“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Happy October!”

Happy October! Autumn has arrived!

When not lying awake nights trying to come up with words that rhyme with ‘orange’, Little Red Bear and I like to make things that often feature the color orange, one of the official colors of the autumn season.

In recent weeks I have shared a few recipes appearing on various company websites and mentioned a few product brand names which I use and recommend from personal experience. That led to a question as to whether I am receiving any income in return from product mentions or from recipe and blog referrals. To clear that up right away, the answer is No, No, and No.  This is and will remain a non-monetized blog. None of the companies, products, or food blogs which we mention or refer to even know that I or my writing blog exist.

If we find a recipe which we deem worth sharing and it just happens to be on a particular product or company’s site, so be it.  Same goes for the various food blogs whose recipes we feature each week. If they all receive a benefit from it via their own advertising and sponsorships — great.  It is all about the recipes and sharing for the benefit of everyone. Same for product mentions. If I have personal experience with a product brand which I rely on, that information is passed along for the benefit of everyone from a perspective of sharing, not because I receive anything for it.

It’s simply about sharing and helping others with no strings attached. That’s the Little Red Bear Way, after all.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

So then, let’s get to the recipes we found this week!

Favorite Frosted Brownies

While we both will eat any brownie placed in front of us, Little Red Bar and I disagree over our favorite type.  Red prefers the thinner fudgy type brownies, while I like to add an extra egg to my batches to get the taller, more cakey brownies. But we do agree that regardless of the texture, we both love Frosted Brownies!  Which type of brownies do you prefer?

Favorite Frosted Brownies Recipe

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Okay, this is the first of a couple of recipes this week that when Little Red Bear and I looked at the title turned to each other and asked — “What were they thinking?”  But, then we dug a little deeper into the recipe, thought about it for a minute, and then turned back once again to say — “Oh my goodness, that looks good!”  So, ultimately, a bewildered “What?!?” was replaced with a hungry “Wow!”

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Recipe

Easy Apple Cobbler With Cinnamon Roll Topping

This is an easy recipe for an Apple Cobbler that uses prepared, canned Cinnamon Rolls (in the dairy section of the food market) for the topping.  It is mentioned in the text but not in the recipe card itself — be sure to cut the individual cinnamon rolls into quarter pieces before spreading over the top so it all comes together better in the end.  It also says you may discard the frosting packet.  I don’t think so!  That frosting gets spread over the top of the cobbler in these parts! The taste and smell of the apples plus the cinnamon rolls baking together has to be amazing.

Easy Apple Cobbler With Cinnamon Roll Topping Recipe

(Fool Proof) Homemade Pretzel Bread

As mentioned before, I make breads of all kinds and love Pretzel Bread. Little Red Bear called me over the other day.  “Look here, Jim,” he exclaimed with a sly grin on his face, pointing at the recipe title. “They must have written this recipe just for you — it says right here — Fool Proof.”

(Be sure to make those cross slashes in the top to provide a way for the steam to escape while baking. Otherwise, built up steam inside will escape by bursting out uncontrolled somewhere else, disfiguring the nice loaf shape.)

(Fool Proof) Homemade Pretzel Bread Recipe

Blonde Chocolate Macadamia Bark

This recipe is certainly a keeper for the holidays coming soon. The “Blonde” term comes from caramelizing white chocolate, gently toasting white chocolate in the oven to a rich caramel color and flavor. And, it has Macadamia nuts.  What else can we say other than “Please pass the tray!”

Blonde Chocolate Macadamia Bark Recipe

Mac and Cheese Soup

This was the other head-scratcher that Little Red Bear and I came across this week, at first trying to comprehend the thought of a macaroni and cheese soup  —“Say what?”

Then, we thought about it. And thought about it. It was a chilly day that day, and by the time we got to mid-afternoon this Mac and Cheese Soup started to sound really good for dinner. Made from a base of chicken or vegetable stock with milk and a combination of Velveeta and shredded cheddar cheese, this soup would be wonderful with a slice of rustic bread on the side. Another lesson to never judge a book by its cover, or a recipe by its title.  And who doesn’t love the little pasta shells?

Mac and Cheese Soup Recipe

Autumn Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spice Cakes are a fall and winter favorite here with the delightful aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice wafting thru the home.  This is a scratch cake recipe as opposed to the supermarket box mix and is beautifully finished with seasonally colored candy sprinkles and nuts decorating the top and sides.  The nuts are optional of course, but always added here with a bear and other critters waiting for cakes to emerge from the oven.

