When I was young, Mother and Daddy never had much, but we always seemed to have good food around.  Not to sound biased, but I think it’s a southern thing.  We can do more with flour, water, margerine and bologna than just about anyone.  Granted, most of these are a far cry from my favorite snack as a kid (mayonnaise sandwiches) but they are truly some of my most favorite recipes.  Most are VERY frugal, very filling and fun for the family.  Many of them were handwritten and passed down, not so much as a recipe, but as an idea.  The best food comes from an idea.


In no particular order:

Makes it’s own crust Coconut Pie

This was one of mother’s favorites Eggs
3/4 C Sugar
1/4 C Flour
1 C Milk
1/4 stick butter, melted
4 oz coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients. Grease pie pan, pour in ingredients. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until center is firm.

Canned Caramel Dessert


1 can condensed milk – unopened
1 can pineapple rings
whipped cream
Place can (on it’s side) in a deep saucepan and COVER with water. Boil slowly for 3 hours. Add more water as needed. Allow to cool, remove from pan, remove ends from can, retaining 1 to push with, and push caramel out slowly. Slice 1/2″ thick, place on plate, cover with pineapple ring and whipped cream. voila.

THE best Bread & Butter Pickles

5 quarts sliced cucumbers
2 green peppers, chopped large
6 medium onions, chopped large
3 cloves garlic (whole peeled)
1/3 c salt
1 1/2 t turmeric
2 T mustard seed
5 C sugar
1 1/2 t celery seed
3 C vinegar

Slice cucumbers thin. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Cover with ice and let stand 3 hours. Drain. Add to remaining ingredients in LARGE kettle, heat almost to boiling. Seal in jars & process 5 minutes.

Pineapple upside down cakes – mother’s style

sm can Crushed pineapple
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c margarine – room temp
10 maraschino cherries
10 biscuits (frozen premade or 1 can store bought)

Heat oven to 400. Grease muffin tins well. Strain pineapple, reserve juice. Mix pineapple with sugar & butter, divide among 10 muffin cups. Add cherry, pressing to the bottom of the muffin cup. Place biscuit on top, add 1 t pineapple juice. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rest 2 minutes, invert on plate.

Jar Sauerkraut

This is so simple, and a great way to use leftovers (or abundance!)

Finely shredded cabbage
about a tsp of salt for every 4 cups of cabbage
Place cabbage and salt in LARGE pot or mixing bowl. Smash it all around with your hands until it starts to sweat (forming a brine).
Mash it into your canning jars, shake it down but don’t mash it too tight.
Fill the jar with boiling water, mush out the air bubbles and seal. Process for 30 minutes. Keep it at room temp for about 2 weeks before serving.

Fried Pickles

8 thick sliced dill pickles
1/2 cup or so of flour
1/2 bottle of beer
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all dry ingredients, add beer until it forms a nice batter. Dip pickle slices in batter and fry in grease until they float to the top (under 5 minutes)
*note: These are also AWESOME (but not as traditional) dipped in beaten egg and rolled in panko crumbs.

Cornflake Chicken – Shannon’s fave

1 pkg boneless chicken breasts
1 can Coconut Milk
2 cups cornflakes – crushed
salt, pepper and dash of dill to taste

Heat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients well. Dip chicken pieces in coconut milk, then coat with dry mix. Place in lightly greased casserole dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until done.

Butter Pie

This was one of those things that I thought was a real treat, but probably came from having NOTHING in the house!

1 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
1 cup margarine
2 T flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all until well blended, pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 for 30 min (until brown)


These are a Christmas staple, and I always make extra to freeze so we can have them in August too!
1 16 oz jar peanut butter
1 16 oz package confectioners sugar
11/4 cup melted margarine
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 T shortening

Blend peanut butter, sugar and butter. Allow to chill in refrigerator. Roll into 1″ round balls and return them to refrigerator. In a double boiler over medium heat (or microwave) melt chocolate and shortening. Whisk together until smooth. Using a toothpick, dip peanut butter into chocolate so they look like buckeyes. Place on waxed paper and allow to set in the refrigerator.

Suzy’s Favorite Peanut Butter Candy

I love peanut butter. When I was little, I had a cousin that I stayed with and she would always make this for me. I haven’t had it in years, just the level of sweetness would send me thru the roof, but it’s still a great memory!

1 box (yes) confectioners sugar
1 stick margarine
Peanut butter

Mix sugar and margarine to form dough. Roll into a rectangle dusting surface with add’l sugar. spread with peanut butter (I liked lots) and roll up from the short end. slice into pinwheels and enjoy!

Suzy’s Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, they are as awesome as they sound.

1/2 c butter (1 stick) softened
1 c Bailey’s Irish Cream (I have 6 bottles….need some? let me know)
1 1/4 c sugar (more or less to liking…it’s about what I used)
1 t (healthy splash) vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c milk chocolate chips

1. heat oven to between 350 and 375. don’t question it.
2. cream butter, sugar, vanilla and baileys in a large bowl. it’s gonna splash. mix it well. add eggs, blend.
3. mix dry ingredients in another bowl. stir, and gradually beat into butter mixture. Mix well, add chips, drop by rounded tablespoon onto lightly greased baking sheet, bake 10 min. voila…


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