Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

I realize that I always rant about “real food” and the evils of processed food. I realize that I always encourage you to make everything from scratch. However, I’m about to give you a cake mix that involves boxes and bags and all manner of processes. But as the poet Walt Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” We are allowed to take things back, if only for a while. 


Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

So, you should eat real food and avoid processed food and make everything from scratch, after you make this delicious, moist cake with a dense crumb. Seriously, this cake was moist 5 days after I baked it. I made a Bundt cake in a silicone pan, so you might adjust your cooking times (probably less) if you use standard cake pans or make cupcakes.

Serves: This makes 2 cake layers, 24 cupcakes or a 10 cup Bundt cake
Time:  Active time 10 minutes; Cook: 30-35 Minutes: Cooling time: varies-cake in a few hours
Hardware: Measuring spoons and cups, 2 mixing bowls, mixer, rubber spatulas, a can opener, and a Bundt pan

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (16.5 ounces) I used Duncan Hines Classic Yellow
  • 1 package of caramel instant pudding (3.4 ounces) I used Jell-O Simply Good
  • 1-15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 jumbo eggs
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • Flour/butter for the Bundt pan 
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • Optional: Candied ginger, Candied Maple Pecans

1.      Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour the pan. Set aside. Put the cream cheese out to soften.
2.      Mix the pumpkin, spices, eggs, water and oil until just combined.
3.      Mix in the pudding. Beat on medium for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl.
4.      Beat in the cake mix on low speed for about 30 seconds and high speed for about 2 minutes.
5.      Pour the batter the into prepared pan and bake it, on the middle rack, for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. I found that I need to bake it a little less because I was using a silicone pan. Just know your oven and check the cake after 20 minutes.
6.      Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then cool it completely before frosting.
7.      To make the frosting, mix together the softened cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Then add the milk, a little at a time, until it is the consistency you want. I used sliced candied ginger and Candied Maple Pecans for decoration.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms

Still need another veggie to round out your Thanksgiving meal? I got you! Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms are what you are looking for. You need no skills and no time to make this delicious side dish. If you buy the mushrooms and onions pre-sliced, then you need less than no skills.

You can lean Asian with this by throwing in ¼ cup shredded carrots, tossing in ½ teaspoon of sesame oil with the olive oil and substituting the almonds for a tablespoon of sesame speeds. Replace the soy sauce with balsamic vinegar, add a few cloves of garlic and throw in a couple of sprigs of rosemary (which you will remove before serving) for a little Mediterranean vibe.

But it’s great as is…

Servings:  4-6
Time: Prep: 5 minutes Cooking: 25-30 minutes-green beans in about ½ an hour
Hardware: A cutting board and knife or kitchen shears, measuring spoons and cups, a large mixing bowl, a baking sheet, foil, tongs

  • 6 ounces fresh green beans
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 4 ounces sliced onions
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • Cooking spray

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Cover the baking sheet in foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Wash the green beans and snip off the ends. If you didn’t’ buy the veggies pre-sliced (why?) then wash and slice.
  3. Put the green beans, mushrooms and onions into the mixing bowl and toss with olive oil and soy sauce. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Spread everything out evenly onto the foil and roast for 10 minutes. Toss and roast for 10 more minutes. Toss in the almonds and toast for 5 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown (watch them after 5 minutes, they burn.) Serve warm.