Gorge the Gourd!


Isn’t it a little backwards that we gorge on pumpkin before Halloween? Shouldn’t we be gutting all of our carved pumpkins on November 1st and baking those wonderful pumpkin pies? Well maybe that’s the logical way, but honestly we just can’t wait any longer. The cool Fall air kindles that pumpkin craving. Just look around. We have pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin shakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cake, pumpkin pancakes… pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.

I have some terrific pumpkin recipes in my cookbook. If you love pumpkin, you will love every one of those recipes. Today, I’m sharing a simple snack for that pumpkin fix. I know you will enjoy it.

Fall Dip

  • 1 – 3.5 ounce box butterscotch pudding mix
  • ⅛ – teaspoon allspice
  • 1 – 5.1 ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ⅛ – teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ – teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 – 15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
  • ¼ – teaspoon ginger
  • 1 – 16 ounce tub Cool Whip, thawed

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pudding mixes with the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Blend in the pumpkin with a mixer on low speed. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the Cool Whip until the dip starts to thicken. Put the dip in a nice bowl and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serve the dip with animal crackers or graham crackers.


A Cookbook Filled with Family Favorites and Age-Old Classics.


I spent 30+ years in a cubicle, programming computers.  Late in my career, I began to notice that nobody cooked much anymore.  Everybody works now days and there’s so much to do after work that it’s just easier to head for fast food on the way home. These realizations inspired me to start writing down my family recipes.  Six years later, I had prepared and written up over 600 recipes that I had been collecting from family and friends over my lifetime.  All this cooking and typing made me want to encourage others to cook more or learn to cook and save all their family recipes, too.  I was inspired to learn more about the basic ingredients my family used and share that knowledge with my readers to help them feel more confident on their cooking journey.  And now Caveman Chemistry is ready for you.  Purchase my cookbook on http://www.lulu.com.  I know you will enjoy preparing and eating my family’s favorite dishes.

Valerie and Her First Book

Valerie and Her First Book

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2015


In Texas, the holiday parties always have a Tex-Mex flair interspersed with family favorites.  One of the most popular snacks is Seven Layer Dip.  This dip can easily be customized to your particular taste – spicy or mild, bold or reserved.  The layers can be anything you desire, depending on the chips, crackers, vegetables, and fruits you’re serving.  Here is my favorite combination:

Seven Layer Dip

⅓ – cup salsa, mild or hot
1 – 9 ounce can bean dip
1 – 1 ounce envelope guacamole mix
3 – avocados
1 – 16 ounce tub sour cream
2+ – cups shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
1 – small tomato, chopped
1 – 4.25 ounce can chopped or sliced black olives, drained
1 – tablespoon fresh or dried chives

Measure the salsa according to how runny it is; you may need a little more or less, as you don’t want the bean dip layer to be too runny. Combine the salsa and bean dip and spread the mixture in a thin layer across the bottom of a 2-quart shallow serving dish.  My dish is approximately 12x8x2.  Most guacamole mixes call for 2 avocados and that’s what I use if I’m making guacamole as a side dish. However in this dip, I use 3 avocados to make sure the avocado taste is not lost in the sour cream and bean dip. Make the guacamole with the 3 avocados and spread it evenly over the bean dip. Stir the sour cream to make it more fluffy and spreadable. Carefully spread the sour cream over the guacamole, being sure to cover the guacamole and seal it all along the edges of the pan. Sealing the guacamole away from the air will keep the guacamole green and fresh tasting. I like that better than adding lemon juice to the guacamole to keep it from turning brown. Sprinkle the cheese over the sour cream layer and top the dip with the remaining ingredients. Cover the dip and chill it at least 2-3 hours. Great when served with low salt tortilla chips.