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One Last Motivational Moment

Finals are wrapping up.  There’s today, and then one day more, tomorrow.  Because it is coming down to the wire, and students must be getting tired and weary, I was trying to think of motivational  or humorous pop culture pick me ups.

Here’s what came to mind.  Sure, they don’t directly correlate to finals.  But they are about being in a tough spot, being strong to face a challenge (even one that seems overwheming), or just about persevering through adversity.

Some of these are probably a lot younger than our students and I am showing my age.  But it’s Friday and let’s have a little fun.

One Day More - from Les Miserables

Bluto’s speech from Animal House (warning, mildly NSFW language)

Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gate – from Lord of the Rings

They will never take our freedom – from Braveheart

[a very grainy] Stay Alive – from Last of the Mohicans

So dig in, Deacs!  Finish strong.  You’re smart and talented and prepared and you are going to ROCK your finals!  Do your best and let it rest, and then let the comforts of home and family recharge your batteries during the winter break.


– by Betsy Chapman

PS – this one always makes me smile when I am facing some sort of adversity.  Obviously only appropriate for the over 21 crowd.liztaylor

Looking for a Holiday Present?

The ranks are thinning.  You can see it in the parking lots and in the [relatively fewer] numbers of students walking across campus.  It’s fun to see students as they are departing, when you catch a hug with a roommate or friend or a kiss goodbye.  They all look ready to go home, and they are.  I hate to say it, but my prediction is many of our students will be home a relatively short time and will start missing Wake.  That might feel bad to you as a parent, but try to think of it as a good thing: they miss their friends and like being a Deac.

ph jewelry signAs the holidays approach, some of us are still trying to figure out what to buy people (guilty here!)  Some of you who are alumni parents might have seen our Pro Humanitate jewelry when you were here for Homecoming.  The Alumni office was selling sterling silver bracelets and necklaces.  The cool part of this story is that the jewelry items are handmade by women in the small, remote village of Suduji, Bali, providing economic sustainability for their families.  Pro Humanitate at work!

My friends in Alumni have told me we have a small amount of inventory remaining, so if you are looking for a gift for your Deac or yourself – this would be a great way to participate in Black and Gold Fridays!! – you can email to order.  The prices are listed below and you can send us a check made out to WFU.  The address is:  Wake Forest University Alumni Office,  P O Box 7227, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7227.

ph jewelrySmall women’s bracelets (black or gold/green)  $45

Men’s black bracelet $53

Necklace $250

Quantities are limited, so this is first-come, first-served.

If your Deacs are still on campus, we wish them luck as they power through the end of exams.

– by Betsy Chapman

Five Senses of Farrell During Finals

We’re midway through Finals Week, and one of the places I hadn’t spent much time peoplewatching was the Living Room of Farrell Hall.   So here’s a quickie Five Senses:

I see…

– The tables and chair clusters of the Living Room are about 1/3 to 1/2 full.  Most of the people here are sitting in groups of 1-2, occasionally a 3.

– More people smiling than I expected for finals week.  I expected ‘grim death’ faces and saw a lot of grins and smiles.  That’s nice to see.

– A pair of women who look like they are moms on a campus tour.  They have Deacon Shop bags and the look of visitors.  As they strolled through the Living Room, they were marveling at it and taking in the whole scene from the top of the ceiling to the windows and more.  You forget what a great first impression Farrell makes when you see it every day and are accustomed to it.

– A female student with what looks like a small white Christmas tree poking out of her bag.  It’s festive as all get out.

– ESPN on one of the big flatscreens.  I am far away from the other one but it looks like CNBC or a financial channel, which would make sense.

– A faculty member meeting a student – presumably one from her class (or a past student).  She is all smiles and encouragement and is asking how things are going.  He seems a little more tentative but my impression is he is grateful for a little pick me up from a professor he likes and respects.

– The sun break through the clouds and hit the tall Living Room windows.  The sun fractures into pieces on the floor, broken up by furniture and the columns in the windows.  It makes an interesting pattern on the floor.

