October 30, 2016


Last month, Cudjoe and I went to Gettysburg and Philadelphia to celebrate our birthdays.

Cudjoe enjoys visiting Civil War battlefields, and Gettysburg was on our bucket list of places to visit.

We absolutely loved Gettysburg.  And one of the reasons that made this trip so perfect was where we stayed.

This hotel is number one on my list of places we've stayed.   I absolutely loved it!!

It is an old school house that has been made in a hotel.  I realize that's not a novel idea.  We have an old school house right here in our small Midwestern town that is a Bed & Breakfast.

There's also an old school house north of town that has been made into a house; and an old school house that is an antique store on the lower level and an apartment for the owners upstairs.

Perhaps one of the reasons I was so smitten by this hotel was it reminded me so much of the grade school I attended as a child.  It invoked in me such sweet memories. 

It is laid out practically identical to my grade school, with its underground floor and two floors above, wide hallways with classrooms on either side.

It is so well appointed and always smells a little of fresh baked apple pie.  The rooms are spacious and lovely, and we were fortunate to have a large corner room with lots and lots of natural light.  

I love the furnishings, light fixtures, prints and plants.

Every afternoon at 3 p.m., they serve scones and tea at this little table.  It was a "self-serve station".  Cudjoe and I always made it back to the hotel to enjoy these delicious scones and lemon water.

The scones were white chocolate and cranberry. 

I made my own version of these scones last week, and here's how I did it:


2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 butter (8 tablespoons) of cold, unsalted butter, cup up.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup of milk
3 ounces of dried cranberries
6 ounces of Greek Style Yogurt Flavored Baking Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in cold butter and using your fingers rub ingredients together until butter is incorporated into dry ingredients.

2.  Mix in sugar.

3.  Add milk and stir with a fork until a dough forms.

4.  Pat into an eight-inch circle.

5.  Cut into six to eight wedges.

6.  Places wedges onto an ungreased baking sheet.

7.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake between 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

(Adapted from Food.com)

Serve to family and friends!!


October 22, 2016


Like many of my cake and cupcake recipes, I start with a cake mix, and this one is no exception!

If you are a chocolate lover, you're going to love this cake.  It also, as the name of the cake implies, has a layer of caramel in the center.

I have had this recipe in a cookbook that I put together myself years ago, and this is the first time I have ever made it.  

You know, back in the day, before you could look up any recipe your heart desires, for better or worse, on the internet, you actually got recipes from friends and family or from magazines or cookbooks.

This chocolate/caramel cake is a layer of cake mix, then a layer of caramel, another layer of cake mix and frosted with a sour cream frosting.

I thought I'd made it before, but after I started assembling the ingredients, I realized I had not.  I have made Turtle Brownies many times, and I "lurve" them.   I just don't like unwrapping all those little caramels!!

So . . . for all you chocolate lovers out there, here's how I did it:

Turtle Cake

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury)
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of canned milk
14 ounce bag of caramels
1 cup of pecans (optional)
2/3 cup tiny chocolate chips

1.  Mix cake mix as directed on box.
2.  Pour half of the batter in a prepared 9 x 13 pan.
3.  Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
4.  While baking, melt caramels, milk and butter.
5.  Pour caramel mixture over cake and add chocolate chips (and pecans, if you are using pecans.  I did not.)
6.  Pour rest of batter over top.
7.  Bake 20 minutes more.
8.  Let cool and frost with sour cream chocolate frosting.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup of butter (room temperature)
4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
3 to 4 tablespoons of sour cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
A pinch of salt

1.  Cream butter in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer.
2.  Add in powdered sugar, in small amounts, alternating with sour cream, and add in vanilla and salt.
3.  Continue mixing until desired consistency.  

Serve to family and friends!!


October 12, 2016


I made these yummy cupcakes yesterday.  I finished them late; so, I took the photographs this morning when my kitchen has more light.

These moist and yummy cupcakes are made with a Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Premium Cake Mix.  I added fresh apples from one of the local orchards to the batter.

I made an easy caramel frosting to frost the cupcakes, and added crushed nuts to the edges.

Add in a stick, and you have Caramel Apple Cupcakes.

They were very moist and so delicious.  I think I actually ate my "test" cupcake in two bites!!

I took half of them to Ladies Golf Day to share the cupcake love.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

1 box of white cake mix (I used Pillsbury)

1.  Follow the directions on the back of the box for making cupcakes.  I cut up two apples into small pieces and stirred into the batter.  I also substituted milk for the water.

Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 cups of powdered sugar

1.  Melt butter in a sauce pan.  Stir in brown sugar and cook on low to medium heat for 2 minutes.  

2.  Add in milk and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and cool mixture to lukewarm.

3.  Pour into a mixing bowl and add in vanilla.

4.  Add powdered sugar in small amounts and whip thoroughly.

Frost each cupcake.  Add crushed nuts to the edges and a caramel apple stick.

Serve to Family and Friends!!

Happy Baking!


October 6, 2016


I am glad I live in a world with Octobers.  The month of October truly has the most beautiful light.  And the reds, oranges, and yellows of the season make it particularly beautiful.

I do love summer, but I love fall just as much.  

My two favorite months are June . . . and October.

I've always loved pumpkins and scarecrows and caramel apples.

This Gooey Butter Cake recipe has been around for many years.  The original recipe I used was in a cookbook that my church sold as a fundraiser so many years ago, I can't even remember when.  I'm going to guess the early 80's.

I have made different versions of this delicious recipe through the years, but I believe this one is my very favorite.  

If you don't want to put a pumpkin on top of each bar, a pecan half is perfect.


1 box of Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix
1 stick of butter (melted)
1 egg, room temperature

8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick of butter (melted)
4 cups of powdered sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  In a stand mixer, mix cake mix, butter and one egg and spread in a 8 x 12 pan.

3.  In a stand mixer, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and three eggs together and pour on top of cake mixture.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until done.

Serve to Family and Friends!!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!