• 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 /4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 Tbsp.)
  • 2 cups packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.   Butter and flour a 9 x13 x 2 pan.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Melt butter. In mixing bowl, place melted butter and add sugar, mixing well. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.

Add flour slowly, blending. Batter will be slightly thick.

Spread in pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans over all.

Bake for 25 − 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls


  • 2 pkgs. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4−5 cups all−purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to 110 degrees
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2−3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For dough, dissolve yeast in water with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. In mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt. At low speed, gradually beat in milk, oil, eggs, and yeast mixture; beat until well blended. Beat in  additional flour, about 1 1/2 cups, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.

On floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8−10 minutes.  Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm,  draft−free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

For filling, beat all ingredients together until smooth.  Set aside.

Grease 2 (9−inch) round cake pans. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18− by 10−inch rectangle.   Spread with filling. Roll tightly from long side. Cut into 14 (1 1/4−inch) slices. Place 1 roll cut side up in center of each pan. Arrange remaining rolls in a circle of 6 around center roll. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, then invert again to cool.

For icing, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled rolls.

Pumpkin Cheese Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups ginger snap crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar


  • 3 − 8oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1  tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • Whipped Cream

Mix crust ingredients together, just till coated and crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 2/3 up the sides of an 8″ springform pan. Bake for 5 mins. at 350°.  Set aside.

Combine cheese, sugars and vanilla in large bowl, mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add pumpkin and spices, mixing until smooth and creamy. Pour into the crust.

Bake for 60−70 minutes or until center is set.  Remove from oven and  cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Simple Paella

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 small chorizo links, sliced
  • 2 boneless pork chops, sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can sm red beans, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • S & P to taste

Heat oven to 400°.  Heat oil in a paella pan (or skillet). Add chorizo and pork and cook until browned. Add onion, and garlic. Cook about 3 minutes.

Add rice, paprika, saffron, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and coat the rice, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add beans and tomatoes; stir to combine.

Transfer pan to oven. Cook uncovered until rice is tender and no liquid remains, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.

Beef and Guinness Puff Pastry Pie


  • 6 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • ½ lb medium size  button mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs beef cut into cubes
  • 5 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 oz Guinness
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 oz puff pastry
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

To Prepare:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large, oven-proof casserole dish and gently fry the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Remove the vegetables from the pan and place in a large bowl.
  2. Place the seasoned flour in a bowl and toss the meat in it, a handful at a time. Heat a little more oil in the pan and fry the flour-coated chunks of meat over a medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Do this in batches, coating each new batch of meat in the flour and adding more oil to the pan when needed. Transfer the browned meat to the onion and mushroom bowl while you fry the rest.
  3. When all the meat is browned, return everything to the casserole dish and pour over the Guinness. Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently, partially covered for 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce slightly thickened. Alternatively, you can cook in a 325° oven for the same amount of time. Check the liquid level occasionally to make sure it doesn’t become too dry, adding a little water if necessary.
  4. When cooked, remove from the heat and tip the mixture into a wide baking dish. Allow to cool to room temperature or store in the fridge.
  5. Roll out the pastry and cut out 6 circles and lay them on the beef mixture so they overlap slightly. Brush with the beaten egg.
  6. When ready to bake and serve, preheat the oven to 400° and cook for 30 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden and the pie heated through.

French Peasant Bread

For the sponge:

  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dark corn syrup

Combine the two flours and the yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the water and corn syrup and stir until well blended and fairly free of lumps. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a cup towel and allow to stand at room temperature overnight.

To prepare the dough:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour, approximately

Add the water, salt and wheat flour to the sponge. Stir in the bread flour, adding an extra tablespoon or two if the dough seems sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

When the first rise is complete, punch the dough down. Shape into a smooth round ball or an oval. Flatten slightly with your hands. Place on a  baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with  a clean kitchen towel and let triple in size – 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Place an empty pan on the bottom oven shelf. Preheat the oven and the pan to 425°.  Five minutes before adding the bread, carefully pour 1 cup hot water into the pan.

Sprinkle the loaf with flour. Using a serrated knife, cut 3 diagonal slashes across the surface of the loaf. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Pecans - Sweet or Savory

These come to us from our friend Lori, via Facebook… Another friend had posted about having a plethora of fresh pecans and she pulled these out of her recipe files to share.

Savory Pecans

For 4 cups of pecans:

Melt 3T butter, stir in nuts, add

  • 2 tsp salt,
  • 3T worcestershire,
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon and
  • tabasco to taste.

Spread nuts on baking sheet and bake at 350° for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This could probably be improved on with some chili and garlic powder or other dried spices of your choice.

Also, they do tend to burn if you don’t watch them pretty closely.

Sweet Pecans

For 3 Cups of pecans:

Beat together

  • 1 egg white and
  • 1 Tbsp water

and soak the nuts in it for 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Sprinkle over nuts and mix well:

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon,
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg,
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Melt some butter on a baking pan and spread the coated nuts on it.

Bake at 250° for 30-45 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes.

Again, embellish ad lib.

