Thursday, April 30, 2015


I haven't made any mini sweet bread loaves in a while. A new Sprouts Market opened last week nearby. Because I had "liked" their Facebook page, I was invited to their pre-opening the evening before they officially opened and had a 10% off my total purchase coupon. 

We mainly brought fruit and the like that were on special, but I did buy some Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour. I knew I didn't have much left and I haven't been back to Jamesport, the Amish community in north central MO om a while where I usually buy it.

When I emptied the flour into a ziplock bag to store it in the refrigerator, I kept the bag the flour came in because of the good sounding recipes on it. 

This morning I decided I needed to make one of the recipes...The Cranberry Orange Almond Bread. I prefer to make smaller loaves so I can freeze one or two to eat later. Since the recipe used a 9 x 5 - inch loaf pan, I knew I could make two loaves in my Pyrex mini loaves.

This bread is so delicious! I don't think the mini loaf will last long at all.


2         cups whole wheat pastry flour
1          cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup of truvia baking blend)
1          teaspoon baking powder
1/4      teaspoon baking soda
1          teaspoon salt
6         tablespoons butter, melted
1          egg
2/3     cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 large orange (I used McCormick's Valencia orange peel)
1/3     cup orange juice
1/2     cup almonds, chopped
1         cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5 - inch loaf pan or two mini loaf pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, buttermilk, orange zest, and orange juice.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Gently fold in almonds and cranberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s).

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes for one loaf or 35 - 40 minutes for mini loaves. Check with a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Move to wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


An unusual name will catch my attention every time when I am skimming through recipes in a cookbook. And it was no different this time when I was looking through the Wakefield Community Cooks cookbook I have been returning to quite often since I got it recently at an estate sale. "Poor Man's Cake". Several images quickly flashed through my mind. They disappeared just as quickly though when I read the ingredients in the cake. I'm not sure why the name was chosen for this cake but two different people, Marge Patterson and Gladys Llewelyn submitted it with that name.

I have since seen the same title in another cookbook, but the recipe was definitely different and the ingredients definitely suited those images I had going through my mind when I read the recipe below. Don't worry I do plan to give the other Poor Man's Cake recipe a try in the near future.

No matter what you call this cake, it was certainly a big hit at Hillcrest Thrift Shop with the downstairs volunteers and with my husband and me. I left two pieces at home when I went to work, and then brought home two more pieces when I left the shop at the end of my shift.


1       pkg yellow cake mix (I did use a vanilla cake mix)
8       oz. cream cheese softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1       large pkg (5.1 oz) instant vanilla or butterscotch pudding (I used butterscotch)
2       cups milk
1       20 - oz can crushed pineapple, well drained
1       8 - oz container Cool Whip

Mix and bake cake according to directions on the box for a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan. Cool completely. 

Mix the pudding mix with the cream cheese and milk. Beat til smooth. Spread over the cooled cake.

Spread the pineapple over the pudding mix. I used a little ice tea spoon to make sure I completely covered the pudding.

Top with Cool Whip.

Can sprinkle nuts over the top. (I decided not to)

Store in refrigerator.

Cook in squares to serve.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Friend Janice and I went to an estate sale Friday that could have been called "Cookbook Heaven". We couldn't believe how many cookbooks this lady had. 99.9% of them were "light" cooking. (It appeared that someone in the household was diabetic.) The crazy thing was almost all of them were in "mint" condition. The sale was advertised as "Downsizing" so we assumed she was still living. I wanted to buy one - they were all $3 each - but it was really, really hard to pick one. 

I finally decided to buy one entitled Yankee Magazine's Church Suppers & Potluck Dinners Cookbook edited by Andrea Chesman & the Editors of Yankee Magazine. I loved the scene on the book jacket. A white church backed by full green trees with a table overflowing with different dishes you might find at a church potluck. I told Janice that a pretty cover would get me anytime. (What was even crazier was at the next sale we went to I saw a Yankee Magazine. I couldn't believe it. I'm not familiar with the magazine - remember I bought the book for the Americana looking painting on the book jacket) and to actually see one. I just couldn't believe it.

While I had dinner in the oven Friday night, I decided to look through the cookbooks I ended up bringing home. (The last house we went to had about 5 or 6 smaller cookbooks on a table with a piece of paper on the stack that said, "Free Cookbooks". FREE COOKBOOKS! I couldn't believe it. After going to several sales in which the cookbooks were all being sold for $3 a piece, I was astounded. I chose 4 of them.

