Pear Sauce


Yields 4 cups

6 large pears

Peel the pears, cut into quarters, remove and discard the core. Slice crossways into thin slices. Place in a saucepan.

½ cup water

Optional: Substitute ¼ cup of Armagnac or Cognac.*

Add to pears. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat just until the pears are tender. The time varies; ripe pears will take about 20 minutes, unripe pears may take up to an hour. Add more water if the pan goes dry.

½ cup sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

Dash salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp butter

Turn off the heat. Add all and stir well.

1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 Tbsp cornstarch

Dissolve the cornstarch in water. Add to the pears while stirring briskly to avoid lumps. Turn on the heat, bring back to a boil, cook for a minute, stirring constantly.

*Although I say the liquor is optional, it really is the secret ingredient of this sauce. The alcohol will boil off as it cooks, leaving a wonderful flavor.

Warm pear sauce is delicious on pancakes.Warm pear sauce is delicious on pancakes or shortcake.

Pear Shortcake


Oven 350 F

Serves 4


Warm Pear Sauce

Whipped cream

If the scones are cold, warm them in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 F. Place in a serving bowl, top with warm pear sauce and whipped cream. Heavenly.

Nothing beats a warm pudding on a winter’s eve… or summer’s eve… or in-between.   

Banana Cupcakes

Oven 350 F

Yields 2 dozen cupcakes

1 ¾ cups sugar

2/3 cup butter

Soften the butter slightly in the microwave. Beat together.

2 eggs

Add and beat.

2 1/3 cups flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp Vanilla

Add and beat.

3 bananas, mashed


2/3 cup walnuts or

1 cup chocolate chips

Fold in bananas & nuts or chocolate chips gently with a spoon.

Line the cupcake tin with baking papers. Fill 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes. Insert a toothpick to test for doneness- it will come out clean.

Frost with buttercream frosting.

Pumpkin Pie




Oven 425 F – 350 F

Serves 8

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

1 cup evaporated milk

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves


Blend well.

2 eggs

Beat in a small bowl and add to the mix. Blend on med-high for 2 minutes.


Single pie crust

Pour into an unbaked single crust pie shell. Cover the edge of the crust with a long strip of foil. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 F for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the pumpkin is set. Insert a knife in the center; the pumpkin is done when the knife comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Cover the pie tightly with wax paper and plastic wrap. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to one week.


Whipped Cream

Serve with whipped cream.


My favorite breakfast is pumpkin pie on the day after Thanksgiving!

Black Forest Cake


This cake requires a little planning. I suggest that you start two days ahead:

Day 1- marinate the cherries in kirschwasser overnight.

Day 2- bake the cake, assemble with cherry filling and allow to chill overnight.

Day 3- make the fudge icing, whipped cream and take a bow when your guests oooh and aahhh!


Marinate the cherries:

2 (15 oz) cans dark sweet cherries in syrup

½ cup Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)

Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup in the refrigerator for later. Place the cherries in a small bowl and add the kirschwasser. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.



Prepare the chocolate cake:


Oven 350 F


1 ½  cups sugar

½ cup Crisco shortening


Mix on medium speed.

2 eggs

Add and mix on medium speed.


½ cup Hershey’s cocoa

½ cup warm water


In a separate small bowl or large cup, mix together and stir with a fork until the cocoa is dissolved. Add to the sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until well blended and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl a few times with a rubber spatula.


2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda



Sift together and add to the batter. Mix on low speed until well blended.

1 tsp almond extract

1 cup cold water

Add liquid and mix on slow to avoid splashing. Mix batter on medium-high for two minutes.


1 Tbsp shortening

2 Tbsp flour

Prepare three round cake pans. . Use a paper towel to grease the bottom and sides of the cake pans. Sprinkle with flour and roll around to coat the pan. Turn over the pan and tap gently to remove the excess flour.

Pour the batter into the pans. Shake the pan horizontally to level the batter and climb the walls a bit.

Bake the cake in a preheated 325 F oven for about 20-25 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake; the cake is done when it comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then slide a table knife around the edges to loosen. Place a plate upside down on top of the pan, invert and tap the bottom of the pan to remove the cake.


Assemble the cake:

1 cup cherry syrup (from above)

2 Tbsp cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

Place the syrup, cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve. Cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and translucent. Turn off the heat.










Don’t forget to reserve 8 cherries for the top! –>

Assemble the cake while it is still warm. Use a serrated knife to slice horizontally across the bottom two layers to flatten the surface. Place the bottom layer upside down on the serving plate.


Set aside 8 of the marinated cherries to garnish the top of the cake later.


Spoon half of the cherries on the cake, along with half of the kirschwasser marinade. Pour half of the thick cherry sauce over the cherries. Place the second layer and press down slightly. Repeat with the cherries and sauce. Place the third layer on top, right side up. Cover the cake and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.


½ cup heavy cream

1 cup Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup powdered sugar


Place the cream in a glass bowl. Microwave 30 seconds or longer until it almost boils. Pour in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Beat with a fork until smooth. Add the vanilla and sugar. Beat with the fork again until smooth. Set aside at room temperature for about an hour, until it becomes very thick, but still pourable.