Pumpkin Lasagne

This comes via our friend, Ruth.  She says she has modified it a bit every time she makes it, but this is the original.

Play with it.  Have fun.

  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 pound(s) Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and chopped
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) grated nutmeg
  • 3 cup(s) canned pumpkin puree (one 28-ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup(s) milk
  • 9 no-boil lasagne noodles (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) butter

How to make it

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and add the chard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the chard is wilted and no liquid remains in the pan, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups of the pumpkin, 3/4 cup cream, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
  3. Pour the milk into an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Top the milk with one third of the noodles, then spread half the pumpkin mixture over the noodles. Layer half the Swiss chard over the pumpkin and top with a second layer of noodles. Repeat with another layer of pumpkin, Swiss chard, and noodles. Combine the remaining 1 cup of pumpkin and 3/4 cup of cream. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the lasagne, sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan, and dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Puerto Rican Pot Roast

This recipe comes from Daisy Cooks.  I love her style!

  • 1 pound smoked ham, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup Spanish olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Recaito Sauce
  • One 3 to 3 ½ pound rump roast
  • Fine sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Achtiote Oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into ½ -inch strips
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 6 cups water or 3 cans (14 ½ ounces) chicken broth
  • One 8-ounce can Spanish-style tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large Idaho potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds)

1. Grind the ham in a food processor until it’s coarsely chopped—some larger pieces are ok. Set aside 1 cup of the ground ham and stir the olives and recaito into the remaining 2 cups. Take a look at the rump roast. You will be able to see the “grain” of the meat—fibers that run in one direction. You will slice the finished pot roast against the grain, so you want to make pockets of stuffing more or less diagonal to the grain, so some of the stuffing shows in each slice. Make deep cuts about 1 inch apart and diagonally against the grain with a boning knife. To make the holes large enough to fill easily, wiggle a finger around in each cut. Fill each hole to about ½ inch from the opening. Don’t overstuff or when the meat shrinks it will squeeze out all the stuffing. If a little stuffing does get squeezed out during cooking that’s fine; it flavors the sauce. Season the outside of the roast generously with salt and pepper.

2. Heat the achiote oil in a Dutch oven large enough to hold the meat and potatoes comfortably—a 5-quart Dutch oven works well—over medium heat. Add the roast and cook, turning it occasionally, until well-browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. (A sturdy pair of tongs comes in handy here.) The achiote oil will make the meat brown quickly—so keep an eye on it, lowering the heat if the oil begins to discolor. Lift the beef out to a plate and carefully pour or spoon off all but about a tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the red peppers and the remaining ham and stir until the little bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot are loosened and the peppers start to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook,

stirring so it doesn’t stick and burn, for a minute or two. Stir in the vinegar, bring it to a boil and cook until the liquid is syrupy, about 4 minutes.

3. Return the meat to the Dutch oven, stir in the liquid of your choice, the tomato sauce, and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes, skimming the foam and fat from the surface. Adjust the heat so the liquid is at a happy simmer. Cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.

4. Remove the meat to a carving board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm while cooking the potatoes.

5. Bring the sauce to a boil. Let it boil while you peel and cut the potatoes into ½-inch slices. Add the potatoes and cook over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

6. Carve the meat against the grain into slices about ¼-inch thick—thick enough so the filling stays in place. Transfer the potatoes to a platter with a slotted spoon. Lay the slices of beef over the potatoes and spoon enough of the sauce over the meat to moisten it. Spoon the remaining sauce into a boat and pass it separately. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top.

Kale, Sausage, and Bean Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 4 cups cooked beans, any kind
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley

In a large pot, heat olive oil then add garlic and onion. Sauté until soft. Brown beef or sausage. Add kale and sauté until wilted. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree a bit of the soup in the pot to thicken. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls and top with parsley.

Fig Bars

  • 16 ounces Mission or Calmyrna Figs, stems trimmed and figs coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats


Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine figs, walnuts, sugar, rum and hot water; set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and mix until smooth. Stir in flour and baking soda; blend in oats to make a soft dough. Reserve 1 cup dough.

With floured fingertips, press thin layer of remaining dough in bottom of prepared pan. Firmly pat fig mixture over dough. Drop reserved dough by teaspoonfuls over top, allowing fig mixture to show between drops. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan. Drizzle with rum glaze*.

*Rum Glaze: Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 3-4 teaspoons rum or orange juice until smooth.

Yield: 36 bars

Judy's Mother's Ginger Cookies

via our friend Ann…

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening (I use butter of course)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 TBL molasses (I use blackstrap but any molasses you happen to have will do)
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour

Mix up in the usual way, cream butter and sugar, add eggs and molasses, stir in dry ingredients.  Place in “ice box”  at least one hour.  (These will keep a long time in the fridge and longer in the freezer if you only want to bake half a batch)

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Roll little 1 inch or smaller balls, then roll balls in granulated sugar, place about one inch apart on ungreased sheets, bake about ten minutes.

Makes six dozen tiny cookies.

These are just popping with spice and butter and I am pretty sure you bake out most of the calories in that ten minutes.