Boston's Freedom Trail and historic North End ~

I was born just over the Zakim bridge in Boston, and I've lived here all of my life.  However, I haven't taken the time to see what millions of people who come from all over the World come to see.  At least not since I was a teen anyway.  Oh, I go into Boston, just don't spend lots of time walking around and really appreciating it's beauty and history.  Last week my sister and I did just that.  We went on a walking/pizza tour of the Freedom Trail and North End.  It was so much fun and we learned a lot.

There are over 100 restaurants in the North End, in just 2 square miles.  Most are quaint and small, but have fabulous food.  The pictures I took are just a sampling of what you will find in this historic part of Boston.

Here's some pictures I took.  Well, this is one that our Tour guide took in front of Paul Revere's House.  You can no longer go inside, but it's a beautiful house even from the outside.

Boston's first building.  You would walk by here with out ever giving it a second glance, never knowing.  Most buildings here are not labeled or marked well.

Our first pizza stop was for a Sicilian slice.  The lines are long even at 11am.  So go early if you are going because this place makes their dough in the morning and once it's all gone, they close.  No hours are posted here.  But it's pretty safe to say, they don't stay beyond 2pm.

A Sicilian slice right out of the oven at Galleria Umberto, well worth the 20 minute wait!

The first Chocolatier and Printer, shops shared each side of the building.  Both are museums now, re-enacting the process for the public for free.  The first chocolate made here was a cocoa of sorts, or an aperitif.

This picture below is not a full view of the Old North Church, because while it's historic, many people still live herer.  And on this day in the neighborhood someone was moving and a big truck was  parked and blocked my view.   It's very beautiful in person though.

I love the story of The skinniest house in Boston.  Andwho knew?  A father left his land equally divided to his two sons.  The older son built the house on the right, leaving no room (or so he thought), for his younger brother to build anything.  But when the older brother went off to War, the younger brother built this narrow house and attached it to his older brother's big house.  The entrance is through the alley, lol!

Our tour guide Anna brought us our second slice of pizza from Regina's Pizzeria.  She said the lines are so long and seating is really tight, so we ate in the Courtyard.  It was a beautiful day a picnic too.  Anna was born and grew up in the North End, but has since moved away.  Her mother still lives there though and she was filled with trivia.

Here is our slice from Regina's.  It was heavenly.  A nice, thin crust with sauce and melty cheese.  I know, melty isn't a real word....  :)

I love window boxes and this house looked so pretty, even with the grate on the window.

The shops are so quaint and the area is pristine.

The neighborhoods do not have any yards, so lots of roof top gardens appear.

Right behind this building to the right, you can see the harbor.  Wouldn't it be so nice to live so close to it?

When you are in the North End, you feel very removed from the City, but if you look down the street, you can see how close we were.

What tour would be complete without a trip to the oldest cemetery?
It's just a park now though....

Our last stop, another tiny spot to have yet another slice of pizza.  This one was the real favorite of my sister's and mine.

We could barely finish it, but it was delicious.  And that ended our day with a big smile and very full stomachs.  

If you are ever in Boston, consider a walking tour.  It was great fun and even better food!   


Pho1 Woburn, Ma. Vietnamese food at it's best...

Yellow curry with pineapple, chicken and vegetables.

Pho Ga ~ A delicious fresh noodle soup with chicken, rice noodles and herbs.

But my absolute favorite dish is Spicy Basil Fried Rice ~

If you are ever near Boston, do give this little gem of a restaurant a try and if not, run to your nearest Vietnamese restaurant.  The food from that Country is outstanding.

Organic Tricolor Quinoa stir fry, easy, healthy & delicious

A couple of years ago, I tried white quinoa and was totally unimpressed.   Although I wanted to have a healthy substitute for rice, quinoa didn't cut it.  No matter what I did, it was not light and fluffy like rice.  It was kind of mushy for me. 

So I decided to try this Organic Tricolor Quinoa from Trader Joe's.  While the white grain is a little softer, the red and black grains are nice and crunchy.  

I do my normal stir fry, just julienne my vegetables to about the same size, and give them a quick stir fry in a wok on high heat.  All you need is a tablespoon of canola oil for your stir fry.

