January 28, 2017


The sun is shining for now.  It has been a cloudy, gloomy winter in the southern Midwest.

One way to get by is baking this delicious Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake.

It's easy peasy, Lemon Squeezy.  And oh, so, delicious, you just want to keep going back for more.

The top is a little crunchy, and the center is soft cinnamon sugar sweetness.


Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  

(This batter is very thick.  One package of vanilla instant pudding would probably be sufficient.)  

1 box of yellow cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
3 eggs
3/4 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 small packages of vanilla instant pudding
2 teaspoons of vanilla

For the topping:

1/2 cup nuts (optional)  (I did not use nuts)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1Tablespoon and 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon

1.  Using a mixer, mix cake mix, eggs, oil, water, pudding and vanilla together for 10 minutes.

2.  Pour half of batter into a cake pan sprayed with Canola Oil.  Sprinkle half of topping over batter and swirl with a knife.  Pour remaining batter on top, then remaining topping and swirl. 

3.  Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.


January 19, 2017


Have I ever told you how much I love soup?  Earlier this week, I had leftover roasted chicken in the refrigerator, carrots and celery in the vegetable bin, a partial package of Mary B's Dumpings in the freezer, and a partial bag of Kluski Noodles in the pantry.

There wasn't a lot of chicken left, but there was enough for Chicken Noodle Soup.

It was absolutely delicious (if I may say so myself).

I oftentimes make my chicken soup or chicken and dumplings with bone-in chicken breasts; seldom do I use the whole chicken, and the whole chicken does make a huge difference in flavor.

When I roasted the chicken for Sunday dinner, I covered the entire chicken with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence.  

I cut up onion and carrots on the bottom of the roasting pan and set the chicken on top of the vegetables.  I roasted the chicken until it registered a wee bit over 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer.  


Chicken Noodle Soup
Left over whole roasted chicken
Petite carrots
Celery (I used the heart of the celery stalk)
Mary B's Dumplings (approximately 1/4 of a package)
Kluski Noodles (approximately 1/3 of a package)
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Place chicken in a dutch oven or stockpot.
2.  Cover with water.
3.  Bring chicken to a  boil, turn down heat, and let simmer for a time until broth is a lovely yellow color.  (I honestly didn't time how long I simmered this chicken.  It doesn't have to be particularly long because the chicken is already cooked).
4.  Chop up celery and carrots.
5.  Remove chicken from pot.  Strain the broth.  (I just used a slotted spoon to take out all the "stuff" that I don't want in my soup.)
6.  Bring broth back to a boil and add carrots and celery.  Add dumplings and Kluski Noodles and cook according to package directions.  
6.  While noodles are boiling, remove what chicken is left from the bone and add to pot.
7.  Salt and pepper to taste.

This is a perfect soup for a cold, wintry day.  

January 13, 2017


Dutch Baby Pancake, where have you been all my life?  You really, really need to make this ASAP.

What a cool thing to make for guests for breakfast or for brunch or like I did,  just for us!

I know!!  I took lots of pictures, but I was truly smitten by this great pancake, egg, popover lovey.

And it was sunny!  Which we haven't seen much of since the beginning of January, and we all love overcast rainy days with a weather advisory for ice said no one ever!!

 If you want to make this for your family or friends this weekend, here's how I did it:

Dutch Baby Pancake
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Syrup, blueberries, confectioners' powdered sugar.
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.  In a blender, combine eggs, flour, milk, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

3.  Place butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place skillet in preheated oven and melt the butter.

4.  Add the butter to the skillet, return skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed and golden.

5.  Lower temperature to 300 degrees and bake five more minutes.

6.  Remove pancake from oven and serve with syrup, blueberries and powdered sugar.

Serve to family and friends!  They will love you for it!  Promise!!
(Adapted from the NYT Cooking - The New York Times)


January 6, 2017


This is a recipe for really great, very easy chocolate chip cookies.  You start with a cake mix, add eggs, oil, water, and chocolate chips.

They are so good, and I keep my cookie dough in the refrigerator, and make four to six at a time.  That way, I get a fresh, warm cookie every, single time!

I used dark chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips.  You could add walnuts, if you like, or white chocolate chips.  I even thought about sprinkles.

My weather is very cold with a little bit of snow; so, warm, soft chocolate chip cookies are perfect!


Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1 box of cake mix - I used Pillsbury Golden Cake Mix
1/2 cup of oil
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons of water
3 ounces of dark chocolate chips
3 ounces of milk chocolate chips

Mix cake mix, oil, eggs and water together.  Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes.

Serve to family and friends!!

January 3, 2017


So delicious!  Banana Cream Pie.  I do like cream pies; yes, more than fruit pies.  I bought bananas to have for company over the Christmas holidays, and there were a few left.

I thought about making banana pudding, but I had everything at home to make the pie; so, glory be; no trip needed to the grocery store!

Yes, they were a little ripe, especially the day after I made the pie, but that didn't stop us!

Our weather has been so dreary, rainy, and overcast for what seems like for almost ever that it makes it really hard to get great pictures, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.

I lighten them up as much as I can, hope they look okay . . . 
and wish for sunny days!

Banana Cream Pie

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of flour
2 cups of 2% milk
2 eggs yolks (saving whites for merigune)
1 Tablespoon of butter
A Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Bake pie crust in a pie plate according to directions on the box.

In a small or medium-sized saucepan, whisk sugar and flour together.  Add milk, egg yolks, butter, salt, and vanilla.  Cook on medium heat on stove until all ingredients are incorporated and the pie filling thickens.  Remove from heat.

Slice two bananas and place half on the bottom of pie crust add half the filling, the other half of the bananas, and the remaining filling - or however you want to put it together. There's really no right or wrong way!

For the Meringue

Add another two egg whites to the existing egg whites. 

Using a mixer beat egg whites on high until frothy.  Add 1 heaping teaspoon of Cream of Tartar, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and continue beating until meringue forms stiff peaks.

Spread meringue over filling.  Bake until the meringue is a golden brown.

Serve to family and friends!!