Autumn Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

If you enjoy these recipe features, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will be on the lookout for more interesting and fun recipes to share with you each Sunday morning as we go along.

And remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime and find those from previous weeks if you missed them.  I invite you to follow and check out my other Pinterest boards while there.

Family Time is the Best Time!

Sunday family dinners are special times when families step away from busy weekday schedules, get together, and share not only a meal but also important ‘together time’, as well.  Staying connected and involved. It is so easy for us to both feel and become disconnected in today’s hectic, fast-paced world, with all family members being pulled in so many different directions between work obligations, school, after school and social activities. It happens to us before we know it. And I don’t know of anyone yet who has had a successful, meaningful, or long-term relationship with a cell phone.

We all benefit from, but children especially need a home base and safe place to feel secure, confident, and loved. That connection and anchor has always been and will always be family. There is no substitute. Little Red Bear and I hope that you and your loved ones can enjoy family together time today.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us! We would be honored if you recommended our site and pages to friends and family.  Little Red Bear and I look forward to your visits here, and hope that in our own way we help to make your day special, too!

We’ll be back every Sunday morning with more of Red’s selected special recipes, so be sure to subscribe in the top right column and follow along to be notified of every new post.

Wishing everyone a wonderful coming week. Kindness costs nothing and can turn someone’s life around. Be the reason someone smiles today! – Jim (and Red!)


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today. Patrons help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as an ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes.


“The Adventures of Little Red Bear” Stories —  Sponsored in Part by —
Old Orchard Feed, seed & Farm Supply — proudly supporting Ozarks mountain country ranchers and farmers since 1886.  we take special orders –” none too large or small, we fill them all.”

(Read about Old Orchard Feed, Seed & Farm Supply in coming Little Red Bear Stories!)


“Family is the most important thing in the world.” – Princess Diana

“I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.” – Barbara Bush  


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly, Multi-generational Stories and Fun for All Ages!
~ About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends ~

“Kindness is the sunshine in which Virtue grows.” — Robert Green Ingersoll


“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Officially Autumn!”

When not hard at work sweating over a laptop working on his adventure stories, Little Red Bear and I like to sweat over the kitchen stove whipping up treats and goodies for the other story characters.

With the Fall Equinox, it became officially Autumn at 3:02pm on Friday afternoon here in the midwest. Never mind that our temperatures have hovered in the mid to upper 90s all week. It will change soon, and before we know it there will be the welcoming fall chill in the air as we reach for sweaters and jackets. And leaf rakes.

We had so many amazing looking recipes coming our way this week that it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few to share with you today, with some undoubtedly to be carried over to next week.

Each week we try to select a mix of sweet and savory recipes to keep it balanced, but in coming weeks and as the fall and holiday season progresses, are thinking about doing a week here and there devoted solely to one theme — all Fudge, all Halloween Treat items, all Pumpkin stuff, all Homemade Candies, all Christmas Cookies, like that for example. If you would be interested in our doing that, please let us know in the comments and we will get to work on it.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

Grab your apron and here we go!

Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

This beautiful bundt cake caught our eye because it is made with a sweet potato puree. That alone means it qualifies as a ‘health food’, right?  Rich and moist,  the cake is swirled throughout with sweet, maple-flavored cream cheese and topped with a maple praline frosting. How many “m’s” in Yummmm?!?

Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bundt Cake Recipe

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets

Perfectly suited for dinners, snacks, sports viewing lunches, or party treats, Chicken Nuggets are so versatile with nearly universal appeal. This recipe seeks to copy a favorite.  Easy to prepare and so much better than hauling them out of a grocery freezer bag. There is an included recipe to prepare a homemade Honey Mustard Dressing, Little Red Bear’s favorite (the honey!), for dipping the nuggets.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets Recipe 

Disney’s Apple Caramel Pie

Apple Pie and Autumn go together like Little Red Bear and honey — a perfect pairing! This is the Apple Caramel Pie served in the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. If the caramel did not make it special enough, the crust is made with a sugar cookie bottom!  This delightful apple pie will be perfect not only all thru the fall season but also for coming holiday dinners. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Now you’re talkin’.