To cook the quinoa, it's almost the same ratio as rice, two to one.  But, there is a difference.  I know this isn't common (or it could be), but I found that after I cooked the quinoa for 15 minutes and drain it in a fine mesh colander, it retains it's integrity and does not get mushy.

So when your vegetables are tender, just add 1/2 cup of the cooked quinoa to your skillet and toss for one minute.  An optional but delicious addition is to add a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil to the finished dish.

If you'd like amounts of vegtables, here they are.  You can mix and match whatever vegetables you have on hand, just keep them about the same size.  You can also add cooked, cubed meat or 1/2 cup of black beans for protein.

1/2 large onion, sliced thinly
1/2 large red pepper, sliced thinly
1 medium zucchini, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 large stalk of celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal

I've joined Foodie Friday today at:


You say Tabbouleh, I say Taboule ~

I was bringing lunch to the beach last weekend for about 6 friends and wanted something that would hold up for the day, or even a few (leftovers are so good).  I decided on this Tabbouleh salad because of it's simplicity and thinking what a refreshing dish for one of my luncheon menu items. I also made Turkey wraps with red leaf lettuce, feta cheese, thinly sliced red onion and sliced fresh tomatoes.  It made a nice lunch and it was so easy to do.  My friends all said they loved it and I told them how easy it was to make.  And I kid you not, because making the turkey wraps took far longer to make, lol!  

I found a recipe with a boxed mix and decided to try it.  So I bought a box of Near East brand and followed the directions on the box (so easy), and while it sat in my fridge for a half hour, I chopped the veggies and made the dressing.

Here's the recipe from the Sunkist site.  I did adapt the amount of the dressing I used.  I cut the olive oil to 1/3 cup and used only the juice of 3 lemons.  Added a teaspoon of salt to the dressing too.  I used this recipe because it called for boxed Tabbouleh/Taboule.


  • 1 box Near East® Taboule mix (5.25 oz)
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh mint (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green onions (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 1/4 cups finely chopped radish (about 1 bunch) * didn't use
  • 2 1/2 cups vine ripened tomatoes (about 4 tomatoes) * I used roma
  • 6 medium Sunkist® Lemons, juiced * I used 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cup extra virgin olive oil * I used 1/3 cup

Instructions: (Makes 4 servings)

  • Follow step #1 of the Taboule mix directions on the box. * I followed the directions on the box and then mixed the rest of the ingredients in.
  • Stir in parsley, mint, green onion, radish (didn't use) and tomatoes.
  • Mix in lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Toss, cover and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Yields:
  • 4 - 6 as a plated appetizer/salad.
  • 6 - 8 servings as part of a multi course sit down meal.
  • 15 - 20 for a pot luck buffet.
*Tip on tomatoes.  No matter what I am doing with fresh tomatoes, I always seed, salt, chop or slice and let drain for about 15 minutes and then pat them dry.  In my opinion it helps make the tomatoes stand up longer in a recipe.


SK's Double Chocolate Banana Bread (adapted)

When I see a post from Smitten Kitchen's blog, my eyes and ears perk up.  And I usually like if not love most of the things that I have chosen to make from her.

This one didn't disappoint either, it's delicious.  It's really a chocolate lover's dessert, while the flavor of the banana shines through. The only change I made was to add chopped walnuts along with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.  After all, what is banana bread without walnuts?  

Here's the link to the recipe:

And here is the picture of it right after I took it out of my oven.

And a picture of it sliced.  Yum!  Oh it's so easy to make too.


Bermuda ~

Getting away on vacation is so nice, doing it on a cruise ship is the best ~

Bermuda is gorgeous, a place to return to again and again.

Sun, surf and pink sand.

A beautiful blue lagoon.

And the most beautiful aqua blue ocean I have ever seen.

Back to reality now.... sigh!


Thai Carrot, Ginger, Apple and Cilantro soup ~

I belong to a board named and get many tips about restaurants, recipes and food in general.  If you haven't heard of it, just google it.

