Maple Bread Pudding

2 Cups Milk
1/3 Cup Real Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
7 Eggs
3 Cups cubed bread (Use good hearty bread that is a little stale, no wimpy Wonder bread for this!)
dash of Nutmeg

How to make it

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 casserole dish. You will also need a larger (9x13) pan for this recipe (to do a water bath).

In a small saucepan, heat the milk to the point where it is just beginning to simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in the syrup, sugar, salt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Gradually add the milk mixture to the eggs, adding just a little liquid at a time while continuously stirring it into the eggs (this tempers the eggs so the hot liquid does not cook them).
Add vanilla, and give the egg/milk mixture one last good beating to mix.

Pour the egg/milk mixture over the cubed bread and stir well. Let the mixture sit for five minutes before pouring it into a greased 8x8 casserole dish. Dust the top with nutmeg. Place the dish in a larger pan and add 1-2 inches of water into the larger pan (pouring carefully so you don't get water into the bread pudding.) Bake 40-45 minutes, or until it no longer jiggles in the middle when you give it a shake. Cool a bit before cutting (I like to serve it warm, but not hot). This makes 9 regular squares or 12 little squares. Drizzle real maple syrup over the top of each piece when serving. This bread pudding is not overly sweet, so don't skip the extra maple syrup on top - it really makes it just right!

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

For the Cake:
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 Cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, omit salt)
3/4 Cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 large egg whites
1 cup Coconut Milk (save what is left over for the frosting)
1 teaspoon Coconut extract 

How to make it

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners. (This recipe should make 24+ cupcakes, depending on how much you fill each muffin cup.)

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in the butter and about 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Turn the mixer on low and beat just until moistened. Then turn the mixer up to medium and beat for one minute to aerate the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the egg whites, the rest of the coconut milk and the coconut extract. Mix with a fork until well-blended. 

Add the egg mixture into the batter in three batches, mixing for just 15-20 seconds each time until incorporated. Give the bowl a final scrape down by hand, just to make sure any remaining clumps of flour get mixed in.

Fill muffin cups no more than half full. I like to use a standard ice cream scooper levelled off to measure and dispense the batter. 

Bake about 20 minutes until the tops spring back when you gently press on them with a finger.

Cool before frosting.

For the Frosting:
3 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
1/2 Cup (1 stick) softened butter
2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk (you should have some left over in the can)
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Place all ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat all of the ingredients together on low until everything is moistened. Then turn the mixer up to med-high and beat for about 5 minutes until nice and fluffy. The amount of coconut milk you use depends on how soft or stiff you like your frosting. 

Place one cup of flaked coconut on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven at 350 for about 6 minutes, stirring it halfway through. Watch very carefully the last two minutes so it doesn't get overly browned. Coconut can burn quickly. Cool.

Frost the cupcakes, then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top. 


Grandma B's Butterscotch Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 1/3 Cups Cracker Crumbs (you can use graham crackers, but I prefer Ritz crackers for this - I like a slightly salty crust to offset the very sweet filling)
3 Tablespoons confectioner's sugar 
6 Tablespoons Melted Butter

Mix together ingredients and press firmly into a pie pan. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until just turning golden brown at the edges (it's a little harder to tell with graham crackers, but it should look dry and set). Set aside while you make the filling. Turn oven down to 325.

*NOTE* If you are making the cream pie version (and will not be baking the pie in the oven) you do not have to bake the crust, just chill it in the fridge until set, about 1 hour.

1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 Cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make it

In the top of a double boiler combine the sugar, flour, salt, and milk. Stir the mixture in the bowl while the water boils beneath it, cooking for about 10-12 minutes until the mixture thickens (stir it frequently). Thickening time depends on how cold your milk is to start with. It can take anywhere from 9-14 minutes to get it nice and thick like a pudding. In the first five minutes or so, it doesn't really thicken at all. Once it starts, the thickening goes fast, so watch it carefully and stir constantly once it starts. Once it has thickened, remove it from the heat. 