Disney’s Apple Caramel Pie Recipe

French Dip Sliders

One of my favorite sandwiches is a French Dip Roast Beef Sandwich! What Little Red Bear and I both liked about this recipe for French Dip Sliders is that it used sliced roast beef from the deli, not having to go to the time and trouble to cook a whole roast at home first. So that makes it a wonderful and easy dish to prepare for afternoon football viewing lunches, after leaf raking lunches on a chilly afternoon, book club meetings to discuss “The Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories, and other friendly gatherings.

French Dip Sliders Recipe

Flavored Pie Doughs

We don’t try to hide it and keep no secrets here — Little Red Bear cannot make a decent pie crust to save his soul. A champion at biscuits, not so much with pie crusts. So we were both amazed this week when our favorite bread flour maker, King Arthur Flour, included a link to Flavored Pie Doughs in their message.  Who knew pie dough could be flavored? So, here is the information from their site, on how to prepare Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Flavored Pie Doughs. I think Little Red Bear is headed back to the kitchen for another try or two! The thought of an apple pie in a peanut butter flavored crust is intriguing.

Flavored Pie Doughs from King Arthur Flour Recipes

As an added bonus, while discussing flavored pie doughs, we came across a recipe for a pie dough made from Pecans and Cinnamon.  That got our attention, too!  But a word first — the recipe calls for “dehydrated sugar cane juice.”  Unfamiliar with that and never having used (or seen it!), I got busy and did some research. From the best I can tell, it’s basically the same thing as sugar. While cane juice is extracted from the sugar cane plant and then evaporated to form the crystals, white sugar has its juice filtered first to remove some of the brown solids. The evaporated cane juice has trace amounts of the solids remaining, supposedly making it more natural, hence healthy. The two sugars are nearly identical, basically 50% glucose/fructose in the end,  no matter which way it is processed first. Long story short, it is fine to substitute either plain white or brown sugar in equal measure for the dehydrated sugar cane juice.  So if the idea of a Pecan and Cinnamon Pie Crust excites you like it did us, then go for it! Simply use the sugar you normally would in a recipe.

Pecans and Cinnamon Pie Crust Recipe

Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies

Described as a tangy and buttery shortbread cookie, studded with bits of toasted pecans, LIttle Red Bear insisted on including this recipe.  We both liked its flexibility too, allowing for the substitution of your favorite nut in place of the pecans if you wished — pistachios, walnuts, cashews, or something else. These would be a real treat in a holiday cookie exchange or on a buffet table! ‘Elegant’ could certainly be used to describe these beautiful cookies. And a perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea.

Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies Recipe

Creamy Crock Pot Corn Chowder

Chilly days are surely on their way, and this Creamy Crock Pot Corn Chowder has a little bit of everything to warm both the tummy and the heart — corn kernels, chunks of carrots and potatoes, along with meaty chunks of ham in a rich and creamy broth. And, best of all, it cooks by itself all day, unattended in the crock pot.  Winner, winner, creamy nourishing soup for dinner!

Creamy Crock Pot Corn Chowder Recipe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Imagine, if you can, a layer of delicious chocolate chip cookie covered over with ooey-gooey caramel sauce, topped with another layer of chocolate chip cookie.  Yeah, we know. Hard to imagine but here it is!  Cut into bars, these treats are perfect for Halloween, afternoon treats, and holiday buffets. Wrapped individually, these also freeze well, allowing them to be made in advance of the hectic holiday season, or to simply have at hand anytime.  Like, right now, for example.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe

If you enjoy these recipe features, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will be on the lookout for more interesting and fun recipes to share with you each Sunday morning as we go along.  And remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime and find those from previous weeks if you missed them.  I invite you to follow and check out my other Pinterest boards while there.

If you have a family favorite or vintage recipe that you would like to share, please snap a photo and send it along to us. We’ll be happy to add it in for the benefit of others.

Family Time is the Best Time!

Sunday family dinners are special times when families step away from busy weekday schedules, get together, and share not only a meal but also important ‘together time’, as well.  Staying connected and involved. It is so easy for us to both feel and become disconnected in today’s hectic, fast-paced world, with all family members being pulled in so many different directions between work obligations, school, after school and social activities. It happens to us before we know it. And I don’t know of anyone yet who has had a successful, meaningful, or long-term relationship with a cell phone.

We all benefit from, but children especially need a home base and safe place to feel secure, confident, and loved. That connection and anchor has always been and will always be family. There is no substitute. Little Red Bear and I hope that you and your loved ones can enjoy family together time today.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us! We would be honored if you recommended our site and pages to friends and family.  Little Red Bear and I look forward to your visits here, and hope that in our own way we help to make your day special, too! We’ll be back every Sunday morning with more of Red’s selected special recipes, so be sure to subscribe in the top right column and follow along to be notified of every new post.

