From the Kitchen

White Chocolate Chip and Candy Cane Cookies


Perfect with a cup of tea!


Last Friday IZ and I Baked. Yeah, that’s right, Baked with a capital B. We made 16 dozen cookies plus a dozen mini chocolate cakes for our church’s bazaar. The proceeds go to help mission projects locally, nationally, and internationally. With the landfall of Haiyan in the Philippines –it’s money much needed.

We wanted to make something festive — and to me, at least, a candy cane is the embodiment of holiday sweetness. They’re so charming in their red and white stripes.  I especially love the mini ones. I’ll confess, I tend to stash little pockets of them around the house: just so there is always one within reach when the mood strikes. You do that too, right? 

So, instead of the usual Salted Chocolate Chip cookies, let me introduce you to the White Chocolate Chip and Candy Cane Cookie. (which, really needs a better name. Suggestions??)  These are built on the same recipe for our favorite chocolate chip cookies, but instead of dark chocolate, we substituted white chocolate and candy canes. It’s still a loaded cookie: make no doubt about it. But it’s festive and has just enough peppermint to melt your heart. 


How cute is the plate? IZ made it for our family years ago! It says, “Our home for the holidays is a place of joy — Jack, Wendelynn, Georges, and you.”

Yummy! The only thing I’d do differently is I would top each cookie with just a touch of crushed candy cane — for visuals only. Otherwise, these are perfect. 

And, if you’re not a white chocolate person, they’re just as good with semi sweet chips. (I should know I made a batch of those as well!) 

The bazaar was a big success! And of course, we brought home a box of cookies. The women in my church know how to bake: I’m afraid that box is almost gone. I really need to remember to buy 2  boxes next year and pop one in the freezer for Christmas.

So, tell me… do you have a favorite holiday cookie? Please share your recipe in the comments. 


(recipe below the fold)

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Raspberry Thyme Sorbet

Raspberry Thyme Sorbet


Raspberry Thyme Sorbet: A beautiful pairing for the end of summer. 


We finished off that bottle of Rosé tonight: sitting out on our lovely porch, soaking in the balmy weather and the incredible river view. It was probably one of our last dinners on the porch this year: we’re loving every moment we get outside!

Despite the weather, autumn is decidedly in the air and I wanted to make something for desert that was evocative of the change, without heating up the house on an 80+ degree day! This Raspberry Thyme Sorbet was the perfect solution.  So, between photographing and listing a gorgeous new “Travel Pretty” silk slip, I whipped up this sorbet. No, really, it was just that easy! 

Our ice cream maker recently kicked the bucket (I’ll wait…. bad pun! Awesome!), but you can make this easily without a machine. The recipe doesn’t make all that much: but it’s so sweet, a little goes a very long way. I didn’t take a photo, but I served the sorbet with some dark chocolate Milano cookies. YUMMO!

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A Perfect Brownie


It really is a perfect brownie. 


Perfection on so many fronts! I can’t tell you good these things are. So, I’m going to just post the recipe and let you decide for yourself. 

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Greek Yogurt Box Cake Recipe



Pinterest for the win. . . 


It’s all the rage on pinterest right now. This recipe for substituting Greek Yogurt for eggs and oil in a boxed cake mix. It’s so easy, I haven’t even bothered to pin it — it seemed a little too good to be true. Sure, it’s less fat, but it’s going to taste like cardboard… right? 

But then Geo came home from a birthday party last weekend talking about chocolate cake. Easily suggestible? Who me?? And I thought, “What the heck, let’s give this a try.” Which was really code for “I need chocolate cake. I need chocolate cake.” It’s really my mantra, when I think about it. 

I had my doubts, but WOW! The recipe really is easy. And it really is amazing. The cake tastes fantastic. I may or may not have had a slice for breakfast.  It bakes beautifully–even, dense layers–perfect for adding your favorite fillings and frostings. I haven’t tried it cupcake form, so if you do, let me know it turns out. 

And while you won’t need to pin the recipe to remember it, I do have a few pointers that might make it even easier to make! Or at least point you in the right direction. 

  • I used a Pillsbury  Moist Supreme Devil’s Food Cake Mix. And cut my cake into 12 servings. 
  • The recipe calls for 1 cup greek yogurt and 1 cup of water added any boxed cake. I used NON-FAT Greek Yogurt and I increased it by 1/4 cup. The mix is still super thick, you’ll be getting a work-out spreading it in the pans. But one you do, it’s bakes extremely even layers!
  • I used 2 9″ pans and baked my cakes for 25 mins at 350 degrees. Every pin I read said reduce the baking time by 10 minutes and that worked perfectly for me. 
  • I added the water first and then the yogurt. Again, it’s super thick, but I think it’s easier to get it all combined that way. 
  • I totally cheated and used a  canned frosting. I’m lazy, whatever. But this cake is really good enough to eat plain. 

Sometimes, too good to be true turns out to be chocolate cake. Go figure. 


Greek Yogurt Box Cake Recipe

1  cake mix, 1.25 cup of non-fat Greek Yogurt, 1 cup of water. 350 oven for 25 mins in 9″ cake pans. 

Nutritional Info Per Serving:

  • Calories: 109 (add about 150 with frosting)
  • Protein: 3.8
  • Carbs: 29.3 (+20)
  • Fat: 2.5 (+6)



How Bazaar

Nutella Shortbread for this year’s Christmas Bazaar at our Church.  


If I’d known that I’d be administrating email password resets for hundreds of customers this week, I don’t think I would have said yes to baking  cookies for the annual Christmas Bazaar at church. 

Want to make people angry? Ask them to upgrade their email passwords and then tell them they can’t use their name or their domain name in their password. It’s a guaranteed head spinner.

But I did say yes. Yes to 6 dozen cookies and by gum, I’m a girl of my word. Even if my word is “by gum”–and that’s really a phrase. 

Of course, one might arch a well groomed eyebrow or not at my choice to try a completely new recipe when a standby would be quicker. Saner. Safer. However, I felt a bit challenged. When I asked what kind of cookie was desired, I was told, “Oh, you can make chocolate chip.”

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