Kentucky Jam Cake

A favorite from youth and living in a small town.  This recipe is decadent with blackberry jam, caramel sauce, cream cheese frosting and pecans.



1 C butter

2 C sugar

5 eggs

1 C blackberry jam

3 C flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/2 t cloves

1/2 t allspice

1 C  buttermilk

1C pecans coarse chop

Optional 1 C raisins


12 ounces of cream cheese softened

8 T butter softened

1/2 C good caramel sauce

1 t vanilla

3-4 C confectioners sugar

1/2 C whole pecans


Oven temperature 325º 3 – 8″ circular baking pans sprayed with Pam Baking®*

In medium bowl combine dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in stand mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time until well mixed. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately until all are combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer and stir in jam and pecans.

Divide dough between three prepared cake pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until inserted cake tester comes out  dough free. Rest the cakes 5-10 minutes before removing them from baking pans to rack.  Cool and frost

In large bowl using hand mixer whip butter and cream cheese until fluffy then add Carmel and vanilla. Beat in confectioners sugar until frosting is creamy and spreadable. Fost cake and decorate top with pecans.


* Pam baking spray is convenient in place of it grease and flour the cake pans.

I like the tanginess of cream cheese frosting.  A traditional Carmel frosting is usually used in frosting this cake.

Filled Cookies

This was an old family recipe reserved for special occasions.  I remember eating these cookies at Christmas as a child.  You can use dates or apricots for filling.  My favorite was the apricot.



1/2 C butter

1 C sugar

1 egg beaten

1 t vanilla

3 C flour

3 t baking powder

3/4 t salt

1/4 C milk



1 C pitted dates chopped

1/2 C sugar

1/4 C water

Sugar for topping


1 1/4 C dried apricots chopped

1/2 C sugar

1 C water


Oven temperature 350º  Parchment paper lines baking sheet Makes 2 dozen cookies


Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl. 

Cream shortening then add sugar and mix until fluffy. Stir in beaten egg and vanilla until well mixed. 

Mix dry ingredients alternately with milk into creamed mixture. Chill dough for an hour. 

Date Filling*

Combine dates, water, and sugar in sauce pan. Cook until softened. Mix well. 

Apricot Filling*

Combine apricots, sugar, and water in small sauce pan and cook until soft. Mash them or use an immersion blender to mix them.


On a lightly floured surface roll cookie dough to about 1/8 ” thick. Cut with 2″ cookie cutter. Place 1 t of filling of choice in center of cookie and fold over then press the edges with a fork to seal. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer to rack.


*Watch closely as the fillings can scorch.




Easy Tasty Roasted Chicken Patty Recipe

A fun twist on leftover rotisserie chicken breast is a tasty chicken patty.  We made this recipe as an alternative to chicken soup, pasta, or pizza dishes. Since we love salad, we served the chicken patties on a mache salad with champaign vinaigrette.


1-1/2 C rotisserie chicken breast, finely chopped

1/2 C mayonnaise

1/4 t hot sauce

2 t Old Bay seasoning

1 t thyme minced

1 egg

2/3 C Panko or bread crumbs


Serves 4.

Whisk mayonnaise, egg, and Old Bay Seasoning in medium bowl. Add chopped chicken, Panko, and thyme then stir until combined. Divide into 4-6 patties.

Heat skillet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add patties and cook until brown on both sides or about 3-4 minutes per side.

Remove and serve on pretzel buns with a blue cheese mayonnaise  or on a romaine salad.   We also love this champaign vinaigrette on salad.


Sweet Dumplings for Sweet Tooths

My Grandmother made these dumplings every spring while she and my Grandfather made maple syrup. She also made us maple syrup candy.



1 1/2 C flour

3/4 t salt

2 t baking powder

1 t cinnamon

3/4 C milk

3 T butter frozen cubed

2 C maple syrup

1  C water


Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Blend in butter until pea shaped with pastry knife. Stir in milk.

Add maple syrup and water to large sauce pan or medium sized Dutch oven and bring to boil. Drop in tablespoons of dough in boiling syrup. Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


Very decadent dessert.  We always enjoyed this at my Grandmothe’s house when they tapped their maple trees and boiled down the sap. At same time she would make us maple syrup candy. 😊😊





Chicken Spatchcock



1 gallon of water

3/4 C kosher salt

1/2 C brown sugar

1/4 C soy sauce

6 garlic cloves smashed

2 rosemary stems bruised

2 oregano stems bruised

1 lemon quartered

1 oven/ fryer chicken


3 T Dijon

3 garlic cloves minced

2 t soy sauce

2 t hot sauce

1 T rosemary  chopped

1 T thyme chopped

2 T lemon juice

3 T olive oil

1/2 t lavender salt


Ove temperature 425º

Mix brine ingredients in large bowl then pour into 2 gallon Ziploc® Freezer (2 gallon size)bag. I place the freezer bag in a bowl. Then add the chicken and seal the bag. Place in refrigerator for 4 hours to over night.

Add the rub ingredients to a small bowl mix and set aside

After brining completed remove chicken  to cutting board and dry.  Place chicken on it’s breast. Using a good pair of kitchen shears remove the backbone. Flip the chicken over and press down hard on the breast to flatten it. Using a sharp knife cut half way through the thigh leg joints and the breast wing joints.

Rub 1/3 of rub mixture on inside of chicken. Take 1/3 of rub then lift skin and rub breast and thighs. Then after searing use remains third on skin.



Two ways to bake:*

I heat large oven ready skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil on high. Place the chicken breast side down and sear for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and and turn chicken over and spread remaining rub on chicken.


