Saturday, July 29, 2017


1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups M&M plain chocolate candies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat sugars and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and soda; combine with the sugar mixture. Mix together well. Stir in 1/2 cup of the candies. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press the remaining candies onto the tops of the cookies. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Yield: 6 dozen cookies

Friday, July 28, 2017


This recipe is from an old Kansas newspaper clipping.

2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water; stir just until the sugar is dissolves. Cook to 260 degrees on a candy thermometer (hard ball stage). While sugar mixture cooks, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. While beating at high speed, gradually pour the sugar mixture over the egg whites. Add the vanilla and beat until the candy loses its gloss and holds its shape. Quickly add the nuts and mix well. Quickly spoon teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper covered cookie sheets.

Yield: about 3 dozen pieces

Note: This is a file photo of a similar recipe.

Thursday, July 27, 2017



4 cups sliced Granny Smith apples
2 cups fresh blackberries (may use frozen but do not thaw)
3/4 cup sugar


3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, berries, and sugar. When well combined, pour mixture into a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan or dish.

In another large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, walnuts, butter and cinnamon; blend together using your fingers. Sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately an hour or until the top is brown and fruit is bubbly.

 Note: File Photo

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely diced
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
4 cups shredded carrots
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, set aside 2 tablespoons of the apricots and 1 tablespoon of the currants.

Combine the remaining apricots, currants, and ginger into flour mixture.

In another large bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, egg whites, applesauce, canola oil, carrots, and vanilla. Stir together well, using the back of the spoon to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Stir the sugar mixture into the flour mixture to blend. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down and turn out the cake to cool completely on the wire rack.


1 can (6-oz) pineapple juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp toasted, chopped pecans

While cake is cooling, combine the juices and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently boil 12 to 15 minutes until glaze has thickened and has reduced down to about a third of a cup. Pour glaze into a small bowl and cool for 15 minutes. Stir the reserved (from the cake recipe) apricots and currants into the glaze mixture. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, pressing fruit so it sticks to the cake. Sprinkle the pecans over the top of the cake, pressing lightly to stick.

Yield: 12 servings

NOTE: This cake is even better when baked a day ahead of serving, allowing the flavors to meld.

Note: This is a file photo of a carrot bundt cake. It is not an exact picture of this recipe.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 carton (12-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 2/3 cups flaked coconut
9 mint sprigs for garnish, if desired
9 thin lemon slices, if desired

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.

In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and rind. Fold in 3 1/2 cups of the whipped topping and 1 1/2 cups of the coconut. Spread the mixture over the crumbs. Sprinkle remaining coconut over the lemon mixture. Chill at least 2 hours to set. Cut into squares. Top squares with the remaining whipped topping. If desired, garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.

Yield: 9 bars
Note: File Photo

Monday, July 24, 2017


1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with heavy duty foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, flour, and baking powder; set aside. In another bowl, combine the melted butter, corn syrup, and whipping cream. Add the butter mixture to the oat mixture and stir together until combined.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheet, placing about 3-inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown around the edges. Cool cookies on the foil. Carefully lift edges of cookies, them peel off the foil.

In a small heavy saucepan, heat the chocolate chips and shortening over low heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate mixture. Cool on waxed paper until chocolate sets.

Yield: Approximately 5 dozen cookies.

Note: File Photo

Sunday, July 23, 2017


2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 can (12-oz) evaporated milk
1 stick butter
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter; add sugar and stir to blend. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk while stirring. Add the chocolate chips and stir constantly while cooking for 8 minutes. Cool at least 45 minutes.

2 1/2 cups approximately 24) creme-filled cookies, finely crushed
1/2 stick butter

In a large bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and butter. Mix well and press lightly onto the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan.

3 medium bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 can (8-oz) crushed pineapple, drained (use juice to dip bananas to prevent browning)

Arrange the sliced bananas over the cookie crumb crust. Spoon half of the ice cream over the bananas. Refrigerate remaining ice cream. Spoon half of the cooled chocolate sauce over the ice cream layer. Freeze until firm. Spoon remaining ice cream over the chocolate layer. Spoon the pineapple over the ice cream. Cover and freeze until firm.

