Sunday, June 11, 2017


The month of June strawberries are in season...and they are such a wonderful fruit to make really good and easy fruit desserts.

As many of you who follow my blog... already know...I love cooking in my cast iron skillets for just about any recipe...and this includes desserts.

Below is a mighty tasty Strawberry Skillet Cake...that everyone will rave about! And remember "Nothing says love like something homemade."

makes 1 9-inch cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter...softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar...divided
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pound fresh strawberries...cleaned and halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with olive oil...using a pastry brush or dry paper towel. Next lightly flour the bottom and sides of the skillet with flour...shaking out any excess.

In a large bowl beat the ONE cup sugar ( the other 1/4 cup is for topping) and the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy...about 3 to 4 minutes...stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl.Add the at a time...beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl...whisk together the flour...baking powder and salt. Gradually add this flour mixture to the butter mixture in the large bowl...beating at low speed...until combined...then gradually add the sour cream...combing at low speed. Next gently fold in the strawberries...until well combined.
Spread the batter into the greased and floured cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar.

Bake for about 35 minutes...or until a knife placed in the center comes out clean. Take out of the oven...let cool completely...and serve right from the skillet...topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream...enjoy!


Saturday, June 10, 2017


Chocolate cake is just one of those things...that is always in fashion...always popular...and has a very long history in food traditions...around the world.

A good chocolate cake is always in season...and the below recipe is one of the best recipes I have ever made for chocolate well as for the taste.

This is a French chocolate cake recipe...very rich...very simple to make...and it uses very little flour. The butter gives this cake its richness...and the almond meal is an ingredient that I have come to love...and you will love the flavor and texture it gives to baked goods.

Please use a very good quality dark makes a huge difference. And keep in mind...a very small slice of this cake will is very rich.

serves 12

9 ounces dark chocolate...70 percent caco
14 tablespoons butter ( I prefer unsalted butter...but use what you like)
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 scant cup almond meal
1/3 cup flour or gluten free flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 11 inch cake or springform pan with a disk of wax paper.. or buttered parchment paper. Melt the chocolate and butter...on very low heat or use a double boiler to melt.....constantly stirring so it does not burn. Once it is melted set aside to cool...a bit.

Next separate the eggs the eggs...the yolks going into one  large bowl...the egg whites in another large bowl. Put the egg whites into the fridge...and then whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until a light lemon yellow.

In a small bowl stir together the almond meal and the flour.

Add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and whisk quickly and thoroughly to combine. Add the flour and almond meal mixture and fold in with a spatula...just enough to combine.

Take the egg whites out of the fridge...and beat the egg whites until they hold a stiff peak.Using a spatula or a wooden spoon...gently fold HALF the egg whites into the chocolate  mixture...then fold in the rest.

Pour prepared cake batter into the pan...and bake on the center rack of your oven for 15 minutes.After baking the cake mixture for 15 minutes...turn off the heat and let the cake rest in the oven for 10 minutes...with the oven door slightly ajar. The cake will not look done when you take it do not be concerned. Cool completely on a wire rack in the cake pan...the texture of the cake  will set as it cools. Gently take the cake out of its pan...with the same method you use to remove any cake after cooling...and set it out on a cake dish. This cake tastes even better the next day...if it lasts that long!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Today I will continue my May posts...with the focus on Mother's Day...and sharing a very easy and delicious recipe for homemade Coconut Macaroons...because "nothing says something homemade."

Mom will love these homemade treats...made with love. These are so easy to make...even an inexperienced baker can make them.   

Makes 20 to 24 cookies

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine until mixed... the coconut ...condensed milk...and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in a standing mixer or a hand held mixer until the egg whites make medium-firm peaks.Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using a small spoon. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes...until golden brown. Cool and serve. Enjoy!

Happy Mothers's Day

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Mother's Day is May 14th...and this is such a loving tribute to Mom's...and for all they give and do each and every moment for their children.

This Mother's Day...instead of going to a store or shopping on-line...try another approach to your gift giving for your Mom...give her natural...simple...and meaningful gifts from your heart.

Here are a few creative gift ideas for your Mom this Mother's Day...

1...Plant a tree in her honor...including a tree planting celebration. Just gather your Mom...and everyone you want included... around the tree...and have everyone say a message of gratitude for your Mom...then plant the tree together..bless it...and your Mom.

2. Give your Mom a Rosemary herb of a reminder that everything she does for you...and will do for you...will always be remembered.

3. Plant a beautiful Rose your Mom's honor.

4. Make a sweet and loving Mother's Day book for her...having everyone write a beautiful message to Mom...including pictures of you...and all other of her children.

5. Take a large mason jar...decorate it...write MOM across the front...and then fill it with little messages of gratitude to her...for how much you love and appreciate her.

6. Make a collage of appreciation for Mom...adding words and pictures of what she means to you.

7. Bake her a homemade cake...with celebrate her.

8. Write her a poem.

9. Write her a love letter...about how you feel about her...then put it in an envelope...and place dried Lavender...or Roses in the envelope for beauty...and a lovely scent.

