Happy New Year

Woke to no heat.  Thankfully it was in the 30’s this morning.  I woke up about 3 am to pee, good thing this was not a “hangover” day for me.  I noticed it felt cold but too lazy to walk to the next room to “turn up the heat” which is what I thought was wrong.  Went right back to bed shivering.  I woke a couple of hours later colder, went to turn it up and felt the radiator cold as ice.


It went out a few times last year.  We have an old boiler in the building but last year after new management took over, my heat has not only gone out once in a while, it’s not as warm as it used to be.  I have not seen the heating & cooling people out here for a while now, maybe saving money.  I have a space heater I turned on and made some hot coffee to warm myself after dressing myself in layers and then wrapping myself in a blanket fleece robe.

I waited for a while to call the caretaker, being a Holiday and all.  At 10 am when it was still out he said he had gotten other complaints and restarted the boiler again.  That was cause for celebration indeed.  Another slice of “better than sex” cake!

It’s alive!

Warm is good.  Cold bad.

Happy Halloween 2018

I’m not very happy.  I am sicker today and so are some of my family members, one actually in the hospital as of this morning.  This is a devilish time of year for us for sure.

I’m sharing various Halloween pictures and images of days gone by.  I never made many of my children’s Halloween Parades due to work but I did try to schedule this off as many years as I could.  You have to be fair to the other mothers you work with.I really miss when kids ran around with fake weapons and no one batted an eyelash until evil started spreading like wildfire.  Also, boys actually could be boys.

One year I took my kids & their friends to a really fun family themed haunted forest in a park nearby.  You walked part of the way and then enjoyed a Hayride back for warm apple cider and donuts!  This was the only picture I took of a Zombie Elvis & his band.  Yes that is a mannequin directly behind him. 

These are some wax horror figures from the Niagara Falls, Canada Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum from many years ago.


Daily Prompt: It’s a Fact

I like to bake to calm myself down.

Yesterday’s blog post was very cathartic for me and I was so happy to finally release some of my true feelings into the universe.  Just because someone’s truth is not pleasant does not mean that they should bury it inside feeling shame for things they could not control and did not want.  It’s one thing to harp on things another to finally state the facts.

So last night I wanted to use up the rest of my sour cream before it goes bad and found this great recipe that I divided in half and changed ever so slightly to lower the sugar and sodium content.  It was from my vintage Betty Crocker’s Cookbook that I received as a gift at my wedding shower in 1972.  

The recipe was for Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

This book has been well used through these many years and it shows.  Below is the recipe I prepared because I only wanted one loaf and the recipe above is for two loaves.  I also did not add any additional salt, used low sodium/sodium free baking powder and cake flour instead of all purpose.  If you are using all purpose flour, you only need 1 1/2 cups flour.

To me, less is always more when it comes to ingredients and seasoning.  You have to be careful in baking to have the right fats and leavenings with your binding ingredients but you can play around with recipes to get desired flavor or results.  No recipe is carved in stone so to speak.  Much like the recipe below is not exactly half of the above recipe but it came out great.

When the cake was finished baking in the loaf pan, I microwaved 2 Tbs butter with 1/4 C brown sugar for a few minutes, checking every 30 seconds or so to thicken, then stirred in about 1/2 cup pecan halves to coat.  When the cake was finished I spread it evenly across the top while it was hot and everything set when it cooled.


Po’ Girl’s Applesauce Spice Cake

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Po’ Girl’s Applesauce Spice Cake

1/2 C Butter
3/4 C Dark Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Sift together following dry ingredients:
1 3/4 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ginger

1 C Applesauce
1/2 to 1 C Raisins, Currents & or Craisins
1 C Chopped Nuts if desired

Slowly cream together the first four ingredients, then add the dry ingredients till well combined. Incorporate the apple sauce and remaining ingredients into the batter and bake in a greased bundt or tube pan at 350° for 45-50 minutes.  Please feel free to adjust the spices as well as adding any of the fruit.  You could try chopped plums, apples or leave the fruit and nuts out altogether and it will still be delicious!

The Usual Makeshifting of Recipes

The Cake of Many Flavors

Big mistake.  I love to take creative license with almost every recipe I use, when I use one.  This time it was a bad idea, but cook & learn. 

I started making a banana bread, did not have nuts.  I thought, “What would Elvis do?”  I added a half cup of peanut butter.  Then thought, “Chocolate & bananas, good, chocolate and peanut butter, good” so I added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder.  I had about 1/2 cup of freshly homemade strawberry syrup in the fridge without any long-term plans, added that as well.  Need to add that I use less sugar then the recipes call for when I bake to lessen SUGAR SHOCK!  Needless to say, it was disappointing.  Not horrible, but confusing.  After I tried a couple of sad bites.  I tried to figure out what the problem was, but decided it was because one bite you could slightly taste peanut butter, the next bite you could just taste some strawberry, maybe if you tried real hard.  So decided I had too many flavors combined to have anyone taste really stand out and with the semi-sweetness, eatable but very mediocre.  Whoops, forgot about the yogurt to replace half of the oil and the cup of whole wheat flour. 

Put most in the freezer, will not share this one with anybody.  If I get a desperate sweet attack, I can take a piece out of the freezer to prevent me from making an ice cream run.  Needless to say I am not posting the recipe.

Ingredients for the Cake of Many Flavors
Putting it in to bake.

Had Better Luck with Chicken and Pasta  The original recipe was Penne with Chicken and Mushrooms, which consisted of: 1 oz butter, 1 Tb of olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 2.5 oz prosciutto, 9 oz chicken, any meat, 4.5 oz sliced mushrooms, 1 peeled & sliced tomato, 1 Tb tomato paste, 1/2 C white wine, 1 C cream, served on 1 lb penne pasta.My recipe consisted of: 1 med sliced onion, 1 can of cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom), 1/2 C white wine, 1/2 C milk, 1/2 C water, 2 Tb tomato paste, 1 lb of chicken, 1/4 C parmesan & romano cheese, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder on 1 lb of bowtie or farfalle pasta.  Technically it is probably a completely different chicken pasta recipe, but the original gave me the idea for mine.  Thankfully, no pictures.  Made another chicken & pasta dish with mushrooms a few weeks ago with similar ingredients, no tomato paste or onions and substituted the bowtie pasta with whole wheat capellini.  Again used the cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom which could have been used.

Chicken and Mushrooms with whole wheat pasta