Frozen whipped topping, thawed
chopped pecans or peanuts, optional
maraschino cherries, optional

To serve, cut into squares and place on dessert plates. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over squares. Top with whipped topping, nuts, and cherries, if desired.

 Note: File Photo of a very similar recipe.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped nuts
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, nuts, sugar, and melted butter; mix well. Reserve 1/3 cup; set aside. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 325 minutes for 6 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sweetened condensed milk. Add the eggs and beat just until combined. Stir in the lemon juice. Spoon the mixture over the baked crust. Spoon the reserved crumb mixture over the top of the filling. Bake about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for an hour then store in refrigerator. Cut into 24 bars to serve.

 Note: File Photo

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


1 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream shortening and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with mixer on medium speed. When well blended add egg, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir in the flour. Place dough in cookie press using your preference of shapes. Press about 2-inches apart on cooled, ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees 5 to 7 minutes or until set. Do not brown. Cool for a minute on baking sheet then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Note: You may use a few drops of food coloring to the dough if desired.

 Note: File Photo

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


1 lb confectioners' sugar
3 tbsp Just Whites*
6 tbsp water

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat confectioners' sugar and the Just Whites. Add water, beating until blended. Increase mixer speed to high; beat 8 minutes or until icing is very thick and white. Beat in small amount of food coloring as desired.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

*Just Whites is available in the supermarket by the eggs.

Note: This is a file photo of cookies decorated with royal icing.

Monday, July 17, 2017


1 pkg double fudge brownie mix
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 tbsp water
28 chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
1 can chocolate and/or vanilla frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 28 mini-muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a bowl, combine the brownie mix, canola oil, eggs, water, and fudge packet from the brownie mix. Stir with a spoon to blend well. Drop one heaping teaspoonful of batter into each muffin cup; top with the candy kisses. Cover candies with the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully loosen brownies and remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack. Frost after cooled. Decorate if desired.

 Note: File Photo

Sunday, July 16, 2017


1-oz square unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Hot water

In a small saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and extract. Blend in enough hot water (1 to 2 tbsp) to make an almost pourable consistency.

 Note: File Photo

County Fair Fried Dough

This recipe and photo are from King Arthur Flour. In Texas we call these elephant ears.


  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, in 1/2" cubes
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • *See "tips," below, to make this recipe using King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour.


  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Work in the cold butter, using a pastry blender, your fingers, or a mixer.
  3. Stir in the warm water to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a thin 5" round, about 3/8" thick.
  5. Heat about 3/8" vegetable oil to 375°F in an electric frying pan, or in a pan over a burner. If you're using a 10" diameter pan, this is 2 cups of vegetable oil. If you're not using an electric frying pan, use a candy thermometer to take the temperature of the oil; or guesstimate it by seeing if the first piece of dough fries nicely in the time specified.
  6. Pick up one dough disk, and carefully lower it into the pan. Let it cook for 60 seconds (it'll puff up on top and become light brown on the bottom), then flip it over and cook until light brown on the other side, about 60 seconds. You don't want to cook these too dark; they'll become overly crisp.
  7. Remove from the oil and set on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Place in a 200°F oven to keep warm while you make the remaining fried doughs.
  8. Serve warm, with maple syrup or cider syrup; confectioners' sugar, or cinnamon sugar; or the topping of your choice — some folks enjoy a savory version, with marinara sauce and cheese.

Friday, July 14, 2017


2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
48 Maraschino cherries, well drained

Dipping Chocolate:

1 cup dark melting chocolate, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp butter-flavored shortening
finely chopped pecans
slivered white chocolate for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter flavored shortening, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl with mixer on medium speed. Cream until well blended.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Beat into creamed mixture with mixer at low speed. Take a piece of dough and press into a thin layer around a maraschino cherry. Repeat with the remaining cherries. Place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for a minute then remove to wire racks to cool. Cool completely while preparing the dipping chocolate.

