Crockpot Fail (or not).

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Deanie Willis

Hi friends!

What an honor to guest post on my precious Momma’s blog today. I am a born and raised foodie, and there are few things I love more than an evening in the kitchen cooking with Mom. I have always prayed I would turn out to be even HALF the chef she is! This story is far from the perfection my Mom cooks with, but hey, you learn the most from your mistakes, right?!

My Mom got me a Crockpot for my 23rd birthday. One of the joys of having a chef for a mother is that I can count on getting kitchen goodies for every holiday. So, naturally, the week after my 23rd I decided to take my new toy for a test drive! I didn’t own any slow cooker cookbooks, so I perused Pinterest and settled on a chicken recipe that looked relatively easy. Lies.

My original plan was to get the ingredients together the night before like the responsible young adult I am. Also lies. I definitely slept in the morning of my grand recipe escapade, but decided to get up and make the chicken anyway. How long can it really take? So at 7:15 a.m., I hop out of bed and head to the kitchen to toss everything in the Crockpot with minimal effort because, really, who wants to cook an extravagant meal at 7 in the morning?

I open up the trusty ‘ol iPad to my Pinterest recipe. The caption underneath the picture says “Chicken breasts, taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, green onions, and cheese. Combine ingredients in a slow cooker.” I click on the link, which takes me to a more extensive recipe involving sauteing the chicken. So I get it all prepared, throw the taco seasoning on, and somewhere in the back of my mind think that 6 minutes on each side is a proper amount of time to saute. Mom is cringing as she reads this. Now we get to the mistakes…

1. The recipe calls for one teaspoon of taco seasoning. I naturally used the whole bag. Lesson learned: YOU DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING. Read the recipe in its entirety before diving in!

2. The recipe found in the link was for BAKED chicken. Not slow cooker chicken. Pinterest is not always the most reliable of sources. This also goes back to reading the recipe in its entirety. Whoops!

3. Sauteing a chicken usually requires only about a minute on each side if the next step is another form of cooking, aka baking, slow cooker, etc. Six minutes is normally how long it takes to completely cook the chicken, which is why one side of mine was a lovely crunchy black color because I burned it. So many struggles.

4. Get your ingredients out before you begin. My shredded cheddar was nice and molded when I pulled it out of the fridge. I substituted parmesan cheese, which did not taste bad, but cheddar definitely would have been better.

 In the end, after ten hours of simmering in the Crockpot, the chicken turned out pretty great. Thus, in conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that a Crockpot can solve ANY problem!











Looks simple enough, right?!

Musings from Momma Willis: 

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’ ”

Erma Bombeck


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Just In Time

Posted on December 22, 2014 by Deanie Willis




Hey ya’ll. It’s the holidays and that means food, fun and fellowship! I just can’t help but share some recipes that I love and I know you will too.

We have had a lot, and I mean a lot of Christmas parties at our house over the years. This Christmas punch recipe is one of the best, and I serve it for every party. I think I have only given this recipe to a couple of people—it truly has been my secret recipe! But this year I’m sharing it with ya’ll because you are special. You will love it!

Christmas Punch

2 cups boiling water

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 (46oz.) Pineapple juice, chilled

1 (32oz.) Cranberry juice, chilled

1 (28oz.) Ginger Ale, chilled

Combine water, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan; bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Chill. Combine sugar syrup, fruit juices and ginger ale. Serve over ice. Enjoy!

Yield: about 3 3/4 quarts















This next recipe dates back to my growing up days at home. My mom used to make this great frozen cranberry salad for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I dug the recipe out of the archives and made it for Thanksgiving. Not only did it bring back great memories, it makes so many muffin cups that I still have some in the freezer — I’m pretty sure they won’t last until Christmas! Plus, I just love the name of it! “Festive” –what a great word.

Festive Frozen Cranberry Salad

1 (14oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 (16oz.) can whole Cranberry Sauce

1 (20oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 (8oz.) Cool Whip

Combine condensed milk and lemon juice. Stir well, and then add cranberry sauce, pineapple, and pecans. Fold in Cool Whip; stir well. Spoon into paper muffin cups (silver ones are really nice) placed in muffin tins and freeze. When frozen, remove from muffin tins and store in a plastic container or zip locks. So good. Enjoy!

Yield: 24 muffin cups





Musings from Momma Willis:




























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It’s Christmas Time

Posted on December 05, 2014 by Deanie Willis


It always amazes me how “warm and fuzzy” people get during the Christmas season! I truly believe that “warm and fuzzy” feeling can only come from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate. He is the One and Only Light that shines within us to give us that wonderful feeling when we surround ourselves with love.  Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Merry Christmas, and may your days be merry and bright!


