Creamy Pumpkin Dip Recipe

I love a nice pumpkin pie, but don’t always feel like baking. This dip is a quick yummy snack that gives you the same sweet pumpkin flavor without the oven.

It’s great served with fresh fruit or your favorite simple cookies. Perfect for the holidays when all you really want is a little bite of your favorite dessert. The recipes is from My Best Dip Recipes – A Cookbook Full of Dips and Spreads For Any Occasion.

Pumpkin Dip
  • 2 cans pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Slivered almonds, optional
  1. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Chill if desired.
  2. Serve with fresh fruit slices, vanilla wafers or gingersnaps for a sweet treat.


Pumpkin dip in small glass cups with bread crisps

Candy Corn Pretzel Bites

I have a confession to make. I have a weakness for Candy Corn. I usually try to make it until at least October before giving in and buying a bag. This year I didn’t quite make it. The third time of coming across it at the grocery store had me tossing it in the cart. Of course I justified it by saying that I had to do some research and come up with some fun ideas for the first issue of Homemaker’s Hutch magazine…. but who am I kidding? I really just wanted candy corn.

A twist on the super easy-to-make Chocolate Pretzel Bites, these are perfect for a Halloween or Thanksgiving party. The recipe below is for 24 pretzel bites, but to be honest, I just grab a bag of pretzels, a bag of Hershey’s chocolate kisses and a bag of candy corn and work away until I run out of one of the ingredients. Of course there’s plenty of sampling going on while you assemble them … especially when children or husbands are involved :)

Candy Corn Pretzel Bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24
  • 24 small pretzels
  • 24 Hershey's Chocolate Kisses (unwrapped)
  • 24 pieces of candy corn
  1. Arrange the pretzels on a non-stick cookie sheet. (For easy cleanup, use some parchment paper). Place a Hershey’s kiss in the middle of each pretzel. Put them in 175 F oven for about 2-4 minutes, or until the chocolate has softened, but not fully melted. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and top with a candy corn and press down. Allow to cool and serve.


Candy Corn Pretzel Bites

Peach Pit Jelly

One of my favorite things about summer here in the south is that you can find peaches everywhere… and if you’re lucky enough to live near an orchard, you can grab a whole box of them without spending a fortune. There’s so much you can do with those peaches.

We spent a little time this past weekend and now have a big box of them sitting on the kitchen counter. We made a big batch of ice cream last night and I’m looking forward to “putting up” the rest of what we can’t eat over the coming days.
Eat them straight from the box of course (after washing them), but then there’s peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach crisp, and even savory dishes like peachy crockpot chicken, or something like apple and peach chutney.

Peach Collage

And do you know what all of those dishes along with pretty much every other recipe have in common? You don’t use the pit. Even when you can or freeze your peaches, those are removed first.

Being frugal at heart, I couldn’t just let them go to waste. There’s still so much flavor from the little bits and pieces of flesh left on. So why not put that to good use and make a batch of peach pit jelly?

The recipe below is from the very first Kindle cookbook I published - Homemade Jelly and Jam Recipes.

Peach Pit Jelly
  • peach pits, enough to half fill a large kettle
  • enough water to cover pits
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg powdered pectin
  1. Prepare 4 half pint jars and lids by sterilizing them, keeping them hot, and get your hot water bath canner ready.
  2. Throw peach pits from cooking, eating or canning project into a large kettle, cover with fresh water (a couple inches over the pits) and just set aside on the counter overnight.
  3. Note: You want to end up with at least 4 cups of juice after boiling. The more pits you have in the pot of water, the richer and darker the jelly will be.
  4. The next day put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil, cooking for about 30 to 45 minutes at a nice, rolling boil, but not too hard. Stir occasionally. Remember, you want to end up with 4 cups of juice, so add more water if you need to, and continue to boil.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit long enough to handle.
  6. Set up a 'jelly bag' over a pot, or lay several sheets of cheesecloth in a large colander suspended over a large pot.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared strainer and allow to strain; do not push or force it.
  8. When totally strained, measure 4 cups juice into a large cooking pot, stir in the sugar until it's dissolved, and put back on medium-high heat to return to a boil.
  9. When it boils, stir in the pectin, and return to a rapid boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  10. Test with your cold metal spoon for doneness by dipping the spoon in the liquid and removing. When jelly no longer drips from the spoon and slides off slowly in a sheet instead, it has jelled properly.
  11. Remove the pot from the heat, skim off any foam, and ladle hot mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving about ¼ to ½ inch headspace in jar. Apply the lids and process in hot water canner for 10 to 15 minutes (adjusting for altitude.)
  12. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then remove jars to a towel covered counter, leaving plenty of room in between jars for air circulation.
  13. Let sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  14. Yields 4 half pint jars.


