Old Fashioned Brownies

These brownies are from the old cooking style of cooking everything together before baking it.  I absolutely love this recipe, they were an absolute hit at my house.



So, I could not help myself last evening and had to make this recipe I came across in the family recipe archives.  I don’t know which family member originally wrote this recipe but it is amazing.  The taste reminds me somewhat of those cosmic brownies you can buy at the convince stores.  I get one every time we take a road trip.  I’ve noticed each of our family members has a particular snack they go for with we travel.  Mine is Milo’s Sweet Tea, Cosmic Brownies or Combos.  What’s your favorite “road trip” snack?



PREP TIME 10 mins

COOK TIME 20-30 mins

TOTAL TIME 40 mins

Serves: 12 GIVE OR TAKE 🙂


  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs



  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter glass baking dish  5×7″.
  2. Measure shortening and cocoa into a saucepan and stir together over a medium low heat until shorting is melted.
  3. Stir in sugar and milk, bring just to boiling point, then remove from heat.
  4. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt and add to chocolate mixture along with vanilla, nuts and eggs.
  5. Pour into buttered baking dish.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Chicken Tetrazzini


This meal is sure to please even the pickiest of dinner guests – easy to take along as well to any holiday pot luck.


As I sit in front of a crackling fire with my precious Lucy at my feet (my Dog) slowly sipping an apple brandy I write this.  Christmas jazz plays in the background and all is right with the world for a moment or two, so I ponder the day.  With Christmas upon us I was reviewing my gift list, checking it twice actually.  I still have a few gifts to buy and recipes to test before the big day.  The season of baking and cooking is now in full swing and my thoughts turn to sherry, not cream sherry but crisp clear dry sherry.  I love the way some wines will actually coax a hunger from deep within, something that makes you want savory delectables.  So I searched my recipes and behold, I have plucked this one from deep within the archives.I am most proud of how the chicken tetrazzini came together as a beautiful meld of sherry, cream and buttery goodness.  I used a very old, about 40 year old, family recipe from our New England kin and followed it to the letter.


I started with a young tender whole chicken.  The house filled with it’s calming aromas throughout the afternoon.  Boil this slowly to extract every ounce of essence from it.    After slightly cooling in the broth, remove the chicken and shred the meat, adding the skin and bone back to the broth.  This practice gives abundant flavor to the dish.  Cook broth down to about 2 cups of liquid when strained.  It should have a nice full bodied aroma and be very dense in color.  Sauté mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of sherry for 2 to 3 minutes, set aside.  Once the bottle of dry sherry had been opened things began to “warm” up a bit.




So, Back to the recipe.  Strain your broth well in a fine sieve.  Cook and strain your pasta of choice.  Melt 3 more tablespoons of butter and blend in 3 tablespoons of flour, once mixed well add this to broth whisking over low heat until smooth and thick. While stirring the sauce this would be a perfect opportunity to ensure your choice of dry sherry was a good one, taste test thoroughly.  Add heavy cream and sherry to your broth and incorporate well.  Divide the sauce in two parts, add the shredded chicken to one part and the pasta and mushrooms to the other.  Choose a baking dish that has a round or oval shape as it will be most appealing, I did however use my rectangular one which worked out fine.  Coat our dish with butter then add your spaghetti with mushrooms, arrange in the dish with a “bowl” in the center for the chicken and sauce.  Once this is constructed sprinkle with cheese of your choice, I took several slices of smoked gouda cheese and julienned it.  The smoked cheese gave way to joyous marriage with the sherry in this recipe.  Bake this at 350 degrees until browned, about 20-25 minutes.



The rest of sherry is for the evening of delightful eating and merry making you should have.  The best sherry is a chilled sherry, served in a small glass to sip and enjoy the aromas.  It is perfect with a little something to eat.


