Sinfully Delicious Lemon Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cookies!

You’re probably like me and have been seeing these cookies all over the internet.  If you like gooey butter cake, you’ll need to make these cookies ~ and then just try not eating the whole batch!

These melt in your mouth cookies are soft on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside.  They have a buttery lemon taste with semi-sweet chocolate chips complementing it.  Rolling them in powdered sugar before baking gives them just the right sweetness and dusting with powdered sugar after baking just makes them pretty. 

The dough should be covered and refrigerated for at least 2 hours before baking to firm up so you can roll the batter into balls.  I let them sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Instead of rolling them into balls, I used a medium cookie scoop which was perfect for the job; not as messy and giving a uniform size.  If you don’t have a cookie scoop, roll the dough into walnut-size balls.

The cookies are usually made with a yellow cake mix but you can substitute your favorite.  Maybe it’s chocolate or strawberry, coconut, pineapple or red velvet.  They’re easy to make and it’s fun experimenting with different flavors.  They’re simple and a hit with everyone!

Lemon Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cookies


1 stick butter, room temperature
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 box Duncan Hines lemon cake mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for rolling/dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Beat in the cake mix.
Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Roll the chilled batter into walnut-size balls or use a medium cookie scoop.
Roll them in powdered sugar.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake 12 minutes.
The cookies will remain soft and gooey.
Cool completely and dust with more powdered sugar, if desired.
Makes 3-3½ dozen

They’re like a little bit of heaven when you take a bite!

Don’t forget to enter my CSN giveaway I posted last Monday!  Today is the last day you can enter!  The drawing is tomorrow.

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

Chicken and Dumplings!

I could count the ways Bill loves chicken and dumplings but I don’t have enough fingers.  Chicken and dumplings is way at the top of his list of favorite dishes and one that he says I don’t make nearly often enough. 

The term “chicken and dumplings” first appeared in print in the 17th century; however, it has been cooked in many cultures in various manners for many centuries.  It was the Southerner’s love of this dish that made it popular and the comfort food that we cook today. 

The biggest problem may be deciding upon which type of dumpling you prefer.  Drop dumplings or flat dumplings?  Make them with cottage cheese or potatoes?  So many recipes…  My recipe for dumplings is the way Mom made them ~ making a delicious rounded dumpling using mainly flour and milk.  Pretty simple!

I like chicken and dumplings a lot but, my favorite way of eating dumplings is over homemade bean soup.  Yum!  Grandma and Mom both cooked dumplings this way and it was the perfect comfort food to me!  Bill says, “With bean soup, you’re kidding??? No way!”  Whatever! 

Chicken and veggies stewing in broth

Chicken oven ready

Dumplings done

Here’s the recipe for his favorite dish that is perfect for the bitter cold snowy days here:

Chicken and Dumplings

For the stew:

1 whole chicken, 3 pounds, cut into sections and trimmed of excess fat
10 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, cut into bite-size chunks
1 teaspoon thyme
1 can (10-ounces) cream of chicken and mushroom soup
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pour broth into a large stock pot.
Place the cut up chicken, onion and carrots in broth.
Bring to a full boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add salt and pepper and thyme.
Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Set oven at 250 degrees.
When chicken is cooked, remove from pot to a baking sheet.
Remove skin from chicken and break meat from bones. 
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover chicken tightly with foil and place in oven.
Skim fat from broth.
Remove 2 cups of broth to a small bowl.
Add can of cream of chicken mushroom soup and whip with a whisk.
Pour into stew and stir well.
Adjust heat so it bubbles vigorously, but not a rolling boil.

Make batter for dumplings.
Drop dumplings by heaping tablespoonful into stew.
Cover tightly for 10 minutes and cook without lifting lid.
Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes over simmering stew.
Remove chicken from oven.   Place on meat platter.
Place dumplings in a serving bowl.
By now the “gravy” (stew broth) should be thicker; place in serving bowl to ladle over dumplings and/or chicken.
Serve and enjoy!


2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. 
Add milk and stir to make a soft dough.
If dough is too thin or thick, add a little more flour or milk.
Ready to drop into stew according to directions above.

Yum!  Chicken and dumplings is the quintessential comfort food!

