Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kiss, kiss, love, love...!


True love in cake form...so gorgeously scarlet with a pillowing, creamy-soft frosting that isn't too sweet, but perfectly compliments the beauty it's sitting on!

Make this for your lover...or for yourself...or for anyone you need to impress - they will not soon forget it!


2 1/2  cups cake flour (such as Softasilk)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces red food coloring (two small bottles for a deep red, one, if you want a lighter shade)
1 cup buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat two 9 inch round or square cake pans with vegetable cooking spray and dust with 1 tablespoon, each, cake flour, tapping upside down to remove the excess, and set aside.
In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Set aside. 
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Carefully beat in red food coloring, scraping bowl frequently.
Beat in 1/2 of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk; then the remaining flour mixture.  In a small bowl combine the vinegar and baking soda and quickly stir into the batter.  Immediately pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out still moist, with large crumbs – or almost clean, but not wet/raw.  Do not over-bake!  

Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove cake from pans by placing the wire rack on top of the cake and invert; allow to cool completely.  (To ensure that your cake stays nice and moist, when the cake is out of the pan and on the rack, lay plastic wrap loosely over the top as it cools.)  

Frost with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting.  (This needs to be kept in the fridge and actually gets better a day later. I put toothpicks on the top to keep the plastic wrap from ruining the frosting.)

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups heavy whipping cream
Two 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium bowl beat the whipped cream until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.  In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Gently fold in whipped cream.  (This makes a lot of frosting, but it’s worth it!  You may not use it all on the cake, but it’s great on other things, too.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If you love peanut butter...you might, maybe, sorta like this...


It's not a secret that I'm in love with peanut butter - seriously, dangerously, in love. Swooooooon.

The posts all over the FoodBlogLand in response to the death of a husband/father/friend and his wife's request for everyone to make a peanut butter pie and feed it to those we love, reminded me of a recipe I'd not made for a long while.

I can't imagine...and don't want to. I have no words - I don't know her, but my heart goes out to anyone dealing with this kind of loss. So in the kinship of bakers, bloggers, wives, and friends, here's my entry.

The photo is ancient - taken long ago for another forum. Doesn't matter - the pie is fab and those I love love it.

I do have a no sugar added version of this recipe HERE.


1 1/2 cup vanilla wafer cookie crumbs OR graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In microwave-safe bowl melt peanut butter and butter. Add to crumbs and mix until well combined. Pat into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely.
One 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened whipped cream (1 1/2 cups whipping cream, 2-3 T sugar)
Chopped peanuts or cookie crumbs
Stir together cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed. Fold in thawed whipped topping or whipped cream. Pour into prepared pie crust and carefully smooth to edges. Sprinkle chopped peanuts or cookie crumbs on top for garnish. Cover tightly and chill overnight.
Mostly I freeze this in individual portions...you know...for PORTION CONTROL!! This stuff is dangerous!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yes. Please.


I love granola. Period.

My dad was the granola maker in my family growing up. Huge vats of the stuff every week or so. Fragrant, golden chunks bathing in cold milk, or tossed on top of warm, cinnamon-applesauce, sprinkled over a fruit crisp, or simply in a baggie, eaten with grubby hands, outside in a swing.

Granola means homey-comfort, to me.

And what's so great about any recipe is the chance to do whatever you want with it. The add-in's are endless. Go as down-home or gourmet as you feel! Breakfast (lunch, dinner, brunch, linner, midnight snack, or just-because) is better for it.


1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (OR 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. ginger, 1/4 t. cloves, 1/8 t. nutmeg)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup chopped pecans (OR walnuts, macadamia nuts, coconut, etc)


In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, spice, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the oats and nuts until every flake is coated.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat an 11-inch baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray and spread the oat mixture evenly. Bake for 45 minutes (stirring every 15 minutes) or until deep brown. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container. Makes approx 15 (1/4-cup) servings.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lovin' from your oven!


Cookie jar a little lonely? Need a quick yum for a weeknight dessert? Gotcha covered with this one.

Adore these little things! Shortbread style crust, smooth chocolate, chewy meringue topping...what's not to love?

