then serve warm and enjoy!

NOTE: Above is the original recipe...I follow it to the part where you cover the formed rolls for the 15-20 minutes rise...at this point I put the rolls in the fridge because I make them real early on the day I want to use them...I usually have too much going on at the last minute to be fooling with all this...Sooooo, I cover them loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until 2 hours before baking...take them out and they will continue to rise until they reach room temperature. Bake them for 15 minutes and enjoy. You can actually refrigerate them for up to 48 hours before you need them. I LOVE this recipe and so will you!!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Slow Cooker Chocolate-Covered Peanut Clusters

Slow Cooker Chocolate-Covered Peanut Clusters

These are SO Yummy!!

Prep Time: 5 minutes  | Servings: 28 servings 


8 ounces unsalted peanuts

    (or dry roasted peanuts)

8 ounces

    salted cocktail peanuts

6 ounces

    semisweet chocolate chips

6 ounces

    milk chocolate chips

10 ounces

    peanut butter chips

1 pound

    white almond bark or vanilla candy melts


Layer all of the ingredients in order in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for up to 2 hours. NOTE: I stirred the ingredients every 15 minutes or so and they were melted in much less time...also, I was afraid they might burn if left unattended...

When completely melted, using a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop mounds of the clusters onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Allow to sit at room temperature until completely set, 1 to 2 hours. The clusters can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. They also freeze very well!



Source: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/slow-cooker-peanut-clusters/

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Christmas (or any time) Fudge!

I cannot believe that I never shared my favorite EASY candy recipes here at "Mimi's House"...my sincere apologies!

These two fudge recipes are so super easy and fail proof as well. I love the old fashioned candy: cook, stir, stir, stir, test, stir :-) but this is almost as good and much faster and easier on the elbow...

I've made these candies for many years and promise you will love them!


The Original Fantasy Fudge


Prep Time: 10 m  | Cook Time: 10 m  | Servings: 117 servings 


3 cups white sugar

3/4 cup margarine

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Grease a 9x13-inch pan.

Mix sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and thoroughly combined. Beat in marshmallow creme, walnuts, and vanilla extract. Transfer fudge to the prepared pan and let cool before cutting into squares. 


To make in microwave (I've never done it this way), melt margarine in a 4-quart microwave-safe dish and mix sugar and milk into the margarine. Microwave mixture until it begins to boil, about 5 minutes on high, and stir after 3 minutes. Scrape bowl and continue to boil on high for 5 1/2 more minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in chocolate chips until melted, then stir in marshmallow creme, walnuts, and vanilla extract. Pour into prepared baking pan.


Per Serving: 58 calories; 2.8 g fat; 8.6 g carbohydrates; 0.4 g protein; < 1 mg cholesterol; 17 mg sodium. Full nutrition

Source: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/228782/the-original-fantasy-fudge/


Easy Peanut Butter Fudge


Prep Time: 15 min  | Cook Time: prep: 15 min. + chilling  | Servings: 2 pounds (64 pieces) 


2 teaspoons butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1-1/3 cups peanut butter

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme


Line an 8-in. square pan with foil; grease with butter.

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and milk; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in peanut butter and marshmallow creme until blended. Immediately spread into prepared pan; cool slightly.

Refrigerate until firm. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Remove foil; cut into squares. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container.

Test Kitchen Tips

Drizzle individual fudge squares with melted chocolate to add some easy holiday glam.


1 piece: 67 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 28mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Source: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/easy-peanut-butter-fudge/

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Artisan Bread

My friend Wendy gave me a wonderful book... "The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I love baking bread but this is SO easy that I may never make bread any other way!! No kneading, no machine needed. Couldn't be easier.

You will have to get the book (or go to their web site, linked at the bottom of this post) to see the hundreds of variations, but I will share the Master Recipe here and probably, over time, share many of the other ones that I try.

All you need is a large plastic bucket (I bought a 6 quart rising bucket). Before I bought the rising container I used a one gallon plastic ice cream container and just halved the recipe.

Master Recipe

3 cups lukewarm water (under 100 degrees F)
1 Tbs Yeast
1-1 1/2 Tbs salt
6 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

Add the yeast and salt to the warm water in the container. Don't worry about it dissolving. Add your flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it is all moist. If it gets difficult you can use your hand to mix it but do not knead it. This should only take a minute or two. The dough will be wet and loose.

Cover the container with the lid but not tightly... leave it loose on one side. Allow to rise at room temperature until it starts to collapse on top...two hours or so. Then refrigerate the dough up to two weeks to use as you will.

When ready to make your bread you simply flour your hands a little and scoop up a ball of dough. You can flour the surface a bit and even use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to cut out the dough. 

Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides. The bottom will be a bit messy like a bunch of loose ends but don't worry, that's fine. The entire process should take you less than a minute. Remember, you are not kneading, you are simply smoothing out the top with a gluten "cloak".

