1–10 of 91 entries in the category: Recipes

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Clementine Cake

May 23rd

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Clementine Cake

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Clementine Cake

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Clementine Cake

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Clementine Cake

I mentioned the other day how much I loved the movie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” There is a clementine cake mentioned in the film — one I’ve tried to reproduce.



1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

8 egg yolks

3/4 cup milk

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cardamom

Juice of one orange

Zest of ½ of one orange

1 cup sour cream

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt



2 cups powdered sugar

1 small can of mandarin oranges, in juice


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Clementine Cake



Heat oven to 350. Grease large cupcake tins, or a bundt pan. Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs. Slowly add in cake flour, vanilla, cardamom, and remaining ingredients. Bake for 32 minutes (cupcake tins) or 35-40 minutes (bunt pan). While baking, whisk juice from can of mandarins and powdered sugar. Once cakes have cooled, spoon glaze over top, adding a mandarin or two for garnish.

Voila! The daydreaming adventures of where you may end up eating these is up to you. I’m sitting on the beach in Fiji, getting a massage and watching dolphins play in the water. There are a stack of new novels sitting at my side. Nelson is playing in the surf and I’ve got nothing to do but eat magical cake for the rest of the afternoon…



Posted in
Domestic Art, Recipes
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Guests are Sleeping Banana Bread

March 27th

Sue's visit

  •  1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  •  ½ cup almond flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  dash of cinnamon
  •  dash of vanilla
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 cup butter – or ¼ cup butter, 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  •  2/3 cup brown sugar
  •  2 eggs, beaten
  •  2 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar. Add dry ingredients, adding bananas last. Pour into a greased casserole or bread pan. Bake 45 minutes, or until brown. If possible, pull out of the oven just as house guests are awaking. Serve with coffee, tea or a cup of milk. This bread is especially good with almond butter.

You will be cherished, no matter how hard the mattress was, or, say, how loud the neighbor’s rooster was at 3 am.



Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Hostess, Recipes
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Recipe: Red Wine Poached Pears

October 16th

Red wine poached pears


6 ripe pears, cored

1 cup red wine — pinot noir, or something fruity

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter

Red wine poached pears

Red Wine Poached Pears


Place cored pears in a baking dish. In a sauce pan, whisk sugar and wine, until dissolved. Add butter, mixing thoroughly. Pour over pears. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream. Delicious!


Posted in
Kitchen Talk, Recipes
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Mexican Chocolate Cake

June 11th

Mexican Cake

Mexican Cake

Mexican Cake

Easy peasy recipe if you have house guests and need a quick no-frosting cake:

Take one chocolate cake mix (I like Betty Crocker triple fudge)

Add 3 eggs, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of cayenne, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of cardamom, 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of water. Mix thoroughly. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes in a well greased bundt pan. Serve with ice cream, or alone. Watch guests inhale.

This cake is slightly spicy, earthy and incredibly moist. It is absolutely delicious and a super simple answer when entertaining.


Posted in
Domestic Art, handmade, Recipes
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OH ginger SNAP!

January 16th

Stop what you are doing right now and bake these cookies. They are the best cookies I’ve ever made and were inhaled by dinner guests this week.  

January Dinner Party Fun

Poof! Gone.

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

Not kidding. Best. Cookies. Ever. 

So good I just lifted weights for an additional hour so I won’t feel guilty about making another batch. So good I’m drooling just thinking of them.

Getting the picture?

I think the only way to make them better would be to make 2 batches so you can let a few get stale. I love a crunchy gingernsap.

Good work, Country Living peeps. Good work, indeed.




Posted in
Domestic Art, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Recipes
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Recipe: Best Soup Ever

September 27th

Potato poblano soup

Stop what you are doing right now and figure out how you can make time to create a culinary masterpiece. That’s right. Throw humility out the window, hit the market and buy:


3 large carrots

3 stalks celery

1 large yellow onion

2 vegetable broth boullion cubes

1 large golden yukon potato for each person being served

As many roasted Hatch or poblano chiles as you can find (I’d go with 4-5)

1 small container of cream cheese

Potato poblano soup

Now, if you’ve got all day to smell a lovely pot of magic bubbling on the stove, take this slow. (If not — it will cook in an hour or so too.) Start with a large Dutch oven. Add a dash of olive oil. Dice up your carrots, celery and onion. Let those cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Then add 64 ounces of water, along with your 2 broth cubes. Bring this mixture to a boil while washing and cutting up your potatoes and chiles. The size doesn’t really matter — you are going to blend this soup to perfection. Add the potatoes and chiles, let simmer with the lid on for 30-45 minutes. Again, let it go all day if you have the time. About 20 minutes before serving, add a dash of salt, pepper and cumin. Then throw in your cream cheese and bust out the immersion blender. Carefully as to not send potato soup all over yourself — ahem — blend that pot of gold glory into the yummiest soup you’ve ever eaten.

Potato poblano soup

And oh, it’s vegetarian. And possibly vegan if you leave out the cream cheese, but why would you do that?

The Best Soup Ever is even better the next day, reheated. Get after it, people. You’ll be thankful you did.


Posted in
June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Recipes
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Recipe: Bill’s Baba Ganoush

September 10th

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush

My friend Bill mentioned a couple weeks ago that he makes his baba ganoush by starting at the BBQ. With a hot grill and a bit of olive oil, the smoky flavor of charred eggplant comes through beautifully. When I ran across eggplant at the market a few days later I thought I’d give it a try. If you like baba ganoush, this recipe couldn’t be easier. Just give yourself enough time to let the plants cool before trying to open/scrape them into the food processor.


