Dessert Week with the Fillies….Day Five

Egg  Nog Spice Bundt Cake

     by Linda Broday

 1 box spice cake mix

1 box Instant vanilla or cheesecake pudding & pie filling

1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt

¼ cup canola oil

1 cup light eggnog

1 egg

3 egg whites

1 1/3 cups toasted chopped pecans

Powdered sugar

1.    Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray

2.    Combine cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, oil, eggnog, egg, and egg whites in a large bowl.

3.    Stir in pecans. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.


 My Aunt Grace’s Downhome Banana Bread

     by Tanya Hanson

½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 medium mashed bananas

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs and cream well. Sift flour and soda together. Fold flour and bananas into above mixture. Add ¼ cup chopped nuts.

 Bake in greased floured loaf pan, 1 hour, at 350º.

Dessert Week with the Fillies … Day Four



Haystack Drop Candies
By Winnie Griggs


This is a holiday favorite at my house.  It’s super easy and, as you can see from the notes on ingredients that can be swapped out or added in, it is very versatile.



  • 1 cup caramel chips (can substitute butterscotch chips)
  • 2 cups shoestring potatoes (can substitute chow mein noodles)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts (optional)



  • Melt chips and peanut butter in microwave or double boiler.  Stir until well blended
  • Gently stir in shoestring potatoes and nuts
  • Drop by spoonfuls unto waxed paper
  • Cool until set


Other add-ins you can try

  • Rice Krispie cereal
  • Miniature marshmallows
  • M&Ms
  • Coconut


Andes Mint Cookies
By Cheryl Pierson



  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbs water
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz. Andes mints
  • Pecan halves


  • In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter or margarine.
  • Add eggs and water. Beat well.
  • Mix flour, soda and salt well.
  • Add gradually to egg mixture. Chill dough overnight (it is important that the dough be well chilled).
  • Wrap each mint completely in cookie dough.
  • Place 2″ apart on lightly greased cookie sheets and put a nut half on top of each cookie.
  • Bake 7-9 minutes until golden brown in a 375 degree oven.

Dessert Week with the Fillies … Day Three




By Cheryl St. John


1/2 cup rice

1 quart milk

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons sugar

Combine rice, milk and salt. Cook in a double-boiler until rice is tender.

Beat egg yolks until light and lemon colored. Add these, 1/2 c sugar, margarine and vanilla to the rice. Stir vigorously as you add the egg mixture. Cook slowly until pudding becomes the consistency of custard.

Pour into casserole and top with meringue made of the 4 egg whites beaten stiffly and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Brown in oven 10 to 12 minutes.




 By Karen Kay


 1)  Fill a quart jar with almonds half full.  Fill another quart jar with pecans half full.   Fill jar with water and salt and let soak overnight.  (The purpose of this is to deactivate the anti-nutrients — phytates — in the nuts.  Phytates impair digestion and prevent the body from assimilating important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, etc.)

2)  Pour off water and salt and dehydrate the nuts in the lowest setting on your oven — or dehydrate them in a dehydrator if you have one.


 5 tblsp. soaked and dried raw organic almonds

5 tblsp. soaked and dried raw organic pecans

2 tblsp. raw organic cacao

2 tblsp. raw organic coconut flour

4 tblsp. raw organic butter or if raw butter not available, regular butter

1/4 teasp. pure organic stevia

1-2 tblsp. vegetable glycerin — or substitute 1-2 tblsp. maple syrup

1 cup raw organic cream or if raw cream not available, one can substitute regular cream — hopefully non-homogenized

1 teasp. vanilla

Put almonds and pecans in a food processor and grind until nuts are the consistency of a coarse flour.  Add raw cacao, coconut flour, butter, stevia and vegetable glycerin (or maple syrup) and blend until a dough forms.

Drop by spoonfuls onto the dehydrator or cookie sheet and press to form a flat cookies.  Dehydrate for 3-4 hours or put in oven at lowest possible heat and heat for 2-3 hours.  Whip raw cream with a couple of pinches of stevia and organic vanilla.

Place a spoonful of cream onto the cookie and place another cookie on top — making a cookie sandwich.  Makes about 16 cookies.



By Phyliss Miranda

Grannie was a cake baker for one of the first cafeterias in downtown Amarillo, Texas, during the 50’s and this is her original recipe she made every Thursday for the lunch crowd.


2 c.      Sugar

1 c.      Shortening

4          Eggs, separated

2 ½ c.  Flour

½ tsp. Salt

1 tsp.   Soda

1 c.      Buttermilk

4 squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Dissolve chocolate in ½ cup hot water. Set aside. Cream sugar and 4 egg yokes (beaten).  Add 2 ½ cups flour and ½ t salt, alternating with buttermilk in which soda has been dissolved.  Add melted chocolate. Beat 4 egg whites till stiff, but not dry, and fold mixture into egg whites.

