Chocolate Chess Pie. Yet Again!

This is the BEST pie over.  OMG it is so amazing.  I asked my friend what kind of “cake” he wanted for his birthday (tomorrow!) and he said “Chocolate Chess Pie”.

So here you go:

Chocolate Chess Pie

As always – ENJOY!!

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Peach Cobbler Cake Recipe

I get so many peaches in my weekly produce delivery..  I wanted something besides a cobbler or pie this time.. So I found this recipe (it originally called for canned peaches but I modified it for fresh peaches!)

It’s baking now..  Probably by the time I get this written up it will be ready.  My daughter already said “O2h my gosh that smells good!”

So here you go!


1 box yellow cake mix, divided

1 cup all purpose flour

1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast

2 eggs

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

5 cups uncooked peaches

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water


1 cup confectioner sugar

2-3 Tbs milk


Wash peaches, and slice.   Place in small saucepan with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 sugar.  Cook over medium high heat and stir  regularly.  Peaches should be soft and syrupy.  Remove from heat, let cool.  Reserve 2/3 cup juice from the peaches.

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9×13 pan.

Measure 2 cups of the dry cake mix and pour into a mixing bowl.  Reserve remaining cake mix.

Add flour, yeast, warm peach juice (reserved from the peach cooking process) to the 2 cups dry cake mix .  Mix well.  Add the eggs, stir until combined.   Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.  Pour the cooked peaches over the top and spread evenly.

In a medium size bowl, put the reserved cake mix and the butter.  Blend together with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle this mixture over the peaches.

Bake in preheated  oven for  45-55 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.  Cool for 15 minutes.

In small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk.   Drizzle this over warm cake.

Serve warm!

As always – enjoy!

PS  Cake is now out of oven and it smells fabulous!


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Icebox Cucumber Pickles Recipe!

These are fabulous. I make them differently EVERY time!  Sometimes I throw in a jalepeno, or maybe an onion, or even a green pepper or garlic cloves.  I put a serrano pepper in one time, as well as a habanero!!  🙂

However, the extras are up to you!  LOL!!



2 cups sugar

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup canning-and-pickling salt

3/4 teaspoon celery seeds

3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

12 -15 pickling cucumbers (might need more depending on size)

 Place first 6 ingredients in a pan and cook over high heat, stirring every minute. Cook 5 minutes and remove from heat. Sugar should be completely dissolved.

Slice the cucumbers into thin slices (I use a mandolin). Place in plastic container that has a lid. Pour hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers. The liquid should completely cover the cucumber slices. Cool 30 minutes, then refrigerate. These will keep for at least 2 weeks…


As always – ENJOY!!

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Sweet Corn Relish Recipe

I saw this recipe and thought “oh my that sounds fabulous”..  Of course I tweaked it 🙂


1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp prepared horseradish

2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4-5 ears depending on size)

1 -2 medium zucchini, diced

3/4  cup diced plum tomato

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions



Stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small pan.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes or until reduced to approximately 1/2 cup liquid.  Remove from heat, let stand 15 minutes to cool.  Stir in horseradish.

Stir together corn, tomato and onion.   Add vinegar mixture, toss to coat.

Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 3 days..


As always – enjoy!!



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Carrot Soup with Brown Butter Pecans Recipe

I was amazed at how sweet the carrots were in this yummy soup!!!

Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients!!


1 lb carrots

4 Tbs unsalted butter, divided

1 medium white onion, chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 jalepeno, minced

2 Tbs ground sesame seeds (I ground mine in the coffee grinder!)

1 qt chicken stock (I used low salt organic) – plus possibly another cup (depends how long the carrots take to get soft – you may need to add another cup so it blends better)

kosher salt – I used fresh ground

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup crushed pecans

splash champagne (or sherry) vinegar

maple syrup – to drizzle over the top



Peel the carrots, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Melt 2 Tbs butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onion, cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.  Add thyme sprigs, jalepeno, sesame and carrots.  Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add stock and kosher salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 15-20 minutes.  You *may* have to add a bit more broth.  Remove from heat, and remove  the thyme sprigs.  Let cool about 10 minutes.

Puree the carrot mixture in a blender.  Pour back into saucepan, and heat just a bit as it has likely cooled in the blending process.  After it is heated, remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup yogurt and add salt as needed to taste.

Melt the remaining butter in small saute pan over medium high heat.  Cook until solids begin to brown.  Add pecans and cook, stirring  constantly, for about 90 seconds.  Remove from heat, add in splash of vinegar.

