Micky Duffy’s Pineapple Sheet Cake

July 31, 2011 at 5:53 am | Posted in dessert | 44 Comments
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I got the recipe from our friends Greg and Cauleen who got the recipe from Greg’s cousin Jimmy’s wife, Lisa, who got the recipe from her 2nd cousin’s wife Micky Duffy who brought it to Lisa’s bridal shower 29 years ago. Each invitee to that shower was asked to bring their favorite recipe to share with the bride-to-be. Which by the way, isn’t that a wonderful idea?

Jimmy and Lisa live in Missouri and visit Greg and Cauleen each Summer. This photo of them was taken on a day trip to Vail.  During their visit, we were invited over to Greg and Cauleen’s for what I thought was to be an innocent afternoon meal,  meet cousins Jimmy and Lisa, and enjoy your normal run of the mill pot luck food, only to find myself blindsided by a couple of fabulous food discoveries. A bottle of the best BBQ sauce I’ve ever tasted which was a Missouri souvenir they brought to Greg. And this delicious cake that Lisa prepared for the pot luck, which upon my first bite had me begging for the recipe…and I don’t even like cake.

First let’s talk about Blues Hog barbecue sauce that hails from Perry, Missouri. An original recipe created by Bill Arnold, the Pit Master and Chef of the Blues Hog Cookers.  Their website tells me that the formula is award-winning and made from the highest quality sugars and spices in a way which sets their standards high above other commercial sauces. It contains no preservatives, is low in calories and contains no fat. The sauce has been successful in winning many competitions and is being sold and shipped all over the United States and  foreign countries.

To me the flavor was a perfect blend of spicy and sweet and as their web site says “sticks to your meat”. I can’t remember what Greg grilled, but I most certainly remember how good that sauce tasted.

Barbecue schmarbecue…let’s take a look at this cake.

Not only did Lisa serve up this delicious cake, but just happened to have with her the original hand written recipe that was given to her 29 years ago. A food blogger’s dream come true. You really should give recipe this a try. It’s a super easy cake to make and with a can of crushed pineapple, incredibly moist and dense. When topped with that cream cheese, pecan frosting, every bite is divine and addicting.

Thanks to Lisa for sharing this with me, it’s now my go-to “wow them” recipe.  And believe me there’s a reason Micky Duffy underlined “very good’

Micky Duffy’s Pineapple Sheet Cake…It’s What’s for Dessert.


Sean’s Chocolate Chile Cupcakes

January 24, 2011 at 6:43 am | Posted in dessert | 48 Comments
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Last weekend we were invited over to son Sean and daughter-in-law Stacey’s house for lunch.

For Christmas we gave them a bright red KitchenAid stand mixer so after a tasty lunch of Pepita Spinach Salad…

and a bowl of Rick Bayless Tortilla Soup…

Sean whipped up a great little cupcake creation.  Let’s take a look.

What makes these cupcakes special is that Sean dry pan roasted a dried New Mexico chile pod, then crushed it into flakes. He sprinkled flakes into the chocolate batter before baking and then also sprinkled the flakes over the cream cheese frosting before serving. Topped with a slice of pickled jalapeno and you’ve got a flirtatious combination of chocolate and heat. We loved it! 

Moist, spicy and delicious, these cupcakes were a hit with us. He followed a cupcake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and a cream cheese frosting recipe from Ina’s new cookbook. And believe me, that New Mexico chile pod packed a wallop of heat that made that creamy chocolate flavor stand up and salute! As far as I’m concerned this officially earns Sean the designation of an original recipe creation and its own name. 

Sean’s Chile Chocolate Cupcakes…It’s What’s For Dessert.

Dark Chocolate Pasta

September 8, 2010 at 1:48 am | Posted in dessert | 45 Comments
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I just had to give it a try. Dark chocolate-flavored pasta. Flanked by fresh raspberries and fresh Colorado Western Slope Peaches. All sitting on top of drizzled dark chocolate sauce.

My favorite Denver-based pasta vendor, Pappardelle’s came out with this dark chocolate flavored pasta. Sounding so interesting, I couldn’t pass up a chance for a unique dish not to mention good blogging fodder.

