The Leaning Tower of Eggplant

March 31, 2019

The Leaning Tower of Eggplant


I inspect an eggplant.
Read how to choose the best eggplant, here  and here . 

It was February 2019.  It was winter, and it was cold in Maryland.  It was time for me to visit my son, his wife, and their family (my grand children) in South Florida!  :o)


The weather was glorious for my week long visit.

IMG_0324 2

We played at the park.


We played at the beach.

IMG_0463 2We played at the carnival…


and ate some, too.


And, some of the time we rested! :o)

Cooking up some Fun


It was a fun- filled week!!! A lot of wonderful memories packed into each day.
One afternoon, my 9-year old grand son and I baked chocolate chip cookies!


Leveling off the flour.


Scooping out the cookie batter

For this Chocolate chip cookie recipe, go here.

IMG_0562 2

Everyone waits for the cookies to bake, including my son, Trevor, and
my grand daughter. :o)


Baked chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven. Yum!


Plus, one extra large one for the baker to enjoy.  :o)

The Leaning Tower of Eggplant, or
Eggplant Stacks

While visiting, I picked up a tasty recipe from my daughter in-law, for Eggplant Stacks.
(I call them “the Leaning Tower of Eggplant” due to the fact that they must be stacked carefully, or they fall over. :o))

IMG_0489 3

Cut eggplant into even 3/4-1 inch thick slices. 

IMG_0490 2

If you want to sweat the eggplant (recommended), do that step here.

IMG_0491 2

You will need 3-4 slices, per “tower”.

IMG_0494 2

Dip one eggplant slice into the egg wash,
and then into the seasoned breadcrumbs with additional spices.


Cover breaded eggplant slice with spaghetti sauce,
sprinkle slice with shredded mozzarella.

IMG_0503 2.jpeg

Repeat until your tray is filled.

IMG_0509 2.jpeg

Bake at 375 degrees until done.



The Leaning Tower of Eggplant/Eggplant Stacks





Italian seasoned bread crumbs


Rosemary (optional)

Garlic powder (optional)

PAM cooking spray,
or olive oil

Egg (for egg wash)

Jar of spaghetti sauce (red)

Mozzarella cheese, shredded


Peel eggplant, if desired,
Cut eggplant into even 3/4-1 inch thick slices. 

Sweat the eggplant.
(Sprinkle salt, over each eggplant slice, top and bottom.
Set the salted, sliced eggplant into a colander (with plate underneath),
and sit a small plate on top of eggplant, letting it rest for 30 minutes, or so.
Rinse and pat dry.)
A wonderful short youtube video on sweating eggplant is here.

Preheat oven to 375.

Prepare a cookie sheet, by covering in aluminum foil, or parchment.
Spray with PAM, or brush a little olive oil, if using foil.

You will need 3-4 eggplant slices, per stack/tower.

Mix breadcrumbs with desired amount of thyme, rosemary, and optional garlic powder.

Beat egg well for egg wash.


Dip one eggplant slice into egg wash, and then into seasoned breadcrumbs with additional spices.
(If you wish to air fry, or fry, your eggplant, do so here.)

Place onto prepared cookie sheet.

Cover slice with spaghetti sauce.
Sprinkle with spices.

Sprinkle slice with shredded mozzarella.

Repeat two more times until you have one stack.

Repeat this process for each stack.

Place into preheated oven for about 20 minutes,
or until eggplant is tender and cheese is melted.

Annette’s notes-My daughter in-law, Tanya, made this again last week, and after dipping the eggplant Into the egg wash, she air fried them, and then assembled the stacks, and baked them.  She said that air frying made these even more delicious.



I’m Annette Stuff


I attempt to post my blog once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thanks to my blog readers!  I love hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Become an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


This over-sized eggplant (statue) greets visitors to the
Old Ellicott City/Howard County Welcome Center
in Maryland.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Asbury Bedenbaugh and the China Hutch

March 24, 2019

Asbury Bedenbaugh and the China Hutch

IMG_0673 3.jpeg

I bid a fond farewell to our almost 40-year old china hutch.

If I ever decide to become a novelist, my first protagonist will be named
Asbury Bedenbaugh.  Isn’t that a great name?  I actually encountered the real
Asbury Bedenbaugh over 38 years ago; a southern gentleman in a Prosperity,
South Carolina furniture store…

I first saw it, the top of my china hutch, while browsing the clearance section of our local furniture store in Columbia, South Carolina.  I wanted that hutch!  The price was right, but the bottom section had been sold (right out from under it, so to speak. :o)). I returned  home disappointed.  


A brochure from the furniture collection that my china hutch came from.
(Note that the term “country” decor/design had not yet come into use.)

I could not get the thought of the pretty hutch, with the chicken wire in the glass, out of my mind.  I began a calling quest to furniture retailers around town, to see if I might be able to locate the bottom half of my dream china hutch. Eventually, one local store suggested that I inquire at a furniture store in Prosperity (30 miles away), equipping me with the long distance phone number (that means that it cost extra money to call Prosperity, as this was in the days before cell phones and the Internet).


Another look at the furnitures collection brochure.

Upon calling, I spoke to a gentleman (with a charming southern accent) and explained my dilemma. He told me that they did, indeed, have the piece that I sought, both the top and bottom. He agreed to match the other store’s price for the top piece, if I bought the bottom section, as well. The store would hold the china hutch for us, upon our approval.  I made an appointment for Dale and me to see the piece, writing down directions (again, this was in the pre-Internet days), and struggled to jot down the friendly voice’s unfamiliar, yet lyrical, name on paper: Asbury Bedenbaugh. 


Me, about the time that I met Asbury Bedenbaugh.
Charleston, South Carolina

Entering the Prosperity Furniture Store, I was now able to match the wonderful name to a kind and smiling face. Dale and I purchased the china hutch from Mr. Bedenbaugh that day, and sadly we never made it back to Prosperity (South Carolina), or saw this delightful fellow, again, but I have always remembered his unique name.
Through the magic of the Internet, I was able to find his touching obituary, written in 2002.  You can read it, here.


A new china hutch for Dale and me in our first apartment.
Check out our rotary wall phone in harvest gold!
Columbia, South Carolina

This sturdy china hutch has served us well over the years, moving with us from
South Carolina, to Texas, to Ohio, and lastly, to Maryland.  But, in the past couple of years, as I began clearing out various excess furniture pieces from the rooms of my home, it became apparent that the china hutch had out lived its usefulness, for us.


While streamlining and decluttering the dining room,
it became apparent that there was too much furniture for this room.

March 2018

On March 1, a young friend, with limited kitchen cupboard space, became the happy new owner of this “vintage” piece. I know that it will be useful again, and well-loved.  Farewell, china hutch, and thank you.



The cleaned out china hutch awaiting its move to a new home.




The “Bedenbaugh China Hutch” enjoying life in its new home. :o)
Thank you, Sydney, for sending me this photo!


