Posts Tagged ‘fall desserts’

Thanksgiving time and I’m remembering so many happy Thanksgivings spent with my parents and sisters. When my sisters and I were younger, Thanksgiving meant High School football. Natick vs. Framingham rivals like no other. We always made our own pom-poms from red and blue crepe paper rolls and mom would buy us colored crysanthamums to wear on our jackets. While we cheered our team on, mom was busy in the kitchen at home preparing our Thanksgiving dinner. It was always served at the big dining room table, covered in white linen. Our dishes with the pretty pink flowers would be filled with turkey and dressing and all the fixings. Through the years, Thanksgiving day followed almost the same pattern. Because I was the youngest child, the game continued to be a big part of the day, but my sisters married and sometimes shared the day with their spouse’s families. One year, with just the three of us (Mom, Dad and me) it was decided we would eat out. A more beautiful setting for Thanksgiving than the Wayside Inn there will never be.

It was there I discovered Grape-nut pudding. Served warm with whipped cream, I fell in love with the silky custard and slightly nutty crust. In the years that have passed, I’ve never tried making my own until now. I searched my beloved copy of ‘Fanny Farmer Cookbook’ and scoured the internet to come up with what I felt was a suitable recipe. Of course I took my favorite three and took a little bit from each.

Now, more is not always better. Every now and then, I ‘tweak’ a recipe. Here we go, first, I adjusted the eggs, but only because in separating one of them, I broke the white into my bowl and ditched the yolk. I was supposed to use 2 eggs and 2 yolks. Now I had 2 eggs and 1 white. To correct the error I just added another egg, and what the heck, I added another yolk too. I beat up my eggs with the sugar and vanilla and tempered them nicely. Then I decided that 1/2 cup of Grape-Nuts sounded wanting. They looked lost floating around in that quart of milk. So I added another 1/2 cup. What I didn’t count on is, they expand! They plump up to 3 times their size! They are like oatmeal or cornmeal. They take over and suck up all that milk. We ate it anyway, covered in more milk and lots of whipped cream, not a total disaster, but not at all like I remembered way back 50 yrs ago. Lesson learned.

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Raisin Bars

My daughter has asked for these repeatedly over her 40+ years, a favorite passed down to me from my mother-in-law. The smell of cinnamon and ginger is the perfect setting for fall baking. Fast and easy almost every kitchen will have the ingredients at hand.

1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
1-3/4 Cup Flour
1 Teas Baking Soda
1/4 Teas Salt
1 Teas Vanilla
1 Teas Cinnamon
1/2 Teas Nutmeg
1/2 Teas Allspice
1/2 Teas Ginger
1/4 Teas ground Cloves

Place water and raisins in small pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Add Oil to raisins and water. Allow to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a jelly-roll pan (cookie sheet with raised sides) with Pam.
Lightly dust pan with flour.
Sift together flour, salt, soda and dry spices in a bowl.
Beat 1 egg with sugar until light. Mix in vanilla and raisin mixture.
Add flour mixture a third at a time. Mix just until well incorporated.
Spread evenly in pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tests done.
After cake is completely cooled,
glaze with

1/2 cup powdered sugar
dash of vanilla
Milk to make thin consistency for spreading (2-3 Tbl.)

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