This recipe was submitted by juju, who got it from a cafetaria.  It's her favorite carrot recipe.  I needed a soup for work this week and made this little gem over the weekend.  It caught my eye because I love anything with Thai flavors.

Here's the recipe:

Thai carrot ginger soup:

3 lbs young carrots, peeled and rough chopped
1 lb onions, sliced thinly
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
1 leek sliced thinly, washed
2” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
1 apple, ripe rough chopped with skin
1 stalk lemongrass, whole, bruised with a knife
1/8 lb butter, cubed
1 cup of chicken stock
½ tsp red thai curry paste
1 cup orange juice
½ bunch cilantro chopped
4 cans coconut milk
2 tbsp olive oil
Fish sauce to taste (around 2 Tablespoons)
Lime juice to taste

Add the butter and oil to a heavy bottom stock pot. Turn the heat on low. Add the onions, celery and leeks. Sweat out the onions, celery and leeks until fragrant and soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, ginger and thai curry paste. Mix well and cook for two minutes. Next add the carrots and lemongrass. Cook for five minutes. Add the stock and coconut milk along with the orange juice and apple. Bring to a boil and season again with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Working in batches puree the soup in a blender. When it is smooth add the chopped cilantro and fish sauce and lime juice to taste. It usually only take a tsp of each.

I halved the recipe and it made plenty.  It's really delicious,  thanks juju.


Just peachy chicken thighs, easy week night dinner ~

Oh yes, another chicken recipe.  I know, I know.... But, I really do like chicken thighs and easy recipes, so I played around and came up with this dish.  And I wanted something for a warmer weather meal, and peaches are definitely a summer fruit here. 

Although in this recipe I used peach (all fruit) preserves, peeled, chopped peaches would work just fine I think. Just adjust the sweetness by adding a little brown sugar to the peaches, if not really nice and sweet fruit is available.  Not too sweet though as you want this to be a savory meal mostly.  

6-8 bone in, chicken thighs (fat trimmed)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup peach preserve
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. fish sauce
3 T. olive oil
1 T. kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 T. fresh rosemary, rough chop

Prepare chicken:
Add chicken, rosemary, salt, pepper and 1 T. olive oil in a large bowl, stir to combine.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat.  Add 1/2 chicken thighs, skin side down and brown for about 2-3 minutes.  Turn chicken, and cook for an additional 2 minutes, remove chicken to a plate, set aside.  Repeat with the second half of the chicken pieces.  I do it in batches so the skin gets nice and golden brown.  Remove second batch of chicken to plate and set aside.  Take skillet off of heat and add garlic.  Stir and let garlic get golden, watching that it doesn't burn.  Place skillet back onto burner on medium heat, add wine, stir to deglaze.  Add peach preserve and stir.  Add chicken back into skillet, skin side up, turn to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Turn off stove and add the fish sauce.  Stir to combine.  Served over sugar snap peas or rice, this is a great and quick week night dinner!  Yum ~

Joining Michael Lee West's Foodie Friday today


Easy Rum Cake with Yogurt ~

I keep a box of yellow cake mix in my house for times when I need a dessert yet have little time to do something more labor intensive.  And that usually happens for one of my co-worker's Birthday celebrations 

We've all heard of this cake, it's the one that PW made really famous a few years ago stating it was her MIL's Christmas Rum Cake.  Well, no offense to anyone, but I'm sure her MIL's family got it from the 70's, when everyone was making the cake as it appeared on the bottle of Bacardi Rum.  Anyhow, I believe she may have doctored it a little to call it her own.  No harm done, it's a great little cake.

But the night I went to make it, I didn't have a box of pudding mix in the house and decided to embellish this recipe myself, only in a different way.  I was a little nervous doing it, because I had made this cake for my co-workers before and didn't want a disappointing dessert for the Birthday girl.  Well this version didn't disappoint at all, and it's made with yogurt, which could be a little healthier (or not), too!  Here's the recipe.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a bunt pan with cooking spray.

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cup of plain yogurt (I used Fage)
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
In a large bowl, add all ingredients.  With a hand mixer, blend for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Pour mixture into the bunt pan and smooth with a spatula.  Place in the oven on a rack in middle of oven.  Let bake for 55-60 minutes, until cake is done.  It should be pulling away from sides and spring back when touched.  

