Mom’s Macaroni Salad



Ladies and gentlemen, this is my mom’s macaroni salad.  If you know my mom Judy, then you have probably had a bowl or two of this insanely good macaroni salad!   We ate this at least once a week, growing up, and I have yet to get tired of it.  In fact, I love it more than ever!  I crave it.  I daydream about it.  What can I say, I’m obsessed with it!    It goes great with hamburgers and hot dogs, grilled chicken or steak or straight from the bowl!  It may seem like a strange combination of flavors but let me tell you, it works!   The lemon juice and the mandarin oranges give this salad a wonderful, bright citrus punch!  So good!!





4 cups of dry elbow macaroni

1 cup of good quality mayonnaise

3  5 ounce cans of tuna fish (packed in water)

The juice of one lemon

1  11 ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained

1 tablespoon of paprika

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste





Cook the elbow macaroni as directed on the box.

Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

Open the cans of tuna fish and drain them thoroughly.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, tuna fish, lemon juice, paprika, parsley, slat and pepper.

Pour the pasta into a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the tuna and mayo mixture.  Toss to coat evenly.

Fold in the mandarin oranges.

Top with a bit more parsley and paprika, if you like.

Chill for 2 hours and serve.




Midnight Berry Pies



I was out shopping a few weeks ago and came across these cute little individual pie plates.  I had to have them as I am obsessed with pie plates!  I have way more than a normal person needs.  I like to coordinate my pie plates with what type of pie I’m baking.  Crazy, I know, but in my opinion, I think it makes the pie taste better!   No, really, it does!

But, I have to confess, I used store bought, refrigerated pie crust for these pies.  My pie crust making skills are hit or miss and the day I baked, it was definitely a miss.  Or a mess, I should say.  I’m not a perfect baker yet, I’m afraid.  Please feel free to use a homemade pie crust if you’ve got the skills.  I hang my head in shame.

Anyway, I had the pie plates, I had the berries, and the rest is pie history!  I love the combination of blueberries and blackberries in this pie; the sweetness of the berries, the dark, rich color…’s pure berry heaven!  I hope you agree!

Note:  This recipe is for two individual pie plates (4.5 inch) .





Pie crust for two 4.5 inch pie plates (4 circles, total)   I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts.

2 cups of  fresh blackberries

2 cups of fresh blueberries

1/2 cup white sugar + 1 tbsp white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch




Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the white sugar and cornstarch.  Add the blackberries and the blueberries and gently toss the berries into the sugar and cornstarch mixture until evenly coated.  Allow the fruit to stand for 15 -20 minutes.

Roll your dough out and place one circle of dough inside each pie plate.  Trim as needed.

Stir the berry mixture and pour into the pie plates so that you have an even amount of filling in each plate.

Place the top crust over the pie plates and trim as needed.  Fold the top crust down under the bottom crust, pressing lightly to form a seal.  Crimp the edges of the crust and cut a few slits in the top of the pies to create vents, which allow the steam to escape.

Sprinkle a 1/2 tbsp of white sugar on top of each pie.

Cover the edge of the pies with foil to prevent browning.  Place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes and remove the foil.

Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes , or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Cool on a baking rack.


You don’t have to use individual pie plates for this recipe if you don’t have them.   A regular, 9 inch pie plate would be fine.  Just add another 10 – 15 minutes of baking time on to it.




Happy Baking!

Copycat Devil Dogs


As I was Spring cleaning a few weeks ago, I came across this recipe, tucked away inside an old dust-covered recipe binder.  I had torn it out of an old Family Circle magazine, probably with the intention of baking them for some family get-together or after school treat.   But, since I didn’t tape it directly to my forehead, I completely forgot about it….out of sight, out of mind, and there it stayed for the next four years.  Thank goodness for Spring cleaning!

I have to say, they are delicious!  So yummy, very rich and, in my opinion, better than store bought!  And not too complicated to make.  Here’s the recipe:


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 can (12 ounces) whipped vanilla frosting

2 resealable plastic bags


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-size bowl.  Whisk to blend.  Stir in the buttermilk, egg and melted butter.  Stir with a wooden spoon until just bended.

Spoon the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag.  Snip a 1/2 inch corner from the bag.  Pipe 3 1/2 inch x 1 inch logs, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared, parchment lined pans, about 12 logs per pan.

Bake until firm to the touch, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Spoon the frosting into a second resealable bag.  Snip a 1/2 inch corner from the bag.  Pipe some of the frosting onto the flat side of half of the cookies.  Sandwich with another cookie, flat side against frosting.  Continue with remaining cookies and frosting.

Makes approximately 12 servings.

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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I’ve carried this recipe around with me for years.  My mom used to make these for us when we were little.  They are so moist, they don’t need any icing but if you’re in the mood for a really sweet treat, cream cheese icing would be perfect on these!  And, not only are they delicious, but they are super easy to make!



I box of chocolate cake mix (any brand will do, but I used Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix)

( the cake mix I used called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 1 1/4 cups of water)

8 oz. package of cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of chocolate chips




Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line your cupcake pan with liners.

Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box and fill 21 to 24 cupcakes 3/4 of the way full  (I only managed to fill 21 cupcake cups).

Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and salt until well mixed and a bit fluffy (about a minute or two).

Add in the egg and mix until completely combined.

Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop the cream cheese mixture, by teaspoonfuls, into the chocolate cupcakes.

Place the cupcakes into the oven and turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Let cool in the pan about five minutes then place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Dig in!


Happy Baking!




Wednesday Ramblings



The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I’m digging in to lunch.  All in all, it’s been a pretty peaceful day.  I spent the morning walking at the park, getting in my daily two miles.   I love the park.  If you know me, you know this is true!  I’m blessed to live so close to a beautiful park, full of rugged nature trails, paved walking trails, thick forests, wide-open grassy meadows and lakes.  It’s my favorite place to be.  I get a lot of thinking done on those nature trails.  I firmly believe everyone needs a place that they can go to, to be alone with their thoughts.  It’s good for the soul!

So, as usual, my thoughts lead me to food!  And if you know me, you know this is definitely true!  I have so many things I want to bake and share on here.  Not enough hours in the day, though.  One recipe at a time, I suppose.

Well, I hope you’re having a great day, you wonderful person, you!

See you in the kitchen!