Bake 350 degrees for approximately ½ hour.  Makes 3 round pans.

German Chocolate Cake Icing

1 c.      Sugar

1 c.      Canned milk

½ c.     Chopped pecans

1 c.      Coconut

½ stick Butter

3          Egg yolks

Pinch of salt

Vanilla to taste

Combine ingredients.  Cook over very low heat until mixture spreads smoothly.  Ice cake.

Dessert Week with the Fillies — Day Two


Home on the Range Christmas Cookies

By Victoria Bylin


3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. oatmeal (regular not instant or steel cut)
1 c. Rice Krispies
1/2 can shredded coconut (3 oz or so)
1 small bag chocolate chips
1/2  large box raisins
1/4  lb. walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar and vanilla. Add beaten eggs. Cream well. Add dry ingredients (sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt). Mix well. Add coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.  Flatten into small cookies with wet hands.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Makes approx. 8 dozen cookies.


Grandma Rosa’s Caramel Cookies

By Tracy Garrett


Since my Grandma Rosa played an important part in my first western historical, I thought I’d share one of her recipes with you. Every Christmas you would find some of these in Grandma’s freezer.

4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup shortening
6 cups flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
8 tablespoons water
1/4 tsp salt 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs, slightly beaten, and  molasses and mix well. Add dry. Mix well. The dough will be very stiff. Form dough into two 2-inch rolls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Slice thin and bake for 10-12 minutes. 

Grandma’s recipe calls for a “very slow” oven, which is 275-325 degrees. If your oven runs hot, go for a lower setting.

Dessert Week with the Fillies – Day One

Wrangler Wreath Cookies

Mary Connealy

1/3 C. butter

 10 ounces marshmallows

Microwave 1 ½ minutes. Stir. Microwave again 1 ½ minutes. Continue until smooth. Add:

1 t. green food coloring


6 C. cornflakes (crushed)

Wet hands work as well as buttered hands to prevent sticking. Roll into balls. Poke thumb through center and flatten to form a wreath. Decorate with red hots.

 Gumdrop Cake

Donna Alward

1/2 cup Margarine

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 cups flour

1 cup milk

1 cup gum drops (no black) chopped, or baking gums

Cream margarine and sugar, beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to the mixture, alternating with the milk until smooth.

Dust gumdrops with flour (to keep them from sticking together). Add to batter. Grease and flour a funnel or bundt pan. Bake at 350 until toothpick comes out clean. Wrap in foil and let ripen for 1 week (if you can stand to wait that long!).

Dessert Week With the Fillies is Here!


Well, Santa came and went and all he left was a bunch of tracks in the snow. Guess I was on his naughty list this year. Hee-hee! Ah sure did try anyway.

Things are a mite lonely around the Junction with the Fillies hightailin’ it out of town. Guess I’ll be holding down the fort until they get back. Ah’m just sittin’ here looking out the window of my cabin all pitiful-like at the corral. The clock is ticking off the minutes until our Dessert Week arrives tomorrow.

What better way to cowboy’s heart than whipping him up a mess of larrupin’ goodies to tempt his sweet tooth.

In case you forgot, Dessert Week starts bright and early tomorrow.

We’ve worked hard to bring you a full week of cowboy confections. Ah know Christmas is behind us but these are just in time for New Years.

So don’t lollygag around. Saddle up and head to the Junction.

We’ll show you how real cowgirls feed their hungry men!

Filly New Release Update – Jan 2011

Coming from the Fillies in January


Sharpshooter in Petticoats
By Mary Connealy


Mandy Gray, a wealthy sharpshooting widow, is content living in her mountain home and raising her young’uns alone. But how long can she protect herself when thieving outlaws have her surrounded?

Rancher Tom Linscott can’t bear to see a defenseless woman in danger. Yet his rescue efforts end up bringing trouble right to her door.

Now that they’re both trapped on Mandy’s Mountain, can they learn to live together—or will they die alone?

The Night Before Christmas — Filly Style!





‘Twas the night before Christmas in this Junction of ours;  

The sky over the prairie was ablaze with bright stars;


Our boots were lined up by the fire with care,

In hopes that Old Santa Claus soon would be there;


Felicia’s ornery mule napped snug there in the barn,

Whilst our visiting guest was spinning a yarn;


O’course Winnie in her wool socks and Tanya in her cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,


When out in the corral there arose such a ruckus,

I sprang from bed to see what the heck was…


…outside the window, there on the barn roof,

Victoria banged open the shutters and near busted a tooth!


The moon was so bright it near blinded my eye

And the snow landed like whippin’ cream coverin’ a pie,


When, what to my hornswaggled eyes should appear,

But a covered wagon and eight dusty reindeer!


With a little old driver wearing boots and a hat,

I knew for durned sure he was related to Pat.


He was cheery and bright, a right jolly cowpoke,

Elizabeth laughed when I saw him; he was my kind of  folk.


