October 12, 2017


I made brownies for our Couple's Golf Scramble at our local Country Club.  After our scramble, we have a "potluck".   There's always lots of good food!

These delicious brownies are made from a brownie mix that is "doctored" by adding buttermilk instead of water, butter instead of oil.  You get the idea.

I searched Pinterest for a recipe, and this one popped up first.  You can find the recipe over on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  

The recipe is from the book The Cake Mix Doctor Returns!  I have ordered it from Amazon, and I am greatly anticipating its arrival!!

These brownies taste somewhat like fudge.  They are simply a chocolate-lovers must bake.

The frosting is made "from scratch" and is poured over the top of the brownies.  I refrigerated my brownies before cutting.  It made them easier to cut.

They really are the "best brownies", and if you are looking for something that is "foolproof" and delicious,  I recommend this recipe.  Happy Baking!!

September 25, 2017


The calendar says it is Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, but the weather says it's still Summer.  It's suppose to be 89 degrees here in the Midwest today.   But we are promised cooler temperatures are on the way by the end of the week.

 I have been reluctant to make anything with pumpkin until it's cooler and feels like Autumn.  I have also been reluctant to buy mums and pumpkins for outside yet, but I'm sure the first cooler day, I'll be first in line!

 The recipe for Gooey Butter Cake has certainly been around for years, many years.  And the addition of flavors to the top layer is genius!

I have made the pumpkin version as much in the last decade as I have made the original version, but this is the first time I have made it in a cheesecake pan.

I was unsure of how long to bake it, and I just kept checking it until it was done enough to take out of the oven.  It was still "gooey" in the center, and I waited until it was completely cooled and then put it in the refrigerator before cutting and serving.

So  lovely!


Gooey Butter Cake (Or Chess Cake)

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (melted)
1 egg

8 ounces cream cheese
1 15-ounce can of Pumpkin
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 eggs

Mix cake mix, butter, and 1 egg and spread in the bottom of a cheesecake pan.  Mix cream cheese, pumpkin, powdered sugar, and 3 eggs and pour on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes.  Let cool.  Refrigerate.  Serve with fresh whipped cream.  (You will need to use your judgment on baking time by checking center with a toothpick.  You want it to be a "gooey" consistency but not "runny".)


September 11, 2017


I bought zucchini at the Farmer's Market and made Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread.  Wow, is it ever moist.

I guess this is one way to get your veggies!!

It is not only quite beautiful but very tasty as well.  I cut a slice and heat it in the microwave on high for 8 seconds (or so) and then add room temperature butter.

I am so sorry to see our Farmer's Market season winding down.  I go to the Market at least once a week.  We love all the locally grown fruits and vegetables.  We also buy our little Cavashon dog treats!

I made this recipe for just one loaf; since there's just the two of us, but if you want two loaves, of course, you can double the recipe.

Happy Baking . . .


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

1-1/2 to 2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 eggs 
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

2.  In a stand mixer, mix together eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream, vanilla extract, and zucchini. 

3.  On low speed, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until blended.  Mix in chocolate chips.

4.  Pour into a prepared loaf pan.  (I sprayed my pan with Canola Oil.)

5.  Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean.



August 14, 2017


After playing 18 holes of golf yesterday and only eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast, and skipping lunch, I made this for an early supper.

I am going to have to buy a notebook to keep in my kitchen so when I cook for the Blog, I can write down measurements, etc.  If I am not specifically following a recipe, I don't measure things out.  I sort of "throw the ingredients together".  Sometimes it's a keeper, and sometimes, well, it's not.

This one is a keeper!

 To me, a recipe is a guide, not necessarily to be followed exactly, but tailored to one's own liking.

I have been told recently, by someone whose judgment I clearly trust, that if you change just one ingredient in a recipe, it is essentially not the same recipe.  By this opinion, I take it, then it is your own.  

What else can you say about baked spaghetti?  It was cheesy and delicious and makes a 9 x 13; so, for two people, there are leftovers for today, which means no cooking for me!


Baked Spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 24-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce (I used Prego)
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes
1/2 small onion
12-ounces of spaghetti (cooked al dente)
4 ounces of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of Sour Cream
1 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup of shredded Mozarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F

Boil spaghetti according to directions on box; leaving it al dente  Brown ground beef, adding salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion.  Drain any grease.  (I used 3% fat; so I had nothing to drain).  Add spaghetti sauce and parsley.  Let meat and sauce simmer on low.  (I also added a bit of water).

