Category Archives: Recipes


Reuben Dip Recipe

Happy Christmas month from Jillian and Hobbes! I flaked on my second post of November as I thought the third Monday was later than it was -HA! (I know, I know- I’ve heard of that thing called a calendar- but you … Continue reading

Thankful by Valerie J. Patterson

It’s that time of year when people everywhere seem to take more than a glance at their lives and count their blessings.  While I think that is important every day of our lives, I, too, find that I reflect more at this time of year.

Of course, I am thankful for the big things: my husband, my family, my job, a roof over my head, food on the table, and money in the bank.  But I am also thankful for the trees in our backyard and the beauty they add to my day.  I’m thankful that I have a garage to park my car in, and that it is always either warm or cool depending on the season.  I’m thankful for lunches with friends, warm hugs on Sundays after services, kind words from strangers, and the cool gel pillow top of our bed–I love a cold bed as opposed to a warm one!

I give thanks for slippers, robes, cold glasses of milk and homemade cookies.  Brilliant sunshine streaming into the living room, full moons in the evening sky, and salty, buttered popcorn.

I am incredibly thankful for each and every morning my feet hit the floor!

I’m sure my list could go on…and I hope while you read you are compiling a list of your own list.  It’s important that we give thanks for large and small blessings, not just now, but always.  We have so many good things in our lives, don’t we?


The following is my very favorite fruit dip.  I promised to share it this summer, but only just remembered I had not done that.  It is very simple and so very good!  Enjoy!

8 ounces of Cool Whip

one 7 ounce jar of Marshmallow Creme

one 3 ounce package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Blend all ingredients in a bowl until smooth and silky.  Chill an hour and serve with fresh fruit of your choice.

This dip is incredibly easy, and so very delicious!  The perfect light appetizer, evening snack, or treat for work.


I have been absent from Over the Backyard Fence for a little while, and I apologize for not being here to read and comment the past month.  I hope to return in a more regular way very soon.

Until next time, may your turkey be moist, your pies spicy, and your family gathered around you!  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

A Yummy Summer Appetizer

Well, I had hoped by now to have a new bathroom to show you all. We’ve been remodeling the main bathroom in our house and had hoped to be done by now, but got slowed down by my own decision making and family stuff that took precedence. FYI – I love newly finished rooms, but the process of selecting colors and materials is agonizing. I second guess myself all over the place.

Anyhow, since I don’t have a new room to show you, I thought I’d put up my favorite appetizer, second only to fresh made salsa. I may have posted this before. I looked and couldn’t find it, but either way, it’s a great Spring and Summer dip, best with pita chips, but I use who grain tortilla chips.

Layered Greek Dip
(from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook)

8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups hummus
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives (I leave these off)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions

In medium bowl beat cream cheese, lemon juice, and Italian seasong with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Spread cream cheese mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate or shallow serving dish. Evenly spread hummus on cream cheese layer. Top with cucumber, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and green onions. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

It’s fresh and a nice warm weather appetizer.

Addendum Thursday 5/14/15:

Okay, here’s a couple pictures now that the grout is in so you can see the tile work and wall colors. Accent wall in darker blue and the rest in a somewhat lighter blue. Next week is heat ducting and flooring. For now, though, we get 4 days off and I am vacuuming and dusting! 🙂



Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

chefpicA friend made these for dinner and OH MY GOSH. So good! I had intended to make them for a family dinner before posting the recipe so I could get a picture but didn’t get to it, and decided not to wait. She made a smaller portion then I will. I’m thinking maybe increasing it by 4 times so instead of 1/2 lbs of ground beef make it 2 lbs. She said it freezes really well. Umm maybe 4 times won’t be enough. 🙂


1/2 lbs ground beef (browned and drained)
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 cup Ketchup
2 TB Brown sugar
1 cup water

Combine and cook in crock pot for 4-6 hours.

Tartar Sauce

I haven’t published a recipe in a while, so thought I’d post about my tartar sauce saga. First, I have to explain that I’m a dill pickle convert. I’ve always loved cucumber chips and sweet pickles. In fact, the first fight hubby and I ever had was when he poured dill pickle juice into my newly made (at 10PM at night for a potluck when I was tired and only wanted to go to bed) sweet pickle potato salad.

Thankfully, we got past that first fight twenty five years ago. And somehow, in the process, I started making potato salad with dill pickles. Not sure how that happened. Anyhow, the same thing with tartar sauce. I grew up with sweet relish tartar. He liked dill pickle. Now, I like dill pickle, too. Hmmm. I sense a pattern here. Maybe I’m a dill pickle person hiding behind a sweet pickle personality?

