Coconut Coffee Cake from Grandma Schlueter

This is a recipe that came from Grandma and we all really like it.  You can make it in a 9×9, 8×8 or round cake pan. This recipe is one that will get handed down.

grandma s side view coffee cake


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup flour

1/2 cup pecans or sliced almonds

Mix together in separate small bowl.

Cream 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter  then add 1 cup sugar in larger bowl.

Beat in 1 cup sour cream and 1 egg.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

Spray nonstick shortening in pan of your choice. Cover with 1 full cup of coconut, the large unsweetened flakes look great for this.

Pour the batter over the coconut. Sprinkle the batter with a mixture of  2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon or enough to make a thick coating across the pan.

Bake at 350 for 34 -40 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Check it at 30 minutes to be sure.

Don’t overbake or it will get dry.

I found this recipe on on the foodnetwork channel while looking for recipes to use an ample supply of eggs in my fridge, the laying of eggs has picked up at my father’s which I am very thankful for.


Butternut Squash Chili

Everyone loves chili for the winter and football watching. I tried this recipe with squash in and really enjoyed it. It gives chili a new taste with more health benefits.

Top it with some sour cream, cheese and/or fresh slice avocado.

butternut chili


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo* (start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste, I thought mine was just right with 1 tablespoon) or you can purchase an adobe seasoning from Penzy’s and start with 1/2 tablespoon then taste, easier to add as you cannot take it out.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid** (Or use your own home canned tomatoes (1 quart)
  • 2 cans, rinsed and drained black beans
  • 14-ounce can (about 2 cups) vegetable broth

In a a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sautée the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic, carrots) in one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.


Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste test for spice level and add more chipotle if desired.

By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing a nice, thick chili.

Top with sour cream, cheese and fresh avocado slices.


Easy Mozzarella Sticks

cheese sticks close

With some leftover eggroll wrappers to use I thought to use this recipe that has always been a go to. You will find lots of variations on this, but all it really is are cheese sticks wrapped in wrappers, sealed and fried.


1 package of mozzarella cheese sticks

same number of eggroll wrappers

1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water for glue

marinara sauce of your choice

Place a piece of string cheese near the bottom corner of one egg roll wrapper (keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use). Fold bottom corner over cheese. Roll up halfway; fold sides toward center over cheese. Moisten remaining corner with egg water wash; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese.

In an electric skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil to 375°.

Fry sticks, a few at a time, for 30-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with marinara sauce.


Holiday Ideas

Entertaining for the holidays can be easy if you plan and prepare ahead. This year it was a simple cocoa bar theme with candy cane marshmallow stir sticks, chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream in can, chocolate syrup, holiday sprinkles, mint marshmallows, mint chips, holiday M & M’s to top your cup of hot cocoa with. Keep it in a crockpot for easy serving. Offer water and also a holiday punch. The one pictured is just cranberry juice and soda with some fresh cranberries that were frozen.

entire cocoa barcandcane stir sticks

A holiday table is easy to do with some fresh cranberries, greenery cut from outside and a few floating candles dressed with a set if mini battery lights.

cranberry evergreen lights

By keeping it simple you don’t have to sweat it. Print out all labels well in advance and prepare as early as you can. Organize all serving dishes down to the serving pieces and it will be a snap!hot cocoa bar

Chocolate Rolo Snowballs


Cookies with candy are always fun to make around the holidays. Every year I try some kind of cookie I haven’t had in years or a new recipe. This recipe isn’t anything new. Lots of recipes have you wrap candy in dough and then bake. I like this one because of the caramel and it is so good to bite into! Have fun this time of year making a special treat. Remember to not over indulge. Just a taste is all you need!

In a medium bowl, combine:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup black/dark cocoa (substitution: unsweetened cocoa-same as above)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Mix well.