Drain spaghetti.  Mix cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth.  Stir into spaghetti.  Put spaghetti in a 9 x 13 glass dish.  Pour meat sauce over the spaghetti and stir together.  Stir in Cheddar Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese.  Bake at 350 Degrees F for 25 minutes.



August 3, 2017


I like to eat at Newell House, which is a locally owned and operated restaurant.  It has a really relaxing atmosphere, good food, and good service; all the things I'm looking for when I eat out.  

Their Rigatoni and Zucchini dish is my favorite.
It is a meatless dish, which is perfect for me.  I don't eat a lot of meat.  Much like my grandmother before me, if there's fried chicken, I just want one wing, and just a dab of steak, which I rarely eat,  will do me.

And much like my grandmother before me, I have a "sweet tooth".

But, hey, this dish is a nice departure from my baking posts, and I do love pasta, and maybe you do, too!!

After I got home from playing golf today, I made this Rigatoni and Zucchini.  No recipe needed.  

It is delicious, and how can you not like Rigatoni noodles??


Rigatoni and Zucchini - Boil Rigatoni Noodles according to package directions (as much or little as you want), one zucchini, sliced; capers; kalamata olive pieces; roasted red peppers; two tablespoons of butter; two tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil; White Wine; garlic powder; parsley; salt; and pepper.

  I melted two tablespoons of butter and approximately two tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet.  I  added in the sliced zucchini, kalatma olive pieces, capers, roasted red pepper, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  I cooked these ingredients until the zucchini was fairly tender, but not mushy.  I added in a little more EVOO and wine (approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup of wine).  I mixed in the rigatoni noodles and continued cooking until it was all heated through.  I removed the skillet from the burner and sprinkled dried parsley over the top of the pasta dish. 


July 28, 2017


I admit it:  I have never made Pound Cake.

I remember a pretty funny standup routine by a woman comedian about sending her husband to the grocery store for ingredients to make Pound Cake because in the South when she needed to take something, she always made a Pound Cake.  And she gives her husband the grocery list, and he brings home everything in extra large.  I knew exactly what she meant because that's been my experience.  But it's cool because sometimes I just don't feel like going to the store.

So for the first time this week, I made a Pound Cake.  If you would like to make a Pound Cake, here's how I did it:


Pound Cake
(Slightly adapted from a recipe shared with me by a friend!)

3 cups sugar
3 sticks of butter (room temperature)
2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract
5 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups flour
3/4 Cup 7-Up

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix flour one cup at a time alternating with 7-Up.  Beat well.  Pour into prepared bundt cake pan (or tube pan).  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes.


July 17, 2017


I was looking through cookbooks to get some inspiration for a recipe for peaches that were very ripe and ready to use the day they were given to me at the Farmer's Market.  So thoughtful and nice, and I am always grateful for all the nice people in the world. 

We stopped by one of the vendors to buy tomatoes, you know, the homegrown kind.  I wonder, would we love "homegrown tomatoes" as much if we could get them all year round??  The local farmer is a long-time friend of my hubby's, and he gave us some overripe peaches that needed to be used soon.

There's always peach cobbler, which I make every year when peaches are in season, but I have already done that for "the blog", and wanted something I could share here.

And then I remembered this cake, which I haven't made in years.  A friend of the family used to make it, and I got the recipe from her; the days before the internet and a time when recipes weren't literally a click away.  The recipe calls for a large can of peaches, but I substituted fresh peaches in its place.

Even the name of this cake sounds wonderful!   Because it is made with fresh peaches and cream cheese, I refrigerated it.

If you get your hands on some fresh peaches, do try this recipe.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  If you don't have access to fresh peaches,  canned peaches make a good cake, too!!


Peaches and Cream Cake

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 (small) box of vanilla instant pudding
4 eggs
1 cup of water
4 to 5 peaches, peeled and cut into slices
1 8-ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons of juice from peaches or water

Spray the bottom of a 9 X 13 cake pan with Canola Oil Spray.

In a stand mixer, combine yellow cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, and water.  Beat until all ingredients are incorporated.  Scrape down sides and beat for two minutes.

Pour into a prepared 9 X 13 cake pan.

Spread sliced peaches on top of cake batter.

