Cherry Pie Jello

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  • 1 large 6 oz box cherry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1- 21 oz can cherry pie filling
  • 1- 20 oz can crushed pineapple (not drained)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 small 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding


  • Boil the water. While water is heating up, pour the large box of Jello into a 9×13 pan.
  • Pour the 2 cups of boiling water over the jello in the dish. Using a whisk, slowly mix the jello and water together until all of the Jello is dissolved. Make sure to scrape up all of the Jello off the bottom of the dish.
  • Pour the contents of the can of pineapple and the can of cherry pie filling into the pan with the Jello and water. Mix with large spoon.
  • Place pan into refrigerator. Let set up for about 2 hours. It’s usually set after 1- 1 1/2 hours.
  • Whip the cream in a large bowl until stiff, set aside.In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk and the box of pudding. Fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream. Spread the whipped cream mixture over the set-up Jello mixture in the pan. Serve immediately, or return to fridge until ready to serve.
Posted in Jello, Nostalgia, Salads, Side Dishes, Summer | Leave a comment

Texas Sheet Cake

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I thought a search for the perfect Texas sheet cake would be easy. Not so! There are a million recipes out there. I combined a few and this is what I made yesterday. I think it’s still a work in progress. I have noted some possible revisions.

2 cups (8.8 ounces) all-purpose flour

2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt (PW 1/4 teaspoon)

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter

1 cup water

1/4 cup (1 ounce) * natural unsweetened cocoa powder (PW 5 tablespoons)

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (PW 1 teaspoon)

  • Preheat the oven and prep the pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray or butter a half-sheet pan (13×18 inches) and line the bottom with parchment.
  • Combine the dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Make the batter: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the butter, water, and cocoa powder. Whisk until melted and smooth, and then bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from the heat. Using a whisk or electric mixer, beat the hot cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients until combined. Beat in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, followed by the baking soda, until combined.
  • Bake the cake: Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool briefly, about 5 to 10 minutes, while you make the frosting.

Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

3/4 cup buttermilk (or mix 3/4 cup milk with 2 tsp vinegar)

1/2 cup cocoa powder*

2 tsp vanilla

32 oz bag of powdered sugar (about 8 cups)

5-6 cups marshmallows

• In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, buttermilk, and cocoa powder.

• Cook, stirring frequently, just until it comes to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat.

• Pour the mixture into a clean bowl, add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat with an     electric mixer till smooth.

• Pour in the marshmallows and mix in with a spatula.

  • Then pour the warm frosting over the cake after it has cooled 5 minutes.  It’s best to frost while the cake is warm, so the marshmallows puff up a little. Do your best to spread the frosting evenly around.

*As a slight variation, sub in 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa in both the cake and the frosting for a deeper, richer chocolate flavor.

Posted in Brownies, Cakes, Chocolate, Comfort Food | Leave a comment

Curried Chickpea Sandwich

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Makes: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min

  • Two 15 ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup vegan or standard mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup greens (such as iceberg, romaine, or watercress), optional
  • 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice, optional
  • 4 whole wheat pitas, tops cut off, optional
  1. Coarsely mash the chickpeas, celery, shallots and parsley together with a potato masher or large fork in a medium bowl. Be careful not to overdo it or the chickpeas will become mushy. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, curry powder, and turmeric and mix well. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. (The salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  2. Divide the salad, greens and tomato equally among the pitas and serve.
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Mel’s 5 Minute Hot Fudge Sauce

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Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has great recipes that I use all the time. This hot fudge sauce has three variations and sounds wonderful. Normally, I don’t put a recipe here. I just put the link. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be a link to take you directly to the recipe. I will paste the recipe in and the link is at the top of this paragraph.


  • 8 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (see note)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder (sift the cocoa powder before using if it is extra lumpy)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips), heavy cream, butter, corn syrup, brown sugar (if using), and cocoa powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, 3-5 minutes. Don’t let the mixture overheat or scorch! Add additional milk or heavy cream, if needed, for a thinner consistency.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. PEANUT BUTTER-CHOCOLATE VARIATION: use milk chocolate chips (or half milk chocolate/half semisweet), add 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter to the mixture before heating, and increase the heavy cream to 1 cup.
  4. BUTTERSCOTCH-CHOCOLATE VARIATION: use half milk chocolate/half semisweet chocolate, add 2/3 cup butterscotch chips (about 4 ounces) to the mixture before heating, decrease the cocoa to 1 tablespoon, and increase the butter to 6 tablespoons.
  5. Use immediately or store the sauce in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly just until heated (don’t let it boil or simmer) or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time – thin with additional milk or heavy cream, if needed.

Use chocolate that you like the flavor of.