Don’t forget to enter my CSN giveaway I posted Monday!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

Pasta with Spicy Tuna Sauce

Kathy, this is for you (and everyone else too!)

If you like canned tuna with pasta, this recipe will be a hit for you!

You can whip this up in very little time for a satisfying meal on a weeknight.  It’s brimming with the good flavors of albacore tuna, capers, tomatoes, olives, garlic and red pepper flakes melding with angel hair pasta.  I liberally added the garlic and red pepper flakes but adjust them to your taste.  And, if you don’t care for mushrooms or capers, leave them out.

This is a highly appealing quick dish to use up those canned goods you probably have sitting in your pantry right now.  It’s on the table in about a half hour.  Serve a crisp salad alongside and enjoy!

Pasta with Spicy Tuna Sauce


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons capers
¼ cup green olives, sliced
1 (8-ounce) can mushrooms, drained, optional
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
2 (6-ounce) cans albacore tuna, drained
8 ounces angel hair pasta
Parmesan cheese, shaved, optional


In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-low heat.
Add onion and garlic, cooking and stirring until onion is tender.
Stir in capers, olives, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Season with red pepper flakes and cracked black pepper.
Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
Gently fold in tuna, slightly breaking it up and heat through.
Meanwhile, while sauce is cooking, add pasta to a pot of rapidly boiling water.
Cook until tender.  Drain well.
Lightly toss pasta with tuna sauce.
Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Serves 2-4

It’s lip-smacking good and quick too!

Don’t forget to enter my CSN giveaway I posted Monday!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

Another CSN Giveaway and Mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup

It’s a sad blue day today because the Bears lost, Bill is gloating that the Packers won and I have to pay off my debts.

As a kid, I loved Mom’s vegetable soup!  It was one of my favorite foods back then and it still is today.  It was the perfect comfort food to me in the fall and winter and I always eagerly looked forward to her cooking it.  I posted this when I first started blogging, with no followers, and thought it is a great soup to re-post.

Mom and Dad, late 1970's

Mom never followed a recipe for her vegetable soup but, I watched and helped her enough times to learn it well.  It’s filled with fresh vegetables and herbs combined with beef and barley in a tomato juice base.  The ingredients all pull together for a great taste and vibrant, rich colors.  The only change I made was to add a little hot sauce.

It makes a large amount of soup so that I have plenty to give Bubba and Matt a large pan of and then have enough left to freeze for a couple of meals for Bill and me.  This is a very filling soup and fills our tummies with pleasure! 

Back years ago, Mom always served it with saltine crackers; however, we’d rather have a crusty Italian bread to sop up all the juices in the bottom of the bowl.  It would be great with cornbread also. 

You know, the Super Bowl is nearing and this is perfect dish to make for your crowd. Prepare it the day before and heat it up on Super Bowl day for an easy delicious hot filling dish on game day. 

And speaking of the Super Bowl ~ for your party, you just might be shopping around for more seating like adjustable bar stools in your homeCSN Stores has a huge selection of them along with other things you will need for your party; such as glasses, serving bowls and other accessories.  

Love that red!

Maybe this one...

Do you need a blender?

Or a pretty chip and dip set?

Sean, at CSN Stores, has again kindly offered me another giveaway for all of you for a $20 gift certificate.  The $20 gift certificate does not include shipping costs but, you can use the gift certificate on ANY product from ANY one of the CSN sites.

Here are the rules for entering:

  1. Leave a comment telling me you are a follower through Google Friend Connect (on the side bar of this blog) and tell me what you’d like from CSN.

  1. For an extra entry, follow this blog on the Facebook Networked Blogs (on the side bar of this blog) and leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

  1. This giveaway is open through midnight, CST, Tuesday, February 1st.  The drawing will be by a random number generator on Wednesday, February 2nd and is open to US entrants only. 

Now for Mom’s delicious soup:

Mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup


3 pounds beef chuck roast
1½-2 quarts water
2 (64 ounce) bottles tomato or V-8 juice
1½ cups quick barley
Broth from beef
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon basil
3-4 drops hot sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I use Splenda)
½ to 1 head cabbage, chopped into larger than bite-size chunks
1 large onion, chopped
8 carrots, julienne cut
8 celery ribs, julienne cut
Celery leaves

Day before serving:

Place beef in a large stock pot, add water, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover with lid.
Cook until tender.
Let the meat cool in the broth.  I then cover it with a lid and set it in the garage (remember it’s very cold here) over-night to allow the fat to solidify.

