Happy New Year

Happy New Year
Snowflakes cookies

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Sweetest Bride

I recently had the pleasure to meet a most delightful bride to be.  Chelsea, a very grounded young woman ...planning a small wedding is truly more in love with the idea of being married than having an over the top wedding.  Here is the cake I made for her special day.  Chelsea made the topper and wanted red roses because her future husband Phil has always given them on special occasions.  Everything about the bride and the wedding was beautiful.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple Pie Pops!

Okay I admit it....this is one of those recipes I found in the dentist office and discreetly tore out of the magazine!  I don't know what I did with the clipping, but I later found it again online!  Who would have thought that making pie could be so much fun!  Basically, you combine chopped apples, lemon juice, apple pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice), and sugar to make the filling.  Buy a box of the premade piecrusts (the kind you roll out) and cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters!  Here's the Better Homes and Garden link to the recipe!  Super easy and very impressive looking! What a great way to serve pie! 


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Sugar Cookies

Okay... Mother Nature has really been playing with us the past few days.  After enjoying a few days of fall like temps....this week we were greated with another mini heat wave.  The weatherman assures us that we will feel highs in the upper 70's by Thursday but in the meantime...I'm keeping the feeling of fall alive by baking delicious fall sugar cookies, packing my bags and heading up to Asheville for a couple of days with my son to visit family and enjoy the fall leaves! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall is Finally Here!

FINALLY!  Fall blew in this past Monday at around 7 in the evening!  The wind started blowing...leaves were flying, and of course the power went out!  Twenty minutes later, the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees!  HEAVEN!
What better way to celebrate the crisp fall weather than to bake a huge batch of gingerbread cookies.  The delicious scent from these apple and leaf cookies filled my house and brought the entire family running to sample the first gingerbread of the season!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Making a Splash!

One word for the past four weeks in Georgia - HOT!  Staying cool is top priority...so of course if you are going to have a birthday party in August...it's most likely going to be a pool party!  I made these bathing suit shaped cookies for my neighbor's daughter Katherine who is an avid swimmer. 

Who's Your Sugar Daddy!

Remember the yummy Sugar Daddy candy of your childhood?  This cake will take you back to the wonderful aroma of homemade caramel with the added bonus of vanilla and butter flavored poundcake inside. 

Monday, August 2, 2010


It's just about time for Sorority Recrutment at the University of Georgia.  A good friend of mine has a daughter who is an Alpha Delta Pi and really wanted to knock her sisters' socks off with a batch of fun cupcakes!  I hope the ladies on South Milledge enjoy the vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and the chocolate cupcakes with caramel buttercream! BOOM BOOM!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tomato and Zucchini Pie

This is the time of year for homegrown tomatoes.  I personally am a terrible gardener...just ask my husband, but fortunately, I have friends that garden beautifully.  With a few homegrown tomatoes and zucchini...you can put together a delicious pie to serve as a main dish for a light summer dinner.

Here's the recipe!

One pie crust
About 4 tomatoes sliced, salted, and well drained.
1 zucchini with pulp removed and sliced into bite sized pieces
1 handfull of fresh basil
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 cup 4 cheese Mexican cheese mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

Place well drained tomatoes into an unbake pie crest.

Layer sliced zucchini on top.
Add chopped fresh basil.

Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and then add a drizzle
of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Mix cheeses with sour cream and mayonnaise
and spread on top of pie.

Cook at 350 degrees until golden.

Serve warm and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tye Dye Cake

Like mother like daughter, my 16 year old daughter Emma is the cake maker for all of her friends' birthdays and special celebrations.  Emma recently introduced me to her specialty - Tye Dye Cake!  She made this cake yesterday to celebrate her boyfriend Chaz's birthday (which is ironically the same day as her daddy's).  Below is a pictorial of how to make the cake.

Step 1:  Make the cake batter.  Emma uses a vanilla cake mix or you can make yours from scratch.  Divide the batter into about six bowls and individually color each bowl of batter a very bright color.

Step two:  Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or into 3 9" pans using the pouring method below.

The batter should look about like this before
you put it in the oven.

The cake fresh out of the oven.

The finished cake. 

The inside of the cake.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

It's summertime and the living is easy!  But what makes summertime even better is a huge box of fresh peaches.  This week I bought a box of peaches from Carroll Farms in Woodberry, GA.  They are sweet and juicy and best of all freestone!  So far....we have enjoyed the peaches on cereal, in a peach crisp, and then yesterday, I made 14 jars of peach jam! I can hardly wait for Christmas morning to enjoy the peach jam on warm buttermilk biscuits!  Get in the kitchen and make something wonderful today from all of the locally grown fruits and vegetables. 