Wishing everyone a wonderful coming week. Kindness costs nothing and can turn someone’s life around. Be the reason someone smiles today! – Jim (and Red!)


“The Adventures of Little Red Bear” Stories —  Sponsored in Part by —
myra cookson’s pie pantry & goodies shoppe — Featuring homemade delights sourced from only the finest local, fresh ingredients. check our coupon in “squirrelly world” for a free ‘singing lily’ with your first purchase. centrally located in the heart of downtown butterfield.

(Read about Myra Cookson’s  Pie Pantry & Goodies Shoppe in the Little Red Bear Stories!)


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today. Patrons help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as an ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes.


“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox

“A cupcake for dessert is always good. But four are always better.” – Little Red Bear


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly, Multi-generational Stories and Fun for All Ages!
~ About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends ~

                               “Learn how to cook. Try new recipes. Learn from your mistakes.                         Be fearless and above all have fun.” – Julia Child


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“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Heading into Autumn!”

With Hurricanes Harvey and then Irma ravaging friends in Texas, Louisiana, Gulf Coast, Florida, and the Caribbean the past few weeks, Little Red Bear and I decided to pause in the recipe sharing out of respect for all of those displaced, losing their homes, and suffering. Somehow, it just didn’t seem like the time while family and friends were being battered by the storms.  And so many are still in need of our help.

But — now we’re back to share some awesome new recipes which came our way in the interim.  We are heading into the Autumn Season, our very favorite time of year around these parts.  Halloween will be here before we know it, followed rapidly by Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas, Hannukah and holidays seasons!  Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!

Time to bring in a fresh supply of fall spices and baking powder. Dig out the baking sheets, loaf pans, and muffin tins. Dust off the cooling racks and measuring cups. Pull out the mixing bowls.  Little Red Bear and I are big fans of both quick and yeast breads, so watch for a few of those in the coming weeks, too.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

Ready — Set — Apron — Here we go!

Autumn Barm Bread

This quick bread recipe looks delightful for a taste of fall.  It calls for a few more non-staple pantry ingredients than I normally look for, but the promise of fall aromas baking and the taste of this bread caused me to share it.  An award-winning recipe, this might be one to make up in double batches! (And that fiddle bow bread knife in the photo is just like the one Little Red Bear and I have — love it!)

Autumn Barm Bread Recipe

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping

Little Red Bear loves Apple Butter. I love Streusel Toppings. Put them both together in a Pumpkin Pie — my, oh my!  With a slightly crunchy pecan streusel topping, this pie looks amazing for the fall season and coming holidays!

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping Recipe 

Southern Fried Corn

When two of my favorite words are put together — Southern and Fried — it seldom matters what follows, it’s always good!  Southern Fried Corn is delicious, with a hint of sweetness for a perfect side dish.  But when you mention Southern Fried Corn, the “Great Onion Debate” frequently follows — do you put the onions in or not?  For Little Red Bear and me, the onions add an extra depth of flavor and sweetness. What kind of onion — sweet Vidalia or Red?  Doesn’t really matter. The Vidalia or other sweet onions may add just a bit more sweetness, but I like the red onions for the hint of extra color they add, too. Either way, this is a winning side dish.

Southern Fried Corn Recipe

Butter Pecan Cookies

As in the words ‘Southern Fried’, the words ‘Butter Pecan’ never seem to sneak by unnoticed, either.  Butter Pecan Cookies — Buttery, soft and chewy with toasted pecans!  And a little extra brown sugar for more flavor.

Butter Pecan Cookies Recipe

Basil & Garlic Vegetable Pasta with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Bears and men cannot live on cookies and pies alone. Take our word, we’ve tried. It’s not that it ended all that badly, new belts and larger pants size aside, of course. This recipe from McCormick Seasonings, one of my favorite spice brands, is definitely a keeper.  I love penne pasta because it is the perfect size for adding in broccoli and other vegetables to make a wonderful unplanned primavera dish with whatever I have on hand at the time. One could also use Whole Wheat Penne, the Veggie Penne made with tomato puree and carrots, or another favorite of mine, Rainbow Rotini, in place of the regular penne pasta. The white penne as called for will give the most striking color presentation, though.  For this recipe, note that it calls for ‘White Balsamic Vinegar’, not the regular which I add to salads all the time. Also, the recipe simply calls for ‘sliced bell pepper’.  If you want the beautiful color presentation as in the photo, be sure to pick up a red bell pepper from the grocers, not a green.