A Recipe Blast from the Past

As a young married couple in Columbia, South Carolina (1978-1981), two-three times per year, Dale and I made the ( two and a half hour) drive southward to Hilton Head Island, for a long weekend. Those were idyllic visits, and often included a much anticipated  outing to Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks.


This cute mermaid sign currently graces the roof at 
Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks.
August 2015


As a gastronomic tribute to our china hutch “of old”, and our first married years living in South Carolina, I will attempt to include an archived Hudson’s recipe here, sort of….


Dale and I share an appetizer of Hudson’s popular, and delicious, She-crab Soup 
on our 40th wedding anniversary.

May 28, 2018

“Back in the day”, one of my favorite desserts was Hudson’s Fluffy Key Lime Pie.
( I added the “fluffy” part to the name.) I loved it! It was the perfect light dessert to
top off an always delectable Hudson’s seafood meal.  


Hudson’s famous, and addicting, hushpuppies were an amazing compliment to a
recent meal on the deck area.
March 2018


A delicious Hudson’s shrimp meal, where the seafood is always fresh.
February 2017


Shrimp boats bring fresh-caught seafood right up to the Hudson’s dock.
September 2018

While dining at Hudson’s in the late 1970’s, I requested the key lime pie recipe from our server.  Her response? The pie was basically cool whip, some lime juice, with a touch of green food coloring mixed together and put into a pie crust.
(I think it was a graham cracker crust, but I am not 100% sure on this point.)


IMG_5479 2.jpeg

Hudson’s chocolicious MUD PIE “ENOUGH FOR TWO”
could have been a meal all by itself!
Yes, Dale and I shared! :O)
February 2017

I went home after that Hilton Head Island trip, made the pie by guessing the amounts, enjoyed eating it, and promptly forgot about making it ever again.  That is, until about fifteen years ago.  It was at that time (in 2004), that I looked up Hudson’s on the Internet and saw that they had a cookbook for sale.


My Hudson’s cookbook,
complete with many of the restaurants wonderful recipes.

You can order their current cookbook copy, here.

I ordered the Hudson’s cookbook, but upon receiving it, I found that the key lime pie recipe listed in the cookbook differed from the key lime pie that I remembered so well.


Hudson’s (current) key lime pie is creamy and delicious!
July 2019

 To make a long story, somewhat shorter, I wrote to Hudson’s requesting MY key lime pie recipe. Their kind reply stated that their dessert cook, Miss Bessie, had been with them for almost 30 years, and that the key lime pie recipe in the cookbook was hers, and the one that the restaurant still serves.
(I have enjoyed Miss Bessie’s mouthwatering key lime pie, mud pie, and peanut butter pie at the restaurant.) 


My joyous return to Hudson’s in 2011, after a 30-year absence.
April 2011

Could it be that Miss Bessie, the dessert cook, came to Hudson’s after I had moved from South Carolina in 1981 (I would not to return to the state again until 2011), and that the recipe that I remember is now a “lost” recipe? It is a mystery.

Below I have attempted to recreate the recipe that I remember.


I believe that I have come up with a reasonable facsimile to that particular
key lime pie that I remember.
My recipe is below.


Fluffy Key Lime Pie

Below is my attempt at recreating the Fluffy Key Lime Pie that I remember.
Please, see my notes and suggestions at the bottom of the recipe.




The ingredients needed for my Fluffy Key Lime Pie


This tasted pretty close to the pie that I remember, except that the pie of my memory was twice as high.
So next time I will double the filling recipe below,
and make my own graham cracker crust. (It would taste better.)


Fluffy Key Lime Pie



1 graham cracker pie crust
( I suggest a homemade variety)

( I suggest that you double the filling amounts below,
 for a mile high pie)

16 ounce, original Cool Whip

3 Tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
(a little goes a long ways)
(I used bottled, but may try fresh next go round.
I am guessing that the amount of lime juice may have to be altered, if using fresh)

green food color
(I used the gel variety)

1 fresh lime
(more if squeezing your limes for juice)


Prepare graham cracker pie crust.

Mix together Cool Whip and lime juice.

Add green food coloring to get desired color, mixing well.

Spoon cool whip mixture into graham pie crust.

Slice lime, and garnish pie.
Save additional slices to garnish individual slices.

Refrigerate at least one hour to firm up pie filling.

Annette’s note-As stated above,
I suggest-
1. Make the graham cracker pie crust from scratch, for
     a more tasty pie.
(The Internet has numerous no-cook graham cracker pie crust recipes.)

2. Next time, I will use fresh-squeezed lime juice.
I would start out using less juice amounts, as guessing fresh may be more flavorful.

3.  Double the amounts above of Cool Whip and lime juice for a taller pie.
In other words, 2-16 ounce tubs of Cook Whip, and 6 Tablespoons of lime juice.


Other Fun Hilton Head Blog Posts

Family Fun in Hilton Head/September 2015, click here.

Beach Getaway/February 2017, click here.

40 Years of (being) Married! A Hilton Head of a Celebration/June 2018, click here.

Beach Love/September 2018, click here.

Another past blog post to enjoy

Annette and Dale Get Married, or Someday You’ll Look Back on This and Laugh
/May 2014, click here. 


I’m Annette Stuff


I attempt to post my blog once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thank you, blog readers!  I love hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Become an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


I pause from my beach bicycle ride to enjoy a peaceful Hilton Head sunset.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 14, 2019

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

IMG_0911 2

My granddaughter and I created these yummy, and easy,
Leprechaun Hats in honor of
St. Patrick’s Day. 

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us! Don’t you love an excuse to celebrate a holiday?
I am blessed to spend one morning each week with my pre-school aged granddaughter, and this past week we enjoyed making a leprechaun craft and a snack. :o)


My granddaughter’s leprechaun craft creation. Isn’t he cute?

The inspiration for this craft came from here.

IMG_0868 3.jpeg

The construction of the Leprechaun Hats. :o)

The inspiration for this snack craft came from here.


(No Bake)



Small-sized graham cracker chocolate cookies
(I used Keebler’s Deluxe Grahams)

Chocolate/Fudge Sticks
(I used Keebler’s Fudge Sticks-originals)

Creamy peanut butter

Green plain m & m’s


On one narrow side of a fudge stick, spread peanut butter.

Press the peanut-buttered fudge stick against the front of a chocolate graham cookie, placing the graham long side down. (See photo above.)

Attach three green m & m’s to front of the”hat” with peanut butter in a shamrock design, making sure that the plain side of the m & m faces outwards. (Again, see photo above.)

Around the House

My entryway table sports the majority of my St. Patrick’s Day decorations, with a bit of green sprinkled here and there throughout the house.


My entryway table reflects the holiday of the season.

You can get another look at the decorations here and here.

IMG_0897IMG_0920 2

In my dining room,
this antique Irish mineral water bottle comes out for St. Patrick’s Day.

For instructions on how to recreate the painting in the top photo,
click here, and here.


I made this LUCK decoration several years ago.
You can find my “how to” directions, here.

The Quiet Man magnet, tucked inside the letter C,
is a reminder of one of my favorite films, and a souvenir from a
2013 trip to Ireland.