– Finals fashion – aka nothing fancy.  Lots of sweats and casual shirts.  Still a lot of equestrian boots on girls.  Surprisingly, most of the guys are clean shaven.  I expected a lot of two day stubble.


I hear…

– The squeak of chairs as they scrape the floor.  Sometimes its a dull wooden sounding pull, other times a real scrapy metallic squeak.  The wood sound is much easier on the ears.

– Very little by way of conversation.  It is not as quiet here as it was in the Reynolda Hall lobby when I camped out there the other day, but it is a lot quieter than Farrell normally is.

– The sound of milk being steamed for a latte at Einstein’s.  At first it sounds like a normal milk steamer, but quickly it reaches a high pitch squeal that almost sounds like a fire truck or ambulance.  I hope that was an aberration and that people don’t listen to that all day.

– Coughing (this time it’s mild).

– The tearing off of receipts from the Einstein’s cash register.

– Two guys at the table next to me talking.  They appear to be trying to work out some sort of problem (math?) One of them keeps suggesting numbers and the other doesn’t seem to think they are the right answer.

– This conversation from young men greeting each other.  Guy 1:  “How’d you do?”  Guy 2:  “A-“.  I’m not sure which of them said the following, but I could make out “thrilled as hell” and “let’s go get a beer.


I smell…

– Hot, melty cinnamon sugar.  Someone must have just toasted a cinnamon bagel at Einstein’s.  The smell is not the bagel proper, it smells like some of the cinnamon sugar dropped off and was melting on the toast rack or bottom of the toaster.  It isn’t a burned smell yet – still delicious.

– The citrusy tang of a navel orange that I brought with me (a holiday gift sent with love from my P’92 mom who is the biggest WFU fan ever.)  As I peel it, the smell makes a nice halo around my table.


I taste…

– The aforementioned navel orange.  Though I have to admit, cinnamon sugar would taste pretty good right now.


I feel…

– The cool marble (more likely solid surface) table I’m writing on.  The chairs here are comfortable too.

– Exposed :)  – one of my colleagues who is a Daily Deac reader stopped by to say hello and quickly realized what I was there to do.  Normally I feel pretty much incognito because I never know who reads unless they tell me.  This was a good chuckle.


So there’s your Five Senses of Farrell during Finals.   Prior to walking in to Farrell, I had a certain image of what I thought it would be like – tense, quiet as a tomb, deadly serious – and it wasn’t that at all.  Nice to be surprised sometimes.

Ribbons, Claim Our Space (2)One final thought – here is an image from the Quad yesterday at the Claim Our Space event.  This is just one picture, but there were ribbons on a lot of the trees and it looked terrific.


– by Betsy Chapman

Finals Continue

Last night was the “Late Night Breakfast” – which is held in the Pit from 10pm-midnight.  Faculty and staff work alongside our ARAMARK/Campus Dining staff to serve breakfast to students.  We know our students are studying for finals and need a break – maybe some carbs and protein too! – to power them through as they burn the midnight oil.

LNB is always a fun affair.  There’s great music – thank you, Wake Radio! you were playing some great tunes – and it is fun to see students’ reactions to administrators they may know who are serving food or helping take trays to tables, etc.  The Demon Deacon was there as well, high fiving students, sitting at tables and looking at books with them, even dancing.

Speaking of dancing, there were a few moments of pure, unadulterated awesomeness lastnight.  Occasionally one or more students would break into a spontaneous dance – tons of energy and verve, great to see.  At one point, there were a couple of students and a couple of staff doing a line dance together.  The coup de grace for me was a young man in a white t-shirt and red shorts.  He was cutting a rug like nobody’s business.  Really amazing.  I credit both his dancing skills and his confidence.  He was rocking it and it was a joy to see.

