Autumn In Tennessee - The Spot Where I Was Engaged

Autumn In Tennessee - The Spot Where I Was Engaged
by Sherri Wear 2008

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade Bath Salt

I had to try making my own bath salt because I love it so much.  Also, I refuse to pay $20.00 or more for a jar of it at Bath and Body Works.


You will need:
  • 3/4 cup of Epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup of coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • essential oils
  • food coloring (optional)


Mix the dry ingredients well in a glass or a metal bowl.

Essential Oils

Stir in about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.  You can use more or less according to your taste.  Stir until all the lumps are gone.

Food Coloring

Add 5 drops of food coloring. You may add more, but remember that you will be soaking in this colored salt and may not want rainbow-colored body parts.

Finished Product

The finished product should be lightly tinted by the food coloring.  You can buy coloring just for bath products at craft supply stores, but they are expensive.

Decorative Bottles

Place bath salts in decorative bottles to give as gifts.  These bottles were $.99 at Michael's.  I'm sure you can find them cheaper.  The most expensive thing about making this is the essential oil, but a little goes a REALLY long way.  I made peppermint foot soak, eucalyptus vapor bath, lemon/orange soak, and lavender/lemon stress relief soak.  I will add ribbons and tags before gifting my creations.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Homemade Foot (Or Extra-Dry Skin) Cream

I have the most cracked, disgusting feet of anyone I know.  I'm constantly trying something new to keep them smooth.  I've seen some recipes for homemade treatments, but they lacked that "tingle" that the fancy foot creams have.  I didn't have any peppermint oil on hand, so I went looking for something in my house that tingled (and wasn't Icy/Hot).  I found the bottle of Solarcaine left over from our beach trip.  BINGO!  I get the tingle and the benefit of aloe.  Who could ask for anything better?  Here is MY recipe for foot cream.

Homemade Foot Cream

  •  1 cup of your favorite lightly-scented mild lotion
  • 1/2 cup of petroleum jelly
  • 1/3 cup Solarcaine

Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E skin care cream works as well, if not better, than baby lotion.  They come in packs of two jars.  Use both jars in the recipe to equal 1 cup.

Place all ingredients in a large metal mixing bowl.

Use an electric mixer to combine all ingredients.  Mix on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is extremely smooth.  You may beat in a VERY SMALL drop of green food coloring if you like.  The mixture will have a slight green tint from the Solarcaine.

Store in plastic containers.  I happened to have 2 empty soap containers to use along with the two empty plastic jars from the vitamin E cream.  Voila!

My Foot Cream

I put some on my left foot after I made the first batch. I put on my socks, and made a second batch.  I took this photo 2 hours after I put the lotion on my foot. Tell me it didn't make a difference in my feet!

  •  NOTE Wipe each foot with an acne pad each night before you go to bed.  Next, cover feet with homemade foot cream.  Cover your feet with socks.  Go to sleep.  :-) The acne pad exfoliates the feet and makes the cream work even better.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homemade Cleaner

I keep seeing this "recipe" for a cleaning solution all over the internet, but each time it calls for BLUE Dawn.  I never have it because we buy the apple-scented green Dawn that eliminates odors in order to get the terrible Pediasure 'funk' out of Jackson's cups.  I decided to just go ahead and make it with my nice GREEN Dawn and just see how it worked.  The results in my shower were AWESOME.  It hasn't been that clean since David installed the thing back in 2007.  Tonight I made another batch and tried it on the kitchen sink.  WOW!!  My sink is so clean!  The picture I've loaded doesn't do my sparkling sink justice.  I am quite happy with this product and will NEVER buy soap scum remover or sink cleaner again.

My "Green" Cleaner 
  • 8 oz of white vinegar
  • 8 oz of Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 1 plastic or glass spray bottle (I bought mine for 2 bucks at Dollar General)
I used a funnel to add the ingredients to the bottle because I am a champion at making a mess with stuff like this. 
  1. Heat the vinegar in the microwave (or on stove top) until it is very hot.  I nuked mine for 90 seconds.
  2. Pour heated vinegar into bottle.
  3. Pour Dawn into the bottle.
  4. Shake gently to mix the two ingredients.
  5. Use this mixture to clean soap scum in showers and tubs.  It can also be used on sinks, faucets, appliances, and most any surface. 
I wish this picture truly showed how clean my kitchen sink is!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hamburger and Rotel Cheese Sauce Braided Calzone and Dip

