Cheater Caramel Monkey Bread

Good morning friends, family and sweetie pies! (pick whatever category works for you!)

Lets be honest, who doesn’t love monkey bread? My monkeys all love it and so does mama monkey. But every once in a while I crave the monkey bread without all the work. Making the dough ahead of time, dipping each individual monkey bite into melted butter and sugar. Mind you, most of the time I love it. But just sometimes…

So here it is, my monkey friends, in all its cheater glory. No dough to make. No dipping. Just melting, cutting, layering, pouring, baking, eating, eating, eating…

Years ago I was visiting my mother. I mentioned that I was going to purchase a specific monkey bread pan because I had been using oversized bundt pans and loaf pans to make monkey bread.

“Oh wait, I think I have one,” she said and she began rummaging through the cupboards of her spotless little kitchen. Continue reading “Cheater Caramel Monkey Bread”

Maple Pecan Scones


Hello ya’ll. Can I use that expression? No, I’m not from the south. Unless you count Southern California, then YES! I am a southerner! So, I hope ya’ll are not going too crazy in these crazy times. I hope ya’ll are taking time to learn something new, or treating yourself to, oh, I don’t know, maybe some scones warm from the oven.

My solution to this madness around us is to bake, then bake some more. Weed a patch of the garden, then bake. Wash something, then bake. And yes, I don’t fit into any of my work clothes anymore. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. The bridge with the banner saying, “Welcome back to Work Ya’ll!” I hope you are finding something to help your brain get through this without any damage to it.  Oh, my hubby let me cut his hair yesterday! (I was just thinking my hair looks like a throw back to the 70’s.) We have a Wahl kit and I watched videos. I’m certainly no threat to any hair dressers out there, bless each and every one of you, but he doesn’t have to go around wearing a hat to hide any damage I might have done. Not too bad. Now if my shaggy son would let me near him. He’s looking something like Big Foot these days. Tall and shaggy! Lets get those hairdressers back to work ya’ll! Continue reading “Maple Pecan Scones”

Pecan Sticky Buns


An older picture when I made some in a flower shaped pan. It made about 6-7 large sticky buns in this pan. Yum!

Dusting this recipe off, giving it a face lift.

Slurry. What a funny word. Slurry-slurry-slurry! Like a cross between hurry and sloppy. Or blurry and sloshy. But in this case it is a cross between ambrosia and delight.

I know I have posted about sticky buns before. But really, can we ever get enough of sweet and nutty sticky buns? It’s a Christmas tradition around here to have them for breakfast along with a savory dish. So needless to say, I have tried many a recipe and have lots of experience with these to speak from.

If you want homemade-from-scratch sticky buns you have 4 steps.

Make the dough.

Make the slurry and cinnamon sugar filling.

Form the buns.


If you want a large amount of sweet dough, I have the recipe here.

If you want quicky-sticky buns, go here.

But for now I will give you a reduced dough recipe and my favorite slurry, which is the sticky gooey stuff upon which the rolled up dough sits and bakes. Continue reading “Pecan Sticky Buns”

Puff Pancakes

Puff Pancake in a 12″ Iron skillet

I have heard of puff pancakes forever but never bothered to try them. i believe another name for them is ‘Dutch babies’. Now that I’ve tried them, I think they are the best breakfast food ever and we should eat them every day for breakfast. Every. Day. It isn’t sweet on its own but has a salty buttery goodness from all that melted butter. The iron skillet is, no surprise, wonderful, heating evenly and giving it a golden crust of perfection.

It took very little time to make. Even less effort and it almost tastes like a crepe. Cut it into 6 or 8 slices, fill it with jam or syrup or cheese or nutella with sauteed bananas or berries or whatever. Or even eat with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. You know, like crepes.

preheat oven to 425 degrees.

you will need:

4 Tbsp. of butter

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of milk

2 eggs


a pinch of nutmeg


Melt the butter on the stove top in the cast iron skillet.

In the meantime, mix the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until just mixed. No need to get rid of all the lumps. They go away on their own.

Once the butter is bubbly, pour in the batter and pop into the oven.

