Slice ‘n’ Bake Lemon Gems. New Music From Hippo Campus.

Got grumpiness?

Make these cheerful and totally delightful Slice ‘n’ Bake Lemon Gems.

The tart lemon glaze over the melt in your mouth cookie is so yummy. The nonpareils give a beautiful pop of color and a nice crunchy bit to each bite.

Slice ‘n’ Bake Lemon Gems


3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbs grated lemon zest
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup colored nonpareils
Icing (recipe follows)


1. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon zest.

2. In another bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch then gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well then refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

3. Shape the dough into a log about 7 inches long and 1-3/4-inch diameter. (I couldn’t, for the life of me, get the dough into a round roll, thus the rectangular cookies you see in the photos). Roll the log in the colored nonpareils.

4. Wrap the dough log in plastic and refrigerate 2-3 hours or until firm.

5. Preheat oven to 375°F.

6. Unwrap and cut dough crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

7. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set and edges are light browned. Cool 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

8. Spread the icing over the cookies and let stand until set.

Makes 28 cookies



1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tbs lemon juice


1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Recipes from

Grumpiness made me think of this song from the latest Hippo Campus EP ‘Good Dog, Bad Dream’.

In ‘Bad Dream Baby’, a fabulously infectious tune, the singer asks:

“Remember hanging out at Grumpy’s?
chilling with some dudes in their 40’s”

But even better are these lyrics:

“I’m worried about Britney Spears
It’s pretty fucked up how her dad runs her life
I wish my dad was more involved in mine
but not like that really not like that yeah”

(Thankfully, Britney has been freed since this song was released)

Check out Hippo Campus on Bandcamp where you can learn of upcoming world tour dates and buy their music.


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Caramel Apple Pie. Listening To TeenCanteen.


Mmmmmm…Caramel Apple Pie.

Bring the ever popular apple pie to the next level by adding a buttery, crumb topping and a heavy drizzle of caramel.

Caramel Apple Pie


Pastry for single-crust pie (recipe follows)
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup dulce de leche or caramel ice cream topping, slightly warmed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve


1. Roll out Single Crust Pie Shell pastry into a 12-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Trim overhang to an even 1-inch all the way around. Tuck the crust under and flute the edges. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil and add pie weights.

2. Preheat oven to 400℉.

3. Bake piecrust for 15 minutes so that it is partially baked. Remove foil and pie weights.

4. Decrease oven temperature to 375℉.

5. Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together flour and the 2/3 cup of sugar. Use a pastry blender to cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

6. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar and cinnamon. Add apple slices. Gently toss until coated.

7. Spoon apple mixture into the partially baked pie crust. Press gently to flatten a bit. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture. Cover pie loosely with foil.

8. Place pie plate on middle shelf in oven. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on lower rack beneath pie to catch any spills that may happen as pie bakes.

9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 45 minutes more or until fruit is tender, filling is bubbly and crumb topping is golden brown.

10. Cool pie on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.

11. To serve, drizzle pie with warm dulce de leche and sprinkle with nuts. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if you like.

Serves 8

Single-Crust Pie Pastry


1-3/4 cups cake flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons shortening
5 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg or 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1. In a medium bowl, stir together both flours and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter and shortening until pieces are about the size of a pea.

2. In a small bowl, stir together 4 tablespoons of the water, egg, and lemon juice. Use a fork to gently toss the flour mixture into the egg mixture. If too dry, add the remaining tablespoon of water and gently toss to moisten evenly.

3. Turn crumb mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently gather the crumbs together to form a ball. Knead 5 times then flatten dough into a disc about 1 inch thick. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until easy to work with.

Makes 1 pie crust

Recipes from Midwest Living

Something as American as apple pie should be served with some fabulous Scottish music. (There are no rules here)

Glasgow’s TeenCanteen, the girl band of Carla, Sita, Chloe & Debs, unleashed ‘This Is How It Starts’ this past summer. It’s a collection of earlier recordings that took years to get released.

Get ready for some sweeter than caramel dream pop.

Check out TeenCanteen on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


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Short And Sweet. Pecan Pretzel Caramel Candies.

I’ve got your sweet, salty, nutty, crunchy cravings all taken care of right here in these super easy Pecan Pretzel Caramel Candies. Just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes is all it takes to make a big batch of these Turtle-like confections.

Pecan Pretzel Caramel Candies


63 miniature pretzels
63 Rolo candies (about 13 ounces)
63 pecan halves


1. Preheat oven to 250°F.

2. Place pretzels on non-stick foil-lined baking sheets.

3. Top each pretzel with a Rolo candy.

4. Bake 4 minutes or until candies are softened. (Rolos will still retain their shape.) Immediately place a pecan onto the Rolo and press down to spread candy into pretzel. Cool until set.

