Category Archives: Ruthie

Easiest Holiday Cookies EVER

cookie crop

WHAAAAAT? a great holiday cookie recipe that makes a TON and involves NO BAKING?!!!  Well yuh huh… here it is.  Truly so easy even CYNTHIA can make them and she did!  In two versions.  Don’t waste time reading… get going and make some!

Cynthia Says:  Yes indeedy.  I saw Ruthie demo these and I just knew I could do it and I DID and I even vamped on the theme and made regular chocolate filled with peanut butter and white chocolate with JELLY and THEN… oh dear Lord… THEN Baby Jesus spoke to me and said “theres chocolate leftover… get out the pretzels girl!  So I coated buttery pretzel rods and good grief… RAY RAY! Auntie needs a calmative!


  • 1 pound milk or dark chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped
  • 48 butter-flavored crackers
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Garnishes: Colored sugar, sugar garnishes, melted white candy coating, optional

We found this Chocolate already cut!


Just dropped it in the NESCO (Grammas version of slo cooker) on lowest setting. Melty melty GOODNESS







  • Spritz a 1-1/2 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add chocolate, cover, and set to low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cynthia here: It only took about 10 minutes in the NESCO. 
  • Meanwhile, use crackers and peanut butter to assemble 24 peanut butter “sandwiches.”
  • Set in freezer until chocolate is melted. Cynthia again: I didnt have to do this because the chocolate melted faster.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
  • Once chocolate is completely melted and smooth, turn off slow cooker.
  • Set one peanut butter sandwich in chocolate.
  • Using two forks, carefully turn to coat. Cynthia Says: I used Gramma’s weiner-grabber tongs… worked well
  • Remove sandwich from chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip off
  • Set on lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
  • Sprinkle, top or drizzle with garnishes if you’d like.
  • Set the sandwiches in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets.  Cynthia’s experience… it set just fine on the countertop – then I packed in plasticware in layers with a sheet of wax paper between.  And I’m off to the Rusty Nail cookie exchange! (Only Cooter-Don Bezus’ Bourbon balls will beat this.)

Milk Chocolate / Peanut Butter – Pretzels on left


White Chocolate and Jelly








Ruthie’s Culinary Clues

A pound of chocolate candy coating makes at least 2 dozen sandwich cookies. You might get slightly more or less depending on how much chocolate you use. Look for bricks of the chocolate candy coating in the baking aisle. Some stores create special holiday displays using the chocolate, so if you can’t fine it simply ask for it. If you don’t have time to freeze the sandwiches before dipping, no problem! Simply proceed with the recipe. If you don’t have tiny slow cooker, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 15-30 second intervals stirring well between each or use a double broiler on the stovetop.

Printable recipe:  Easiest Cookies EVER

Cynthia’s Ice Cream Dreams

i scream–  Ice cream and cake. AND cake flavored vodka? Who thought that up?  What a concept!  Here’s a suggestion from Cynthia (who else?) for some easy Ice cream drinkie winkies!  Its summer! Have at it!

Cynthia’s Orange – Whiskey Dream 

Seriously you can just get a dreamscicle from the spooky ice cream cart guy melt it and dump some whiskey over it and then re- refrigerate or refreeze. Sip with a straw spoon it up or just slug it back.  YUM!    bottlelarge_cake

Cynthia’s Cake Vodka Yummer.

If you must use the chi chi vodka thing well then take some orange soda and mix it up with your CAKE FLAVORED vodka then add a bunch of  ice cream and float away on an orange cloud.

rubyredcreamsicle7HEY you kids…! stop bothering that dog and bring Auntie some Black Bear Orange Soda!

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues: Add all the ice cream you want to the vodka treat. In fact, while you’re at it, add all the vodka you want, too! I tested this recipe with UV Cake Vodka that really added to the Dreamsicle flavor, but feel free to try it with whatever you might have on hand.







–  Who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s American, damn it! Now you can have ice cream and CAKE too in ONE neat package…. Just like the most interesting man in the world!  Our strawberry sensation comes together in no time! Best of all, you can toss it together and pop it in the freezer a day before the party. You’ll be the talk of the town!





  • petit_fours_step11 (10-3/4-ounce) frozen pound cake, thawed    
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub whipped topping, thawed 1 (4-serving-size) package strawberry-flavored gelatin
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1-2 drops vanilla extract


  • Line a 9×5-in loaf pan with plastic wrap.
  • Leave extra wrap extending over the sides of the pan.
  • Cut the cake into 1-in cubes. Set aside.
  • Combine the whipped topping, gelatin powder, ice cream and extract in a large bowl until   well combined and consistent in color.
  • Carefully fold in cake cubes.
  • Pour or spoon mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Cover top with extended plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
  • Pull top covering away from dessert.
  • Invert dessert onto serving platter and carefully remove the loaf pan and plastic wrap.

ice cream eats 

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues: Garnish finished dessert with strawberry ice cream topping or sliced fresh strawberries. Try this frosty treat with different flavors of gelatin or cube up angel food cake if you’d like. Cynthia drank up all the vanilla extract? Leave it out! No problem-o!

