Thursday, October 23, 2014


This recipe came from my favorite Aunt....

I have not made it yet, but since it's Apple Season I wanted to share it ASAP!

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  • Throughly grease a 10-9nch Bundt pan with shortening (Crisco) and lightly flour it
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice, fresh possible
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped (I like to toast them)
2 1/2 cups peeled, cored, finely diced apple (about 4 medium apples)
  • Sift together the flour, salt baking soda and cinnamon, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and oil until smooth.
  • Add the orange juice and vanilla, mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • Stir in the walnuts and apples until blended.
  • Pour the batter into the pan.
  • Bake 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool in the pan on a rack, 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cake plate.

6 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup buttermilk

  • Combine the butter, sugar, baking soda, and buttermilk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil 5-10 minutes, until it thickens slightly and begins to turn light brown. 
  • Take off the heat.
  • Using a toothpick, punch 15 to 20 holes in the top of the cake and pour the glaze over the cake.
  • Let the cake set and cool before serving. 
  • Store in an airtight cake carrier in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!

Saturday, October 12, 2013



This soup is "company good" serve with crusty bread; AUTUMN BOUNTY SALAD (see recipe on this blog) and a good red wine!

The recipe makes 4, approximately 1 1/2 cup servings. I double it as it freezes well.

left over pot roast, chopped, and about a cup of left over broth
1 Tablespoon Olive oil or vegetable oil
A medium onion, chopped
A couple of stalks of celery, sliced
A large carrot, sliced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
I like to add a little basil and a bay leaf too
3/4 cup of quick - cooking barley
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 teaspoon salt or garlic salt or to taste
1-2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar (optional)

  • Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the oil to the pan 
  • Add the vegetables
  • Saute until vegetables are softened
  • Add the tomato paste and thyme and/or other seasonings
  • Add your left over broth plus the additional broth
  • Stir in the barley 
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to maintain a simmer;
  • Cook until barley is tender, about 15 minutes
  • Just before serving, add the vinegar, if using

COOKS NOTES: To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.  If leftovers get too thick in the fridge, add a little broth when you reheat it.

No leftovers? Use 8 ounces of sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces.
Season with a little pepper. and brown in the soup pot. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Proceed with the recipe.


Sunday, October 6, 2013


I adapted this recipe from the September 2013 issue of Martha Stewart LIVING magazine. My husband ate one large and half of another for dinner...the next day he declared he doesn't like squash...scraped the filling out, warmed it up in the microwave and said it made a great sandwich!
Martha says these can be assembled a day ahead and refrigerated. Remove 30 minutes before baking.

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise (about 2 pounds)
1 pound Italian sausage, however you like it, spicy or sweet - casing removed
1 small onion, coarsely chopped (about one cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 cup coarse FRESH breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons FRESHLY GRATED lemon zest, plus 1 TbL lemon juice
About 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus some shavings for garnish 
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Drizzle a large baking dish with oil.
  • Scrape seeds and soft flesh from zucchini and reserve 1/2 cup.
  • Place zucchini, cut side up in the baking dish
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage and onion. 
  • Cook breaking up the sausage; until sausage in browed and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add garlic and reserved zucchini; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat
  • Stir in remaining ingredients
  • Divide mixture evenly among zucchini.
  • Bake until filling is firm and zucchini is tender and wrinkled around the edges, 35-45 minutes
  • Garnish with Parmesan shavings if desired.

Saturday, October 5, 2013



You will need Yellow and Orange gel or paste food coloring.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
COMBINE in another bowl then add to the creamed mixture:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
FOR A LARGE COOKIE (as in photo above)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place oven rack in middle position.

Divide the dough in half. Tint one portion yellow.  
Divide the remaining dough into 1/3 and 2/3 portions.  
Tint the larger portion orange. Leave the smaller portion white.  
On a piece of wax or parchment paper, shape each portion into an 8" long logs. 
Stack the logs with the yellow on the bottom; followed by orange and topped with white. 

Flatten into a candy corn or triangle shape. Wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. Or speed up the process by freezing for 30-45 minutes. 

Slice into 1/4-inch slices and place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until set, not browned. Let sit on the pan for a couple of minutes before removing to a rack to cool.

