Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

A Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

December 31, 2016
All 4 of us

From all 14 of us and another on the way

Nothing could make me happier than to have all of our family together to celebrate any time of the year. They have all rallied around me during this year of unknown health issues. We still don’t know what 2017 will bring for my MDS treatment. December was all about Christmas, our family and togetherness.img_2200

For those who ask, I feel fine. The 27 days of isolation at MD Anderson did not show any instant improvement, but my oncologist is hopeful. I will see him again next week and we’ll know more.img_2536-002December 22, 2016 found all 14 of us in our home in Missouri City, Texas. We all are wearing crowns from the poppers we enjoy at our turkey dinner.img_2224It’s all hands on deck preparing for dinner. Julie helps me prepare the turkey, Troy is our tester and carver, Todd is the potato peeler and masher, and Tommy and Michelle prepare the green bean bundles, Madison helped me with the pies, Holly, Lindsey and Sydney got the table set and then Scott led the clean-up after dinner. Tyler and Ashton kept Thompson occupied while everyone else was busy.11gfccjufvcuhlzhql361nlcofhzzpolrjvz_c7csrtcxrnoq3i-wj4udce3gwlca74shnkezffvtaandhk1cgapwqeq30dmsrhhpjmjzg_pyy203jyihseljncqpo-7clrhr18w1043-h782-no-002My three grandsons. Tyler soon to turn 17, Ashton soon to turn 9, and Thompson is 18 months old. He is expecting a brother in early April 2017. We will then have 4 grandsons and 3 granddaughters. Oh, how blessed can we be?img_0886

And our granddaughters helping to make my mom’s Ginger Cookie recipe. They are Lindsey, 13 years old, Madison, 19 years old and Sydney 11 years old. They all love to cook and sew. Oh, lucky me.img_0896-002

With the exclusion of Tyler, here we all are in the new hammock Tommy bought me. We have always had a lot of fun in hammocks with our grandchildren. I’m not sure Thompson has caught on to the fun and thrills.img_2140-002

And here’s my man. I have loved him since I was in high school. What would I do without him with all the trips to MDA. He spends endless hours there with me waiting, waiting, waiting. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, we have been married for 50 years.img_2216

Our girls love him, too. Holly and Julie have been a great support to both of us during the last two years of cancer treatment.img_2177

And our older son, Todd, comes from Dallas often to be with us for hospital and doctor visits.


Our younger son, Troy, and family come from Long Beach, California often to love and care for us.


And even my only son-in-law visits me in the hospital and checks on how I’m doing. As I’ve said so often, “Family is the best.”image1-002

And it keeps growing. Tyler is Todd and Julie’s son, but he has always aspired to being as tall as his Uncle Troy. I think he has just about made it this year. He has passed his dad in height, but will he pass Troy in 2017? There’s so much to look forward to.

My wish to you is many happy days this coming year. Just look for those times. They are there even amongst the trying times. Happy New Year everyone. I love you all, Judyimg_4452


Happy 50th Anniversary

June 17, 2016

By the grace of God and love of family, we made it through thick and thin, sickness and health, outside interference, and just every day life happening to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. And we are so happy we did!


50 Years of Marriage

A close friend of mine told me what her Dad always says when people ask what’s the secret to a long marriage. “Don’t leave and don’t die.” I love that quote and used it on the elevator at MD Anderson this week. Lots of laughs from strangers who may not have been experiencing a very good day.

My daughter asked me over a year ago if we wanted a party to celebrate our Golden Anniversary. I told her the best party would be all 14 of our family members together to celebrate for a few days. She offered the house she and her husband own in Park City, Utah. We had to work around everyone’s personal schedules, including my care at MD Anderson, but we were all able to get together for several days, as a family, to celebrate our lives.


All 14 of us in Park City, Utah

The weather was beautiful, the house and grounds magnificent, and there were plenty of fun activities to enjoy during the week.

On Sunday we had a great brunch at Stein Erikson’s Lodge on the terrace overlooking the mountains. Then it was on to the “Sunday Silly Shopping” event on Main Street in Park City.