Place in oven and roast to 165º or 45 – 50 minutes then remove and rest for 5 minutes.


Second  method is to place chicken skin side up  and rub remaining third of rub on skin on foil lined baking sheet and roast. Roast to 165º for 50-55 minutes.




*Personal  preference  I like the crispyness of method one.

Serve with roasted new potatoes,roasted Brussels sprouts, and a grilled radicchio mozzarella  appetizer. 








Raspberry Feta Green Salad with Walnut Vinegarette Dressing



6 C of salad greens

8 ounces raspberries

1/2 C walnuts crumbled

1/2 C Feta crumbled


Walnut Vinegarette


Serves 6

Rinse and dry salad greens. Place in large salad bowl.

Toss with Walnut vinaigrette.

Top with raspberries, walnuts, and feta.

Drizzle a light amount of dressing on top to finish–the lettuce is all reeady coated.  Toss lightly and serve.

Another option is to place dressed lettuce in bowls and place raspberries, walnuts, and feta on top.


Pear Melon Gorgonzola Salad*



3 pears ripe

1 lemon juiced

1 C rose wine

1 t brown sugar

1/2 t cumin

1/3 C Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 C pistachios

1 cantaloupe seeded

2 limes  zested and  juiced

2 T honey

1 t Dijon mustard

1/4 C olive oil

Salt  and pepper


Serves 3-6

Cut pears in half and remove cores. Place in skillet add lemon juice, wine, brown sugar, and cumin. Simmer until tender but firm. Chill in wine sauce.

Lime Vinegarette

Whisk lime juice, zest, honey, Dijon, olive oil and salt and pepper in small bowl. Adjust seasoning  if needed.

Cut  cantaloupe in half and remove seeds then using melon baller cut 12 balls. Place a smear of wine sauce on serving dish. Place pears on wine sauce and add melon balls to cored out center of pears. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola and pistachios. Dress with lightly with  lime vinagarette. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


*Can  also be served on a bed of arugula





Crab Cakes


1 T jalapeño pepper diced

1 T  green onion thinly sliced

2 T mayonnaise

1 egg

1  t Old Bay Seasoning

1 1/2 t Dijon

1 t Worcestershire sauce

1/4 t hot sauce

1 1/2 t lemon juice*

1 pound Phillips™crab meat

1/2 C Panko Italian style bread crumbs.


Foil cover a baking sheet   Serves 3

In medium mixing bowl add  mayonnaise,egg, Dijon, Old Bay, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lemon juice, jalapeño, and shallot. Mix until combined

Drain crab and pick through for shell fragments without breaking up the crab. Add to it the bowl and gently mix. Add Panko and gently combine. Form into 6 crab cakes* and place on bake sheet. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Remove crab cakes from refrigerator. Add canola oil to non stick fry pan on high heat. Place crab cakes in pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side. I cover pan with a grease shield as sometimes hot oil is splattered. Gently flip them over.

Remove and serve with Tartar sauce or a cilantro lime mayonnaise. Cole slaw and potato salad with crab cakes are a great warm weather meal.


*Lime juice can be used in place of lemon juice

*Don’t form them into tightly packed cakes

Can also be made into appetizer sizes. Use an ice scoop and make 10-12 appetizers.

Turkey Egg Noodle Bake


3 T olive oil

1 onion diced

2 garlic cloves minced

1 pound Cremini mushrooms sliced

1/2 C white wine

1 t thyme sliced

2 C leftover turkey diced*

1 container of creme fraiche (7.5 ounces)*

1 C chicken broth

1/4 t nutmeg

1 C green peas frozen

1/2 C Parmesan*

1/2 package of wide egg noodles

Salt and pepper


Add olive oil to large fry pan and heat then add garlic and onions. Cook until translucent. Add cremini mushrooms and thyme and cook until mushrooms have released their liquid. Deglaze with white wine over medium high heart.  Add creme fraiche, chicken broth, nutmeg and combine and simmer for 10 minutes. Add turkey and peas and cook until peas and turkey heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring 4-5 quarts of water salted to boil. Add noodles and cook unit all dente or about  6 minutes. Drain and combine with turkey mixture. Butter a 12″ by 9 ” pan and transfer mixture to the dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake for about 20 minutes. 


*Cooked chicken can be substituted in place of turkey.

* I have substituted sour cream or  Mexican creme when I was out of creme fraiche.

*I have also added crushed garlic croutons to the top with the Parmesan before baking. 


Easy Spaghetti Sauce with Pasta


An easy to make spicy pasta sauce made from scratch served over pasta that is low fat but flavorful.


3 T olive oil

1 red onion diced

2 carrots diced

4 garlic cloves minced

2 Jalapeños diced

1 pound 93% lean ground beef

1 T oregano sliced

1 T Worcestershire sauce

3 T Kalmata olives sliced

1/2 C red wine

3 T Cento® tomato paste

3 C tomato sauce

2 C crushed tomatoes

1 box of spaghetti or linguine

5-6 quarts of salted water

1/2 C grated Parmesan(optional)


Serves 6 – 8

Heat olive oil in large skillet then add onions,carrots, Jalapeño, and garlic and cook 7-10 minutes. Add in ground beef  and cook until meat is brown. Add red wine, tomato paste, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to boil then lower heat. Add in olives and oregano and simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ready to serve.

Bring salted water to boil and add pasta. Boil for 9-10 minutes for al dente. Drain and plate in large spaghetti bowl. Pour sauce over the pasta and sprinkle on cheese. Serve with green beans and in the summer with a simple Caprese salad.