Makes 63 candies (about 1 1/4 pounds)

Recipe from Chaotically Yours

Here’s a short and sweet song.

“Lets get undressed
call this a beautiful mess
I’ll make a mess with you”

Check out The Wiggly Tendrils on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


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Candy Corn Quesadillas. Listening To Dutch Tulips.

Candy Corn Quesadillas

Kids of all types will like these fun quesadillas inspired by that ubiquitous tetrahedral, pyramid-shaped Halloween-themed candy.

Definitely not sweet, these Candy Corn Quesadillas are filled with chicken and corn mixed with salsa, barbecue sauce and a hint of cumin. They get their festive look from cheese, crushed nacho chips and sour cream spooned in bands over the top to mimic the candies.

Candy Corn Quesadillas


1 pound cooked chicken, chopped
16 ounces salsa
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 flour tortillas (10 inch size)
1 jar (15-1/2 ounces) salsa con queso dip, warmed
4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
2-2/3 cups crushed nacho-flavored tortilla chips
1/2 cup sour cream


1. Combine the first five ingredients in a Dutch oven. Stir occasionally until heated through.

2. Brush butter over one side of each tortilla.

3. Place one tortilla in a large skillet, buttered side down. Spoon 1 cup of the chicken mixture on top then cover with another tortilla, buttered side up. Cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Flip quesadilla over.

4. Spread 1/2 cup of the queso dip over the quesadilla then carefully sprinkle cheese along outer edge. Cook, covered, 1-2 minutes or until cheese begins to melt.

5. Remove quesadilla to a cutting board. Sprinkle crushed chips over the queso dip. Cut quesadilla into six wedges. Place a small dollop of sour cream at the point of each wedge.

6. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make a total of 4 quesadillas.

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course or more as a snack

Recipe from Taste Of Home

I was looking for some candy themed songs when I came across this tune from Boston-based band Dutch Tulips.

‘Candy Factor’ presents as a total music disconnect for me. The heavy guitars lend a total rock and roll vibe. But the singer’s voice, the backing vocals and the lyrics all feel like they belong in an 80s synth-laden situation.

That said, ‘Candy Factor’ is oddly captivating. I’m also never going to pass on a song that includes a lyric like:

“Oh, candy factor
Rock and Roll
Is the greatest tractor
Rock and Roll is the greatest
Tractor beam
To nowhere”

And there is a passing mention of Interstate 93…so there’s that.

Check out Dutch Tulips on Bandcamp where you can buy their music and learn of an upcoming show in Boston.


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Halloween Vampire Donuts. New Music From Hot Flash Heat Wave.


I prefer my vampires cute and sweet. Edward Cullen, Damon Salvatore, Spike and any donut that’s dressed as one.

Halloween Vampire Donuts


1 dozen donuts (plain, glazed or sugar coated)
Plastic vampire fangs
Wax fangs
Edible candy eyes
Red food gel


1. Press the fangs into center of the donut.

2. Pipe a small bit of gel from one side of the fangs down the donut.

3. Use the gel to attach the eyes onto the top half of the donut.

Recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

The world is sucking us dry. California-based Hot Flash Heat Wave is here to tell us all about it in fine musical form.

“It’s draining
Giving more than you wanted
Playing into their pockets
They act like monsters in coffins”

Check out Hot Flash Heat Wave on the band’s Website where you can buy their music and learn of upcoming shows.


Posted in Cake, Dessert, Halloween | Tagged | 1 Comment

Russian Honey Cake. Listening To Apache Rose.

Oh my! Poor (very strange looking) kitty just wanted some cake.

Last year I was lucky to have my daughter home for her birthday. Being that she was a Russian major who has spent quite a lot of time studying and working in Russia, I wanted to make a Russian cake. Specifically Russian Honey Cake.

I looked around the internet for a recipe. When I saw that Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen had a recipe for Russian Honey Cake on her blog, the search was over. Everything I make from her cookbooks and blog is always fantastic. There was also the bonus that Deb’s husband is Russian and she spent hours researching to come up with the perfect recipe.

Now I am sharing the recipe with you. Russian Honey Cake is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. The cookie/cake layers have a hint of honey flavor amidst the buttery caramel notes. Sandwiched between the layers is a simple, sweetened sour cream filling.

Before you make the cake, be sure to remember that you must start it one day in advance as it must set up in the refrigerator overnight before it is decorated.

Also, there is a point in the recipe where all of the sour cream filling will seep out of the cookie layers in a series of wtf moments. It eventually thickens…I promise. (I saw a bunch of recipes that used a thickened filling with more ingredients and didn’t appear to make such a mess…but I trusted Deb Perelman, and I am glad I did.)