Sunday Brunch

On Monday, the grandchildren loved the ropes course and Museum at Olympic Park.


Ropes Course

We gathered back at the house where Troy decorated Thompson’s one-year-old birthday cake as Fenway Park. He used little plastic baseball figures that had been on his cake as a little guy.


Fenway Park Cake

Todd arranged for us to go back downtown for pizza galore. The proprietor said, “You guys rock!”


Yummy Pizza Dinner

Then it was back to the house again to celebrate Thompson’s one-year-old birthday a few days late.


Michelle, Troy, and Thompson

We all loved getting to celebrate our California baby’s birthday. We had a little cake for his very own, but he didn’t like that icing on his fingers.


Blow out the candle.

Tuesday was a big surprise when Tommy and I woke to the living area all decorated with gold and white balloons, party decorations and pictures of all of us through the years.


Golden Anniversary Decorations

Julie, Holly, and Michelle had stayed up into the wee hours the night before pulling together all the things they had each brought for the celebration.


Julie, Holly, and Michelle

After wonderful breakfast tacos, cooked by Scott, we headed for Park City Center for rides and miniature golf.

IMG_6456 (002)

In the afternoon we all headed back home for a rest while the caterers cooked and set-up a gourmet dinner in the Huebner’s backyard.


Ashton Welcomes Us

During the appetizers we enjoyed 60’s-70’s music. I took the opportunity to dance with my oldest grandson, Tyler.


Dancing with Tyler

We also took family pictures to commemorate this special Golden Anniversary.


Our oldest son, Todd, his wife, Julie, Madison and Tyler

They live in Dallas. Madison will be a Sophomore at Texas A & M and Tyler a Junior at Jesuit in Dallas.


Our daughter, Holly, her husband, Scott, Lindsey, Ashton, and Sydney

Lindsey will be in the 8th grade at Seabrook Middle School. Sydney will start 6th grade at Seabrook Middle School and Ashton will be in the 3rd grade at Ed White Elementary school. They live about an hour from us in Texas.


Troy, our youngest child, Michelle, his wife, and Thompson

They live in Long Beach, California, where they own and operate Olafson Creative. We get together with them several times each year.

We feasted on a gourmet dinner of salad, vegetables, elk and trout, fresh from the area. It was all topped-off with a delicious cake and happy singing.


Our six grandchildren and us

What an indescribably blessing our family is to us. As the evening cooled outdoors, we adjourned to the game room in the lower part of the house for beautiful gifts with emotion, gratefulness and love throughout. Troy read from a framed listing of the 50 things they all love about us. We all laughed and cried throughout the presentation. I can’t help but write a few of them for you.

  1. I love that you have made me a part of your loving family.
  2. I actually do love that you made us go to church and Sunday school. I realize now the great morals and ethics we learned.
  3. I love how Grammy taught me how to create–everything from little scrapbooks to crafts to quilts to gowns.
  4. I loved the Sunday picnics and playgrounds all over Houston.
  5. I love the two of you dancing the jitterbug, knowing you’ve been dancing together since you were teenagers.
  6. I love the warmth you show each other when arriving or leaving a family event. It may be as simple as Granddaddy gently rubbing Grammy’s back to comfort her or Grammy making sure Granddaddy has everything he needs to enjoy the special event.
  7. I love our family backyard wiffle ball games.
  8. I loved sharing the birth of our three babies with you, and I loved having your help for those first few weeks.

    Moms and Daughters continue reminiscing

    Then everyone geared-up for the action-packed Shuffleboard competition. It was close, but Tyler and Julie were named the champions.

    Wednesday and Thursday we slowly began to go back to our homes. We’d had so much fun together. It was great for the older grandchildren to spend time with baby Thompson. He did not lack for attention and love.


    Backseat baby entertainers

    It was hard to say good-bye to him and his mommy and daddy. California is a long way away.


    Goodbye at airport

    But how thankful we are to have all these babies and their parents. Thank you for spending those precious days with us all together.

    Tommy and I had our own little morning celebration on Saturday, June 11, 2016, our actual wedding anniversary date. In the evening we attended a Sunday school party with many good friends.


