Extras recipes

Easy Turkey Pot Pie with Thanksgiving Leftovers

After Thanksgiving many of us are tired of turkey and stuffing, especially if we’ve had it for a few days. I know when I was younger there was little variation with Thanksgiving leftovers. However, as I got older, and started having holidays at my own home, I didn’t want to waste the food. So I experimented. Below will be a recipe for easy turkey pot pie with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Maybe you had a big turkey this year too. Perhaps every Thanksgiving you get a big turkey. But I try to plan accordingly, so I don’t end up with a lot of leftovers, because I don’t like the waste. Sometimes I feel like I was raised during the Great Depression. Between my dad and my maternal grandparents, being frugal is ingrained in me.

food trash waste in trash can
Photo by Gareth Willey on

I know I could give what’s left to my chickens, (before it’s spoiled) though, that still seems wasteful. And this year when we bought our bird, we had to go to 3 different stores. Not by choice, by necessity, unfortunately. But we couldn’t find anything smaller than 19 lbs, which means a lot of leftovers.

Anyway, this really is an easy recipe. Mostly because the turkey is already cooked. I based it off of chicken pot pie, but I just substituted turkey for chicken and added mashed potatoes.

Ingredients for Turkey Pot Pie using Thanksgiving leftovers:

cooked, shredded or cut up pieces of turkey in square copper pan with teal cooking spoon
  • 3 c shredded or cubed cooked leftover Thanksgiving turkey
  • 3 c leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes or fresh mashed potatoes
  • 1 1/2 c cooked green beans or mixed vegetables
  • 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts

Instructions for easy Turkey Pot Pie with Thanksgiving leftovers:

mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes in square copper pan with teal cooking spoon
  • Preheat oven to 425 and grease 13″x9″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Then melt some butter in a dutch oven or 4 1/2 quarts size pan before adding the turkey. Stir and add the potatoes, veggie, and condensed soups.
  • Also, you can add salt and pepper to taste at this point, if you want. But I feel like it already has enough, since it’s leftovers, and plus the condensed soups. However, it’s up to you.
  • Next, pour or spoon the mixture into your prepared pan.
  • And unroll the refrigerated pie crusts, one at a time, and cover the mixture.
mixed vegetables, cream, mashed potatoes and turkey or chicken in clear rectangular pan

One crust will cover ~ half of the pan; the other will cover the other half. Though, it won’t look perfect. But if you want it to be perfect, you can make a crust.

turkey or chicken pot pie in rectangular pan with raw crust
One of my refrigerated pie crusts wasn’t cooperating at first, as you can see in the center.
  • Using a fork, prick the pie crusts thoroughly to allow steam to escape, and put the pot pie into the oven.
  • Bake at 425 for 15 mins; then lower the temperature to 350 for ~40 mins.

Add foil to the edges of the crust when it gets golden brown to prevent it from burning. The pot pie is done when the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges.

cooked/baked turkey or chicken pot pie in clear rectangular pan

There are other ways to make new meals out of your Thanksgiving leftovers. I still had plenty of turkey even after making the pot pie. So I bagged up the rest and put it in the freezer. And one of these days I’ll make soup. Or maybe chili. Check this out for more ideas.

And thanks for stopping by! Please like, post a comment, and share if you enjoyed this post.

All animals Extras

Pets and Thanksgiving

The weather is colder, leaves litter the ground, and stores are busier as people get their turkeys and the trimmings. All of which indicates Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And whereas it’s a time of feasting with family and friends, you have to consider your pets and Thanksgiving, like what treats, if any, you give them.

Also, some of you will stay home and spend the holiday with family at your own homes. While others will travel. But what about your pets? Do you board them or take them with you? Below are some tips to keep your pets safe and hopefully stress-free this Thanksgiving.

Pets and Thanksgiving Food Risks

First, I’m going to cover foods to avoid giving your pets, like dogs and cats. Although, if you have a bunny, check this out for a list of things to avoid, as well as treats that are safe. So don’t give your pets:

rectangular casserole on pot holder
Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on

Don’t give fatty foods (ex, turkey skin, gravy, and casseroles) to your cats and dogs, even if they beg, because those foods can lead to pancreatitis.

white cat drinking in a cup next to a plate of grapes
Photo by cottonbro on

The stuffing could contain raisins or grapes, let alone the other ingredients. And if your fur baby eats any, it can cause kidney failure in cats and dogs.