In a large bowl, combine:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using a hand-held mixer on medium speed, combine the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pat the batter into a giant ball and wrap up in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or until completely chilled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Pour the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. Scoop out a large spoonful of dough and flatten it into a disc using your fingers. Place a chocolate-covered caramel into the center and wrap the dough around it, forming a ball. Smooth out the creases in the dough as much as possible. Roll the ball in the confectioners’ sugar twice, completely covering it both times, and set on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Let cool for a minute or two, then transfer to a cooling rack. When cool, smother with powdered sugar.

Cheesey Squash Gratinsquash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
1 (2 1/2 pound) butternut squash – peeled
 seeded, and cubed
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water, or as needed
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 (8 ounce) package coarsely
shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions in the hot oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in squash and garlic; season with salt. Cook squash mixture, stirring occasionally, until squash is slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Add water if mixture gets too dry. Transfer squash mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
3. Lightly whisk eggs in a bowl; stir in sour cream, Parmesan cheese, basil, and black pepper. Pour egg mixture over squash mixture; top with mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake in the preheated oven until squash is tender and mozzarella cheese is bubbling

Roasted Carrots with Maple Syrup

I really enjoy my fresh garden carrots roasted this time of year. I have ample stored in the fridge and am looking forward to many dishes this winter using my carrots.  This recipe makes the carrots sweet when roasted. Enjoy!Carrots 2

Serves 6


2 pound carrots, washed and cut into chunks, about 2 inches

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

1/3 cup of the best maple syrup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pat carrots dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and melted butter.

Drizzle maple syrup mixture over the carrots, reserving a small amount for later. Then season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat thoroughly.

Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Add chopped nuts and toss again to make sure they’re incorporated and everything bakes evenly. Glaze with remaining maple syrup.

Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are glossy and tender. It may take longer depending on how thick the carrots are.

Remove from oven and garnish with sea salt, if desired.

Serve warm.

squash soup 1

Creamy Squash Soup

This recipe is from Sacramento National Food Coop ( and it is very good!! I will make it often!

It has a a mild taste and the apples add a hint of sweetness.  Use squash as much as you can while it is in season. My garden this year has given me lots of squash and potatoes, carrots, onions and I still have apples in the fridge. I did not have to purchase anything, all in my pantry!

  • 1 winter squash (acorn or butternut), about 2 cups cooked
  • 3 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 12 cups milk or apple juice or 1 cup heavy cream
  • 18 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 12 cups water or chicken broth (I prefer the broth)

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place it, cut side down, on a lightly oiled baking pan, cover and bake at 350 about one hour, until soft.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions in the butter until they are translucent. Add the carrots, potatoes, apples and water. Bring the vegetables to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.

When the baked squash has cooled, scoop out the soft insides and discard the skins. Combine the squash, vegetables and stock with the milk, cream or apple juice in a blender or food processor and puree in several batches to a smooth, creamy consistency.

Heat the soup on low heat until it is hot, but not boiling.

Add the cinnamon. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, garnish with some fresh or dried flat parsley.


Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is one I use over and over. It is from an old church cookbook with no cover. Makes 3 doz and 3 more if you use a cookie scoop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup organic cane sugar  (0r white)

2 eggs

3 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening, peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar, mix well.

Add eggs, vanilla. Sift flour, soda, salt together. Add to rest of ingredients. Mix well. Form into small balls or use cookie scoop. Dip into sugar. Place on cookie sheet. In a glass of water, dip fork in and press down one direction and then the other. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

The end of the garden will be soon. I harvested a few bok choy last week and made this simple dish. boy choy is easy to grow, just plant seeds and watch it grow! it does well in the cooler weather, they look perfect now.

bokchoy with cashews

So quick and easy – Bok Choy with Cashews


1-2 bunches Bok Choy, sliced

1 tablespoon Sesame oil – I prefer NOT toasted

1 tablespoon soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

small sprinkle of red pepper flakes

1/2 to 3/4 cup cashews

Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Cook until almost soft. Add soy sauce, salt, pepper and pepper flakes, cook for another minute or two. Add cashews and cook until just heated through. Serve! So easy!


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