    Our Sunday school party

    They had a cake with candles and singing to conclude the special evening. Thank you everyone.


    Happy 50th Anniversary

    May there be many more. We love you all family and friends. Life would not be the same without you. God’s blessings on you all. Judy



Little Red Shoes

May 6, 2016


As a child, Christmas Eve in our house was the best day of the whole year. Santa delivered gifts to our home on this day. It seems like I received a doll every Christmas. I always loved dolls. Even when I was twelve years old I still had dreams of receiving a doll for Christmas.


My Ballerina Doll and Me at 10 Years Old

My daddy worked on Christmas Eve day. He received his yearly bonus at the end of this work day. We couldn’t wait for him to get home so Santa would come, and we could open gifts. The tree was always loaded with gifts for our large family.

Daddy did his shopping for my mom on Christmas Eve, after he received his yearly bonus check. He also celebrated with a little Christmas cheer before he came home to his excited family. When Daddy finally arrived home, it was time to open gifts.

We all settled into a comfy place in the living room. Daddy sat on the floor next to the tree and would hand-out one gift at a time to one of our family members. He loved Christmas. We watched as each gift was opened. Each child tried to be patient and wait for the next time a gift was handed to him or her.


Daddy and Little Brother Tom

The Christmas of 1955 was one that will stand-out in my memory for as long as I live. I dreamed of receiving a Madam Alexander doll named Cissy. I spotted her in Bruner’s Department store on a high shelf one Friday evening as my mom and dad shopped for groceries in a connecting store. My little brother and I would look at the toys in the department store, and Mom and Daddy joined us after they bought the weekly groceries.



I showed the doll to my mom and dad on a whim; never really expecting to find her under our Christmas tree. Cissy, released in 1955, was the first of the modern fashion dolls. What set Cissy apart as something new and different was her mature figure with high-heeled feet. She was an expensive doll at the time and certainly not in my parents’ budget.

Each Friday night through December my little brother and I would look at the toys in Bruner’s while my mom and dad did the weekly grocery shopping. The Friday before Christmas Eve, Cissy was no longer on the shelf. My heart sunk. Could it be possible my mom and dad bought her for me? I couldn’t allow myself to think of such extravagance.

Christmas Eve finally came. We all were waiting Daddy’s arrival home so we could open our Christmas gifts Santa left. As we settled around the tree, I noticed the pair of little red high heel shoes from Cissy hanging on the tree. I was beside myself with excitement. I couldn’t sit still.


As the Little Red Shoes Hang on Our Tree Now.

Near the end of our gift opening, Daddy asked me what I was so excited about on the tree. He was grinning from ear to ear. I told him it was the pair of shoes belonging to Cissy. He looked at them and said there was a note that went along with them. Daddy had made a map I had to follow to find her in the house. One clue led to another until I finally came to the most glorious doll you will ever see. I think it was my happiest moment to date.


My Christmas Doll and Me at 12 Years Old

I still have Cissy and her original hat. Somewhere along the way, after many years, I no longer had her shoes or dress. I thought about those shoes so often over the years and wished I had them. Amazingly, I came across another Cissy in an antique shop 12 years ago. She still had her original dress and shoes. However, she had dark hair rather than blond like my Cissy. She was in a locked, glass case with other vintage dolls. I looked at her shoes longingly as I had done many years ago when I was 12 years old.

I asked the shop owner if I could buy just her shoes. Silly me. She said no. I told her my story, but she still said no. I couldn’t leave the store without those shoes. So I bought the doll for many times more than my parents had paid for my original Cissy. The elastic on the shoes was stretched-out with age beyond anything that would stay on my doll. I put the dark-haired Cissy dress on my blond Cissy and some hand-made clothes on the recently purchased Cissy. The shoes I put aside.


My Original Cissy and Dark Hair Cissy After Trading Clothes

When the following Christmas came around I showed the shoes to my oldest granddaughter, Madison, and told her the story. She was seven years old at the time. I told her I would hang the shoes on our family tree every Christmas from now on to remember such a happy time. I asked her if she would take-over the tradition when I was gone so the red shoes story would live on and the shoes would always grace a family Christmas tree.