See the links below to read about my Quiet Man trip.


This Ireland tea towel makes me smile, and is another souvenir from Ireland.


Dale and I happily pose in front of the “Reverend Playfair House”
in the village of Cong/Ireland.
This house is seen in the film The Quiet Man.

September 25, 2013

Other St Patrick’s Day Posts!

Check out these other I’m Annette St. Patrick’s Day posts,
by clicking on the link below each photo. 


October 1, 2013-Irish Gold, Part 1, click here.


October 5, 2013-Irish Gold, Part 2, click here.



October 18, 2013-The Quiet Man’s Ireland- Day 2, or
A Day Fit for a “Quiet Man Crazy”, click here.


February 23, 2014-Top of the Mornin’ to ya, click here.

IMG_0249 3

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and thanks so much for reading,

I’m Annette Stuff


I typically post my blog once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thank you, my readers!  I love hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Become an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


A commemorative plaque from near the “Castletown” railroad.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.

Traditional Irish Blessing

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d ‘ve Baked a Cake!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d ‘ve  Baked a Cake!


My sixth birthday party, complete with an angel food birthday cake!
I wear the star party “hat of honor”, in the front left of the photo.
March 1964

              If I knew you were coming‘ Id’ve baked a cake, baked a cake, baked a cake…
The words to this 1950 Eileen Barton tune, always come to mind when my birthday rolls around. It not only makes me think of that oh so delicious birthday cake, but brings back memories of my 4 year-old daughter happily dancing to this tune with her preschool dance class.

Hear If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d ‘ve  Baked a Cake, here.

IMG_0054 2.jpeg

Pretty in pink, Martese, in her dance recital costume.
Spring, 1995 

My Happy Trifecta of Birthday Cakes

I love celebrating my birthday with family and friends!  It is a happy time to enjoy each other’s company, and share birthday cake! Yum! This year I was treated to not just one, not just two, but three birthday cakes! :o) :o)  :o)

The week prior to my birthday, I enjoyed a visit to Florida to see my eldest son, his wife,  and their family. On my final day of the visit, they presented me with a birthday
Key Lime Pie. YUM! 

Five days later, on my actual birthday,  I shared an ice cream cake with my son and his girlfriend. YUM! :o)

The following day, I was treated to my traditional birthday cake, Raspberry Continental,
prepared by my other son, and his family, for my birthday celebration. YUM! :o)

It was a fun and delicious birthday!  According to my friend, Barb, my birthday is not over just yet.  She subscribes to the belief that all birthdays should be celebrated for a month, not just a single day. Sounds like great advice to me! :o)


This delicious Florida Key Lime Pie,
was enjoyed on the last day of my visit to see my eldest son, his wife, and 
in Florida.
February 24 (five days before my birthday)


I enjoyed an Ice Cream Cake with my youngest son and girlfriend
on my March 2nd birthday.


My traditional birthday cake, Raspberry Continental, a surprise created by my
second born son and his family, for my family birthday celebration on March 3.

For the recipe for this Raspberry Continental cake, click here.


Check out these other I’m Annette birthday posts from previous years,
by clicking on the link


Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss and Me, 2014

Delighting in Dubai,2014

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure, Part 1, Germany
Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure, Part 1, Germany

My Birthday with Disney, 2016

Queen for a Day, 2017`

Today marks the sixth anniversary of my blog I’m Annette!
To see my very first blog post, click

Thanks for reading,

I’m Annette Stuff


I typically post my blog once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Thank you, my readers!  I would love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Want to be an I’m Annette follower?  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s free!!!!
Yes, receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


My seven year-old self, enjoying my birthday cake.  :o)

March 1965


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Dole Whip Mama, or Rubbin’ Elbows with Mickey

January 28, 2019

Dole Whip Mama,
or Rubbin’ Elbows with Mickey

img_1002-1 2.jpeg

My secret is out!
It’s true! I am a two-fisted Dole Whip eater; a real Dole Whip Mama! :o)

Happy January!  (Or happy end of January, I should say. :o).) My year happily began at  Walt Disney World.  In addition to enjoying all of the fun that WDW has to offer, I was there to cheer on my hubby, daughter, and her friend, as they participated in this month’Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (We also got a chance to meet my Florida son and family for part of our time there.)  Our home away from home for the week was Disney’s Art of Animation.


We stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation this January.

Da doo run run

I know, the song’s lyric’s actually go “da doo ron ron”, but you get the idea…
(If you are now in the mood to hear this 1963’s tune, click here.)

I am so proud of my running crew!  In a weekend where 30,000 runners descend upon the “Happiest Place on Earth”, my hubby, Dale, completed his first half marathon, ever! Running along side our daughter, Martese, and friend, Natasha, he ran 13.1 miles! Congratulations! 


Dale, Martese, and Natasha pose in front of the Cinderella Castle
during their half marathon run.
January 12, 2019


The trio is all smiles, while racing through Epcot.

IMG_9845 2.jpeg

The half marathon medal

My daughter, Martese, and her running buddy, Natasha, completed the ambitious Disney
 Dopey Challenge this year.  This challenge consists of four consecutive race days. Participants run a 5k, then 10k, then half marathon, and finally a full marathon (a marathon is 26.2 miles)! Congratulations X 4 to this Disney running duo!

IMG_0654 2.jpeg

Martese and Natasha, after finishing the marathon, display their medals.


The Dopey Challenge Medal


This shirt, that was for sale, sums up my race participation. :o)


Our granddaughter, and future runner (?), inspects the medals.

Rubbin’ Elbows with Mickey

I always love it when we run into Mickey at WDW.  Back when my kiddies were young, finding Mickey around “the world” was often difficult.  Happily, today it is more common to meet up with this spry 90-year old while at the parks.


A Mickey memory from 1987 with my two oldest children.
(Trevor is the one wearing the Mickey mouse ears.)

If I remember correctly, this was a Winnie the Pooh character breakfast
at the now defunct Empress Lilly on Pleasure Island (currently Disney Springs). 
I believe that this was the location of the first, and for awhile,
only character breakfast at Walt Disney World.

You can read more about the Empress Lilly, here.


Dale and I enjoy a photo op with Mickey during our Ohana Character Breakfast
at the Polynesian Resort.


Mickey proudly poses with the half marathon finishers.

IMG_9588 2.jpeg

Our granddaughter plays the “nose game” with Mickey at our character dining experience at The Garden Grill in Epcot.

Dining with Disney and Fun


I love the Duo (White Chocolate and Chocolate Mousse Cake) from
Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie  
in the French area of Epcot.

If you follow this blog, then you are aware that I am a foodie, especially when it comes to Disney fare.  In addition to the yummy Dole whip concoction (see the first photo, above), Disney has a jillion dining options. Here are a few photos of some of our dining fun, and activities, this trip.

Animal Kingdom

img_1039 2.jpeg

Thanks to our fast pass, we quickly got on our ride for the “always fun”
Kilimanjaro Safari.


We saw many wonderful animals, but my favorite are always the giraffes!


