Thursday, February 28, 2013

Taco Meat

Cook up a pound of ground meat and serve up some tacos in a flash. This works well as a topping for nachos or salads as well - go for the snack or the lunch or both!


1 lb. ground meat
1 onion, chopped
1 T. paprika
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper


In a skillet add meat and onion. Cook until meat is browned and then add remaining ingredients. Stir well to distribute spices. If mixture starts to dry out, add a little broth or water (1/4 cup). Cook for 5 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

White Wacky Cake

This is a white version of the more commonly known wacky cake that is chocolate. Both versions are great first recipes for beginner bakers as they can be mixed up quickly and even right in the pan. Our house is divided on the two versions - half prefer this version and half prefer the traditional chocolate one.  If you're baking something for dinner and the oven is on anyway, try making this sometime.  It really is easy and delicious!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract*
1 T. white vinegar
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350°F. In an 8" square or round baking pan, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture and add oil, vanilla, white vinegar, and water. Whisk until well combined. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

*This gives it that "white" cake taste, but if you have allergies or do not have any on hand, just use all vanilla.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wacky Cake

You can mix this cake up in a bowl or right in the pan. Call it a science experiment instead of dessert, and I think that makes it officially calorie free☺. The cake is very moist. It is also economical since it is dairy and egg free. I read once that it originated around the Great Depression for that very reason. Nowadays it is popular in some circles because it fits a vegan diet. It was popular with our children's teachers I gave it to as a gift mix in the past. Moist chocolate cake always seems like a good thing to me (especially when it is so easy to make).


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
5 T. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. white vinegar
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350°F. In an 8" square or round baking pan, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture and add oil, vanilla, white vinegar, and water. Whisk until well combined. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Garnish with chocolate chips, frosting, ice cream, whipped cream, powdered sugar, etc.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crescent Cinnamon Rolls

If you've made my recipe for "Kick The Can Crescents" then you know how good the rolls taste. The dough makes amazing cinnamon rolls as well. You can make them fairly quickly(in less than 1 1/2 hours). It should satisfy those cravings you might get from walking in the mall that send cinnamon aromas to your nose permeating every fiber of your being that scream "Come here NOW and order a jumbo cinnamon roll that won't taste as good as what you can make at home but it smells SO good you can taste it!" You know what I'm talking about, right? Making these rolls at home allows you to share, freeze some for another time, eat a proper size, control your ingredients and save money. I haven't done a cost analysis, but I'd bet the entire batch at home costs close to what you pay for just one of those jumbo rolls at the mall. Oh, yeah, your house will smell amazing and your kitchen will become a magnet for all those following their noses to the cinnamon scent. So, you may need to get plates and forks ready.☺


1 batch of "Kick The Can Crescents"
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 T. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 T. cream or half & half
1 tsp. vanilla


Prepare dough according to recipe directions through preparation stage only (not the rising, etc.). In a small bowl mix brown sugar and cinnamon together. On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 14 inches. Spread butter over the surface. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over the surface pressing down lightly. Roll up from the longer side of the rectangle and pinch edges closed. Score the roll into 12 equal pieces and then cut into rolls. Place in buttered or sprayed round pans(2) or a 13"x9" pan. Cover pan with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. In the mean time, preheat oven to 350°F. When rolls have finished rising bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. While baking, mix icing ingredients together until smooth in a small bowl. Spread rolls with icing while still warm. Makes 12 rolls.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pronto Pizza Sauce

This pizza sauce is full of flavor, thick, yet still spreadable, and most importantly delicious! It's an easy recipe to make and is easily doubled or tripled to make extra to have on hand or give away.  You know how great pizza sauce tastes with mozzarella sticks and cheesy bread, so have some on hand for those nights you pop those in the oven.


1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. honey
1 T. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. can tomato paste


In stock pot, heat olive oil until shimmering. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is golden being careful not to burn. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Simmer for 15 minutes. If using right away, cool slightly before using on pizza. If making ahead, cool, cover and refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

Adapted slightly from Good Cheap Eats

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Food Processor Pizza Dough

Making pizza dough at home is a lot of fun but you might think "making the dough will take forever and I can pick up the phone and order it so-o-o-o much more quickly." While that may be true, I'd encourage you to try this sometime especially since I discovered a method to make dough in the food processor. It literally takes minutes to make. You then place the dough in a bowl to rise, walk away and come back when you are ready to bake. You could also make the dough in the morning and refrigerate it during the day. The dough is great for pocket sandwiches, calzones, pepperoni rolls, stromboli . . .(I am making myself hungry☺)


1 T. active dry yeast
2 T. honey
1 cup warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil


Dissolve the yeast and honey in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade, combine the flour and salt and process with 3 or 4 pulses. With the motor running on the dough speed, slowly add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute, then process for 1 minute more. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Follow directions for recipe you want to use.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma and Barefoot Contessa

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hot Chocolate Mix

When you're craving something chocolate to warm your insides if it's cold outside make some of this mix to have a creamy cup of hot chocolate.  While you heat the milk you can decide whether to top it with whipped cream or marshmallows (or both). If you sample either while waiting, I hear those calories are for testing and therefore "don't count."☺ 


1 cup instant dry milk
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Add the dry milk, cocoa powder and brown sugar to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, then add the chocolate and process to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. To serve, mix 4 tablespoons with 1 cup of hot milk.