Starting with my favorite big white pasta bowls, I drizzled some chocolate sauce in a manner to appear artsy. I obviously need some artsy practice. By the way, I thought about making my own chocolate sauce, but opted just to purchase some good quality bottled.

Cooking the pasta according to package directions, I then plated the dish. I must say the pasta had a wonderful and almost perfect chocolate flavor. And and you can’t go wrong with chocolate and fruit, but I must admit I think it was a little too sweet for my taste. Hubs thinks it would be good sprinkled with bacon bits.  I’m all over that and might give it another try.

I’d be interested to hear what you’d do with Dark Chocolate Pasta.

Dark Chocolate Pasta,

It’s What’s For Dessert.

Sublime Key Lime Pie

August 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Posted in dessert | 28 Comments
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First, how about this  from Yogi Berra:  

The waitress asked: “How many pieces do you want your pie cut?” Yogi responded: “Four. I don’t think I could eat eight.”

My husband’s side of the family recently gathered for their family reunion.  Bob’s sister and husband Vern hosted the event at their home in Woodland Park, Colorado. To get to Woodland Park (the city above the clouds), we drive South to Colorado Springs, passing the United States Air Force Academy, past Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, wind around beautiful Pikes Peak (America’s most visited mountain), and past the North Pole Santa’s Workshop.  There, don’t you feel like a tourist?

Patricia and Vern were wonderful hosts and layed out a feast…and I mean a feast for lunch. Pulled BBQ Pork and sliced ham for sandwiches, coleslaw, fresh corn on the cob, baked beans, mac n’ cheese,  fresh slices of watermelon…get the picture? (I hope so since I didn’t take any)  :-/

And amongst the array of desserts? Patricia’s Key Lime Pie. I haven’t had this in years and the first bite was every bit as delicious as I remembered…maybe even better than I remembered.

You can use any type of pie crust from homemade to the pre-made versions in the stores like graham cracker or dark chocolate crusts. If you use the chocolate crust, dress up the top of each slice of  pie with a bit of  shaved chocolate.

How can something this easy be this delicious?  Take a look at this line up of sinful ingredients.

  • 1 can Eagle Brand Milk
  • 1 tub Cool Whip
  • 1/2 C. bottled Key Lime Juice or 12 Key Limes, squeezed

Stir all ingredients together and pour into a prepared pie crust. Refrigerate overnight. The pie also freezes well.

I think it takes longer to get the items out of the pantry than it does to throw this pie together.

Patricia’s Key Lime Pie,

It’s What’s For Dessert.

Lemon Refrigerator Cake with Pink Lemonade Glaze

July 13, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Posted in dessert | 19 Comments
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Look how moist..and lemony.

Chris over at Nibble Me This recently noted that you didn’t see many desserts on his site because he really doesn’t like desserts that much. Same here. I don’t think I have a sweet tooth in my head, but give me a bag of potato chips….oh, don’t get me wrong, there are desserts that are absolutely delicious and I love them, ice cream being my favorite. And then there’s that darn strawberry pie that Larry makes, but I think I fill up so much on the meat and potatoes and just don’t save room for the sweet stuff.

Speaking of sweet teeth, you need a whole mouth-full  for this Summery cake. I like to refer to this as a “kids cake”. It’s easy enough that a kid could make it and sweet enough for the them to go bonkers over…like bouncing off the walls bonkers.  It’s SA-weet and loaded with flavor. 

The proof is in the pudding. I made this last week to take to one of my client’s open house luncheons. I sent the leftovers home with her for her kids and she emailed me the next day, They ate it like hogs“.  🙂  ya gotta love that.

Years ago, I published a family cookbook.  My cousin-in-law Kathy submitted this recipe with this comment: “This is my favorite summer dessert. It is so cool and refreshing on a hot summer day. I got the recipe from my mom, Deeva Christie” 

By the way, isn’t that a rock star quality name?? Deeva Christie?  Thank you Deeva Christie for this cake recipe, straight from the heartland of Kansas:

Lemon Refrigerator Cake with Pink Grapefruit Glaze:

  • 1 package lemon cake mix
  • 3/4 C. water
  • 1 small package Lemon Jell-O
  • 3/4 C. oil
  • 4 eggs

Pink Lemonade Glaze

  • 2 C. sifted powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces canned pink lemonade

For the cake: Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well for five minutes. Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and pierce entire cake with a meat fork. Pour lemonade topping over cake, working into holes.

