rumcakeAll my brother wants for his birthday is this cake.  He cuts it in several pieces and freezes it, eating it a little at a time over several months.  It is a very rich, moist “boozy” cake.  Perfect for the holidays!  Enjoy!

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 18 1/2 oz. package yellow cake mix
1 3 3/4 oz. pkg. Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie filling
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup Wesson oil
1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum
1/4-pound butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan, or 12 cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan. Mix all cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 1 hour. Cool. Invert cake onto a serving plate. FOR GLAZE: melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the rum. Prick all over the top of the cake. Drizzle and smooth glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow the cake to absorb the glaze completely. Repeat until glaze is used up. Have waxed paper underneath and continue to scoop up the glaze and add it until the cake is saturated.


Source: Bacardi Party Book

“JUST LIKE” Hooter’s Daytona-Style Wings

I’m all American in that I like wings…I’m also from upstate NY where I believe it’s the law that you have like chicken wings, considering Buffalo was the birthplace of the Buffalo Wing.daytona-wings

I’ve come to like the Daytona style wing that Hooter’s offers.  It’s a grilled wing with a hot sauce/BBQ sauce glaze.  I feel they have more personality than your regular hot wing.  They have a little more Sass!

After playing around with some copycat recipes on the web, here’s my take on it.  Enjoy!


1 family pack chicken wings – tips and excess fat removed.  I didn’t separate drummette from wing because once these are cooked they separate easily on their own.  Plus, I didn’t lose them down the grill grate.

Olive oil

Garlic Salt


Preheat Oven to 400-degrees.  In a large bowl, toss chicken wings with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.

On foil covered cookie sheets, place raised baking rack on each sheet then spread out chicken wings making sure not to crowd them.  This will ensure they brown and not steam.  Place cookie sheets in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the skin starts to crisp up. (Have your stove vent on…gets kinda smokey).

Finish chicken wings on your outdoor grill and towards the end of grilling, brush with Daytona sauce several times until wings are nicely coated and sticky.  (Sauce recipe follows).


Daytona Sauce

Combine the following:
3/4 cup BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s original)
1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank’s Original)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Bacon Crack

I was invited to a football brunch this weekend – I chose to make candied bacon, aka Bacon Crack.  Very simple to make:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.bacon-crack

Spray baking racks with oil and put on foil covered cookie sheets.

Lay thick sliced bacon across the racks.

Brush maple syrup on the bacon and then sprinkle brown sugar on the bacon.  (Sprinkle a little Cayenne on it too if you like a little heat.)

Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Once 15 minutes is up, flip bacon and put syrup and brown sugar on it.  Bake for 15 minutes again, watching it carefully  because at this point it could start to burn.  Check at the end of 15 minutes – if you want it crispier, bake for a bit longer.

Once done, remove from oven and spread a little more syrup on it.  Let cool.  It will crisp up as it cools off.  Enjoy and try to share with others!


WOOOOWEEEE! –this will clear the ol sinus’!

beetsI’ve been blessed to have my parents from NY stay with me during their transition period into an assisted living facility near my home.  As we wait for an apartment to open up, they have spent every major holiday with my family and I starting w/ Thanksgiving 2014.  How lucky am I as they are from NY and I haven’t spent many holidays with them over the years as I live here in MN.

In prep for the upcoming Easter holiday, my Mom taught me how to make the traditional Polish side relish of horseradish and beets.  We had a wonderful warm day yesterday and luckily so…as you want to have really good ventilation when making this.  We make it a few weeks before Easter so it pickles and the flavors intensify over the course of time in the refrigerator.

This recipe made about 10 half-pint jars.  Exact measurements aren’t used.  It’s more about taste.

4 bunches of beets (tops removed, keep tails and skin on)


Separate by size (large in one pot, small in the other).  Cover with cold water, bring to boil, and when skins start to remove easily with the side of a fork, remove from heat and drain in colander.  Let cool, then peel skins and grate with hand grater into large bowl.  Add one 8 oz. jar of grated natural horseradish.  The brand I use is made by Silver Spring Foods out of Wisconsin.  See picture.  This, by far, is the hottest, tastiest jarred horseradish I have ever found.  Add white vinegar – ¼ cup or so and salt.  Mix everything together.  Taste – and if you need more of anything, then add it.  Pack in glass jars and refrigerate.  About a week after it’s been refrigerated, taste and see if you need to add more vinegar or not.  It will last about a month or so refrigerated.