Happy Mother's Day to you,

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


May is all about life...nurturing and of course is Mother's Day month. So with that in mind...I wanted to make my blog this May all about Mothering...not just about your own Mother...but ways you can nurture and Mother well.

It is a wise woman who knows...that she must practice self-care and take time for herself...including soothing and nurturing rituals...for well-being... and acts of self love.

Begin each and every morning with a prayer of thankfulness for the gift of being alive...and being you!

After your morning prayer...look into a mirror...and out loud tell yourself with feeling "I love You and accept you...just the way I am."

Be thankful for you!

Give yourself permission to let go of always having to be busy or productive...and allow time each experience the beauty...and joys of just being alive. Learn to value yourself for who you are...not how much you work inside or outside your home or how much money you make...or what your physical appearance is or isn't.

You are worthy!

Become mindful of what your thoughts are and what you say to yourself...and learn to think kind and loving thoughts about yourself. Be your own best friend...and verbally give yourself praise and much needed compliments!

You are deserving!

Stop trying to be like your friends...and just be who you are! This is true personal freedom...when you let go of trying to keep up with your friends...or are in a constant state of envy about what others have or what they have accomplished in their lives.

You are important!

Focus on gratitude for everything you are...and that you have...because truth is quite a lot. Complaining about your life...will get you no where...and brings your attitude and body chemistry to a very low and negative level.

Be grateful!

Nurture your body...with gentle exercise each day...and it goes without saying fuel your body with healthy food. You do not have to go to the extreme with this...just eat smarter and better. Get out in nature more. Nature is good for your soul...and connecting with the natural world also balances your mind...and body...and gives you a sense of calm. Recent studies confirm that being in nature reduces your stress please honor yourself... and enjoy nature each and everyday.

Return to nature!

Take long soaks whenever you can...soaking in a nice bath nurtures you in body...mind...and spirit. Add a few drops of pure essential oil of your choice...light candles around the tub...and relax. After your bath soak..massage a nice lotion on your sooth your skin...and pamper yourself.


2 cup milk
2 cups rose petals

For a soothing and very pretty bath soak...that will make you feel special...because you are...try this wonderful bath.

Run your bath water...and add the milk to the water. When tub is full...sprinkle in the rose petals... and get into the tub. Indulge in this for a Queen!

Pamper yourself!

Embrace your matter what it is! When you honor your creative are honoring your inner spirit...and expressing yourself. A person can become very dull...and out of balance when they do not allow joy into their lives...and creativity is such a powerful way to experience joy as well as pleasure.

Embrace your creativity!

A wonderful and insightful way to nurture for you... to spend quiet time and solitude on a regular basis. Sometimes getting away from it yourself is the most loving gift you can give to you. I often have the most clarity as well as taking an afternoon off...and going to a park...or a museum...solo. Or just sitting outside with a glass of water...listening to my own inner voice...not needing anything else...but the quiet...nature...and solitude... to nurture my whole being...and recharge my spirit.  

Allow quiet and solitude for yourself!

End each day...before you saying a blessing prayer to yourself...for yourself. Thank your body for all it did for you that day...thank yourself for thinking and saying kind and loving thoughts and words towards yourself as you went about your day and evening. Thank yourself for all the love you gave and received that day...and the gift of just being you...and being alive.

Say a prayer for yourself before you retire each evening!

I hope some of my nurturing rituals will inspire you to always Mother yourself...and  take care of yourself in simple natural ways. You are important...deserving and worthy of self care...each and every day!

Happy Mothering,

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Happy Easter to you...Everyone loves a good piece of cake after Easter dinner...or at anytime for that matter...and this cake is sure to be a winner. The buttermilk in this cake recipe makes this pound cake very moist. Enjoy!

Remember..."nothing says something homemade!"

Please be sure to toast the coconut...just place it in a dry pan...and gently cook until it is lightly browned.

I often use olive oil to grease my cakes...cornbread etc. Just add a wee a clean paper towel and then wipe it on pans or parchment paper. It works very well.

makes 2 loaves

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter...softened
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup whole buttermilk
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut...toasted and divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Butter or use olive grease the loaf pans...and then dust with flour...shake off excess flour. Line the loaf pans with parchment paper...letting excess extend over the loaf pans. Lightly coat the parchment paper with butter or olive oil again.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer...or a large bowl for a hand held mixer...beat the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed or until it is fluffy...3 to 4 minutes...stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Next add the at a time...beating well after each egg.

In another medium bowl...whisk together the flour... salt...and baking powder.On low speed gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture...and also little by little add the buttermilk...beating just enough to combine ingredients. Next...beat in 1 1/4 cups of the toasted coconut and the vanilla. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared pans.

Place in a COLD oven. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes...or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the in the pans for about 10 minutes. Gently remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

In a medium bowl whisk together the confectioners' sugar...coconut milk...and lemon juice.Drizzle this glaze over the pound cakes...then to finish off the cakes sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017


April musings... This month is so full of natural beauty...bursting forth upon the land...that I fall in love each April...a little deeper with life...and nature herself. I remember as a young California where I was born and much I loved to be outside. I couldn't wait to eat breakfast...get dressed...and then disappear for hours on end... in the out doors. Sometimes with my siblings...but most of the time by myself. I preferred it this way... even then as a young child...I loved solitude too...and solitude...combined with the natural world...was and still is bliss to me.