 Musings from Momma Willis:

“It’s good to be children sometimes , and never better than at Christmas , when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”  Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”  Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“God bless us, every one.”  Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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Some of My Favorite Things

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Deanie Willis

If I could I would share all my favorite recipes with you. Time being an issue, I decided to share just a few of the recipes that have made it to the “traditions” status at my house for the holidays. A couple of starters, a great side dish, and yes, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, which is dangerously delicious! This Artichoke Dip recipe is really the original dip recipe from a few years back and so easy! Enjoy and be blessed!

So Easy Cheese Ball

2 (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 small onion, minced
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Chopped pecans, Paprika

Combine all ingredients, except pecans and paprika. Chill at least 1 hour. Place on wax paper and shape into balls or logs: roll in pecans or paprika or whatever sounds fun to you. Great make ahead appetizer.



Artichoke Dip

2 (14oz.) cans artichokes, drained and chopped
2 cups parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (4oz.) can green chiles (optional)
Dash or two or three of hot sauce
Crackers, Toasted baguettes, Veggies

Combine all ingredients and place in oven proof dish. Bake at 350 degrees about 30-40 minutes or until hot and toasty on top. Serve warm with crackers.



Scalloped Corn

1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp. butter
1 (14.75oz.) can cream style corn
1 (7oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup cracker crumbs (saltines)
1 cup milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt, pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute green onions in butter until tender. Stir in corn and remaining ingredients. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour and 10 minutes. To make it extra yummy, top with shredded cheese the last 10 minutes of baking.


Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tbsp. sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1 (8oz.) container whipped topping
2 (3oz.) packages strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
2 (10oz.) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the pretzels, butter and 3 tbsp., sugar. Press into a 9×13 inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Dissolve the jello in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until set.

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Musings from Momma Willis:

We should all have an attitude of gratitude.

I Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and count your many blessings!

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Here Goes

Posted on November 03, 2014 by Deanie Willis

I am excited to be blogging, and sharing recipes and life with each one of you. I am truly thankful this time of year– for the changing of the seasons and the beginning of the cool, crisp air which brings on the holidays and the gift of fellowship with family and friends. Such precious memories!

I have to say I officially consider myself a foodie! Baking, cooking, it doesn’t matter. I love it all. As I mulled over the first recipe to share, so many came to mind—I have tried a few in my day! So I’m thinking something easy and delicious. I thought of a bread that would go great with soups this time of year. This Quick Cheese Bread Recipe is very easy and very delicious and very cheesy. Pop some in the oven to go with whatever. I’ve been known to eat it by itself, hot or cold! Enjoy and be blessed!

Quick Cheese Bread

2 eggs

3/4 cup water

1 1/3 cups biscuit mix

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp cheddar)

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon butter

Whisk eggs; stir in water. Add biscuit mix, mixing until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese and mustard. Mix well.



Spoon batter into a lightly greased (I use butter) 8 inch square pan (glass works well), or 10 inch cast iron skillet.



Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese, and dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.   Yield: 9 servings



Musings from Momma Willis:

“Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and, above all, have fun!”   Julia Child


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My Story

Posted on October 07, 2014 by Deanie Willis

DeanieThere is nothing sweeter than baking goodies for someone – to be able to love and nourish others through food is one of life’s greatest gifts! I enjoy both baking and cooking, but in the past few years, it is safe to say baking has stolen my heart in every way.

It all started when I got married at twenty-eight. At the time, I did not know how to bake a potato or even scramble eggs. My precious husband, Rich, was an amazing cook, and with great patience, he taught me everything he knew.

Much to my surprise, food became a big part of my life. Most days were spent in the kitchen, preparing three meals for anyone and everyone who took a seat at our kitchen table. My recipe books became well loved, and to this day they are my favorite things to read.

I was widowed at a young age, and when my daughter, Katie, went off to college I decided to pick up the pace. I had a little too much couch time, and decided to open a cafe and retail store! After three years it was time to yet again make some changes, and I made the jump to take the business out on my own. That’s when the baking (and the real fun!) began. I started baking desserts, first for my hairdresser, then for restaurants, friends, family, and just recently took on wedding cakes. I love, love, love the wedding cakes – so much fun.

Katie has embraced the love for food that both her parents shared. She is quite the cook and I’m learning great things from her. She tends to be more on the healthy side than me. In fact, she is teaching me about all kinds of foods that I have never tried!

You are never too old to try new things when it comes to food. I do think I have her convinced to help me with the wedding cakes – I do the cake and she does the fresh flowers and decorating. Quite the dynamic duo!

Thank you for visiting the website. It is a joy to be able to bake for each of you!

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