(I made these a long time ago and left off the chocolate...instead spread blackberry jam over the crust. Or keep the chocolate AND the blackberry jam. Wow!)

In these photos I only had half a package of chips, so there will actually be more than it looks like in mine!


3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour

One 12-ounce package chocolate chips
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup brown sugar

Optional: 1 cup blackberry, raspberry, strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl cream the shortening and sugar. Beat in the salt, egg yolks, and vanilla. Gradually blend in the flour. Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium bow, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the brown sugar.

(Add the jam, now, if you want.) Sprinkle the chips over the crust. Carefully spread the meringue over the chips. Return to oven for 20 minutes, or until meringue is set and golden.

Allow to cool and cut into bars.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The best of two worlds!

I love pumpkin bread...I love banana bread...what's a girl to do? Oh, how will we choose?!
Don't have to. This recipe will give you the taste of both. Slice it thick, toast nice and warm and smear some cream cheese or butter on top...you'll be glad you did!

Recipe adapted from Country Inns and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook
5 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 medium-sized bananas, mashed
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat 3 regular-sized loaf pans with vegetable cooking spray - or 6 mini pans - or can be done as muffins. (I do this in mini pans or as muffins. They freeze great.)
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat the bananas, pumpkin, and sugar. Beat in the eggs and oil. Stir in the flour mixture, JUST until moistened. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 45-50 minutes for the large pans, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with large moist crumbs.
Cool on a wire rack. Remove bread from pans and wrap tightly. This gets better the next day!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dark and Lovely!


I can not get enough of this cake! Which isn't necessarily a good thing...

This is the cake that is requested most from my arsenal and for a reason. It's moist, dark, very chocolaty, and easy. It always turns out great, and gets better the next day.

I've used it for berry "shortcake", simply dusted with powdered sugar as a snack, and it will even make an appearance at my daughter's wedding. How special is that?!

I've paired it here with gorgeous whipped cream and cocoa powder - and no one would ever think it was anything less than gourmet!

(The photo is actually half a recipe - baked in two 8-inch rounds, and then split. It's tall like that...imagine what you could do with the whole batch!!)


2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9 or 10-inch pans, or a 9x13-inch pan, with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and sugar. Whisk in the eggs and then the oil, milk, hot coffee, and vanilla, until smooth. Batter will be thin.

Divide evenly between pans (they will be full...you could use twice as many pans!) and bake for 25-30 minutes or JUST until a toothpick comes out with large moist crumbs attached. DO NOT over bake, and don't wait till it starts to pull away from the pans. Remove to wire rack and cool completely, place plastic wrap over cake when it's still slightly warm - this will make it even more moist. Run a knife around the edge and invert to release cake. Frost as desired.


2 cups heavy whipping cream
3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder - depending on how chocolaty you want it
1/3-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl whip the cream until frothy and slightly thickened. Add in the cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until firm peaks form.

Store cake, covered, in the fridge.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So Easy-Good!


Oh. my. gosh.

If you've ever been to the Old Spaghetti Factory you've no doubt ordered this. If not...WHY not?! It's so good.

As a teenager on a date with my future husband to the Spaghetti Factory in Seattle for the first time, I ordered this thinking it would be pasta in a cheese sauce - which sounded great in itself! When the plate was placed in front of me I was less than impressed.

But one bite cured me and quick. Amazing!

It's super easy to make and kids love it. The hardest part is waiting for the butter to brown...


1 pound thin or regular spaghetti (try it with whole wheat or quinoa pasta!)
1 cup butter
1 cup finely grated myzithra cheese (see below)
Freshly cracked black pepper

Cook spaghetti according to directions on package. While pasta is cooking brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Just add it to the pan and let it go, don't stir or anything. It will melt, foam, and right after foaming start to brown. (Takes a few minutes.) You will see the color rising from the bottom. Remove from heat immediately and pour over warm pasta, scraping out and including the browned bits.

Toss with the cheese and black pepper. Serve.


Myzithra is Greek cheese and comes in three varieties. For this you want the aged, hard one, usually sold in small rounded wedges in bigger grocery stores. It grates into fine, almost powdery shards, but doesn't melt, and will keep it's shape and appearance in this dish.

Photo: Springbank Cheese Co