Category Archives: Desserts

‘Cheater’ May Day Breakfast Cake

It’s home made, because you made it at home. This is another recipe using cake mix as an ingredient, but no one has to know unless you want them to.

You Will Need:
15 wz ‘pudding in the mix’ fruit flavored boxed cake mix (any brand you have on hand)
Handful of dried cherries, minced
1 TBS poppy seeds
3 wz fresh strawberries, chopped into bite size pieces
2 wz red palm oil (or avocado oil, or coconut oil. or any other local light-flavored oil)
1 TBS unsalted butter (room temp)
6 fz milk
2 fz water
3 whole eggs
Bundt Pan:
Non-stick spray or butter and flour to prep bundt pan
1 pint fresh strawberries, chopped into bite size pieces
Powdered sugar to taste
Preheat oven to 350F or your local equivalent.
Prepare bundt pan either by spraying liberally with non stick spray, or by buttering and flouring thoroughly.
Combine all cake ingredients except strawberries and cherries in medium mixing bowl, stirring until well combined, but not too smooth. Add fruit gently.
Pour batter into bundt pan.
Bake approximately 40 minutes. But begin checking for doneness at the 25 minute mark. Cake mixes do vary greatly.
When done, cool for 10 minutes in pan if spray was used or 5 minutes if butter and flour was used.
Turn out onto plate to finish cooling.
While still slightly warm sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve each slice with a hearty spoonful of berries on top.
VARIATIONS (This basic recipe can easily be modified, depending on what you have on hand):
Use lemon cake mix, swap dried ginger for the cherries, and serve with a dollop of clotted cream.
Top with fresh banana slices, strawberries, and coconut shavings.
Substitute applesauce for the oil. Serve warm with poached apples and sour cream.

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Filed under All Recipes, Breakfast, Desserts, Tips and Tricks, Vegetable-arian

Cakemix Fudge



So I’m semi-notorious for using box mixes as ingredients for things other than their original intention, and cake mix is no exception. I’ve used it in cookie baking, as a milkshake thickener, to make pancakes and baked puddings, the list goes on. Until I stumbled across’s fudge recipe, however, using it in candy making hadn’t occurred to me yet. I made the above pictured fudge using key lime cake mix and white chocolate candy melts, but as it’s me and I don’t do the microwave thing (I don’t even own one), I did need to tweak the recipe a smidge more. If you prefer using your microwave, follow the link here:

Below is the stove top recipe.

Either way, be sure to check out some of the other yummy recipes Joan has on her delicious site!

You Will Need:

16 wz cake mix of choice (about 2/3 – 3/4 of a standard box mix here in the US)

16 wz confectioner’s sugar

4 wz butter

2 fz whole milk

4 wz white chocolate chips (or any flavor compatible with your cake mix)

2 wz sprinkles (or other add-in)

Heavy bottomed saucepot large enough to hold all ingredients with a knuckle or 2 to spare, but not too much bigger – too much surface area will scorch the fudge

Parchment or foil lined 8X8 baking dish



Combine butter, milk, and chocolate in saucepot over low heat, stirring gently, but often.

Once chocolate and butter have melted and combined well with the milk, stir in cake mix and powdered sugar.

Increase heat to medium low setting, and cook mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and fold in half of your add-in. You want them mixed in, but you don’t want the colors to run, so fold gently and quickly.

Pour into the prepared 8X8 dish and evenly cover with remaining add-ins.

Chill for 2 hours or until well set.

Score into cubes before pulling liner and fudge out of dish.

Finish cutting into cubes, placing them in parchment paper lined shirt box, making sure they don’t touch.

Cover the box and let them cure overnight. Depending on the weather, you can leave them out on the counter in a nice dry spot, or you can put them back in the fridge. You can also skip this step entirely, but I found the ones that were given a good curing had a stronger flavor than the ones I sampled immediately.


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Egg Substitutions

Just realized you are a couple of eggs short of the waffles, cake, cookies, or bread that you were about to make, and don’t have time to get to the store?

