These are my famous Aunt Lois’ pancakes.  I can’t say enough about them or her.  They’re both tender, sweet, tangy, and everyone always looks forward to meeting them.  She’s wonderful and they’re wonderful.  I hope you enjoy this small piece of her as much as I do.

1 Cup Buttermilk
1 cup Flour
1/4 tsp. oil
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 T. Sugar
2 Eggs

Mix all ingredients and then add enough water to make a loose batter consistency (will easily slide off the back of the spoon).  Heat a skillet over high, add a pat of butter and then pour out your batter into the desired size.   Cook for a minute or two each side until golden brown and serve immediately.


Intentional waste.  I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it.  Most waste in this world is more out of negligence than it is specifically intentional.  Yet, I find that there are a few things that I specifically overbuy in order to justify my vices.  I would like to say that I was trying not to waste bananas in making this cake, yet if I’m being honest, I have to admit that I did, in fact, knowingly buy more bananas than I knew I could consume in a reasonable amount of time.  Why?  Because this cake is one of my favorites.  Perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning, it’s moist and wonderful.  I’ve experimented around with using partial wheat flour and applesauce in place of some of the oil.  It all works, but somehow I find myself always coming back to this original recipe and in a bunt pan, this is absolutely wonderful.

3/4 C. oil
1 egg
1 egg white
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 smashed over-ripe bananas

2 1/4 C. Flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
3/4 tsp. nutmeg

3/4 C. brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste

Mix together first set of wet ingredients, then slowly add the second set of dry. Place in a buttered/floured bunt pan and sprinkle the cinnamon-brown sugar on top. Swirl in with a knife. Bake at 350F for about 40-45 min.

Let me start this off by saying that this was an experimental batch.  I didn’t have a recipe for the combo, but since we were making Strawberry Jam anyhow and I had more excess Rhubarb in the back yard, I thought “what the hey…”

Um, yeah—-it payed off.  I only wish that I had done the whole 20 jars that way, instead of this small batch of 5-6 jars.  I feel very protective of them at the moment; wanting to hover over them like baby birds.  My sister went home with a jar (see how much I love you, Monkey?!!?!) and there are already a few requests trickling in.  I’ll have to make more soon, as I’m not quite comfortable with the level of selfishness I’m currently feeling.  I’m pretty sure that I could sit down and eat it with a spoon (or over ice cream, or in a tart, or …).  In other words: make this.  Make it now.  If you don’t like to can, or just flat out don’t want to, make it anyways and just stick it in the fridge.  Maybe you’ll feel more like sharing than I did if you know it will go bad if you hoard it.

1.5 lb. Rhubarb, diced
2.5 lb. Strawberries, cut in half
1 pkg. Low-sugar Pectin
2 1/2 to 3 C. Sugar
Juice of one Lemon (pref. a Meyer Lemon if you have one)

Makes: about 6 half-pint jars

Sanitize all of your jars.  Place everything in a large stockpot and bring to a boil, stirring all ingredients together as it heats.  After 5 min, take of the heat and mash with a potato masher or puree in a food processor/blender to desired consistency.  Place back on the heat and boil for another 10-15 min, testing every 5 minutes for desired firmness.*  Can according to instructions that came with your jars or pectin.

apple spice muffins

Why is everything exponentially cuter when small?  Kittens, turtles, children’s socks, mandarins, are all cute for one simple reason: they’re small.  Well, in an effort to cutesy things up around here, feast your eyes and hopefully taste buds on these cute little mini-muffins.  Despite their cute shape, these Apple Spice Muffins pack a punch of flavor with their cinnamon, nutmeg goodness.  I made these with some of the applesauce we canned last year (keep your eyes peeled, as this Saturday is Applesauce Canning Day again), so the apple pieces were a little extra chunky.  Soooo good.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts (3 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped


  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin pan.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl until combined well, then add butter, a little at a time, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in applesauce, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Stir in nuts and divide batter among muffin cups.

Make topping and bake:
Stir together all topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan and cool slightly.