When the cake is baking, more so at the end of the baking time, I made the rum glaze.  

1&1/2 sticks of butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup dark rum

Add the butter to a medium sauce pan and on medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the water and sugar and stir.  Bring to a boil, while stirring and cook for 5 minutes.  You can't leave it by itself, as you want to make a caramel sauce/glaze.  Let it cook for the full 5 minutes, keeping the heat on medium high to high.  I cook it on high, while I continually stir with a spatula.  Turn off heat and add rum, continually stirring as well, as it will steam and puff up.  Turn the heat back on for 1 minute and the glaze with be thin and caramel colored.

Remove cake from oven and poke a few holes all over the bottom of the cake, with a cake tester, or a long toothpick.  Then spoon some of the glaze all over the cake, even down the sides and middle tubular part.  Wait five minutes and invert cake onto a cake plate.  With the cake tester or long toothpick, poke lots of hole all over the top and top sides of cake.  Spoon the rest of the glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides.

Let cake cool and marinate for a couple of hours before serving.



Meatless Mondays.....

I've been doing a lot less meat in my dinners lately.  I usually have enough protein by adding legumes instead.  But, this is my favorite vegetarian dinner by far.  It's easy and filling too.  Just delicious.  It takes about 15 minutes for chopping and you can literally add any vegetables you want.  Although, if you have things like broccoli and cauliflower on hand, just blanch them for a minute before stir frying them.

2 cups of chopped or sliced vegetables (kept uniform in size) 
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, diced finely
2 compari tomatoes, or 1 medium tomato, cored and diced
1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice
1 tsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp. of black pepper

My favorite mix of vegetables for this dish are red pepper, mushrooms, pea pods, onion and zucchini.  

Place skillet on stove top, turn to medium heat.  Add oil and let heat until hot and add vegetables, sitr. Turn heat to medium low after 5 minutes.  Add in jalapeno, stir again.  Let cook for another 2 minutes.  Add garlic and toss.  Add chopped tomatoes and turn stove off.  Add rice, salt & pepper, and stir again.  Let sit another minute and transfer to plate.

By the way, this is a very low calorie dinner.  But, by no means does it taste low calorie.  Does it look like you'll be deprived?

It's yummy and filling too~


Make ahead Bacon and Cheese Potato Gratin ~

If you are like me and are having guests for either dinner or a Holiday, you love dishes that you make ahead. And there aren't many successful potato dishes to make ahead though, but this is one of them.  I've made this dish for a few years now, and it works wonderfully!

I bake this dish half way the night before, covered in aluminum foil and then let it cool to refrigerate overnight.  Then take it out of the refrigerator for an hour to let come to room temperature.  Then I place it back in a preheated 350 degree oven, uncovered for 1 hour.  No fussing, no trying to get everything done at the same time.  It fits all of my categories, easy and excellent!  The gruyere and bacon take it over the top too!

I don't recommend doing it more than one day in advance though.  The color of the potatoes may turn brownish on you.

If you have a food processor, this dish is extremely simple to make. If not, you can either thinly slice the potatoes or use a mandolin on a fine setting.

Here's the recipe:

4 cups of thinly sliced red bliss potatoes, (I don't peel them)
2 cups of grated cheese, Swiss or Gruyere (even cheddar will work)
3 cups whole milk or light cream (I use whole milk)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, finely chopped
2 T. butter
1 T. vegetable oil
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Place a dutch oven on medium heat on stove top, add oil.  Add chopped bacon and render fat, until almost gone and you are left with brown bacon meat.  Turn heat down to low and remove bacon, set aside on a paper towel.  Add chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes to soften.  Add butter and flour, stir and cook for just a minute.  Add milk and stir, then add salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.  Turn stove to medium heat while stirring and bring to a simmer.  Add cheese a little at a time, stirring in between so it melts into sauce.  Turn off heat.
Put cleaned potatoes into your food processor until all are sliced and add into the cheese sauce.  Stir with wooden spoon until all potato slices are covered.  Stir in bacon bits.  
Pour potato mixture into a 9 x 13 (or similar) size baking pan and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.  Take out of oven and let cool.  Place into the refrigerator overnight.
Two hours before serving, bring potatoes out onto counter to bring to room temperature.  One hour before serving, remove foil from potatoes and place into a pre-heated, 375 degrees oven for one hour.  Take out of oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  

You can do this dish all at once, but it will need to cook for 2 hours.  Remove foil the last half of baking though.

