Wednesday, September 30, 2009

♥Sinfully Decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars♥

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These sinfully decadent peanut butter and chocolate dessert bars are out of this world. A treat anytime of the year they are very comforting on a cold winter's evening sitting sharing with friends and family. Yes, loaded with calories but just tell your guests, "The devil made me do it."


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbsp cocoa
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup smooth, natural peanut butter (no salt added)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
5 ounces choclate chips
1 tablespoon butter


1. In double boiler (or a bowl resting over a pot of lightly simmering water), melt the butter, sugar and cocoa.
2. While still over water, add egg and beat to combine (will thicken quite a bit here). Remove from heat and add graham cracker crumbs and nuts.
3. Press into an 8 x 8 cake pan. Set aside.
4. Add peanut butter and butter together in small bowl.
5. Mix in sugar, salt and vanilla to form a thick paste.
6. Dump onto base layer and smooth over, patting down to make a flat, even layer.
7. In double boiler (or microwave), melt butter and chocolate chips together. Stir until completely dissolved and smooth.
8. Pour over peanut butter layer and spread out evenly.
9. Cool in fridge until completely set.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

♥Granny Square Chicken Pot Pie♥

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You can tell that the days are getting cooler and the nights require another blanket when I haul out my recipes for goodies that come from the oven or a soup pot on the stove. There is just something so darned comforting about dicing and chopping and slicing on a cool day. I just love the colors in this pie. They remind me of my favorite Granny Square afghan - a little of this and a little of that. This pie is filling and will satisfy the tummies of your most hungry family members. Serve with a nice salad . For dessert vanilla ice cream - plain - in a cone, nothing fancy but oh, so comfy.


1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
5 cups water
2 celery stalk tops with leaves
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 to 4 bacon slices
3 green onions, sliced
2 large celery ribs, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
3 carrots, cooked and diced
1 can sweet green peas, drained
1 can sweet corn, drained
2 medium potatoes, peeled, diced, cooked
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
cranberry sauce

  • Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven; reduce heat, and simmer mixture 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is done.
  • Remove chicken, reserving 3 1/2 cups broth in Dutch oven; discard celery tops. Let chicken cool; skin, bone, and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 3 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
  • Sauté green onions and chopped celery in hot drippings in skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender. Gradually whisk in flour until blended. Gradually add reserved broth; cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken, bacon, eggs, and rest of ingredients with the exception of the pie crust and cranberry sauce.
Spoon mixture into a 3-quart baking dish, and top with refrigerated piecrust.Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Monday, September 28, 2009

♥Smooth as Silk Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie♥

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I've made a few pumpkin or punkin' pies in my day and all of them have been good but this recipe is the best I've ever used. Rich, creamy and oh, so yummy, you'll have even those "no, I hate pumpkin pie" folks coming back for just one more sliver!


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1 piece refrigerated pie dough
whipped cream, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 piece of pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Prick unbaked pie shell along sides and bottom to help prevent shrinkage. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely.

Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds). Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs that have been mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

♥FREE Caramel Apple Dip Recipe Book♥

Every now and then a little gem just falls into your lap - totally unexpected - and a real GEM! This was one of those times for me and one that I'd like to share with you. I don't know if you've ever purchased Marzetti Caramel Apple Dip but it is DELICIOUS! I prefer the peanut butter/caramel, myself☺. As I was strolling around the internet on Sunday afternoon I happened to find a site with a cookbook filled with some of the most delightful recipes, each and every one special. You can download the whole book - FREE - just by clicking on the recipe card for Caramel Apple Banana Bread. ENJOY! I'm sure you will!

Friday, September 25, 2009

♥Glazed Buttery Lemon Tea Bread♥


1/2 cup butter, softened (do not substitute)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 2/3 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 lemon, finely grated rind only


1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced


Cream the butter and sugar. Add in eggs and continue beating. Mix in the salt and baking powder until well blended. Add in milk. Blend. Blend in flour until well mixed. Add nuts and lemon rind.

Bake at 350F in a greased loaf pan for around 50 minutes depending on the size of your loaf pan. After removing from oven, glaze with the sugar/lemon mixture.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

♥Gourmet White Chocolate Cinnamon Caramel Apples♥

Somedays you just want to be fussy. You want to hover over every detail of your event to make sure it looks “just so.” You want to give your celebration that something extra special – not because you have to, but because you want to. You have the time. You have the talent. So why not let it shine?