After going through the four free ones (I did find several recipes I am anxious to try.), I picked up the cookbook from Yankee Magazine. You probably know what happened. I found a really quick and easy recipe that I decided to make as soon as we finished eating to have later for dessert.

The footnote in the book says. "Simple to make, and very good. For a large crowd, triple the recipe and bake in a 9 x 13 - inch pan." They were so was simple to make and very good. I almost forgot to give credit to the contributor.. "Adapted from a recipe submitted by Ruth Clark St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Oxford, Connecticut." I noted my personal notes in parentheses. 


1/2      cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup truvia baking blend)
2         tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2      cup milk (I did use skim milk)
3/4     cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2   teaspoons baking powder
1         can (15 - 16 oz) pitted sweet or sour cherries, drained (reserve the liquid) ( I used a 15 - oz can of Red Tart Pitted Cherries in water)
1         tablespoon sugar if using sour cherries (I used 1/2 tablespoon of the blend)
Whipped cream or confectioners' sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (or spray) a 1 - quart baking dish.

Drain the can of cherries, saving the liquid.

Combine the first 5 ingredients (sugar, butter, milk, flour, and baking powder) in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Pour into the baking dish.

Spoon the cherries on top.
Combine the reserved cherry liquid and 1 tablespoon sugar and boil to reduce the volume by half.
Pour over the cherries.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. (I did bake mine 30 minutes.)

Can serve with whipped cream or a dusting of confectioners' sugar, if desired. 

(I did sift a little powdered sugar over the serving as you can see.)

Monday, April 27, 2015


Last Monday was the last day for my husband to go over to Fort Leavenworth in the tax office. The last few months seems to have gone by really quickly. He enjoyed the work and I liked that it was some place for me to share my treats. I guess I will be taking goodies to Hillcrest Thrift Shop more than just on Tuesday when I volunteer now.

Trying to find something that sounded yummy, I found myself once again searching through the Wakefield Community Cooks cookbook. Assuming this Pioneer Chocolate Cake recipe was used by pioneer women, I am sure they didn't use a Bundt pan to bake it in. It did make a cute little Bundt cake, but it was smaller than a normal one. I think it was probably baked in a  regular pan about 8 x 11 inches.

It is super moist tasting just like it looks in the pictures. My husband expected it to be sweeter tasting. I did reduce the sugar calories by using a sugar/stevia blend, but that usually doesn't reduce the sweet taste. 


2         cups flour
1/4      cup cocoa
1-3/4  cups sugar (I used 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons truivia baking blend)
1          tablespoon baking soda
1/2      teaspoon salt
1          cup buttermilk
2/3     cup oil
1          cup boiling coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan. (I used my homemade Pan Grease.)

Sift together the dry ingredients.

Stir in coffee. (I made a cup of coffee. Put it in the microwave on high for 1 minutes to boil.)

Stir in buttermilk and oil. Stir to smooth.

Pour into pan.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. (35 minutes was enough in my oven. I did check it with a toothpick.)

Cool in pan for 10 minutes (I forgot to take a picture of it when I took it out of the oven)
before removing to finish cooling on wire rack.

Can sift a little powdered sugar on top before serving.

Cut and enjoy.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Have you ever thought about baking a grape? Me neither. Friend Carol hadn't either until she baked this Grape/Apple Cobbler for the Northland New Neighbors' Mexican Train group that she hosted recently. No one could believe it contained grapes. It was so delicious.



1/4       cup flour
3/4      cup oats
1/3       cup chopped walnuts
3/4      cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold light butter cut into small pieces
6          tablespoons Splenda (or sugar)
6          tablespoons brown sugar blend


6         cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (Carol used Granny Smiths)
2         cups red grapes (about 2/3 pound)
1/3      cup orange juice
1-1/2   tablespoons flour
2         tablespoons Splenda (or sugar)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 - inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

For the topping, combine the flour, oats, walnuts, and both sugars in a medium sized bowl.

Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine until mixture resembles course crumbs. Set aside.

For the filling, combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour the filling in the baking dish.

Spread topping evenly on top of apples.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Carol likes to serve it with ice cream.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


When I baked this cake for the volunteers at Hillcrest Thrift Shop last week, I told them I was renaming it Surprise Chocolate Cake. That's because when you see it, it looks like a rich chocolate cake. But when you eat a bite, the spices are a total surprise. At least I was. They liked it, spices and all. I think you could bake it and omit any or all of the spices and you could still have a delicious rich chocolate cake. My husband doesn't like cloves and allspice, but he liked the cake. He did recognize they were in it.

