Happy Fall Apple Coffee Cake!

I’m back! So sorry for the long break. Life gets in the way sometimes. But I plan to return to my efforts to bring you delicious recipes my family enjoys.

I love Fall! While I love all kinds of Fall foods, I’m more an apple girl than a pumpkin spice girl. I’m amazed at everything you see in the store now pumpkin spice flavored. Sorry, but well… ick. Pumpkin pie is great, pumpkin cheesecake bars are good…. but that’s about it for me.

Today I bring you an Apple coffee cake that is moist, delicious, and full of apples. I bought a bunch of honey crisp apples at the Farmer’s Market to eat, cook, and enjoy. A truly amazing investment I assure you!

So let’s make this cake. Make it for company, family, or to eat all yourself. It’s that good!

Grease or spray a 9 x 13 baking dish and preheat your oven to 325 F. This is easy… throw the following into a bowl: 2-1/2C flour, 1t baking soda, 1t cinnamon, 1-1/2C brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/3C oil, and 1C buttermilk. Stir until just combined. Add 3C peeled, cored, chopped apple. Pour into prepared pan and smooth top. In a small bowl, add 2T melted butter and 1t cinnamon to 1/2 C sugar. Sprinkle over top. Bake 45-50 minutes til nicely browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack in pan. Serve from pan.

I love this cake. I blew my pre- vacation diet on this cake. I’m going to eat another piece right now!


Love, Grammy ❤

P.S. I just ate another piece!!

The Best of Boston: Boston Cream Cake!

A slightly different take on the Boston Cream Pie, this cake has it all: a light, moist, sweet cake, delicious creamy custard filling, and a rich chocolate ganache topping. Oh. My. Goodness. This cake is just right to serve at home or bring with you, perfect for a luncheon or dinner. It is not at all difficult to make, but looks and tastes impressive. Let Grammy take you down the road to delicious!

First make the filling: Lightly beat 4 egg yolks. Set aside. In a saucepan put 3/4C sugar, 4T cornstarch, and 2C milk. Whisk til smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens, simmer 2 minutes and remove from heat. Add a bit to the yolks to temper them, then add back to the pan. Return to medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2T butter and 2t vanilla. Stir til smooth. Pour into a bowl and press plastic wrap to the surface. Put in the fridge.

Next, make the cake: Get out your sifter and sift 2-1/2C flour, 3-1/2t baking powder, and 1/2t salt. Set aside. Beat 3/4C softened butter, 1-1/2C sugar, and 3T vegetable oil for 4 minutes. Add 1T vanilla and 4 eggs, and beat til smooth. Add half of flour mixture and beat well. Add 1-1/4C milk, and beat well. Add rest of flour mixture and beat well. Pour into 2- 8 or 9 inch cake pans sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 F for 22 to 25 minutes. Cool in pans on rack for 2-3 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Trim flat. Whisk the custard, spread over one layer and top with another.

Make ganache topping: Put 1C semi sweet chocolate chips and 2T corn syrup in a medium bowl. Heat 1/2C heavy cream until it just begins to boil. Pour over chips and let sit 2 minutes, then whisk til smooth. Pour over center of cake, spread to edges and let drip over sides. Set in fridge to firm up, then cover with plastic wrap. Keep refrigerated.

Please make and enjoy my Best of Boston Cream Cake! Makes me miss beautiful Boston!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love, Grammy ❤

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders!

Who doesn’t love chicken tenders? With dipping sauces like barbecue, honey mustard, even ketchup to enjoy them with, they are delicious! But messy to make. Until now.

Buy a 2 lb package of raw tenders or cut 2 lbs of skinless boneless chicken breast into strips and you’re off!

In a large shallow bowl beat 2 eggs. Add a healthy squirt of mayonnaise and one of dijon or honey mustard. Add 1/2t kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. Mix well, then whisk in 1/4C flour. In another shallow bowl, pour 2C Panko breadcrumbs.

Dip the tenders first in the batter, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Press to adhere. Lay on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Melt 6T butter and drizzle over tenders.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, til browned and cooked through. Don’t overcook or they will dry out.

Yummy, no fuss no muss no frying tenders, to dip in anything you like. Great cold the next day, too!


Love, Grammy ❤

Easy As Pie Chicken Pot Pie!

First I must apologize for my long absences from blogging and recipe writing. Life got really hectic around here, and I just couldn’t find the time. My time management skills can be very lacking at times, especially when life gets crazy. I also spent 3 days in the mountains of southwest Virginia, where there is no wi-fi or cell service, making blogging impossible.

