Pumpkin/Blueberry Muffins

Chilton County Master Gardeners baked muffins for the AMGA Fall Conference and this
Pumpkin /Blueberry muffin was a favorite.

blueberry pumpkin muffins

  • 1 1/2  c. self-rising flour
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (optional for topping)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan or use paper baking cups in muffin pan. Stir ingredients together, spoon into muffin pan, sprinkle with brown sugar if desired. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 12 regular size muffins. Recipe provided by Deb Pitts

Peaches and Cream Dessert

This  peach dessert was a hit at the recent Extension Support Personnel conference held in Chilton County.  Linda Hays, a Chilton County Master Gardener, shared her recipe with us.



 8 oz. cream cheese
 8 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
 12 oz. tub Cool Whip
 4 c. fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
 1 c sugar
 4 oz. package peach Jello
 1 c. water
 4 Tbsp. corn starch
 1 regular size package Pecan Sandies cookies


Mix 1 c. sugar with peaches and set aside (the juice it makes will be used in Jello mixture). Mix
cornstarch into 1 c. water in saucepan, stir until dissolved. Cook on medium, stirring constantly, until very thick.  Then add Jello and juice from peaches (no more than 1 cup). Stir well, set aside to cool thoroughly. After Jello mixture is completely cooled, add peaches.

Combine softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk with hand mixer till creamy. Gently fold in Cool Whip.

Generously grease a 9×13 glass dish with softened butter. Crush cookies (reserving ½ c. of crumbs for top) and press well into bottom of the buttered dish. Layer 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture onto crumbs, then ½ of peach mixture, then 1/3 of cream cheese mixture, then remaining ½ of peach mixture, then remaining 1/3 of cream cheese mixture. You will have the crust, 3 layers of cream cheese mixture with 2 layers of the peach jello mixture in between.  Sprinkle the top with reserved ½ c. of crushed Pecan Sandies cookies. Chill 2 hours or overnight. Must refrigerate leftovers.
YIELD 12-15 servings

Peaches and cream dessert on a serving plate

Hummingbird Cake

Here’s another cake recipe that was requested at the 2018 May Plant Swap.

Hummingbird CakeHummingbird Cake photo

* 3 c. all-purpose flour
* 2 c. sugar
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
* 2 c. mashed bananas
* 1-8 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
* 2 c. toasted, chopped pecans, divided

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour 3 – 9” cake pans. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, add beaten eggs and oil; stir just until dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup of chopped pecans, and bananas. Spoon batter equally into prepared cake pans. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes or until done (toothpick stuck in middle comes out clean). Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto paper towels spread on counter, cool completely before icing. Spread cream cheese Continue reading “Hummingbird Cake”

Heavenly Cake

Several Master Gardeners requested the recipe for Heavenly Cake, a sheet cake with pineapple, at our May Plant Swap.

Heavenly Cake

1/2 total batter from a yellow cake mix, mixed according to box directionsPhoto of Heavenly Cake
(remainder can be made into cupcakes or a single layer for later)
1 –  3 oz. instant vanilla pudding
1  – 8 oz. cream cheese
2 cups cold milk- 15 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
1 large cool whip
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Grease and flour a 9″x 13″ pan. Preheat oven according to cake mix directions. Mix cake as directed on the package, pour approximately 1/2 batter into prepared pan. Decrease baking time as your cake will only be about 1/2 inch thick. Cool completely in pan. Blend pudding and cream cheese and milk (it will have some lumps). Pour over the cake and let set for 5 – 10 minutes. Spread pineapple over the pudding mixture. Spread cool whip over previous layers and sprinkle with nuts. Must be kept refrigerated.

Russian Tea Cakes and Butterfinger Cookies

Two MG’s provide similar recipes for these holiday treats: Russian Tea Cakes and Butterfinger Cookies. The Russian Tea Cakes are shaped in balls, have fewer nuts, and bake at a higher temperature while the Butterfinger Cookies are shaped into logs or “fingers”. Give either recipe a try and you will have cookies that melt in your mouth!

Butterfingers were served at the 2017 Christmas Home Tour open house at the Chilton Extension Office.

Russian Tea Cakes

  • 1 c. butter or margarine, softenedIMG_20150102_153138
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped nuts
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • powdered sugar
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix butter, 1/2 c. powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool slightly on wire rack.
  5. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar, cool. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Butterfinger Cookies

Follow  recipe above except for these changes:

  1. Use  1 to 1 1/2 c. nuts
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Shape dough into 2 x 1/2 inch logs.
  4. Bake until lightly browned-about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Transfer to wire rack .
  6. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm.