Now you can put your dough in a bread pan (lightly oil the pan) or free form. If you free form you can use a pizza peel and do it on a pizza stone or use a cookie sheet and parchment paper. 

Let your dough rest for about 40 minutes...longer if your kitchen is cool. Turn on your oven so it gets good and hot. 

When the rest time is over you will want to slash your bread so it can do the majority of rising in the oven as it bakes.

Bake your bread at 450 F for 35 to 40 minutes.

You can buy these buckets online...

The dough is quite wet and loose...

After a couple of hours your dough will be very high and airy...once it starts to flatten on the top it is ready to cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks...if it lasts that long! You will be baking a lot!! :-)

I took this photo right out of the book. The dough is sticky but easy to work with. Don't use a lot of flour, just enough to keep it from sticking to your hands.

I ordered this bread lame but if you have a very sharp serrated knife or even a razor blade (this lame utilized a sharp razor blade), you can slash your loaves.

As you can see, the bread is not fully risen when you slash it and put it in the oven...most of the rising occurs while baking.

If you want to see recipes and tips from this book please visit

Friday, October 2, 2020

Rendering Lard

 It's that time of year...time to render some lard. My friend Wendy gets the best fat at the Farmers Market and brought me 10 pounds this time. I made 9 pints of the prettiest, whitest, tastiest lard ever!

I love this fat...this farmer cuts it in just the right size for my grinder...

I use my giant Instant Pot...

...melt it all down..

..strain it, fill the jars, and


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Greeting from "Walden's Mountain" on Johnson Gap!!! Our new home!

Thanksgiving is upon us again...this year may be a bit different for a lot of people, but because so many of our family live up here on the mountain together we will probably have about the same family gathering that we always have....(for those of you that do not know: we now live on a 64 acre "farm" with my parents, my sister, and our oldest son Robbie and his wife Molly...our youngest son James and wife Tasha will come up when their daughter graduates HS, in the next couple years...go to our newest blog,  Johnson Gap Chronicles to learn about our growing Family Compound on "Walden's Mountain... many of our grandkids are also already planning to join us up here on the mountain in the not so distant future...).

I'll be posting our latest recipes and homemaking progress soon...we have been so busy moving in and building so many of the residences that we've had little time for anything else...but we still have chickens, have added horses and goats and see lots more farm animals in our future. It's going to be quite the adventure!!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Dumplings

Thanksgiving Dumplings:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1 tbs melted butter

For dumplings, in a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk milk and melted butter until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; set aside.

You will need a couple quarts of stock...you can use chicken or turkey broth, homemade or store bought. I've done both! 

Bring your broth to a boil and start dropping your dumplings in a few at a time so they don't stick together. Don't stir but do move them gently around so they stay separate. You will need to simmer them for 15/20 minutes...gently move them with a long spoon to keep them from scorching on the bottom of the pan. I often add milk at the end to make "gravy" out of the thickening stock. I also taste a dumpling or two to be sure they are done. They are like tiny chewy biscuits when they are done. They initially puff up real big and then seem to disappear into the broth...but don't worry, they are still there and very yummy!!

You can also buy canned biscuits or use frozen biscuits cut into small pieces. I know several people that do that but I never have. It would certainly save time!

Of course you can double, triple, quadruple (I actually use about 10 cups flour for our big crew) and still get the same yummy dumplings!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Paula Deen's Corn Casserole

This is a great addition to a Thanksgiving meal...it's very easy to prepare but quite delicious!!


    • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
    • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
    • 1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix (recommended: Jiffy)
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 stick butter, melted
    • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with Cheddar. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

Thanksgiving Cranberry & Pineapple Salad

My folks love cranberry (as a lot of us Southern folk do) with their turkey and chicken, so instead of serving the plain old canned cranberry sauce, we pretty it up a bit...

1 box red jello (cranberry, strawberry, raspberry...)
1 can gelled cranberry sauce
1 can crushed pineapples
* chopped walnuts if desired
* miniature marshmallows if desired
*we usually leave these out...makes it too much like a dessert :-)

Dump the cranberry sauce into a saucepan and heat on low to melt and liquify. Add the jello and about half the called for water and stir until smooth. Empty the pineapples into a pretty serving bowl (don't bother to drain) and pour the cranberry and jello mixture into the bowl, stirring to mix. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight and serve as a garnish for your turkey...it is really a very tasty salad even without a turkey!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Billie's Pasta Salad

Billie's Pasta Salad
*Lanny's Mom shared this easy recipe with me years ago and it has remained a favorite! 

elbow macaroni or any shaped pasta you desire (cooked al dente)
chopped or sliced tomatoes
chopped or sliced cucumber
chopped or sliced onion
I sometimes add sweet or bell peppers
cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and enjoy!

Measurements are up to your desired taste and the size of your salad.