PREP TIME 30 mins

COOK TIME 2.5 hours

TOTAL TIME 3 hours

Serves: 8


  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 pound Pasta of your choice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons dry sherry



  1. Prep chicken, place in heavy stock pot, cover with water and 1 Tablespoon salt.  Summer until tender.
  2. Cool in broth until able to handle.
  3. Remove chicken from broth, spread meat, adding skin and bones back into the broth.
  4. Cook broth down to 2 cups after straining.
  5. meanwhile, sauté mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of butter for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  6. Boil pasta to desired tenderness and drain.
  7. Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter, blend in flour until incorporated and add to the broth stirring over low heat until smooth and thick.
  8. Add the cream and sherry to the sauce and mix well.
  9. Divide sauce in two parts.
  10. Add one part to shredded chicken, add the second part to pasta and mushrooms.
  11. Pour pasta mixture into casserole dish, making an area in the middle adding the chicken and sauce there.
  12. Sprinkle with desired cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until brown.

Roast Beef and Cheese Croissants

Roast beef and cheese croissant with a honey mustard glaze – a quick and delectable late night meal.



I simply love late night dinners, they can be so cozy and intimate.  My husband and I decided to go check some of the trails in the state park nearby last night after all the rain we’ve had, mainly to test out the new light bar he installed on his vehicle.  It was a beautiful night with grey clouds floating over the Waxing Gibbous moon and beyond sat the midnight blue sky.  We’ve never rode these trails at night so the experience was new but absolutely exiting.  It was truly beautiful to see at night.

We did however take a wrong turn on the way home hence it took us a little longer than expected.   Dinner was much later than usual but delicious all the same, and simple.  We started by slicing the croissants open and adding some Boars Head deli meats, London broil roast beef, Maple glazed roast chicken, honey maple ham and Hickory smoked Gruyere cheese (my favorite).

I’ve found my new mania for the season, a honey mustard glaze when baking breads and rolls.  I’ve tested a couple of variations and all have been my absolute favorite so far. The base is Honey, brown sugar and a good natural dijon mustard, I favor Publix brand dijon mustard.  I tried this with an added dash of Worcestershire sauce for a hamburger and cheese casserole recently and it was a huge hit with the family.   I will “officially” make that recipe soon and post the results.


I accompanied these croissant sammies with some Granny Smith apple slices and a delicious cranberry orange relish for a bit of contrast and it was simply delicious.  I still need to work on the relish recipe a bit more before I have it just right.  I’d hoped to have it ready by thanksgiving but that did not happen.  When it’s right I will share this as well.

Anyway, back to the recipe.  Once we had our croissants stuffed with all our favorite deli meats and cheese I brushed on the honey mustard mixture, liberally I might add, and baked them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

This took no time to make and is a great breakfast lunch or dinner for those busy times, especially around the holidays.


PREP TIME 5 mins

COOK TIME 10 mins

TOTAL TIME 15 mins

Serves: 4


  • 4 croissants
  • 8 slices good-quality deli meats
  • 8 slices Gruyere cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Slice the croissants in half lengthways. Place a slice of cheese on the base of the croissants, followed by deli meats and another slice of cheese.
  3. Place the croissants on a baking sheet.
  4. Mix the mustard, honey and brown sugar together and brush on top of the croissants.  Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes to heat through.
  5. Serve with apples cranberry relish or you favorite side.


Stop wishing and START doing!

Written Monday February 29, 2016

As the sun shines brightly, the temperatures climb out of the 30’s and the beginnings of blossoms peak out excited to greet spring I am reminded all too well that I have let ole man winter  lead me down an unhealthy path again this year.  With muffin top and double chin I shamefully lurch up to the desk at the gym to get a new membership.  I schedule an appointment with the personal trainer to start a well suited program and begin researching clean eating plans.

I am usually all over the place when it comes to a specific diet plan, a dabbler if you will.  My feet firmly planted in Mediterranean cuisine, my diet becomes a Frankenstein’s monster of taste and texture, all while trying to maintain a specific calorie count and avoiding the bad carbs, fat sand sugars.  I have found that my body at least, responds best to a clean eating diet.

I have battled my weight my entire adult life never getting below 180 pounds.  I dare not say what my weight is today.  I will say if you ad about 55 to the above number you’ll have your answer. That number is to ugly to me right now to put upon this page.  I have bounced up and down above and below 200 with no lasting success but now a very large number is coming my way a number that means to make me take my morality into consideration the big 50 is but a couple of years away and I fear if I do not get my body healthy now I will have a miserable time plagued with pain and suffering, of constant aches and pains stroke or worse.  So,This is my affirmation, my talisman to shout upon the pyramid top, Stop wishing and START doing!