Dinner at Yak and Yeti was a new and yummy experience for all of us.


I had the Lo Mein Shrimp.  It was good!



I was excited to try out La Hacienda de San Angel, located across from one of my favorite rides, Three Caballeros(You can see the ride, here.)


I loved the shrimp tacos!


Enjoying a quick bite of Guacamole with Chicharrones
(these chicharrones are vegetarian and made from flour) at Choza de Margarita.
Very tasty!



A little fish and chips to tide us over at Yorkshire County Fish Shop.


Had to check out the jumbo pretzel at the German Pavilion.


The character breakfast at The Garden Grill was a hearty, family style meal of roast beef for our marathon runners, who had just completed their race.
For added fun, the restaurant slowly rotates through The Land.


The dessert of Berry Shortcake was a great end to the meal.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

IMG_9464 3.jpeg

The Disney character breakfast came complete with yummy Mickey waffles.
For the source of Mickey waffle mix, click here.


Disney Springs 


Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ was a delightful lunch place.  


I had the Thigh High Chicken Biscuits; fried chicken on biscuits.
They were delicious.


The decor was comfortably interesting, too.


IMG_9535 2.jpeg

While the two marathoners got their sleep before the next day’s big race,
Dale and I went out to dinner with our oldest son, Trevor, and his wife, Tanya, and their little one.  We enjoyed eating and visiting at Terralina Crafted Italian (formerly Portobello) This spot has special meaning, as this is the place where they were engaged.
You can read about their engagement here, and their wedding here.


A couple of stops during the week at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Chocolate Shop is a must! :o)


The Boardwalk


Dale enjoying Ample Hills “homemade” ice cream.

Hollywood Studios

Although, we did not have time to have a complete meal at the Sci-fi Cafe, we did stop in for some hot tea and fried pickles. I have to say that the fried pickles were over-salted, but were nice and crispy.


I sit in the seat of a “convertible” in the restaurant.
I love the theming of the Sci-fi Cafe.


I enjoy the clips shown of all the 1950’s and early 1960’s sci-fi movies.


The hot tea tasted good on this cool Florida night.




My favorite souvenir from this trip is this colorfully whimsical print.
I fell in love with this David Perillo print at the Polynesian Resort gift shop.
Can’t beat sitting in the Tiki Room
(one of my early memories from my first trip to Disneyland in the late 1960’s)
and eating Dole Whip!

Calling it Quits,
with the Cooking with Mickey Cookbook, that is



Bye bye, Cooking with Mickey

Call it the end of an era.  After a year, of “playing” with Cooking with Mickey around our world, I have decided to move on to other things.  Of the several recipes that I have tried, only one “new” one has tickled my fancy.  Three other, tried and true recipes, from over the years were also blog worthy.

Read about first blog post, using this cookbook, here.



  I remember these cookies when they were once sold in The Land.
They were a delicious chocolate chip cookie.
I attempted this recipe last week, and a couple of times in the past, but never with good results.




Recipes worth repeating


See the Tavern Sherbet Punch recipe, here.


For the Contemporary French Toast recipe, click here.


Check out the Cinderella Soup recipe, here.


Find the Fettuccine Alfredo recipe, here.

Check out My Other Disney Posts!


 Check out My Other Walt Disney World Posts!

Disney Food and Wine FestivalHere

Disney World Family Reunion-Here

Disney World Recipe-Here,



 Check out My Disneyland and Disney Studios Posts!


Disney Studios–Here

Disneyland and Disney StudiosHere


A big thank you to Martese, Natasha, Tanya, and Dale for contributing photos for this blog post.

Thanks for reading,

I’m Annette Stuff


I typically post my blog once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thank you, my readers!  I would love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Want to be an I’m Annette follower?  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s free!!!!
Yes, receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

Planning a Disney Trip?


Our Daughter, Martese, is a Magic Maker® for Off to Neverland Travel.
Martese is extremely Disney knowledgeable and an “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” for any of the Disney destinations, and Disney vacation locations.
Martese’s vacation planning services are totally FREE! Yes, FREE!!!

Contact Martese to assist in planning your next Disney vacation.
Website:, or click here.
Facebook:, or click here.


A colorful evening view of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy Bacon, Happy New Year!

December 31, 2018

Happy Bacon, Happy New Year!


I happily inspect my tasty Million Dollar Bacon, fresh out of the oven.

With 2018 quickly drawing to a close, I post this, my final blog of the year, in dedication  to you, my faithful readers. It is with appreciation for your encouragement and kind words throughout 2018, that I wish you and yours a terrific 2019!  :o)

New Year’s Eve

How will you spend your New Year’s Eve?  Mine will be of the enjoyably quiet variety.  My hubby and I will view the 1942 Humphrey Bogart classic, Casablanca
(it’s a tradition with us), sometime during the course of the evening, and in-between football games. :o)


Casablanca, the romantic war drama

We’ll be toasting in the new year at midnight with a glass of Martinelli’s sparkling
(non-alcoholic) apple cider (another tradition, since our kiddies were young).


Our Martinelli’s sparkling cider is chilling.

In addition to watching Casablanca, I often watch the 1960’s New Year’s Eve film, Ocean’s 11 (the original). Rat Pack-filled/Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the rest, this is an enjoyable comedy/drama that does not take itself too seriously.

The tradition of watching this film every New Year’s Eve dates back to my young days in Iowa.  My family often joined another family for New Year’s Eve festivities, and it seems that Ocean’s 11 was always on the TV when the bell tolled midnight for the new year. 


Four movie recommendations for New Year’s Eve viewing.

Two more of my New Year’s Eve film recommendations are Sandra Bullock’s romantic comedy/drama, While You Were Sleeping (1995), and the comedy, Last Holiday (2006), with Queen Latifah, that is, if you have not already seen them during the Christmas holidays. :o)

Christmas Gifts

Christmas 2018 is now a sweet memory of time with family and friends.  One of my many wonderful Christmas gifts was a cookbook from my son, First Watch.  This book includes the breakfast culinary delights of the restaurant of the same name.


One of my wonderful Christmas gifts 

One of my favorite items on First Watch’s menu is their Million Dollar Bacon. With this recipe in my cookbook, I decided to give it a try today!


My breakfast order at First Watch a few weeks ago.
(I sub out their regular bacon for the yummy Million Dollar variety.)

Million Dollar Bacon

As I happily began my quest for delicious Million Dollar Bacon , I soon found that I had only four pieces of bacon in my refrigerator.  Oh well, I would have to do a half batch.


Ingredients for Million Dollar Bacon


The first step is to prepare a pan.


Whisk all of the ingredients, but the bacon, together for the glaze.
Then, drag bacon slices through the whisked ingredients.


Bake to yummy goodness


Million Dollar Bacon
(This is a half batch)


Ingredients for glaze

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)

1/2 Tablespoon (1+1/2 teaspoons) coarse ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
( I used a scant 1/2 teaspoon, and may even use a little less next time)

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1/4 cup water (I use filtered)



4 slices (I used the thicker, no nitrate variety)
(I had enough glaze to do 1-2 more pieces of bacon.)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line baking sheet with parchment.  Place baking rack (this is what I used), or roasting rack on top.