Homemade jelly made from peach pits

Old Fashioned Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

Is there anything better than a bowl of rich vanilla ice cream, freshly churned? While it takes a little time to make a custard style ice cream, it’s well worth the effort.

If the recipe below sounds like a little much, cut it in half for a smaller portion of ice cream. But really, who are we kidding. It won’t take long for your loved ones to gobble up this yummy vanilla custard ice cream. And if there are leftovers, they’ll store in the freezer for a week or two.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Custard Ice Cream
  • 2 quarts half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 24 large egg yolks
  1. Run the tip of a sharp knife lengthwise down the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out into a small cup.
  2. In a large saucepan, put the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract; stir together; put saucepan over medium high heat and bring just to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, put the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
  4. Remove 1 cup of the cream/vanilla mixture and very slowly start drizzling a steady, but slow, stream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
  5. Continue whisking, and add another 1 cup of cream/vanilla mixture, drizzling a steady stream into the egg yolks, then add another 1 cup in the same way, then 1 more cup - for a total of 4 cups. Add egg mixture to saucepan, whisking well.
  6. Now,take the bowl of eggs and pour into the saucepan with the remaining cream/vanilla.
  7. Put saucepan back over medium high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Test with a wooden spoon; when the mixture coats the wooden spoon and sticks well, it's thick enough. You can test with a candy thermometer; it should read 170 degrees. BE SURE not to let it boil. This is your 'custard' to make the ice cream.
  8. Pour custard through a fine sieve (or line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth) into a stainless-steel bowl which is sitting in a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water.
  9. Let the custard cool in the bowl/ice bath, stirring several times until cooled completely.
  10. Remove stainless-steel bowl with cool custard, cover well with plastic wrap (pressed on the surface of the custard) and put in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. (Stir a few times to help prevent skin from forming.
  11. Remove from refrigerator and uncover; peel off any skin that may have formed.
  12. Fill your ice cream maker with cold custard and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
  13. Store in freezer in covered freezer container.


Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

For more delicious homemade icecream recipes, grab a copy of the Homemade Ice Cream and Other Frozen Treats ebook here.

You’ll find instructions for making ice cream with and without an ice cream maker and 100 recipes for ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet and popsicles.

Get your copy today!

Strawberry French Toast or Pancake Topping

This is such a simple little strawberry topping recipe. I love making it to top pancakes, french toast, waffles or even ice cream. It goes together quickly. You can use either fresh or frozen (an thawed) strawberries.

Give it a try when you’re in the mood for a little something special for breakfast. Perfect when you have overnight guests and of course a must-have for Mother’s Day.

Strawberry Topping
  • ½ C. maple syrup
  • 2 T. orange juice or Grand Marnier
  • ¾ C. pureed strawberries
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pan. Stirring constantly, heat mixture over medium heat until it begins to thicken (approximately 5 minutes). While still warm, pour over French toast or pancakes and serve immediately.


Pancake with strawberry syrup


Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite cookie recipe. How could you not love something that’s full of butter, brown sugar, vanilla and of course plenty of chocolate chips.