Stop sitting on my laptop looking at all the things I want to be doing like swimming and surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking.  Perusing endless online catalogues of dresses shorts bathing suites and tops I cannot wear and searching for the happiness within somewhere it is not.

I am in the process of finding my diet and recipe books after our move, even though we have been in the new home for about 7 months I have just located and hung all of our family photos and notice I have not let a photo of myself be taken in a long time.  I am working on a”clean eating” meal plan at the moment that I hope and pray will prove to be a great tool in my success.  I plan to share my experiences and recipes here. with you and hope that this affirmation will spur my success in loosing the weight in need to become healthy and fit.

I have had an extremely stressful month with some legal hurdles, taking on a new position at work and stress at home I have not come through February unscathed.  My futile attempts to count calories by keeping a food journal were unsuccessful but I did start attending the gym somewhat regularly.  I think I have emerged from February 2016 with a renewed sense of self and a fresh take on my diet so we shall see at the end of March if my convictions are true.

As for today, I continue to journal and calorie count because these tools seem to work best for me.  My advice, stick with what works for you personally.  Remind yourself of where you came from, where you are going and how far you’ve come and most of all never look back.  I have decided to start using my blog as a springboard for success and journaling here on my success and failures of loosing the weight.  It is my hope to help and inspire others on their quest to success as well.  So come join me.

Arriving home today, opening the door I am greeted with a warm and inviting feeling.  And a Pomeranian dancing circles and barking excitedly at my arrival.  After all the loving afternoon greetings are attending to I head to the kitchen for one of two things.  Either a refreshing glass of iced tea, for the Southern in me, or a tantalizing glass of chilled wine to take the edge off.  Then, I set out to cooking and for this evenings delicious meal I will start with a Mediterranean shrimp, sautéed spinach over a bed of batsmani rice.  The aroma of peppers onion and garlic fill the air and the shrimp, tomatoes and spinach with a dash of Italian seasoning add to the amazing aroma.  Although a delicate balance of flavors and aromas this is quite a simple dish to prepare.  I am going to sit down to the table for some good food, drink and conversation.  Have a wonderful evening.



Warm woolen socks, soft mittens and Norwegian printed tights.  The cold weather has finally arrived and I have brought out my favorite attire.  My Daughter and I went shopping yesterday and found knit hats and sweaters, tights and leg warmers. We wanted to buy them all, we settled on our favorites and then went to lunch a quaint little Italian place nearby.

It has been a busy week of taking down holiday decor, preparing the den for remodeling and replacing our water heater which decided to start leaking on Christmas morning, of course.  The den is now down to minimum contents, the water heater has be replaced by my wonderfully handy husband and oldest son and all is right with the world once more.

The den I fear will have to wait for spring along with the other rooms to be remodeled, the weather it too cold at the moment to air our when painting as we will need to use Killz on some of the darker shades of red, yes the previous owner had, lets just say, a bright color palette. I love the cranberry red in our bedroom and plan to decorate using that as my base but, some of the other colors I want to soften through the house.

This chilly weather always initiates my seasonal crochet addiction.  I completed a lovely infinity scarf, in a soft lavender double half crochet.  I wanted the thickness for warmth.  I am just not warm unless my neck and feet are.  I have now embarked on crocheting several potholders for myself and family.  I’ve found a wonderful pattern that is simple and minimal.  I purchased some sturdy wool yarn for this task.  I will update including pictures when they are complete.

On to the topic at hand, Chicken and Dumpling.  There are several variations of this tried and true dish, the one we have settled on in our family is the large fluffy dumplings that cover the top of the pot soaking up the fragrant flavors within.  I have made the flat noodle style Southern dumplings for many years which were fathers absolute favorite.  He had to have a pot at least once a week, especially this time of year.  I do like them very much and I have my fathers favorite recipe and I will make and share in a future article.  But last evening was a perfect marriage of chicken, vegetables, spices and dough that would be a shame to keep to myself.

Begin by browning the chicken thighs in a large dutch over in grape seed oil, while they are browning and seasoning the pot chop the celery, onion, garlic, carrots and fresh thyme.  After removing the chicken sauté the vegetables and spices until they began to soften, about 7 to 9 minutes. Then add the chicken, 10 cups of water, 2 bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste.  Here I added a teaspoon of “Better than Bullion” just to add a bit of extra flavor to the dish. Let this simmer for about 30 minutes.