Adding this post to Rattlebridge Farms, Foodie Friday!


Dark Chocolate Almond Macaroons ~

Like many people, I love the Smitten Kitchen blog.  She thinks of a new twist on even the simplest recipes, things that are right in front of your nose.   Dark Chocolate Macaroons is just one example.  I make the regular ones and dip them in chocolate and everyone loves them.  But, these are taken to a new level of scrumptious.

I added my own flair, which I love as well.  Instead of vanilla extract, I use almond extract.  I wanted more of an almond joy kind of flavor!  And these don't disappoint.

Here's the link to Smitten Kitchen's recipe, so you can decide for yourself.  She uses a cookie scoop to make hers, but I used a rounded teaspoonful.

These are so easy to make and even easier to eat!

I'm linking this to Michael West's blog on Foodie Friday.


Kathy's Italian Cookies ~

A co-worker Kathy gave me this recipe after she was sharing her story of making them for lots of family functions.  I then begged her for the recipe.  I love good Italian cookies and this one does not disappoint. The only thing I did differently was to add almond extract instead of anise and almond milk instead of regular milk in both the cookie and the frosting.

I wanted an easy dessert for Easter and the added bonus for me is any recipe I can make ahead and freeze.   So I made them yesterday and froze them and then today I defrosted two and had them 1/2 hr. after they defrosted.  They are fabulous!  Thanks Kathy ~

2 eggs
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons anise extract (or almond extract)
1 cup crisco
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (or almond milk)

For the Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
2 - 3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon anise extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, extract and baking powder.
  3. Add the crisco and milk, then the flouone cup at a time, until well combined.
  4. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough, and roll smooth between your palms.  Flour your hands if the dough is too sticky.  Arrange the balls of dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms of the cookies are a light golden brown.  The tops will still be pale.
  6. Remove from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl until just smooth.  You want it more thick than thin, but still runny.
  8. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze, then return to the wire rack, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides of the cookie.  After every 3 cookies you dip, top with sprinkles or else they won't stick.
Makes around 30 cookies.


Real women love quiche ~

In the mid 70's, when I was a young bride, I watched Julia Child every afternoon.  She didn't have a fancy show, it was also in my house at least, still black and white.  But boy did she have character.  She was easy to watch and mostly, she was funny.  She never made her audience feel incompetent, or that something was too hard to make.  She convinced me and many, many other women to get into the kitchen and cook good meals.

One of my favorite things to make still is her quiche.  It's not fancy and yet I find it sublime.  I remember during the 80's,  along came that cute cliche that "real men ate quiche".  It was a great statement, but long before that statement, real women ate quiche too and adored it!  I still do.

Thanks for the memories and the great food, Ms. Child.

Here's a link to her recipe for quiche.  I added 3 roma tomatoes, sliced and salted, then patted dry.

Spicy Chicken Thai Soup from Allrecipes ~


I was looking for a soup that had all of those luscious Thai flavors I love, while not having to go out to a Thai restaurant.  I also needed it to be able to be made quickly, after all it was a week night.  This soup filled all of my requirements.  The only thing I changed about it was right at the end of cooking, I added 1 cup leftover cooked basmati rice and 2 cups of fresh, chopped spinach. I made it as an entrée and felt without those doing that, it is more of a soup to serve as an appetizer course.  By the way, this soup is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, even though the flavors are spectacular from the start!

I liked steeping the lemongrass, garlic and fresh ginger chunky with chicken stock separately and then straining it into the sautéed chicken, red onion and mushrooms. That way you don't have to chop and mince it, while still maintaining all the integrity of those great flavors.  Makes for an easy dinner on a busy week night.