Also, while we can eat onions and garlic, they’re toxic to your pets.

close up photo of an orange cat near chocolate cake
Photo by Anna Bokova on

Don’t let your pet have chocolate or raw eggs from cake or cookie batter. And avoid letting them have desserts which could contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in chewing gum, because it’s toxic to your fur babies.

bread dough and rolling pin on floured surface
Photo by Skitterphoto on

Uncooked yeast ferments the carbohydrates in bread dough, producing carbon dioxide and ethanol. When your pet eats raw dough, it continues this process in their stomach. And your fur baby becomes muddled, bloated, and has impaired coordination, the result of alcohol poisoning.

people eating Thanksgiving meal at a table
Photo by cottonbro on

Poultry bones are small and brittle, making them especially dangerous to your cats and dogs. Whether the bones break or not, they can get stuck in your pets’ GI tracts. Or break a tooth, perforate their intestines, or cause an intestinal blockage. None of which are good, and all would require a vet visit.

mixed flock of chickens in a yard

If, on the other hand, you have backyard chickens and want to get rid of that turkey carcass, go on ahead and give it to them. It won’t bother them one bit. Actually, any leftovers you have, except dessert, should be fine. They’ll eat it all. See this for more details on what your backyard birds can or can’t have.

Thanksgiving Treats that are Safe for Pets

If you’re disposed to feed a feast to your pet, first there are a couple of requirements. DON’T substitute treats for their regular food. And a good rule of thumb to follow is to give your pet no more than 10% of their daily caloric needs.

close up photo of dog treats
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

For instance, our dog Sophie weighs 30 lbs, and her daily caloric intake is ~600. So we shouldn’t give her treats in excess of 60 calories. Thus, her total treats shouldn’t be more than 60 calories combined.

But for your pets on Thanksgiving, you can either buy them their own special treat, or you can offer them:

  • turkey
person serving turkey with silver fork and knife on white ceramic plate
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

This is perfectly safe as long as it’s cooked, boneless and unseasoned turkey meat.

  • sweet potato
slice sweet potato
Photo by Ela Haney on

Again, so long as this is a plain sweet potato, without the casserole, your pet will be ok. However, only let them have a little bit.

  • cranberries
bowl of fresh cranberries
Photo by Jessica Lynn Lewis on

You can give your pets fresh, plain cranberries in moderation. Though canned cranberry sauce is too sweet to give to them, while dried cranberries often have added sugar. Although, your fur baby might not eat plain, fresh cranberries, so try cooking them (without sugar) and combine them with pumpkin.

  • apples
sliced green apple on brown wooden surface
Photo by Jessica Lynn Lewis on

Apples are a great snack for your fur baby, but again, moderation is key. And be sure the pieces aren’t a choking risk, and remove the seeds and core.

  • pumpkin
can of Libby's canned pumpkin on a countertop

Canned pumpkin is better than fresh pumpkin, because it’s cooked and has a higher concentration of fiber. But, if you get canned pumpkin, make certain it’s NOT pumpkin pie filling.

  • green beans
green beans in a white ceramic bowl on the ground
Photo by Zeynep Sena Açar on

Both cats and dogs can have plain, green beans. However, cats need their veggies cooked since they lack an adequate way to break down plant cell walls.

Veterinarian or vet tech examining a German Shepherd dog on a clinic table
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

***If you think your pet has eaten something on the ‘Do Not Eat’ list, call you vet or a local clinic ASAP. Signs of pain/suffering include an immediate change in behavior, lethargy, pain, vomiting, or loose stools.

Pets and Company at Thanksgiving

adorable husky with its head resting on tabletop
Photo by Pixabay on

Even if you have the calmest fur baby in the world, there’s still a lot to look out for and to be aware of when mixing guests and pets. Below are some tips for your pets to have an anxiety-free time.

  • Guests can stress our pets
gray dwarf lop eared rabbit in shoebox lid under a bed
When we have company, our cats hide in our bedrooms. And when we had Mabel, our bunny, he would also hide in my room, but under the bed.

Both cats and dogs experience stress when company visits their homes, however it’s for different reasons. Dogs are territorial, while cats don’t like things happening outside of the routine. But, if you’re already aware that your pet is nervous with a crowd, then put them in a separate room, closed off from access to guests, with some toys.

calico kitten in large crate with a bowl and toy
Photo by SplitShire on

Or you could put your pet in a crate with their favorite toy, if you think someone might disturb them, to protect your guests. If your fur baby is very upset by company, talk to your vet about alternative solutions to this issue.