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These apples are so fabulous we have to remind people that I actually made them! Often when given as gifts, people automatically believe they were bought at a store. And when you decide to be fussy shouldn’t you receive some credit? As Sarah Palin would say - YOU BETCHA!

Step One: Picking your Ingredients. You get what you pay for.

Apples – When selecting your Granny Smith apples, don’t just buy the first green circles you see at Walmart. Make sure you purchase large unbruised well set Granny Smith apples. This may mean you will have to visit several stores to find the best apples. Trust us. It will be worth your effort.
Butter – Do not use margarine. Use butter.
Caramel – Do not buy your caramel. It will not taste as good. Period. Homemade is best.
White Chocolate – Purchase high quality white chocolate from a candy supply store or a specialty market.

Step Two: Preparing for your apples. Keep it cool. 

Apples – The cooler your apples are the easier your caramel will adhere to your fruit. Place your apples in ice water until they are very cold. Towel them off thoroughly, place candy stick into center of apple, and set in the refrigerator.

Baking sheets – Butter you baking sheets thoroughly. Place them in the freezer or refrigerator to keep cold until you are ready to dip your apples.

Ingredients – Have all ingredients prepared and measured. You don’t want to be running around searching for vanilla while your caramel is burning on the stove.

Step Three: Making Your Caramel. Slow and Steady wins the race.

1) Have your ingredients premeasured and near your stove.
2) Invest in a heavy saucepan and a long wooden spoon with a flat bottom.
3) Keep your heat no higher than medium low.
4) Take your time.
5) Stir continually.
6) Invest in a high quality candy thermometer.

Caramel Recipe
8 cups of sugar
2 cans of evaporated milk
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of unsalted butter
2 tsp. of Vanilla
4 cups of light corn syrup

Instructions: Melt butter. In a heavy saucepan combine sugar, syrup, and butter over medium heat. While on the medium heat bring mixture to a rolling boil. Slowly pour milk in as you stir. Try and keep the mixture boiling. If boil dies down it’s okay, but keep going slow. Cook to a firm ball stage or 238 degrees. Once at firm ball stage, take off heat and add vanilla. Stir constantly. Let it cool for five to ten minutes and then test an apple. 

Step Four: Dipping your Apples.  Let it drip.
Take your apples out of the refrigerator. Holding each apple by the stick, one by one dip apples into your caramel. Let caramel drip off each apple. While still over caramel pot, use a knife to scrape off excess caramel from bottom of apple. Do not let apples sit too long in caramel or apples will weep at the stem end. Place on cold buttered baking sheet. Once all apples are dipped, place them directly into refrigerator. Wait two to three hours prior to dipping in white chocolate.

Step Five: Preparing your White Chocolate. Chop. Chop. 

In the bottom half of your double boiler, fill 1/4 full of water and bring to boil. Take your block of white chocolate and begin chopping it into small thin chunks in order for it to melt easily. Once chopped, place white chocolate chunks in top half of double boiler. Stir chocolate until melted thoroughly.

Step Six: White Chocolate Dipping and Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkling. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Take apples out of refrigerator and begin dipping in white chocolate. This part is fun! Feel free to nibble on your extra caramel and white chocolate, but don’t forget to scrape the excess white chocolate off of the bottom of your apples. You’ll want to make sure there is enough for all your apples. The cooler your melted chocolate is the less drippage you will have and the easier to dip them. After you have dipped the apple sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar to your liking. Place apple back on baking sheet and let cool.

Place gourmet apples in cellophane bags, add ribbons, tags, and deliver to astonished friends and family. Save six or seven apples for yourself. Eat them all. You are so wonderful. Yes, you are.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

♥Peppered Brown Sugar Bacon♥

Oh, this is so yummy that it tastes Heavenly but it is so devilish, too. Bacon, who doesn't love bacon. Yes, I know we have to establish limits but every now and then we MUST indulge or we will wonder why we get up in the morning! So, be good to yourself, family and guests and have a little bite - just a little


* 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
* 12 thick-cut bacon slices


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Process pecans in a food processor 20 seconds or until finely chopped. Stir together pecans, brown sugar, and pepper.