Madison and Me Christmas 2015

When my husband and I decorate for Christmas each year now, he leaves the little red shoes for me to hang on the tree in the area I remember them hanging on my family tree when I was twelve years old. Such happy memories of my father and our family return to me for a few quiet moments of my own. This is one of the best memories of my childhood. I will love this Christmas Eve story for the rest of my life.


I always love our Christmas tree.

I wrote this memory to be included in a book that will come out this fall called Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories. The book, compiled by Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes, will be accompanied by a special exhibit of quilts featured in the book at International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall. The exhibit will also be seen at Festival in Chicago in 2017.FullSizeRender (003)

I hope you have a special memory today to make you smile. Love to you, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 24 Baked Turkey the Easy Way

February 27, 2016

For so many years of my married life we had Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s home and Christmas dinner at Tommy’s mom and dad’s home. So I rarely baked a turkey until our kids were grown and married.

Many friends told me, over the years, that it’s not hard to bake a turkey. I tried it a couple of times, in different ways, but it seemed like a lot of trouble to me. My assistant for more than 20 years at Quilts, Inc., Kim DeCoste, told me of an extremely, fail-proof easy way to bake a turkey.


Kim Cheering Me On at a Silly Quilt Festival Luncheon

Now, I have no problem baking a turkey for Christmas Dinner. Troy has always been our turkey carver and Todd our mashed potato maker. I love having family in the kitchen with me. Makes me so happy.


Troy Carving Turkey

You need

Turkey Roaster with lid


Turkey Roaster Inherited from My Mother-in Law

Extra Wide Reynolds Wrap

Thawed turkey                    I choose a 23-25 lb. Butterball Turkey


Line roaster with Reynolds Wrap long enough to wrap around the turkey and seal it. Use two sheets of wrap. Lay one down the length of the pan and the other on top of first wrap laid down the width of the pan.

Empty insides of turkey and wash inside. Pat dry with paper towel. Put pepper all over the turkey skin.

Place turkey in Reynolds Wrap lined pan. Pull all four sides of Reynolds Wrap around turkey two at a time. Wrap tightly. The turkey should not be exposed anywhere. You won’t open and peak at any time so the juices and steam stay inside.

Follow cooking time on packaging that came with turkey. We use a meat thermometer in the end to make sure the turkey is cooked. Troy has patience and won’t take the turkey out until it’s time. Instructions for this will be with the turkey.

The last 30 minutes of baking, peal back foil to brown skin.

This makes a nice moist turkey. I’ve been happy with it every time.

Next week will be the last of the Saturday recipes I will post for you from my family recipe book. After that, I will post a new “Play Date” tutorial for making something with a vintage glove for Mother’s Day. It makes me think of my mother.

Mom in her apartment

Mom a Few Years Before She Died in 2001

May you have happy memories today of people who have passed through your life and made a difference in who you are. Love and hugs, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 26 Hot Wassail

December 12, 2015

Yes, you’re correct. I’ve skipped several pages in your recipe book. Not to worry. I will return to Page 18, where we left off, next week. Page 26 is the last page in your book.


Recipe Book Index

It was important to me that you have this Hot Wassail recipe for this Christmas season. I received it in 1982, from the wife of the man my husband replaced at First Victoria National Bank in Victoria. She served it to us in their home the first Christmas we were there. I’ve made it multiple times each Christmas since then. My only son-in-law, Scott, makes a joke about me offering Hot Wassail to everyone who comes to our home during the Christmas season. “Would you like some hot Wassail?”


Hot Wassail

Hot Wassail


1 gallon apple cider

1 quart ginger ale

1 eight oz. package of cinnamon candies

8 cinnamon sticks

6-8 whole cloves




Pour liquid into bottom of electric coffee maker. Combine remaining ingredients in the top basket.

Perk until ready.

Makes 30 cups.