For the Glaze:

Combine powdered sugar and pink lemonade in a bowl. Mix well. After pouring over cake, return to the oven for five minutes to set  When cool, refrigerate.

Kathy didn’t say to, but I threw some whipped cream on top.

Lemonade Topped Cake,

It’s What To Jazz Up Your Summer Sweets!

Carmelized Banana Ice Cream

July 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Posted in dessert | 25 Comments
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I didn’t have Internet service all day yesterday, True Blood was a re-run, it started pouring 15 minutes before showtime so fireworks were cancelled…

What else is there to do but make some Ice Cream.  

One of my fondest memories of celebrating 4th of July was my Dad making vanilla ice cream in one of those old crank ice cream makers.  You know the ones, wood framed, packed with ice and rock salt and lots of good ol American muscle to bring it to just the right consistency…sigh.

I’ve been wanting to make banana ice cream.  I’m pretty much a “plain-vanilla girl” when it comes to ordering ice cream out, but I used to love getting banana milkshakes from the Dolly Madison Store.  Man they’re the best.  Anyone had ’em? 

I’ve not been to Dolly Madison in probably 20 years.  Google tells me there are still a couple of stores in Denver and Dollymadison.com tells me this: “Cakes and pastries fine enough to serve at the White House.” That is how Roy Nafziger, IBC’s founder, described his Dolly Madison® snack cakes at their introduction in 1937. Roy’s fascination with the First Lady Dolly Madison lent him the name and inspiration to create a high quality snack fit for a socialite like Madison yet affordable for everyone.

So there ya have it…wonder if they even still make ice cream?

I love custard based ice cream recipes for homemade.  Let’s get started.

  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 C. whole milk
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla

Slowly heat milk in a sauce pan on medium low heat. Do not let it boil, just get it steamy. Meanwhile, whisk sugar and eggs together in a bowl.  When milk is hot, slowly…and I mean slow as you can…drizzle the milk into the sugar/egg mixture, stirring constantly.

Pour the milk, eggs and sugar back into the sauce pan and heat until thickened, again stirring constantly. It should reach the consistency of liquid pudding. Remove from heat and when it reaches room temperature add the cream and vanilla. Refrigerate overnight so that the mixture volumizes. Do not short cut this step.

I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the bananas into the ice cream, so thanks to Our Best Bites, here’s how the bananas went into the recipe.

  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2 – 1 inch segments
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 T. butter melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

On a foil lined pan place the sliced bananas and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and drizzle with the butter.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Look at all that ooey banana gooey goodness.   Let mixture cool then puree in a food processor.

When completely cooled, add to the ice cream mixture and churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

All flavors are good very good together, nothing overwhelms, it’s just flat out sinfully delicious. 

So with all that said, I’m going to grilll up some burgers, toss together a salad, have some banana ice cream for dessert and go watch our Highlands Ranch Community Fireworks display.  Happy Delayed Independence Day.

Carmelized Banana Ice Cream

It’s What’s For Dessert For All Your Independence Day Burgers And Dogs

Snow Bound With Hudson Cream Flour

March 26, 2010 at 1:56 am | Posted in dessert | 30 Comments
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Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning we totaled over 12 inches of snow. Schools and businesses were closed, so what the heck, we called a family pow-wow and declared our household observe an official snow day.

Snow bound and mind clear of normal weekday responsibilities,  one can find time to clean out an unruly closet, work on that cluttered basement, catch up on some household bill filing, dust…

Forget that, let’s bake a peach pie.

Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve baked a pie?

Baking in Colorado’s high altitude can sometimes be a challenge. About 20 years ago, using my mom’s no-fail pie crust recipe, which failed, I remember throwing my hands up in the air surrendering and swearing never to make another.

So what the heck, let’s give it another try.

Let’s start with the flour I’m going to use.  When I was back in Kansas I picked up a sack of Hudson Cream Flour.  

The flour mill is about 20 miles west of the wheat farm where I grew up,  located in Hudson Kansas, population 125. It is one of the last independent flour mills left in the United States. 