My job lastnight was to click a counter as students came in the door.  Normally when they come in, they have to show their ID and swipe it to use a meal from their meal plan – but last night’s feast was totally gratis, paid for by Campus Life.  When students would try to show me their card, I got to tell them ‘this one’s on us, compliments of Campus Life.  Eat, drink, and be merry!’ and you would think I had just handed them a $50.  Free food for tired students facing finals is always a win.  All told, we served 513 students between 10 pm and midnight.

In other campus news, today from 12-2 there was an opportunity for students to come together on the Quad to ‘Claim Our Space.’  The Claim Our Space flyer gives the background about this student-initiated project.  Students could tie a red ribbon around the trunk of one of the Quad trees, and/or they could write a message on a notecard and tie that up there.  My time there was just before the start of the event so I didn’t get to see it in full swing.  Hopefully there will be some pictures.

A final word on finals.  Think back and remember how you felt during your own finals week.  Students are stressed out, tired, and it’s hard to feel cheerful with exams looming.  However, at the Daily Deac, we’re trying to find some light moments.  A quick search on finals week memes brought up some funnies.  Your students might not be ready to laugh at these, but maybe you are..?

finals meme 2 finals meme 3 finals meme 4 finals meme 5



– by Betsy Chapman

The Lovefeast

llovefeast1277I hope that many of you joined us via livefeed at the 50th anniversary Lovefeast lastnight.  This was as packed as I’ve ever seen it.  Not only was it SRO in the chapel proper, they had an overflow seating in the newly-renovated Davis Chapel and it, too, was packed.

There were a couple of wonderfully appropriate moments at what is always a warm and heartening service.  One was that Jane Sherrill Stroupe (’67) was present.  She had organized and led the first Lovefeast, with the help of alumnus and Chaplain Ed Christman.  Jane was present lastnight and led the assembly in the Moravian Blessing right before the communal meal of a Moravian bun -with its hints of ginger and winter spices – and coffee.  (And for those alumni reading, the coffee is scads better today than in the late 80s/early 90s, when it looked a bit grayish and was very very sweet.  This tasted great!)  You can read Jane’s story in the Winston-Salem Journal’s coverage of the Lovefeast.

The guest of honor was Ed Wilson (’43), Provost Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English.  He was and is Wake Forest to generations of alumni, and whenever Provost Wilson was speaking, students made a point of going to hear him.  So it was especially fitting to have him speak.  I know the alumni tuned in via livestream on the web must have been giddy when they realized he was to speak.  Few Wake Foresters could be as beloved as Ed Wilson – with possible exceptions of Ed Christman our former Chaplain (who could not be with us lastnight, but was watching from his room in Salemtowne, a local retirement community), and our late, great dean of Admissions, Bill Starling.  I used to think of the Eds and Bill as the WFU holy trinity, no blasphemy intended.  They were the big 3 pillars of our Wake Forest lives for so many years.

20091206lovefeast2793If you missed the Lovefeast lastnight and want to watch it today – the link is live on this page.  It is beautiful music, warm reflections on the holiday season, singing , and the thrilling moment when the chapel is put into darkness and one by one your Moravian beeswax candle gets lit by that of your neighbor, until the whole chapel is ablaze with light.

In all the years I have gone to the Lovefeast, last night I learned something new.  It’s always a bit hot in the chapel during the ceremony – everyone arrives bundled up in winter coats, and when you take them off there’s all that body heat in there.  That heat gets sustained from 2,400 people squished up close to each other.  But after the candles were lit, one of my dear friends next to me was telling his young daughter “do you feel the breeze yet?” and she waited (and so did I) to feel it – and my friend explained that once all the candles are lit, the flickering of the flames makes for a small breeze.  When multiplied by 2,400 candles flickering at once, there is a palpable breeze.  Which comes right at the moment you need it, and is so subtle you might miss it if you didn’t have someone point it out to you.

This was a night for students, faculty, staff, young families, local townspeople and alumni from near and far.  The Lovefeast always unites us, and always sends us home little better and happier than when we arrived.  It is a good, good night.