Cynthia Says: I did NOT.

Heres the printable:  Easy Ice Cream Cakeimages

BEER-BQ Sauce!

wp dedoo– Well, it’s me, Cynthia…. and I just got back from visiting my favorite old codger down on lot 3.  He’s like 95 years old but he does KICK ASS barbecue and he STILL makes his OWN Sauce!  As he says: “None of that store bought high fructose crap for ME…. I just throw in REAL SUGAR!!!!!! and BEER.”  Beer?  I says.  YEAH BEER!   I traded a case of PBR for this vintage recipe from back when everybody grilled with charcoal – or maybe sticks….. Its a pipperooo!


  • 2 bottles 14oz. each ketchup or catsup whichever you prefer
  • 1 bottle 12oz chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup prepared mustard
  • 1 tbsp. dry mustard
  • 1 ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. coarse fresh ground black pepper     sauce on paintbrush
  • 1 ½ cup wine vinegar
  • 1 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup thick steak sauce
  • Tabasco to taste
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. salad oil
  • 1 can – 12 oz BEER
  • Minced or crushed garlic to taste

jean carmen



  • Combine all ingredients except garlic and mix well.
  • Pour into pint containers to store.
  • This sauce may be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.
  • For longer storage you can freeze it.
  • About an hour before using the sauce add the garlic if desired.

Makes about 6 pints so unless you are grilling a side of beef or a whole hog….. get out the plastic storage containers and freeze what you’re not going to use . And don’t forget to cover up!  Whoosh!

Heres the printable:  BEER BQ Sauce




–  Who doesn’t love a cowboy? This slow-cooked cowpoke favorite has a twist. Great for bring-a-dish parties hosted by a-holes too cheap to treat everyone to food. Reheat over the propane at the barbecue or tailgate…  AND its LOADED with BEANS for that after dinner homage to Blazing Saddles.





  • 14 frozen fully-cooked meatballs, thawed (from a 24-ounce package)
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans baked beans
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed                     beans
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup steak sauce


  • Spritz a 6-qt. slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add meatballs to slow cooker. (Freeze other meatballs for future use.)
  • Top with beans, onion and mushrooms.
  • In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour into slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until heated through.

crock-pot-frozen-meatballs-cranberry-chipotle-04  RUTHIES CULINARY CLUES:  Ruthie tested this recipe with A1 Steak Sauce. Feel free to get creative with this recipe, but note that your slow cooker will be full. If you add ingredients, you may have to cut back on something else. This makes a lot, but leftovers freeze well for last minute parties, dinners and tailgates.

Heres the printable PDF:  Cowboy Beans n Balls


CYNTHIA SAYS: WHOA! This one is great ’cause you just throw a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and let it stew.  Add some Jack for that authentic cowboy flavor and then drink some on the side!  Make some cornbread for dippin’ and you got yourself a potful of cowboy cookin’ that will amaze your friends.




Summer Fun with Blue Diamond Eggface Toasted Coconut Almond Fruit Salad


– Quick! Invited to a patio party at the last minute?  Here’s a colorful take along that will knock the socks off the assembled multitude!




Check out Ruthies video tip for no fuss no mess instructions on how to peel those pesky kiwis


  • 1 kiwifruit, peeled and diced
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup cubed pineapple
  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • 1 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  • Set fruit in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle with pudding mix and stir.
  • Stir in lemon juice and extracts. (If pudding mix powder is still visible stir in water, a teaspoon at a time, until powder is absorbed.)
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:  You want about four cups of fruit for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever fruits you like! Sliced peaches, raspberries and melon make great options. Swap out the lemon juice with lime juice for a little tropical flair. (And really…who doesn’t like a little tropical flair?) Make this dish a day early and save time the day of your party.


mac-cheese-17  –  Oh HECK! Who doesn’t like Mac and Cheese?  Its universal!  Here’s a sweet and savory take on the old standard that may sound unique, but you’ll friggin’ love it!  We promise.  It has BARBECUE SAUCE and hot dogs (hence the Brewer’s angle) with applesauce as the secret ingredient to add just a touch of sweetness to the savory saucey part.. It’s great if you’re feeding kids!  – And yet, it has a certain ZEST appeal for the grownups.  You CAN make a silk purse out of a sows ear.  TRY IT!!!!  Try it out this week and let us know how you liked it.


  • 1 (5.5 ounce) box mac & cheese      box-of-mac-and-cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cooked hot dogs, sliced



Come on now… if you don’t KNOW how to make boxed mac and cheese…. you prabably shouldn’t be walking around unattended.  

  • Boil macaroni in a medium pot over medium-high heat until al dente; drain.
  • Return macaroni to pot and stir in milk, butter and contents of cheese packet.
  • Stir until well combined.
  • Combine barbecue sauce and applesauce in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add tomatoes, hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.
  • Heat through. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:  The higher quality the dogs, the better this one-dish meal will be.   hot_dog_mac_and_cheese_casserole_2Look for all-beef franks. I’m partial to Hebrew National Franks – the best hot dog in the universe. If desired, you can stir in a can of chili beans or a little cayenne pepper.