2. Place half of bacon in a single layer on a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining bacon, placing on another lightly greased wire rack in a second foil-lined baking sheet. Press pecan mixture on top of bacon slices, coating well.

3. Bake at 400° for 22 to 25 minutes or until browned and crisp. Let stand 5 minutes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

♥Harvest Table Waldorf Salad with Pecans♥

Want to get more fruit into the little ones? I guarantee you that they will dig into this salad and think that it is dessert! Healthy, fresh, using the best of our fall bounty, their tummies will be full and their plates empty!

4 tart green apples, cored and chopped
1/4 cup diced pecans, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced seedless grapes
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
2 cups julienne cabbage
2  (8 ounce) container vanilla or cherry yogurt

In a medium bowl, stir together all , except pecans, until well coated. Add pecans just before serving.

Friday, September 18, 2009

♥Grandma's Warm Apple Dumplings♥

This is the old-fashioned apple dumplings your grandmother used to make. It’s warm and flaky, like your own personal apple pie. The apple dumpling recipe originated with the Pennsylvania Amish. Its popularity has spread throughout the American Northeast and Midwestern region.

Although making apple dumplings isn’t difficult, it does take some time and preparation. Peeling and coring the apples can be especially tedious. To save some time, I use refrigerated pie crust. Eat this simple but scrumptious dessert when it is fresh from the oven. Once you taste it, you’'ll be transported back to a much simpler time in history.


1 pastry for 2-crust pie (I use those from the dairy case already made, so easy!)

Syrup Ingredients

1 cup sugar
2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter (softened, don't substitute)
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons nutmeg

Filling Ingredients

6 Granny Smith apples (peeled and cored)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter (softened, don't substitute)


1. Roll pastry slightly less than 1/8" thick. Cut into 7" squares.
2. Bring syrup ingredients to boil. Boil 3 minutes.
3. Put apple on center of each pastry square. Fill with mixture of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Dot each with teaspoon of butter.
4. Bring points of pastry up over apple and overlap.
5. Place a few inches apart in baking pan. Pour 1 cup hot syrup mixture around dumplings.
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Just before serving pour rest of warm syrup over dumplings and serve with cream. If the crusts appear to be browning too quickly, I will place foil over the top of the little bundles of joy.
♥ A little hint. Much like when you bake bread pudding, place the pan with your Dumplin's into another, larger pan that is filled with water so that the water barely comes up the side of your baking dish. This will help to prevent the sugar from burning on the bottom of your pan.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


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Making this is SO much fun! Generally I will lay the little guy on a "bed" of mashed potatoes and drizzle some ketchup  around the eyes and mouth. Fun, delicious and such a great way to get the kids to eat good things! Of course, use your own meatloaf recipe, if you wish. I've included the one I use for my family - a hand-me-down from my mom.

1.5 lbs. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
3/4 c. crushed saltines or bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk (this breaks down the meat and makes it supremely tender and NOT like hamburg in a ball)
1/4 c. ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
2 eggs
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh or canned mushrooms
one small onion finely chopped
garlic salt, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

6-8 lasagna noodles, cooked
ketchup (optional), makes great blood
2 slices cheese, any kind
2 green or black olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Mix all meatloaf ingredients well in a large bowl. Press into a glass bowl (make sure it's ok for the oven) and bake for 90 minutes or until center is done.

When completely cooked, Drain any fat off the meatloaf and turn onto a serving pan. Spread with a thin layer of ketchup, if desired. Cut cheese slices into circles and place on meatloaf as the "eyes".

Cut the cooked lasagna noodles in half then trim the edges so the "scallops" are cut off. Place them randomly across the meatloaf, cutting of extra and using it to fill in spaces. This is a great job for the kids, you want the bandages to look "messy"!

Add two olives for eyes and serve!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

♥Indian Summer Bacon Wrapped 'n Kraut Stuffed Hot Dogs♥

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Some kids like these and some don't. These have always been a big hit with the "big kids" in my family and a great end of summer treat served with potato salad and freshly churned ice cream for dessert. There will be some gorgeous Indian Summer weekends this month and next. Don't spend them indoors. All too soon the snow will fall and BBQs will be but a fond memory.