I make a batch of these for our cookie jar at least once every two weeks. They always turn out great and are a family favorite. Perfect for after-school snacks, lunch boxes or as a simple weekday dessert. Of course for us adults they also go really well with a cup of coffee after you drop the kids off at school.

From the Weekday Cookie Recipes Kindle Cookbook

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.


Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies Ready to Eat

Coconut Cookie Recipe

These delicious cookies are full of coconut and vanilla with a little rum for flavor and of course plenty of sugar to make them sweet and crunchy. Don’t they look beautiful, sprinkled with a little extra coconut? 

I usually make the dough for this right before picking my daughter up from school. By the time we are home and settled in, the dough is chilled enough for them to bake up perfectly.

From the Weekend Cookie Recipes  Kindle Cookbook

Easy Coconut Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 3 cups flour
  • 5 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon light rum
  • 6 cups shredded coconut
  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes.
  2. While preheating oven to 375 degrees, line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  3. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake until browned around the edges and on the bottom (approximately 10 minutes).


My favorite Coconut Cookie Recipe

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Without Flour

With just 4 ingredients (peanut butter, sugar, egg and baking soda), this recipe couldn’t be simpler. Yes, you read that right, there’s no flour in this cookie. It all works out beautifully though and they are a lot of fun to make with the kids.

These are some of the simplest cookies you’ll ever bake and the best peanut butter cookies you’ve ever tasted. Trust the recipe.

Since there is no flour in these peanut butter cookies, the are a great naturally gluten-free alternative to the traditional version of this popular cookie.

From the Weekend Cookie Recipes  Kindle Cookbook

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar + additional for coating
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. While preheating oven to 350 degrees, grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter and 1 cup sugar until thoroughly combined. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and then add to peanut butter mixture. Add the baking soda and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Roll the dough into balls and coat in sugar. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet, about inch-and-half apart. Using a fork, make a criss-cross pattern in the dough.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until light golden brown.


Peanut Butter Cookies made without flour


Yummy Pecan Chews

These sinfully scrumptious bars combine all the elements of cookie and candy for a mouthwatering treat you won’t forget!
Crust Ingredients

  •  1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1/3 cup powdered sugar
  •  1/4 cup cornstarch
  •   1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Topping Ingredients

  •  1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  •  1/2 cup light corn syrup
  •  1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  •   4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 14 1/2 ounces)
  •  1/2 cup whipping cream
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •   Yields 32 servings

To make crust:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Using aluminum foil, line a 13”x9”x2” pan, adding about an inch of foil to hang over the edges. Then, lightly butter the foil. Use a food processor to mix together flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, and salt. Lastly, add butter to mixture and mix until it begins to combine together. Evenly press dough into your baking pan. Bake crust for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove pan from oven and prepare the topping while it cools. Lower oven temp to 325 degrees F.

To make topping:
Mix together brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan using medium high temperature until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil; let boil for one minute. Stir in cream and pecans; boil mixture until it has slightly thickened, approx. three minutes. Add vanilla. Drizzle the topping over the crust.
Bake pecan-topped crust until caramel has darkened and is bubbling thickly, around 20 minutes. Place pan on rack and cool inside of pan until topping hardens.
Take out of pan by lifting foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp, sturdy knife, cut crust into 1 1/2×1-inch sections in the shape of diamonds. (You can make these tasty treats one week ahead of time. Wrap in sheets of wax paper and store at room temperature in an airtight container.)

Dessert Bar

Rich and Tasty Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

You have got to try this yummy cake. If you love a nice cheesecake, this is a great recipe to try. I’m a big fan of chocolate and while we don’t indulge in treats like this very often, it’s nice for the holidays or as something special to make for Valentine’s Day. I think I’d like this as my birthday cake this year. The espresso cream on top is optional, but I encourage you to give it at try. Not only does it make the cake look even more festive, it’s very yummy too. If you’re in a bit of a hurry, just leave the cake as is, or dust it with a bit of cocoa powder.