Our older son’s wife of 20 years came from Dallas to help us decorate for Christmas the first week in December. What a life-saver. I knew Julie was a keeper for our son the first time I met her. I have always told Todd, “I would have picked her out for you, if that had been my decision.”


Cheers Julie and Tommy

Our tree and house are all decorated. We had one large party last Saturday night in our home and will have a tiny dinner party on Monday evening this coming week. Then Wednesday, our younger son and his sweet wife and baby will arrive and be with us for a week. The stars will be brightly shining. Later, our daughter and our older son, will arrive with their families for us to celebrate our family Christmas on December 22. It will be our Merry Christmas celebration.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May all your Christmas wishes come true. Love and hugs, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 17 Pecan Pie

November 28, 2015

My husband and I started our Thanksgiving dinner preparations at 6:30 AM on Thursday. We were ready to sit down to dinner at 1:30, shortly after our  daughter and her family arrived. As a friend of mine said, “You still have to prepare everything no matter if your group is large or small.” We were happy to have one of our families with us. It was extra nice to have Lindsey, Sydney, and Ashton stay with us for a couple of days when their mommy and daddy left after dinner.


The Huebners with Grammy and Granddaddy

We served a Honey Baked Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Green Bean Bundles, Jello Salad, and Sister Shubert rolls. We didn’t make the traditional turkey or pumpkin pie. I made Pecan Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie, which are more popular with this group.

Pecan Pie

My sister, Suzanne, comes for a treasured visit each summer, and we sew and cook. She usually brings a new recipe for us to try. She’s a great cook, and I love her Pecan Pie recipe. It’s so easy.




¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup white Karo

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole pecans


Blend sugar and flour in a bowl. Add other ingredients one at a time, mixing with a spoon. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It should be done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie ready to serve

If you plan to enter my Christmas recipe and/or project contest, please note the deadline is December 1. I will post the winners that day. Two lucky winners will receive a pack of 24 Christmas fat quarters. Good luck.


Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

Good luck with your Christmas shopping and decorating, too. All our Christmas lights went up and on today. I love Christmas lights.

From Our Home to Yours

From Our Home to Yours

Tomorrow, after church, we have a friend from the Quilts, Inc. office coming to help us with putting up decorations in our house. We have a group of 44 people from church coming for a sit-down dinner next Saturday. Should start off the Christmas season for us in a special way.

Make your week special. Hugs, Judy


Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 16 Peach Cobbler

November 20, 2015

Hello everyone,

Just want to get your Saturday recipe sent before I’m off to Disneyland today. Yes, Disneyland in California. We are visiting our son, Troy, and his family here for a long weekend. I got to hold Thompson, and play with him most of the day yesterday. He’s still a sweet, happy baby at almost 6 months old. Troy and Michelle are also very sweet, happy parents.


Loving Thompson Murrah


Peach Cobbler

This was one of the first recipes our granddaughter, Madison, could make by herself. She won our home rendition of Iron Chef contest with this recipe. I was the other contestant and Granddaddy was the judge. You can’t get much easier than this recipe and it’s yummy, yummy, yummy.


¼ lb butter (1/2 cup)

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon Baking powder

¾ cup whole milk

1 qt. pealed peaches or canned peaches drained


Ingredients for Peach Cobbler


Melt butter in 1 ½ qt. baking dish. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and milk. Pour over butter, but do not mix.

Pour fruit over the mixture, but do not stir. Bake 1 hour in 350 degree oven.


Ready to Bake

Serve warm with ice cream. Scrumptious.


Peach Cobbler Ready to Serve

So that’s it. So easy.

My day is starting off easy. Here’s our view from our room at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach.


Room with a View

It’s going to be a beautiful day. Make this cobbler and make everyone and yourself happy. Hope you have a beautiful day. Love you, Judy



Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 14 Mandarine Berry Salad

November 1, 2015

Today is my last day at International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. There have been lots of events, people to see, classes to attend and places to go.


Market Education Staff on Show Floor

I missed posting Page 14 of your recipe book last Saturday. I was busy at Market all day and then we went to a lovely dinner honoring Mark Dunn and his 40 year anniversary with Moda, a very popular fabric company.