  • Pets can stress out our guests
red blue and green parrot
Photo by Rodolfo Clix on

Just as our pets can get anxious by strangers in their home, our company can get nervous around our pets. Or the types of pets we keep, and exotic pets are no exception. So keep your company and exotic animals firmly away from each other.

With that in mind, if any of your guests are immune-compromised or pregnant, inform them about any and all pets, especially any exotics you may have.

  • Mind the doors
selective close up photography of brown dog looking up
Photo by Simon Robben on

If your pets get on well with company, this is even more important, because in the confusion of people coming and going, your pet can step out the door with no one the wiser.

  • ID tag and microchip your pets
dog in collar with ID tags in sunlight
Photo by Blue Bird on

Be sure that your fur baby has the most up-to-date identification, especially a microchip with current, registered information. That way, in the event they do manage to get out, they’re more likely to be reunited with you. If your pet isn’t microchipped, talk to your vet about it.

  • Watch your pet around decorations and plants
mixture of tropical plants by a picture window with lamp in background

Don’t leave your pet alone with a burning candle, because accidents happen, and it could lead to a fire. Also, when it comes to decorating with plants, there are many that are harmful to pets. So it’s best to keep all plants and table decorations away from your fur babies.

Traveling with Your Pet at Thanksgiving

sable and white Shetland sheepdog in driver's seat of car

Now if you’re traveling with your pet, there are other things you need to take care of, such as:

  • making sure your fur baby’s vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • restraining your pet while driving, either in their carrier or a secure harness.
  • and finally, never leave your pet alone in the car.

If you’re like me, with 20-something backyard birds, 5 or 6 ducks, 3 cats, one that’s still intact and lives in the house, and 1 female dog, who’s also still intact and lives in the house, you might be trapped to your home. And thus, pets, because they all have a lot of different requirements.

But it’s ok, because I love them. However, I’d like to hear about you and your pets around the holidays. What do you do? Do you take your pets with you or do you board them? Or get a neighbor to keep an eye on things?

Thanks for stopping by! If you like this post, please like it, post a comment, and share it!

Extras recipes

Taste of Fall

As soon as October arrives, it seems to me as if we’re in a race to get to January, because everything starts speeding along. First there’s several birthdays, and then it’s one holiday after another. Not to mention we lose daylight, so the days seem shorter. But don’t get me wrong, this is my favorite time of year. However, the thing I enjoy most is the taste of fall.


small assortment of taste of fall spices and canned pumpkin on a counter

Well, what does that mean, you might ask. To me the taste of fall is pumpkin, allspice, ginger and cinnamon. And the smells and flavors can bring back memories of childhood holidays. Maybe individually. Or perhaps a blend of them. After all, some of my favorite recipes contain these very ingredients. So I want to share them with you.

Pumpkin Muffins

sugar coated muffins on a white plate

This is not my own recipe, and I’ve had it for 10+ years. Although I can’t tell you whose recipe it was originally, because I got it out of a library book and failed to get that relevant info. However, this is great to make and eat when warm, right out of the oven. And rather than raisins, you could substitute chocolate chips, if you’d prefer.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Muffins:

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 3/4 c raisins
  • 1/2 tbsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 c can of pumpkin
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c water

The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I also added ~ 1/4 c of shredded coconut.

Instructions for Pumpkin Muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 375; and then line and grease 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners and non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the first 9 ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the center of the mixture.
  3. Next, beat the eggs and remaining 3 ingredients together.
  4. Then add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until moistened.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling 2/3 full.
  6. And bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Finally, remove from the pans immediately.

You can either eat the muffins as is, with nothing on them. However, I usually melt some butter and dip the tops of the muffins into the melted butter and then in some sugar. Another option is to make a glaze, using some milk and powdered sugar until you have the desired consistency, drizzling the glaze onto the muffins.

Pumpkin Sandwich Cake

round chocolate glazed cake on a white tray

This is another one of my all-time favorite taste of fall recipes, and consequently I make it almost every Thanksgiving. And just like the recipe above, I’ve had it over 10+ years, however I have no idea where it came from. Possibly a magazine. Furthermore, this is a rich dessert, with the ganache frosting and cheesecake type filling. Though it isn’t very sweet, just rich.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Sandwich Cake:

  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c canned pumpkin
  • 1 c whipping cream, divided
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 4 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions for Pumpkin Sandwich Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and spray 2 round standard cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Then line the bottoms of the pans with wax paper and lightly flour them.
  3. In a bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt; and then set aside.
  4. In a second bowl, beat the eggs and granulated sugar until thick, ~5 mins.
  5. Next, beat in pumpkin, and add the flour mixture, and beat until combined.
  6. Then spread the batter into the pans, and bake 16-18 mins. (They will be thin, and this is normal.)
  7. Cool ~ 10 mins.
  8. Filling: in a chilled mixing bowl, beat 1/2 c whipping cream till soft peaks form; set aside.
  9. And in another bowl, beat cream cheese till smooth. Then beat in the powdered sugar, and fold in the whipped cream.
  10. Next, turn out one cake onto a platter, and spread the cream cheese filling on top of that layer.
  11. Then turn out the second layer on top of the cream cheese layer. The cakes will sort of resemble large pancakes.

Now it’s time for the ganache frosting.

  1. In a small saucepan bring the remaining whipping cream just to boiling over medium-hi heat. Then remove from heat, and pour over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. DO NOT STIR. Just let it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. After 5 mins, stir until it’s smooth, and then cool for 15 minutes. If the frosting is too thin, chill for 30 minutes; if it’s too thick, add some milk.
  3. And finally, spread over the tops and sides of the cake and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Chill 1 hour before serving and store in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

photo of pumpkins
Photo by Inna Heasley on

I started making pumpkin cheesecakes, alternately for Thanksgiving and Christmas, in the late 1990s when I first had a slice at a cafe outside of Nordstrom’s in the Galleria Mall in Dallas. It was divine, a combination of one of my favorite flavors and that distinct taste of fall. Also, I’ve gotten different recipes out of magazines and cookbooks, but I never made the same recipe twice until a couple of years ago. It was a Southern Living recipe, was pretty easy to make, and it tasted wonderful.

Gingerbread Loaf

slice of homemade bread on a white plate

My fourth taste of fall has the right blend of ginger, molasses, and sugar. Plus, it can be served for breakfast or as a dessert to complement a meal. And it reminds me of gingerbread cookies, which I love, because they’re not too sweet.

The recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Best Christmas cookbook, 1st edition, published in 1999. Also, the recipe is originally intended as muffins, however I make it into a loaf. See below for instructions on how to cook as muffins. Moreover, if you choose to do that, you can melt butter, dip the tops of the muffins into the butter and then into sugar. Or make a glaze and drizzle over the muffins.

Ingredients for Gingerbread Loaf:

  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 1/3 c each of milk and vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp each of baking powder and ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt, baking soda, and cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Instructions for Gingerbread Loaf:

  1. Heat oven to 350, and grease 1 standard loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat brown sugar, molasses, milk, oil, and egg in a large bowl, using a spoon. Then stir in the remaining ingredients just until the flour is moistened.
  3. Next, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake 45-55 mins or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Then cool for ~ 10 minutes before turning out. And you can serve warm if you want.

**If you make muffins, raise the oven temperature to 400 and only cook the muffins for 18-20 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Gingerbread Scones

ginger powder in silver canister
Photo by Pixabay on

This is my final best-liked, taste of fall recipe, and it too includes ginger and cinnamon. But I started making this a couple of years ago when I subscribed to receive Taste of Home magazines. It’s their Vanilla-Glazed Gingerbread Scones recipe from their October/November 2019 issue. And, even though I haven’t had it long, I still have made this particular recipe several times.

Ingredients for Gingerbread Scones:

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cold butter
  • 3/4 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  • 1 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 c of minced crystallized ginger

Instructions for Gingerbread Scones:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, whisk the first 6 ingredients. Then cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, whisk cream, egg, molasses, and syrup until blended; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened.
  2. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, 12-15 mins.
  3. Glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla and salt; stir until smooth. Then drizzle over scones and sprinkle with ginger. Serve warm.
brown and white cake on white ceramic plate
Photo by Arina Krasnikova on

What is your taste of fall? Are there recipes that you make over every year, because they remind you of the season? Or because your family just loves them so much? I’d love to hear about them.

Thanks for stopping by! And if you liked this post, please like, post a comment, and share.

Extras recipes

How to Make a Red Velvet Cake Mix Better

Recently I mentioned ways to make a bakery style cake when making box cake mixes. And usually those tips work great for most, if not all, cake mixes. However I also noted that October is Smith family birthday month, and at the end of the month we celebrated my youngest’s birthday. She wanted a red velvet cake, therefore I needed to know how to make a red velvet cake mix better.