Serving day: 

Carefully remove the solid fat on top and strain the broth. 
Remove beef from pan.  Trim and cut into bite-size pieces, refrigerate.
Heat broth and add V8 juice, bring to a boil.
Add barley, boil for 10 minutes.
Add salt and pepper and herbs and brown sugar.  Stir well.
While the barley is cooking, chop all vegetables.
Add all vegetables and a couple of handfuls of celery leaves.
Simmer on medium-low heat.
Cook till vegetables are crisp tender, not mushy soft.
Be sure to stir well and scrape the bottom of the pot as the barley may stick.
If it is too thick, add a little water at a time and more seasonings.
When vegetables are cooked to your liking, remove the bay leaves.
Add the cut up meat and stir well but, gently so as not to break up the meat.
After meat is heated through, remove pan from heat.
Serve and enjoy!

Pam’s note: Every time you add water or another liquid to the pot, you must add more seasonings.

This soup satisfies the soul!

M’m! M’m! Good!  Here’s to you, Mom!!!

Good luck to all of you in the CSN giveaway!  I hope you win!


I usually only post recipes but today is an exceptional day!  For those of you who don’t know, DA BEARS are playing the Packers (cheese heads) today. 

The Chicago Bears are the NFC Division Champions and today, in Chicago, they are ready to take on the Green Bay Packers, for a spot in the Super Bowl.  To Chicago Bears and Green Bay fans around the country and around the world, this is THE GAME!  It may even be better than the Super Bowl!

In their 90-year rivalry, the Bears and the Packers have only met once to decide the NFC Championship, which was in 1941 with the Chicago Bears winning ~ so today is an amazing day for both teams.  

I have been a Bears fan for more than 30 years when we moved here and Bill has been a Packers fan forever, even though he grew up here in Illinois.  Later today, Bill will be wearing his cheese head and I’ll be wearing my Bears sweatshirt, ready for the action to commence. 

Jay Cutler may get knocked around but he’s one tough cookie who perseveres with his teams help.  May Da Bears send the Packers packing back to Green Bay to commiserate with their fellow cheese heads!  

History is in the making today at Soldier Field and here’s hoping Da Bears march victoriously out of Soldier Field on their way to the Super Bowl!  

Cheer on DA BEARS to win!   


Pork Chop Casserole

There’s no way you will need a knife to cut these oh-so-tender pork chops! 

Not only does Corgidogmama have 2 great Corgis, she recently posted a mouthwatering recipe.  If you haven’t visited her blog, corginews yet, you must pay a visit to read her musings.

Corgidogmama is a spirited boomer who says she never leaves home without a nice layer of dog hair on her shirt.  Unfortunately, I can relate to that since 2 long-haired black cats live here.   I’ve been following her blog for a long time and I never tire of hearing about the escapades of her playful Corgis.  I’ve always wanted one so hearing about hers is next best. 

When I saw this recipe on her blog the other day, I knew I’d be trying it.  This is a comforting, hearty dish for sure because it combines pork chops with potatoes and cabbage.  The pork chops are browned first, and then baked in a creamy mushroom sauce with potatoes, cabbage and onions.  This is great on a cold winter’s night! 

As if all of this isn’t enough, she grows hollyhocks too ~ I’ve been babying mine for the last 4 years and need her green thumb here!

This makes for a great dinner ~ Bill gave it rave reviews and I enthusiastically agreed!  It is savory delicious!

Oven ready!
Voila!  Baked!

Here’s corgidogmama’s recipe:

Pork Chop Casserole

Yield: Can serve 4 to 12

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Start to Finish Time: 2 to 2-1/2 hours

•4-8 bone-in or boneless pork chops

•6-10 Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
•1 large head cabbage, sliced
•1-2 large onions, peeled and sliced
•1 can cream of mushroom soup
•1 can cream of chicken soup
•Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and pat dry chops with paper towels. Season each with a little Kosher/sea-salt/no-salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste.