Dipping Chocolate: In a glass measuring cup melt the dark chocolate and shortening together in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and blended. Drop one cookie at a time into the chocolate mixture using a fork to turn and coat. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and allow the excess chocolate to drain back into the measuring cup. Place on a waxed paper covered baking sheet or tray. Sprinkle the top with chopped pecans. Sprinkle with the white chocolate while still wet, if using. Chill in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.

Yield: 4 dozen
 Note: File Photo

Thursday, July 13, 2017


1 lb bag frozen pitted tart red cherries, thawed
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
6 milk chocolate-covered cherry candies
Hard shell chocolate ice cream topping
Maraschino cherries as garnish, if desired

In a blender container, puree tart red cherries with the sugar and corn syrup. Refrigerate mixture until cold, about 1 hour.

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and put into an ice cream maker. Freeze mixture according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove mixture to a freeze-proof container and freeze for two hours. Place a nonstick foil-lined baking sheet in the freezer.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop sorbet into the scoop filling it completely. Make an indentation in the center and insert one of the chocolate-covered cherry candies. Cover the cherry with more sorbet. Release the scooped sorbet onto the frozen baking sheet. Repeat to make 5 more scoops. Return to freeze and freeze.

To serve the sorbet servings, place each on a serving plate. Squeeze some of the chocolate ice cream topping over the sorbets. Top each with one of the long-stemmed maraschino cherries, if desired. Serve immediately.

 Note: File Photo

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


1 cup walnut pieces, divided
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and set aside.

Coarsely chop 1/2 cup of the nuts for topping; set aside.

Finely chop the remaining walnuts.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter flavored shortening until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in the finely chopped walnuts and the coconut; mix well. Remove 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

2 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 can (21-oz) cherry pie filling

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla at medium speed until smooth. Spread over the hot baked crust and return pan to the oven. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the cherry pie filling over the cream cheese layer. Combine the reserved coarsely chopped walnuts and the reserved crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the cherries. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. To serve, cut into 36 bars.

NOTE: You can make this recipe diabetic friendly by substituting 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for the brown sugar in the crust. For the filling, substitute an equal amount of Splenda granular for the granulated sugar. Substitute "No sugar added", Splenda sweetened cherry pie filling.

 Note: File Photo

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour. Shake over the trash to eliminate any excess flour; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together until well blended the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in three additions alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour. Beat 1 minute after all additions. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Gently tap on countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for about 36 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing cakes. Turn the cakes out onto the racks and let cool completely.

When cakes are completely cooled trim cake tops to level. Cut each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Place one cut layer on a cake plate and top with 1/3 of the filling (recipe below), spread evenly over top. Repeat with 2 more layers and the remaining filling. Top with the last layer, cut side down. Refrigerate 20 minutes for the filling to set.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
16 oz powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, then 3 tablespoons milk. Beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. During this process, add the other tablespoon of milk if needed. Use to fill cake layers as directed above.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups crushed Oreos
Extra whole Oreos for garnish, if desired

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Generously spread whipped cream all over the cake, using the back of a spoon to make swirls and peaks on the top. Gently press the Oreo crumbs onto the sides of the cake to cover sides completely.

Note: File Photo

Monday, July 10, 2017


This is a recipe by Barbara Pool Fenzl an author and teacher at a Southwest Cooking School. I do not personally drink or cook with alcohol so I have never tried this.

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled OR 20-oz bag frozen whole strawberries, thawed
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup tequila
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Puree strawberries in blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur and sugar syrup. Refrigerate until cold.

Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. If you do not have an ice-cream freezer, pour the mixture into a 13 x 9-inch pan and freeze until almost solid, about 5 hours, stirring with a whisk every 1 1/2 hours. Refreeze.

Yield: 6 cups

Thursday, July 6, 2017




3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
Chocolate curls, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, pour boiling water over the cocoa powder. Stir to dissolve the cocoa. Stir in the buttermilk after the mixture cools somewhat. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt onto waxed paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Beat the dry ingredients into mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter evenly into the three pans. Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes or until centers spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans onto the wire racks to cool completely.

When cakes are cool, place one layer on a cake plate. Spread top with a third of the frosting. Stack a second layer on top and frost with half the remaining frosting. Stack the third layer on the top and spread with remaining frosting. Top with chocolate curls, if desired.