Serve the soup in bowls.  Top with the brown butter pecans and dollop of yogurt.  Drizzle with maple syrup.  Serve immediately!

And as always – ENJOY!!!


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Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

like Grandma used to make!!!

This recipe makes a 2 layer, 8 inch cake. Or 20-24 cupcakes (depending on the size).

3 cups flour (all purpose)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups HOT water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbs white vinegar
1 Tbs instant coffee granules
1 Tbs vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Coat 2 8″ round cake pans with cooking spray (I have a cool mister that I put my own oil in and then spray!)

Whisk together the flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined – you may see a few lumps. Do not overmix!

Pour batter evenly into the 2 pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean (about 35-38 minutes). Cool on a rack for 20 minutes, then invert onto the rack. Cool completely. (I leave mine upside down on the rack so the dome flattens out.)



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Vodka spiked tomatoes

Sounds complicated – but they aren’t!!!

What makes these tomatoes special is that they are peeled. Don’t worry – after you blanch them, their skins slip right off, and you are rewarded with tender little tomatoes. They’re given a serious kick by the vodka.

3 pints firm small red and yellow cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
1/2 cup vodka
3 T white wine vinegar
1 T superfine white sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3 T kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper

Cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato. Use a knife with a sharp tip – sounds hard but it isn’t. You’ll be an expert after the firet few. Blanch tomatoes 5 at a time in a 2 quart saucepan of boiling water for 3 seconds, then immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking.
Drain tomatoes and peel. (Just squeeze the end with the “X” and the orb will pop right out – my DD helped!) Transfer to a large shallow dish.

tomatoes 1

Stir together vodka, sugar and zest in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Pour over tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Marinate, covered and refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes.

Stir together salt and pepper in a small bowl. Serve with tomatoes for dipping.

I put the tomatoes in a small bowl, the salt/pepper mixture in another small bowl, and a shot glass full of toothpicks on a small platter..

This has been a great hit at parties!!

More info:
The tomatoes can be peeled up to a day ahead and refrigerated, covered.
The marinade can also be prepared up to a day ahead and refrigerated, covered.
The tomatoes can marinate up to an hour – any longer and they start getting really mushy.

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Fresh Pico De Gallo Recipe

I love love LOVE fresh pico with cilantro 🙂  Don’t you?!?


Tomatoes and onions – (I prefer white or red onions) – use same amounts of both

Jalepeno peppers – to your liking

squeeze 1 or 2 limes for the juice

Cilantro (about 1 cup roughly chopped)



Seed tomatoes, discard seeds, chop the rest

Chop onion into same size pieces as tomatoes

Mix well.

Seed/chop the peppers – up to you if you want to leave the seeds 🙂

Add to the tomato-onion mixture.

Mix well.

Pour the lime juice over the top

Add salt.  Mix well.

As always – ENJOY!!!


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Garlicky Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

This was fabulous!  I got the cauliflower in my weekly produce delivery box and just wanted to make something NEW..  So I did 🙂  My daughter gobbled it up – and I bet you and your kids will, too!


2 Tbs minced garlic

4 Tbs olive oil

1 large head cauliflower, washed and cut/broken into florets (try to make them uniform – they cook more evenly!)

1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

salt and black pepper to taste

parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 450.  Grease a large casserole dish.

Pour the olive oil into a large resealable gallon bag.  Add the garlic, seal the bag, and mix well.  Add cauliflower to the bag, seal again, and shake to mix.  Pour into prepared pan, and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cauliflower is pretty tender – but NOT mushy!  Set oven to Broil.

Top with Asiago, sprinkle with parsley.   Place back into the oven, broil for 3-5 minutes or until brown.

I served this with Famous Roast Chicken!

As always – enjoy!!!

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Peach “Pickles” Recipe

Love me some peaches.  So does my daughter!  Truth be told, she was absolutely horrified when I told her I was going to make “peach pickles”!  She said “don’t waste PEACHES!”

However, all good 🙂  They are fabulous!  These are a great summer side dish or a top to a salad..  Or good on fish or chicken!



1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup water


about 1 pound fresh peaches

2 mint sprigs



Bring all brine ingredients to a boil over medium heat in a small pan.  Remove from heat.   Cool, stirring occasionally.  I hastened the cooling process by placing the whole pot in the fridge.  LOL

Cut peaches into slices.  Place in 24 oz glass container.  Add the mint sprigs.  When brine is cool, pour it over the peaches.  Screw that lid on tight, and place in the fridge for 12 hours.  Enjoy!  These will keep a week in the refrigerator.


As always – ENJOY!!!


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