In a non-stick frying pan, drizzle a little olive oil. On high heat when oil is rippling, lay each chop in pan, only browning each side! When browned on both sides, take out of pan and lay on paper towels to drain any fat or oil off.

In a large deep casserole dish, lightly spray with olive oil/Pam/or using butter, oil dish lightly for non-stick.

1. Lay your medium-thin sliced potatoes, 1-2 layers making sure to cover the bottom of the dish.
2. Cover with a layer or two of sliced cabbage.
3. Next layer add sliced onions.
4. On top of onions, lay "browned only" chops.
In a medium bowl, mix together cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups, then spread evenly on top of your casserole. Making sure everything is covered.
Tightly cover the dish with the shiny side of the foil down. Place in preheated oven and cook 1-1/2-2 hours. When finished, let rest for at least 20 minutes before removing foil.

Try it!  You’ll like it!!!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

La Bamba Casserole

Arriba!  Arriba!  La Bamba is a great name for this yummy dish!  It’s like a flashback to 1987, seeing the movie “La Bamba” and hearing the catchy song by Ritchie Valens.   Does that bring back some good memories for you?

La Bamba is a traditional Mexican folk song from the state Veracruz and was often played during weddings where the bride and groom performed the accompanying dance. 

This is a quick healthy and best of all, tasty recipe, from Cooking Light Cookbook.  If you favor Mexican food, you will surely like this comfort food dish.  The recipe is versatile and you could make it with the meat of your choice.   It is a filling simple dish!

La Bamba Casserole will make your mouth water and then just maybe you will start dancing La Bamba! 

La Bamba Casserole


1 (5.25-ounce) can whole green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chili powder

¼ teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped tomato
½ cup chopped green onions


Preheat oven to 375°.

Cut green chiles in half lengthwise. Arrange chiles in a single layer in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add turkey, onion, chili powder, salt, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add diced tomatoes; cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates.

Spoon turkey mixture over chiles. Top with corn. Carefully spread beans over corn. Sprinkle cheese over beans. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; top with chopped tomato and green onions.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1-1/3 cups)

Calories: 344
Fat:  10.7
Carbs: 30.7

It’s a keeper!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

Steve’s Brunswick Stew

Steve said this is really great on a cold day in the winter.  Wait a minute---a cold day---he lives in Jacksonville, FL!  I think, they think, down Jax way, that anything below 50 degrees is cold, right Steve?  When it reaches 50 degrees here in the frigid Midwest, people are out in shorts washing their cars. Guess this means that we would think his Brunswick stew is doubly great, and it is!

Steve and Bill worked for the same company for many years before Bill retired and shared some business trips, of which I am still waiting for the details of!

Neither Bill nor I have ever eaten Brunswick stew and I was intrigued when Steve said he has a great recipe for it.  I knew I had to try it!  And he is right on spot ~ it’s excellent!

Evidently, there is a “stew” war over the origin of Brunswick stew!  Here are two opposing stories:

One account traces the creation of the dish back to 1828 in Brunswick County in southern Virginia and the other attributes its origins to the stew being first cooked in 1898 in Brunswick, Georgia.

The Virginia story goes that a Virginia State Legislator was on a hunting trip with some friends and his chef, “Uncle” Jimmy Matthews.  “Uncle” Jimmy was the designated camp cook, and while the others hunted, he shot and dressed some squirrels.  As he waited for the hunters to return to camp, he put the squirrels into a large cast iron pot with some butter, onion, stale bread, herbs and spices and let the mixture stew for hours.  The hunters heartily approved of it.

Georgia history states that the first batch of Brunswick stew was cooked by a soldier working in the mess hall at a fort on St. Simons Island, on the coast, near Brunswick. 

Who knows, maybe both stories are accurate…

Brunswick stew is now usually made with chicken or a mix of meats, which may include beef, pork or even rabbit or squirrel.  Corn, tomatoes and onions are added and maybe peas, lima beans or okra.  I think the ingredients Steve added are perfect and I’m just glad he didn’t include rabbit or squirrel!

Steve says if you can’t find the BBQ meats in cans, look for tubs of it the refrigerated meat section and that is where I found them; with 2 brands being Lloyds and Curly’s.