Adapted from a recipe seen on Pennies On A Platter

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sausage Balls

If you need a quick appetizer or even a new lunchbox item, try these sausage balls. You can alter the flavor by trying the different types of sausage (maple, spicy, etc.).  These are very moist, but be careful not to over bake them as I once did because then you will either have a happy dog (should you have one) or a full trash can.☺


1 (16 ounce) package pork sausage (the kind in a plastic cylinder)
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese*
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery


Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Form into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet; bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with cocktail forks or toothpicks.

*If you use pre-shredded cheese in a bag reduce baking mix by 1/4 cup due to the anti-caking agents in pre-shredded cheese.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cream Filled Chocolate Cake

Having recently made Gobs with Gob Filling, I had some filling leftover.  Then I made the Chocolate Cake Mix so I decided to actually bake it. That led me to make some Chocolate Buttercream (I was channeling the spirit of the book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie"☺) to top it all off. The result was a beautiful dessert (for Valentine's Day!). 


1 two layer Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups Gob Filling
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


Bake chocolate cake into round layers and let cool. Place a cake layer on a cake plate. Spread with Gob Filling. Top with second cake layer. Frost sides and top with chocolate buttercream.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chocolate Buttercream

Try this creamy chocolate frosting the next time you need one. It is fluffy, smooth and cr-e-e-e-a-m-m-m-y. (Lick the spoon and have to wipe it off your mouth kind of good! Just sayin')


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and cocoa powder until blended. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and half and half. Mix together until creamy. Blend in melted chocolate until smooth.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate Cake Mix

This is a handy mix to have on hand in the pantry or freezer to make a cake quickly for the times you need a dessert to take to that friend's house or your child's party you just remembered is tomorrow at 7pm the night before. It contains ingredients you can pronounce☺ with no added chemicals and you only need to add water, eggs and vanilla.  You can package it nicely with a foil pan, some sprinkles and a kitchen towel to give as a gift for somebody's birthday or the holidays.


2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup instant dry milk powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Additional ingredients to make cake
2 cups water
1/2 cup oil
2 large eggs

Mix Directions

In a bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Place in labeled quart size bag or container. Store in pantry or freezer.

Cake Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray or grease and flour two round cake pans or one 13"x9" pan. Blend the dry cake mix(above)with water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl with the mixer at low speed until just moistened. Kick up the speed to medium and mix about 2 more minutes. Pour batter into pan(s)and bake 30-35 minutes for the round pans and 35-40 minutes for the 13"x9" pan. If you wish to make cupcakes, bake for 20-22 minutes. (With all of the above check with cake tester to see if cake is done.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Berry Crumb Cake

This is a variation of the Cooking Light Cinnamon Crumb Cake I make. I thought making a raspberry or strawberry jam version to serve with fresh berries sounded good one day so I headed to the kitchen pulled out some ingredients and this is what I created. So, less fat, less calories, add some berries and you can have more chocolate later in the day.☺ (Am I the only one who thinks that way?)


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1/4 cup reduced-sugar jam, warmed slightly


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or use a spray) an 8" round cake pan and set aside. In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (You can also use a bowl and pastry cutter or fork to do this.) Reserve 1/2 cup flour mixture for topping, and set aside. Combine remaining flour mixture, baking powder, and baking soda; add the buttermilk, vanilla, and egg. Beat at medium speed of a mixer until blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Top with warmed jam (warming slightly makes it spread over batter easier - you don't want to boil it, just warm it for spreadability). Sprinkle reserved crumb topping evenly over batter. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chocolate Scones

Chocolate and well, anything, sounds good to me! In this recipe orange zest is added to the scone batter that adds a vibrance when you taste your first bite of soft, chocolate chip filled scone with a sugar crusted top. I have a hard time deciding whether to eat mine with orange marmalade or raspberry preserves . . . so I have some of each! Why not? There's plenty of scone in each serving to enjoy both flavor combinations.  Strawberry sounds good too.  Nutella would be a total chocolate indulgence.  Peanut butter lovers, how could I forget you?  As you can see, these chocolate scones may be dangerous to your waistline, but for an occasional indulgence or a special occasion, they are really good☺


2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sanding sugar


Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, mix together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and orange zest. Add butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Transfer mixture to a medium sized bowl. Stir in chocolate chips. Add cream and egg and stir until just combined (dough will be sticky). Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with approximately 1/4 tsp. sanding sugar. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes approximately 12. If you make smaller ones, be sure to adjust the cooking time.