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with homemade tartar sauces, because I really don’t like the jarred ones from the store that much. I’ve been frustrated because I haven’t really liked the taste of homemade, either. Until I came upon this simple recipe. The difference? This one uses dill pickle juice instead of lemon juice to tang it up. I think it was the lemon juice I didn’t like. Also, I wasn’t making it up hours earlier and letting it sit. That’s HUGE with tartar sauce. It really lets the flavors blend.

Dill Pickle Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup minced dill pickle
  • 2 Tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • celery salt to taste

Mix together and refrigerate until ready to use. Keep up to 3 days in the fridge.

If you’d like to read reviews or more on this recipe, I picked it up from, my go to place for recipes. You can read more here.

Memories From The Kitchen

imageI’m betting a lot of you will recognize this book. It was one of our wedding presents and as you can see by the stains and ragged edges a well used one.

Back then there wasn’t an internet complete with google to look up a recipe. We had to have books.

When I moved I cleaned out the drawer with books I had collected along with numerous clippings and hand written cards and scraps of paper. Some held memories but none as much as the old Betty Crocker. And it came along with me. Sadly I don’t use it anymore but can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

What about you? Do you have drawers with memories that abound from the kitchen? We would love to hear about them. If you’d like to post a guest blog let us know and as always we look forward to your comments.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day- Easy Party Recipe

Jillian here: I have a dear friend, Martha, who lives in Syracuse, NY who makes this recipe for her parties. She has dual American and Irish citizenship and when I visited her a number of years ago for St. Patrick’s Day, she made this baked dip and I totally stole the recipe. It’s a Reuben dip and everyone thinks it’s super-duper awesome. I get requests for it every time I host a party.


2 (6 oz) pkgs. of corned beef (from the packaged deli-meat section)

1 can of Sauerkraut

8 ozs Swiss Cheese

2-4 tablespoons of mayonnaise


Dice the meat and cheese into small squares and mix together in a 8-9 inch round baking pan

Drain the sauerkraut and add it to the cheese and meat mixture. Mix well.

Add the mayonnaise until the mixture is damp (for lack of a better word- LOL)

Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.  Serve with rye crackers.

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte! 


Spinach Entree

chefpicI love spinach and can hear our Laurie saying ‘ewww’. ☺ I remember opening a can and eating it in front of the TV for a snack when I was a teenager. Of course I weighed all of 98 lbs. back then so it might not have been a real good thing.

Spinach is rich in iron and I have to take a supplement to keep mine in range so not only do I enjoy eating it, it is good for me. The other day I made a spinach dish for dinner and thought I’d share the recipe.

Ingredients: The amount can be anything you make it. I made a dinner size bowl of it.

Frozen spinach
Olive Oil
Bacon bits
Sour cream

Heat Olive oil in a skillet
Add spinach and bacon bits and heat through.
Put in bowl and add sour cream.

Mini-Chicken Pot Pies

Have you ever picked up one of the pot pies that Kentucky Fried Chicken sells? I don’t even want to know how many calories there are in one of those pies, but they taste SO good! So when I saw this easy-peasy recipe in a Campbells’ Soup magazine ad, I had to try it. It was as easy as it looks, and while it didn’t taste quite as good as the KFC edition, it was pretty tasty. This recipe is for chicken, but I’m also going to try it with beef chunks and gravy. I’m betting it will work both ways. Either way, this was great with a side salad.

Mini-Chicken Pot Pies


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I used Costco’s canned chicken)
  • 1 – 10 3/4 oz. Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz. package of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
  • Flour
  • 1 package (12 oz.) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 10 muffin-pan cups with the cooking spray. Stir the chicken, soup, and vegetables in a medium bowl.

Sprinkle flour on your work surface. Roll or pat the biscuits to flatten slightly. Press the biscuits into the bottoms and up the sides of the muffin-pan cups. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each biscuit cup. Lightly press the chicken mixture down so it’s level. Top each with about 2 teaspoons cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Let the pot pies cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.




chefpicHere’s another recipe from the neighborhood coffee I attended where I had the rhubarb bread. Yummy?

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, cooked & drained
1 cup dairy sour cream (I substituted plain non- fat yogurt)
1 cup creamed cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tomato, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil

• Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch glass pie plate
• Spread spinach in pie plate
• Beat sour cream, cottage cheese, baking mix, butter, and eggs until smooth (1 min by hand or 15 sec. in blender) and pour over spinach
• Arrange tomato slices on top
• Sprinkle with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese
• Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean (30 min) Cool 5 min before cutting
Yield: 6 – 8 servings