Mix-n-Match Recipes

As people find themselves staring at full pantries with questions about how to use up all the contents of their cupboards, Mix-n-Match Recipes could be the answer people are looking for. A little bit of this, a dash of that, and suddenly you have a full meal instead of just random ingredients. Try it! These recipes are being offered free of charge to hopefully bring some help in the midst of a difficult time.


What People are Saying About Mix-n-Match Recipes:

  • Mix and Match Recipes is a tiny treasure of a cookbook that will get you in and out of the kitchen in a hurry. The recipe for the Mix and Match Fruit Crisp is worth the price of the book! I love this recipe, especially served with ice cream.” – The Rebecca Review
  • “I love the mix and match soup recipe. The only soup I remember my mother making was a big deal all day soup. Thanks to mix and match, I have learned how easy soup is to make.” – Mary Beth
  • “For many years I’ve cooked from the original Mix and Match Recipes: Creative Recipes for Busy Kitchens and I was so happy to find her book reprinted and also in the Kindle format. I use the Kindle reading app on my iPad meaning I can quickly check recipe ingredients while I’m shopping. I can also use my iPad while cooking in the kitchen, if needed. This cookbook is tried and true (TNT) and the recipe combinations are endless.” – Amazon reader

Mix-n-Match Quick Bread

MIX-N-MATCH QUICK BREAD (from Mix-n-Match Recipes)
(Makes two loaves)
You can also make muffins with this recipe.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups Mix-n-Match (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds (your choice)

Mix-n-Match (one or more of the following to equal 2 cups)

  • Apples, grated or chopped
  • Applesauce
  • Apricots, chopped
  • Bananas, mashed or chopped
  • Berries
  • Carrots, cooked and mashed or grated
  • Cherries, pitted and chopped
  • Coconut, grated
  • Cranberries, dry or raw, chopped
  • Dates or figs, pitted and finely chopped
  • Lemon, 1/2 cup juice
  • Marmalade (omit 1 cup sugar)
  • Oranges, chopped
  • Orange juice, 1/2 cup juice
  • Peaches, fresh or canned, chopped
  • Pears, fresh or canned, chopped
  • Pineapple, crushed and well-drained
  • Prunes, chopped
  • Pumpkin, canned
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb, finely chopped (add 1/2 cup more sugar)
  • Strawberries, well-drained
  • Sweet Potatoes or Yams, cooked and mashed, or grated
  • Zucchini, grated and well-drained


  1. Sift together dry ingredients.
  2. In separate bowl, beat eggs; add oil and sugar; cream together.
  3. Stir in vanilla and your choice of Mix-n-Match.
  4. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in nuts.
  5. Spoon into 2 well-greased loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

For Muffins:

  1. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Tasty MIX-N-MATCH combinations:

  • Carrot-Raisin-Walnut
  • Pumpkin-Raisin-Sunflower seeds
  • Apple-Cranberry-Walnut
  • Cranberry-Orange-Walnut


Mix-n-Match Skillet Meals

An excellent way to use up leftovers or pantry items.  Excerpted from Mix-n-Match Recipes by Deborah Taylor-Hough.

Mix-n-Match Skillet Meals

Choose one (1) food from each of the following groups:

Breads and Cereals (1 cup raw)

  • Macaroni
  • Spaghetti
  • Rice (white or brown)
  • Noodles
  • Bulgar
  • Any pasta

Sauce (1 can soup plus 1.5 cans milk, broth or water)

  • Cream of Mushroom
  • Cream of Celery
  • Cream of Chicken
  • Cream of Potato
  • Tomato Soup
  • French Onion Soup

Protein (1 pound or 1 cup cooked)

  • Chopped beef
  • Chopped pork or ham
  • Ground beef or turkey
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Cooked dry beans
  • Frankfurters
  • Keilbasa

Vegetables (1.5 to 2 cups canned, cooked or raw)

  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Lima beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Celery
  • Green Pepper
  • Whatever you have around

1/2 to 1 cup cheese (any kind) can be stirred into sauce at the end of the cooking time.

  1. Choose one food from each of the four groups above.
  2. Stir together in skillet.
  3. Season to taste with salt, pepper, soy sauce, onion flakes, garlic, or whatever spices you enjoy.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to lowest setting.
  6. Cover pan and simmer 30 minutes until pasta or rice is tender.
  7. Stir occasionaly to prevent rice and pasta from sticking.
  8. Stir in cheese, if desired.
  9. Serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

To bake in oven: Mix all ingredients in casserole dish and cover tightly; bake at 350 F for one hour. If you use tuna, noodles, peas, and a cream soup, it’s essentially a good old-fashioned tuna casserole.


Mix-n-Match Soup

A simple and tasty homemade soup using things in your pantry, cupboards, and freezer. My kids called this Stone Soup because it resembles the soup in the classic children’s tale.

(8 generous servings)

Excerpted from Mix-n-Match Recipes by Deborah Taylor-Hough.

BROTH (Choose One)
Tomato: One 12-oz. can tomato paste PLUS two 16-oz. cans tomatoes with juice (chopped) PLUS water to equal 10 cups total
Chicken/Turkey: 10 cups broth or 5 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups water
Beef: 10 cups broth or 5 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups water

PROTEIN (Choose One – 1 lb or 2 cups cooked)
Ground beef, browned
Cooked chicken, turkey or ham – cut up
Lentils, raw or cooked
Frankfurters, sausage, Kielbasa – sliced
Cooked or canned beans (pinto, kidney, etc.)

GRAIN (Choose One – 2 cups)
Rice, cooked
Barley, cooked
Pasta, raw
Dumplings (add at end of cooking time)

VEGETABLES (Choose Two – 1-2 cups sliced, diced or shredded)
Green Beans
Peas or pea pods

SEASONINGS (Choose 2 to 4 – 1-2 teaspoons each)
Cayenne (dash)
Onion Powder

Bring stock to boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add all ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat. Simmer one hour.

Excerpted from the book Mix-n-Match Recipes.



Basic “Use-It-Up” Quiche

Basic “Use-It-Up” Quiche Recipe
(Serves 6)

Excerpted from Mix-n-Match Recipes by Deborah Taylor-Hough.

You can use almost any leftover vegetable or meat in this recipe. If you have eggs, milk, rice and cheese, you can practically clean out your fridge right into your quiche pan. I always add the cheese last when making this quiche. The cheese makes a beautiful mellow-brown crust on the top. I usually add a bit of chopped onion to my quiches for flavor, and broccoli makes an especially nice vegetable quiche.  And it’s gluten-free, too!

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice, cooked (white or brown)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb any leftover vegetable, chopped (single vegetable or a mix)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, or light cream
  • 1 cup cheese, grated (your choice: Swiss, Cheddar, Jack, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Dash nutmeg, or ground mace

Crust Directions:

  1. Mix together cooked rice, egg and soy sauce.
  2. Spread evenly to cover well- buttered quiche pan or pie plate.
  3. Bake rice crust at 350 F for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven.

Filling Directions:

  1. Place chopped vegetable in bottom of crust.
  2. Mix together: eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over broccoli.
  3. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until set.
  4. Remove from oven, and let sit ten minutes before slicing, if serving fresh; or wrap pie pan, label and freeze.
  5. Quiche can be served cold after thawing for a yummy hot weather treat; or heat the thawed quiche at 350 F for 20 minutes.




31m2vqk1gvlBAD THINGS HAPPEN is an experimental book length erasure poem. An erasure is a “found” poem in which the poet works with text from an original work to create something new. An erasure is often created in response to, or in conversation with, the original source text. Through purposeful decision-making, the erasure poet will subvert, challenge, question, or build upon the meaning and themes in the source text. Unlike a blackout poem (which presents the original redacted text with the new poem as a visual art form), an erasure constructs the new work into lines/stanzas, thus creating something separate from the original source text.