Whisk together brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and water in large bowl.

Drag bacon slices through mixture and place on prepared pan rack.
(I poured the additional glaze mix over the bacon.  No need to waste maple syrup!  :o))

Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pan, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until done to desired crispness.
(After rotating, it took my bacon about another 15 minutes.)
Watch closely, being careful not to over-cook.


Annette’s note-I would make this again!  Please, see my notes above (in parentheses) on things that I would change.

Happy New Year, and thank you for reading!


I’m Annette Stuff


I typically post my blog once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Thank you, my readers!  I would love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Want to be an I’m Annette follower?  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s fr!!!!
Yes, receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


Christmas decor is packed away for another year, and
January “pretties”take their place.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

What’s Slumgullion?!


Friday, December 7, 2018

What’s Slumgullion?!


IMG_8810 2

This tea towel must have been made with me in mind!
I love it, and framed it for Christmastime! :o)

Merry Christmas!  It’s that time of year again:  glittering Christmas decorations, a toasty fire in the fireplace, the retelling of that amazing first Christmas, Christmas goodies galore, and last, but not least, the holiday movie watching Merry-thon!

It Happened on 5th Avenue

I have quite a collection of Christmas DVD’s, many of them of the classic variety.  Among one of my classic favorites, is a gem that I discovered just a few years ago,
It Happened on 5th Avenue.


My DVD copy of It Happened on 5th Avenue, along
with another of my holiday favorites, Holiday Affair.

I enthusiastically described this film in my December 2017 post-
Don DeFore (He grew up in Iowa like me!) stars as Jim, a post-war veteran in need of housing in a crowded New York City.  Upon a chance meeting, McKeever (Victor Moore), invites Jim to room with him. Jim finds himself living in a boarded up mansion, others soon joining them.  Little does Jim know, that one of his fellow residents is the actual owner of the home, living incognito.

This film has just what the holiday season ordered, with a sweet (but never saccharine), often humorous holiday story, complete with a wonderful cast. It’s just plain fun to watch, and its sure to leave a smile on your face!

Don DeFore

If you are a “baby boomer’, Don DeFore, of It Happened on 5th Avenue, may be more familiar to you as George Baxter/Mr. B from the 1960’s TV show Hazel. He starred before  that as Thorny in the 1950’s The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. (The latter was before my time. :o)) Prior to DeFore’s television career, he starred in a slew of films, including two more of my favorites, Romance on the High Seas, and The Male Animal.

The cover from my Hazel DVD set.

The Miracle of Internet

Several years ago, having discovered It Happened on 5th Avenue, and knowing that DeFore was an Iowa native, I began researching his life.  My search brought me to the Don DeFore Fan Club on Facebook, and the Don DeFore web site, both overseen by Don’s son, Ron.

It was through this site, that I learned that DeFore led a very full and interesting life. He was the father of five, married for 51 years, until his death in 1993. (Judy Garland was matron of honor at his wedding!). In addition to DeFore’s acting career, and serving as president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, he was friends with Walt Disney (and other celebrities, such as good friend, Ronald Reagan), and was owner of Disneyland’s Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue restaurant for five years.

Recently, I reached out to Ron about his father’s classic Christmas movie, It Happened on 5th Avenue. Through the miracle of the Internet, Ron generously replied to my various emails filled with questions, and even sent me these two rare, and possibly never before published, photos below, to include in this blog post.  Thank you, Ron!


Don DeFore and Gale Storm, both of who starred in It Happened on 5th Avenue, at a 1951 “box social” fundraiser for the Village Church of Westwood.

Photo courtesy of Ron DeFore.


Don DeFore and Gail Storm at the “box social” fundraiser.
Approximately 800 attended this event, many who were celebrities,
dressed in costumes provided by Paramount Studios.

Photo courtesy of Ron DeFore.

To view a short video of this box social, click here.

Did you know?
Little Known Film Facts; thanks Ron!

Did you know that Frank Capra, director of the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, originally owned the It Happened on 5th Avenue story?  Capra sold the latter, not wanting to pay option money on it.

One of the three dogs used in It Happened on 5th Avenue as Sam, was given to Ron’s sister, Penny, by Weatherwax the dog trainer, after the film’s completion.  Having visited the set numerous times, Penny had “fallen in love” with the dog.

 Gale Storm (Trudy in the film) became a “longtime family friend”.

The money made in this film by Charles Ruggles (Michael J. O’Connor in the film), allowed him to build a new house in Brentwood.  At the time Brentwood was considered “out in the country”, but today Brentwood is home to many celebrities.

Whitey Temple is played by Alan Hale Jr., who would later go on to play the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island.

Upcoming Book

Ron DeFore has been busy! He has written a book. Growing up in Disneyland, is scheduled to be released July 15, 2019.  Ron describes his book as “both a biography of my Dad’s career, and autobiography of my life growing up in a celebrity family, and my wild and crazy life filled with nearly 20 careers”.  

I can not wait to read it!  As of now, there are scheduled book signings for Ron in Anaheim, CA at the Disneyana Fan Club convention, and the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  I will attempt to keep you posted of other upcoming signing events.  I also hope to do another blog post in June, about Ron’s upcoming book. 

Check these out!

Click here, to read an interesting article by Ron, from several years ago entitled,
Growing up in Disneyland.

Click here to check out the Don DeFore web site.

Click here to find the Don DeFore Fan Club on Facebook.


Read about other classic Christmas movies  in my previous blog posts.
Click on the blog title. 

It’s Christmas Time! Enjoy These Often-Missed Yuletide Movies-December 14, 2017

A Christmas Story Christmas December 24, 2016

Procrastination and Merry Christmas!December 20, 2015

Christmas in Black and WhiteDecember 13, 2014

Counting the Days till ChristmasDecember 6, 2013

What’s Slumgullion?

In It Happened on 5th Avenue, slumgullion is a dish that is prepared by the house’s “cook”, Mary O’Connor (played by Ann Harding). It is described as “a kind of an Irish stew”.  Various dictionaries define slumgullion as a meat stew, or a cheap stew. After perusing the various recipes that I found online for slumgullion, I found that most were basically a beef stew with macaroni  added, usually containing tomatoes in the mix. So, I chose a recipe that miners in Colorado once prepared, featured on the Colorado Geological Survey site here, and another photo of it here, as my spring board.


Ingredients needed to make your own slumgullion.


The original recipes that I saw, did not call for the beef bouillon,
but I felt that it was needed to enhance the flavor.
I also thought that regular elbow macaroni, called for in most slumgullion recipes,
is too large, and would over-power the stew, so I went with the smaller ditalini style of pasta.

IMG_8741 2.jpg

I really enjoyed this stew with the funny name!  :o)


(Beef Stew with macaroni)



1 + 1/2 lb. beef stew meat, cubed

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped, or sliced
(I chopped mine.)