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake
Recipe type: Cake
  • 1½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 6 tbsp melted butter or margarine
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 cup Hershey's chocolate kisses
  • 4 8 ounce packages softened cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Espresso Cream (optional. See recipe below).
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine butter and cookie crumbs. Press the mixture onto the bottom and 1 inch of the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Melt 1 cup Hershey's kisses over low heat in small saucepan, stirring constantly.
  4. Mix sugar and cream cheese together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed. Then beat in cinnamon, milk, eggs, and espresso powder until well blended.
  5. Add in the melted chocolate and beat an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Spoon the mixture into prepared crust.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes, then cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and separate cake from the side of pan.
  8. The side of the pan can be removed after the cheesecake is completely cool.
  9. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.


chocolate cheesecake on a plate closeup

You can top your cheesecake with some yummy espresso cream (see below), or just dust it with some cocoa powder and/or some chocolate sprinkles.

Espresso Cream:

Beat together 2 tbsp powdered sugar, 1 tsp instant espresso powder, and 1/2 cup whipping cream until firm.

Simple But Rich Chocolate Fondue

I remember having a little chocolate fondue pot as a child. It was one of those simple ones with a tea light in the bottom. I loved getting it out and “making” dessert for my parents and my sister. While I don’t have the fondue pot anymore, I’ve enjoyed sharing the same fun tradition with my daughter. She makes it now and digs around the cabinets for yummy things we can dip in the melted chocolate. It’s a perfect fun little recipe to try this Valentine’s Day (or just for fun any time).

Simple But Rich Chocolate Fondue
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 6oz heavy whipping cream, reserve ¼ cup to thin if fondue begins to thicken
  • 12oz chocolate (about 4 bars, chopped)
  1. Heat the cream in a heavy pot over medium heat until the cream comes to a low boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, gently stirring to mix well. If the fondue becomes too thick, add a small amount of cream until the fondue reaches your desired consistency.

Now comes the fun part! You get to dip things into the chocolate and eat them. You can use fondue forks, regular forks or even bamboo skewers to dip the treats in the melted chocolate.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Biscotti or other cookies
  • Marshmallows
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Strawberries (with stem attached)
  • Fresh pineapple (diced)
  • Banana slices
  • Orange sections
  • Sponge cake cut into squares

chocolate fondue

Peanut Brittle Recipe

My husband loves peanut brittle… it’s his favorite kind of candy. I don’t make it very often, but since we’re getting into the Holiday spirit, I thought why not whip up a batch. It’s easy to make, and tastes so much better homemade. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

This would also make a cute gift. Make up a couple of batches and put the broken off pieces of brittle into small Christmas Tins. Perfect gift for neighbors, teachers and the likes.

Peanut Brittle Recipe
Recipe type: Candy
  • 1½ C. Salted Peanuts
  • 2¾ C. Sugar
  • ⅔ C. Water
  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter
  1. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by lining it with foil and greasing the foil.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, mix the butter, sugar and water. Heat for approximately 25 minutes over medium heat until the mixture becomes a thick golden-brown syrup; stir often.
  3. Slowly, mix the peanuts in with the mixture until all are completely covered with the syrup.
  4. Pour the peanut mixture into the baking dish and spread it out evenly, preferably in one layer.
  5. Let the peanuts sit until thoroughly cooled. Then, break into medium sized pieces and place in an airtight container.


Peanut BrittleHomemade Christmas Gifts and MoreWould you like to steer clear of the holiday shopping crowds? You can with this guide to Homemade Christmas Gifts and More.

Making Homemade Christmas gifts is one way to actually enjoy the process of gift-giving. Not only are homemade gifts and decorations frugal, they’re more fun!

We don’t have to rush out to the mall to shop for Christmas when we have ideas for creating gifts right at home. Take time to enjoy your holiday season. Click on and download now to start planning your frugal AND fun Christmas.