This would be a perfect dish for your Super Bowl party!

Steve’s Brunswick Stew


1 can Castlebury BBQ Pork
1 can Castlebury BBQ Beef
1 can Castlebury BBQ Chicken
2 cans Rotel tomatoes and chilies (I used regular)
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can cream-style corn
1 can English peas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large pot, combine it all well.
Let it simmer for several hours, the longer the better.
Stir occasionally.
8-10 servings

Ummm, mmmm!  It is delicious and will get us through the cold winter perfectly! 

Pam’s note:  I cooked this in my slow cooker for 5 hours on low. 

Thanks Steve for the great recipe ~ it’s the best and so are you!

FYI Steve ~ I still have “Steve” the parrot from Missouri hanging in the kitchen; the “impulse buy,” remember him?

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

French Toast Flavored with Triple Sec

There’s nothing like getting up early in the morning and cracking eggs for French toast, right?  It’s a thing that is usually reserved for an occasional weekend morning here.  The “kids” were all here for breakfast Christmas morning and this was what I made along with plenty of bacon and sausage, and forgot the pictures.

This is not “eggy” and not soggy either.  I added a little Triple Sec to flavor it up along with vanilla extract.  I usually make it with Texas Toast ~ not toasted as the name implies.  Stale bread works best.  You can fry it in melted butter but I usually put it on the griddle and save some calories. Either way, it has a crispy exterior with a creamy interior.

It melts in your mouth and is perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch!

French Toast Flavored with Triple Sec


8 slices bread, stale 
3 eggs
1 cup milk
¼ cup Triple Sec
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
Butter for frying, optional


Beat eggs and add milk.
Whisk in Triple Sec, vanilla and salt.
Dip bread in egg mixture and place on hot griddle or fry in melted butter in a skillet on medium heat a minute or two until golden brown.


Do you like your French toast with syrup, powdered sugar or both?

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

Mushroom Casserole

It's not a pretty picture, but it more than makes up for it in taste!

I'm referring to my baked mushroom casserole.  This is a delicious side for anyone who loves mushrooms as much as I do.  

It is a saucy baked dish that combines mushrooms with sour cream and mustard.  

It’s just as good (better ?) left over.  

Personally, I could make a meal of it, and I know others who think alike!

Mushroom Casserole


2 pounds button mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
8 ounces sour cream
½ cup white onions, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley or ¼ cup fresh, chopped


Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel and slice.  Cream butter, flour, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Add sour cream, parsley and onion. Stir well.

Place half the mushrooms in greased 2 qt. dish.  Top with half of the sour cream mixture, spread evenly.  Repeat layers.

Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour or till well heated and golden.

Allow it to set in a warm place, for 5-10 minutes before serving.
6-8 servings

Printable recipe

Mmmmm, mmmm!!!

Prime Rib

Prime rib is a favorite in our home but, because it is pricey, we only eat it occasionally ~ at least one time being during the holidays on Christmas Eve.  This year though, we had turducken on Christmas Eve, so prime rib was put on the back burner.  Then, we have always followed tradition and had pork on New Years Day; however, pork was put on the back burner this year and we enjoyed prime rib instead. 

I know a lot of people roast prime rib at a high temperature for a short time, then at a very low temperature for a couple of hours or more.  I would love to try that method but the down-side is that the oven can not be used for other dishes and I like au Gratin or baked potatoes as a side dish for prime rib.  So, I roasted it in my usual fashion.

We are fortunate to have an outstanding butcher shop here in town; they’re meat is the best.  I’ve mentioned the shop before, Orchard Prime Meats, and without fail we have always been assured of a great dinner with their meat being the star and this prime rib was no exception.

This was a 5 pound roast.  The butcher trimmed a large part of the fat off, then cut the bone off and tied it together with the roast ~ making it a perfect cut of prime rib.  I let the meat stand at room temperature for an hour, and then applied garlic powder liberally and a little salt before roasting it at 350 degrees until it reached rare.  After roasting, I removed it from the oven and allowed it to stand for about 25 minutes before slicing.  It was roasted to perfection, so very tender and juicy.  It is my absolute favorite meat!

How do you roast your prime rib?

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen

You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



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