Remove the cake from the refrigerator and pour the fudge icing on top. It may run down the sides a bit which is fine. Return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the fudge to set up.


1 ½ cups heavy cream

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp vanilla


Whip the cream on high with the mixer to form stiff peaks. Spread the shipped cream like icing around the sides of the cake.

Place some cream in a decorating bag to create a decorative edge around the top and bottom. Squeeze 8 dollops of cream on top and place the 8 reserved cherries on top.


Refrigerate until you are ready to serve your masterpiece!


This is my version of the Schwarzwald Kuchen we enjoyed in Germany.

Rum Cake with Eggnog Frosting



Oven 350 F

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup canola oil


Beat together on high speed for a minute.

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup dark rum (Myers)


Add the rest and mix on slow speed until blended. Scrape the bowl and mix again until blended.


Generously grease and flour a tube pan or bundt pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes until done. Check for doneness with a toothpick.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a plastic spatula. Turn over onto a plate and remove from pan.


¼ cup dark rum

Sprinkle the rum over the top of the warm cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Eggnog Frosting:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups Dominos powdered sugar

Soften the butter in the microwave 10 seconds on defrost mode. Don’t let it melt. Blend butter and powdered sugar with a mixer until it forms a pebbly texture.


2 Tbsp dark rum
¼ cup eggnog  
Approx. 2 cups additional powdered sugar


Add the rum and half of the eggnog. Blend well. Alternate adding powdered sugar and eggnog until the frosting reaches the right consistency to spread. Frost the cake and enjoy!

Pumpkin Cakes



Oven 350 F

Yields: 2 dozen

4 eggs

1 2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup canola oil



Beat together on high speed for a minute.

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg


Add the rest and mix on slow speed until blended. Scrape the bowl and mix again until blended.Line a cupcake pan with baking papers. Fill the cups half full. Bake 15 minutes until the center is dry and springs back to the touch. 

If preferred, bake in a 9×13 baking pan and cut into bars.

When cool, frost with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Susie’s Rhubarb Cobbler



Oven 375 F
Yields: Never enough!
4-6 stalks rhubarb 

Cut the rhubarb into ½ ” pieces to yield 5 cups. Place in a 9×13 pan.


¾ cup sugar

½ cup butter

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup milk


Mix together and spoon over the rhubarb. Smooth out.

1 cup sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch


Mix together and sprinkle on top of the batter.

¾  cup boiling water           


Pour on top. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour. 


Rhubarb Pie



Oven 425 F

4-6 stalks rhubarb


Cut the rhubarb into ½ “ pieces to yield 5 cups. Set aside.


2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp shortening


Prepare the crust:

Place flour and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add shortening. Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry blender or the side of a fork. Blend until the dough is crumbly.


6 Tbsp ice-cold water

Add the cold water. Blend quickly with a fork to form a ball. Flour your hands and squeeze through the dough a few times. Divide into two balls. Take care not to handle the dough too much, it will be tough.


¼ cup flour

Sprinkle the flour generously on the countertop and rolling pin. Place the first dough ball on the flour, pat down and roll a few times to 1” thick. Push in the edges to build up the outside a bit and form a circle. Generously sprinkle flour on top and on the rolling pin. Roll the dough from the center to the edges to about 1/8” thick. Sprinkle more flour if it gets sticky. Gently lift one side and fold the dough in half. Pick up the half circle and lay it on the pie plate, adjusting to the center line. Unfold the dough and push it down the sides into the pie plate, taking care not to stretch the dough. Cut any excess areas to one inch larger than the pie plate.


If one edge is too short, don’t worry. Just take the excess from another area, wet it with a few drops of cold water and press into the short spot.


Roll out the second ball of dough for the top crust and leave it for later.


¼ cup flour

1 ¼  cup sugar

Dash salt


Mix in with the rhubarb. Turn the mixture into the bottom crust.

3 Tbsp butter






















1 Tbsp sugar

Slice the butter into thin patties and place on top of the rhubarb.


Fold the top crust in half and gently move to the top of the pie. Unfold and center the crust. Cut off any edges which are protruding more than one inch. Fold the top crust under the bottom and roll to form the edge all around the pie plate. Crimp the edges of the crust between your index finger and the other finger and thumb to form a fluted edge.


Cut a few vents into the upper crust. For fun, make a signature cut, such as my “H”. Cut 3” strips of foil and make a protective cover around the crust. This keeps it from burning.


Sprinkle with sugar.


Bake at 425 F for 35 – 45 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes.

Florence’s Rhubarb Dessert



Oven 350 F

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup flour

2 Tbsp powdered sugar

¼ tsp salt


Cookie crust pie shell:


Mix ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly and consistency of cornmeal. Pour into a pie pan, distributing evenly over the bottom. With floured hands, start in the middle and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides as evenly as possible. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 F until lightly golden. Cool completely.


2 eggs

¼ cup flour

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp cinnamon


Beat the eggs and mix all ingredients together.

3 cups rhubarb


Cut the rhubarb into ½ “ pieces. Mix with the batter and pour into the pie shell.  Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes until the rhubarb is tender.


This reminds me of a wonderful dessert we enjoyed in Germany called “Rhubarbara Kuchen”.