Speaking of good nights, your students are in finals now.  We have resurrected a longtime tradition, the Late Night Breakfast.  Tonight at 10 pm to midnight, students can come to the Pit for an evening breakfast – all the carb-loading needed to fuel the finals prepping.  The servers and helpers are all faculty and staff – so we take care of getting your kids fed, trays to their tables, etc.  It’s a nice night and very festive – urge your Deacs to partake!


– by Betsy Chapman

Five (Four) Senses of Reynolda Hall Lobby

12 5 14 rh lobbyFor the last blog post before finals, I bring you the Five Senses of the lobby in Reynolda Hall, circa 2 pm yesterday.  I was perched on one of the lobby couches right outside the Office of Academic Advising.  I had a clear shot to my right of the doors leading out onto the Quad, and a clear shot on my left to the Green Room and the doors leading back to the Mag Patio.  While this is not a picture I took yesterday (it’s a stock photo from our archive), this will give you a little sense of the place.


I see….

– Two female students camped at a couch and a table and chairs, respecitively.  Other than those two ladies, I am the only other person sitting here.

– The one at the table has a laptop open and is eating a Subway lunch as she works.  The one on the couch has her back to me so I can’t see what she is doing, but she seems to be doing a lot of stretching and yawning, so I am going to assume she is tired.

– A dean come through the front door from the Quad.  A few minutes later, I see a University Police officer do the same.

– People typically taking off their winter coats as they enter warm Reynolda from the cold Quad.

– The Christmas tree and the menorah through the windows of the door going to the Quad.

– Students come and go – very scattered, not too many.  The female students are almost always wearing boots.  Not just equestrian tall boots anymore, either – now there are ankle boots with heels (traditional or wedge).

– One male student comes in with no jacket.  This is surprising to me, as it is cold.  Most of the students coming through have a jacket, or a hoodie, or at least a sweater and scarf.  Not this guy.  T-shirt with a button down shirt over it (unbuttoned).  I have to believe he is cold, but he isn’t acting like he is.

– FINALLY I see a girl wearing Not Boots.  Plain flats.  For a couple of minutes I amuse myself by taking a boots vs Not Boots poll, and see that in the short time I was watching, six female students were in boots, three in Not Boots.

– A pretty female student carrying flowers.  She passes me and heads away.  About five minutes later, she returns sans flowers, so she has delivered them to someone in Reynolda.

– A very tall male student carrying what looks like the leftover wrappings of a 12″ Subway lunch.  Something about his face and easy smile makes me think he is very polite.  He just has a very kind bearing.


 I hear…

– Distorted voices that come from people talking in a building with high ceilings and staircases.  You can hear that people are talking, but it sounds garbled until they get close to me.

– A very purposeful STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP of boots on a girl who comes in the door and is walking at a brisk clip.

– Squeaky shoes on one staff member.  His gait is a lot slower than the typical pace of footsteps I am hearing.

– The ding of the elevator bell as it arrives on the 1st floor.

– A few “hi, how are you?”s as students pass each other and are greeting friends.

– But largely what strikes me is how very, very, very quiet it is.  Normally at this hour there should be a lot of people entering and exiting, chatting as they go.  It’s extremely quiet.  So much so that I can hear the clicking of the doors as they latch closed.  I can even hear the flush of a toilet in the women’s bathroom, which is around the corner and down the hall from where I am.  This is strange.

– The returning STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP of my purposeful walker – she’s come and gone.

“When do you go home?” said one student to another as they passed me.  “Tuesday” was the reply.

– A conversation between one of our professional academic advisers and a student he is meeting with – they are walking back to the Academic Advising office.

– Jingling keys in someone’s hand as they walk by.

– The extended BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP of an elevator door that’s been held open too long and is trying to force close.

– A horrific sounding cough coming from the Green Room.  The cougher comes out later, it’s a girl.


I feel…

– Cold breeze rush in as the door opens.

– Comfortable cushions on the sofa I am sitting on in the lobby.  This is the kind where you sit down and it’s squishy and you sink in a bit.  Would be an excellent napping couch if you weren’t self-conscious about sleeping in the entryway of an oft-used building.