Here's the link to the recipe on how to make this wonderful soup.

Serve with thinly sliced jalapeno peppers and cilantro, if you like a little extra heat like me. 

Quinoa with black beans, corn and cilantro ~

I've been a fan of Southwestern flavors forever!  Cumin, cilantro, black beans are some of my favorite ingredients.  But, I haven't done much with quinoa.  Oh I know, everyone jumped on the bandwagon long ago, touting it's a healthier alternative to rice.  But, I cooked it once a long time ago and it really didn't make me swoon, not the way that rice or pasta does.  

Anyway, I was visiting a friend recently and this is what she wanted to make for dinner.  We've both been looking for healthy, meatless dinners and she chose this one from All Recipes.  Well between us we made it, but I found the directions a little confusing and cooked the quinoa on it's own and when I reread the directions, it alluded  to cooking it all in the same pan.  Her dish came out wonderful and so I brought the recipe home to tinker with it a bit.  I adapted it, to give it more of a kick with red pepper, extra cayenne and cumin.  I also adjusted it to add quantities that I had on hand.  So instead of 2 cups of corn, I added a one pound bag.  I mean really, it's only an extra 1/2 of a cup.

My note:  The first batch I made, I cooked the quinoa seperately and drained about half of the liquid off after the 20 minutes it says to cook it.  Then I added it to the sauteed vegetables.  The second batch, I cooked it as the directions say below.   Cooking the quinoa separately yielded a drier, fluffier grain, which I actually preferred.  But it's  up to yourself.  Both tasted great and reheated well.

This is an easy weeknight dinner that is healthy and delicious!

Here is a link to the original recipe:

Here's my adapted recipe, which I doubled from the original.

2 chopped onions, roughly
1 chopped red bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1&1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa
3 cups of chicken broth
1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground, black pepper
1 lb. package of frozen corn, thawed
1 medium bunch of cilantro, chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.


Chocolate Rum Cake ~

Ever since I saw Pioneer Woman's blog post on her mother in law's Christmas rum cake, I was reminded that way back in the 70's it came from a well know rum bottle label.   And there was a chocolate version too.  So when I needed a cake to make for a co-worker's birthday I decided to make this one. I  have been wanting to try the chocolate version, because this particular co-worker loves chocolate.  The recipe is so easy to make and the extra bonus is it's  a one pan dessert.  After you drizzle some the glaze to the cake while it's still inverted, it slides right onto your cake platter when you tip it over too!  Gotta love the ease of this recipe and the flavor is rather boozy, so you gotta love that if you want to love this cake.

If you want to have an over the top cake to impress, just add a little dollop of real whipped cream.  Yum!

Here's the link to the recipe.


Blueberry Banana Nut Muffins ~

I had bananas and fresh blueberries to use up and wanted to make some muffins.  I searched for banana muffins and found most are about the same on Pinterest.  Except, most say to add an extra banana.  So instead of using 3 bananas, I used four.  I also added a cup of fresh blueberries, which are a nice addition.  With summer on the way and with fresh blueberry season, I'm betting these are over the top in the flavor department.  And with only 3/4 cup of brown sugar, they are a very healthy dessert!  Easy to put together and the kids will love them!

I always preheat my oven first, then get started on gathering my ingredients.  So preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start with:

11/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. four

Mix together, set aside.

1 large egg
1 cup of blueberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 bananas, mashed
3/4 light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 tablespoons of softened butter

Place butter, egg and brown sugar into mixing bowl.  Cream together for 1 minute on medium speed.  Add mashed bananas, nuts and vanilla.  Stir.

Add blueberries to flour mixture and toss.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet mixture, with a spatular stir until just combined and repeat with the remaining flour mixture.

Spray 2 - 6 muffin/cupcake tins with an aerosol butter spray.  Fill each tin 3/4 full.  You should get 12 muffins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, cool down.  Turn muffin pans onto a tea towel and then on a baking rack to cool.  This prevents them from sticking and also from over cooking.  See how nicely the blueberries have cooked in the muffins?

Yum!  They freeze well too ~