Basil & Garlic Vegetable Pasta with Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin is the flavor of the season, so why fight it?  These Pumpkin Bars will be perfect from now clear thru New Years.  If you feel inclined to test the theory, just make up a plate anytime and watch them disappear.  Little Red Bear likes the fancy little pumpkin candies on top, too!  Around Halloween, any little candy treat toppings would be great.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Maple Butter Acorn Squash

Little Red Bear and I love squash, particularly Butternut and Acorn squash in the fall. Real maple syrup and butter are the secrets to this one.  Easy-to-make and a perfect side dish for fall meals.  Don’t you just want to dive right into that mapley-buttery pool of goodness awaiting in the bottom?

Maple Butter Acorn Squash Recipe

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge

If ‘Pumpkin’ is the official flavor of the season, then ‘Caramel Apple’ must have been a close runner-up. At least in these parts, it is! And adding Caramel Apple Pie flavoring to fudge?  Someone has been eavesdropping on Little Red Bear’s dreams again.

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge Recipe

If you enjoy these recipe features, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will be on the lookout for more interesting and fun recipes to share with you each Sunday morning as we go along.  And remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime and find those from previous weeks if you missed them. Follow and check out my other Pinterest boards while there.

If you have a family favorite or vintage recipe that you would like to share, please snap a photo and send it along to us. We’ll be happy to add it in for the benefit of others.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us!  Wishing everyone a wonderful coming week. Random acts of kindness cost nothing but can yield the greatest rewards. Brighten someone’s day this week with a smile! – Jim (and Red!)


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free blog to be able to offer the most pleasurable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits here, please consider Becoming a Patron of this site and my writing work, helping my friend Little Red Bear and me to be able to continue improving and expanding our outreach to others. 


“Nothing brings people together like good food.”

Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times!


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly, Multi-generational Stories and Fun for All Ages!
~ About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends ~

                     “What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other?”                – Mary Anne Evans (aka pen name George Eliot)


“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Labor Day Specials!”

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, the end of summer was marked by the Labor Day Holiday Weekend, with the following Tuesday always the first day back to school. Times have changed, with so many school districts now restarting early to mid-August.

So, Little Red Bear thought it might be a good idea today to dedicate this week’s recipe selections to the coming Labor Day Holiday next week, in order to give you the week to gather ingredients and be ready ahead of time for the weekend.

Our inbox overflowed with autumn pumpkin recipes this week, and “Mickey’ Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” already started at Disney a few days ago, but we are going to hold off on autumn things in lieu of one more taste of summer before heading into the annual Fall Pumpkin Rites of Passage.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

So, in honor of Labor Day next weekend and the end of the summer season, here are some notable summer recipes, a few sides and a few treats, that we found to savor the flavors of Summer one more time!

Apple Cranberry and Almond Cole Slaw

This cole slaw is made with Gala Apples, Cranberries, and Almonds, using mostly Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a healthy and delicious twist on an old favorite. And incorporating apples and cranberries, this slaw will transfer right into the coming fall and holiday seasons, as well.

Apple Cranberry and Almond Cole Slaw Recipe

Barbeque Spice Roasted Potato Nuggets

These Potato Nuggets, seasoned with your favorite barbeque dry rub, are a perfect accompaniment to any dish coming off the grill — steaks, burgers, barbequed chicken, and more.

Barbeque Spice Roasted Potato Nuggets Recipe

Berry Feta Spinach Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

If not up for Cole Slaw, this salad makes a beautiful and delicious dish for company, with festive strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  Oh — and did I mention that it also features Candied Pistachios?