Then remove bay leaves and chicken, for the chicken let cool, then remove the skin and bone, shred meat with a fork and add back to the simmering pot.  Next, thicken the broth by using about 2 cups of the soup stock and 3 heaping tablespoons of flour, whisk thoroughly and incorporate  back into the pot of broth.

For the dumplings, whisk together the remaining flour baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add milk, buttermilk is also and option here, butter and parsley until a dough forms.  Roll the dough into 8 equal balls or just drop by the spoonful into the broth.  Cover and simmer until the dumplings become full and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Garnish and serve.  This is a warm family favorite that everyone will enjoy.


The fire has dwindled to sparkling orange embers and I must take a trip to the market to gather ingredients for my next great cooking adventure.  Hoping everyone has an amazing day.



Hearty Chicken and Dumplings



1 Tbsp grape seed oil

6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on (about 2 lbs)

Salt and pepper

4 stalks of celery

4 carrots

2 small onions

2 Tbsp fresh thyme

2 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup milk (buttermilk can be used also)

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, plus more for garnish



In a dutch oven heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and let brown turning once.  Remove chicken from pot and add chopped celery, onions, carrots and garlic to the pot.  sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 7 to 9 minutes.  Add the chicken bayleaves, 10 cups of water and “Better than Bullion”, let simmer on until chicken is cooked thoroughly, about 30 minutes.

Remove chicken and bay leaves from pot, remove bone and skin from the chicken and shred with a fork, add back to pot.

Remove 2 cups of liquid from pot and add 3 Tablespoons of flour, whisk until smooth then incorporate back into pot to thicken.

In a large bowl mix Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Add milk butter and parsley mixing until dough forms.  Roll the dough into 8 equal balls or just drop by the spoonful into the broth.  Cover and simmer until the dumplings become full and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Garnish and serve.  This is a warm family favorite that everyone will enjoy.

(adapted from www.realsimple.com)

Eggnog pancakes

As the solemnness settles in during the days between Christmas and New Years Eve, I sit in the quiet kitchen pondering what magic I can yield from all the leftovers.  My Daughter absolutely loves pancakes, in fact, when she can think of nothing to say she just simply says “pancakes”.  This has lead to our family  somewhat becoming pancake connoisseurs.  We’ve attempted many variations so when I realized we actually had leftover eggnog, yes a Christmas miracle I know, I decided to make eggnog pancakes.

They were a huge success and did not last long at all.  The aroma of these pancakes were in keeping with the season, I just wish the weather would cooperate.  It feels like summer outside and has been difficult to keep the holiday spirit when it feels as if we should start the grill and BBQ  instead. Shorts are usually not caroling attire, but the rains are heading our way and there is cooler weather beyond that so New Years Eve will be chilly, we cannot wait.

To make these delicious pancaked whisk the dry ingredients together, then the liquids.  Then blend those just until mixed, do not over stir this.  using an ice-cream scoop  I drop the batter into a medium temperature pan lightly coated with oil.  Cook these slowly on a lower setting, due to the eggnog they tend to  brown a bit quicker over high heat. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, add butter and pure maple syrup for a delicious breakfast.


Eggnog Pancakes



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 Tbsp of sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

2 eggs room temperature

1 1/4 cups eggnog

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp melted butter

maple syrup and powdered sugar


In a deep bowl Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder salt and nutmeg together, Then, in a separate bowl whisk eggs lightly, add eggnog vanilla and melted butter until well blended.  Combine all ingredients just until mixed, do not over stir this. Using  an ice-cream scoop drop the batter into a medium temperature pan lightly coated with oil.  Cook these slowly on a lower setting, due to the eggnog they tend to  brown a bit quicker over high heat. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, add butter and pure maple syrup for a delicious breakfast.

Wishing everyone a joyous holiday this season from my kitchen to yours….



Christmas Eve Pies

In my kitchen, we have been baking all afternoon, and how the house smells of sweetness and warmth with a hint of Christmas.  And of course, wonderful Christmas music wafts through those delicious smells, the mixture creates a “warmth” around the entire house. The fire place embers still twinkle orange  like starlight on a black and grey clouded sky from this mornings fire, which took the chill from downstairs.