I could have made her cake from scratch, but I’m busier than I think I’ve ever been before. Thus time was and is precious. So as long as the cake tasted good, I was fine with using a box cake. Consequently I did a little research, knowing ahead of time the add-ins and switches I was already planning on making and then discovering a couple of new things. The following is the recipe I used for my daughter’s birthday cake.

Ingredients for a better red velvet cake mix

red velvet cake batter in a mixing bowl
  • 2 boxes of red velvet cake mix
  • 1 cup of melted butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 c of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 large package of instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of lightly floured chocolate chips

Originally, when I was in the planning phase of this birthday cake, I wanted to make it a 2 tier cake like the last cake. However, when I went to the grocery store, there were only 2 red velvet box cakes left. So I bought those and 1 box of Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge. With this recipe you can either make a standard double layer round cake, a 13 x 9 inch single layer cake, or cupcakes.

Instructions for a better red velvet cake mix

red velvet and chocolate cupcake batter in muffin tins
  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Grease your pans with non-stick cooking spray
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, blend your first 9 ingredients together, starting on low speed
  • Increase your speed to medium, scraping the sides of the bowl
  • And beat on medium speed a minute more, a little bit longer if using a hand mixer
  • Next, stir the lightly floured chocolate chips into the batter
  • Then pour 5 1/3 cups each of the batter into your prepared pans

Remember, it’s important to measure the batter of your hacked cake mix, because if you don’t, your cake might overflow!

  • Bake 30-35 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Allow the cake(s) to cool ~10 minutes before turning it out, and a further 2-3 hours or overnight to completely cool before frosting
round double layer frosted and decorated cake

Furthermore, I made the cream cheese frosting, while Hannah decorated the cake and cupcakes.

red and white frosted cupcakes

It’s interesting to note that a lot of people, when doctoring their red velvet cakes, choose instead to make yellow cakes and add food coloring. There are many tasty ways to hack a box cake. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

Thanks for stopping by! And if you like what you read, please like, post a comment, and/or share.

ducks Extras

When to Process Pekin Ducks

Not long ago, I posted a recipe for marinated duck. You probably guessed that the duck came from our backyard. And if so, you would be correct, because we have Pekin, mallard, and hybrid ducks. But I never covered when to process Pekin ducks. Or even how to cull them. However I get to that in another post.

a planner over a white table
Photo by PNW Production on

Processing Pekin ducks is different than chickens, because it isn’t based on the seasons. When I discussed culling roosters, we found out chicken people typically cull and process their birds in the fall. But again, that isn’t the case with ducks.

Pekin ducks on the grass
Photo by Vlado Krstevski on

Due to their large amount of feathers, waterfowl are generally slaughtered at 3 different times during their life cycle. And this is because it’s easier to pluck their plumage when there are no immature or pin feathers. So this is around 7, 12 1/2, or 18 weeks for ducks. Unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Best Times to Process Ducks

Pekin ducks put on weight faster than chickens, so you don’t have to worry about meat. But if you’re planning on plucking the feathers, then the best time to cull them is when there are no pin feathers. Again, that’s when the ducks are 7, 12.5, or 18 weeks old.

Small Flock of Ducks

However I mentioned that there are other conditions that could come up, prompting a desire for marinated duck. For example, at some point, you might have an excess of drakes compared to ducks. Or you could have an abusive drake, who needs to go. Which is what happened with us in both cases.

Two Pekin ducklings and 1 Mallard duckling

Two Pekins and a mallard made up our original ducks that we bought from Atwood’s, during the lockdown, last year in May. Though, after my husband incubated some eggs, we ended up with a surplus of drakes. 2 more to be exact. Kirishima was the most senior drake. But he was also the most aggressive. And we thought that, after mating season, he would calm down, however that didn’t happen.

When to Process Pekin Ducks

You can cull a duck at any time you want or whenever circumstances demand it. Furthermore, duck meat can be eaten at any age (of the bird), but, as expected, it’s more tender the younger the bird is. And just as with processing roosters, we don’t de-feather. Rather we just skin the birds, which is the easiest method. However then you mainly get the breasts. So if you prefer a whole bird that also looks nice, skinning your duck won’t be an option.

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please comment and share it!