Posted in Chocolate, Desserts, Toppings | Leave a comment

Brian’s Chocolate Cake

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  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

  • Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans (or line with parchment paper circles) and set aside.
    2. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes). Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot water with a rubber spatula. Batter will be very runny.
    3. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached.
    4. Allow to cool 15 minutes in pans, then run a butter knife around the edges of each cake. Place a wire cooling rack over top of each pan. Wearing oven mitts, use both hands to hold the racks in place while flipping the cakes over onto the racks. Set the racks down and gently thump on the bottom of the pans until the cakes release. Cool completely before handling or frosting.
Posted in Cakes, Cupcakes, Desserts | Leave a comment

Bountiful White Cake

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One of my favorite recipe websites is A Bountiful Kitchen. Today while searching for recipes for mini cupcakes I found this white cake recipe. The reviewers rave about it. The perfect white cake from scratch has eluded me. I hope to adapt this recipe and make lemon cupcakes. I’ll add lemon extract and once they are done I’ll add a filling of lemon curd. A light cream cheese frosting will complete them.

Posted in Cakes, Comfort Food, Cupcakes, Desserts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Celebration Chocolate Cupcakes

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For the cupcakes:
1 cup granulated white sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
¼ cup sunflower oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup / 120mL boiling water

For the frosting:
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup milk
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp golden syrup / light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the egg, sour cream, oil and vanilla. Mix with a silicon spatula just until smooth and combined. Pour in the boiling water, and slowly mix. The batter will be liquid-y, this is normal.

Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups.

Bake for 15-19 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until a cake tester or a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean.

Transfer cupcakes in pans to wire racks for about 10 minutes until the tins are cool to the touch. Once the tins are cool, remove the cupcakes from the pans, and transfer to the wire racks. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), combine the melted butter and cocoa powder powder until smooth. Now, alternately mix in the milk and powdered sugar, beating (on medium speed) to spreading consistency. Add another tablespoon or so of milk, if necessary. Mix in vanilla and golden syrup / light corn syrup.

Note: The frosting recipe provided can easily frost all 16 cupcakes. However, if you’d prefer to have tall “hats” of chocolate frosting on each of your cupcakes, as pictured in this post, 1 ½-ing the recipe will be necessary.

To frost the cupcakes, I use a small off-set spatula (you can use a butter knife without a serrated edge, if you don’t have one) at an angle to spread the frosting smoothly around the cake. Make sure to frost to the very edges (doing this is not only an excuse to have more frosting on your cupcakes — yum! — but it also helps keep the cupcakes moist). Then, I use a cake spatula to create the indent in the center. You can shave some dark chocolate on top using a vegetable peeler (or you can use a microplane or one of those manual cheese graters that they use at Italian restaurants to grate Parmesan), and you’re done.

Posted in Cakes, Cupcakes, Desserts | Leave a comment

Southern Buttermilk Pancakes

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Tonight I was looking for a pancake recipe to use up my buttermilk before I leave to go to Denver. I found this one at A Bountiful Kitchen  It was yummy and I used up all of my buttermilk.

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Salmon with Fennel Baked in Parchment

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This is really great recipe I found at

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Chocolate Marshmallow Texas Sheet Cake

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A few months ago Sister Tucker made a version of this for our Pathway class. It was so good. I thanked her and said, “It tastes like home.” She told me that was the best compliment.

Makes 24-30 pieces

1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk (or mix 1 cup of milk with 1 Tbl vinegar)*
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup boiling water

• Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Grease a large jelly roll pan or cookie baking sheet.
• Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a small pan, or microwave it for about 3 minutes.
• In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
• Add the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
• Add 1 cup boiling water and carefully stir until the water is mixed in; beat for 1 1/2 minutes.
• Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean from the center. Don’t under bake the cake! I’ve done it. It’s not as good as you’d think it would be.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting…

Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cup buttermilk (or mix 3/4 cup milk with 2 tsp vinegar)*
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
32 oz bag of powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
5-6 cups marshmallows

• In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, buttermilk, and cocoa powder.
• Cook, stirring frequently, just until it comes to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat.
• Pour the mixture into a clean bowl, add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer till smooth.
• Pour in the marshmallows and mix in with a spatula.
• Then pour the warm frosting over the hot cake when it comes out. THIS IS KEY. It’s best to frost while the cake is hot, so the marshmallows puff up slightly and become nice and gooey soft.

* I often use the milk and vinegar trick because who always keeps buttermilk in the refrigerator. It will turn out fine, but I think buttermilk just makes the cake and frosting so much better. It’s worth the trip to the store to get a quart!



Posted in Cakes, Chocolate, Comfort Food, Desserts, Feeding the Masses, Frosting, Institute Treats, Nostalgia, Quick and Easy, Talking Food | Leave a comment