6 cups water 

4-5 beef bouillon cubes

3  medium carrots, sliced

3 red potatoes, scrubbed clean and diced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 (15.5 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained

1 (14-15 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, not drained

 Dried thyme to taste, about 1/2-1 teaspoon
(not the ground variety)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1/2 cup macaroni (I used Ditalini style)

2 Tablespoons of flour + 1/4 cup water


In large pot, put in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat, adding stew meat. Brown the meat, stirring often.

Add 1-2 Tablespoons of additional olive oil, and add chopped onion.
Sauté until the onions are tender, approximately 10 minutes.

Add 6 cups water, beef bouillon cubes, carrots, potatoes, drained black-eyed peas,
and canned tomatoes.
Simmer for about 1 hour, until vegetables and meat are tender.

Add 1/2-1 teaspoon thyme.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1/2 cup macaroni and cook 20-30 minutes, until macaroni is done.

Mix together 2 Tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup water until a smooth “paste”
Stir into stew mixture.
Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until stew is thickened.

Serve piping hot with bread, crackers, or pretzels.


Annette’s note-This slumgullion was good, and even better the second day!  Yum!

See my recipe for
Christmas Eve Stew, here,
Super Bowl Stew, here,
and Irish Stew, here.

Free Printable

My daughter and I created these printables for my 2014 blog post,
Christmas in Black and White.

To print these, click here, then double click the image to print.


I’m Annette Stuff


I usually post my blog once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Thank you, my readers!  I would love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Want to be an I’m Annette follower?  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s fr!!!!
Yes, receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


Like Don DeFore, I too, grew up in Iowa.  
Here is an Iowa Christmas photo of me and my younger sister at home in 1967(?).
Note my “mod” shoes.  :o)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Trick or Treat!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Trick or Treat!

IMG_7703 2

I stand in my kitchen, Rice Krispie pumpkin in hand, with my two Mickey jack-o-lanterns in the background, ready for trick or treat.

Autumn’s Greetings my friends! (For those of you in the Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Spring!). I am hoping that you are enjoying that all that this time of year has to offer, such as…



These little guys certainly are enjoying the many pumpkins available for sale at this Iowa farm.
Thank you, Rachelle, for the use of this cute photo!

The Changing Colors that are Autumn!


The pretty view, this morning, out of my front window.

The not-so-scary Halloween movies


Kali (the dog) and I “watch” Disney’s Mom’s got a date with a Vampire while we go about our daily chores.

The Goodies!

Trick or treat/Halloween is almost upon us!   I share with you a fun treat to create, (rather than a trick). :o) I happily enjoy the company of my four year-old grand daughter once per week at my house.  During our time together, when she is not playing, we do a craft and make some edible treat.  This week we made Rice Krispie Pumpkins.  They were a hit. :o)

Making Rice Krispie Pumpkins


The ingredients are shown above,
but make sure that your package is filled with marshmallows. :o)

(I forgot to take this photo before we began cooking.)

IMG_7617 3.jpg

Once the marshmallows and butter are melted, add the food coloring.


Stir in the Rice Krispies

IMG_7733.jpgVersion 2

We used small sandwich bags on our hands, and applied PAM on them.

IMG_7623 2

Then, the fun part began, forming the Rice Krispie treats into balls,
placing them on a wax papered cookie sheet.


We then added the finishing touch of half a pretzel stick for the stem,
and a green m & m for the leaf.   ( A few m & m’s were eaten in the process :o))

The Recipe

Rice Krispie Pumpkins 



5 Tablespoons of butter

1 10-oz. bag of marshmallows (I used the small ones.)

6 cups of fresh Rice Krispies

Red and Yellow food coloring (I used the gel food coloring variety)

Stick pretzels, broken in half

Green m & m’s


PAM cooking spray

Small sandwich bags


Prepare a large cooking sheet by covering with wax paper.

In large pan, melt butter over low heat.
 (Do Not attempt to make these in the microwave, as the texture will not be right.)

Add marshmallows, stirring until completely melted, and mixed in with the butter.

Remove from heat.
Add to the marshmallow mixture- 6 squeezes of yellow food coloring, and 2 of red.
Stir to make orange color.

Add Rice Krispies.  Work quickly to stir together.

Using small sandwich bags on your hands, spray with PAM.  

Roll the Rice Krispie mixture into balls, and place on the wax papered cookie sheet.

Push one half of a pretzel stick into each ball for the stem.

Push in a green candy m & m next to each pretzel stick for the leaf.


For Other I’m Annette Halloween Posts, click on the post title.

Happy Not -So- Very- Scary Halloween-Posted 2013

Dracula!-Posted 2015

Reminder-Day Lights Saving Time Ends/Falls Back
(in most of the USA)
this Sunday
November 4, 2018 at 2 AM

Enjoy the extra hour of sleep! :o)

img_7613 2.jpg

One of my favorite clocks!
The clock at the It’s a Small World ride at Walt Disney World.
(If you click on the blue It’s a Small World above, you can see a video of the ride!)

IMG_8750 2.jpg

Another Walt Disney World clock; this one from 50’s Prime Time Cafe.

I’m Annette Stuff


I post my blog once per month, occasionally more often.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, November 29

I appreciate you, my readers, and I love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Want to be an I’m Annette follower?  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s Free!!!!
Yes, receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


My stalwart pumpkin stands guard (in my little red wagon) in my yard, surveying the changing colors of my neighborhood.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments


October 15, 2018


IMG_7277 2.jpg

I pause briefly for this fall selfie at Gaver Farm,
with a Maryland corn field as my backdrop.

October 7, 2018

I hope that you are enjoying the (recently cooler) fall weather, the beginning of the changing colors of fall, and autumn’s array of fun activities.  A couple of weekends ago, my autumn fun involved joining the grand children, and family members, at a local farm with a lot of fun-filled kid activities.  


This colorful maze was one of the many kid-friendly activities available at
Gaver Farm.

Thank you, Cayce, for the use of this photo!

Autumn Days

Cooler autumn days around here are filled with the sipping of hot apple cider (but in my case, it is more likely to be tea, hot or iced :O)), strolling along our tree-lined street, and watching a football game, or two (college and NFL), or family-friendly Halloween movie.

Warm Beverages


I often enjoy a cup of Barry’s Tea while blogging.

For my family’s favorite Hot Apple Cider recipe, click here.

Changing Leaves on my Street


No, this isn’t really my street, but what a beautiful photo!
My daughter took this when visiting in Colorado, late last month.
Thank you, Martese!

IMG_7444IMG_7400IMG_7347 2

IMG_7399 2

This is my street. :o)
The trees in my neighborhood are just beginning to turn color.



My son and his girlfriend cheered for opposing football teams a couple of weeks ago.  :o)

Halloween Movies


A few of my DVDs that are non-scary + Halloween worthy.

For my list of Halloween-viewing suggestions, click here.

 October’s This and That


I was so happy to see that a re-blooming iris actually lived up to its promise in my flowerbed.
Irises are my favorite flower.
This one is called Clarence, my friend Robin, a true Iris expert, tells me.