Berry Feta Spinach Salad Recipe

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Okay, so your Labor Day Weekend plans don’t include stay-at-home barbeques or dinners with friends. You’re going to be out and about enjoying the last holiday weekend of summer. Awesome — we’re right there with you! So how about some lighter fare?  These delightfully fresh Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches perfectly fit the bill and are amazingly good.  Little Red Bear and I used to do sort of the same thing on Ritz crackers — a spread of cream cheese, a cucumber slice and sprinkle of dill weed on top for appetizer snacks. Little Red Bear and I skipped the Seasoned Salt in the recipe, but kicked it up a notch by stirring a packet of Good Seasons’ Zesty Italian Dressing Mix into the cream cheese first.  Oh, so good. The dill weed is what makes it! But if you do not have fresh dill weed, no worries. The dried dill weed seasoning is still amazing with this.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches Recipe

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Cake

Company is coming for dinner and what to do for dessert?  A cheesecake? Or a traditional cake? Around these parts we love both, so why not put them together? This patriotic colored Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Cake will be a holiday showstopper any time of year! And it is simply a layer of cheesecake sandwiched in between tinted layers of vanilla cake.

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Cake Recipe

Patriotic Flower Pretzel Bites

Speaking of patriotic holiday themes, Little Red Bear and I both loved these Patriotic Flower Pretzel Bites as wonderful side treats for parties and get-togethers.  But here is where we got creative. With the recipe calling for Red, White & Blue Holiday M&Ms to make the flowers, we figured that we could use any holiday-themed M&Ms for a neat holiday side dish treat any time of year — the Halloween mix colors for a Halloween party, blue and white for Hanukkah, the green and red blend for Christmas, red and white for Valentines, and so on. So while this recipe is patriotic themed, it could be adapted for just about any holiday party or event. It’s also a recipe that the kids would have a blast making up for you, too! And, have you ever enjoyed the white chocolate covered pretzels?  If not, you’re in for a treat. And if so, well — you know what we’re talking about here!

Patriotic Flower Pretzel Bites

Indoor S’Mores

S’Mores are a summertime and autumn favorite, roasting the marshmallows over an open fire or the remaining hot coals from the barbeque. But what to do if it rains?  Make them indoors, of course!  Little Red Bear loved this recipe because it let him have yet another treat to make up in his cast iron skillet.  This is a baked-in-the-oven S’Mores Dip for dipping the graham crackers into while staying dry out of the rain. No reason to miss out on the S’Mores due to inclement weather any longer, and the kids will love the great dipping action and fun! But a caution — don’t let anyone lick the leavings from the skillet until it’s properly cooled down though.  Ain’t that right, Red?

Indoor S’Mores Recipe

As a bonus, if wanting to stick to a Patriotic theme and to keep in mind for next year’s Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays, here is a fun recipe for an American Flag S’Mores Dip, too. The marshmallow colors come from red, white and blue sprinkles which form a crystallized coating when baked in the oven. The recipe also includes a link to a Rainbow S’Mores Dip, prepared in the same manner, perfect for Easter and other times.

Fresh Glazed Peach Pie

I was able to get some fresh peaches from the local market this week and they were delicious, so thought this Fresh Glazed Peach Pie a perfect late summer treat.  The glaze, using peach-flavored Jello, works to keep the peaches fresh. This recipe is perfect for Little Red Bear and me, using a prepared pie crust to keep it simple and quick for the holiday weekend.  And as readers are aware, Little Red Bear is a biscuit champion, but cannot make a decent pie crust to save his soul. And with an achy back, I don’t want to bother.  So the prepared crusts work great for us!

Fresh Glazed Peach Pie Recipe

If you enjoy these new recipe features, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will be on the lookout for more interesting and fun recipes to share with you each Sunday morning as we go along.  And remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime.

If you have a family favorite or vintage recipe that you would like to share, please snap a photo and send it along to us. We’ll be happy to add it in for the benefit of others.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us!  And as we head off into a new week, paraphrasing what Henry Ford said — the person who thinks they can and the person who thinks they can’t are both right.  Which will you be?   – Jim (and Red!)


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free blog to be able to offer the most pleasurable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits here, please consider Becoming a Patron of this site and my writing work, helping my friend Little Red Bear and me to be able to continue improving and expanding our outreach to others. 


                         “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”                   – Henry David Thoreau

Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times!


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly, Multi-generational Stories and Fun for All Ages!
~ About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends ~

“Good food is always best when shared with good friends and family.” – Little Red Bear


Counting to Ten — Watching Our Words and Actions

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Everything we do in life — each action, spoken word, message, gesture, eye roll, sideways glance, or even thought, has the potential to do either great harm or great good for not only ourselves, but also for everyone around us.

Always true, it is amplified even more living in our modern social media world today, having the capability to influence the lives of people the world over.

So we need to be careful, take a moment to catch our breath, and reflect before speaking, acting or responding.  I was never aware that my Mother was quoting Thomas Jefferson when she frequently admonished “Count to ten” when I was upset or angry about something.

