Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you, and for that I apologize. I don’t know about you, but it has been pretty darn stressful around here. There are some days that I just want to hole up with my family and then there are some days that I hate absolutely everyone and I just want to lay in bed and binge an entire season of The Real Housewives of Anywhere Else. That being said, I’m still cooking most days and you can usually find my current creations on my Instagram Story, but actually writing up a recipe and posting it can be more than my brain can handle. I’m sure you all understand. I will try to do better.

One thing I haven’t slacked on is making some kind of treat for the Emergency Room staff who work with The Boy day in and day out. No matter what is going on with me, no matter how I’m feeling, whether I like The Boy that day or not,  I still push myself to make them something every Saturday to say “THANK YOU” for everything they do. It doesn’t matter how you feel politically, if you are an intelligent human being existing in 2020, you know that we are facing a serious health crisis, and these people put themselves on the line every damn day. Some days are worse than others, for sure, but they never know what is going to walk through those doors from one minute to the next. So if I can make them the best damn Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars they’ll ever taste, by golly I will!!

You should go make some for someone you want to thank, even if that person is you. Especially if that person is you (Read more…)

Super Soft Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

My youngest daughter has  always had a weakness for those brightly frosted, festively sprinkled sugar cookies that they sell at the mega market. You know the ones. There they are, right up at the front of the store, all puffy and fluffy, the frosting and sprinkles reflecting the theme of an upcoming holiday.  I almost bought some for her recently and I stopped myself.  I’m a baker.  Surely I can recreate a sugar cookie! But I’m also inherently lazy.  I mean, I’m always moving, but I don’t want to do more than necessary to get a job done (work smarter, not harder.) I didn’t want to make a dough that had to be chilled, rolled out, and cut out… ugh 😩 so much to do before cookie eating time. So, I took the idea of a frosted sugar cookie and turned it into Super Soft Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars!  Less work, no need to chill or roll or cut, just press the dough into a pan and bake to deliciousness! (Read more…)

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again: A cupcake is the perfect food.  It’s compact, portable, portion controlled by design, and, in a pinch, it’s breakfast!  I mean, it has wheat AND dairy, just like a bowl of cereal!  You’re welcome 😉  And here, I’m adding a legume topping: Peanut butter frosting!   Get on board with my new food pyramid.  The view is great from the top! (Read more…)

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


I grew up a child of the 60’s and 70’s, a time when fresh baked pastries meant whacking a tube of Pillsbury  Cinnamon Rolls on the edge of the kitchen counter and hearing the sudden POP that meant sticky goodness was only 13-17 minutes away!  If you didn’t eat the frosting out of the little plastic tub while you were waiting.  Which I usually did.  It wasn’t enough to cover all the cinnamon rolls anyway, so…

But I’ve been a grown up for awhile now and, although Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls are delicious (still not enough frosting though tbh), it was long past time I learned how to make my own cinnamon rolls.  This recipe is basically a  cinnamony brioche dough slathered in butter, sugar and more cinnamon, and rolled up and baked into puffy, gooey delights that you can cover in all the frosting your heart desires.  Ain’t nothing wrong with that! (Read more…)

Maple Butterscotch Cookies

I feel like a recurring theme in this blog, and in my life, is things I hated as a kid that I love now.  Butterscotch is one of those things.  To me butterscotch evokes memories of that etched glass candy bowl that all grandmothers had in their living rooms with hard candies in them.  If you were lucky, your grandmother had lemon drops or Jolly Ranchers.  My Grandma Olga Mae kept plastic wrapped butterscotch candies.  😖  In MIssissippi, plastic wrapped meant the plastic was perma-stuck to the now sticky, overly sweet, weirdly savory tasting candy. Poor eight year old me.  Fast forward many, many (many) years to randomly hearing someone on TV say that the quick cheater caramel I’ve always made with brown sugar, butter, and cream is actually butterscotch?! 🤯  You mean butterscotch isn’t that sickly sweet little sticky disc Olga Mae kept in that bowl for years on end?  So when I saw a bag of Nestlé Butterscotch Morsels, I instantly wanted to try them!  And what better way then to add them to a cookie?  A rich Fall Maple Butterscotch cookie!!  No sticky plastic wrapping required. (Read more…)