Adapted from Tea Time Magazine Article

Monday, February 11, 2013

PB & C Blondies

If you love peanut butter and chocolate together, give these blondies a try. You will get a pan full of chewy peanut bars covered in creamy milk chocolate with an added sprinkling of mini chocolate chips.


1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease a 13" x 9" pan. Add butter and brown sugar to a saucepan over medium heat and melt until the butter is just melted. Remove from the burner and stir in the peanut butter. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients(salt, flour and baking powder) all at once to the saucepan.  Stir just until incorporated.  Pour the thick batter into the 13" x 9" pan and smooth out.  Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle milk chocolate chips all over the top of the blondies. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then use a spreader or knife to spread the melted chocolate evenly over top. Sprinkle mini chips evenly over the top.  Allow bars to cool (or refrigerate) before cutting and serving (unless you want to get warm melted chocolate all over your fingers and mouth not that I know how that could happen . . . but I will tell you that these taste really good warm and cold and at room temperature!)

Inspired by Joy The Baker

Sunday, February 10, 2013


What's a PBTW, you ask? A Peanut Butter Tail-Wagger, of course! My sisters both have dogs. I and two of our kids are allergic to animal dander so our kids haven't had the pleasure of ever having a dog as a pet. However, since my one sister lives nearby, we like to occasionally get treats for her dog. Since I love to bake, I decided to try my hand at making some dog treats.  This is a quick and an easy recipe. Use different shaped cookie cutters for holiday giving (not that the canine recipient will care about the looks so much as getting the treat in their mouth!)


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the peanut butter and milk mixing until well blended. The mixture should be very stiff but moist. Turn out dough onto counter and roll out to 1/4" thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Alternatively you can scoop balls of dough onto cookie sheet and use a fork to press down into flat circles leaving a hashmark imprint like people peanut butter cookies. (Just be sure to label them properly in your kitchen!) Place 1" apart on cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Adapted from

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Thumbprint Cookies

Once upon a time I was roommates with one of my cousins, B.  Then she got married to L.  Then I moved in with B's brother, F's girlfriend, C.  Then they got married.  (It was the thing to do back then - I got married the next year myself.) We girls used to cook and share recipes and this one is from C.  I have made it a lot over the years. These cookies can look very different depending on whether you roll them in sprinkles (what color?), chopped nuts (walnuts? pecans?) or not at all.  If you use colored sprinkles and match the frosting you have beautiful cookies for any holiday or shower (remember the wedding theme from before? Babies eventually came too, so this recipe has been very popular☺).  The possibilities are numerous.  Below are a few pictures of cookies I made from one recipe - the reality is I ran out of chocolate sprinkles so I decided to put lemon curd in some. See what happens once you start opening your cupboards and your imagination?


3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Sprinkles or Chopped Nuts


In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Add in flour and salt. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°F. Shape dough into 1" balls, dip in slightly beaten egg white and sprinkles or nuts. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Poke hole in center with thumb. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Fill with frosting or jam.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gob Filling

This is the creamy fluffy filling for the soft cake like cookies that I call "Gobs" not "Whoopie Pies."  I like a lot of filling so I use a cookie scoop to make sure each cookie gets an even amount of filling . . . oozing out . . .


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 large jar or 2 small jars marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar


Combine butter and shortening in mixer bowl; blend well. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add powdered sugar and beat on high for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Gobs are a cookie that I've been eating since I was a kid and baking this recipe since I was in high school. My group of friends and I used to have cookie exchanges at lunch. Everyone wanted to stop by our table on those days! In recent years these cookies have become popularly known as whoopie pies and available in many flavors. The original chocolate cookies with loads of fluffy marshmallow buttercream filling will always be #1 in my heart (and stomach☺).


1/2 cup shortening or coconut oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup unsifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
Creme filling 


Cream shortening and sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with buttermilk or sour milk to creamed mixture. Beat well. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 8 - 10 minutes or until cookie springs back when touched lightly in center. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on wire rack. Pair and fill with creme filling.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Instant Chai Mix

I really enjoy the spiciness of chai tea but usually find it too sweet when ordering it out. I was so excited when I saw a mix recipe on the Kitchen Addiction blog. I tinkered with it to suit my taste for a lightly sweetened and nicely spiced hot drink.  It's perfect for any time of day if you make it with decaffeinated tea. It makes a great little gift if you mix some up in a jar and add a pretty tag or label with directions. 