Mark Dunn of Moda

We were honored to sit at one of the head tables for dinner and during Mark’s appreciation presentation.


Karey Bresenhan, Teresa Duggan, Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, and me

It was our pleasure to congratulate Mark Dunn on a company loved by all quilters. The philosophy of Howard Marcus Dunn, the founder and owner of United Notions and Moda Fabrics is “Find your passion and enjoy what you do.”


Congratulations to Mark

Being able to be with family and friends and share a meal is a passion of mine. It takes a little planning and it’s rare when we can get all 14 of our family together.


Murrah Family Reunion

Page 14 recipe came from another pot luck Christmas party at our house in Victoria, Texas. Jill Friedel brought it and I immediately got the recipe. I use it often to take to pot luck dinners. It’s easy to double so it can be served to a larger group. However, keep in mind, it is not a quick recipe.

Mandarin Berry Salad


6 cups torn mixed salad greens

1 cup fresh strawberries hulled and quartered

½ cup diced green onions

½ cup canned rice noodles

¼ cup chopped pecans

1 eleven oz. can mandarin orange sections, drained


¼ cup flaked coconut

2 tsp. honey

2 tsp. salad oil

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper


2 oz. semi-soft goat cheese, crumbled


In a food processor bowl or blender container combine ½ cup of the oranges, coconut, honey, oil, vinegar, ginger, salt and pepper. Cover; process or blend until combined.

In a large bowl combine greens, strawberries, onions, noodles, remaining oranges, cheese, and pecans. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Serves 4-6 people. Enjoy!

It's time to create at home

Collage Greeting Card

It’s time to go home and create in my studio again. Hope you have a great day. Love and blessings to you all, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 11 King Ranch Chicken Casserole

October 3, 2015

For most of my adult life, I crammed as much as possible into every day and often well into most nights. I was on deadline day after day. For many years I drew income from four different sources: teaching quilting/wearables, writing books, crafting to sell, and running the Education Department for Quilts, Inc. When this page showed-up in my Mary Engelbreit calendar one day last month, I thought, that’s me!  It’s so true.


That’s Me!

I don’t even like to go to the grocery store any more. My husband is the shopper in our home now. The family has always joked that he gets antsy staying home all day. He has to be out and about. So he is happy to run all our errands. I love it!

I started feeling a little guilty.  I needed to plan and cook a few meals each week. Several friends recommended Hello Fresh, a company that delivers ingredients to your front door once a week to make three healthy dinners. We received our first box this week. Last night Tommy, my husband, chopped while I sautéed our first dinner. We fixed a Thai noodle dish called Shrimp Pad See Ew with broccoli, mushrooms, and peanuts. I left out the Thai chili pepper, but included the garlic, basil, shallot, and ginger. It was good, and there was enough to serve a third person. Tommy asked if the meal was healthy enough to off-set the Chicken Fried Steak he’d had for lunch earlier at Tip-Top in San Antonio. Ha-ha.


Shrimp Pad See Ew

But this is not Page 11 for your recipe book. It’s King Ranch Chicken Casserole. My cousin, Mary Jane Fawver Nyberg, sent me this recipe she received from my mom. I didn’t have Mom’s recipe, but used one from another friend. After I received this one, I combined the two recipes.

Growing up, Mary Jane lived in Austin, Minnesota, where my mom and dad grew-up. Mary Jane, my mom’s sister’s daughter, is my age.  Every summer my parents would pile us all into our car and drive to Minnesota for Daddy’s two weeks of vacation. They both had many brothers and sisters to visit, who were still in the area. Mary lived on a dairy farm. What a special experience it was for me to stay with her those two weeks. We were little kids playing outside, and then we were teenagers interested in boys. We corresponded throughout the year, and she also visited us in San Antonio. I still get to see her occasionally at Fall Quilt Festival. Yes, she’s a quilter, too. The pictures below are of us swimming at Mary Jane’s friend’s house. I’m the one without a cap. Mary Jane is to my left. Such fun.