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 lb 2% Velveeta
1 can Rotel
1 small can chopped Kalamata olives
1 tube of refrigerator pizza dough
1/3 cup olive oil
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Tostito Scoops for dipping
Brown ground beef in large skillet.  Add cubed Velveeta to cooked beef and stir until melted.  Pour in can of Rotel.   Stir well and heat thoroughly.  Spoon half of this mixture into a bowl to use for a dip unless you are making 2 calzones. Of course, you’ll need two tubes of pizza dough for that.  (I served the calzone with baked corn chip scoops and the remaining dip.) To the skillet add the chopped Kalamata olives.  Heat thoroughly.

In a small food processor combine olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and cilantro.

On a greased baking sheet, unroll pizza dough and shape into a “semi-perfect” rectangle.  Spoon the beef, cheese, Rotel, & olive mixture into a line down the center of the rectangle lengthwise.

Spray the blades of some cooking scissors with Pam.  Use the scissors to cut 1 ½ strips on each side of the line of the beef mixture.  Fold in the ends before you begin braiding.

Fold strips into middle of meat mixture alternating from left to right side of dough to form a "braid."

Use a pastry brush to cover the top of the braid with the olive oil mixture. 
Bake at 400 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Let set 5 minutes before slicing.

Serve with Tostito Scoops and remaining warm meat/cheese/Rotel sauce.

Tie-Dye Cake Jars

Today I tried a couple of recipes from  Jackson and I made our dessert first.  These were suppose to look like rainbows in a jar, but they look more like tie-dye t-shirts in a jar to us. 

1 box white cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fat free buttermilk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp each of vanilla, lemon, butter, and almond flavoring (optional)
bottles of various neon food coloring (at least 5 colors)
3 pint jars
1 shallow baking dish
Tub of vanilla frosting
Colored candy sprinkles

Use electric mixer to blend cake mix, oil, buttermilk, eggs, and flavoring for 2 minutes on high speed.
Divide the cake batter equally into 5 bowls.  Use food coloring to make each bowl of batter a different color.  I used about 15 drops for each bowl to get a very bright batter.

Spray 3 pint jars with cooking spray.  Spoon about 3 spoonfuls of each color into each jar.  Jackson and I used cake decorating bags and filled them with the batter.  I had placed a small decorating tip holder in each bag, but I'm sure you could just snip the end of the bag if you don't have one of the plastic tip holders.  I decided not to try to spoon the batter because I didn't want to get it all over the jars, and it was easier for Jackson to help me.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the 3 filled jars in a shallow pan, and fill the pan with 1/4 inch of water.  Place in preheated oven, and bake for 40 minutes.

 Carefully remove the cakes and let them cool completely.  The cakes may bulge slightly above the jars.

When the cakes have cooled, use a spoon to scoop out cake that has filled the mouth of the jar.  Make room for as much icing as you would like to use.  Top the jars with vanilla icing - store-bought or homemade.  Top the icing with colored candy sprinkles.  Voila!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Recipe Worked!!!

Chicken Enchiladas With Sour Cream and Green Chili Sauce

Adapted from

2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken (I cooked 3 chicken breasts in the crock pot with a sliced onion, garlic powder, cumin, and a bay leaf on low over night.  I assume you could use canned chicken if you would like.)

10-12 flour tortillas

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (I used Wal*mart brand fiesta blend)

3 TBS butter

3 TBS flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 can chopped green chilies, undrained

1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)

½ tsp salt

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or spray a 9x13 baking pan or dish.

2.     Mix 1 cup of cheese with the shredded chicken.  Place several spoonfuls on each tortilla.  Roll tortillas like enchiladas and place in greased pan.