Beat together 8-ounce cream cheese, sugar and peach juice (or water). Spread on top of peaches.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  (Be careful to not overbake).  



July 10, 2017


The recipe for these wonderful muffins was in the July 2017 issue of FOOD & WINE magazine.

I had to walk through Barnes and Noble to get a manicure and pedicure recently, and on the way back through, I stopped off and bought a copy.

It has a lot of great recipes, but this one stood out for me!

We thought they were especially delicious.  I slightly adapted the recipe.  I didn't add in the amount of walnuts called for in the recipe (I could live without them.  I'm kind of meh on nuts in baking.)
But my husband loved the walnuts.  

I also substituted Ghirardelli white chocolate chips for Vairhona Ivoire white chocolate.  I generally cook and bake with readily accessible products that I can buy locally.  And Ghirardelli chocolate is superb.

The white chocolate was the star of these muffins.
When I make them again, I will leave out the walnuts and add more white chocolate; so, I suppose they will have to be renamed White Chocolate Muffins!!



July 1, 2017


Are you having company over this 4th of July weekend?  Perhaps, hosting a brunch, or need something great to feed your family for breakfast?  This is the perfect casserole to make for brunch or breakfast!

It is always a hit with family and friends.

I make it the night before and chill it in the refrigerator overnight.  One casserole dish serves eight.
I make two casseroles because I usually make it for more than eight people.    

It is great for Christmas breakfast, Easter Brunch, Mother's Day Brunch, for Father's Day Brunch, and I'm sure your friends and family would love it for a 4th of July brunch!!

This is a "go-to" breakfast casserole for me, and I hope it will be for you, too!!  


Sausage and Egg Bake


1 pound sausage
12 slices bread
Butter, room temperature
2 cups shredded cheese
4 eggs
3 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Brown Sausage in skillet, stirring until crumbled.
2.  Trim crusts from bread and spread with butter.
3.  Layer bread, sausage and cheese 1/2 at a time in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
4.  Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
5.  Pour over layers.
6.  Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
7.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.



June 19, 2017

White Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is . . . divine.  No, seriously, it is.

If you want to make a cake that is relatively easy and very delicious, this one is perfect.

It is a bit rustic looking, but what it lacks in beauty, it more than makes up for in taste.

The blueberries are grown locally and sold locally.  They are so sweet and so delicious.   They make the perfect topping for the cream cheese frosting.


White Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box White Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)- softened
1 cup 2% milk
3 eggs

Mix cake mix, butter, milk and eggs together.  Beat for two minutes on high speed.

Divide cake batter evenly into round pans (I used eight-inch pans).  Bake according to package directions.  (I baked mine at 325 degrees F instead of 350 and until just done; so, it was very moist.)  I placed cooled cakes into the refrigerator for awhile before removing them from pans and frosting them.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Half and Half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

Whip butter and cream cheese together.  Add Half and Half, vanilla, and salt, and whip to until desired consistency.

Frost between layers and top of cake.  Pile on fresh blueberries.

(p.s. I kept the cake refrigerated.)



June 5, 2017


A couple of weeks ago, we ate at Ya Ya's Euro Bistro in Chesterfield, Missouri.  They serve Baba Ghanoush and warm slices of bread while you're waiting on your meal.

This would be great to serve to friends or family at your next dinner party or get-together!

Wow!  It was delicious.  I, of course, love bread.

Baba Ghanoush is a dip made from roasted eggplant.  It's simple to make.  I made it in my food processor.

A small confession, my hubby is not a fan.  But, hey!  We all like different foods.  No problem.


Baba Ghanoush

2 - 1 pound purple eggplants
1-1/4 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Herb-infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
(I made my own)

Slices of Sourdough, French, or Italian bread
(warmed in the oven)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Puncture eggplant with a knife.  Roast eggplant on a baking sheet for one hour.  Cool.  Slice open and remove seed pods.  Scrape flesh off skins and place in a food processor.  Discard the stems and skins.

Add yogurt and garlic and mix until smooth.   Add oils and mix until smooth and creamy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate before serving.

Place a couple of tablespoons onto a small plate in an oval shape.  Drizzle with herb-infused olive oil.  Serve with bread.

(Slightly adapted from the St. Louis Dispatch Recipes)

This makes a lot of dip.  If making for a small group,  I would cut the recipe in half.