strawberry raspberry muffins

Do you remember Mrs. Fields cookies and muffins?  Well – these muffins reminded me of the Mrs. Fields raspberry white chocolate muffins (my absolute favorite).  It was really cake.  But I felt better eating them when they were called a muffin.  These are not as rich, do not have white chocolate, and are strawberry as you can see. 

I put them on the top of my “to bake” list and I’m glad I did!  I didn’t have enough strawberries on hand so I added raspberries and wow.  I love these.  Everything about them – moist, fruity and the icing – well – yum!  I follow dianemorrisey on instagram and EVERYTHING she cooks/bakes/presents calls out to me.  I mean everything.  And the joy she shares through food really is like no other.  

I will just post  her recipe here since it is concise and clear.  You can mix the raspberries and strawberries as I did – or use only strawberries.  Make them for your next treat.  They are worth it.


blueberry pancakes (one bowl, healthy)

Andy learned how to cook last year- how to make dinner for himself – and breakfast – and well he is pretty good!  Being home however, brings out the little boy in him – pleading (well truly just asking now that he is 21) for me to make him waffles.  At the start of the pandemic with all the kids home I was eager and excited to cook for them.  As time passed, the morning waffles became a bit tiring especially because Andy knows how to make them – and dinners are a handful because of Greg’s dietary needs and Andy eating a ton and everyone wanting leftovers!  Recently though he asked me to please make him blueberry pancakes (he has moved on from chocolate chip).  I have many old recipes in the blog – but I’m always searching for the next best recipe.  Be it brownies, chocolate chip cookies or pancakes – it is a never ending endeavor.  I succeeded I think – I found this recipe from the blog Amy’s Healthy Baking (I fiddled with it a bit) and I have to report that they might be the best to date.  Oh and don’t skip the vinegar.  I know it seems weird but I promise you cannot taste it.  And please don’t compare these to buttery, white flour, decadent pancakes.

For measuring flour it is best to use a small digital scale.  Jamie from My Baking Addiction gives a really thorough tutorial on how to measure flour with a measuring cup – and how that this specific measurement can make or break your cookies (in this case pancakes!) 

Sylvie said “delicious, truly good mom” and Sarah (Greg’s girlfriend) said “I’m really full but I wan’t more – these are REALLY good!”  And Andy said “They are fire”.  So there you have it.  Bake and enjoy – 

Oh, I usually double the recipe – esp if I have a crowd.

20 small pancakes

Prep time: 5 minutes



  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) plain nonfat greek yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (135 grams) white whole wheat flour (or half whole wheat and half white) 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries


Melt the butter.  And in a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt.

Stir in the Greek yogurt and mix until there are no lumps.  Stir in the vinegar and then the milk and water. 

Pour the flour evenly over the patter and sprinkle the baking soda and baking powder on top.  Stir until just incorporated and fold in the blueberries.

I use my griddle to cook these – and they work fine with or without butter.  You can also use a non stick pan.  You really can make any size you want so have some fun!

If you look at Amy’s Healthy Blog blueberry pancake post  she gives a lot of advice regarding substitutions for special diets.  So check that out too.

Chocolate Dipped Fresh Fruit

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

I’ve dipped a multitude of goodies in chocolate.  My favorite is fresh fruit.  Not just strawberries, but blueberries and raspberries and especially pomegranates.  I might be alone here since whenever I make them I seem to be the only one standing over that platter insisting that “you need to try these!!”   That feeling of the pomegranates popping while the chocolate snaps and then melts, well, it is a symphony in my mouth.

Eat these the day you make them and place in the refrigerator until you serve.  They are mediocre the next day as the fruit begins to break down and gets a little funky.IMG_0286

Read here to remind you about tempering chocolate.  And here about other valentine treats.

lemon bliss cake

I realize that this photo is terrible and I’m sorry about that.  The cake looks messy and dry, but it is not!!  And all those crumbs were sooooo good.

I use the words yum and yummy a lot.  Delicious and scrumptious.  I try to look up some thoughtful and eloquent synonyms but I can’t help but keep coming back to my original favorites.  So this cake – yeah it is yummy, delicious and scrumptious.  In addition it is perky and tasty.  How can a cake be perky?  I don’t know but it just is.  This was a hit a few weeks ago at a friends dinner party.  Everyone oood and aaahd at is tart goodness.  After baking, you coat the cake with a lemon syrup that gets absorbed and once soaked through and cool, you glaze.  Anything with syrup and glaze speaks moist and delightful.

Found this as I was looking through the King Arthur Flour catalog for some ingredients.   The cake was featured at the top and said “Our 2017 Recipe of the Year is a lovely golden lemon cake, extra-moist and nicely tangy due to its fresh lemon juice glaze. Baking this cake in a Bundt pan turns it from everyday to special-occasion, perfect for everything from birthday parties to an elegant dinner. Our thanks to Maida Heatter, grande dame of delicious desserts, for the inspiration behind this recipe.”