3.     In a boiler, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour until well blended and cook for 1 minute.

4.     Add broth and whisk until very smooth.  Cook until thickened and bubbly.

5.     Stir in can of chopped chilies.

6.     Stir in sour cream.  Do not bring back to a boil after sour cream is added.

7.     Stir in salt.

8.     Pour over enchiladas that you have placed in the pan.

9.     Sprinkle remaining cheese over enchiladas.

10.   Bake for 30 minutes.  You may broil for final 3 minutes to brown cheese.

Trying A Recipe From Today

Well, I finally got my little guy out of the bed before 11 a.m. today.  That is quite an accomplishment for him (and for me if you want to know the truth).  I'm trying a new recipe today.  It's the first one I've tried from  I did use a cleaning solution the site suggested for cleaning my shower, and it worked like a charm!  We are trying the chicken enchiladas with green chili sour cream sauce.  Of course, I've already made changes to the recipe.  It's something I just can't help.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  Our evening will be filled with basketball practice, superheros, and (of course) The Big Band Theory reruns.  Please be in prayer for my friend's daughter Blake and my friend Sharon's mother who are both battling cancer.  Have a blessed day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What a day!

This really should have been a better day. It is Daddy's birthday. It is the weekend. Everything was set up to be an average, but good day. But, Jackson fell flat on his face onto a concrete floor during the basketball game. We have had to watch him for signs of a concussion all day. The weather has been awful all day long. A million, well maybe not that many, people were at the pizza place when we went to lunch. I have had a headache all day which I now know has been caused by the fact that my blood pressure is sky-high. I was really beginning to feel sorry for myself and about to write this day off as one of the bad ones. Then I found out that my childhood friend's daughter seems to be losing her second battle with leukemia. That stopped me in my tracks. I was complaining about things that can be fixed while my friend was watching her child fade away just a decade after suddenly losing her mother. Two babies may never get to know their beautiful mother. A husband may never see his wife come home again. I suddenly realized that I was having a wonderful day. My child is healthy, even with the knot on his head, and my mother is alive and well (as are my father and maternal grandmother). My husband is healthy and wonderful. I can sleep in my bed tonight instead of a hospital room keeping watch over my sick child. I thank God for all the blessings I was over-looking today. You, Lord, show me Your grace and Your mercy even though I deserve neither. I pray that it is Your will to heal this beautiful young woman of this awful disease so that she can share her testimony with the world.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I figured that since I didn't have a lot to say lately, then I would use my blog to share recipes.  I hope that you enjoy them.  God bless!

White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake Balls

1 box (any brand) strawberry cake mix                   4 eggs

1 container (tub) of strawberry icing                       1  1/3 cup butter milk

1 package of white chocolate chips                         1/3 cup vegetable oil

To cake mix, add 4 whole eggs, 1 1/3 cup butter milk, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.  Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer.   Pour batter into a 9 x 13 in pan and cook in a 325 F oven for 35 minutes.   Remove from oven.  Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes.   Crumble entire cake thoroughly into a large bowl.  Cake crumbs should look like corn meal.   Remove foil from icing container and microwave icing for seconds.  Pour 2/3 of icing over the cake crumbs.   Stir thoroughly, and then mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until mixture resembles batter.   Use a melon baller, cookie scoop, or your hands to form the “cake mixture” into small balls.  Place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet.  Place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

 Melt one package of white chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler.  Add Crisco to make melted chips the right consistency for dipping.   Use a toothpick to dip each cake ball into the white chocolate.  DO NOT SWIRL OR CAKE WILL CRUMBLE.   Place dipped cake balls on another piece of wax paper.  Add sprinkles if desired.  Allow white chocolate to re-harden.  Enjoy.

Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Spread

By Sherri Leigh Wear

2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

5 – 6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil

2 Tbs. Vidalia onion relish or 1 TB grated sweet onion

4 slices pickled jalapenos (Notice this says SLICES, not whole peppers)

¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

½ to 1 tsp garlic salt

1 TB sugar or 1 packet of sweetener

½ cup Miracle Whip Light or other mayo (more if you want creamier spread)

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

 Use a small food processor to shred cheese to desired consistency.  Place cheese in a bowl.  To a small food processor, add sun-dried tomatoes, onion relish, and jalapenos.  Grind to a very fine consistency.  If needed, add a little of the oil from the tomatoes to the processor for a smoother consistency.  Add the tomato puree to the cheese.  Add cayenne pepper, garlic salt, sugar, Miracle Whip, black pepper, and salt to the cheese and tomato puree and stir until it is combined.  Add more mayo as needed.

Taste of Home Beef Noodle Bake with a Twist of Sherri

I found this recipe in the Taste of Home cookbook that my mother gave me last Christmas. It was submitted by Evelyne Olechnowicz of Velencia, Pennsylvania, but, as you probably have guessed, I had to change it just a little. It's a weakness of mine. So, I will type it as I cooked it, and not as Ms. Olechnowicz submitted it. Her way yielded 29 grams of fat per serving!