1 cup non-fat dry milk
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp. ginger
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cardamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp white pepper


Whisk all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.
Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of mix into mug. Stir in 6-8 ounces hot water. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Poppy Seed Bread

Many versions of this recipe are floating around and I've had mine for years.  We love the almond flavor but if you don't care for it use extra vanilla in its place or try lemon extract.  I've made this recipe into mini muffins for tea parties and lunch box size treats as well.  It's a wonderfully flavorful bread. The glaze dries to create a crunchy moist top that I like to break off first when eating my bread slices (notice the plural . . .).


3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. butter flavor
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. butter flavor


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and extracts. Beat for two minutes until smooth. Fill 5 or 6 mini loaf pans 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake 40-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle with glaze.
Mix in a glass measuring cup. Pour over hot bread in pans when removed from the oven. Let stand for 30 minutes before removing from pans.

Great gift idea for similar recipe at Beneath My Heart website

Monday, February 4, 2013

Snap, Crackle, PB Brownies

One time when I made a donation to an online bake sale fundraiser I received the tastiest brownies I've ever had. My version includes a homemade brownie base along with a few other changes. Jessica's blog at How Sweet It Is is worth checking out as she has amazing recipes beyond these brownies.


Brownie Base*
12 Tablespoons butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cups sugar
pinch kosher salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 bag mini Reese's peanut butter cups
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/2 cup Reese's Pieces (mini if you can find them)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour or spray a 13"x9" pan. Melt butter. In a mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugars, salt, vanilla and butter together. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Stir in flour just until mixed. Spread in pan evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. While brownies are baking, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from stovetop and add cereal stirring to coat. Remove brownies from the oven and sprinkle the top with peanut butter cups. Return to the oven and bake for 5 additional minutes. Remove from oven to wire rack. Spread chocolate/cereal mixture over top of peanut butter cups making it even across entire pan. Sprinkle Reese's Pieces all over top. Refrigerate before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

*If you make this brownie base another time just as brownies, bake in a square baking pan for 25-30 minutes until brownies pull away from pan. I wanted a thinner layer for this recipe.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mystery Cake Made New

Mystery Cake or "Tomato Soup" Cake is one I can remember having growing up and thinking there was no way it could really have a can of tomato soup in it when I would eat a piece. My youthful rationale couldn't comprehend what the soup did to add moisture to the cake and that spices masked any flavor imparted by the tomato flavor. All I knew was that it tasted good! In my quest to use more real foods in my baking I've converted the recipe to eliminate the condensed soup with all of it's sodium and additives. I've also used white wheat flour and honey. It's one way to have cake and really feel okay about eating it too☺


8 oz. tomato sauce, low sodium or sodium free
1 tsp. baking soda
4 T. butter, softened
1 cup honey
1 egg
1 1/2 cups white wheat flour
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9" round cake pan with cooking spray. Open tomato sauce and sprinkle baking soda on top of sauce. Let foam in can for 1 minute. Cream butter, honey and egg in a mixing bowl. Pour tomato sauce mixture into mixing bowl and blend well. Whisk flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt and spices in small bowl. Add to mixing bowl and beat together for 1 minute on medium speed. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until cake tester inserted into middle comes out clean. Cool on wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Squash Casserole

When I make this recipe I find that even some of our non vegetable eaters will actually gladly scoop some of it onto their plates (cheese and crackers definitely help influence the decision!).  I adapted it slightly from the recipe on Christy Jordan's Southern Plate blog.  If you haven't ever visited her site, I suggest you check it out not only for her many wonderful down home recipes but for her heart warming stories to go along with all of them.  Reading her website makes you feel as though you are on the front porch sipping tea with a friend listening to stories about family and friends. 


3 medium yellow squash chopped into quarters (approx. 4 cups)
1 small onion chopped
12 buttery round crackers (such as Ritz)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. butter


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a casserole dish. Place squash and onion in a large skillet over medium heat and cover with water. Cook until squash and onions are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Drain well. Add 2 T. butter and let melt. In small bowl, mix together milk and two eggs. In medium bowl, crush crackers. Remove 2 T. and set aside. To the bowl add cheese, salt and pepper and stir. Add the squash. Pour in milk and egg mixture and stir well. Pour into casserole dish. Top with remaining crumb mixture and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until top is browned.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Red Feta Chicken

Even though this chicken dish can be made in under 30 minutes it will taste as though you marinated it for longer thanks to the sharpness of the feta cheese.  It is a 3 ingredient recipe that delivers on time and taste. (Doesn't this piece of chicken look like a heart?)


3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 oz. marinara sauce
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled


Preheat oven to 350 F. Place chicken in 13" x 9" baking dish. Sprinkle feta over chicken.  Spread marinara all over chicken and feta. Cover and bake for 30 minutes (but be sure to check chicken for doneness).