Often it’s the simple things that make me smile.  I love my Target find from the “dollar” section.  I will be using them this Christmas, although I think that they look pretty cute next to my Rae Dunn plater and tea pot. They even light up!


Is anyone else out there a The Goldsberg fan?  I enjoy this show, and even more so this week when Rick Springfield co-starred in the episode.
(One of my favorite songs is Rick Springfield’s  Jessie’s Girl!)

IMG_7466 2

What a treat to wake up to these beauties in the morning.
My son and his girlfriend  received them at a wedding that they attended, the other evening, and presented them to me.
Anyone know what these pretty purple flowers are?
Thank you Elisa and Chandler!

I also had to share this cute photo from the wedding that they attended.
Elisa poses next to a penguin!  

The wedding took place at the Baltimore Zoo.
Thank you, Elisa, for the photo!

Mickey Recipe Cook-along


My two happy Mickey Mouse jack-o-lanterns hang out on my kitchen counter in October.

My first Mickey recipe was a no go!

I recently saw a bumper sticker that said “Love people, cook them tasty food.”  It made me smile.  I like that.  


A bumper sticker stating, “Love people, cook them tasty food.”

Keeping that thought in mind, I will not share this month’s first recipe attempt from Cooking with Mickey around our World.   It was a bust.  Pioneer Hall Biscuits and Gravy was just okay.  Now in the recipe’s defense, I did use frozen biscuits and turkey pre-cooked sausage, but I am guessing that even with freshly made biscuits and “real” sausage, that this recipe would still be underwhelming.


Pioneer Hall Biscuits and Gravy were just okay.


We have a winner!

So,  I trudged ahead, creating a recipe that I made for my family when my kiddies where little, called Contemporary French Toast. This recipe was served at the Contemporary Resort at the Terrace Buffeteria. (I did not ever dine on this yummy breakfast there, but found this recipe when I first got this cookbook.) The Terrace Buffeteria area is currently part of Chef Mickey. found a fun blog post with photos of the old Contemporary Resort here.


My family eating breakfast at Contemporary Resort’s Chef Mickey
at Walt Disney World.
April 2001

The Recipe

Contemporary French Toast


Ingredients for this classic Walt Disney World recipe

Putting together Contemporary French Toast

Putting together this French toast recipe is fairly simple.  
1.  Gather together all of the ingredients.  


2.  Mix up the milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon and salt.  

IMG_7386 2

3. Line up your bread slices, milk mixture, and frying pan.
(Notice my new electric skillet, above?)

4.  Fry in skillet.

5.  Serve with real maple syrup, and garnish with berries, if you wish

Contemporary French Toast



1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1 loaf of Italian, or French bread
(The original recipe calls for sour dough, but I do not care for the “sour” flavor.
I have also used Texas toast with this recipe.)

PAM cooking spray, vegetable oil, or butter


Optional (I do not do this part.)

1/2-3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup powdered sugar


Real maple syrup, warmed

Butter, if desired

Berries of your choiceif desired


Combine milk, sugar, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and mix until well-blended.
(I use my stick blender for this, but a whisk will work, too.)

Slice bread into 3/4-1 inch slices.

Spray electric skillet with PAM and heat to 325 degrees. 

Dip bread into milk mixture, only long enough to soak into bread.

Fry in skillet until browned, turning to brown both sides, about 5 minutes.
Adding additional PAM, oil, or butter, as needed.

At this point, I serve with warmed maple syrup and berries.
(But if desired, dip in powdered sugar that has been mixed with 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon, first.)


Annette’s Notes: This recipe is a keeper

Bonus Baby Recipe:  Puttin’ on the Ritz!

Today I have a bonus recipe for you.  This is not a Disney recipe, but it is popular in my house.  We call it Ritz Chicken, but I have also heard it called PTA Chicken, and Poppy Seed Chicken. Over the years, I have made changes to my own family’s liking. I believe that the original recipe may have come from my sister in-law.

Ritz Chicken


The ingredients for Ritz Chicken


After mixing up the cracker ingredients in one bowl, and the chicken ingredients in another, the mixes are layered into a baking pan. The first layer has been put into the oblong pan above.

Ritz Chicken



1 to1 and 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cooked, and cut up.
(I have used  one rotisserie chicken for this, and it is good.)

2 cans cream of chicken soup
(or 1 can of cream of chicken and 1 can cream of celery)

1 cup sour cream
(I use light sour cream, but NOT the no fat variety.)

1 (10 oz) package frozen green beans, cooked

Black pepper


4 rolls/sleeves of original classic  Ritz crackers in regular-sized box
(I think it is 13 ounces), crushed

3/4 cups melted butter
(You can add 1/4 cups more butter, if it seems dry)

1-2 heaping teaspoons of poppy seeds


If not using rotisserie chicken, cook chicken breast covered in water with 1 whole peeled onion, 1 bay leaf, and 1-2 chicken bouillon cube. Cook 20-30 minutes until done.  Stir occasionally.

While the chicken is cooking, mix together soups and sour cream.

In a separate bowl, melt butter.  
Add crushed crackers and poppy seeds.
Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When chicken is completely cooked, cool slightly, and cut into bite-sized chunks.
Mix in with the soup and sour cream mixture.
Add the cooked green beans and sprinkle with black pepper.

1/2 of cracker mixture into baking dish.
(I use a 2.5 quart size.  9.5x 7.5 inches.)

All of chicken and chicken soup mixture.

Top with remaining cracker mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Let stand 5 -10 minutes.  Cut.


Annette’s Notes-I have made this in the slow cooker, too.
Spray crock pot with PAM.
Mix up the chicken portion and put it in the crockpot on low for 6 hours.
About 15 minutes before serving, mix crushed crackers with melted butter and poppy seeds.
Sprinkle over the chicken mixture, and cook 15 minutes more.

IMG_7206 2


Prayers go out to all of those affected by Hurricane Michael.

Thanks for reading,

I’m Annette Stuff


I post my blog once per month, occasionally more often.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, November 15

I truly appreciate you, my readers, and I love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Want to be an I’m Annette follower?  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s Free!!!!
Yes, receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

IMG_7468 2

I found this maple leaf attached to our mailbox this afternoon. :o)

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

The Flavors of Fall

September 21, 2018

The Flavors of Fall


Me, doing a little apple picking last weekend.
September 16, 2018

My daughter just called me.  I love chatting with my kiddos!  She pointed out to me
that tomorrow is the first day of autumn! Until that phone call, I had thought that the first day of fall was another week away, and that I had that “other week”
to write this blog post, as sort of an ode to autumn! Oh, well…
Wow, where did the summer months go?! Photo on 9-21-18 at 5.27 PM #2.jpg

Where did the summer go?

I love autumn!  In fact, it is my very most favorite of the four seasons: apples and pumpkins, with all of the goodies that you can make with them, football, crisp clear days, sweaters, fires in the fireplace, and the changing color of the leaves…  I am sure that you, my clever readers, can add to this list of all that fall offers.
(Please, mention “a few of your favorite things” about autumn in the comments).