BAD THINGS HAPPEN is a book-length collection of erasure poems constructed in response to the book, Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen? by Kay Arthur. Arthur’s book is a daily Bible study examining questions about the role of God in difficult life events and was written to an audience mainly of Evangelical Christians.

While creating the works in BAD THINGS HAPPEN, the author sought to take the viewpoint of someone who doesn’t claim the infallibility of the Bible or even necessarily believe in any sort of god. The reality in life is that bad things happen. Truly bad things happen. Even evil things.  To Believers and Unbelievers, alike.

The erasure poems in BAD THINGS HAPPEN don’t necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of the poet, but are offered as food for thought and as a means for looking at life through the lens of someone outside the purview of modern Evangelical Christian thought and practice.

Preview: “Nature Study by Months”

bookcoverpreview-2We’re pleased to announce the upcoming re-release of Nature Study by Months for Elementary Grades by Arthur C. Boyden (1898).  This title has been out-of-print for many years, and  Simple Pleasures Press is bringing this work back into print—in both paperback and ebook formats.

For home educators following Charlotte Mason‘s ideas on studying nature, Nature Study by Months will be an excellent supplement to Mason’s The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outdoor Activities. Although Mason and Boyden had an ocean between them (Mason in Ambleside, England while Boyden was in Massachusetts, USA), they were espousing similar ideas on sharing nature with children during the same time period.

Nature Study by Months is the first in a series of reprints of out-of-print and other nature-related titles.

The following is a preview of what you can expect from this upcoming title.

Nature Study by Months for Elementary Grades

by Arthur C. Boyden


Suggestions for Nature Study

Love of Nature

The study should include the child’s environment, –the living animals and plants, the earth substances, and the forces that work upon them. The child’s observation should be the starting point. The teacher serves as the guide, suggesting material, stimulating and directing the observation and thought. This work should, above all else, lead into a strong love of Nature, an appreciation of the beauty, harmony, adaptation, and plan in the world about us; a sympathy for all living things, which manifests itself in thoughtful care and kind treatment.


The aim is to cultivate in the child what may be termed the elementary equivalent of genuine scientific spirit, so that out of his native fondness for things about him shall come an enthusiastic, truth-seeking, reverent attitude toward Nature, with boldness to question her, patience to study her, and readiness to be taught by her. Plan in all possible ways for out-of-door observations, as this is the true field of Nature Study.


Cultivate the various forms of expression, such as drawing, coloring, oral and written language, and in cases that readily admit of it, construction. The work should be closely related to language, spelling, reading, and particularly literature. It should appeal to the imagination, and the artist and poet should be called upon to help the child interpret the beautiful. Some of the best selections should be committed to memory. Many applications of number, form, and color will suggest themselves.

As the child understands his own environment, he is prepared to appreciate geography as the study of the home of man. The thoughts of the life throbbing through the plant and animal, and the forms at work about us, all in perfect harmony, and for definite purposes, are suggestions of infinite law. Such thoughts are among the loftiest that can possess the human soul.

Nature Study by Months for Elementary Grades will be available for purchase in mid-2017 (perhaps earlier!).  Stay tuned for more information as the release date approaches.

The Secret to Successful New Year’s Resolutions

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

The biggest thing that seems to keep me from pursuing healthy eating habits or exercise routines for any significant length of time is personal time constraints. Busy, busy, busy. Like many people today between work, school, and home demands, I don’t always have time to get home-cooked meals on the table regularly — much less take the time to actually prepare something nutritious and healthy. Continue reading

Two Simple Pleasures Press titles are #1

Two Simple Pleasures Press titles are currently the #1 top selling homeschooling Kindle ebooks on Amazon!  A Twaddle-free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason’s TImeless Educational Ideas by Deborah Taylor-Hough is #1 in Homeschooling ebooks!

Twaddle Free #1

Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success by Charlotte Mason is #1 in paid Homeschooling ebooks! (And The Outdoor Life of Children by Charlotte Mason is #4!)

Habits #1