Hudson Cream Flour is made using a “short patent” milling process, a method that was much more common a century ago than today. The difference is that in short patent milling the wheat is ground more times and sifted with finer-meshed sieves than in standard milling. Also, the short patent process sifts away more by-product, leaving only the heart of the wheat kernel. The result is a flour that is smoother in texture and produces baked goods that are consistently light and fluffy. (I didn’t know that part,  it’s on their web site and for more information please visit http://www.hudsoncream.com/contact.html)

Before we go any further, take a look at what my Mom gave me for Easter. Take a closer look and you’ll see her dress is real live authentic old-time Hudson Flour flour sack.  Is that just “way” cool or what?

Not only did I pick up the sack of flour, I also found these peaches at Smith’s Market. Vanilla Peaches? Who could resist a jar.

So using my Mom’s pie crust recipe and that Kansas Short Patent flour, let’s get started.

Mom’s No-Fail Pie Crust:

  • 2 C. flour
  • 1 C. Crisco (Thanks to Buffalo Dick I used lard)
  • 1 tsp. salt

Add ice water to form a consistency for a ball of dough.  Makes two crusts.

Using my Little Red Corvette and it’s dough hook, I blended the ingredients. Removing the dough to my work space, I formed it into a ball, added a bit more flour and ice water to achieve just the right consistency, then rolled it out into a large round. (by the way did anyone notice little Alfred Hitchcock Goofy Cat in the background?)

Carefully lay the dough into your pie plate then using a knife, trim the excess from around the edges. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch edges to form a ripple design, poke bottom of dough a few times with a fork and you’re ready for your filling.

I sliced about 4 – 5 of those vanilla peaches.

I topped the peaches with a crumb mixture from a friend’s “Aunt Wilma’s Peach Crumble Pie” recipe.

Popped it into the an oven preheated to 375 degrees and baked for about 50 minutes, or until bubbly and the crumb topping had started to brown.

OK, so here’s the good news. My pie crust was very nice. The bad news is, if I plan to get obsessed with making pies, that means I’ll have to increase my gym time from 3 hours a week to 25 hours a week, which means I’ll have to quit my job.  🙂

Here’s the recipe for the crumb topping:

1/4 Cup Butter
1/2  Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg

Mix dry ingredients and sprinkle over pie.  Drizzle with liquid.
5 Tbs Water (I used liquid from the jar of Vanilla Peaches)

Just look at that vanilla ice cream melting over that warm peach pie.  Mmmmm.  But really I’m posting this photo to show off that creamy crust.  Hudson Cream Flour, you are my hero!  My first successful high altitude pie crust, kudos to you. 

That crumb topping almost makes it look more like a cobbler, doesn’t it?

Wait…wait…wait, I’m not done yet, we’ve got to talk about the “twisties”. When I was growing up on the farm, I swear my mom made a pie, if not two, every single day. With her practice of wasting nothing, here’s what she did with that extra dough that had been trimmed around the edge of the pie plate.

Roll it out, cut into strips, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, twist up the strips, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. A tasty little treat.

Peach Pie and Twisties

It’s What’s For Dessert and Snacks.

Upside Down Cherry Black Forest Cake

February 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Posted in dessert | 19 Comments
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Our Valentines Day, by choice. was very low-key. Quiet and relaxing. I can give or take the pomp and circumstance and am also perfectly happy just to go out for a good burger as long as I’m with Bob  This year I was going to make steak and shrimp, but that Chipolte Buffalo Chili from Saturday night was so good, we decided to have  it for leftovers.

I did however, surprise and impress him with this cake. Not only is it cute as the dickens, but it is extremely luscious, rich and delicious.

It’s Black Forest Upside Down Cake. I saw mention of it coming out of the Martha Stewart camp, but couldn’t find it. So, found a Black Forest Cake over at All Recipes, and a Plum Upside Down Cake over at Martha Stewart and just winged it. 

My cousin gave me a little Polish hand painted heart-shaped baking dish earlier this year and it worked like a charm.  I used a round cake pan for the rest of the batter.

