Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Not Your Average Rice Krispie Treat

My mother made these Rice Krispies a lot. However, not many mothers I know added the secret ingredient she did. I have never liked the regular (too marshmallowey) ones after growing up on these. 

Not Your Average Rice Krispie Treat

1/4 c. margarine or butter
6 c. miniature marshmallows
6 c. Rice Krispie cereal
1/4 c. Peanut Butter (we prefer smooth Skippy)

Melt margarine and marshmallows over low to medium heat, stirring constantly so not to burn the marshmallows. Once the mixture is smooth, add peanut butter. Remove from heat and pour over the cereal in a large separate bowl. Mix around until fully covered. 

Place and press into a greased or buttered 9x13 pan. Let sit, then cut and enjoy.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I had no idea when I got married I was going to be immersed into a family who loves to cook. Luckily for us, we never lack in good recipes. My sister-in-law shared with us her granola which, in my opinion, is the best granola out there. She was so kind to let me share it with you. 

If that's not incentive enough, I read in this month's Rachael Ray's Every Day Magazine, making your own granola is 39% cheaper than store bought. Now really. Have you ever really had a good store-bought granola? I didn't think so.

You're going to want to make this recipe. Again. Again. And again. 


Combine the following (except vanilla) and boil for one minute. Stir in vanilla. 1 1/2 cups brown sugar  1/2 cup water1/2 cup honey3/4 cup oil1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp salt2 tsp vanilla

Combine the following in a large mixing bowl:6 cups rolled oats (not the quick kind)2-3 cups of assorted nuts (whole or chopped) (I prefer almonds and pecans)1/2 cup wheat germ1 1/2 cups coconut

Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients and stir to coat well.
Spread onto two cookie sheets.  (If you have silpat liners they work really wellwith this recipe and the clean up is a snap!) No need to grease the plain pan.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  I bake two pans at once and stir and swap racks withthem at the 15 minute mark.  The Granola will not feel crunchy after thirty minutesbut it will harden up as it cools.  You want to see it turning a golden brown around the edgesafter 15 minutes.  This is when I stir it up and switch places.  Don't over bake!!
Add one of our favorite ingredients: Craisins. Just eyeball however much you want. 

Store in a covered container for 2 weeks.  But it rarely lasts that long!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

adapted from Epicurious.com

Just in time for Thanksgiving. Are you in charge of a dessert? This one is guaranteed to be a hit.
I've been making this cheesecake for several years. It might have been the first cheesecake I ever attempted. So, needless to say, it is quite easy. Time consuming, but straightforward.

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake


  1. For crust
    • 1 cup pecans (about 4 ounces)
    • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  2. For filling
    • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (I have substituded Neufch√Ętel cheese to lighten it up and it has been just fine)
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Make crust:
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend first 3 ingredients in processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter; process until moist crumbs form. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Cool. Wrap outside of pan with double thickness of heavy-duty foil.
  2. Make filling:
    1. Using electric mixer, beat first 4 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add pumpkin; beat until blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. Transfer to crust. Set in roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan.
    2. Bake cake until top is golden and begins to crack and center is set, abut 1 hour 45 minutes. Remove from roasting pan. Cool. Chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Deniece's Pumpkin Roll

This recipe comes from my late friend, Deniece. She lived a few houses away from me when my daughter was four. On several occasions my daughter would wander away from my house. Almost every time, I would find my daughter's bike parked by the curb of Deniece's house. Once when I went to bring her back home, I approached the sidewalk to find my daughter leaned up with one leg on the side of Deniece's house just chatting away telling her all the trivial things a four year-old has to live through. Every year until she passed away my daughter felt certain Deniece needed a school picture of herself. And my sweet neighbor would post it prominently on her refrigerator. She taught me many lessons over the years of being her neighbor. She graciously battled breast cancer for years but never complained --- always made time for other people, and never wanted the attention brought on her.

So, you can see this pumpkin roll is sweet in many ways. Sweet in memories of a sweet lady who set time out of her day to listen to my daughter. To care for her and make her feel special. She taught me a lot and still teaches me.

Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin pie filling
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat eggs for 3 minutes. Add sugar, pumpkin and lemon juice. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well. Place a sheet of wax paper covering a jelly roll pan. Spread the batter over the waxed paper. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 375-degree oven.
Using an old, clean dish towel, sprinkle powdered sugar generously on top of it. After the roll is cooled, gently turn it over onto the dish towel. Including the towel, roll up the cake starting at the narrow end and chill.

1 c. powdered sugar
6 oz. cream cheese
4 T softened butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. finely chopped nuts (I use walnuts)

Cream filling together. After the cake has chilled for a bit, unroll it very carefully and fill with filling. Roll back up and sprinkle with more powdered sugar if desired. Chill and serve.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Salmon with Herb-Almond Crust

This has to be one of our favorite ways to make salmon. It is quite tasty! I think you'll love it.

2 6 oz. Salmon Fillets, skinned
3 T chopped almonds
2 T butter, softened
2 T fine dry bread crumbs
1 T grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp. snipped Fresh Basil 
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic)
1/4 tps. freshly ground black pepper

Rinse fish; Pat dry. Measure thickness of fish; set aside. In a small bowl combine almonds, butter, bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, lemon peel, garlic, and black pepper. Place fish on the greased rack of a broiler pan. Spoon nut mixture on top of fillets; spread slightly. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2 - inch thickness, or until fish flakes easily.

We like it best on the BBQ at about 425 degrees for 7 - 10 minutes. Again, depending upon thickness.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chocolate Cupcakes with a Decadent Cream Cheese Frosting

I don't know which I like better on these cupcakes:  the frosting or the chocolate cake. The combination of the two is compelling.

Chocolate Cupcakes:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. (Batter will be thin). Pour batter into cupcake liners. DO NOT FILL MORE THAN HALF FULL. This rises up high.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

These make a TON of cupcakes -- like 2 - 3 dozen or more.

(You may need to double the frosting or half the cupcake recipe to make all cupcakes frosted)

8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups confectioners's sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Whip all up together with a mixer and top your cupcakes.