So I had to make it.

I followed the recipe which you can find here.  Oh, and there is a video too!



triple chocolate banana bread

Wowee.  This is delicious.  Rich in flavor and color and texture – you can’t  miss this one. I mean it.  Best chocolate banana bread ever.  As mentioned in the post from Liv for Cake (below) you can certainly skip the chips and ganache for a less chocolatey experience.  And/or add walnuts to cut some of the richness and sweetness.  But we loved as is.  These days when I bake the sweet often sits on our counter and eventually looks sad and dry (after several days of being ignored).  This dessert never had a chance to sit and kids argued over who got the last piece.  Yum.  I plan to make again this week.

I used half the ganache in the recipe fyi – but saved the rest and will use tomorrow when I make this again.

Here is the recipe...chocolate banana bread.

I followed almost exactly – but used natural Valrhona cocoa powder.  Oh, I also doubled the recipe but baked one cake in a larger loaf pan than in the recipe.   I find I don’t have to bake as long and I have more control with the overall moistness of the cake.  Muffin/cupcake shape would be great as well.  You can follow my lead or follow the recipe.  Also, remember to read my baking tips (esp measuring flour!) before you bake.

Fruit Galettes

Yum – summertime fun and goodness all wrapped up in dough.  These galettes or rustic tarts are extremely easy to make and just delightful on the tongue.  I like them warm out of the oven but even more cold the next day (weird I know).  Made these for a IMG_9494dinner party and they were a hit.  Freshly whipped cream a top apricot and cherry – well, good stuff.  Berry galette too.  I didn’t change anything from Melissa Clarks recipes – and even though I know how to make these, I watched her video and it was terrific. You cannot go wrong!

banana cake and roll

I loved this.  I really loved it.  I gave it all away…and the scraps that I saved sat in my fridge because my family is really weird about “filling”.  But just trust me here.  This is a fun dessert to serve and make.  The light sour cream flavored filling is the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the tender, moist banana cake.  I loved it.  I said that.  But I do.  Then I put it in my vanilla ice cream and had a party.

I doubled the recipe btw – and made two rolls.  Might as well!  Also if you double the recipe – and you don’t want to make a roll, bake the (doubled) recipe in a 9×13 cake pan.  Or, make two 8 inch rounds and turn into a layer cake.  Again – you need to double the recipe to do that.

If for some reason your cake falls apart – then just make it into a trifle and then you can also add some freshly sliced bananas.

banana roll (from Flo Braker’s The Simple Art of Perfect Baking):

banana sheet cake
1 cup (100 g) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 cup (1 large) mashed ripe banana
1 table spoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
5 1/2 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

3/4 cup (6 ounces) heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar (for top)
1 tablespoon sugar (to use on the sheet cake as you roll…you will see in the recipe)

Preheat oven to 375 and position rack in lower third of the oven.  Line the sheet pan (12-x-15x-1/2inch) with a non stick tray.  Place foil down on top and leave a 2 inch overhang on both short ends of the pan.  Lightly grease the foil too – with spray.

If you are making an 8 inch round, then grease that – and if a 9×13 pan (doubled recipe) then grease that!

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Crack the egg in a small bowl and gently break it up with a fork.

Mix together the mashed banana, sour cream and lemon zest.

Place the butter in the mixer with paddle attachment and beaton medium speed for a minute or so.  Add the sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat until light and fluffy about 4-5 minutes.

Add the egg now…slowly – and continue to cream another 2 minutes – scraping down the bowl at some point.

Remove from mixer and gently fold in half of the flour mixture, follow with the banana mixture and then finish with the remaining flour.

(If you are not making the roll, but making the 9×13 or 8 inch rounds, pour into those pans.  You can bake these at 350 instead of 375 as instructed for the thin roll.)

Scoop the thick batter onto 5 different areas of the sheet pan.  Then spread the batter so that it covers the entire pan.  It won’t seem like you have enough – but you do – spread as evenly as you can.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cake is a light golden brown and the sides are beginning to contract from the metal.

Remove cake from oven, and gently run a sharp knife around the any portion of the cake that is sticking to the long sides of the pan.

Pull up on the foil overhangs to gently and carefully lift the cake (with foil) onto a cooling rack.  Cover loosely with foil to keep moisture in, but also to help prevent sticking.

Cool for 30 minutes.  Then proceed below with filling as instructed below.

Combine the filling ingredients and whip with whisk until whipped.  Sounds silly.  Do not over whip.  The cream should appear soft, shiny and smooth.  It will coat the cake layer, sticking to it and staying in place when rolled.

Ok – nowIMG_9174, sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the cake.  Then place two sheets of foil lengthwise on top of the sugared cake, one overlapping the other: then place a second sheet pan on top of the foil.

Invert the cake on it, and carefully peel the baking foil from the cake and try to aIMG_9175void tearing the thin layer.