IMG_6936 2.jpg

Mini-pumpkins adorn my kitchen table in honor of autumn’s arrival.

A Visit to the Farm

Last Sunday, I happily joined some of my family members for our
annual apple picking day, at not -too -far -away, Larriland Farm.

It was nice to visit Maryland farm country.


We checked out the apple orchard, and the colorful flower patch.


The big red barn welcomes its guests to Larriland.


Calico corn (also known as Indian corn, or Flint corn ) decorates the barn.
I bought thee best (homegrown) tomatoes that day,
and had delicious BLTs for dinner!
(You can see the tomatoes in the lower middle of the photo above.)


Colorful gourds and mini pumpkins were plentiful.


Larriland’s apple cider is always a good choice.
I use Larriland’s easy recipe, here,
to make tasty, soothing (Larriland’s) hot apple cider every fall.
It is a family favorite.


We never go home empty-handed from The Farm!
Thank you to Cayce for this photo!



My basket of apples from last weekend’s apple picking outing.
Actually, we visited the red barn while at Larriland to purchase these beauties.  :o)

Tastebud Memories

What flavors make you think fall?  One item, that “falls”  into this category for me
(yes, that was a pun), are my grandma’s recipe for moist, yummy maple bars.  My grandma would make them often, and for some reason the distinct maple flavor of these bars evokes in me the warm, cozy feeling of fall.
(My grandma also made oh-so scrumptious chocolate chip cookies, that she always kept stored in a large reused coffee can in the chest-style deep freeze.)  


A bowl full of chocolate chip cookies made from my grandma’s recipe.
For the recipe for these perfect chocolate chip cookies, click here.


Grandma’s Maple Bars are a nice compliment to a hot cup of tea.

 Iowa was experiencing a major snow storm, in early January 1999, when I was visiting  my grandma to celebrate her 90th birthday. Aside from enjoying the celebration, I desperately wanted to get her recipe for her signature maple bars during this visit.  


My favorite photo of my maternal Grandma and Grandpa on their Iowa farm.

Her response?  She had no recipe!  She always made them from memory, without a written recipe. So, together my grandma and I came up with a written recipe, with Grandma walking me through each step of the process, deciding on exact measurements as we went along.  The recipe that you see below is the yummy result of that cooking collaboration. My grandma went to Heaven in 2004, but the sweet memories of her,
and her maple bar recipe lives on.  


This is the actual recipe (in blue pen) as dictated to me by my Grandma.
Later on, I added the pencil notes.
The calico salt and pepper shakers were Grandma’s.


Making Grandma’s Maple Bars

You can get an idea of the basic steps of this recipe via the photos below.


The Maple Bar Ingredients


I use a Baker’s Quarter Sheet pan for these bars.


The quarter sheet pan, that I use, measures about  11.5 x 8 x 1.5.


Creaming ingredients together with my tried and true blue Kitchen Aid mixer.


A half of a scant, or 1/4 of 1/4th teaspoon, of cinnamon is all that is needed.


Raisins just put on the stove to “plump” them up.


Cooked and “plumped” up raisins


Strain the cooked raisins, saving the juice/water.


Stir in 1/4 cup reserved juice/water, and then add quick oatmeal.


Spread the batter over a parchmented(is that a word?), or greased, pan.


Make frosting while bars are baking.  Frost while warm.


Once cool, divide bars into squares, and garnish with English walnut halves.
As you can see by the photos above and below, my son and I could not wait to try these 
tasties.  :o)

IMG_7013 2.jpg

Grandma’s Maple Bars gets Chandler’s seal of approval.

Grandma’s Maple Bars



1/4 cup butter

(My grandma used Imperial Margarine in this recipe, rather than butter)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

additional 1/2 cup flour

1/2 of a scant *(1/4 of 1/4 of a teaspoon), in other words a small amount) cinnamon 

1/2 cup raisins

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup quick oatmeal



2 Tablespoons butter 

2 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

Powdered sugar, enough sifted to make spreading consistency for icing.

English walnut halves to decorate each cut square of bars


Preheat oven to 325-350 degrees.

Cream together
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) with
1/2 cup sugar,
and 1/2 cup light brown sugar.

Add 1 egg, mixing well.

Add in slowly
1/2 cup flour,
and then

1 teaspoon baking soda,
and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Then add,
another 1/2 cup flour,
and the 1/2 scant amount of cinnamon.
Set aside this batter.

Cook over medium-high heat for a few minues-
1/2 cup raisins in 3/4 cup water until raisins are plumped up.
Strain raisins, reserving the water that they were cooked in.

To batter stir in
the 1/2 cup cooked raisins
and 1/4 cup of the water/juice that the raisins were cooked in.
Stir in
1/2 cup quick oatmeal

In small greased (or parchment) 11.5 x 7.5 pan, or 9×9 pan,
(I use a half sheet cake pan 11.5 x 8 and parchment.) spread batter.
Bake at 325-350 degrees until done and no longer doughy
(toothpick comes out almost clean.),
about 20-25 minutes.

Let bars cool 5-10 minutes.
Frost bars while warm with icing (recipe below).

When cool, cut into squares, and garnish each square with an English walnut half.

Enjoy with a cup of hot tea!


While bars are baking make the icing.
Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter.
2 Tablespoons of milk
and 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
enough sifted powdered sugar to make spreading consistency (about 1 and 1/2 to
1 and 3/4  cups)

Annette’s Notes-*I use a half sheet cake pan 11.5 x 8 size and use parchment, rather than use Pam.
*A scant is 1/8 of a teaspoon.


Retro Photos

I have said it many times, right here on this blog, that I was fortunate to be surrounded by good cooks while growing up!  My mom, grandmothers, and aunts all made the best dishes!  That love of food was passed on to me.  I recently re-found this photo (below) of me cooking in my teen years in home ec class.  This cooking class was always one of my favorites. :o)


(Left to Right) Libby, LeAnn, and me in high school home ec class. (1973?)

I also found these two retro fun fall “fotos”!


My, now grown, daughter and son (my two youngest children) enjoy the
Ohio autumn.
November 2003

Yes, that IS the same son eating a maple bar earlier in this post. :o)


My niece plays in the fall leaves of Iowa.
October 1987

Photo courtesy of my sister and niece.  Thank you! :o)

Other Fall Recipes,
with other autumn blog posts

Click on the highlighted link.

Hot Apple Cider

Chicken and Dumplings

Autumn “Trash”

Carmel Corn

Apple Dumplings

Pumpkin Cake


My childhood red wagon, mentioned here in an earlier blog post ,
is currently serving as fall decor in the front of my house.

Thanks for reading,

I’m Annette Stuff

I post my blog once per month, or more.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,

Thursday, October 18

I really appreciate you, my readers, and I love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section.

Want to be an I’m Annette follower?  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s Free!!!!
Yes, receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


My loved and weather-worn Happy Harvest sign makes its appearance each September, to hang by my front door.

Happy Harvest to you!



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments