Now in the Recipe Box: Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Cake.jpg

When it comes to birthdays, sometimes you just gotta go full boar. Or fully decadent, I should say. As in, Paula Deen-style decadence with not a whit of worry about calories, sugar, fat, and so forth. This Caramel Apple Cake I made for my eldest daughter’s birthday goes beyond simply being Paula Deen style; it’s an authentic Paula Deen creation—which she calls Caramel Apple Spice Cake—culled from a recent issue of Cooking With Paula Deen magazine and slightly altered by me. So delicious, so decadent… as birthday cakes should be.

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Now in the Recipe Box: Berry Snack Cake

Berry Snack Cake.jpg

This Berry Snack Cake is a sweet way to close out the summer. Or for serving during any season. The choice of berry is up to you—and what's in season. I've made it with strawberries and blueberries; blackberries are on tap for next time. It's good soon after cooling or cold from the fridge, with whipped cream, ice cream, or no cream at all. Bottom line: It's berry, berry delicious... and versatile.

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Just added to the Recipe Box: Strawberry Muffins


I am an unabashed sucker for strawberries. You, too? Then you will surely love my scrumptious strawberry muffins. 

These breakfast time—or any time—goodies are sweet but not too sweet, simple, and made from scratch using everyday ingredients most cooks have readily on hand. And they're chock full of fresh, flavorful fruit. (Which makes them healthy, right? Meh... close enough for me!)

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Now in the Recipe Box: Low-Carb, Low-Sugar Blueberry Muffins

low carb low sugar blueberry muffins.jpg

Learning how to cut the sugar, cut the carbs has a steep learning curve, let me tell ya. After 35+ years of loving all things sugary, white, carb filled (and scrumptious... though unhealthy as all get-out), I'm struggling to find healthier foods we actually enjoy eating. 

I finally found success with these scrumptious muffins. The secret: almond flour, Splenda, and coconut oil. The surprise: My husband raved about the taste without me even prodding. Success indeed!

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Social media success: Cast iron skillet pizza

Social media success: Cast iron skillet pizza

Sunday dinners at my place usually feature food of a relatively traditional sort. Not massive spreads, by any means, but certainly not pizza.


This past Sunday Jim and I were busy all day (messing around on, I confess) and by the time dinner needed fixin' I didn't feel like fixing it. Yet we've resolved to cut down on our dining — and ordering — out, which meant I had to come up with something on which we could sup.

So I turned to a relatively new addition to my...

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Now in the Recipe Box: Best Basic Brownies

basic brownies from scratch

Over the past three decades or so, I've tried and tweaked more brownie recipes than I can count. They never turn out the way I want. Too dry. Too mushy. Too hard around the edges. Too much trouble. Then along came a recipe that was close and after a few tweaks resulted in just what I hoped for: the best basic brownies. This is my tweaked recipe. It's... Continue reading in the Recipe Box.

Just added to the Recipe Box: Shortbread Cookies

I love those shortbread/butter cookies you get in a tin around the holidays. These cookies are the closest thing I've found to the store bought. So, so good. And so, so addicting. Try them yourself. I think you'll agree. Find them (well, the recipe for them) in my Recipe Box.

Just call me Violet

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI've been feeling rather Violet Beauregarde-ish this past week. You all know Violet; she's the snarky little cuss from Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (and Charlie and the same) who disregards warnings to not eat the still-in-experimental-stage blueberry gum and in nabbing and noshing on a piece, swells into a giant blueberry in danger of exploding.

I myself feel like I've swollen into a giant blueberry and am in danger of exploding. The reason for my blue state: Blueberries were on sale this past week. At an incredible price. For pounds -- I said POUNDS, not PINTs -- of the little balls o' goodness. And I couldn't resist.

I have fond memories of blueberries as a kid. Often during summertime visits to my paternal grandparents, the visit would include picking wild blueberries. Each of us kids would be handed a gallon ice cream pail, the plastic ones with a metal handle, and sent off into the woods to fill it with blueberries. And fill it we would, with mounds and mounds of berries, returning the bucket to Grandma and getting a big smile of thanks in return.

To be honest, I don't remember any specific food bearing the berries in the days that followed, only the picking of them. And nibbling berry after berry while filling the bucket. There was no shortage of berries, no need to temper the sampling as they were dropped into the bucket.

You won't find such blueberry abundance where I live now, won't find me out picking them as there wouldn't be enough to fill even pint-size ice-cream containers. So I buy them from the grocery store. And this week I bought lots -- pounds, in fact.

And I have eaten pounds. I've had blueberries on my Cheerios every morning for breakfast. Blueberries with my lunch. Blueberries for morning snack, blueberries for afternoon snack. And each time I'd open the refrigerater for any reason at all, I'd pop a small handful of blueberries into my mouth, just because they were there.

I also made blueberry cobbler, an altered version of "Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler" from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. It was divine. I strongly urge you to go buy some blueberries while they're on sale -- or pick a pound or two if you're so fortunate as to live in such a place that picking is an option -- and give this cobbler a try. Just beware: You may not be able to resist the urge to gobble the entire dish yourself, placing you in a Violet Beauregarde-ish state similar to mine. But you and I, unfortunately, aren't likely to have a team of oompah loompahs rush in to rescue us from our explosive fates.

Blueberry Cobbler

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, melted

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the sugar with the flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the top. Bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top and return to oven; bake 10 more minutes.

Serve warm, topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Today's question:

What's your favorite summertime fruit dish? Feel free to share the recipe in your comment.