8 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 tbsp orange-flavored liqueur (or orange juice)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a large bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese to soften. Beat in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the orange-flavored liqueur and vanilla. Beat in remaining powdered sugar. Add heavy cream and beat at high speed until stiff. Use as stated above to frost cake.


1 8-oz chocolate candy bar, room temperature

Draw a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler across the flat side of chocolate bar letting chocolate curl. Lift curls with a toothpick and place atop cake.

Note: This is a file photo.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


This recipe and photo are from Pillsbury, thus their brand names.

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
3 /4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp lemon juice
9 cups Cascadian Farms organic frozen sliced peaches (approx 4 10-oz bags)
1/2 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove pie crusts from pouches. On lightly floured surface, unroll and stack crusts one on top of the other. Roll to 17x12-inch rectangle. Fit crust into ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, pressing into corners. Fold extra crust even with edges of pan. Crimp edges.

In large bowl, mix brown sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir in peaches to coat. Spoon mixture into crust-lined pan. Break cookie dough half into coarse crumbs; sprinkle evenly over filling. (Wrap and refrigerate other half of cookie dough for another use.) 

Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool on rack 45 minutes. Cut and serve.


 This recipe was from a friend several years ago.

1 pkg frozen small dinner rolls
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 box (4-serving size) cook and serve vanilla pudding mix

Grease a Bundt pan with butter-flavored shortening. Place frozen rolls in the pan, spreading evenly around the pan. Mix the butter, brown sugar, pecans, and dry pudding mix together; sprinkle evenly over the rolls. Butter one side of a piece of waxed paper and put over top of pan, buttered side down. Let set overnight or until the rolls have doubled in size. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn out of the pan immediately.
Note: File Photo

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy July 4th!


1 small ripe banana, peeled and cut in half
1 container (8-oz) low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/8 tsp maple syrup
1 small mango, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup ice cubes

Puree the banana, yogurt, maple syrup, mango, orange juice and sugar in blender container. With the blender on add the ice cubes,one at a time, through the feeder hole while the lid is still on. Add cubes until mixture is smooth and thick.

Serves 2.
 Note: File Photo

Monday, July 3, 2017


1 pkg (2 layer size) chocolate cake mix (without pudding)
1/2 cup baking cocoa
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup mayo style salad dressing
1 large carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
fresh berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 round (9-inch) cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cake mix and cocoa. Add the eggs, water, and salad dressing. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Immediately remove waxed paper. Cool cakes completely on wire racks.

Place one cake centered on cake plate; top with the frozen whipped topping. Place second cake atop the filling. Using the remaining topping to frost top and sides of cake. Top with some fresh raspberries, or other berries, if desired.

Keep cake refrigerated.

NOTE: For Christmas, break up peppermint candy canes and sprinkle on top and sides of cake or stand canes around the sides.

Note: File Photo

Saturday, July 1, 2017


 If you like a little spice, chipotle goes great with chocolate!

1 pkg (2-layer-size) devil's food cake mix
1 1/4 cups sour cream
3 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
1/2 to 1 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper (amount according to how much spice/heat you want.)
1 pkg. (11.5 oz) semisweet chocolate chunks
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 recipe frosting (below)
2 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate, optional
1/4 cup whipping cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 dozen muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, coffee granules, and chili pepper. Beat with electric mixer on low speed to combine. Beat on medium to high for 2 minutes. This will be a thick batter.

In another bowl, toss chocolate chunks with the flour. Fold into the chocolate batter. Spoon evenly into the muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until the tops spring back with lightly touched. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans to completely cool. When cool, frost with the frosting recipe below.


8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Beat in the vanilla. Start gradually beating in the confectioners' sugar until you reach the desired consistency. Frost cupcakes or dip them into the frosting.

To make chocolate drizzle for garnish, if desired, place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Heat cream to boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate; do not stir. Let sit for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Place chocolate in a zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small piece off one corner of the bag. Drizzle chocolate over the cupcakes in a pattern of your choosing to decorate. Or you can just sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the tops.

Note: File Photo for reference only.