The recipe was submitted by Lucile Sparrowhawk and Mildred Fehlman and was in the Wakefield Community Cooks Cookbook.


2        cups flour
1-1/2  cups sugar (I used 3/4 cup truvia baking blend)
1-1/2  teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2  teaspoons salt
2        tablespoons cocoa
1/2     teaspoon cinnamon
1/2     teaspoon allspice
1/2     teaspoon cloves
1/2     teaspoon nutmeg
1/2     cup shortening
2        cups applesauce (I used no-sugar-added applesauce)
2        large eggs (unbeaten)
1/2     cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (I did use walnuts)
1/2     cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan. (I used my homemade Pan Grease)

Sift dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl...(flour through nutmeg)

Add shortening, applesauce, and eggs;

beat well. ( I combined the ingredients on stir til all ingredients mixed - about 30 seconds. After scraping the sides of the bowl, then I increased the speed of the mixer and beat for 2 minutes..

spread the batter evenly in pan.

Sprinkle the chips over the top of the batter and then the nuts.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Cool in pan on wire rack.

Cut in squares to serve.

Note from cookbook: "This is an excellent cake for a "carry out" as it travels well."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Thursday we drove up to Sedona. This is not to be missed if you are anywhere in Arizona. The landscape is just breathtaking. Our first stop was at Montezuma's Castle southeast of Sedona where the Sinagua lived as early as 700 AD. I have to thank my cousin Joanne for our stopping there. She had been there the week before and had posted a picture on Facebook. You can read more about it and the cliff dwellers HERE and HERE. 

This is a diorama that shows how the pre-Columbian Sinagua people lived and what it looked like inside. Until it was closed to the public in the 50s, visitors could actually climb up the side of the mountain and roam through the rooms. When the park  realized they needed to stop this practice, this diorama was made so that people would be able to see what "they were missing" (my words...ha) It is in a glass covered shadow box....thus the reflection you see in my picture.

Might be hard to see Beaver Creek running through this picture.

This picture is cool the way it shows some of the other "rooms" on the side of the mountain.

My husband and me. (When I posted this picture on Facebook, a friend asked if my husband was doing the Heimlich does sorta look like it, doesn't it? ha)

On to Sedona...and some of the beautiful scenery. I thought I took more pictures, but I guess I didn't. Cameras, at least my phone one, just can't do the land formations justice.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

On our way back, we were delayed for a bit by a multi-car accident on the interstate. While there were a number of vehicles involved, it didn't appear there were any serious injuries.
This is where we ate that night after we got back to Mesa. I would definitely recommend it if you are in the area. Midwestern Meats is a meat market, but also a restaurant and bakery.

And then it was Friday, our last full day in AZ. Since we hadn't planned any big outing, that meant trying to eat up the food we had bought at the grocery store and packing. Janice had made an appointment (since the hair salon we had found nearby seemed to be a popular place) to get her hair fixed that morning. 

After we got back to our place, we drove over to Tempe to eat at In - N - Out. Janice and Leon had never heard of them, but coming from CA, we were. I even splurged and got a chocolate milkshake. Yummy. This is the picture I sent to our sons (who love In - N - Out)

If you aren't familiar with In - N - Out, here is their simple menu

That afternoon, the guys decided to hang out at our place (my husband went to the pool) while Janice and I hunted out an outlet mall. 

Dinner that night was back at the Steak House by our resort. It was so pleasant we enjoyed our meal outside on the patio. Then back to our place for another evening of canasta.

Saturday morning we prepared to leave. Since we had both packed the day before, it didn't take that long to get everything in the car. Everything but the canasta cards. With a good hour and a half before we had to leave, Janice and I figured it was a good time to try to redeem ourselves with a few hands of canasta.  

At the airport I enjoyed my other favorite place to get a burger .... Smashburger. My son in CO introduced me to them. Everyone else ate next door at Wildflower Bread Co. We had enjoyed lunch at their Sedona location on Thursday. It was new to us. Apparently it is an AZ chain. We would highly recommend it, also.

After a couple of hours delay (sitting on the plane) due to mechanical problems, we arrived back in KC and ready for our next trip to Cape Cod in May. Janice and Leon have been there before, but we haven't. I promise to take more pictures this time.