I have seen a lot of recipes that add sugar, you can if you want.  But using fresh beets vs. canned beets makes this sweet enough.

Enjoy – and Happy Easter – Wesołych Świąt!

Pompushky-Ukrainian Doughnuts

IMG_2371 IMG_2373Hi – I’m back!  I’ve been out helping my Mom recover from a hip replacement since this summer and continuing to do so this winter.  In fact, she and my father are living with us this winter.  This is giving me a great opportunity to learn more recipes from her and to try new and exciting dishes.  My father is Ukrainian and tonight we celebrate the Eastern Orthodox Christmas Eve.  The favorite treat of the holiday is Pompushky – a simple fried doughnut, but oh so yummy!  Here’s the recipe – enjoy and  Veseloho Rizdva!


2 cups milk, scalded

5 tbsp. margarine or butter flavored Crisco

2 pkg. of yeast

1 cup hot water

1 tsp. sugar

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. salt

5 + cups flour

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Melt margarine/Crisco in scalded milk.  Let cool.  Add yeast and sugar to hot water, set aside to activate.  In large mixing bowl, mix eggs and sugar together, add milk mixture and yeast mixture.  Slowly add flour in one cup at a time.  Knead until stiff and dough comes off hands.  Let the dough raise for one hour.  Punch down and rise again.  Turn out softball size pieces of dough on floured surface. Roll out to ¼ – ½ inch thick.  Cut out in 3 inch diameter circles (I use a drinking glass or canning jar lid).  Place on cookie sheets and cover to rise.  Heat oil to 350-365 degrees in a Dutch oven or large pot.  Drop 3-6 at a time depending on how big pot is.  Once brown, flip and brown other side. It doesn’t take long.  Drain on paper towels.  Shake with sugar and serve.  These freeze well and you can also microwave for 15-20 seconds, shake in sugar and they are just like fresh.

Cinco De MY-O-MY-O-MY These Were Tasty!

chicken roll upsI’m one of those who doesn’t care if I’m not Irish, Hispanic, Italian, I’m still going to celebrate the holidays anyway – at least in a culinary fashion.  This past Cinco De Mayo I tried a recipe for Crispy Mexican Chicken Roll-ups – they are like a flauta, but more substantial.  It was delicious!  I rounded out the meal with Bush’s “seasoned” black beans and quick Mexican rice.  This meal has been voted as a do-over in my home.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Crispy Mexican Chicken Rollups

2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

Fajita seasoning/rub

½ cup jack cheese

½ cup cheddar cheese

2 sliced green onions

1/3 cup salsa

1/3-1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

Juice from ½ a lime

1/8 tsp. cumin

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. chipotle chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1/3 cup canola oil

2 grated or minced garlic cloves

8-10 fajita size flour tortillas

The night before I oiled and rubbed the fajita seasoning on the chicken.  Covered them and baked in a 325° oven for 40-45 min.  I let them cool and refrigerated overnight.

The next day I shredded/chopped the chicken placed in large bowl and mixed in all the ingredients from jack cheese thru salt.  I let this sit for 10-20 min.

Place oil and grated garlic in small sauce pan over medium heat.  Once oil starts to get hot, remove from heat and let the garlic infuse the oil.

Preheat oven to 400°

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with PAM.

Assemble the tortillas by adding about 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken filling along the lower edge of the tortilla.  Roll up and place on sheet seam side down.

Brush the tortilla rollups with the garlic oil.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking and oiling the other side.  Cook until heated through and golden brown.

Serve topped with sour cream, guacamole and cilantro.


Sides to serve with…

Heated Bush’s seasoned black beans with Monterrey jack cheese melted on top.


Quick Mexican Rice

2 cups Minute rice

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup of your favorite salsa


Heat broth to boiling.  Remove from heat.  Mix in minute rice.  Stir in salsa and let set for 5 minutes.


#TBT No Bake Cookies

nobake cookies1I literally have not made these cookies since Home Ec class in high school. And believe me, that was a very long time ago. Now my daughter is in high school and I’m passing the torch of culinary knowledge on to her. She was pleased to learn how easy these are to make and oh! how tasty they are – a guilty pleasure for sure. Enjoy!


No Bake Cookies

1 ¾ cups white sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup butter

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup crunchy peanut butter

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.



Printed from 4/10/2014