franken-krispie-berry treats

I have had Frankenberry on the brain since I decided to put together a friendly strawberry cereal monster costume this year. One time I made Booberry cupcakes for Halloween, but when I saw the strawberry marshmallow sale at Kroger, I was inspired to make Frankenberry Rice Krispie treats. I stuck wild berry Life Savers gummies on with icing for the geary eyes and cut out some strawberry Fruit Roll-ups for the eyebrows. Crunchy and chewy pink monster! I can’t wait to wear my pink hair… this Frankenberry will be a little more pixie ladylike, I think.

day old donut hole bread pudding

Inspired by a menu item from an old restaurant on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis over 50 years ago called Doyle’s Eat Shop, I made bread pudding from day old donuts. I happened to have a few leftover glazed applesauce donut holes from Heyerly’s Bakery, so I used those as the bread and made up my recipe based on what I had at my apartment. I learned about the magic of cardamom in bread pudding from my friend Lindsay, who could make her recipe blindfolded. Since the donut holes were glazed I didn’t use too much sugar and decided that butter was unnecessary. I also sprinkled a few walnuts over half. These would be good with a white chocolate sauce. I heated up some peach and raspberry preserves to top the warm, spicy, sweet substance.

For the puddin:
half about 2 dozen donut holes and stack in loaf pan / whisk together 2 eggs, 1 c cream, 1/8 c dark brown sugar, 1/2 t cardamom & pinch of nutmeg / pour over top of halved donut pile and press down till soaked / bake about 30 min in 375-degree oven or till loaf is springy to the touch

seattle window

I was sitting in my car watching the rain carry colored leaves off of the parking lot trees yesterday, and my thoughts drifted to the jewel-toned state of Washington. Then I realized that at this time last year I was in Seattle, so I dug up a few photos from that weekend.

peanuts for payday

Sweet and nutty, YES. I must have copied this recipe out of an old church potluck cookbook, because I cannot find the source, and my penmanship is dated. I can’t be the only one with personal font phases. In any case, the PayDay bar seems to be the beginning in the progression of “energy” candy bars (followed by Baby Ruth, then maybe Snickers?). But it’s definitely dessert, and this bar recipe is all kinds of sweet, salty and easy.

Mix 1 box yellow cake mix, 1/3 c softened butter, 1 egg.
Press into an ungreased 9×13 pan.
Bake @ 350-degrees for about 12 minutes.

Toss 3 c mini mallows over the top and return to oven for 2 minutes.

Heat on low stovetop 2/3 c light corn syrup, 1/4 c butter, 2 c peanut butter chips till melty.
Mix in 2 c salted peanuts & 2 c Rice Krispies.

Spread over cake & mallow layers.
Cool & cut into squares.

brunch at marie’s


I always say that my first college roommate was a saint, and she still is.  When I visited her last week, she treated me to a super brunch in Grand Rapids at Marie Catrib’s.  I loved everything about this place from the people to the flowers to the font all over the restaurant.  Not to mention the food!  We split two dishes: Marie’s own gluten-free pancakes made with sweet potato and cranberries, served with real maple syrup and honey butter & Esperanza’s Omelette with Marie’s seasoned potatoes. I was having such a good time I had to cut myself off from my fourth coffee refill.  Sharing joys and sorrows of the past year goes best with brunch.

desserts & installations


Just a few of my favorite things! I met up with my old college roommates and summer camp counselor friends in Grand Rapids Friday. It was the last weekend of ArtPrize 2011 filled with treats visually & gastronomically in good company. These desserts are from San Chez in downtown Grand Rapids, including Empanada de Chocolate (chocolate fudge filled pastry, dolce de leche ice cream, brandy caramel, raspberry sauce), Pastel de Queso de Cabra (vanilla goat cheese cheesecake with shortbread crust, lemon curd, blackberry caviar & pecan tuile), and Tarta de Chocolate al Whisky (whisky soaked cake, caramel pecan ice cream, brownie & white chocolate mousse), respectively. The dishroom didn’t have much work to do once we were finished.

nectarine meringue & bake

Once I read a review that described Rachel Allen as the Nigella Lawson of Ireland, and that’s when I first checked out her cookbooks. When I saw the beautiful nectarines at the Co-op earlier this week, I was reminded of a peach meringue bake recipe from Allen’s cookbook, Favorite Food at Home : Delicious Comfort Food from Ireland’s Most Famous Chef.  A really simple recipe where I used nectarines and caster sugar instead of peaches and brown sugar and individualized by using an assortment of mugs and ramekins instead of one big baking dish.  The summer sun has been out these past few days with the crispy autumn leaves in Indiana. Sweet, toasty, browning.

little pumpkin painting party

We painted pumpkins (and just about anything else we could find) over the weekend. What an event! My niece has this crazy dual brush mixing on the surface technique and insists on wearing jewelry when she paints. My nephew is more of a performance artist while painting and twirled his pumpkins clockwise while dragging the full brush over the top. We also had banana slices that needed to be eaten, so the addition of candy corns did the trick there. My niece called them little birthday cakes.

stonycreek farm

The sun came out this weekend just in time for October fun in Hoosierland. Some of my favorite things at Stonycreek Farm & Nursery: pumpkins growing amidst Christmas trees, beeswax candles, corncob cannons, roaming animals, and hot cheesy crinkle fries. Nothing like riding a hay wagon in the falltime air, either.