Russian Honey Cake
Russian Honey Cake

Ingredients for the Cookie/Cake Layers:

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour, divided

Ingredients for the Icing and Filling:

32 ounces sour cream
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Get 2 baking sheets (or even better, round pizza pans) down, more if you have them. Tear off 6 sheets of parchment paper large enough to have a 9-inch circle on it.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, honey and butter over medium heat. Once simmering, cook for about 3 minutes until it is a faint shade darker and fragrant. Whisk in baking soda.

3. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside for 3 minutes. Transfer the honey mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.

4. Lightly beat eggs in a measuring cup (so that it is easy to pour them). With mixer on low, drizzle in the eggs as slowly as possible in a thin stream (about 1/2 teaspoon at a time). Do not stop mixing. Continue until all of the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

5. Stir in the salt, vanilla and 3 cups of the flour. The dough will be very thick. Stir in the last 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time.

6. Lightly flour work surface and divide the still-warm dough into 8 even pieces. Roll the first dough piece between two sheets of parchment paper (no flouring needed) to a round slightly larger than 9 inches. Remove top sheet of parchment paper. Lightly dust the top with flour and place a 9-inch cake pan on top, then trim the dough to make an even 9-inch circle. Save the trimmings and put them aside on a sheet of parchment paper.

7. Prick the circle of dough all over with a fork then slide it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

8. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes. The cookie/cake circle should feel firm and be slightly darker at the edges. Slide the cookie/cake onto a cooling rack.

9. Meanwhile, while the first layer is baking, roll out the second dough piece so it’s ready to go into the oven as soon as the first comes out. Repeat this process as you bake each round until all 8 rounds are baked. Keep adding the unbaked cookie trimmings to the parchment-lined baking sheet you started in step 6.

10. Bake the sheet of cookie trimmings for 5 minutes until pale golden, checking at 3 minutes to be sure the thinnest scraps are not getting too browned. Let cool completely and set aside until it’s time to decorate the cake.

11. Whisk sour cream and sweetened condensed milk together in a large bowl. Place a dab of the sour cream mixture on a cake plate (I recommend using a plate with a raised lip around the edge) and place the first cooled cookie on top of it to help keep it in place.

12. Cut one of the used pieces of parchment paper into strips and tuck them all around the underside of the cake to protect your cake plate. If you do not do this, you will have a messy plate to clean later.

13. Scoop 3/4 cup sour cream mixture onto the center of the first cookie layer. Spread it just a little bit from the center, leaving a 2-inch margin of unfrosted cookie. Top with the second cookie and 3/4 cup sour cream mixture. Repeat process until you have 8 layers.

The next step is a mess. Be prepared for a feeling of discouragement. Take a deep breath and rest assured that everything is going to be alright.

14. The cake is going to have sour cream spilling out and down the sides. The cake may also slide around and not stay neatly stacked. Remember that the filling will thicken as it absorbs into the cookies and the mess will eventually resolve. Just keep putting the cake in the refrigerator for an hour or two and carefully nudge the stack back into place. Use a spoon to scoop up the spilled filling and put it back up the sides and onto the top of the cake. Let the cake chill overnight.

15. The next day, finish the cake. Place the reserved baked cookie scraps in a food processor and pulse into crumbs.

16. Remove cake from refrigerator. Spread any sour cream that has seeped out overnight back onto the top and sides of the cake. To make a decoration on top of the cake, take a piece of parchment paper and cut it into a shape (such as the heart I used). Place this stencil gently on top of the cake.

17. Use a small spoon to sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the crumbs. Use a pastry brush to gently brush the crumbs off the stencil. Remove the stencil and parchment paper strips.

18. The cake can be served right away or it will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Use a knife dipped in hot water to make clean slices.

Serves 12

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Russian rock band Apache Rose is going to provide the classic rock meets Brit-pop tune to accompany our cake. “Some Kind Of Love” is wildly addictive. I’m waving my lighter. (Yeah…I’m that old).

Check out Apache Rose on Facebook. You can buy their music here.


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Baked Rigatoni With Béchamel Sauce

Nothing like opening up a post with some jazzy hamsters promoting spring water.

Today’s recipe is a lot more comforting and substantially more satisfying than any bottle of water.

Baked Rigatoni With Béchamel Sauce will warm you up as the weather turns cooler. The rich, white cream sauce gets a flavor boost from some nutty fontina and salty bits of prosciutto.

Baked Rigatoni With Béchamel Sauce


4 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons flour
32 ounces whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and pepper
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 pound dry rigatoni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes


1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

2. In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes until it thickens and it can coat the back of the spoon.

3. Remove sauce from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, and prosciutto. Season with salt and white pepper then set aside.

4. Cook rigatoni in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain then return pasta to the pot.

5. Pour béchamel sauce over the pasta and mix well.

6. Spoon pasta mixture in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina and then scatter with diced butter.

7. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden.