Halloween Candy Cookies

When I was a kid, eating my Halloween candy was a science.  I divided my stash into groups: 1. Eat right away, 2. Not as good, eat anyway, and 3. Raisins.  Right?  Sometimes I’d have the wisdom to save one or two “eat right away” candies for the end, like dessert candy.  Not usually.  Sorting and eating usually took place within 12-24 hours max.  On the other hand, my big brother hoarded his candy, doling it out to himself so slowly that he would still have candy left THE NEXT HALLOWEEN 😱.  And he didn’t share.  He gleefully didn’t share 😠.  Anyway, I’m totally over that.  As I’ve matured 😉, I eat less candy and it lasts much longer.  Also, my kids are grown, we don’t get as many kids ringing our bell on Halloween, and I have too much candy leftover at the end of the night.  Enter my Halloween Candy Cookies.  Even the “not as good” candies are given a new and exciting life inside of a cookie!  (Read more…)

Mixed Fruit Buttermilk Bundt Cake

I have served my children cake for breakfast because I am a good parent and I am not a hypocrite.  Sometimes I’d be too tired to make breakfast in the morning, so I would eat cake.  And because I tried to raise my children to be honest and fair, I would let them eat cake too.  Because good parenting.  Judge me if you want, but cake is essentially eggs, wheat, and dairy, all of which are included in most balanced breakfasts, so fight me on this 💪 This cake also has fruit in it, so tell me that’s not breakfast! Go ahead!  Oh wait, you can’t.  Totally breakfast.  Also, cake is dessert, so I have also saved time and I am winning at life.  Two birds, one cake.  You, too, can win at life with this recipe. (Read more…)

Rosemary-Garlic Focaccia Bread

In my mind, there is a bread hierarchy.  What?!  Yes.  I’ll say it again – there is a bread hierarchy.  If you are part of an Italian-American family (I married into this madness) and you’re having a bowl of pasta with meatballs and marinara, you need a nice hunk of crusty bread to sop up the extra sauce and to move the noodles onto your fork (don’t get me started on using a spoon to twirl the noodles. They almost cast me out of the family for that 🙄).  White Italian or crusty semolina, maybe a hard roll in the morning – these were the breads of my husband’s childhood dinner table.  I ate the bread.  I liked the bread.  But I had never heard of or even seen the ultimate Italian bread until we moved away from the family.  We went to a beautiful little Italian restaurant in Oregon, and they gave us slices of light airy bread, sprinkled with bits of rosemary, and served with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a dish on the side (not a truly Italian way to serve it, but when NOT in Rome…).  This was definitely not the bread my Mother-in-law had on her table.  This was FANCY bread.  Going out to dinner bread.  Bread that would disappear from our table in just a few minutes, leaving a sad crumb filled basket on our table and little girls staring up at the waiter, with big eyes, looking all Dickensian, “Please sir.  I want some more.”  This was Focaccia. (Read more…)

Coconut and Lemon Curd Cake

I grew up in The South (capitalization on purpose). I was born in Chattahoochee County, Georgia, lived most of my life in South Texas, and often visited my Grandma Olga Mae in Noxubee County, Mississippi. The South. One of my fondest memories is sitting on the screen porch of my Dad’s house on Broad Street during a summer rainstorm. I remember listening to the sound of the rain and feeling the light spray of mist coming through the screen. I remember watching the lightning flash and counting down the thunder.  I remember playing board games, drinking sweet tea, and eating coconut cake. This is my taste of The South.  (Read more…)

Freshly Ground Breakfast Sausage

ground sausage

Some of my recipes involve making something you can easily buy in your local Mega Market.  “Why?!” you might ask.  “Because I can!” is my first response.  You know how some (weird) people will climb on top of high things, and then jump off of them with large rubber bands or flimsy silkworm excreted cloth attached to their extremely mortal bodies?  “Because they can?!”  “Because it’s there?!”  That’s how I feel about making certain foods from scratch.  The challenge is there and I rise to meet it!  

Also, to be honest, as a Type 2 Diabetic, I am aware of what I’m putting in my body at all times.  It isn’t just sugar or carbs I’m looking at, but the amount, the type, the artificial ingredients and chemicals.  In my opinion, it can’t be a bad thing to be in charge of what I’m ingesting.  I make good choices, I make… less good choices, BUT I make those choices with my eyes wide open! And today I choose to make SAUSAGE! (Read more…)