Summertime in Austin, Minnesota

King Ranch Chicken Casserole


4 lbs. chicken white meat with skin

12 corn tortillas

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 tsp. chili powder

1 small can diced tomatoes

1 onion cut into 4 pieces

3 stalks celery cut into 3 pieces each


Low boil chicken with skin on and garlic, onion and celery added to water. Cook until chicken starts to fall away from bone. Remove chicken to cool. Strain onion and celery from broth. Puree in blender with 1/3 cup chicken broth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Strain 1 cup chicken broth and reserve in refrigerator. Discard chicken skin. When chicken is cool to touch debone chicken and cut into chunks.

One hour before serving, combine the following in medium saucepan: pureed mixture, soups, Rotel tomatoes, and chicken broth to make a sauce. Heat to a slow boil.

In a large rectangular casserole 13 X 9 X 2 pan/dish, alternate layers of heated sauce, torn tortillas, chicken, and cheese. End with cheese. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. It should be bubbling before removing from oven. Serve with green salad, tortilla chips and salsa.

We are off to another A & M football game in College Station. We’ll tailgate and sit with our son Todd, and his wife, Julie, and see our granddaughter, Madison. Family…what could be better or make me more happy? Nothing. Love you all, Judy


Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 10 Jello Fruit Salad

September 26, 2015

When Troy, Michelle, and Thompson were here for a visit recently, we went through old photographs of my family. It was interesting to see history repeat itself. My daddy was six feet tall. That was tall for a man born in 1912. My mom wasn’t quite five feet tall.

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad in Love

Troy, our younger son, is 6’3″ tall. Michelle, his wife, is not quite five feet tall.


Troy & Michelle in Love

I love family photographs and family traditions. For many years everyone in the family came to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving Day. It was not unusual for her to welcome thirty-six people in her home. My husband’s parents joined us the years they did not go to College Station for the A & M vs. Texas game.

Mom’s Red Jello Fruit Salad was always on the menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Our children grew to expect it for holiday dinners. When Mom moved from her home to independent living, we no longer celebrated in her home. It was time for me to make these holiday dinners for our family.

It’s rare now that we have Thanksgiving dinner in our home, as none of our family is here. Everyone does come together for a few days before Christmas for our Christmas dinner. Red Jello Fruit Salad is on the menu. One or more of our grandchildren is usually on hand to help me make it. Julie, Lindsey, and Tommy are the biggest fans of Red Jello Fruit Salad. They always have more than one helping.

Red Jello Fruit Salad


Following ingredients can be doubled easily to serve more than 8 people.

1  six oz. pkg. of strawberry Jello

1 can 15 oz. fruit cocktail (drained)

1 yellow banana (firm)

Cool Whip for topping


Jello Ingredients


Use the following speed method for making jello in a mixing bowl that is heat-resistant.

Dissolve gelatin mix in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Add 3 cups of ice cubes. Stir into jello until slightly thickened. Remove any  ice pieces that didn’t melt.

Fold-in drained fruit cocktail and sliced bananas. Pour into a pretty bowl.

Put  in refrigerator to congeal completely. When ready to serve, top with Whipped Cream. Mom made the real thing. My family is just as happy with Cool Whip added to their own helping.


Jello Fruit Salad

I made jello fruit salad for our dinner last night. Tommy grilled steaks and fixed everything else. He takes good care of me. I am so thankful to have him. He brought this heart home as a surprise for me recently. I hung it in my studio and look at it every day.


Brave Girl

Tomorrow will be a month since my last blood transfusion. In the last 6 months this is the longest I’ve gone without a transfusion. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that when I’m at MD Anderson for my weekly appointment on Tuesday, the news will continue to be good. When I saw my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero, this month he said the chemo is working on my MDS. I see him again on October 12. I should start the sixth round of chemo that day.

The good news is I won’t be on chemo when I move downtown for Quilt Market and Quilt Festival on October 23. Will you be there? I would love to see you. I usually can be found on the third floor of the George Brown Convention Center. That’s where the classes, lectures, luncheons, and special events take place. Come by for a hug and a chat. Until we meet again, blessings to you and your family, Judy


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