Peach Crisp Recipe

About 8 peaches peeled and cut into slices

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick softened butter

Cut peaches and put in a prepared 8 x 8 dish.  Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Combine flour, salt and cinnamon.  Add flour mixture to the sugar mixture.  Mix well. Chill slightly.  Crumble the topping mixture over the peaches and bake at 350 until top is crispy and the peaches are bubbling.  Serve with either vaniila ice cream or fresh whipped cream (not the stuff out of a tub or can). 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blueberry Picking Day!

This morning I spent about an hour picking blueberries at a friend's farm.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the bees were buzzing about.  The grass was still wet with dew and the property managers chickens were clucking in the hen house.  I love going out first thing in the morning to pick fresh berries.  They will soon be in the freezer for us to enjoy all winter long in muffins, cobblers and in our morning cereal. 

If you get a chance....head to a local berry farm and pick your own supply of fresh berries.  You will be glad you did this winter!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 50th Linda and Jim

My dear friend Jan recently planned a 50th wedding anniversary party for her parents Jim and Linda Price.  Jan lives in Florida....I'm in Georgia...and her parents are in North Carolina (almost to the Virginia line).  This cake made it from Georgia to North Carolina in the very back of a Mini Cooper.  Keeping Jan company during the 8 hour drive was her trusty dog Chance....Thankfully the cake made it in one piece and Chance never even thought about taking a lick!

This is Chance......sweetest dog in the world....you see the concern with him riding 8 hours with a cake this size!

Bowling Party

Well if you are going to have a bowling party.....make sure the cake has a bowling ball and ten pins on it.  This was a really fun cake to make and the birthday boy really enjoyed it.

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

My precious daughter Emma wanted a BIG cake for her sweet sixteen party and this is what she got. Pink ribbons, gum paste Gerber Daisies, and tons of vanilla buttercream frosting decorated this lemon pound cake.

Game of Life Birthday Cake

My father-in-law celebrated his 80th birthday with a huge birthday bash given by his children.  I had a ball making this cake.  The game spaces were filled with memories of his life.

Wedding Cake for Lucinda

Happiness is making a cake for someone you love and admire.  This wedding cake was made for a dear friend for her wedding this past spring.  Congratulations Lucinda and John!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bruce Bogtrotter Eats Chocolate Cake

I cannot make a chocolate cake without thinking of the scene from the movie 'Matilda' where Bruce Bogtrotter is forced to eat an entire chocolate cake as punishment for helping himself to a slice of Headmistress Agatha Trunchbull's personal cake.  The link to the full scene is below and is as funny now as it was back in 1996.  I love the spirit of the children and how Matilda stands to cheer Bruce to victory while risking time in the chokey herself. 

Call me if you need a scrumption chocolate cake this Easter. To be eaten....one slice at a time!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kiss Me I'm Irish

March 17th....another day you say.  Certainly not if your hometown is Savannah, GA and you grew up in a very large extended Irish family.  My ancestors landed in Savannah in the late 1800's.  Their names were McDonald, McGreal, O'Neil, and Ryan.  They were hardworking Catholics who believed strongly in their faith and their families.

So it is no wonder that March 17th is especially important to anyone who is of Irish descent and hails from the fair city of Savannah.  As a child, I remember watching the parade from in front of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.  My grandfather, Gene McDonald, walked with the Hibernian Society.  As he passed, my sister Meg and I would jump in and walk a ways with him.  My other Grandfather, Ira Ryan, was a fixture at the Cathedral where he represented the Knights of Columbus and served as an usher.  Later, Pop, could be found down at the K of C selling drink tickets.  During my senior year in high school, I dated a Southern Baptist from Middle Georgia and he thought it was shameful that my grandfather would usher at church and then an hour later sell drink tickets.  Needless to say ...that relationship didn't last very long.

Other St. Patrick's day memories include learning the Irish Jig from Sister Rosarie at Blessed Sacrament School and then dancing the jig as the BSS students marched in the parade.  In high school, the month of March included many performances by the St. Vincent's Academy Chorale and Les Chanteurs choral groups.  We would get out of school almost daily and go sing traditional and fun Irish songs to many civic groups around town.