In 15-20 minutes it will be golden brown and puffy. Take it out of the oven (carefully) and sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Pop back into the oven for just a few minutes more then take out. It will sink, leaving a high edges almost like a lumpy pie crust. Slice it, fill it, eat it. Eat some more. And when no one is looking, eat the rest.

Then make it tomorrow and invite me!

Fork? Whose kidding who. I just picked it up and ate it like a slice of pizza.


Apple Walnut Streusel Muffins

(Ha, spellcheck tried to turn ‘streusel’ into ‘stressful’. I can’t imagine muffins being stressful. Really? They are anti-stressful if you ask me. The cure for stress. A couple of these and some tea? Or a glass of milk or even coffee…)

First, Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, God mothers, and anyone involved in mothering. 


Since it was Mothers day, I figured I would make some of my own personal favorite muffins, apple walnut, although I do not have a go-to recipe really, like I do for some other recipes. This one is always hit and miss. So I dug through some of my favorite baking books.

This one is a hit! Continue reading “Apple Walnut Streusel Muffins”

Gingerbread Cake

(Here is an old favorite I made again last night. Its been 7 years since the original post, so I thought I would dust it off and bring it out for a run around the internet world before retiring again.)

So, what was your first cookbook? The one you got for your wedding, or Christmas, maybe when you first moved out? Mine was a Christmas gift from my dear mother. The “Betty Crocker Cookbook”  which is now missing it’s spine, is yellowed and stained with the ripply pages of a book that has had flour and egg wiped off with a wet towel. I still refer to it on occasion. Its the “new and revised” edition from 1978. (gosh, before lots of you were born!) Continue reading “Gingerbread Cake”

Country Apple Coffee Cake

While I may not have any great pictures of this cake, it is an easy and satisfying coffee cake experience that I don’t want you to miss just because I forgot to shoot a picture until the next day.

I actually didn't have the flaky biscuits on hand. I used a can of biscuits I had intended to roll out and flatten into noodles for a Semi-Homemade style chicken n dumplings.
I actually didn’t have the flaky biscuits on hand. I used a can of biscuits I had intended to roll out and flatten into noodles for a Semi-Homemade style chicken n dumplings. It still worked great. Look at those big pecan chunks just waiting for me to pick off while no one is looking.

It is a cheater recipe from an old Pillsbury book I have. An old dog-eared stained, somewhat falling apart book. Which means it’s the best, right?

You start with a can of flaky biscuits. Yep, one of those cans. Continue reading “Country Apple Coffee Cake”

Blueberry Muffins with a side of earthquakes

Wellll, I have to admit, these muffins did not turn out quite like I planned. But they are mighty good. Why write about muffins that did not turn out quite like I planned? So you can learn from my mistakes of course!

I should have called this post “Blueberry muffins before the big one hits”.

I rarely make muffins around here because I have a tendency to eat them. And eat them. And eat them. But after the exhilarating earthquake Friday night and about a hundred tiny tremors since then, I have had a change of thought. If I am going to go down, I’m going down full of muffins.

The very yellow look is, I think, from the very yellow yolks from our very fresh chicken eggs. They turn everything yellow when I use them.
The very yellow look is, I think, from the very yellow yolks from our very fresh chicken eggs. They turn everything yellow when I use them.

I imagined these muffins with lots of streusel topping actually on top. But once they started rising, the streusel shifted, like soil moving aside for a sprout to pop out of the ground. (Ahh yes, its spring, when a young persons mind becomes twitterpated and a middle-aged mind thinks about gardening. Or muffins.)

Where was I? Earthquakes. No, muffins, wait, sprouts.

Okay, lets talk earthquakes for a minute. I tell my kids, if you are in bed when an earthquake hits, just stay there and cover your head with a pillow, in case things go flying off the walls or dressers. I hear of more people getting hurt running through the house during a quake than holding still. Unless you are next to a large bookcase or china cabinet or plate-glass window, then dive under a table.

One time we had a quake when I was not home and I hear my older son, who was taking  a geology class in college, and had heard a professor talk about quakes, went diving out his bedroom window. Just ‘boom’ kicked out the screen and jumped out. He claimed it was safer than staying inside. Wish I had seen it.

I, on the other hand, had just finished an inspection of a vacant home south of here somewhere, like Lake Forest or some such place. It was a 2 story home, nice. I measured, took my pictures, wrote the notes and headed out the front door, making sure to lock it and replace the key. Suddenly I heard a rumble. Thats strange, it was coming from the ground. Everything, including me, starting shaking.