Those reindeers, they ain’t docile. What a hissy they threw!

Nearly toppled the wagon, and Old Santa Claus too.


Quicker’n a youngin’ off to play hookie,

That old geezer came in and asked Linda for a cookie;


Tracy found one and he ate it, so Stacey got milk

Then Karen, she presented him with a scarf made of silk.


But Mary, she hung back, I think she was a’feared

‘Cause all night she trembled and her eyes how they teared


No worry, Margaret told her, the fat guy’s a friend.

To us in the Junction and those ’round the bend,


Sure ’nuff Santa left a package in each Fillies’ boot,

Didn’t matter none to him, they was dusted with soot.


Then somethin’ happened, caught us all by surprise,

Donna and Cheryl S showed up with an armload of pies.


We sat down to eat ‘em, and they tasted fine,

Though they couldn’t have baked ‘em; They hadn’t had time;


Old Santa asked for seconds; Bet that’s why he’s merry.

 He tried pumpkin and apple, even pe-can and cherry.


Phyliss heaped on whipped cream, and still he ate more.

His belly how it swelled! Would he fit out the door?


“It’s my big night,” he declared.  “Only comes once a year.”

  Good thing for that, too, or he’d burst I do fear.


He stifled a burp, and a pipe out it came;

“Smoking’s not good for you,” Cheryl P did loudly exclaim.


“All that sugar and now this, think of your health.

“Think of all the children that count of your jolly old self!”


He listened real close and even nodded his head,

Took right to his heart everything we had said.


He tossed that old pipe in the fire with a pop,

“The Missus, she’s been tryin’ to get me to stop,”


With a hearty laugh and a promise to come back.

The Fillies watched that old fella leap up the smokestack.


He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a yee-haw,

And away they all flew, like twister-flung straw.


And we heard him exclaim as that team took flight,

“Merry Christmas, you bloggers, and to all a good-night.” 

A Visit From St. Nicholas


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


That is probably the best known poem in the English language. Written by Professor Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) in 1822, the poem was first published, anonymously, in The New York Sentinel on  December 23, 1823.

Clement Clarke Moore came from a prominent family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington. 

It was not until 1844 that Clement Clarke Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry.




Victorian clip art (pictures 2, 3, & 4 in the blog) courtesy of Averyl’s Attic:

Lighting Up The Holidays

It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s snowy. You’re driving through downtown Lexington when suddenly you see eight giant trees ablaze with lights. “O Holy Night” is on the radio, and the moment is just about perfect.  That happened to me last Friday.  I was stuck in traffic–a mix of rush hour and mall mayhem--when I took a detour and saw the trees. The moment was so glorious that it made up for the lines at Walmart and the icy roads.

I love Christmas lights. So does my husband. One year he put 1,400 lights (the little ones) on a seven-foot douglas fir. It was spectacular. This year we went to an artificial tree, but it’s still loaded with lights including some of our oldies.  We have bubble lights, light-up figures and ice globes in addition to 600 small white lights.   

Christmas tree lights (electric ones) go back to 1882 and the New York home of Edward Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. Johnson lived in one of the first neighborhoods to have electricity, and he used it to light up the Christmas tree in his parlor.  The tree was the talk of the town.

Here’s how it was reported by The Detroit Post and Tribune:

“Last evening I walked over beyond Fifth Avenue and called at the residence of Edward H. Johnson, vice-president of Edison’s electric company. There, at the rear of the beautiful parlors, was a large Christmas tree presenting a most picturesque and uncanny aspect. It was brilliantly lighted with many colored globes about as large as an English walnut and was turning some six times a minute on a little pine box. There were eighty lights in all encased in these dainty glass eggs, and about equally divided between white, red and blue. As the tree turned, the colors alternated, all the lamps going out and being relit at every revolution. The result was a continuous twinkling of dancing colors, red, white, blue, white, red, blue—all evening.”

It took time for the use of electricity to become widespread, so electric lights didn’t become popular until the early 20th century.  The first lighted trees where generally town affairs and were quite expensive, in part because the lights had to be hand wired.  It wasn’t until 1903 that GE began selling pre-assembled light kits.  They cost was approximately $8 for an eight-light strand, roughly the equivalent of a week’s salary.

Christmas tree lights took off in the 1920s and 1930s, and the industry has been evolving ever since. Lighted figures were popular in the 1950s. The ones that are still around are preserved by collectors who use dimmers to keep them from burning out. (We’ve got a dimmer on our tree to for that purpose.)  Ice globes were popular in the 1960’s. We’ve got a few of those and they’re lovely.

Christmas tree lights are ever-changing. The new LCD ones are energy efficient and extremely vivid.  I like them a lot.  Maybe next year we’ll add a little tree with just LCDs.  Then there are the fiber-optic trees that change colors. I have mixed feelings about them, but I can watch them change colors for hours, especially if there’s Christmas music in the background.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  If you have a tree up, what kind of lights do you use?