There’s nothing like a good recipe. The problem is everywhere you look there’s a good recipe!  Now I have so many recipes unless I am very careful and put them in a labeled envelope they are lost in my vast collection.  My most treasured recipes are the ones that were passed down from my mother.  We never baked or cooked together.  I wasn’t interested and I don’t think she would have liked me making a mess in her kitchen.  She always told me to go out and have fun because I would have plenty of time to cook, clean and wash when I had my own home.  She was right!  After a few years of being married I knew I was a doing OK when my father-in-law, who was not one to give compliments, said in front of the whole family he was glad his son married a good cook! 

My younger daughter Kristen watched Food Network instead of cartoons.  As she got older I encouraged her watch me work in the kitchen.  I am so proud of her today because she can cook and bake anything I can-only better.  Now after all of these years, I can hand her a recipe and she’ll whip it up!  Here are some of our favorite recipes.  Please let me know how you like them and if you are looking for a special recipe because chances are I have it if I can find it!  Watch for seasonal recipes too!


JoAnn's Apple Crisp

Before I was married my friend JoAnn gave me this recipe.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  This apple crisp is the first thing I make as soon as fresh apples are in season.   My family and I love this recipe so much we have this at Thanksgiving instead of apple pie.  The only thing missing is the crust and we get plenty of that with the pumpkin and mincemeat pies.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
8x8 ungreased Pyrex glass baking dish or baking pan
Bake – 1 hour or until apples are soft and crisp is golden

6 medium-sized sliced and peeled apples (I like to use Empire, Cortland or any type of baking apple)
in a bowl add some sugar and cinnamon (just enough sugar to coat and I like to go heavier on the cinnamon) and toss - set aside

In a bowl, mix:
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/3 teaspoon of salt - just a little!

1. To make the crisp: melt 1 stick of butter. Drizzle over dry ingredients, break with fork.
2. Put apples in pan, then crisp
Note:  The raw apples will be piled high in the pan but as they bake and soften they will go down to just about level with the pan.   Delicious with whipped cream and/or french vanilla ice cream!


Linda Mandy's Cherry Squares

When I was in elementary school my mother bought one of the recipe books the PTA sold.  In it was this great recipe.  My mother was known for this recipe.  When she was asked to bring something she was told to bring these.  They are perfect to bring to a summer picnic or holiday potluck.  When cooled, I refrigerate them before cutting so the filling won't run.  If I am not packing them up to take somewhere I cut them into cupcake size decorative papers so they become finger food.  If serving them at home I always have vanilla ice cream on hand.   

8X8 sprayed pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bake - 3/4 hour

For the Cobbler:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 beaten egg

Cherry Pie filling - (Comstock)

1. Pour half of cobbler mixture on bottom of pan
2. Layer Cherry Pie filling over cobbler
3. Pour the rest of the crisp on top of cherry pie filling

Cool and cut into squares. Refrigerating it for a bit first makes it easier to cut.

These squares are great to bring to picnics or parties.  I recommend buying festive cupcake liners and cutting the squares to fit in the liners. 
If you are enjoying them at home they are a special treat served with vanilla ice cream!


French Toast

The secret to making fat puffy slices of french toast is the bread.  I use thick sliced country white.  Adjust the following ingredients depending on how many slices of bread you are using.

In a bowl whisk together:

4-6 eggs (depending on amount of bread)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Place a slice of bread in the bowl for a few seconds and then turn to coat.  Leave for a few seconds so the inside is thoroughly saturated.  Repeat with remaining slices of bread. Spray a large frying pan with vegetable spray, and place slices.  Watch stove to make sure bread doesn't burn.  Turn when face down slices are a nice brown.  Cover.  This will make the toast puffy and light (do the same for omelettes)!  When toast is golden brown on both sides remove from skillet and sprinkle with Confectionery sugar.  Please don't use store bought maple syrup.  If you can't buy pure maple syrup at a specialty shop order it from LL Bean.


Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

My mother found this recipe years and years ago.  Growing up this was always our birthday cake.  As always if she brought this cake anywhere she was asked for the recipe.  It is light and tender.  I love it because it is so easy to make and you can never mess it up.  The rich creamy frosting is truly the "icing on the cake"!  Now it is not only our favorite birthday cake recipe it is our go-to chocolate cake recipe.  It makes a perfect sheet cake for a party! 

Skill Level: Beginner
Prep Time: 15 Minutes


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2  eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)


1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


Blueberry Breakfast Cake

This is a perfect summer dessert.  I served it with a big pitcher of lemonade to my writing group last time we met at my house and of course we had seconds and everyone wanted the recipe!


Double Chocolate Brownies

No exception these are the ONLY brownies we make!


Father Joe's Favorite Potato Salad

The relish and parsley in this recipe make it really special.  I add slices of hard boiled egg sprinkled with paprika to make it a classic.