Divide the dough in thirds. Tint one portion Yellow and one portion Orange. I use gel coloring from Wilton. Leave one third white. Add coloring sparingly until the desired color is reached.  You can always go darker; you can't make it lighter if you add too much. 

Line a loaf pan with foil, parchment paper or wax paper.  Press the white dough into the bottom of the pan; then the orange followed by the yellow.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. Or speed up the process by freezing for 30-45 minutes. 

To cut: Invert the loaf pan and unwrap the dough.  Flip it back over and place it on a cutting board.  Cut the loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices using a sharp knife, trimming edges to make even, if necessary. Cut each slice into 6 wedges.

Place one inch apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-10 minutes.

Place cookies straight into a bowl of sugar to coat, if desired. Place on rack to cool.

COOKS NOTE:  Recipe and large cookie method adapted from Taste of 
Small cookie method adapted from Kaitlin in the Kitchen 

I painted an old wooden bowl with chalkboard paint and wrote BOO on it for a fun presentation!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


 Maple-Glazed Pork Roast

Cooks Illustrated THE NEW BEST RECIPES is one of my "go too" cookbooks for never fail recipes like this one.
I must admit that my eyes tend to glaze over with all the discussion and cooking science, but I have found the recipes to be reliable and the science can be informative.



This is one of 4 variations of the basic recipe given in the book.

1/3 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B (I used Grade A maple syrup.) 
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 1/2 - 3 pound boneless pork loin roast (see cooks notes)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • Adjust oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat to 325 degrees.
  • Stir together the maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne 
  • Do not trim the pork of it's thin layer of fat
  • Pat the roast dry with paper towels
  • Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper
  • Coat the bottom of a heavy bottom, oven safe, 10 inch skillet with the 2 teaspoons oil
  • Heat over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke
  • Place the roast fat-side down in the skillet and cook until well browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the roast to a platter. Reduce the heat to medium and pour off the fat from the skillet
  • Add the syrup mixture and cook about 30 seconds
  • Off heat, return the roast to the skillet and roll to coat with the glaze on all sides
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the center of the roast registers about 145 on an instant-read thermometer, 45 - 60 minutes
  • Roll the roast to coat with glaze twice during the roasting time
  • Transfer the roast to a carving board; set the skillet aside to cool slightly and thicken the glaze, about 5 minutes
  • The center of the roast should register 150 - 165 degrees after standing
  • I spooned the glaze over the roast before I sliced it and drizzled some over the slices 
  • Cut into 1/4 inch slices; serve immediately

COOKS NOTES: The recipe suggests that you tie the roast with 5 pieces of cooking twine.  I didn't tie my roast.
If you don't have a oven proof skillet, you can wrap the handle with a couple of layers of aluminum foil to protect it.
I used my mandoline to thinly slice the left over roast for a delicious sandwiches that we ate cold and it also made delicious bar-b-que pork sandwiches.  I blended the remaining glaze with bar-be-que sauce and topped the pork with Billie's Slaw!

Monday, February 25, 2013



This irresistible cookie is like eating the best vanilla ice cream and white cake in a cookie, especially when eaten out of the freezer, which I've been known to do!

 Billie Fehn's Famous Sour Cream Drop Cookies

1/4 cup each softened butter and shortening

1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon each baking soda; baking powder and salt
  • Combine dry ingredients
  • Cream the shortening, butter and sugar beating for several minutes or until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs; beating until just mixed
  • Gently stir in the sour cream and vanilla
  • Add dry ingredients; 
  • Chill 1 hour
  • Drop on parchment lined cookie sheet; I use a #40 cookie scoop for a 3" cookie
  • Bake 400 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes or until just golden on the bottom
  • Cool on wire rack
  • Frost
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 T cream
1/3 cup soft butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • Combine ingredients to form a spreadable frosting
  • Let dry before stacking between sheets of parchment or wax paper
  • Store covered or freeze

Saturday, March 17, 2012




4 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
salt to taste
COOKS NOTE: Don't forget to consider the saltiness of the olives when you are "salting the dressing".