1 eggplant per person served, brushed with olive oil

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup tahini

1 lemon, juiced

1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Smoky paprika for garnish

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Baba ganoush


Grill eggplant until charred. Let cool. Slice, scoop out inside of eggplant into food processor — adding as much or as little of the charred exterior as desired. (I added very little and this was sufficiently smoky.) Add other ingredients and pulse. Top with paprika, enjoy with pita, vegetables or grilled meat. Easy, delicious and the presentation is fabulous for a dinner party.


While you have the food processor and the tahini out, might as well whip up some hummus too.


Both go well with chips and a summer appetizer board on the patio.



Posted in
Heirloom Homestead, Kitchen Talk, Recipes
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Red Tomatoes and Happy Guests

August 7th

A great thing about moving from the blast of a hot oven (Phoenix) to the cool summer breeze of the Rockies (Golden)* is your calendar is quickly booked with loved ones high tailing it to a more pleasant climate.

I’ve had family and friends come through by the handful this summer. (I think 10 different visitors, at last count.)

Alma's visit

Alma’s visit last week was a blur of activity. Our friendship is one of those rare gems that requires little maintenance. It also helps the girl loves to hike, shop and cook. I thought at one point our ears might fall off from the constant chatter. Or my pocketbook might shrivel up and die from all the “bargains!” I found.

Alma planned her visit during a very good week.  First Red Tomato Day is something celebrated with gusto around these parts. And oh, did we celebrate.

Alma's visit

Alma's visit

Alma's visit

Yeah. That basil is a little holey. So it goes with organic gardening. We like our caterpillars fat and spicy.

Alma's visit


A few shots from one of several meals we whipped up with ingredients from the garden — including tomatoes, basil, and arugala.

Alma’s pesto recipe is worth sharing:

“It doesn’t matter if you get these amounts precise. Just go for the desired consistency.”


2 handfuls of washed basil leaves

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tablespoon diced garlic

1 small container of feta — preferably Athenos feta with basil and tomatoes

dash of pepper, salt

Pulse in the food processor. Serve with toasted bread, pita chips, or barbecued salmon. Try not to lick the bowl.



*It is really only a matter of perspective. The few summer days we’ve had here over 100 degrees have been miserable. I’d take Phoenix heat with ample air conditioning over the heat waves in the Rockies where I’m trying to sleep and it is 93 indoors.

Posted in
Colorado, Heirloom Homestead, Journal, Recipes
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April 5th


Completely off the paleo track for a moment, I recently had a crust competition to see which pizza dough was better. The prized “no knead” dough that graced the recent cover of Bon Appetit started this nonsense. And while I had the best of intentions for making fabulous homemade bbq chicken pizza, I made a fatal cooking error: I didn’t read the entire recipe beforehand.

BBQ chicken

Imagine how much patience I had for a dough recipe that needed 18 hours to rise when I’d spent the previous 5 days away from home working, including the night before sleeping on the floor of a rather dirty airport? (By sleeping, I really mean trying to doze with one eye open for ax murderers.)


Out of patience, I sat down at the computer to find another crust recipe and quick. My guest would be arriving in a matter of a few hours, only about 14 short of the 18 required for the recipe I had in mind. Nonetheless, I tried both dough recipes.

The no knead, without sufficient time to rise, was neither aesthetically nor flavor pleasing:

No knead

(Unfair, I know. I didn’t give it the time it needed.)

QUick rise

The quick rise dough? Super pretty and tasty. Winner, winner pizza dinner.

However neither dough held up well for leftovers. Anyone have a great pizza dough recipe that makes their summer gardens full of tomatoes and basil that much more fun? Share. Please!


Posted in
Heirloom Homestead, Kitchen Talk, Recipes
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{H4} Recipe: Pretzel Peanut Butter Brownies

December 12th

Cosby Sweater Party Awesomeness

What’s that? You are going to a Cosby sweater holiday party with your bestie BJ and you don’t have anything to take to the potluck? Looking around the kitchen you notice way, way too many left over pretzel pieces from your other holiday exploits. And so the conversation goes a bit like this:

“Hmmm. I need to bring a dessert. I’ve got pretzels. I love brownies. Safe to say, nothing bad can come of this.”

H4: Recipe: Pretzel crust brownies

In fact, these were rather delicious. For those who enjoy the sweet and salty combination, I’d go so far as saying they were a delight. An easy chicken fried rice, goulash, gumbo, kitchen left-overs inspired dessert:

Pretzel Peanut Butter Brownies


2 cups broken pretzel pieces

1 cup peanut butter, warm + melty

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoon cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (Sprinkle the top with kosher salt for a kick when you pull it out of the oven)

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups of dark chocolate chips, melty

1 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter/spray a casserole dish. Place pretzel pieces at bottom of dish. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Melt butter. Add chocolate chips and peanut butter until mixed well. Slowly add sugars and mix until no longer grainy. In a third bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir just until combined. Add chocolate mixture. Pour batter over pretzels. Bake for 40-45 minutes. These are better under vs. over cooked, so be mindful of checking them every few minutes after 35 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy!

Pudding pop shots

{But of course, the real winner of a dessert at the Cosby party were the pudding pop shots. Wowzers!}


Posted in
Celebrate!, Heirloom Homestead, Recipes
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