Here’s the Black Forest Cake recipe I found and several of the comments on the site mentioned that it was the best Black Forest Cake ever. I’ve never had Black Forest Cake before, so can’t chime in on that claim, but I do know it is really really good. So moist and luscious and those cherries molded perfectly to the cake.  The cake ended up performing like a super model for the photo shoot,  not one cherry fell off and had to be replaced. 

  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk  (I used 1/2 c. whole milk and 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream – just cuz)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
  • For the Fruit:  (the part I winged)
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pans; cover bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended.
  3. Divide melted butter and brown sugar into the bottom of pans.  Pat in drained cherries and then pour cake batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes on wire racks about 30 minutes. Loosen edges, and turn upside down to onto plate.
  5. Serve with whipped cream

Thrown in a highly rated and delicious Washington State Cab.

And we had a great Valentine’s Day.

Lemon Delight Cake

February 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Posted in dessert | 31 Comments
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Can you believe I’ve actually baked something??? 

Well you’re going to be seeing more because Santa brought me a beautiful Corvette red KitchenAid Mixer for Christmas. After turning out two miserably failed loaves of bread, I decided to keep my spirits up by making this ridiculously easy cake.

I’ve had this recipe since I was a kid. I’m pretty sure this was a 4-H baking project and can even remember entering this cake into the 4-H fair along with a delicious chocolate cake that I’ll make and share one of these days. I haven’t made this cake for over 20 some years, but you know…it was just as delicious as I remember. 

This is super easy if you use a cake mix but even more delicious if you use your favorite cake recipe from scratch. This turns out to be a super moist dessert that never fails to please.

My favorite part of this recipe is the versatility. I’ll explain that part later.

Here’s how easy this is:

  1. Bake your favorite white cake. 
  2. While the cake is baking, dissolve two small packages of lemon jello in 2 cups very hot water. Stir until dissolved.
  3. When the cake is done and has cooled, take a toothpick and poke deep holes all over the cake.
  4. Gently pour the dissolved jello over the cake so that the liquid seeps into the holes and into the cake.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Top with a thin layer of lemon pudding.
  7. Top that with whipped cream.

Ok, here’s where the fun comes in. Lots of flavor combinations available, just browse the Jello isle and pick your potion.

How about: Chocolate Delight Cake with Black Cherry Jello, vanilla pudding, topped with whipped cream and top each slice with a cherry…

 or Strawberry Delight (white) cake with strawberry Jello, vanilla pudding, whipped cream and topped with a fresh strawberry…

Surely there’s a butterscotch idea hiding somewhere on that shelf…

Maple Syrup and Candied Pecan Ice Cream

October 21, 2009 at 2:44 am | Posted in dessert, Ice Cream | 32 Comments


My favorite dessert, hands down,  is ice cream. 

Usually I’m a plain vanilla girl, but with the resurrection of my ice cream maker this summer (which has been sequestered in the basement for the last 5 years – another story, for now let’s just say it was a case of ice cream maker behaving badly and leave it at that)  I’ve really enjoyed testing some new flavors. 

About a month ago, I found a blogger up in Canada, Closet Cooking (that’s the size of his kitchen). Kevin notes that he became bored of making the same things all the time.  Well, he has taken “trying new things” to a whole new level.  Take a look at his blog:  www.closetcooking.blogspot.com    “Kevin in Toronto” (as I call him) turns out recipe after recipe, day after day, week after week – he’s a test kitchen poster child.

Our friends Dan and Teri came over Sunday night for some chili, some soup, some corn bread and some wine.  I served this for dessert and Dan said, “This is the best ice cream I’ve ever had”. 

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

3/4 cup pecans (roughly chopped)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1 splash bourbon (optional) 
1. Melt the butter in a pan.
2. Add the pecans, toss to coat, sprinkle on the sugar and heat until the pecans are nice and toasted, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Remove the pecans from the heat and let cool completely.
4. Heat the maple syrup, cream and milk in a sauce pan until it almost boils, about 5 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to low.
6. Temper the eggs and stir them into the cream.
7. Cook at low heat until it thickens and can coat the back of a spoon.
8. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon.
9. You may want to strain the mixture at this point to remove any bits that may have formed while warming.
10. Chill the mixture in the fridge.
11. Freeze the maple custard and toasted pecans according to the instructions for your ice cream machine.
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