Friday, January 18, 2019

HONEY CHOCOLATE PIE: Winnie the Pooh Day

Today is Winnie the Pooh Day. Yes, there's a holiday for everything! Here's a recipe for Honey Chocolate Pie from The Pooh Cook Book by Virginia H. Ellison, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard (1969: Dell Publishing). This Cook Book (yes, two words) is inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.

One of my favorite stuffed animals as a child was Tigger, and I have always been a big honey fan, probably because of the Winnie the Pooh stories. I have honey every day, and perhaps Winnie had allergies, too, and needed his "Hunny."I have found that a teaspoon of local honey every day has alleviated my Spring allergies.

From the Introduction to The Pooh Cook Book:

As a cook you should know that honey is almost twice as sweet as sugar, and yet when you eat it, it doesn't make you want to go on eating sweets. Honey is also healthful, and very good for active people. When used in cooking it keeps food moist and adds a flavor all its won, as you will see when you've made some of the dishes in The Pooh Cook Book. Clover honey is the best all-purpose honey but there are as many flavors, or kinds of honey as there are blossoms on flowers and bushes and trees."


Thursday, January 17, 2019

HOT BUTTERED RUM COCOA: National Hot Buttered Rum Day

Today is National Hot Buttered Rum Day. Here in Northern California it's pretty blustery, rainy, and cold out here, so this is the perfect drink to celebrate the day!

This recipe for Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa is from the Wisconsin Cheese Board (one of my favorite recipe sites!) So many Food associations have great recipes. Be sure and check them out.

If you don't have time to make Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa, you can always celebrate this food holiday with Seattle Chocolates' Hot Buttered Rum Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar. Fabulous! This bar is buttery, smooth with a light hint of rum and toffee crunch in milk chocolate.

Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 cups milk

Combine butter, brown sugar, and seasonings in small bowl, mixing until well-blended.
Drop six spoonfuls onto plastic wrap-lined plate; chill while preparing beverage, then form into balls.
Combine rum, sugar and cocoa in 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute; add milk. Cook until heated through; do not boil.
Pour into six mugs; place one butter ball in each cup.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ULTIMATE FUDGY BROWNIES: Guest Post by Judy Clemens

Who doesn't need another brownie recipe? especially one as good as this? Today I welcome back my mystery writing friend Judy Clemens aka JC Lane. J.C. Lane is the author of the thriller Tag, You’re Dead. Judy also writes mysteries as Judy Clemens, including the Stella Crown series and the Grim Reaper mysteries


Brownies are a staple in the dessert world. They’re great for potlucks, birthdays, picnics, Superbowl parties, and casual get-togethers. You can make them from scratch or from a box, with nuts or without, iced or plain. Brownies can be made from milk chocolate or dark, with pieces that are fluffy or flat. All are yummy, and, in the case of boxed versions, can be made by people without much experience in the kitchen. I think we can all agree it’s hard to find a bad brownie!

This recipe, however, kicks most other brownies to the back of the brownie line. I discovered it several years ago, and haven’t found a better recipe since. It’s a bit more complex than most brownie recipes, but very, very worth it. The dessert comes out of the oven moist on the inside, and crispy on the outside. An added bonus is that cut pieces are pretty enough for a dinner party. Whenever I make this recipe for just my family, the entire pan is gone before I can consider what dessert to make next. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ultimate Fudgy Brownies 

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup water
2 3/4 cups (16 oz.) dark chocolate chips, divided
4 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper, letting ends extend up and over sides.

In a large saucepan or in the microwave, combine sugars, butter, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat; add 1 ¾ c. chocolate chips and stir until melted. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until foamy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla; gradually stir in the chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining chocolate chips and the walnuts.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake on a lower oven rack for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Lifting with parchment paper, remove brownies from pan and cut into 16 squares.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019


It's snowy and blustery in much of the U.S. today, so this is the perfect cake to make! Pillsbury used to have a product called Sno Sheen Cake Flour (super-light...for higher, finer cakes). This Retro Advertisement is for Cocoa-Mint Cake.