First recipe from my sister’s shower? Quiche.  With all the sugar we had, we tried to make sure we had some protein to keep our blood sugar from going through the roof.  Here’s the original recipe from  I just added a frozen box (small) of spinach (rinsed and wrung out), and chopped the cheese instead of shredding it.  It was wonderful!

Basic Pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Large pinch sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons chilled water

Place the flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor and process to mix. Cut the butter in chunks and add it to the flour. Process it, using pulses, until the butter is incorporated into the flour and the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. With the food processor running, add the water and process briefly, using pulses, just until the pastry beings to hold together in large clumps. Turn the pastry out onto a floured work surface and gather it into a ball.


  • One recipe for basic pastry
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 cup milk (preferably whole)
  • 8 ounces gruyère, emmenthal, or other Swiss-type cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg – optional

Roll out the pastry to fit a 10-1/2 inch glass or metal pie plate (not removable bottom). Crimp the edges, poke the bottom with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, and place the pastry in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and pastry weights and bake in the bottom third of the oven until the pastry is golden at the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the aluminum foil and pastry weights. Return the pastry to the oven to bake until the bottom is golden, an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and the milk until thoroughly blended. Season with the salt and pepper, then add the cheese and stir until it is blended, Turn the mixture into the pre-baked pastry, and spread out the cheese evenly over the bottom of the pastry. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg if you’ve used a Swiss-type cheese, and bake in the center of the oven until the filling is golden and puffed, and is completely baked through, about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the quiche – if it is solid without a pool of uncooked filling in the center, it is done. You may also stick a sharp knife blade into the center of the filling and if it comes out clean, the quiche is baked through. Remove the quiche from the oven and serve immediately.

applesauce donut

Let me preface this by saying that doughnuts are not exactly my favorite thing.  They are often greasy, slimy, and leave a weird lipid-y feeling on the roof of your mouth.  But every so often you’ll find a light, crispy, fluffy doughnut that makes you remember why people love them in the first place.  Every year we go to Apple Hill (just a little past Placerville) in hopes of greedily chowing down on their sweet and spicy applesauce doughnuts.  They are unbelievable.  This year I couldn’t wait and searched for a recipe I could whip up at home.  Having never made doughnuts before, I was a little nervous with how they’d turn out.  The lesson I learned was to not be intimidated.  These are easy and amazing.  You HAVE to try them.

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup smooth applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Vegetable oil

Beat 1 1/3 cups of the flour and the remaining ingredients, except oil and cinnamon-sugar in large bowl, mixing until blended.  Stir in remaining flour.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour until the dough stiffens. Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer until it reaches 375 F. Divide dough in half.  Place half of the dough on a well-floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat.  Gently roll dough 3/4 inch thick.  Cut with a floured donut cutter (I bought mine at Ace Hardware for about a buck).  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Slide doughnuts into hot oil using a wide spatula.  Turn doughnuts as they rise to surface. Fry 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Carefully remove from oil (do not prick surfaces); drain on paper towels. Sprinkle hot doughnuts with cinnamon-sugar. The key to perfect doughnuts is maintaining the oil temperature at 375 F.

Yields 18 doughnuts

(originally from, check it out)


“Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”
-Linus, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

I’m not sure how kindly The Great Pumpkin would take to my scooping the guts out of his relatives and cooking them up to my delight—but you should.  Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin with garlic, pumpkin bread, oh my word…the possibilities.  Every year I tell myself that pumpkin is special and should be savored only in Autumn, when it’s ripe and beautiful and festive.  Aaaaaand every year I bite my nails in anticipation of the first day of fall.  You may not be breaking out your scarves yet, but you should break out the pumpkin.  So make yourself some pancakes, coffee, and pretend it’s cold outside.  Don’t worry, The Great Pumpkin will never know.

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil
  • Maple syrup

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches. Just before serving, heat syrup with a few heaping spoonfuls of applesauce and about half a tsp of cinnamon (if applesauce does not already contain).  Serve over pancakes.

(adapted from

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