I smell…

– Cold air.  It doesn’t smell cold enough for snow, but it has that cold, slightly-humid air smell to it.

– An occasional waft of food smell from the Pit below, but I can’t put my finger on what the smell is.  It just sort of has a cafeteria smell.


No tasting today – sorry!

Have a good weekend, Deac families.  Call your kids, wish them luck on finals and tell them not to be too hard on themselves while prepping for them.

20121202lovefeast8482And don’t forget about the Lovefeast on Sunday evening.  Hopefully any interested students will go – and you can join in via the livestream that will be available on Sunday.


– by Betsy Chapman

ZieSta Room

20141121ziesta0075Nothing makes me happier than to see Wake Forest recognized for good ideas and student-centered focus.  Today is a great example of that.  Inside Higher Ed has a story about our intrepid and innovative Z Smith Reynolds Library and the addition of the ZieSta Room (get it? letters capitalized for ZSR, so clever!)  The ZieSta Room allows students to unplug from technology and studying and have a quiet place for a quick catnap:

“Napping students — exhausted by long nights of studying for exams or writing term papers — are common in campus libraries. But at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library, sleeping students can now be found resting in comfortable recliners, instead of snoring into open textbooks.

Last month, the library unveiled a technology-free relaxation area called the “ZieSta Room.” The room — which originated as a proposal from a group of students — encourages students to turn off their electronics, put away their books, and take a quick study break, even if that means falling asleep. The space’s guidelines stress that the area is not a study space, and that the only reading taking place there should be done for pleasure.”

Read the full article here.  It’s a great story about the ZSR, but also talks about larger issues of college student wellbeing.  Our new director of wellbeing, Malika Roman Isler (’99) is quoted about Wake’s Thrive efforts to improve wellbeing.

In other campus news, I am sorry to say that I missed being part of the 4 pm photo yesterday at Wait Chapel (there was a phone call I had to take).  If any of our Daily Deac readers has a picture, please email it to and I will post it here.

One more day of classes.  Wow.  Where did the semester go?  With the end of the semester, you may notice an uptake in your students’ stress levels.  Not a surprise, of course; you may well remember your own days from finals and how you felt.  If your student is the type who would benefit from a pep talk, or a word of encouragement, or a care package, that can help lighten the mood.  And even if you don’t have time to make a giant batch of your Deac’s favorite cookies, remember that we have Deacon Greetings, where you can wish your student good luck, or send them messages of love and caring.  Make your own card here.  It only takes a few seconds for you to fill out the e-card, but that e-card might just make their day.

Finally, we try to mention this to parents and families every now and again, and pre-finals is a good time for a reminder.  While your students are living here 24/7, most of our administrative offices keep 8:30 am-5:00 pm office hours.  If you ever run into a situation where it is after normal business hours and you have an urgent need to reach someone because you have a concern about your student that must be addressed quickly, University Police is our 24/7 contact.  They can assess the situation and determine who best to address your concern. The 24-hour contact number for University Police is 336.758.5591 (non emergency) or 336.758.5911 (emergency). They can get in touch with on-call duty staff 24-hours/day.

Last Week of Classes

And you can sort of smell it in the air.  Our students know they have much to do before break, and there is a wide range of end-of-classes/pre-finals faces.  For some they look tired, for others they have a determined look about them, still others carry a nonchalant look like ‘I’ve got this!’

I’m not sure if it’s because of the weather (still cold and gray and misty today) or if people are starting to hunker down in work mode and get serious, but I saw a lot more sweats and casual clothing on our students today than one normally sees.

12 2 14 3 12 2 14 4 12 2 14The school is cognizant of the pre-finals stresses, and happily there was a cart advertising free hot chocolate on the Quad.  I took some pictures and then later as I was on my way, I overheard some students in the distance see the cart and say something akin to ‘THIS is why I chose this school – I knew it would be hard, but they also do things like this for us.”