  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Oranges, approximately 2 slices per serving
1 Red Onion
Salad Greens, I like to use Spring Greens and a little Romain
Kalmata Olives, seeded and quartered or Black Olives

  • PREPARE THE ONION - Think you don't like raw onion, try this.
Peel and slice the onion in half lengthwise, then across into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl and cover with ice water.  Soak for at least 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Chill.

Soaking the onion removes the stinging bite of the onion and mellows out the taste.  The sulphur compounds that cause your eyes to burn and give that sharp taste are water soluble and wash away leaving sweet, crunchy onion slices.


With a sharp knife, remove the skin and all the white membrane that you can from the oranges. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

PRESENTATION: You can serve this on a platter for a buffet presentation or plate individual servings. Toss the greens with some dressing, put on the platter or plates. Top with oranges, onion and sprinkle with the olives and drizzle on a little more dressing.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I came across this recipe while searching in The Book Club Cookbook, not for something to eat, but for a good read. I was instantly hungry for Egg Salad!

Paul Shipley is a member of the Blytheville, Arkansas book club and brought his famous Egg Salad when the club discussed the book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.  In the book Morrie and Mitch had long discussions about the meaning of life over Egg Salad sandwiches at the Brandeis cafeteria.

Sometimes the simplest things are such a comfort. 


12 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 small sweet pickles, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon pickle juice
6-10 pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
4 - 8 Tablespoons Hellmans Mayonaise
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Mix eggs, onion, pickle and pickle juice.
  • Add mayo and olive to taste
  • Chill
  • Serve on crackers or as a sandwich or stuffed in celery
Makes 4 cups

COOKS NOTE: I halved the recipe for the two of us.

Want to know more about The Book Club Cookbook: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 
Check out their web site:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012



Adapted from Martha Stewart magazine's Cookie of the Month called Nutty Butters.  I threw in a half a package of mini-chocolate chips and came up with a cookie that my husband actually said "yummm these are good"!  Usually, if I bake anything BUT chocolate chip cookies, I get "they are okay, but they aren't chocolate chip cookies". 

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped (I used party nuts w/o skin)
I added a half 12 ounce package of mini-chocolate chips, just because that's what I had on hand, my taste tester thought there could be more chocolate chips...suit yourself.
  • Melt 1/2 stick butter in a saute pan over medium heat. 
  • Add oats and cook, stirring, until toasted, 5-7 minutes.
  • Spread oats on a parchment-lined baking sheet; let cool.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Beat together remaining stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy
  • Add egg, and beat until combined
  • Add peanut butter, and beat on medium speed until well combined
  • Add oat mixture, chocolate chips and chopped nuts and beat until combined
  • Scoop dough (using a medium scoop, about 2 Tablespoons) on to a parchment lined baking sheet
  • Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes. 
  • Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

COOKS NOTE: I used less salt, about a quarter teaspoon, due to the saltiness of the peanuts.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Step-son and Grandson LOVED this cake and expect it when they visit. The first time I served it, I learned that Chocolate Cake wasn't their first choice until they politely ate this one. Requested by grandpa when his boys came to celebrate his 70th birthday 8/2013.

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon                                           
1teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans
  • Line with parchment; butter parchment and dust it with cocoa powder 
  • Or if you prefer, use a 9x13 baking pan using the same pan preparation. Using cocoa to dust the pan makes for a more attractive presentation when served.
  • Combine sugar, flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk buttermilk, butter and cocoa in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until butter melts.
  • Pour buttermilk mixture over flour mixture and stir to combine. 
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla. 
  • Pour into pan.
  • Bake 40 minutes.
  • Cool 10 minutes in the pan on a rack.
  • Loosen edges by running a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the cake out on to a rack and cool completely.
  • Frost with Mocha Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter                                                      
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons instant expresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound or 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Sift powdered sugar into  a large bowl
  • Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Add cocoa, buttermilk, espresso, vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Pour hot cocoa mixture over powdered sugar.
  • Using an electric mixer beat until smooth.
  • Use immediately
OPTIONAL: Lightly toast 2 cups chopped pecans. Cool. Pres on to top and sides of the cake.

COOKS NOTE: It has been reported that Cocoa has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and 3x's more than green tea!