But here I am, and I’ve got a good one for you. Chicken Pot Pie is usually a winner, a comfort food most everyone likes. But sometimes making a crust, cooking chicken, and chopping veggies is too time consuming, so we reject it out of hand. But what if there was an easier way?

Well, there is. Chicken Pot Pie does not require a bottom crust, and the top crust is easy with a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. They are light, flaky, and delicious, and serve our purpose here well. As does leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

So get ready to be surprised by how easy this is, and how delicious.

Get out one rolled crust from a box of Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust and set it out to soften. Pour one bag frozen mixed vegetables into a colander in the sink. Rinse with cool water and leave to drain. Dice 1 medium onion and 2 cloves garlic.

Melt 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat in a large skillet or pot. Throw in the onion and garlic and stir to cook 3-4 minutes to soften. Add 2C shredded or chopped cooked chicken and stir it around. Sprinkle 1/4C flour over all and stir and cook, coating everything well. Cook flour 2-3 minutes.

Now pour in 2C chicken stock and 1/4C white cooking wine. Stir well to combine. Cook and stir and it will thicken into a gravy. Add the frozen vegetables, mix well. Pour in 1C heavy cream, and stir well. Season with 1t dried thyme, 1t Kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove from heat.

Pour the mixture into a deep 9″ pie plate. DO NOT put the crust on until mixture has completely cooled OR you are ready to put it in the oven. The crust will melt. Or so I’ve heard….

Roll out the pie crust to 1″ larger than the pie plate. Set over the pie plate, and press the edges to the edge of the pie plate. Flute edges or crimp with a fork. Cut small slits in the top to vent.

Stick that pot pie in the oven preheated to 400 F. Bake about 30 minutes til golden brown and filling is bubbling. Set on a cooling rack for 10 or so minutes to allow filling to “set up”.

Easiest and most delicious chicken pot pie. My husband loves this. I should probably make one very soon!

Enjoy this Chicken Pot Pie. It’s Dee-damn-lish!

Love, Grammy ❤

Dressed Up Cake Mix

Ok, I typically do not use mixes. I prefer to make everything from scratch. But ya get pressed for time and need something special, you can dress up a cake mix into something extra good. It’s easy, time saving, and no one knows you used a mix.

I made an amazing coffee cake in my handy dandy bundt pan with a mix just this morning. And it is awesome!

Dump 1 box butter flavor cake mix in a mixing bowl. Add 4 eggs, 3/4C oil, 1/2C sugar, and 1/2C sour cream, and 2t vanilla. Beat on low speed until moistened, then medium speed for 2-3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix 3T packed brown sugar, 2t white sugar, and 2t cinnamon. If you are adventurous add 1/4t nutmeg. Mix well.

Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with baking spray. Heat oven to 325 F. Pour half of batter into pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over batter in pan, and cover with remaining batter.

Put in oven and bake 55 min or til golden and the toothpick test comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack 10 min, and then turn out onto rack to cool completely. Slide cake onto a plate and dust with sifted confectioners sugar.

Easy as can be, and I have a delicious coffee cake for company this afternoon. (I’m getting my roots done this morning so I’m really pressed for time!)

I hope you make this easy but special cake when you need something quick!


Love, Grammy ❤

Holy Guacamole!

Ok, this past weekend, as part of the fundraiser I told you about, I made guacamole… for about 100 people! I have to confess, multiple people told me it was the best guacamole they ever tasted. I am going to put it into more reasonable amounts for you here, but the trick here is your little pile of chips for tasting. It’s the only way to be sure it is to your liking. You use chips so you can adequately check the salt. You are going to add more of certain things til you love it. It involves some tasting…. darn! 😁

Dice 3 large ripe tomatoes. Dice 1 large yellow onion. Roughly chop a bunch of cilantro. Put it all together in a bowl. Halve, pit, and scoop out the flesh of 3 soft, ripe avocados. Mash it to your desired consistency and add to the bowl. Add 1t Kosher salt. Mix well.

First chip: scoop some guacamole on a chip and taste it. Check saltiness, cilantro, and generally everything. Add as needed. If it’s too salty, add more tomato and onion. Keep tasting with additional chips til you love it. Add more avocado if you like. Make it yours. Just don’t eat it all cause then you have to make more. Unless you want to!

Love, Grammy ❤

Massive Amounts Of Chicken Taco Meat!

I will be assisting in putting on a taco bar dinner following a motorcycle ride fundraiser for a needy child. I was assigned the chicken. Thirty pounds of it! I agonized over how to do it. Cut it, saute it, season it? Thirty pounds of it, one skillet at a time? That would take days.

