Monday, November 2, 2015

Solved: The Mystery Of The Disappearing Blogger

Hello there.
I've missed you.

I miss writing here. 
For a couple years, I've been walking through some things. 
Hard things, friends. 
The weight of a shattered and weary heart. 

I could no longer do all the things. 
I hit pause. 
Learned to breathe again, to be still, to know. 

But, finally.
I'm ready to jump back in. 
It's good to be back!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

It is amazing when I think of all I have to be grateful for! God has blessed me more than I can ever express. Spending today praising my Jesus for his faithfulness. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18… Homemade Andes Mints

Homemade Andes Mints | Day 18 Make Ahead Holiday Recipes | the Prairie Cottage

I first saw this recipe on I’m Topsy Turvy’s blog a couple years ago and have wanted to try them ever since.  My photos are not nearly as nice as hers, so please click, over to her blog for the full tutorial and recipe :)

The recipe only has a few ingredients.  I used the candy melts from my local Michael's.  I used two bags of dark chocolate and one bag of green for the middle layer.  It was a little difficult to find peppermint oil {not extract}…  The grocery stores, Walmart, Joann’s, and Michaels don’t carry it, but I did finally find it at Hobby Lobby!  Make sure you have the oil based candy flavoring oil and not peppermint extract. 

I followed all of Topsy’s steps and it really was easy.  It took a LOT longer for the layers to turn from glossy to matte than hers did – about 30 minutes.  The layers are stuck together just fine, but we waited to long to cut them into squares.  So the edges aren’t as pretty… oh well.

Freezer Friendly Homemade Andes Mints | Day 18 Make Ahead Holiday Recipes | the Prairie Cottage

It really makes a huge amount of Andes mints!!  I tossed them into the freezer in air tight containers and will have lots to give away over Christmas!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17… Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole Freezer Side Dish | Day 17... Make Ahead Holiday Recipes | the Prairie Cottage

Every family has their own favorite version of sweet potatoes, but many times they have marshmallows on top.  I'm not a fan of the marshmallows and love this recipe because it has a streusel crumb topping instead.

It's really very good and can be easily prepped the day before baking or prepped and frozen for up to 3 months.  If you like sweet potatoes, I hope you’ll give it a try!

To make the mashed sweet potatoes, you can use drained canned or fresh sweet potatoes.  Peel, quarter and boil until tender, if using fresh sweet potatoes.


5 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crumb topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans {we have nut issues and don’t add these}

In a mixing bowl, mash sweet potatoes and then add brown sugar, whole milk, butter, eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish.

Combine brown sugar, flour and pecans (if using them) and cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and the crumbs just begin to brown.

FREEZER DIRECTIONS:  Pour the unbaked sweet potato mixture into a Ziploc bag or freezer safe container and seal.  Mix streusel crumbs and put them into a separate bag or container.  Label both and store together in freezer for up to 3 months.

TO BAKE:  Thaw sweet potatoes and crumb topping in refrigerator.  Pour thawed sweet potato mixture into a greased baking dish and sprinkle crumbs on top.  Bake as above, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16… Make Ahead Turkey Stuffing {Dressing}


This is my Grammy’s recipe, which we have been using to make our Thanksgiving turkey stuffing for more than 40 years.  I think the original recipe may have come from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook…. the red and white checked one :) 

Although we used to cook the stuffing right in the turkey, we now cook it separately.  It is a much safer method to cook the turkey if you do not stuff it first.

Making the stuffing ahead gives the flavors more time to mingle.  I prefer to make it now and freeze it, but it can also be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to bake.  Either way saves precious prep time on holidays!

You can use your personal favorite stuffing recipe.  Here is Grammy’s recipe:


1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups seasoned dry bread cubes {I like Pepperidge Farms cubes}
1-2 cups chicken broth

Put dry bread cubes into a large bowl.  Melt butter and sauté celery and onion until tender.  Stir in poultry seasoning, sage, and salt.  Add to bread cubes and stir.  Add enough broth to moisten without it being soggy.

Put in casserole dish, cover and store in freezer (up to 2 months) or refrigerate (for 1-2 days).  When ready to heat, thaw completely in refrigerator.  Bake at 325 degrees with cover or foil on top until hot, 1 to 1-1/4 hours.  Remove foil the last 20-30 minutes to brown the top. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15… Make Ahead Gravy {Freezer Gravy}

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy {Freezer Gravy} | Day 15 Make Ahead Holiday Recipes | the Prairie cottage

To go along with your freezer mashed potatoes, you’ll want to make some gravy!  This gravy can made ahead up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator or frozen for up to 2 months.   


6 turkey wings (I often use chicken, as it is easier to find)
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
1 cup water 
8 cups chicken broth
3 carrots, cut in chunks
3 stalks celery with leaves, cut in chunks
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Roast wings and onions at a 400 degree oven for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until wings are browned.  If you want a lighter colored gravy, roast the wings and vegetables for a shorter time, until they are cooked, but not brown.

Place browned wings and onions in a 5 quart stockpot. Add 1 cup water to roasting pan and stir, to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the roasting pan water into the stockpot.  Stir in carrots, celery, thyme and 6 cups of chicken broth {reserve 2 cups in the refrigerator}.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 hours.

Strain contents of stockpot through a large strainer into a 3 quart saucepan. {When the wings cool, you can pull off the meat and save for another use}.  Press on the vegetables to extract any remaining liquid, then discard them. 

Skim the fat off the liquid and pour back into the saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups chicken broth until smooth. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the simmering turkey broth; simmer 3-4 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Stir in the butter and pepper.

Serve immediately or pour into containers and refrigerate or freeze.

To Freeze:  Pour into freezer containers or Ziploc bags.  Freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in refrigerator overnight.  Reheat in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. 


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