Aunt Margaret’s Dilly Bread

Not sure why this is called Aunt Margaret’s Dilly Bread, I don’t have an Aunt Margaret, but here is what I know – my mom made this every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas and it is delicious!!  I now make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas and everyone LOVES it!!   It is so incredibly easy to prepare and it always turns out great.


  • Combine 1 package of dry yeast and 2 tbls. sugar in 1/4 c. lukewarm water.  Let sit until bubbly – 5 to 10 minutes.
  • While waiting for yeast to activate, combine the following ingredients:
    • 1 c. cottage cheese – room temperature
    • 1 tbls. minced onion – I used dried
    • 1 tbls. butter – room temperature
    • 2 tsp. dill seed
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 egg
  • Mix together until combined.  Add yeast mixture and combine.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and mix

Put in a bread pan and let rise in a warm area for 2 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve warm with butter!  Yummy!


Apple Cranberry Pie

I have been making this pie for years!  There are homes I’m not allowed to enter if I don’t have this pie with me.  I buy pie plates at Goodwill so that I can just leave the plate.  Sometimes I get them back, sometimes I don’t – it just doesn’t matter!!  I love cooking and baking for my friends.


You will need pastry for a 9″ two-crust pie.  You can buy the frozen pie crust, but trust me when I tell you pie crust is SO easy to make.  Here is the recipe I use and it has never let me down.


2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. cold butter, cut into pieces

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor and give it a quick pulse to blend the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.  Add 6 tbsp. ice cold water and pulse until mixed.  Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a ball and flatten to a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes to relax the gluten.


3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 c. sliced Granny Smith apples
2. cranberries – whole
2 T. butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine sugars, flour & cinnamon.  Add fruit and mix well.  Pour into a pastry lined pie plate.  Dot the tops with butter.  Cover with pastry and cut slits in the top crust.  Seal the edges.  I like to use tiny cookie cutters to cut holiday themed  designs out of left over pie crust and decorate the edges of the pie.  Brush an egg wash over the crust and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  (I use a pie shield on the edges of the pie for the first 30 minutes of baking.  Keeps the edges from getting too brown.)


Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.



Homemade vanilla is so easy and so delicious.  Once I discovered how easy it is to make your own vanilla I won’t use anything else.  The one thing to keep in mind is that it takes three (3) months to brew.  I try to make a new batch as soon as the previous one is done brewing.  That way I never run out!

Ingredients for Vanilla Extract, Titos vodka, natural vanilla beans
Ingredients for Vanilla Extract

Here are the ingredients:

2 cups vodka – I use Tito’s – it is my absolute favorite vodka for all purposes.
24 Madagascar Vanilla Beans

Pour vodka in a Ball jar.  Slice the vanilla beans down the center and scrape out the caviar.  Put the caviar and the remainder of the bean in the Ball jar.  This process is a tad tedious, but so worth it!


Once you have finished, seal the Ball jar and shake.  Put in your cupboard and shake once a week.

In three months pour the brewed vanilla through a coffee filter and store in an air tight container.


After three months your vanilla will turn into this beautiful, rich liquid.  It smells heavenly and adds great depth to your recipes.  Once you make this, you will be like me, it will be the only vanilla you will use.


Deb’s Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls


I am known for my cinnamon rolls. The boys who hang at my house constantly request that I make cinnamon rolls.  Each year on Easter I bring these to church for the parking crew.  Over the years I have been asked many times to share my recipe, but I have been a tad selfish with it.  I’ve decided it’s time to play nice and share!



Ingredients for Deb's Cinnamon Rolls
Ingredients for Deb’s Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 7 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 5 large eggs
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour


Heat the butter, milk, ¾ cup sugar and salt in a small saucepan until the butter is melted.  Don’t let the mixture get too hot.  Set aside to cool.  In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over warm water, add the remaining 2 tsp. sugar, stir.  Let sit for 10 minutes until bubbly.  Add the cooled milk mixture, the eggs and mix until combined.  Add the flour one cup at a time until it forms a stiff dough.  Knead by hand or with the dough hook on your mixer until the dough is satiny.  Butter a large bowl to put the dough in.  Turn the dough in the bowl until all sides are buttery.  Cover the bowl with a dish towel or plastic and let sit for an hour until the dough has doubled.  Punch down the dough and roll out into a 24” X 36” square.  (My boys make fun of me because I use tape to mark of the dimensions!)

Before, Unrisen dough
Before, Unrisen dough


After, Risen Dough
After, Risen Dough


Rolled Dough, Ready for cinnamon!
Rolled Dough, Ready for cinnamon!



  • 4 cups firmly packed brown sugar (I like dark brown sugar)
  • 1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter
  • 3 T. ground cinnamon (I love high quality Saigon Cinnamon)
Ingredients for Cinnamon Sugar
Ingredients for Cinnamon Sugar


Rub, Pat entire rolled out dough surface with cinnamon sugar
Rub, Pat entire rolled out dough surface with cinnamon sugar
Roll dough/cinnamon sugar into tube
Roll dough/cinnamon sugar into tube


Sliced cinnamon rolls into baking dish
Sliced cinnamon rolls into baking dish

Butter two 9 X 13 baking dishes.  Beat the brown sugar, butter and Saigon Cinnamon

together until well combined. Evenly spread the filling over the dough.  I use my hands to get it over the entire surface of the dough.  Roll the dough lengthwise and cut in 2 inch sections.  Makes 12 large rolls.  Place 6 rolls in each buttered dish.  Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic and let rise for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the rolls for 20 – 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

After baking, spoon icing over each cinnamon roll
After baking, spoon icing over each cinnamon roll



  • ½ pound cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup whipping cream, may need more to thin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract – (I make my own and will be sharing my recipe)
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
Ingredients for Cinnamon Roll Icing
Ingredients for Cinnamon Roll Icing

Beat the cream cheese, whipping cream and vanilla together until well combined.  Add the powdered sugar until creamy, you do not want stiff icing.  Ice the rolls and serve while warm.

Ice the rolls and serve while warm
Ice the rolls and serve while warm

 These are so big that sometimes I cut them into fourths!

Yummm! You can eat only a quarter of each cinnamon roll
Yummm! You can eat only a quarter of each cinnamon roll


Mom’s Monster Cookies

These are my “go to” cookies.  They are so easy to make, I don’t even have to haul out the KitchenAid and you can customize them to your taste or what you have in your cupboard!  The boys who hang out here have never had any complaints!


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 beaten eggs
3 cups flour
2 cups chips (anything you have – I like Snicker bits, Heath bits & chocolate chunks)
2 cups chopped nuts (again, it is anything you prefer)

Melt the butter. When the butter has cooled a bit, mix in the white sugar and the brown sugar.  Add vanilla, baking soda, and salt.  Add the eggs and stir.  Stir in the flour then add the chips and nuts.




Drop onto a greased cookie sheets – I prefer using a Silpat mat!  Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes.  Don’t over bake.  Let cool then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Makes about four (4) dozen cookies.

ENJOY!!  These boys did!!