Posts Tagged ‘desserts’


It’s been quite a while since I wrote my last blog post.  I don’t exactly know why I stopped. Maybe I felt I had run out of things to say. Maybe I just got lazy.  Maybe I wondered if I had been at it so long that I couldn’t write another recipe that was interesting.  But if I really wanted to speak the truth I think that after I lost my oldest son to lung cancer, my heart just wasn’t interested in doing too much of anything other than watching my grandchildren grow up, particularly our youngest granddaughter who is 15 years younger than our middle granddaughter. Watching her as she celebrates her birthdays gives us one more chance to feel the joy of watching a little one grow up to be an amazing adult.

One day last week the thought came to me that I’d like to be back at it.  So here I am.  I hope that I have a little stick-to-it still in my bones and that I will keep writing recipes for years to come.  More than anything, I would love to hear from you if you come across the blog. I would love to hear about the foods you enjoy, favorite recipes, and, of course, tell me if you enjoy the blog or even if you hate it.  If the latter I’ll try to do a better job.


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Every night after dinner Steve says “Do we have any cake?”  and most nights I give a negative nod.  But, once in awhile I decide to take pity on him and make a simple cake to offer with a cup of decaf.  The problem with cake making is that Steve eats one dainty slice and forgets about it while I am left to devour the remains.  I have a terrible sweet tooth which makes eating an entire cake not difficult to do – over a few days, of course.  Since I am always trying to watch my weight (and not watch it increase) this is not something I like to do so cake making isn’t often on my list of kitchen chores.  Since Steve prefers a simple cake – pound cake, angel food, spice – I can always quickly put together a plain cake from memory.  Here is a chocolate version of bundt cake that is easy to make and keeps well over a few days, well-wrapped in the fridge.  If desired, you can add a cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips or other flavored chips to the cake or drizzle the top with a glaze or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes one cake

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ¼ cups sifted flour
¾ cup sifted dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly coat the interior of a bundt cake pan with butter and flour or with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle and beat on low to soften.  Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium, and beat until light and creamy.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Begin adding the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, a little at a time, alternately adding the milk and one egg.  When all of the ingredients have been blended in, add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.  Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the edges pull away from the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a wire pan.  Lift off the pan and allow the cake to cool before cutting or covering with a glaze.

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maple bacon doughnut


Not much to say except “yum, yum, yum”.  Whenever we are in San Francisco, we always make a stop at Dynamo Donuts (www.dynamodonut.com) for just a bite of their famous Maple Bacon Donut.  I can’t say that donuts are my favorite treat, but they sure work for my lovely husband.  I have never made those light and fluffy raised donuts, but I do, from time to time, make my mom’s old fashioned ones.  I’m thinking I might just make up a batch and coat them with some maple frosting and then sprinkle some salty, crisp bacon bits on top.  If you want to try this version, here is mom’s recipe (which can also be found in my out-of-print book, Homemade).  I would imagine that the maple frosting is simply confectioners’ sugar, maple flavoring, and a bit of milk or maybe even black coffee to moisten.

Nana’s Doughnuts (You’ll note she spelled it correctly)
Makes about 2 dozen
3½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (you can really use any spice you like, but nutmeg is what you
taste in most commercial donuts)
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature and beaten
½ cup whole milk
Wondra flour
Approximately 4 cups cinnamon-sugar or confectioners’ sugar (if you are not frosting), for
Approximately 6 cups vegetable oil
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together.  Set aside.

Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle and beat until crumbly.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat thoroughly.  Then, add the milk.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat on low until all added and a smooth dough has formed.
Using Wondra flour, lightly flour a clean, flat surface.
Scrape the dough onto the floured surface and lightly sprinkle the top with Wondra.  Pat the dough out to about ⅝-inch thickness.  (If the dough seems very sticky, slowly knead in no more than ½ cup all-purpose flour into it.)  Using a donut cutter, cut out circles, separately reserving the holes.
If using, place the cinnamon-sugar or confectioners’ sugar in a resealable plastic bag.  Set aside.
Fill a heavy-duty skillet at least 3-inches deep with the vegetable oil.  The oil should be deep enough that the donuts can easily float.  Place over medium-high and bring the oil to 360ºF on a candy thermometer.
Place the donuts, a few at a time, into the hot oil and fry, turning once, for about 5 minutes or until perfectly golden, slightly raised, and cooked through.  Lower the temperature if they cook and darken too quickly.
Using a slotted spoon, move the donuts to a triple layer of paper towel to drain for just a minute.
Quickly transfer the hot donuts to the sugar in the bag and shake to thoroughly coat.  Remove the sugar-coated donuts from the bag and place on wire racks to cool slightly.  Best eaten while still warm.
If you decide to frost them, cool first, and then frost and decorate in whatever manner you choose.

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For a long time we noticed a fading sign on the side of a building in Cobleskill, New York and only recently did the sign get reinvigorated.  Robin Hood Flour it said.  I didn’t know the brand, but sure like their signage.  I did Google the name and found that they are an old Canadian mill now owned by Smucker’s.  Hope you enjoy the old-fashioned sign as much as we do.

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