Recipes provided by Pat Farmer and Diane Clapp

Long Grain and Wild Rice Chicken Casserole

This chicken casserole was a favorite at our Master Gardener Intern Class lunch.

1 medium chicken, cooked, deboned, and shredded
1 can French style green beans, drained
1 can shoepeg corn, drained
1 can diced water chesnuts, drained
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion, chopped
1  8 oz. carton sour cream
1 box Uncle Ben’s Original Long Grain & Wild Rice, cooked & drained
1 package Ritz crackers, crushed
1  12 oz. package Swiss cheese*, shredded
1 stick butter

Mix chicken, green beans, corn, water chestnuts, celery soup, mushroom soup, chopped onion, sour cream, and rice. Coat a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour half of mixture into dish and top with half of shredded cheese.  Add remaining mixture and top with rest of cheese. Melt butter and mix well with Ritz crackers, sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

**Mozzarella Cheese may be substituted for Swiss**

Original recipe provided by Audrey Giles

Crazy Chocolate Cake

Crazy Chocolate Cake is a quick and easy handed down recipe that Trisha’s mother used to make for an after school snack.  When cool, frost with Crazy Chocolate Icing  or top with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Serve from the pan! There are no eggs or milk in the cake. After school snacks have really changed over the years!

Crazy Chocolate Cake

Mix the cake right in an 8×8 pan (It may be easier to use a mixing bowl and then pour into the ungreased or lightly greased pan). Combine the dry ingredients:

1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
4 T. cocoa

Make 4 dents in the dry ingredient mixture for the following:

4 T. salad oil
1 t. vanilla
1 T. vinegar
1 c. water

Mix until well blended and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Crazy Chocolate Icing

2 T. butter
1/4 c. cocoa
1c. confectioner’s sugar
1 T. milk (more if needed)
1/4 t. vanilla

Melt butter and stir in cocoa, place in mixing bowl. Beat in confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on medium for approximately 5 minutes or until smooth. Spread on cool cake.

Crazy Chocolate Cake











Recipe provided by Trisha Williams

Turnip Greens Soup

Chilton County Master Gardeners Christmas Lunch this year will feature soups, salad, and a variety of breads. The Turnip Greens Soup is quite a surprise.
Turnip Greens Soup
1 lb. Kielbasa sausage, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 qts. chicken broth
2  16 oz bags frozen chopped turnips (some brands include roots)
2  14.5 oz cans great Northern bean, rinsed and drained
1 pkg Knorr Vegetable soup mix
1 t. hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1 t. garlic powder
1 pinch Creole seasoning
salt and pepper to taste (did not add, plenty of salt in broth and beans and sausage)
Cook onion and sausage in oil over medium heat until onion is tender. Add remaining ingredients bring to a boil, lower temperature and simmer for 2 hours. Paula Blevins-Russell provided this recipe adapted from  Turnip Green Soup.

Christmas Lunch Breads and Muffins

Broccoli Cornbread, Mexican Cornbread and Corn Muffins will be served at the Chilton County Master Gardener Christmas Lunch. Give these easy recipes a try for something a little different.

Broccoli Cornbread
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
1 stick margarine, melted
10 oz. frozen chopped broccoli (thawed and drained)

Mix all ingredients with melted margarine. Cook in greased 8 x 8  an at 350 degrees until golden brown. Serves 6-8.
Recipe adapted from retired power company employees cookbook “Powerful Good Cooking.”

Mexican Cornbread
2 c. self-rising cornmeal
2 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
2 cans cream style corn
1 medium onion, chopped
2 jalapeno, chopped
8  oz. cheese, grated
2 eggs
2 t. red pepper, optional

Mix ingredients together. Pour into greased pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Serves 12.
Recipe adapted from retired power company employees cookbook “Powerful Good Cooking.”

Corn Muffins
1 c. self-rising cornmeal
1/2 c. cooking oil
2 eggs
1 small can cream style corn
8 oz. sour cream

Mix ingredients together. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
This recipe is a pass along recipe provided by Treasia Bennett.

Treasia’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
7-8 chicken breasts (ribs & skin)
1 T. salt
4 onions chopped and saute
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies (such as  Rotel)
2 cans diced or stewed tomatoes
2 cans tomato soup
1 T. cumin
2 T. cilantro
1 T. black pepper
1 pkg flour tortillas
Cover chicken with water and salt. Boil until done and remove to cool. Saute onions. Put onions and remaining ingredients except tortillas in chicken broth. Continue to cook. Pull chicken into small pieces and put back in pot. Cut tortillas into 1″ squares. Add to soup. Simmer several hours. May need to add water. This is very thick. This recipe is a pass-along recipe provided by Treasia Bennett.