More of that sort of help will be coming with Wake the Library, which will begin this Friday the 5th.  Students can spend time in the ZSR studying and working, but also having some opportunities for free food, relaxation stations, and some moments of fun and frivolity to lighten the mood.

Lastnight was Lighting of the Quad, and if you are not following Wake Forest University on Facebook, you should – they have some great pictures from lastnight, including some aerials.  You can also friend on Facebook Stu DentUnion and see some of their coverage, including a fun video of all the students with their lit candles.  The Lighting had reflections and songs, the lighting of the Christmas tree and menorah, as well as the trees in the Quad.  A good time was had by all.

20091206lovefeast2793Coming up on Sunday night at 8 pm is the 50th annual Lovefeast in Wait Chapel.  For many students, this is a not-to-be-missed event.  For all of our Deac families, you can join in and watch via simulcast on Sunday night.  You’ll go to the main WFU web page ( and you’ll see a link on how to join the livestream.   The Lovefeast truly is one of the most beautiful communal moments at Wake Forest.  If you want to read some coverage about what it is like, here is a link to last year’s Daily Deac about it.

Here’s a final few of shots of the campus, taken at different times (early morning and midday).  The weather has not improved one bit.

12 2 14 5 12 2 14 6 12 2 14 2


It Doesn’t Smell Like Snow

It doesn’t smell like snow – and those of you in snow-prone areas know there is a distinct smell in the air when snow is coming – but boy it sure looks like it could snow at any minute.  Yesterday was sunny and nearly 70, today is 40 but feels like 35 with wind chill and is gray and dreary.  There’s no nice way to say it – the weather is just gross today.  Hopefully the intermittent mist will end in time for the Lighting of the Quad tonight.

artisan fairSpeaking of the holidays, if your Deacs are looking for some easy holiday gift-buying for family members, we are holding our annual Artisan’s Fair on Friday in room 401 of the Benson Center.  Your students may not have any idea that an administrator or faculty member they know is also an accomplished artist, baker, jewelry maker, or seamstress (seamster for men?) – but on Friday they can browse the various offerings.  It’s always a great spread for gifts – or even if they just want to buy themselves a treat.

A couple of other activities on campus that bear mentioning.  Tomorrow (Weds.) at 11 am the Divinity School is hosting Ferguson: A Discussion on Race, Justice, and Hope for the Future.  The Women’s Center will host The Water Cooler at 4:30, an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to gather; this coffee and conversation hour happens weekly.  There is an Orchestra concert tomorrow night at 7:30 as well.

One final note about campus doings tomorrow.  At 4 pm, the campus is invited to join Gender Equality Allies for a photo project in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault on college campuses.  The Daily Deac covered a lot of the ‘Together Tuesdays’ pictures earlier in the semester, and these sort of group photos/awareness raising can be powerful moments.  I hope your students will join me there.  There is also an important message on our News page about sexual assault that I hope you will read.


- by Betsy Chapman 

Post-Holiday Readers’ Choice Recipes

Your Deacs are back and today they get to enjoy a wonderfully warm and sunny day.  It’s nearly 70, sunny, and gorgeous.  And tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the low 40s.  That’s way too much weather zigging and zagging for my taste.

Speaking of taste and the Thanksgiving holiday, I asked our readers last week to share some of their go-to meals.  I got a few very promising looking recipes – so if you are looking for a new salad, entree, or dessert, we have a few great examples at the end of this post.  Many thanks to those who submitted!

Tomorrow night is the Lighting of the Quad.  It will be on the Quad from 7-8 pm, and is described on the Events calendar as follows:  “Lighting of the Quad is time of holiday cheer and good tidings when the Wake Forest family can come together and celebrate the spirit and meaning of community.  At Lighting of the Quad, students, faculty and staff will enjoy treats, an a capella concert, student and guest speakers and the lighting of the university tree, menorah and individual candles held by all in attendance.”

Your students will want to go to this – it’s a nice way to share in the communal joy of the upcoming holiday season and be present with friends and classmates for good cheer.