Serves 6

Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

We’re gonna kick up the jazz and go over the top with some art-psych jazz-rock. That’s what British band Hill is offering up. This weird meandering tune checks all my get in a good mood boxes for today.

“We want to have fun”

Damned straight, we do!

Check out Hill on Youtube. The link to their website is expired, unfortunately.


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Caramel Banana Muffins. Listening To Dolores Haze.

These are probably the best muffins I have made in a long time.

Caramel Banana Muffins are the full flavor package. In addition to the delicious combination of caramel and banana, there is a crunchy pecan streusel in the batter and even more on top. The muffin is beautifully moist with a satisfyingly crisp top.

Caramel Banana Muffins


½ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
⅔ cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons caramel-flavored ice cream topping, plus extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon butter, melted


1. Line twelve (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups or 6 jumbo (3-1/4-inch) muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In a small bowl, mix pecans, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, softened butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until well combined. Add egg and beat well. Beat in the mashed banana and vanilla until combined.

4. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the banana mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.

5. Stir 1/4 cup of the pecan mixture into the batter.

6. Spoon half the batter into prepared muffin cups. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon caramel topping over batter in each cup. Top with remaining batter. Drizzle each with a little melted butter and sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.

7. Bake at 375℉ for 18 to 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

8. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan. Serve warm drizzled with more caramel topping.

Makes 12 standard or 6 jumbo muffins

Recipe from Midwest Living

Okay Girl… tell him! 😂😂😂

“I might wanna talk to your mama (your ding dong dangle),
I don’t wanna see your banana”

Check out Dolores Haze on the band’s Website. You can buy the music here.


Posted in Muffins | Tagged | 2 Comments

Birthday Cake In A Jar. New Music From Birthday Cake!

Kitty wants that camera. lol. I bet it would lurve some cake.

I mentioned that it was birthday season here in my house. Sadly (for me), as they enter adulthood the birthday children are not always home on the big day.

This year my son celebrated his 20th birthday while spending the summer in Wisconsin. I decided to make some portable cakes to send him. Birthday Cake In A Jar!

Since I live in Vermont, I knew those jars would be traveling lots of miles over about 3 days at the end of July. I decided to go with boxed cake mix and purchased icing to reap the benefits of all the preservatives that are added to them.

Funfetti Cake and a colorful splash of rainbow sprinkles make the cakes very festive. Bonus…my son said they arrived just fine and were yummy.

Birthday Cake In A Jar


1 Funfetti cake mix
1 tub of vanilla icing
3 (1 pint) wide mouth Mason jars
Round cookie cutter
Ribbons and stickers, to decorate


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

2. Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions.

3. Bake the cake in the prepared pan for the time indicated on the mix package. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

4. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out cake rounds that are slightly smaller than the mason jar opening.

5. Drop a cake round into the bottom of the jar then spoon on some icing. Repeat with another cake round and some more icing. Add a sprinkling of sprinkles.

6. Seal the jar with the lid. Wrap ribbon around the jars and add a birthday tag.

Makes 3 jars

Recipe from Joy & Oliver

Birthday Cake!

That’s the name of the band which, apart from having a cracking good new album out called ‘Methods Of Madness’ and being from my beloved Glasgow, makes them perfect for today’s post.

“Mother Mary, You’re the best thing
that’s happened to me
Since I was conceived
From the ash of a pint glass
Thank God these drinks have come at last”

Check out Birthday Cake! on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


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NYC Deli Dogs. New Music From ameliarose.

I grew up in NYC and the street carts usually served their hot dogs with sauerkraut and yellow mustard. Sometimes there was tomato-onion sauce as an available topping.

There was NEVER cheese, gherkins or horseradishy special sauce tucked into the bun with the frank.

But, you know what? Those toppings are absolutely delicious on a hot dog.

Go ahead and call it a NYC Deli Dog if you want…you know that it isn’t really, but be assured it’s yummy.

NYC Deli Dogs


2 Tbs mayonnaise
2 Tbs ketchup
2 Tbs creamed horseradish sauce
4 slices Swiss cheese
Chopped gherkins
Yellow mustard
4 hot dogs, cooked
4 hot dog buns


1. Mix together mayonnaise, ketchup and creamed horseradish sauce.

2. Put a slice of swiss cheese inside each hot dog bun.

3. Add the hot dog and some of the mayonnaise sauce then top with sauerkraut and gherkins. Drizzle with mustard and serve.

Makes 4 deli dogs

Recipe from Olive Magazine

This is different.

“GOLIATH” is the new single from NY-based artist ameliarose. There’s a lot going on…insistent piano, little vocal squeaks, some brooding 90’s Alanis vibes, and an overall mesmerizing, chill feel. And she’s only 19 years old!

“I’m bitter & bold
I’m glitter & gold
I’ve lost control
& I need your hold”

Check out ameliarose on her Website where you can buy the music.


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