Cheese and Anise Seed Quick Bread

We love this bread!  I always double the recipe and bake it in a 13 X 9 pan.  It is a perfect appetizer paired with a full bodied Cabernet.  Before Happy Hour on Sunday night I cut a big square and lightly spray the bottom with olive oil spray.  I put the toaster oven on broil and let it brown.  Then  flip it and spray olive oil on the top and broil until that side is golden brown.  Cut into little squares and wrap it up in foil so it stays warm.  Sometimes Happy Hour is extended!


Mom's Pound Cake

This is another tried and true recipe from my mother.  I remember her always baking this pound cake.  It is perfect in the summer with berries and whipped cream and just as good at holiday time with eggnog.  The addicting secret is the mace!


Easter Bunny Cake

For the past 21 years this has been our Easter Cake.  Once you make it it becomes a tradition and Easter wouldn't be the same without it.


Martha Stewart's Angel Food Cake

     SERVINGS: 12
·         1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (not self-rising)
·         1 1/2 cups granulated sugar - 1 1/4 cups works just as well.
·         12 egg whites - crack eggs, separate and let sit on counter for 30 min. covering bowl with saran wrap.  This is the secret to the amazing rise.
·         1 tablespoon warm water
·         1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
·         1 teaspoon cream of tartar
·         1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degress, with rack in lower third of the oven. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Repeat sifting four times.

Beat egg whites and the warm water with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add salt, cream or tartar, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Raise speed to high, and beat until peaks are stiff and glossy (but not dry), about 2 minutes more.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Sift flour mixture over egg-white mixture in six parts, gently folding in each addition with a rubber spatula.

Gently pour batter into a 10-inch tube pan. Run a knife through the batter to release any air bubbles, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes.


Invert pan on a wire rack, and let cake cool about 1 hour. Carefully run a paring knife around side of cake to loosen, then unmold onto the wire rack.

Taste of Home - Orange Sponge Cake Roll

8 ServingsPrep: 25 min. + standing Bake: 15 min. + chilling
  • 7 egg whites
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1-1/4 cups orange marmalade or apricot spreadable fruit - I used apricot preserves. I ground almonds (no set amount) and put them in the filling and saved some for the topping. Confectioners sugar on top.
  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; coat the paper with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in sugar. Stir in the orange peel, lemon juice and vanilla. Sift flour and salt together twice; gradually add to yolk mixture and mix well (batter will be very thick).
  • In a large bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into batter. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  • Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Unroll cake; spread marmalade evenly over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again. Place seam side down on a serving platter.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Dust with remaining confectioners' sugar. Garnish with orange peel strips if desired.
  • Yield: 8 servings
    Nutrition Facts: One slice equals 230 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 106 mg cholesterol, 89 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fruit.

    Petit Chef
                                                                      By: Mishapratheesh

     Eggless Lemon Cake

    Eggless lemon cake

    Number of serving: 4

    Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

    Cook time: 25 minute(s)

    Difficulty: Easy


    All-purpose flour – 1 1/2 cup
    Baking powder – 1 tsp
    Baking soda – 3/4 tsp
    Salt – 1/4 tsp
    Sugar – 1 cup (we used a little more than 3/4 cup) Oil – 1/3 cup
    Lemon juice and zest – from 1 lemon (zest is about 1 T) Yogurt – 3/4 cup
    Warm water/ milk – 1/2 cup (we used 1% milk)

    step 1
    Preheat oven to 180 (350) degree C. Grease and line a baking tin with parchment paper and set aside.
    Mix together yogurt and baking soda and leave to bubble up.
    Meanwhile, sieve together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

    step 2

    In another bowl mix together oil, sugar, lemon juice and zest and pour this mixture into the dry ingredients.
    Also add the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients.

    step 3

    Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon combine the ingredients together until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Now pour the warm water/milk and combine well. You may also use a mixer for this.

    step 4

    Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 mins or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

    Leave to cool completely before slicing.


    King Arthur
    pumpkin gingerbread with orange glaze

    You can either make this gingerbread as a loaf or muffins or 9X9 baking pan. Either way, the orange glaze adds the perfect finishing touch! 

    3/4 cup (6 ounces) butter or vegetable shortening
    1 1/4 cup (9 ounces) brown sugar
    2 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/3 cup (2 ounces) crystallized ginger, minced
    1/2 cup diced pecans or chocolate chips (optional)
    3 large eggs
    2 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) molasses
    1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
    Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare your pans -- grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans for loaves; if you're making muffins, grease 24 muffin cups or line them with muffin papers or 9 x 9 baking pan.

    Mix: In a large bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, ginger, and nuts, if you're using them, then mix well -- the batter will look crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in both the molasses and the pumpkin until they are evenly distributed. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips, if you're using them. Scoop the batter into the greased loaf pans or the muffin cups -- filling the cups about 2/3 full.

