Why This Blog?


Come in and make yourself at home. I'm so happy to be able to share my recipes here with you.

I bake mostly cookies, quick breads, muffins and scones -- sometimes pie, sometimes cake, but nothing too fancy. I prefer simple recipes that call for ingredients that I already have in my kitchen.

These are the recipes I will share with you. They come from family and friends, magazine clippings saved through the years, favorite cookbooks, and other blogs.

I'm so glad you came to visit. Enjoy your stay!

Michael Ann

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

I recently tried this recipe from allrecipes.com, and it is definitely a winner! With temps rising to 108 degrees lately, the no-bake aspect was definitely appealing. But many times no-bake means no-taste, so I was a little skeptical. Well, this recipe fulfilled its promise of yumminess, and look how easy! You can whip them up in 10 minutes. Enjoy!

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

1 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

Grease a 9x9" square pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla then mix in oats.  Cook over low heat 2-3 minute or until ingredients are blended. Press half the mixutre into the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave. Heat 30 seconds, stir, then another 20 seconds or so.  Pour the mixture over the crust in the pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. 

Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over the chocolate and press in lightly.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.  Bring to room temp before cutting into bars. 

Happy "baking" !!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cornmeal Scones

These are really nice sweetened up with some butter and honey, or your favorite jam.  They taste like cornbread, so could even be eaten for dinner with chili or stew.

Cornmeal Scones

1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water for glaze (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly butter a 9-inch circle in the center of a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter, or grate it in with a cheese grater, stirring to distribute.

In a small bowl, stir together the milk, egg and vanilla.  Add liquid to flour mixture and stir to combine.

Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on the prepared baking sheet.  If desired, brush the egg mixture over the top of the dough.  With a serrated knife or pizza cutter, cut into 8 wedges.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until top is lightly brown.  Re-cut into wedges and serve warm.

This recipe is from Simply Scones

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cheesecake Mousse

Do you love cheesecake but don't want to go through all the steps to make one?  This is a quick, easy and delicious alternative to serving an entire cheesecake... and it looks so pretty!

You could do a number of different things with this clever dessert. You could top it with graham cracker crumbs, a Vanilla Wafer, Shortbread or Gingersnap cookie (in lieu of crust.. .which honestly, you won't 'miss).  You could top it with whipped cream and/or any type of berry.  How about a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce?  The possibilities are endless!

New York Style Cheesecake Mousse
Servings: ~6

1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream. Set aside.

In medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon peel, until fluffy.  Fold in the whipped cream. Divide among single-size serving dishes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Top with fresh strawberries if desired.

Recipe from Taste of Home magazine.

 Happy Baking!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lemon Chess Pie

I've had this recipe sitting in my files for years. I don't even know where it came from. I would see it in there and think, "I really should try that recipe," but something held me back. I've never made or even tasted any kind of chess pie and wasn't sure if I'd like it.  Of course, how would I know if I never tried it?

So, today I took the plunge. It's a gray and cold day and I wanted to bake something new. I had all the ingredients and no excuse not to.

So how did it turn out? Great! It was really good. Tasted like a cross between a lemon cream and a lemon meringue pie. Smooth and creamy and nicely tart and lemony.  Definitely best when completely cooled. We got a little eager and cut it too soon!

Lemon Chess Pie

4 eggs at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 TB white or yellow cornmeal
1 TB flour
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk* at room temperature
1/3 cup lemon juice at room temperature
1 TB finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust**
Whipped cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350-F.

In a large bowl, briefly whisk the eggs to blend. Add remaining ingredients in order, one at a time, whisking after each addition to make sure it has been incorporated.

Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the pie is golden on top and almost set.  The center of the pie should be slightly loose; it will set as it cools. Remove the pie to a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.

*If you don't have buttermilk on hand, put 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice in 1/2 cup liquid measuring cup and add milk. Let sit a few minutes.

** Please take a few minutes to make your own pie crust. It is so worth it!

Pie Crust
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Crisco
4-5 TB ice cold water

Whisk together flour and salt.  Add Crisco in small dallops, and cut in with pastry cutter.  Add ice water 1 TB at a time and mix with a fork.  When dough is workable, turn out onto a floured surface and roll with a rolling pin until large enough to put into  the pie plate.   Fold the circle in 1/2 to transfer to pie dish. Open it up, press into plate and crimp edges.  Fill and bake as directed.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When life gives you lemons...

Here in Northern California, lemon trees are bursting with fruit at this time of year. What to do with all those lemons?  Too many things to list... but since I'm a baker, that is where my mind travels first. I have a number of lemon recipes on my blog which I've compiled here in one spot for your convenience!  Get those lemons out and start baking!

Lemon Crumb Muffins

                                    Lemon Brownies

Lemon Bundt Cake

                                Lemon Crinkles

Lemon Blueberry Biscuits

Lemon Pecan Bread

Lemon Yogurt Cake

 Lemon Cream Bars

Lemon Chess Pie


Happy Baking!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

I made these in honor of my friend Kari, whose love of a particular poppy seed muffin at a particular local coffee shop, inspired me to look for a recipe she might like.  The one she likes has almonds on the top too.  I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website. 

These are easy and very tasty! My only complaint was that the recipe is supposed to make 12 and I only got 8. I do like to fill the muffin cups pretty high, so maybe that is why.  Next time I will double the recipe.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

½ cup sugar
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 egg
½  tsp almond extract
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1-1/3 cups  flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 TB poppy seeds
3 tsp raw or granulated sugar
2 TB sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375-F.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with PAM for baking.
In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar, oil, egg and almond extract.  Whisk in sour cream and milk until blended.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and poppy seeds. Stir into wet ingredients until well blended.  Scoop into muffin cups until almost full.  Sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds.

Bake ~15 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Happy Baking!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...