“When angry count ten before you speak. If very angry, one hundred.”

— Thomas Jefferson

It is especially important with young and sensitive children, whose self-images, attitudes and behaviors may be influenced, molded and shaped by our next words and actions.

Children who are always, always watching and listening — and learning by observing. It’s what they do.  It is a lot of responsibility, but no one ever said parenting or acting like a mature adult was going to be easy.

As the old carpenter saw goes — “measure twice, cut once.”   So we need to think twice, count to ten (or a hundred, or even one hundred, ninety-eight and three-quarters) and only then speak or act –  prudently, thoughtfully, compassionately.  Thereby serving as the very best influence and guide for children and everyone else in our lives.

Children learn from the examples we set, intended or not.  If we cannot control our own emotions and behaviors, how can we reasonably expect our children, or our neighbors, co-workers, employees, or anyone else to do so?

“… every single act we do has the potential of causing pain, and every single thing we do has consequences that echo way beyond what we can imagine. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act. It means we should act carefully. Everything matters.” ― Sylvia Boorstein

“Words are like toothpaste, Charlie.  Once out, there’s just no putting ’em back.  They can land with the gentleness of a feather or the force of a sledgehammer.  And the effects go out like ripples across a pond, for good or bad.” — Little Red Bear

Thanks always for dropping by, and we hope you enjoy your visits here.  Please act gently and kindly with not only fragile young minds and spirits, but with everyone; and be the reason someone smiles today! — Jim  (and Red!)


Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times!

 Peace  —  Compassion  —  Kindness  —  Love


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

~ Think Globally — Act Locally ~


Sunday Family Day — Putting “Family” Back Into Sundays!

Things tend to change over time.  Oftentimes for the better.  Sometimes not.

Sundays were family days a while ago.  Back in the days before over-hyped sporting events and media distractions began to dominate the scene and steal away quality time.  Sundays were spent relaxing from the weekly routine, the hustle and bustle, from the work grind and stress.  Reconnecting.  Spending time together. Going for Sunday afternoon drives thru the countryside.  Looking forward all day to Sunday dinner. Sundays were for staying in touch, returning to our center and to what is truly important — Family.

This is the first in a series of weekly Sunday posts dedicated to returning Sundays to Family Days.  Spending quality time with loved ones.  Each of us only gets so much time in our life and no one knows how much.  We can choose to invest the time given to us wisely, into what is most important to us and to the future of our children, or to fritter it away in frivolous pursuits which yield nothing but empty minutes passed and a longing for something more substantial  and connecting in our lives.  So many feel disconnected today.  Be and stay connected — with your family.

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It is easier to withstand the storms of life, not being blown over by the random winds of misfortune, when we are grounded, anchored and held secure by family and loving roots.  Sundays are made for grounding and staying connected.  Our society, with so many challenges confronting families today, ranging from rampant drug use to negative social media influences and divisiveness, perhaps now more than ever, needs to rekindle that spirit of family togetherness and bonding.

The autumn season, with its refreshing and crisp air, is a perfect time to get the family together for a picnic.  Take a trip to the park and kick around a soccer ball.  Launch a Frisbee thru the air.  Play hide and seek.  Or even spread a blanket on the ground in the backyard and just have a fun time together tossing leaves about and grilling up some hot dogs or marshmallows.  If inclement weather, take that same blanket and make a tent in the family room. Spend the time together, and have Fun!  Experience, share and enjoy the Peace, Joy, and Love. They aren’t just words on a page.  Give them true life in your family, making lasting loving memories while forming the connections which strengthen and hold us together.

(Image Credit: Tori Watson Photography, The Haggards Family)

(Image Credit: Tori Watson Photography, The Haggards Family, blog.tori-watson.com)

Family time.  Together time.  Fun time.  Quality time.  The best time!  To be in our children’s memories tomorrow, we must be in their lives today.

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Thank You for stopping by to visit!  I hope you enjoy this new Sunday feature, and follow along each week as we work together to bring Family back into Sundays.  Spread the word to family, friends and neighbors.   What does your family do to stay connected?  Please feel free to share in the comments!  We are all in this together, after all.

Happy Sunday!  Happy Family Day!  Wishing everyone a beautiful autumn and family Sunday — together!  – – – Jim   (and Red!)

(Image via CanberraYourFuture.com)

(Image via CanberraYourFuture.com)

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.