Floating Islands (Floats) Recipe

I have been looking for a recipe that my grandmother used to make. She just called it Float. I know it takes milk and eggs and sugar. Beyond that, I am just lost. I asked her once for the recipe and she said she really didn’t have one. I tried her directions and it was okay, but it sure wasn’t my grandmother’s Float. Can anyone help me?

Zola Sherman


From The Hillbilly Housewife 

I did a little research and the only thing I can come up with is something called Floating Islands. It’s an old french dessert that consists of a meringue floating (or swimming) in a vanilla sauce.

Floating Islands
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup white sugar, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Separate two of the eggs and put the yolks together with the whole egg, ¼ cup of sugar, and the salt into a double boiler. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the milk. Stirring constantly, cook the egg and sugar mixture over simmering water until it starts to thicken. Remove it from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Allow it to cook, then move it into the fridge.
  2. Again using a double boiler, whisk the egg whites and remaining sugar. Heat the mixture over simmering water until the eggs start to get hot. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  3. Pour the chilled custard into bowls and top with spoonfuls of the meringue. Chill before serving.


A simple dessert made with milk, eggs and sugar

Old Fashioned Chocolate Gravy

The recipe I am looking for was a chocolate gravy my grandmother used to make in a skillet on top of the  stove. I know it had cocoa and sugar in  it and it tasted like warm chocolate pudding. It was made kind of like a milk gravy.

Thank you,


From The Hillbilly Housewife 

I haven’t made this in quite a while, but found this recipe scribbled down on a piece of scrap paper tucked into one of my cookbooks. It sounds like the gravy you’re looking for.

I’m sure there are other recipes as well. If you have one to share, please leave it as a comment below.

Chocolate Gravy Recipe
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Mix the cocoa, flour and sugar together until all dry ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Pour the cold milk into the flour mixture and whisk it well. You don't want any lumps.
  3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium high until it start to thicken. You want to stir frequently to keep your gravy from lumping up on you.
  4. Remove it from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is melted and everything is well incorporated.
  5. Serve immediately over hot biscuits, pancakes or waffles.


A bowl of old fashioned chocolate gravy. Whip up a batch and serve it over hot biscuits.

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

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

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


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

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.


Orange Marmalade Recipe

There is nothing better in the morning than a nice cup of tea and a piece of toast that has homemade orange marmalade spread all over it. The good news is that making this fruit spread is a lot easier than you may think.  Give it a try … I think you’re going to love it.

I first started playing with marmalade recipes when I started reading a lot of English novels. Just hearing about the tea and toast made me want to sit there with my book and enjoy the same treat. I bought a jar of marmalade at the grocery store, but didn’t care for it much. This homemade version is much better. It also makes for a nice afternoon treat.


Homemade Orange Marmalade
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4 half pint jars
  • 6 large sweet oranges
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  1. Prepare 4 half pint jars and lids by sterilizing them, keeping them hot, and get your hot water bath canner ready.
  2. Prepare the oranges by washing them well (removing any stems), thinly slice into circles, then quarter, discarding seeds as you do.
  3. Put the orange slices and water in a large cooking pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, boiling for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit out overnight in a cool place.
  5. The next day, put pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, continue at a rolling boil for 1 hour, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from heat and let stand for 4 to 5 hours in a cool place.
  7. Add the sugar, stir to dissolve, then put pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  8. Stir frequently while you continue boiling the mixture until it forms a jelly texture.
  9. 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.
  10. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  11. 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.

This recipe was adapted from one featured in the Homemade Jelly and Jam Recipes Kindle book. Grab your copy today for more jelly, jam and marmalade recipes.

Homemade Banana Pudding From Scratch

  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Line a 3 quart casserole dish with wafers. Slice bananas layering them on top of wafers. Add another layer of vanilla wafers. Continue alternating layers until casserole dish is full. Set aside.

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly stir in milk. Bring t o a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture thickens. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in vanilla. Allow to cool slightly then pour over vanilla wafer-banana layers. Refrigerate until cool.

Top with either whipped cream or meringue. If you top with meringue the last layer should be wafers. It should be spread on top while the pudding is still hot. If topping with whipped cream the last layer should be bananas and you should completely cool the pudding before adding the whipped cream.


Homemade Banana Pudding

1 pt whipping cream
1 cup ice water
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1 small box banana instant pudding
1 can Eagle Brand milk
6 bananas
1 box Nilla Wafers

Combine water, pudding and Eagle Brand milk and mix well.

In a different bowl place the whipping cream and beat it until it’s light and fluffy.

Fold the whipping cream in to the pudding.

Place a layer of wafers in the bottom of the dish. Follow with a layer of banana slices and then pudding mix. Layer until you reach the top of your dish.

Chill and Serve.

Homemade Bread Pudding

  • ¼ cup butter (softened)
  • 1 small box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 2/3 cup coconut
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 slices of bread

Mix together butter, pudding, eggs and cinnamon. When you get the mixture smooth add in milk, fruits and vanilla.

Cut bread into thick cubes and lay the bread into a buttered casserole dish. An 8×8 dish works well for this recipe. Cover the bread with the wet mixture then place your casserole dish into a water bath and place in the oven.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 45 min.

Bread pudding is a warm, soft and sweet accompaniment to your next meal.

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp vanilla

Get out a mixing bowl and place the sugar, flour, salt and cocoa into the bowl and set it off to the side.

Next, get a small saucepan and place the water and the vanilla inside. Cook the mixture for a minute or two. Then slowly stir in the ingredients from the mixing bowl. Make sure that you stir the sauce the entire time.

The sauce will start to thicken as it cooks. It takes about 6 minutes.

This sauce is great served warm over ice cream, cake and fresh fruit.

Homemade Cracker Spread

Crab And Cream Cheese Spread

  • 1 (6 oz.) can crabmeat, drained
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • Garlic to taste

Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together. Transfer the spread to a small pot and cook on medium heat on the stove top until it is warmed through.

Serve the spread warm on crackers.

If you can make your own crackers, it is also very nice to serve both the crackers and spread warm.

Pumpkin Butter

Quadruple this recipe for storage in jars

  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin (15 oz. can)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar or splenda
  • 1 cup brown sugar or splenda blend
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. cloves

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours, stirring every 10 minutes to keep from sticking to sides and burning. Put in jars and put in a water bath for 40 minutes. If you like pumpkin pie, you will love it. It is great on hot, fresh biscuits. We like it almost better than apple butter.

Homemade Peanut Butter

15 ozs roasted skinless peanuts
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp honey
1 ½ tbsp peanut oil

Open the peanuts and put them into a food processor. Sprinkle salt over the peanuts. Place the lid on top and pulse for just a minute to start breaking up the peanuts. Stop and remove the lid. Pour in the honey. Replace the lid and process until you get the consistency that you want.

Make sure to stop a few times to scrape down the sides.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

*Tip: If you like your peanut butter a little sweeter you can always add a little more honey.