Here’s the recipes from our Daily Deac reader-chefs.  Bon appetit!


Edamame Three-Bean Salad

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2  teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2  cup frozen corn (rinsed under cold water to thaw)

1 cup shelled soy beans (edamame)

1 (15-16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-16 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 scallions, cut in ½ inch slices

1/2 red pepper, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, basil or a combination

In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil; set aside.  Combine the edamame beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, scallions, bell pepper, cilantro and basil. Gently toss in the dressing.  Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. 


Chopped Salad

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

1 cucumber, seeded and diced, medium

2 large tomatoes, medium diced

2/3 lb fresh mozzarella, medium diced

8-10 olives, roughly chopped

Italian salad dressing to taste

*all quantities are flexible, depending on your family’s tastes. We usually have Campari tomatoes in the winter, but grape tomatoes are also easy. We try for even proportions of cheese and cucumber and tomato and garbanzo, with olives as seasoning with the salad dressing. Simply chop, mix everything, toss with dressing and enjoy. It holds up well on a buffet table, and if there are leftovers, it’s a great sandwich filling in pita bread.


Taco Soup

2 lbs ground beef

1 onion, chopped

Brown these, together in large pot, and drain. Return to pot.


Add the following, without draining:

1 can corn

1 can hominy (optional)

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can black beans

2 cans Rotel tomatoes

2 pkgs Ranch dressing mix

2 pkgs taco seasoning

Simmer 30 minutes and serve over tortilla chips with grated cheddar cheese on top.  Can add a dollop of sour cream and/or slice of avocado, if desired.  Always better the 2nd day.


Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pound Italian sausage ( use all hot or half sweet, half hot)

1/2  tsp dried red pepper flakes   (can double for more spiciness)

1/2 cup diced onions

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes, drained, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2  tsp salt

12 oz. bow tie pasta

3 tbsp. minced fresh basil or parsley

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.  After taking casings off  sausage, add sausage and peeper flakes to skillet. Cook sausage until no longer pink. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender. Add tomatoes, cream and salt.  Simmer until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.

Cook pasta until tender but still firm to bite. Drain

Bring sauce to simmer. Add cooked pasta and cook until heated through and sauce thickens…about 2 minutes. Serve with parsley and Parmesan cheese.


Judy’s Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup white wine

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 cups cooked chopped chicken  ( I cook a whole chicken in crockpot and then debone or you can use breast)

2 unbaked deep-dish pie shells

Sauté onion, celery and carrots in butter for 10 minutes.  Add flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.   Add chicken broth and half-and-half. Stir well. Add peas.  Add white wine.  Stir and cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  I also add a chicken bouillon cube sometimes when I add the broth.  Add salt, pepper and chicken. Simmer on lowest heat.

Pour chicken pie filling into one pie shell. Top with second crust. Seal edges. Prick top with fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.


French Apple Pie


Pillsbury Ready-made pie crust

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

dash of salt

5-6 thinly sliced peeled and cored apples (Golden Delicious)



1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firm butter

1/2 cup granulated brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put ready-made pie crust into 9-inch pie plate. Double the pie crust on the edges so it doesn’t burn, and press down on with a fork.  Mix all ingredients together, except the apples. Then mix the apples and put in the pie plate.

Mix together topping ingredients until crumbly and place on top of pie. If you have one of those pie crust protectors, use that so crust doesn’t burn. If not, try covering the crust (only) with aluminum foil.

Bake 30-40 minutes. During last 10 minutes of baking, remove pie crust protector or foil and cover entire pie with foil.  Best served warm. Bonus: add whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!  SERVING SIZE- 8 to 10 people


Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup canola oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup butterscotch chips


Preheat the oven to 325. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color (1 min) scraping sides as needed. On low speed, mix in the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the butterscotch chips.

Scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets and space cookies at least 2.5” apart. Bake the cookies until tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (~16 mins). Cool on baking sheets for 5 mins, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


 — by Betsy Chapman