With the holidays moving so quickly and zero hour (Christmas Eve) upon us, I knew I needed to sit down and slow my busy pace for a few moments. As the golden sun fall below the ghostly tree line and evening sets in I pluck my pecan pie from the oven, the deliciously sweet and warn caramel fumes fill my kitchen.

For the pie, I made a simple shortening crust, mixing flour shortening, I use butter flavored, and just a splash or 2 of cold water to soften and form it.  I split that in two halves, wrapped it in cellophane and let it rest in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes.  Meanwhile I mixed the sugars, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter and eggs. Blend this well.   Prepare your pie crust in desired dish.  cover the bottom of the pie crust with chopped pecans, about 1 heaping cup, then pour your custard mixture over them evenly.  Cover this ever so lightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.

With Christmas moving as if Santa’s reindeer themselves were pulling through the sky I did not have the opportunity to take amazing photos of the “oh so delicious pies”.  I have however, managed to capture a tiny sliver of the aftermath and I submit them for your tantalizing enjoyment.

The crumbly goodness of my Souther pecan pie using chopped pecans was well received.  The pie formed a crisp, crunchy, nutty shell topping as it baked while the crust became flakey and buttery .


Simple pie crust:

2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour

3/4 cup shortening (I used butter flavored)

1/2 cup cold water (more or less)


In a large bowl cut shortening into flour with a pastry blender until it forms small pea like beads.

Here I transferred the mixture to my kitchenaid mixer, using the dough hook I slowly added cold water by the tablespoon until a soft smooth dough formed.  If dough becomes sticky add a sprinkle of flour to bring it back to a soft dough.

Divide in half, form a disc, wrap in cellophane and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out to pie plate size and lay in greased, floured pie plate.  Fold edges as desired.

Southern Pecan Pie

Prepared crust

Southern Pecan Pie filling:

1 cup of sugar

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of corn syrup

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup melted salted butter

3 large eggs well beaten

1 cup (heaping) chopped pecans


Whisk together the sugars, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter and eggs. Blend this well, you should see it cream together into custard type filling.  Prepare your pie crust in desired dish.  cover the bottom of the pie crust with chopped pecans, about 1 heaping cup, then pour your custard mixture over them.  Cover this ever so lightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.

My oldest son loves to bake and cook but mostly experiment in the kitchen.  This is his second attempt at the ole Southern staple chess pie.  The first he did on Thanksgiving 2014, the Thanksgiving of the smoked turkey, it has come to be known.  Although that year his chess pie tasted absolutely to die for there were some discrepancies in the crust and topping.  This years chess pie was a home run, he hit it out of the park and this recipe will be going into the family cook book for generations to come.



We used the other half of the pie crust recipe above for this pie.

Southern Chess Pie

Prepared crust

2 cups sugar

2 Tbsp corn meal

1 Tbsp all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp vanilla

4 large eggs lightly beaten


You must bake the pie crust slightly before adding the filling.  Line your crust with aluminum foil and add pie weights or beans.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, blend together all ingredients starting with sugar and ending with beaten eggs.  Mix this well until a smooth silky consistency is reached.

Layer the bottom of your crust with copped pecans evenly, these will rise to the top as the pie bakes created a magnificently crisp topping.

Pour mixture into pie crust, cover slightly with aluminum foil or a pie crust ring and bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza

It’s Sunday Morning and I have gotten up to sit comfortably in front of a crackling fire in the fire place with a hot cup of Cinnamon Dolce` to write.  The house is quiet “all the whos still asnooze” as was said.

Yesterday was my daughters 16th birthday and we seem to always end up going to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel for their yearly Christmas extravaganza and this year we’d hoped was no different.  Her boyfriend joined us and we all sat down to a lovely home cooked dinner with cookie pizza for desert, loaded up in the family car and headed to Opryland.  Our excitement and joy was soon turned to horror and despair when the traffic cam to a stand-still over a mile from our destination.  It seemed everyone else in Nashville has decided to head to Opryland as well.  We thought we’d try a sneak attack and come in from the other side but, when we drove past and seen the parking situation we decided to reschedule for weeknight.  We drove around looking at the beautiful Christmas lights of Nashville, returned home and had a warn cozy bonfire in our back yard fire pit with Laughter and reminiscing.


