Monday, November 18, 2019


Happy Birthday, Mickey! Today Mickey Mouse is 91 years old. Last year on Mickey's 90th birthday, Oreo released Limited-Edition Birthday Cake Flavor cookies. Not sure they're still making them, but I did see them for sale on Amazon and eBay. What's the shelf-life of Oreos?

Mickey Mouse made his debut in the Disney cartoon Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928. The Oreo Birthday Cake Flavor Cookies have cake-flavored creme filling with fun colored spriknles and the chocolate wafers have three different designs: one with the mouse wearing a party hat and the others are a party horn and the number 90. The packaging is also a retro-styled image of Mickie that harkens back to Steamboat Willie.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


Today is National Homemade Bread Day. I could make a good loaf of Sourdough Chocolate Cherry Bread, but I don't want to wait that long (yeast, kneading, rising, etc). I plan to make one of my go-to recipes for a quick bread: Double Chocolate Banana Bread. Recipe adapted from Hershey's Kitchens. As always, use the very best chocolate and cocoa for the best flavor.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch Process Cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Dark Chocolate Chopped, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, add softened butter, brown sugar, and white sugar and beat until combined. Add egg, vanilla, bananas, and sour cream and continue to beat until mixture is smooth.
In separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir until well combined. Mix in half of dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and evenly sprinkle remaining dark chocolate chips over loaf.
Bake for 65–70 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
NOTE: you might get a bit of chocolate on your toothpick; make sure you insert the toothpick where there are no chocolate chips.
Remove loaf pan from oven and let cool completely. Run knife around the edges of the bread and invert onto cutting board.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


No time to make a Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving? Make these easy Pecan Pie Truffles. Great for dessert or as a gift for your host! Recipe adapted from 2012 issue of Southern Living for Kentucky Derby Truffles! As always, use the very best ingredients for the best flavor!


12 ounces dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), chopped
1 -1/2 Tbsp unsalted cold butter, cubed
2 tsp vanilla extract
9 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup good Kentucky Bourbon
1 (5.3 ounce) package pure butter shortbread cookies, crushed (I use Walker's)
2 cups finely chopped roasted, salted pecans

Combine first 3 ingredients in large glass bowl. Cook cream and bourbon in small saucepan over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is hot but not boiling. (Mixture will steam, and bubbles will form around edge of pan.) Pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute.

Stir chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. (If mixture doesn't melt completely, microwave on HIGH 30 seconds.) Stir in crushed cookies. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm.

Shape into 1-inch balls (about 2 tsp per ball). Roll in chopped pecans. Place on wax or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Chill 1 hour. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Friday, November 15, 2019


Today is National Bundt Day. According to Nordic Ware, the original makers of the Bundt Pan, "if there is a kitchen in the home, there is a Bundt pan." Even if there's not one in your pantry, I think my kitchen makes up the difference. I have all kinds of bundt pans. I find the shapes so versatile and fun. I'm always buying unique bundt pans at the Flea Market or the White Elephant Sale. Because of the popularity of the Bundt pan, Nordic Ware designated November 15 as National Bundt Day several years ago.

Here are some Nordic Ware Pumpkin Bundt Pans for Thanksgiving!

Nordic Ware: Great Pumpkin Bundt Pan
And in keeping with the National Bundt Day Holiday Spirit, here's a recipe from Sunset Magazine (Charity Ferreira: 2003) for Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake. This marbled bundt cake features two separate batters: chocolate and pumpkin. The original recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but that's optional. The cake is rich enough as it is.


1-1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) sweet butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (I use an all natural canned pumpkin)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup buttermilk

In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape half mixture into another bowl.

To make pumpkin batter: Beat pumpkin into half the butter mixture until well blended. In another bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed or fold in with flexible spatula just until blended.

To make chocolate batter: In another bowl, mix remaining 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cocoa. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the other half of the butter mixture (starting and ending with flour mixture), beating after each addition just until blended.

Spoon half pumpkin batter into a buttered and floured 12-cup bundt-cake pan. Drop half chocolate batter by spoonfuls over (but not entirely covering) the pumpkin batter. Repeat to spoon remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters into pan. Gently run the blade of a butter knife around the center of the pan several times, then draw the knife across the width of the pan in 10 to 12 places to swirl batters.

Bake in 350° regular or 325° convection oven until wood skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto rack, lift off pan, and cool cake completely.
Nordic Ware: Turkey Bundt Pan