1 1/2 pounds 93/7 lean ground beef
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 medium bell pepper finely chopped
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 small can of sliced mushrooms
1 cup (8 oz) of light sour cream
1 (8 oz) package of fat free cream cheese, cubed and softened
2 Tablespoons sugar or 8 packages of Sweet and Low
1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp.dried basil
( I suppose you could use fresh herbs, but I would double the amount)
1 12 oz package of egg noodles
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup grated mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste

Cook beef, onions, and peppers together until beef is no longer pink. Drain if needed. Remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms, tomato sauce, sugar, garlic powder, oregano and basil. Return to heat and bring back to a strong simmer. Remove from heat again and stir in cream cheese and sour cream until thoroughly combines. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Cook noodles according to package directions while you are preparing the meat mixture. Drain. Place half of the noodles in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Top with half of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with the cup of cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers without adding the mozzarella.

Cover and cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 3 - 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serves about 6 people (or 2 teenage boys).

Next time I might add a can of green chilies to the sauce to spice it up a bit.

Onion Dip

    • Onion Dip
      1 cup finely chopped onion (I used a mini food processor and pureed mine)
      1 to 2 TBS olive oil
      1 1/2 cup sour cream
      3/4 cup mayo
      1/4 tsp garlic powder
      1/4 tsp WHITE pepper
      1/2 tsp kosher salt
      1/4 tsp sugar

      Sauté onions in heated olive oil until they caramelize. Combine sour cream, mayo, garlic powder, white pepper, salt, and sugar (You may want more salt if you love it like I do.) well. Stir in cooked onions. Combine well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

      I see no reason why this couldn't be made with fat-free sour cream, but I think I'd just go with the low-fat mayo to preserve the texture a bit.

The Longer It Sits, The Better It "Gits" Cake

  • The Longer It Sits, The Better It ‘Gits’ Cake
    1 box French vanilla cake mix
    4 eggs
    1 1/3 cup whole milk
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 tsp. coconut flavoring

  •  Preheat oven to 350. Combine above ingredients and beat with an electric mixer for two minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 8-inch layer pans. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack and cool completely. Split each layer in half horizontally to make 4 layers.

    1 ¼ cups chilled heavy cream
    2 cups sour cream
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tsp vanilla flavoring
    1 tsp coconut flavoring
    2 1/2 6 oz packages of frozen shredded coconut
    1 12 ounce container Cool Whip

  •  While the layers are cooling, prepare the filling/icing. In a large metal bowl that you have chilled in the fridge while the cake was baking, whip the cream until it is very stiff. In a separate bowl combine sour cream, powdered sugar, and flavorings until the mixture is somewhat “soupy.” Pour half of sour cream mixture into the whipped heavy cream and fold to incorporate. Pour in the rest of the sour cream mixture and continue to fold until all the mixture is incorporated. At this point I whipped the filling with an electric mixer a little more to make it fluffier. Fold in 2 packages of the coconut, reserving ½ of the 3rd bag to sprinkle on top of the finished cake. Spread the filling/icing between each of the four layers and on top of the cake. Use any extra filling to “ice” the sides of the cake. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for three days. On the third day, “ice” the entire cake with the Cool Whip, and sprinkle the remaining coconut on top.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wow! Where Was I During 2011?

I just didn't find a reason to blog during 2011.  I don't know why.  I just never took the time.  It wasn't a bad year.  In fact, it was an incredible year.  My family began attending church here in Louisville at Beech Grove Baptist.  Jackson became involved with Awana, Upward Soccer, and Upward Basketball.  We made many new friends at the church, and in November we decided to become members.  My husband and I were baptized the last Sunday in November.  It was a very wonderful moment ... a moment my husband said would have made his daddy very happy.  My baby boy turned 4 back in July and celebrated with a big dinosaur bash with his friends.  Our family went on a vacation to Savannah, Georgia, and we all went with David to Destin, FL for a business trip/mini-vacation.  I even had surgery on December 1st to help improve the knee pain I had for so many months.  It was truly a lovely year.  I am sorry I didn't take the time to record all of it.  I will try to be better this year.  I hope God blesses each of you during 2012.