Cynthia Says:  There’s so much to say about Mac and Cheese.  If you dont have milk you can use a little water and MORE BUTTER.  If you eat it all up you don’t have to bother with putting away the leftovers. Serve with a good cheap red or if you are in the mood for classing it up even more than the high end hot dogs do….. serve with a Whiskey Snapple Fizz.



sp art grill


– You KNOW how to make grilled cheese!  You KNOW how to buy spinach artichoke dip!  Well But didja ever think about COMBINING them?  Yet another quick and clever tastey treat that’s rich, buttery and easy.  Sure to be your new comfort-food favorite.




This is totally all you need!

  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese (or whatever)
  • 1/2 cup spinach-artichoke dip
  • Butter, softened
  • 4 slices crusty bread


Its a no brainer kids!

  • Combine the cheese and dip in a large bowl.   deaaf7af-6779-45bc-ac2c-70b0955c2087
  • Mix until just combined, and set aside.
  • Butter the bread slices.
  • Top two slices of bread with cheese mixture (over the butter).
  • Top with remaining slices of bread, butter-side down.
  • Butter tops of sandwiches.  Butter butter butter….. lots of BUTTER.
  • MORE BUTTER> Melt a tablespoon of butter in medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Set one sandwich in skillet over the melted butter, unbuttered side down.
  • Toast 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Flip sandwich and toast other side 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with other sandwich.


Ruthie’sCulinary Clues:  (Ruthie tested this recipe with Sendik’s Pecorino-Romano cheese, Sendik’s Spinach Artichoke Dip and Ecce Panis Roasted Garlic Italian Loaf.) Can’t find the Pecorino-Romano cheese? Use shredded Romano, a Romano blend or even an Italian cheese blend. The spinach-artichoke dip can’t have too much liquid or be too creamy. Look for a dip that has a bit of texture to it. Any leftover cheese-dip mixture is great on crackers!

Cynthia Says:  If you aren’t motivated to be so chi chi.  Get some basic bread, some shredded cheese and a tub of good lumpy spinach artichoke dip – slap it all together and grill !!  YUM!  Tomato soup on the side.  plain bread




–  We love this tasty way to dress up a box of macaroni and cheese. All you need are a few canned goods, an onion and a green pepper. If you want to go for a south of the border favor… add some salsa or green chilies or taco seasoning or just throw on your Urban Sombrero.  It’s easy, fast and comforting!




  • 1 (5.5 ounce) box mac & cheese download
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chili with or without beans
  • Add black beans for extra flair
  • 1 (12 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Boil macaroni in a medium pot over medium-high heat until al dente; drain.
  • Meanwhile, sautee the onion and pepper in butter over medium heat until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  • Stir in chili, corn, tomatoes and content of cheese packet.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cooked macaroni and top with cheddar cheese.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:  Like it hot? Add a dash of dried red pepper flakes when stirring in the chili. Not a fan of spicy foods? Replace the tomatoes and green chilies with a can of plain diced tomatoes. Use canned chili with or without beans or add some black beans for extra flair! get creative. It’s your call. Serve this stovetop dish with Fritos or tortilla chips. OR slap it on some soft tortillas.  Oh, yes! That’s how we get fancy at the trailer park!

tumblr_n8jxl4uMXX1tfyxr5o1_500Cynthia Says: OLE!  Add some Tequila to anything liquid.


bacon ciin rolls


– WHAT? – Yes–you read that correctly. Bacon.  Stuffed.  Cinnamon.  Rolls.   Holy balls! If you’ve never baked anything before, this is a great place to start. Two ingredients, a sweet-savory combo and bacon! These are ideal for lazy Sunday mornings, brunch donations or treating last-night’s trick!

Did I mention….BACON?!


INGREDIENTS: There’s only TWO!

  • 5 bacon strips
  • 1 (17.5 ounce) tube Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls with Icing

DIRECTIONS: Seriously, soooo easy even Cynthia can do this with a snootful  rolin rolls

  • Prepare bacon strips according to package directions just until cooked.
  • Drain on paper towels. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove packaged icing and set aside.
  • Slice cinnamon roll dough into five rolls (if not already pre-sliced).
  • Carefully unroll a cinnamon roll and top with a slice of bacon.
  • Re-roll. Repeat with remaining cinnamon rolls and bacon.
  • Set rolls on a baking sheet spritzed with cooking spray or covered with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Drizzle with icing.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.

This one is so easy we don’t need to include a printable….. just get some dough in a tube and some bacon – roll the bacon in the dough and cook!

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues: Be sure to purchase the cinnamon rolls that come in a tube, and not those that come frozen in a pan. You can try preparing this recipe without cooking the bacon first. Just be sure the bacon is sliced thin and is cooked through via the oven before serving the rolls. These cinnamon treats are actually better the next day. Simply reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.

December-2011-f-009-300x168Cynthia Says: WOOF! Talk about an EASY patio pleaser.   Bring it on with my Best Bloody and you got yourself a head start on some early summer brunch time! Marty Dean! Bring Auntie the SPECIAL Tomato juice! NO SIPPIN.

 Cynthia’s Best Bloody