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Take a small amount of the hot milk/flour mixture (about a tablespoon) and stir it into the eggs. Add another spoonful and stir it in (you are "tempering" the eggs so they don't cook and curdle). Now pour the egg mixture into the rest of the hot milk mix. Return it to the double boiler and cook until thickened some more (about 3-5 minutes) stirring constantly. Take it off the heat. Add in the butter and vanilla extract. Now place a layer of Saran wrap directly on top of the filling (to avoid getting a thickened skin on top). Set aside for about 10 minutes and then pour into the crust. 

*NOTE* If making the cream pie version, cool the filling completely in the fridge before filling the pie crust.

4 Egg Whites
4 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the egg whites and the cream of tarter with a wire whisk until soft peaks form. Add 2 Tablespoons sugar, beat lightly for about 20 seconds. Add the other 2 Tablespoons and the vanilla. Beat until peaks are very stiff but still glossy. Spread over filling immediately and bake at 325 for approximately 15 minutes, until meringue is set and turning golden brown on top.

Allow to cool to room temp before slicing. Use a knife dipped in hot water to make clean cuts.


Fresh Whipped Cream (for Cream Pie version)
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 - 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Make sure the cream is well-chilled, (I even chill the mixing bowl and beaters when I make whipped cream). Beat cream on high speed (or vigorously by hand with a wire whisk) until the cream is thickened. Add sugar and continue beating until it can form stiff peaks. Spread it over the chilled pie and then put the pie back in the fridge until serving.

Sour Cream Frosting

1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
4 Cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring
dash of salt

How to make it

Place ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until moistened, then turn up to med-high and beat for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Cover with plastic wrap if not frosting the cake right away. This recipe will frost and fill one small layer cake or one dozen cupcakes.

Simple Chocolate Layer Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup hot fresh coffee

How to make it

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans, or three 6-inch round pans.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. 

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly and then add in the milk, oil and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for two minutes. Stir in the coffee (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, or until the surface springs back when pressed lighly with a fingertip. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate or vanilla buttercream.

Baked Cheeseburger Spinach Macaroni

What you need:

1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced red or yellow onion
1 cup beef broth
3 cups whole grain medium shells, uncooked
2 cups fresh spinach, slightly chopped
2 Tbsp. flour
1-2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, if needed
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

In a large skillet, mix together ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and pepper.  Brown meat over medium high heat.  Stir in diced onion, and cook until soft.  Pour in beef broth and reduce heat to low to simmer while you work on the other parts.

Cook shells as directed on package, adding spinach in to cook for the last minute.  Drain.  Return to pot.

In another large skillet, melt 1-2 Tbsp butter or margarine.  Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly. Gradually stir in milk.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly; cook 3 to 5 minutes,  or until thickened.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese; cook and stir until melted.

Pour ground beef mixture and cheese mixture over shells and spinach in the large pot; mix well.  Pour into a greased 2-1/2 qt casserole.  Top with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the cheese on top is melted.

Skillet Chili Mac and Cheese


½ onion, chopped
1TB Chili Powder
1 TB Cumin
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB Brown Sugar
1 pound of ground meat of your choice(beef, turkey, etc)
2 cups of water
15oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
2 cups elbow macaroni
8oz. Mexican Blend shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste


Saute onion, chili, cumin and a touch of salt in the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)for 5-7 minutes.
Add Garlic and Sugar to pan. Stir to combine.
Add in your ground meat and cook through.
**If you use an extra fatty meat, you will need to drain your meat when it is cooked through. You do not want all that fat in your dish. I used a very lean ground beef so I did not have to drain mine.
Add the water, tomato sauce and uncooked pasta.
Cover and cook for 12 minutes, stirring often to keep the pasta from sticking together.
Remove from heat, add 8oz of cheese and stir.
Serve this one pot dish warm!