  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 large hot dogs, knockwurst, or bratwurst
  • 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • 4 slices lean bacon
  • vegetable oil
  • 4 long hot dog buns
  • Prepare your grill for direct medium high heat.
  • Mix together the ketchup and mustard in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sauerkraut with the chopped onion, set aside. Slice open the hot dogs forming a deep pocket in each, but not cutting all the way through. Coat the inside of each hot dog with the mustard ketchup mixture.
  • Place a strip of cheese deep within the pocket of each hot dog. Top with sauerkraut and onions. Encapsulate the cheese at the ends with the sauerkraut mixture as well, so that no cheese is exposed (otherwise it will drip out when cooking).
  • Wrap a strip of bacon around each stuffed hot dog, securing with toothpicks at each end. Make sure you wrap tight enough so that the stuffing stays in, but not so tight so that when the hot dog expands while cooking  or the bacon would tear.
  • Place the stuffed hot dogs on the grill, stuffing side down. Grill for 2 minutes, until the bacon on that side is cooked, turn the hot dogs a quarter turn and grill for a couple more minutes. Continue to grill for a few minutes each on all sides until the bacon is cooked.
  • During the last minute of cooking, open up the hot dog buns and place them open-side down on the grill to lightly toast.
  • Remove the hot dogs and buns from the grill. Remove the toothpicks fro the hot dogs, place them in the buns and serve. YUM!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

♥EZ Peasy Buttery Caramel Corn♥

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This is quick and easy and fun to make. So simple that even the little ones can pitch in measuring and stirring (just not over the stove). A rich, delicious fall delight, I'm sure this recipe will become one of your family favorites to have with warm cider on cool evenings.


1 cup butter (no substitutions)
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Over medium heat, combine first 4 ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Stir well. Pour over 8 quarts popped corn. Stir to coat well. Bake in large roaster or pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to dry. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

♥Thick 'n Rich Apple Pecan Syrup♥

Pancakes, waffles, French toast - even ice cream - each and every one becomes more, better, best, remarkable with this luscious syrup you will make in your kitchen. This recipe is for four servings; however, I will generally double the ingredients because folks always come back for more!


4 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 Granny Smith - peeled, cored and diced
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in apples, brown sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon and pecans. When bubbling, reduce heat to low. Simmer until apples are soft, and syrup has thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

♥Aunt Alice's Oatmeal Raisin Rounds♥

Just a simple, little oatmeal cookie with raisins but it's one recipe that I would miss terribly if it got lost. Rich, crispy and chewy all at the same time with just the right amounts of spice. I made these frequently when I had little boys coming home from school looking for a snack and a glass of milk. Now I make them for the little boys of one of my little boys.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
Mix sugar, shortening, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly. Blend remaining ingredients into shortening mixture. Refrigerate dough 4 to 5 hours or overnight. Heat oven to 375. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with greased bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Bake 10 minutes. Makes about 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

♥Finnish Vegetable Soup (Kesäkeitto) with Summer Vegetables♥

Several years ago my favorite spot for lunch, Cafe' du Voyageur, featured this soup. I thought - naw, it doesn't sound all that great. My friend, Sherry, ordered it and just raved about the flavor so I ordered a small cup. After that, I was hooked. Make this soup and I guarantee you that it will become a family favorite! Served with warm crusty bread, your tummy will l♥ve you!

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 small carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium potato, cubed
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas 
  • 1 cup cut fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1/4 small cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 2 ounces fresh spinach, cut up (2 cups)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons snipped dill weed
  • Heat water, carrots, potato, peas, beans and cauliflower to boiling in 3-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until vegetables are almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add spinach; cook uncovered about 1 minute. Mix 1/4 cup of the milk and the flour; stir gradually into vegetable mixture. Simmer and stir 1 minute.
  • Stir in remaining milk, the whipping cream, salt and pepper. Heat just until hot. Garnish each serving with dill weed.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

♥EZ Cream Cheese 'n Cinnamon Apple Cake♥

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This will melt in your mouth. I ♥ to cook with cream cheese. There is just something so rich about the addition of a little somthing extra that sets a recipe aside from the rest. This is one of those recipes. Fall is in the air and our markets are loaded with fresh, healthy, crisp apples. Don't miss the opportunity to make this dessert with apples fresh from the tree!
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces block cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped peeled Rome apple (about 2 large)
  • cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture and apple in a bowl, and stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.