Extras recipes

Easy Homemade Buttercream Frosting

Recently I posted a recipe for making a bakery style cake, but I didn’t include the recipe for the frosting. Most of the time my go-to frosting is made from whipping cream and Truvia. However, when my daughter and I made the baby shower cake, we needed a frosting that was going to hold up to decorating as well as taste good. And buttercream was the best option. So here is an easy homemade buttercream frosting.

vanilla, powdered sugar, butter, and whipping cream-ingredients for buttercream frosting

Ingredients for Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups of softened butter
  • ~ 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 tsps of vanilla
  • 4 – 6 tbsps of heavy cream
homemade vanilla buttercream frosting in an orange bowl

Instructions for Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • First, put the softened butter into a mixing bowl, and with a mixer, beat it until smooth.
  • Next, mix in the powdered sugar, blending in about 1/2 cup at a time into the butter.
  • Then add the salt and vanilla until well mixed.
  • Finally, combine in the heavy cream until the frosting is the perfect consistency.

When I was looking up information on buttercream recipes, most, if not all, of them called for a lot of powdered sugar. But when I made, first the chocolate buttercream and then the vanilla buttercream frosting, I realized I didn’t really need as much as all of the recipes were calling for.

Also, if your frosting is too thin, that’s the primary method of thickening it. But that’s not the only way, if you don’t want a sickly sweet frosting, and your icing needs more weight.

frosting a 2 layer round cake

Although, if you don’t mind your cake being very sweet, then by all means, add as much powdered sugar as you want. But be sure your frosting is spreadable.

Thanks for stopping by! And if you enjoyed what you read, please like, post a comment, and share this with others.

All animals Extras

Meet Our Newest Pet

In July of this year (2021) we got a new member of our household. She’s an Australian Shepherd Mix. The ‘mix’ is part miniature Aussie. And she’s about 7 1/2 months old. I briefly mentioned her before, however not in any detail. So, without further ado, I want you to meet our newest pet: Sophie!

Not that we didn’t have enough animals to keep us busy. But there was still a hole to be filled for my husband and middle daughter, because our last dog passed away around the beginning of last year (2020).

Shetland Sheepdog by someone's legs

For the longest time the only kind of animal we had was a dog. And it was usually the same kind of dog for the past 20 years. But obviously not the same dog. And since our Sheltie, Moses, died last year, Paul and Hannah have wanted another one. Even though we have enough animals to go around.

At first Hannah looked through ads or Googled similar animals to Moses. However that soon proved to be cost prohibitive. Think thousands of dollars.

Two Shetland Sheepdogs with my a toddler in a backyard

When Paul and I first married, he already had a Sheltie. So we got another one, which was the runt of the litter. But she only cost us ~$350. Then when both of them passed away, (due to old age and an accident), we got Moses. Again he was the last of the litter. And we got him for the swinging deal of $200. That was in 2006.

Fast forward to present day, and we realized quickly that the cost of dogs is definitely not the same. It seemed like every dog we were interested in or called about had AKC papers. Although we could care less about such things. Because we would’ve been interested in another runt without papers. What do breeders do with those dogs?

We toyed with the idea of getting one from a shelter. However we weren’t certain we’d be able to find a dog that would match our home: We have chickens, ducks, 3 cats, and an 11 year old. And we also had a bunny at the time.

scam alert letting text on black background
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

Several months and a scam later, one of our neighbor’s connected us to an older couple. They had Sophie originally and very likely realized they couldn’t take care of her or meet her energy requirements. So they asked our neighbor, their friend, if they knew anyone who wanted a dog.

Man holding an Australian Shepherd

And that’s how we acquired Sophie. The only stipulation her previous owners charged us with was that we kept her name the same. Thus we left her name untouched.

Being an Aussie, she has boundless energy, from 5 am till 9 pm or later. She’s definitely rarin’ to go before the sun rises. And she can outrun any of us. Additionally she’s an exceptional acrobat.

Calico kitten and Australian Shepherd share a couch

Also, she likes to scare the birds, including my chickens and ducks. But her best friend, other than Hannah, is my kitty, Itty Bitty. They play with each other. And often times they can be seen napping near one another.

Sophie is easily trained when food is at stake. So far she has learned to beg and dance for her dinner. No, just kidding. But seriously, she can walk across the room on 2 paws. All for food. And she’s also house broken.

Australian Shepherd on a blanket outside in a backyard

Though there are other things she picks up on. For example, when my kids play with her: They’ll end up playing hide and seek after they throw her ball or toy. And after a couple of throws, Sophie realizes the kids are disappearing. Which makes her hesitate to run after her toy. Or she tries to keep an eye on them.

She’s certainly a lot of fun to watch. But she has way more energy than I do. Since she’s supposed to be a work animal, I’ve joked that Paul should put her to work. Then she’d be worn out by bedtime. And he said he was going to make a comic out of that. One where she’s mowing the lawn.

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