Pulse equal parts (1:1 ratio) of whole flax seed and hot water in the blender and allow it to ‘set’ until it gets good and gooey. Yes, it will look like something out of a bad ‘B’ movie if you’ve done it right – that’s the fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and water combining – and it’s a good thing.

You now have a super cheap and easy egg replacement.

1 ounce (30 mL) of the goo is equivalent to one whole eggwhite.
2 ounces (60 mL) equals 1 whole egg.

Also great to use when baking goodies for people with egg allergies or who are looking for ways to reduce their cholesterol intake.

Not into alien slime? That’s ok. 3 ounces (90 mL) of mashed banana or applesauce works well, too. Or 2 ounces of either plain yogurt or avocado oil. Avocado oil has a buttery taste, but usually isn’t strongly flavored like olive or peanut oils, so it’s great in sweet as well as savory foods.


Filed under All Recipes, Breads, Desserts, Entrees, Gluten Free, Sides, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized, Vegetable-arian

BoozeyFruit and Basic Homemade Tinctures


Do you make your own extracts and tinctures? I do. With a little modification to my original process, I have found that I not only get great full-flavored tinctures, but the vodka-infused fruit left behind is pretty cool, too!

This is a measurement-less recipe as the time of year, fruit used, personal taste, and your location will affect how much vodka and fruit you need. 

You will Need:

1 1-Quart mason jar
Fruit of choice
Sauce pot
Mesh strainer
Cookie sheet
If fruit is small, like berries or grapes: wash and leave whole.
If fruit is larger, like peaches or pineapple: wash, peel as needed, and cut into rough, thumb-sized chunks.
Fill sterile mason jar with fruit, then add vodka to brim.
Pour the whole lot into a sauce pot over low heat (I do mean the very lowest possible setting on your stove).
Warm the fruit, but do not cook or stir it. Takes about 15-30 seconds.
Transfer everything back to the mason jar. Cap tightly and store in a cool dark place.
On the 3rd day, strain most of the fruit bits out of the liquid.
Transfer the strained fruit to a cookie sheet and into the freezer. When fruit pieces are solid, transfer to a freezer-burn resistant container (This is your BoozeyFruit).
Reseal the liquid and remaining fruit, and put back into a cool dark place for at least six more weeks (This is your tincture).
The best part? Everything gets used! I still kick myself when I think of all that fruit I wasted over the years.
A Note:
I have done this with vanilla beans, and then used the infused beans (made into a paste) instead of extract in a couple of my baking adventures.
The flavor overwhelmed my sugar cookie recipe, but really made my sage bread stand up and shout!

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Filed under All Recipes, Beverages, Desserts, Gluten Free, Parties, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized, Vegetable-arian

Adventures In Frozen Comestibles…


This is my new favorite way to get my daily serving of fruit. I prefer to make this with berries that were fresh when I froze them, but the bananas should be at the ‘only good for making banana bread’ stage of ripeness. That’s the key to the creamy texture without any dairy or sugar added.  The super cool thing about this recipe is that it’s really forgiving. It’s a ratios recipe, so no specific measures or conversions will be needed.

Basic Recipe:

1 part Frozen Banana, cut into chunks
1 part Frozen Fruit of choice (or frozen homemade apple pie filling, as pictured below)
When fruit chunks are well and truly frozen, put it into a food processor. Blend on high until smooth. Put mixture into a container and back in the freezer until refrozen.
To serve:
Eat this the same way you would normally enjoy ice cream.
Works great in a cone, or as the base for a Sundae, or even in your favorite milkshake or smoothie recipe.
Scoop balls of the mixture onto a cookie sheet and freeze overnight.
You can stop here (see above picture), or dip them in chocolate and place back on the cookie sheet in the freezer for another hour.
Viola! You’ve just made mostly-healthy frozen bonbons!

Hoochielicious Recipe:

2 parts Frozen Banana, cut into chunks
3 parts Frozen Boozey Fruit
When fruit is well and truly frozen, put it into a food processor. Blend on high until smooth. Put mixture into a container and back in the freezer until refrozen.
Black Cherry un Ice Cream
To serve: Scoop into a Martini or Highball glass. Garnish with fresh berries on a cocktail pick, if desired.