Friday, September 4, 2009

♥Banana Split Cake for Someone Special♥

A little work but a lot of fun, especially if you include the kids in the decorating! A great birthday cake, Christmas cake or cake to take to a new neighbor. Who in the world doesn't love a banana split!?


  • 3  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1  cup  vegetable oil
  • 1/2  cup  buttermilk
  • 2  cups  mashed banana (5 medium)
  • 1  cup  chopped pecans
  • 1  cup  flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 1  (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1  (16-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1  (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2  cups  powdered sugar
  • Garnishes: toasted flaked coconut, long-stemmed maraschino cherries, grated milk chocolate, chopped pecans, hot fudge sauce


Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in banana and next 3 ingredients.

Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Gently press pineapple and maraschino cherries between layers of paper towels. Chop cherries. Stir pineapple and cherries into banana mixture. Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in reserved pineapple juice. Pour over cake; garnish, if desired.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

♥Herbed Roast Pork Loin with Chunky Walnut Applesauce♥

This is a little more work than your average roast. Perfect for a special family meal or when you really want to make a nice presentation for guests. I've served this with garlic mashed potatoes, cauliflower or asparagus and for dessert - a delicate peppermint mousse. This is a meal to remember. The kind where the candles are lit and good conversation is shared by all.


  • 2 sprigs rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs sage, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (6-chop) pork rib roast
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 bundle thyme, tied with string
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • chunky applesauce, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a food processor, combine the chopped herbs with the garlic, crushed red pepper, a generous pinch of salt and enough olive oil to make a paste. Brush the paste on the outside of the pork rib roast.

Toss the onions with olive oil, and salt, and place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the thyme, bay leaves and 2/3 of the cider. Place the pork on top of the onions and place in the preheated oven. Roast the pork at 425 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or until the pork has developed a lovely brown crust. Check the pork, stir the onions and cider if they are starting to burn. Add more cider when the level starts to go down.

Lower the oven to 375 degrees F and cover and roast for another 75 to 90 minutes. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the cider from the bottom of the roasting pan and reserve for the applesauce.

Let the pork rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. When ready to carve remove the pork from the bone and cut the loin into thin slices. Serve with the onions braised in cider and chunky applesauce.

Chunky Applesauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (toss the apples in lemon juice if not using right away)
  • 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cider from the roasted pork loin with cider
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (no substitutions)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Melt the butter in a saucepan large enough to accommodate the apples. Add the apples and sauté over medium-low heat until the apples start to soften. Add the reserved cider, apple cider and cinnamon and cook over low-medium heat until most of the cider has evaporated and the apples are cooked and very soft.

Add the heavy cream and walnuts and cook until the cream has reduced by half. The end result should be a very chunky, sweet/savory applesauce. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

♥EZ as Pie! Clean out the Fridge Quiche Lorraine♥

This recipe is so adaptable! You can change the type of cheese you use, according to what you have on hand. Leave out the bacon, or use ham or Canadian bacon. You can use a combination of cream and 1% milk for the half and half. Add sautéed vegetables. Use shrimp, or chicken, or cooked sausage. It's quick. It's fun to make. It helps you clean out the fridge!


  • 1-1/2 cups half and half
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Swiss, Cheddar, Colby, Havarti, your choice!)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 9" unbaked pastry shell (I ♥ to have a box of frozen crusts in my freezer)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine half and half, eggs and seasonings. Toss cheese with the flour and sprinkle into the unbaked pastry shell. Top with bacon or other meats or vegetables, then carefully pour egg mixture into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees 40-50 minutes, until egg mixture is set and top is a golden brown. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

♥Best Ever Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing♥

For cupcakes
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    2/3 cup whole milk
      For icing
      1/3 cup heavy cream
      4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
      1/3 cup chopped peanuts


        Preheat oven to 350°F.
        Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

        Beat together peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until blended, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, then mix until just combined.

        Divide batter among lined muffin cups (about two-thirds full) and bake in middle of oven until pale golden and a tester inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto a rack and cool completely.

        Make icing while cupcakes cool

        Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour over chocolate in a small bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.

        To thicken icing to spreading consistency quickly, spread it on a metal baking sheet and chill until thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Scrape icing back into bowl and stir until smooth. Spread icing on cupcakes and sprinkle with peanuts.