Indian Pudding Recipe

Here is a fun dessert that celebrates Thanksgiving history. Don’t forget to use this opportunity to talk to your kids about the history Native Americans played in the first Thanksgiving while you make this pudding dessert with them.

Indian Corn Pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 quart plus 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup Indian meal (aka cornmeal)
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • ice-cream (optional)
  1. Bring a quart of milk to its boiling point but do not go into rapid boil.
  2. Combine the cornmeal with ½ cup cold milk and add this to the hot milk stirring very well!
  3. In a baking dish blend together molasses, sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, butter and remaining ½ cup of milk.
  4. Add the cornmeal mixture to the baking dish spreading out evenly. Bake for 3 hours at 300 degrees F.


Indian Corn PuddingServe while hot and with ice cream on the side. This is a fun and quick dessert, perfect for Thanksgiving. It takes a little time, but it’s well worth it. The slow baking at a relatively low temperature creates a wonderful texture. It’s also quite tasty for breakfast.

The Hillbilly Housewife Thanksgiving Planner

Don’t run around like a chicken (or should that be turkey?) with its head cut off on Thanksgiving morning. The Hillbilly Housewife’s Thanksgiving Planner will help you plan ahead and stay on top of things so you can actually enjoy Thanksgiving with your family & friends.

The Hillbilly Housewife Thanksgiving PlannerIf you take a quick minute to read the first chapter you’ll realize how easy your Thanksgiving celebration will be. There are plenty of tips and ideas to make sure this year’s feast doesn’t stretch your budget to the breaking point, too.

There are also 2 bonuses tucked inside: A printable planner & checklist and all of the recipes in a printable pdf file.

Apple Sauce Cake With Nuts and Raisins

One of my favorite things about fall is apples. I love being able to drive up to an apple orchard and getting a big box of them fresh of the tree. Regardless of the season though, I almost always have a bag or two of these yummy fruits around the house. They are great for snacking, cooking and of course baking.

I’m about to head to the kitchen to bake up some lunch box treats and this apple sauce cake is what I’ll be making today. You can make it from homemade applesauce, or use a store-bought kind you like. If you’re feeling ambitious, peel and chop and apple or two finely and add it to the batter before baking. This works particularly well if you are making this without the raisins (I know not everyone’s a fan).

4.5 from 2 reviews
Applesauce Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Put the margarine and sugar into a bowl. Get out your hand mixer and cream them together until you have a pale yellow fluffy mixture.
  3. Add the applesauce and mix well.
  4. Stir in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon and stir until all the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix.
  5. Fold in the raisins and nuts.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan. A 9 inch round pan or 8 inch square pan work well. Bake the cake for 40 minutes.


Muffin Pan Brownie Bites

Whenever I send my husband and daughter to the store, they come back with a pack of brownie bites. I’ve finally gotten the hint that they both like these small brownies with plenty of corners. With school about to start up again (and thus the need for lunch box treats and after – school snack) this is the perfect time to experiment and come up with my own homemade version.

4.8 from 4 reviews
Homemade Brownie Bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 12
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • non-stick cooking spray
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350F. Spay a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the margarine (either in a small sauce pan or in the microwave in a small bowl). Stir in the cocoa powder and then the sugar.
  3. Add the eggs and beat them in well. I use a handmixer for all this, but a whisk and some elbow grease work too.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract and then the flour. Mix just until everything is well combined. You don't want to overbeat your batter.
  5. Pour it into your prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the brownie comes out clean.

You can make these brownie bites out of any brownie recipe or even a store-bought mix if you’re so inclined. The recipe above is the one I use most often these days. It’s just as easy to use as a box from the store and tastes better. Feel free to add to this basic recipe. I’m sure it would be yummy with some chopped walnuts or chocolate chips mixed into the batter.

I fill the muffin tins about half full of batter and can fit the whole recipe into a regular muffin tin with 12 muffins. For thinner muffins, spread it out in two batches of 12 muffins and check them for doneness sooner. I’m sure using a mini muffin tin would be fun too.