Now that I no longer live in Savannah.....I look back fondly on the many happy memories of this day.  Today, my sisters Angela, Meg, and Andrea will gather around Lafayette Square to celebrate.  My father, Tim,  and brother Michael will walk in the parade with the Fenian's Society.  My mother, Mary will walk with the Daughters of Ireland. The smiles on their faces as they pass along the parade route are amazingly bright and sunny.

Yes...indeed....it's a great day to be Irish. Celebrate the heritage of a culture that brought dancing, laughter, and hard work to our nation

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Is In The Air

Rain Rain Go Away....Three days of torrential rain and everyone is ready for sunshine, spring flowers, and warm weather.  Fortunately for me, in the middle of the deluge, a friend requested a huge batch of butterfly and flower cookies.  The perfect cookie to get you in the mood for flip flops and lemonade!

Friday, March 5, 2010


After many seasons of always being the bridesmaid and never the bride...my ALTA mixed doubles team finally won our division. That's right.....can you say ALTA bagtag...(those of you who play league tennis know what a status symbol the bagtag is)....Tonight the team is gathering for our end of season party....here are the cupcakes I'm taking in celebration of our great season....enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Creme de Menthe Brownies

One of my friends called me early this morning in a panic.  In her blended family, she has one son who was 12 yesterday and one who will be 12 tomorrow.  As luck would have it between baseball games and carpooling, she was unfortunately coming down with a sore throat and feeling miserable.    Having just left the grocery store with the ingredients, she was about 5 minutes away from my house and and asked if I could step in and whip up the recipe her son had found on the internet.  Here is the result...much to my daughter Emma's chagrin...there were none left for us to sample.  Tomorrow's project is a lemon pound cake with lemon glaze for 12 year old #2.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Aquarius Birthdays

My friend Staci celebrated her birthday in the middle of a great Superbowl Party last night.  Another fun, funky and vivacious Aquarian.  Here's the birthday cake I took to the party.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Valentine's Day is Coming

Just in case you haven't notice the Valentine's decorations, candy and cards that have been in stores since late December....here's a little reminder..Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  Don't get thrown for a loop, because this year the holiday falls on Sunday. 

If you are one of the many people who don't like Valentine's Day....forget about it being a holiday for "Lovers" and instead embrace those around you who you love as friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.  Celebrate life this Valentine's Day....mend a fence, send flowers or something sweet to the elderly lady down the street, share a smile with a stranger.

This could be the best Valentine's ever.  Show your love to everyone and have a great day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cookies of Christmas Past

These cookies were so much fun to make....I loved that they were perfect for Christmas but varied from the typical holiday red and green color scheme. Elegant enough for a dinner party dessert.

Spice Up Your Valentine's Day

I am in the kitchen preparing for Valentine's Day.  The house is filled with the aromas of ginger, cinnamon and clove as I bake a huge batch of Heart Shaped Gingerbread Cookies for the upcoming holiday.  These cookies are spicy and crispy and ship well.  Perfect for sending a long distance Valentine's greeting.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Baking Memories

Since I was a little girl I have loved to bake. The first cake I remember baking all by myself was for an elderly lady at my church.  She was a quiet and poor woman of color and I remember her always seeming to be alone.  As a 10 year old child looking in on the scenario, I thought...what would make her happy.  My answer was CAKE!  I made her a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  I adorned the top of the cake with pecan halves which I thought were fabulous. I was so proud of this cake and very anxious when I presented it to her.  I have reflected on this memory often throughout my life and can only hope that this quiet woman enjoyed my gift.

During high school, I began to experiment with French cooking. I checked out a paperback copy of Julia Child's French Cooking Cookbook from the school library and taught myself how to make pate a choux or cream puffs. I would fill the cream puffs with instant vanilla pudding and have myself a very delicious afterschool snack.

When I graduated from college, I had little money to spend on Christmas gifts, so I headed to the kitchen. I made miniature pound cakes and tiny gingerbread men cookies for all of my co-workers. Everyone went crazy over the cookies so they became the staple gift for the holidays from me and my family.

Fast forward 25 years and I find myself a grown woman who has never lost her passion for baking. I have made birthday cakes for all of the kids in the neighborhood and a few wedding cakes along the way. I continue to give gingerbread cookies to my friends during the holidays and love spending time researching new recipes and decorating ideas.

Enjoy the blog....I'm in the kitchen...bringing yummy treats your way!