I heard a couple of screams from down the street and looked around quickly to assess my chances of survival, in case this turned out to be ‘the big one’. It was just me and a little sapling tree. So we hugged each other, to stay upright and rode out the rocking. Nothing really exciting happened though. No wires coming down, no cars jumping around, thankfully. No big cracks with magma appearing in the middle of the rode. Guess I watch too many movies. (Of course I do.)

That was several years ago. I haven’t felt a big quake since then, not that it was that big even then. This one we felt the other night wasn’t big either. But you can’t really tell when you are close to the epicenter. It feels big enough. You just kind of sit there, holding real still and alert, like a prairie dog, waiting to see if you should jump into action. Things rattled and rocked. Would they come crashing to the floor? Would we lose electricity? Would we, God forbid, have to turn off the gas?(That means knowing where the tool is to turn it off with.) Are we in fact, earthquake prepared?

Not so much.

We occasionally go through and make our plans. Put food and water in the trunks of the cars. Make sure there are flashlights under all the beds. The good kids get ones with batteries in them.

Umm, thats about it really. I guess we figure if ‘the big one’ hits, there’s not much we can do for it anyway. Either the house will crash down around our ears or it wont. Its been around for 60 odd years so far, so my bet is its going to hang around a bit longer.

Now, when I say we sit still and alert, I realize not everyone treats quakes this way. Loads of people go running outside, go running for doorways (which I am still not convinced will do any darn bit of good.) Or just go running.

Afterward its nice to either try to call our relatives to share in the excitement, or if that fails, actually go out and make human contact with the neighbors and rehash the experience.

Which brings me back to muffins. Finally.

Lets get this recipe rolling. Only do not use the dinky frozen wild blueberries I used. Use either fresh ones or frozen larger ones that will have a blueberry impact. The dinky ones just didn’t.

Other than that, I am not really complaining. I didn’t complain much through my first muffin. Only complained a bit through the second muffin. And tried to look inconspicuous while I picked at a third muffin. But that is only between you and me.

I didn’t use muffin cups, but just sprayed the muffin tins. You often loose part of the muffin with the paper cups. Besides, then people can count how many you have eaten. (People meaning myself)

I will also give you the streusel recipe. I just sprinkled some sliced almonds on top, almost as an afterthought, to make it prettier and give it a crunch.

Blueberry Muffins


  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, or vegetable oil or a combination of the two
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream, plain yogurt (or maybe blueberry?) or a combination of the two.Or half buttermilk and half yogurt…
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, rinsed and waiting in the strainer in the sink, turning your sink purple.

Streusel topping

  • 3 Tablespoons each brown and white sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Cooking Directions

  1. First, mix the sugars and cinnamon for the streusel. Add the flour, whisk with a fork and then pour in the melted butter, stirring with the fork until it is crumbly. Too wet? Add a teaspoon more flour. Too dry? Add a bit of melted butter. Set aside
  2. Preheat the oven to 375.
  3. Oil a muffin pan or two. This recipe that should have made 12, actually for me made 15 muffins.
  4. In one large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. This means the flour, baking powder and soda and the cinnamon. (Not the sugar).
  5. In another bowl, put the fats (oil and/or butter) the sugar (also considered a liquid) the egg and yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk. (Todays was a matter of finishing off the yogurt and topping it off with a little buttermilk. I had the sour cream on stand-by but didn’t need it.)
  6. At this time, I, using frozen blueberries, mixed them in with the dry flour mixture.This way the flour helped absorb some of the wet from the thawing blueberries. I did not want to add them to the wet bowl because it would turn the batter grey.
  7. Now mix the wet and dry together. Mix just until the dry does not show and the batter comes together. There will be lumps, thats okay. Of course the lumps could be blueberries. Either way, lumps are okay, while over mixing is not okay. Mixing too much toughens up the muffins.
  8. I use a Pampered Chef scoop to dish them into the muffin cups. Fill the cups up.
  9. Then put the streusel topping on top with a small spoon. Pat it a bit.
  10. Top with a sprinkle of sliced almonds.
  11. Pop into the oven and wait about 18-20 minutes. When you can poke a toothpick in and it comes out fairly clean, they are done.
  12. Remove them from the oven and remove as soon as possible from the pan. Best served warm. Then great when cold. Wonderful the next day.