    Bake: Bake the muffins in the preheated 350°F oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are lightly browned on the edges and the middle springs back when touched. Bake the loaves at the same temperature for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

    Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan(s). Let it cool a bit then glaze, if you like (see below). Yield: 2 loaves or 24 muffins.

    Orange Glaze
    1 1/4 cup (5 ounces) confectioners' sugar
    1/8 teaspoon tangerine oil or orange oil OR 1 tablespoon orange zest
    2 tablespoons (1 ounce) water or milk
    In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all the glaze ingredients until smooth, adding additional liquid, a bit at a time, until the glaze has the consistency of molasses or will drizzle from a spoon in a long strand.


      Pumpkin Dip

    This is the easiest recipe I have ever made!  I've made it twice so far and will make it again before the season is over!

    1 can pumpkin 
    1 package Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I added a little more for extra flavor)
    1 16 oz. container of Cool Whip

    Mix pumpkin with dry vanilla pudding mix.  
    Add Pumpkin Pie Spice
    Fold in the whole container of Cool Whip.

    I carved out a small pumpkin and filled it with the dip to make it look festive.  Dip with Ginger Snaps, Graham Crackers, fruit or use  your imagination.  Decorate with Candy Corn and a few spiders.  A 16" disc from I-Party (under$1) and covered with black and orange tissue paper served as a tray.


    Sue's Sugar Cookies 


    venetian cookie bars
    Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
    Cook Time: 10 min
    Oven Temp: 350

    U.S.MetricConversion chart
    • large eggs, separated
    • cup(s) sugar
    • can(s) (7 to 8 ounces) almond paste
    • 1 1/4 cup(s) (2 1/2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
    • teaspoon(s) almond extract
    • cup(s) all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
    • 20 drop(s) red food coloring
    • 20 drop(s) green food coloring
    • jar(s) (12 ounces) apricot preserves, strained
    • 1-ounce squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 15 1/2- by 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pans;* line pans with waxed paper, allowing waxed paper to extend over ends of pans. Grease and flour waxed paper.
    2. In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form; set aside.
    3. In large bowl, with same beaters, and with mixer at medium speed, beat almond paste and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until well blended (there will be some small lumps of almond paste remaining). Reduce speed to medium-low; beat in margarine or butter until blended. Beat in egg yolks and almond extract until blended. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour and salt just until combined.
    4. With rubber spatula, fold egg-white mixture into almond mixture, one-third at a time, until combined.
    5. Remove one-third of batter (about 1 1/2 rounded cups) from large bowl to small bowl. Remove half of remaining batter from large bowl to another small bowl. (You should have equal amounts of batter in each bowl.) Stir red food coloring into 1 bowl of batter until evenly blended. Repeat with green food coloring and another bowl of batter.
    6. Spread white (uncolored) batter in 1 jelly-roll pan. With metal spatula (offset, if possible), spread batter as evenly as possible (layer will be about 1/8 inch thick). Repeat with red batter and another pan. Repeat with green batter and remaining pan.
    7. Bake layers 10 to 13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking time, until layers are just set. It is important to undercook this batter slightly to ensure moist cookie layers. (If you don't have enough oven space for 3 pans, you can bake 2 layers at once, then bake the last layer separately.)
    8. Let layers cool slightly in pans on wire racks, about 5 minutes. Invert layers onto racks, leaving waxed paper attached; cool completely.
    9. When all 3 layers are cooled, remove waxed paper from green layer. Place green layer on serving tray or platter; spread with half of apricot preserves. Place white layer on top of green layer, waxed-paper side up; remove waxed paper. Spread with remaining apricot preserves. Place red layer on top of white layer; remove waxed paper.
    10. With serrated knife, trim edges (about 1/4 inch from each side). Spread melted chocolate on top of red layer (not on sides); refrigerate until chocolate is firm, at least 1 hour. If you like, after chocolate has set, cover and refrigerate stacked layers up to 3 days before cutting and serving.
    11. To serve, cut stacked layers lengthwise into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 12 small rectangles. Store cookies in tightly covered container, with waxed paper between layers, in refrigerator.

    Tips & Techniques
    *If you have only 1 jelly-roll pan, you can still make this recipe. Just bake layers 1 at a time, and be sure to let pan cool completely before reusing.
    My tips:  Bake them in the small foil rectangle pans from the Dollar Store.  There are 2 to a pack so they are 50 cents each.  The batter fits perfectly in these pans and then all you have to do is throw them out after.
    Use a silver knife to spread the batter.
    I use my Cuisinart to help blend the almond paste and sugar because it is very lumpy.
    Bake 8 minutes first and then keep checking because they bake very quickly.
    They store well.  I keep all of my cookies closed tightly on the upper landing of my garage outside my backdoor in the "mud room".

    Read more: Venetian Cookies - Good Housekeeping

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