Finally, I came up with this. I bought 30 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken breasts at Costco for $2.99 per pound. Pretty good deal. I also bought 12 quarts of chicken stock there, and a very large jar of Taco seasoning. I love Costco!

Once home, I dug out my canning pot and poured in all 12 quarts of stock. I brought it to the boil and dropped in 12 chicken breasts at a time. This took three cycles, as I had 36 pieces to make 30 pounds. They came out moist and easy to shred. I put 6 shredded pieces at a time into a large bowl. I sprinkled on 1/3 cup of taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of water over the shredded chicken and mixed it well.

Then I tasted it. Oh my! Moist, perfectly seasoned, delicious taco chicken. Since the fundraiser is Saturday, I filled 6 gallon zip lock bags and put them in the freezer. Saturday I will take them out in the morning and about noon put the chicken in a chafing dish and it will be warmed by the start of dinner at 4 PM.

So, if anyone ever asks you to make 30 pounds of chicken taco meat, you know how. Thank God someone else is doing the ground beef! The whole process took about three hours.

Happy cooking!

Love, Grammy ❤

My Friend Lori’s Tomato Sauce!

Lori, if somewhere out there you are reading this, know I give you all the credit! This is not only the most delicious tomato sauce in the world, but it is the best use for the large crops of tomatoes available right now. Perhaps in your very own garden! Sadly, Lori and I lost touch several years ago, but I fondly remember our times together and the recipes she shared with me.

Her parents always had a large garden, and one summer she brought me a huge box of ripe tomatoes and this recipe.

This sauce is very easy to make, but it does take a long time. What makes it special is there is no tomato paste or thickener of any kind. How long it takes depends on how many tomatoes you have. 12 lbs of tomatoes makes one crock pot full of sauce. Because it is all tomatoes.

So, begin by washing and coring your 12 lbs of tomatoes. Place a few at a time in your (Kitchen Aid) food processor and pulse to puree. Pour into crock pot set on high. Continue til pot is full. Do not put on the lid. Leave it be. Stir it once in a while. As the water evaporates off and the level drops, add more pureed tomatoes. Keep doing this. It can take up to three days! When you have added all your tomatoes, let it evaporate down til it is nice and thick. Turn heat down to low.

When the tomatoes are ready, heat 1T olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 large yellow onion, chopped, and 4 cloves garlic, minced. Cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes til softened and fragrant. Add to tomatoes. Finely shred 18 fresh basil leaves and add to tomatoes. Add 2t Kosher salt, 1t black pepper, and 1T white sugar. (The sugar cuts the acid, it is not to make it sweet.) It is very important at this stage to taste it and adjust the seasonings to your liking. A lot depends on the tomatoes as to how you will adjust the flavor. I add 1/4t cayenne pepper. This is not enough to make it hot, but really gives it added flavor. Your call!

At this point, you put on the lid and let it simmer on low for 2 hours, allowing the flavors to blend. Taste again, making any final adjustments.

This sauce freezes very well. Allow to cool completely, and ladle into quart freezer bags. Expel the air and seal. Lay flat in the freezer. Thaw and reheat as needed. It gives you a wonderful taste of summer during the winter!

Thank you for this recipe Lori! I know everyone will love it, because it’s Dee-damn-lish!

Love, Grammy ❤

Refreshing Raspberry Lemonade! Awesome Drink For A Hot Summer Day!

I love raspberry lemonade! It is so refreshing on a hot summer day! It is easy to make, and delicious to drink. Great for cook-outs and summer parties, it always goes over well. By making my basic lemonade and adding 1/2 to 3/4 cup raspberry syrup (depending on taste…. mix in 1/2 C and taste it!) you get this light and lovely drink.

Make your simple syrup first. Put 6C water in a saucepan and add 4C sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Let cool, cover and refrigerate til nice and cold. Meanwhile, juice 20 to 25 lemons. Cover juice and refrigerate til very cold. I usually do both of these steps the day before.

Fill a big container with ice. Add lemon juice and 6 to 8 cups water. Add half to 3/4 of simple syrup. Add 1/2 to 3/4C raspberry syrup.

Now, I know there are some wide parameters here. What you want to do is add the least directed amount and work your way up to the higher amount, tasting as you go til you find your perfect balance. I like strong lemon and raspberry flavors but not too over sweet. A lot depends on the lemons themselves, and the brand of raspberry syrup.

Garnish, of course, with fresh raspberries. It just looks so darn pretty that way!

Make a big batch of this for your next party or cook-out. It goes fast!

Love, Grammy ❤