It is in nature...and that includes my garden...where I find personal freedom...and the freedom of my spirit...not the confines of walls... or anything in the material world.

The natural world seems to bring out the best in me...and also offers me the very best...of what  the belief of a Higher Power...  really are. I can not tell you how many times in my life...that I have sought reflect...and to seek solutions to my life challenges. And without a doubt...being in nature has brought me so very many good times...and so many wonderful memories and joy...too.

As a writer...I write a lot...constantly. And with any writer...I have my moments...and sometimes even days...when I have a writers block...which is frustrating. When I have these moments...of not feeling creative with my words...I head out to my pulls tend to my flowers...or to just sit...and ponder. Sometimes...though...I head to a favorite garden center where I live. A really laid back and quirky place...where they know me,..and just allow me to wander...touch and smell...all the pretty herbs.You know...they give me my space.

Like some kind of magical green nurturing time in nature...or in my garden...recharges me...soothes me...and opens my heart and mind...restoring the balance I need...the grounding I need... and my inspiration to reawakened...because of my time spent in the most creative and inspiring canvas of all...Mother Earth.

You see wise...and can be trusted day after day...year after reflect back to you with each changing season...what and when you need to start grow or change...or to completely let it go. Nature is a loving teacher...a constant companion...a loyal and giving best humanity...and to all living things and creatures.

My wish for you this for you to find your way the natural world. To renew and rebirth...that part of you...that knows deep within your very well as in your soul... that you are part of need thrive and grow and have well-being in your life. It is no accident...that everything in nature was sustain all feed you...give you water... clothe you...give you well as to inspire your soul with beauty...and enliven all your senses with the greatest of pleasures.

To be to be in love with nature... and when you experience and witness nature... you open up your knowing that nature is your teacher... and with the will grow wise...grounded...and balanced...just the way nature intended.

April Blessings to you,


April brings the Primrose sweet
Scatters Daises at our feet.
by Sara Coleridge

PRAYER FOR APRIL..." I ask for guidance and helping me to take steps to begin my goals...projects and personal change."


April 1st...April Fool's Day...April 2nd... World Auctism Day...April 14th...Good Friday...April 16th...Easter...April 22nd...Earth Day...


The name of the month of April is derived from the Greek word for "opening"


April weather rain and sunshine
both together

April is no month for burials
By Leo Cox...Rite of Spring


In the United Kingdom...Hot Cross Buns are eaten on Good Friday.

In Italy salty pretzels are traditionally eaten at Easter time.

A traditional Greek Easter Cake is made with oranges and almonds. It is eaten with a spicy orange sauce poured over it. Lamb soup is also often eaten for Easter breakfast.


Mow your yards and fields...fertilize your lawns...plant summer vegetables...plant seeds...weed.


Vacuum all your blinds and curtains... then clean all your inside windows...with white vinegar. Clean all your mirrors with white vinegar too...and wipe off and clean bathroom lighting...but be sure to have lights off when you do the cleaning.

FULL MOON...April 26th

FLOWERS... The pretty Daisy and Sweetpea

GEMS...The Garnet and Ruby

TEACHINGS...This month is perfect for taking the necessary steps to get your goals...projects...and wishes going. Also work on personal inner change...that will help you achieve your goals.


It is so easy to get caught up in the negative in today's world...and sometimes we need a gentle nudge to remind us of all the well as the good things that happen to and for us each and every day.

Why not make yourself... A GOOD THINGS THINGS taking a clean and dry jar or bottle...decorating it if you wish...and then each and every day...write out one good thing that happened for you that day...and then place in your Good Things Jar.

This is a wonderful visual reminder of ALL good things you really do have in your life...on a daily basis. Do this simple but heart warming celebration of your  Good Things Jar...for one full year...and at the end of the full through each slip of reflect and acknowledge all you have in your life that are GOOD.



Put daises in small vases...and set them on all your window sills. Put a big bunch of fresh Rosemary in a vase...and set it on your kitchen table instead of flowers this month.


April being such a very pretty and sweet month...I though I would give you a wonderful honey ice cream recipe to make!

Makes 1 quart

2 vanilla beans
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup clover honey

Flatten the vanilla beans and cut them in half lengthwise.With a small spoon scrape out the vanilla seeds. Place the seeds and pods in a large saucepan. Add the cream...the whole milk and honey and stir to dissolve the honey. Heat over moderate heat...stirring from time to time just until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan...about 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and let steep...covered for 1 hour. Keep covered and refrigerate...until completely chilled ( make sure you do this step).

Take out of the fridge when completely cold...and remove the vanilla pods. Stir again to blend. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process according to ice cream maker directions. When finished making the ice the finished ice cream in a container with a lid...and place into the keep cold...and to firm up...until you are ready to serve. This is so will make it again and again.

Pamper yourself this learning something new...taking that class you have always wanted to take...experiment with art...explore a new culture through books and cooking their food traditions...take up meditation or yoga...start a garden. All of these help open you open to new possibilities...and personal growth.