 Spread the filling all over the cake – leaving a 1 inch border of cake uncovered.  Then , with the aid of the foil roll the cake lengthwise until you reach the other end.  Use your hands to wrap and form a pretty round roll.

Cut each end on the diagonal for eye appeal.  Sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar and with a wide spatula or two – place onto a serving plate.  Yum.

IMG_9177I forgot to take a photo of my finished cake.  Ugh.  Next time!

apple pan tart (simple)

Soooo easy, so simple, so apple-y, so flakey (the crust) so moist… just scrumptious.  Served this tart the other evening and friends Jason and Trent were ecstatic.  Well, that may be too strong of a word, but for grown men, they were all smiles.  I’m so happy I finally made an apple tart worth posting.  My mom makes a beautifully simple tart but I can’t seem to master it.  I’ve tried various recipes and ideas and although good, not great.  Until this one.   Found this with who else, but Ina Garten…   enjoy this and make this – you will not disappoint.

apple tart (from Ina Garten Food Network):

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

4 granny smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced small
1/2 cup apricot jelly, or warm, strained apricot jam
2 tablespoons calvados, rum or water

For the crust – place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine.

Add the cold diced butter and pulse 10-12 times until the butter chunks are about the size of peas.

Get your ice water ready – make sure it is really cold (I make a tall glass of ice water, then measure out the water after it has a chance to really get cold).

With the motor runnIMG_5151ing, add the water and pulse until the dough just starts to come together.  Stop.

Remove from machine and dump onto a floured surface and quickly form into a ball.  Make sure all the flour is incorporated.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then flatten the ball to form a disc shape.  Let sit in fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment.

Roll the dough so that it is slightly larger than a 10×14 rectangle — and transfer to your baking sheet.  To transfer, roll the dough around your pin quickly and unroll on the parchment.

Peel, cut, core and slice your apples.  Cut them in half, through the stem.  Core.  Then slice crosswise in 1/4 inch slices.

Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally across the tart.  And continue on both sides until the dough is covered.  Sprinkle with the full (seems like a lot) 1/2 cup sugar.  Dot the apples with the small bits of butter as shown.

Bake for about 45 m to an hour (mine took an hour) – and rotate the pan at least once during baking.  Heat your jam and spirit (or water) and strain through a small sieve.  Gently brush the glaze over the tart.  Take a large spatula and loosen the tart from the pan.  Some of the sugar may have caramelized and it will stick if not unstuck while warm.

This was delicious warm, room temp and the next few days too.  You can also serve cold if that is what you like

orange poppyseed pound cake

Yummy yum yum!  This was tasty.  Slightly dense, filled with poppy seeds – and covered in a delightful glaze – this was a winner.  Andy ate this up.  Said “I like this!”  And Sylvie kept taking slivers and announcing she was done each time.  I finally said, just take a piece and sit with it and be done!  (That’s what I try try to do.)

This is great for brunch – or for an afternoon snack.  I liked it because I don’t make enough goodies with oranges, so it was nice.  I hope the shelter liked it too!

orange poppyseed pound cake 

I went to write this up and I cannot find the recipe.

Ok, as soon as I find it you will get it asap!  So sorry but figured you will at least remember that I’m here.


caramel apple jam

Thanks mom for sending me this recipe!

MMMMmmmm….so delicious and warm and soothing and inviting.  Funny for a “jam” to be all that but it is!  Caramel, vanilla, and apples delightfully and simply combined.  Warm this up and pour over some vanilla ice cream and you have a winner.  Equally good on the savory side if you serve as a sweet side relish for pork or chicken.  Alison Roman, the creator of this apple jam, also suggests ice cream (like me) – but topped with crushed Nilla wafers.  And I say, sounds great, but make home made vanilla wafers (coming next)  and add a little whipped cream.

Use a variety of apples, makes for a more interesting outcome because different apples break down differently and this will provide texture and fun!

apple jam (from Bon Appetite Oct 24th):

Original recipe and write up are here.

1 cup sugar
3 pounds apples, use a variety if you can, peeled, cored and cubed about 3/4 inch thick.
1/2 vanilla bean (scraped)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
cinnamon stick or powder
kosher salt

Place 3 tablespoons water in a large saucepan.  Add the sugar and mix.  Heat on medium high and boil – and continue to cook until the sugar caramelizes.  It will turn a dark amber color – but be careful as it all happens very fast, and it is HOT.  Seriously hot.

Add the apples and the vanilla seeds and bean to the pot and cook on medium heat.  The caramel may seize up at the start (because the apples cool it down) but soon it will dissolve again.  Add a 1/2 cinnamon stick (if you don’t have a stick, wait and add some ground cinnamon to taste at the end.)

Continue to cook for about 20-25 m, stirring occasionally until some of the apples are translucent and some still have their shape, and most of the liquid is dissolved.  You can keep cooking btw, if you like your apples super soft, or remove them earlier if you like them super chunky.

Remove from heat.  Add lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt.  Store in a glass jar or container for up to a month in fridge.