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Filed under All Recipes, Desserts, Gluten Free, Parties, Techniques, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized, Vegetable-arian

Low Gluten Pie Crust

Normally I’m a purist when it comes to my mom’s perfect pie crust, but I’ve been reducing my gluten intake in an effort to better control some health issues. This lower gluten crust is so flaky and flavorful, it was the perfect partner for the sweet Birthday Pie I made for my big-brother-by-choice this weekend.


1.5 C All Purpose wheat flour, unsifted

1 C All Purpose Gluten-free flour, unsifted (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill brand because I can find it locally, but King Arthur Flour makes a pretty decent one, too)

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 TBS Raw sugar

16 wz Unsalted butter, chilled

6 TBS Ice water plus a few cubes of ice


Combine flours in a big bowl. Whisk to combine and fluff.

Crush salt and sugar together in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, toss the granules in a plastic zippy bag and crush with your rolling pin.

Add sugar/salt mixture to the flour. Whisk again.

Cut the butter into cubes, tossing them into the flour mixture.


Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter (or 2 knives in a criss-cross motion) until the whole thing looks like a bowl of large-ish bread crumbs.


Use a fork to stir the ice water into the mixture, one TBS at a time until a soft dough forms. You may need only 4 TBS, or as many as 7, depending on various climate factors.


Chill until ready to roll out for your pie.


When ready to use, preheat oven to 350F.

Roll dough out to about 1/8″ thick for regular pie crusts, or a little bit thicker for pocket pies.

Assemble pie.

Bake for about an hour, give or take a few minutes depending on your personal variables (altitude, humidity, oven, etc).


Makes enough dough for one 2-crust pie, two 1-crust pies, or about a dozen pocket pies (depending on size).


For single crust pies, make sure to pierce the bottom really well before blind-baking. This recipe does get a little puffy as it bakes.

Want to add a little wow factor to your sweet pie crust? Just add a pinch or two of a complimentary spice to the flour mixture. Cinnamon and allspice are wonderful for apple, pumpkin, peach, or apricot pies. For citrus pies, add a pinch of nutmeg or cocoa powder. For berry pies, my favorite addition is pulverized citrus peel.

To use for a savory pie such as quiche, simply delete the sugar and use salted butter instead of unsalted. I like to add a pinch or two of ground white or cayenne pepper and cumin to the flour mixture, as well.

You are only limited by your imagination and taste buds. Have fun!

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Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

These are really simple to make and are easier on wooden spoons than my regular “Spoonbreaker” shortbread. They are also an acceptable cookie for anyone who cannot have butter or eggs.


8 wz Peanut butter (the stir-before-using stuff is best, as it generally has no added sugars or oils)

4 wz Raw sugar

16 wz All purpose flour (or 10 wz Gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 5 wz Gluten-free oat flour)


Preheat oven to 300F.

Cream together peanut butter and sugar.

Reserve roughly 2 handfuls of flour.

Add the remaining flour to the peanut butter mixture a little at a time, making sure to incorporate each bit completely before scraping the sides of the bowl and adding the next bit of flour.

Empty dough onto a counter dusted with some the reserved flour.

Roll out to 1/4″ thickness. Use cookie cutters to make shapes, or a knife to cut the whole slab into squares or rectangles.

Place cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie (baking) sheet, at least a finger-width apart. They won’t spread overmuch, but you do need a little room in between.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the bottoms begin to darken.

Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Other nut butters can be used if you want to make these for someone with a peanut allergy. Just make sure the nut butter isn’t too dry or you’ll end up with hockey pucks.

Shortbread is a delicate cookie by nature, and these are no different. You will want to store them in an airtight container rather than tossing them in the cookie jar.

For a special treat, drizzle them with melted chocolate and shake sprinkles or colored sugar crystals over the still-warm chocolate.



Filed under All Recipes, Desserts, Gluten Free, Vegetable-arian