I wanted to share with you the huge chocolate chip cookie pizza I baked for my daughters Birthday.  She requested cream cheese icing on top of this cookie so of course, I did just that.  The recipe is an old one I use to make for my oldest son when he was a child.  It has been my tried and true “go to” chocolate chip cookie recipe for over 20 years now because of its versatility.  It can be baked up moist and chewy  or with just a few extra minutes in the oven crisp and ready to be dunked in a cold glass of milk, just the way a cookie should be. I used my Grandmother’s pizza pan which is over 50 years old.  It came to my kitchen via my mother and it’s well seasoned charm will be passed on to another generation some day.  This recipe is not of my own doing but one I found on a Butter Flavored Crisco container as a young Mother.  But worthy of sharing non the less.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie 

3/4 cup Butter Flavored Crisco

1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp milk

1 Tbsp pure Mexican vanilla extract – (my secret ingredient)

1 large egg

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour – King Arthur is what I use

1 teas.  salt

3/4 teas. baking soda

1-2 cups of chocolate chips


1 cup of chocolate chips

1 cup of chips or nuts of your choice



Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare cookie sheet do not grease, you can however use a silicone mat.

In mixer on medium speed cream together crisco, brown sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Add egg and bled well.

In a separate bowl blend all purpose flour, salt and baking soda. turn mixer to lowest speed, add flour mixture to your creamed mixture blend just until it is weak incorporated.  Add your ships and nuts if desired and mix slowly just until well blended. I suggest this be done by hand to prevent crushing the chips and nuts.

Drop cookie dough but the round tablespoon full 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

to make the cookie pizza, pour dough onto pizza pan and spread evenly, this is very important as not to let the edges get too crisp and brown before the center cooks well.

Bake for 11 to 13 for crisp cookies, 8 to 10 for chewy cookies  and 15 minutes for the pizza.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy.


Every month my beautiful sister-in-law and several of our wonderful friends get together for a GNO. We frequent the Panted Clay Studio for a night of fun, lots of laughs, A little vino and let the artistic juices flow. Or lovely hostess with he mostess, Liz, makes the night even more enjoyable with her quick wit, helpful artistic advise, trivia and prizes.

There is always a little pot luck Smorgasbord we graze on throughout the night and last night I brought my little version of pink champagne cupcakes. They were very tasty and of course I am sharing the recipe with you so you can enjoy them too. I did put pink gel color in the cupcake portion. I am going to try them without it next time.


½ cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kitchen salt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup of champagne for the cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your mini cupcake or regular cupcake pan with liners. In your stand mixer on medium speed cream butter and sugar until light a fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time incorporating well after each addition. Add Vanilla and blend well. In a separate bowl whisk flour baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In another medium bowl whisk together sour cream and champagne, mixture will be a bit bubbly but will cream together nicely. Add flour and champagne mixture to butter, sugar and vanilla alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick. Fill cups 2/3 full and bake. For mini cupcakes 11-13 minutes, for full size cupcakes 18-22 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.


1 cup plus 1 Tbsp champagne
2 sticks of butter softened (1cup)
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a small sauce pan simmer 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp champagne over medium high heat until reduced to 2 Tbsp. Let cool to room temperature. Meanwhile cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the 2 Tbsp of reduced champagne plus, add 1 Tbsp of champagne from the bottle and incorporate well. Add confection sugar a little at a time until well mixed and has a firm consultancy. Frost cupcakes with your favorite icing tip and technique, add white pearl candies for bubble affect if desired.

Raspberry Apple Muffins

Another of my treasures while out shopping with my friend the other day was a lovely little book by Dot Vartan called Mad about Muffins that has started me on a short but enjoyable muffin binge and the illustration of this cookbook is beautifully done by Shelly Reeves Smith.
I love apples, they are my favorite fruit and I had just purchased a rather large container of raspberries at the local grocer so I found a recipe for raspberry apple muffins and whipped them up straight away. And they turned our absolutely delicious. The fresh raspberries popped in your mouth and the muffins were so flavorful. I topped them with a powdered sugar and heavy cream drizzle.