chocolate pretzel eyeball candies

Chocolate Pretzel and Eyeball Candies

I previously posted about the candies that are made from candy corn, hugs, and pretzels.   These are very easy and tasty, too.  They might even impress your friends.  The next obvious choice would be to make them with some Reese’s Pieces on top and that would be good, but we wanted to switch things up a bit and try some more unusual toppings for our pretzel based candies. We started with Hershey Kisses.  An observation that we made is that the kisses don’t seem to melt as smoothly as the hugs.  In fact, some of the kisses seemed to almost […]

holiday flag poke cake 1

Holiday Flag Poke Cake

I love making this cake for holidays, like memorial day and veterans day, and especially for the 4th of July.  It’s a simple process, and the kids can help with the decorating with very minimal help from Mom or Dad.  This method has been around since I was a kid, so I don’t know who should get credit for the idea.  The basic cake is a Poke Cake.First, bake a white, or yellow, cake, you can use a box mix or make it from scratch.  The choice is yours.  I listed a box mix in the instructions because it makes […]

Black Pepper on cucumber sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches

The first time I heard of cucumber sandwiches, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to eat one.  Sliced cucumbers are good, but I just didn’t understand the appeal of a cucumber sandwich.  Then, I tasted one.  It was a delightful and delicious sandwich, and I decided that I needed to learn how to make them. The problem with learning how to make cucumber sandwiches is that everyone has very strong opinions about the correct method.  Some recommend cream cheese seasoned with garlic and herbs,  Others stop just short of calling those who use cream cheese  blasphemers.  They insist that […]

egg salad finger sandwiches

Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches

I previously posted about my father’s egg salad sandwich, and egg salad is an excellent filling for finger sandwiches.  Finger sandwiches are a great thing to serve at a Mother’s Day tea.  I really think that a tea party is the perfect Mother’s Day lunch.  You don’t even need to serve tea.  You can have juice, cocoa, or lemonade.  Finger sandwiches and sweets are more than adequate.  This egg salad is one of my favorite versions.  It came about one day when I was making lunch and was decided to make things a little fancier by adding chopped celery leaves, […]

A slice of pinto pecan pie

Pecan Pinto Pie

A lady at a local bookstore and I were talking one day about unusual recipes, and she shared that she had once eaten a delicious pie made from pinto beans while visiting a friend’s home.  I was incredulous, but she was adamant that the pie tasted just like a pecan pie. A few weeks later, she supplied me with the recipe, but I never got around to trying it until today.  The recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare using a minimum of kitchen equipment and the pie really is delicious. It does remind me of a pecan pie, but it’s […]

The large heart is much bigger than the small heart.

Fudge Hearts

When I think of Valentine’s day, I think of the iconic heart shaped box of chocolates.    This made me think.  What if, instead of a heart shaped box of chocolates, I gave my sweethearts a box of heart shaped chocolates?  It could work, right? I knew exactly where to start.  I whipped up a batch of Patty Cake’s Famous Five Minute Fudge, but instead of preparing it in a bowl, I used a 4 cup glass measuring cup.  Instead of pouring the completed fudge into a square pan, I planned to pour the warm fudge into the individual cups of […]

scavenger hunt clues

The Valentine Treasure Hunt

I love to make special treats for my family, and Valentine’s day is no exception.  Our tradition for many  years has been a Valentine`s day treasure hunt.  I know that this might sound like a strange idea to some, but I wanted my kids to know that they were loved and Valentine’s day is a celebration of love and affection.  The treasure hunt tradition grew out of that desire.  Besides, who says Valentine’s Day can’t celebrate non-romantic love, too. The hunt begins when each person receives a valentine.  We always color or character code people’s valentine clues.  If you receive […]

Easy Appetizers from a Block of Cream Cheese

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner.  Did you know that New Year’s Eve is one of the two biggest party times of the year for adults?  If you’re having guests over for an impromptu celebration, or if people are stopping by to hang out for a few minutes on their way to somewhere else, you may want to have something simple to snack on before the main event.  In that case, put together one of these simple low to no stress snacks and put it on your buffet, or coffee table, for your guests to snack on.  Each […]

The Loaded Baked Potato Mashed Potato Pancake

Thanksgiving Leftover Make-Over–Fully Loaded Mashed Potato Pancakes

Part of our Thanksgiving morning ritual for years included my first born son and me wandering into the kitchen very early to begin the process of preparing Thanksgiving dinner.    While the rest of our household slept, I rinsed, dried, seasoned and stuffed the turkey as I  prepared it for the oven.  Meanwhile, my number one son would sit on a chair in front of the trash can  peeling potatoes for the mashed potatoes.  I would always finish prepping the turkey and have it in the oven before he finished peeling potatoes, and we would finish the job together. I don’t […]

make ahead green bean casserole

Make Ahead Thanksgiving–Green Bean Casserole

Last year, I was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving day.  This created a problem for our family because I am the primary cook, and Thanksgiving dinner is always my responsibility.  Realizing that I would be unhappy with anything less than the full Thanksgiving Menu, I knew I had to come up with an idea that would allow Baker’s Man to be able to get dinner into the oven and have it ready to pull out shortly after I arrived home from work.  Sue Chef, Bus Boy, and Food Critic would all be available to help, but their culinary skills are […]