Now that I am thinking on it, why didn’t the dog bark or the chickens act weird? So much for animal intuition.

Breakfast Kabobs

Really, sometimes I wonder why I try.

Don’t you feel like that sometimes?

Someone, who shall remain nameless, says maybe we should go off bread for a while, to lose some weight. So I go out of my way to find breadless meals. And what does he do? Makes himself toast to go with it!

Guess he hasn’t figured out toast is bread. Or does toasting take the carbs out of it?

Anyhow, I wanted to share this easy and yummy little breakfast that can be adapted to whatever is in your fridge or what sounds good. I used my grill pan to heat it up. I happened to have breakfast sausage, but ham or smoked sausage would work too. How about peaches instead of pineapple? Or cantaloupe? We also had some pricy, fancy, sliced-so-thin-it-was-almost-invisible prosciutto. But I thought this a cute idea, whoever came up with it. I found a picture of it somewhere and used it. You don’t think I thought of this myself do you? HA, course not silly.

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I just rummaged through our fridge and found zuchinni, onions, tomatoes, sausage and, in a bowl on the table, a big ol’ pineapple waiting to be (gulp) chopped up. Oh, and I added some of that almost invisible prosciutto. I precooked by sauteing, the zucchini and onion. Just a little. Too much and it would not hold up to being speared.

I just cooked the sausage, speared it all together and grilled it on the grill pan to warm it.

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There, a gluten free breakfast. Made some home fries to go with it all, to fill him up. No toast this time around!

Not like this breakfast…


Good morning!!!
Good morning!!!


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Fat Tuesday/Skinny Ash Wednesday- Wonderful Waffles

Well, yesterday, for those who missed it, was “Shrove Tuesday” otherwise known as “Fat Tuesday” otherwise known as “Mardi Gras”. A time to empty out the fridge, eat up all your meats, use up all you milk and butter and eggs before Lent starts, which is today.

After today all you eat is sticks and grass and dirt pretty much. At least in the old days.

I used to wonder why the boy scouts always had a fundraiser pancake dinner on Shrove Tuesday every darn year. Pancakes and eggs. Now I get it. Even I-HOP has a fundraising Fat Tuesday pancake special.

So I get pancakes. But lets throw in some steak, ham and eggs, bacon and sausage, etc. After all, this is supposed to be your last culinary fling!

And let’s have the pancakes look a lot like waffles.

NOW we’re talking Fat Tuesday!

Well, we didn’t have the steak, ham and eggs, but I made some pretty amazing waffles, covered in diced pecans, whip cream and blueberries and topped with organic maple syrup we are trying from Costco. Usually we are loyal Trader Joes maple syrup customers. We love their grade B maple syrup, even if it is $13.99 per 24 oz. bottle. We just ration it out, make it last and use it to the last drop. (I may have occasionally been caught licking the lid to the bottle to get out the very last drop before tossing it.)

And we did do the sausage and bacon. But you don’t need those recipes.

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I-HOP at home! Not the best photo. I actually took this this morning, toasting up some leftover waffles and making this for one of my kids that missed dinner last night.Still YUM!

What you need is this amazing buttermilk waffle recipe! So here is is, the recipe I found in an old Taste of Home,  issue and it got raves from the family. This will now be my go-to waffle recipe. Well, I will go to it the whole 1 or 2 times a year I make it. So we don’t mind it being very rich. (Oh, I have to mention, I didn’t have a whole 2 cups of buttermilk, so I substituted 1 cup buttermilk, added a large blob of sour cream, maybe 1/3 cup to it and filled it up to the 2 cup mark with milk.)

Wonderful Buttermilk Waffles


  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (1 cube)

Cooking Directions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs until light.Add buttermilk and mix well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (or visa versa, depending on which is in the biggest bowl) and mix until smooth.
  4. Stir in the butter.
  5. Now pour out into your waffle irons and bake away. You might want to add diced pecans to each waffle after it is poured into the iron to add some crunch. I added ours on top.
  6. bon appetit!