Welcome to my blog! My name is Stephanie and I was born, raised, and still live just outside of Boston. I’m the mother of two children and I own a very small antique business. I love and appreciate all things old, whether antiques or architecture, and love to give items new life by repurposing.
I love food, too much, and I get immense joy from how my food can make others happy. One of the best compliments I have ever received was my daughter telling me that my cooking has ruined everything else for her. I’ll take that!
I’m much more of a baker than I am a cook. Not that I don’t like cooking, I just wish I didn’t have to do it every day. I’d much rather cook when I feel like it. But, since I don’t have a personal chef and my family is picky about eating every day, here I am. Part of the motivation behind this blog is not only to give me someone to talk to during the day other than my dogs, but to be able to share some of the recipes I’ve tried and really enjoy.
I also love to take pictures of every day things that just make me smile. So this blog is just going to be about “my slice of life” and I hope you’ll enjoy some of it!
In keeping with my goal to try as many vintage recipes as I can from my Mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook (Steph and Betty), I decided to give this cake a try. I don’t believe I have ever tried this type of cake, and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. Well, I have been missing out! This cake is so delicious with a slight crunchy butter brown sugar edge. Wow!
What makes it even better is the cake recipe is a one bowl recipe. I was worrying the cake wouldn’t come out of the pan or it wouldn’t look good, but it surprised me and was actually quite easy to make.
Let’s get baking!
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
Pineapple slices, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake batter by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl of a stand up mixer, or a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds scraping constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed scraping the bowl occasionally.
Set the batter aside.
Melt 1/4 butter over low heat in a 9″ round layer cake pan. Once melted I turned the pan to coat the sides with the melted butter as well.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly in the pan and pat it down.
Place a pineapple ring in the center, and more rings around the edge. You could also cut the slices in half and be more creative if you choose.
Insert a cherry into each pineapple slice.
Top with the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Loosen the sides of the cake carefully with a butter knife. Place a plate over the pan and flip. Keep the pan on the plate for a few minutes before removing.
I usually just make pancakes for my children, but today I happened to see gingerbread pancakes listed on a brunch menu at a local restaurant and thought that was something I needed to make. I did share with my daughter though, and she loved them as much as I did. If you love gingerbread cake, muffins, or cookies, you will love these. One of my absolute favorite pancake recipes is my Pumpkin Pancakes, and this was very similar with its consistency and wonderful spice cake taste. So good!
They are very easy to make and you don’t even need any extra butter on top. We preferred to eat them with confectioners sugar instead of maple syrup, but you can do either. Here’s how to make them:
2 cups flour
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup molasses
3 tbsp butter, melted
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice in a large mixing bowl. I suggest sifting the ingredients together because the spices and sugar tend to get clumpy. You can see how there are large lumps in my sifter. Press the lumps with a spoon or the back of a measuring cup to get them small enough to go through the sifter, this will allow all the ingredients to blend better and prevent a large clump of a spice.
In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the milk, molasses, butter, and eggs.
Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well combined and most of the lumps are gone.
Cook just like regular pancakes in a frying pan heated to medium heat. Spray the pan first to prevent sticking. Cook until bubbles start to form in the batter and then flip the pancake. These took a little longer to cook than regular pancakes, and I did have to flip them a few times to ensure they were cooked through.
Serve with a little sprinkled confectioners sugar. Delicious!
I was craving this salad that I usually order at a local restaurant and instead of getting take out, I decided to make it myself. This salad is packed full of healthy ingredients that work so well together. They serve this salad with a lemon tahini dressing and since I have been unable to find any in stores, I decided to make the dressing myself as well. It came out delicious and despite my children’s grumbling when they saw what we were having for dinner, they actually enjoyed it.
I looked up recipes for the dressing on-line and ended up combining a few different recipes to make the one I used. I must say while I doubted it would be as good as the one I loved from the restaurant, it was. Isn’t that the best feeling? Go me!
On a side note, I just learned that it is brussels sprouts and not brussel sprouts. Did you know this or am I the only one? Anyway, let’s make this healthy delicious salad.
This dressing is a perfect accompaniment for so many different kinds of salads. I had loved this type of dressing offered at a local restaurant, but was unable to find it at any stores so I made one myself. I was prepared to think it wasn’t as good, but I actually love it and I think you will too! The maple syrup gives it just the right sweetness needed.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
In a small mixing bowl whisk together all of the ingredients except for the water. Using very cold water, add a little at a time until dressing reaches your desired consistency.
I have been looking for a muffin recipe that was not only healthy, but delicious, and this is it. I mean really good! I will be honest, I was not expecting these to be as good as they are, especially because I had to tweak the recipe somewhat. This recipe makes a moist spice cake type muffin and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating one, or two 😄
The original recipe called for apple sauce and grated apple. I didn’t have any apple sauce, so I only used the apple. I used Cortland apples and when grated, if you would call it that, the consistency was very close to apple sauce. I’m not sure this is what was originally intended, but it worked out perfectly.
Here is how I made them:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp, maple syrup
1 1/2 cups grated apple
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup oat flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners.
Whisk together the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
Grate the carrot, zucchini, and apple, and set aside on paper towel lined plates. Do not squeeze out the liquid, just place them on the plates to absorb the excess liquid. This is an important step.
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer combine the sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil until syrupy. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the apple and mix well.
With a spatula or spoon stir in the carrots, zucchini, coconut, and raisins until combined. Don’t over mix.
Scoop the batter into the muffin tin filling each to the top.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.
When I first found this recipe it was called a one bowl recipe, which of course I loved. However, after reading the recipe I decided to make it a two bowl recipe. One bowl is ideal, but two bowl isn’t all that bad right? The cookie dough consistency resembles brownie batter which of course is why they are called brownie cookies.
I used to make another brownie cookie recipe for years, I’ll have to dig that out at some point and compare the two. Or maybe not since these turned out so good! If you are looking for a non-chocolate M&M cookie recipe you can also find one in my blog.
So let’s make some cookies!
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl melt the butter in the microwave and let cool for a few minutes. Add the sugar and brown sugar, mix well.
In a separate mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. As you know I always encourage sifting flour mixtures but especially when using cocoa powder. That is why I changed this one bowl recipe to two bowls. Cocoa doesn’t incorporate well unless it is sifted. It’s worth the extra bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and combine well. It is a very thick dough. Fold in the M&Ms and chocolate chips.
Refrigerate the dough for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets with cooking spray.
You can either roll the dough into balls with your hands, or use a cookie scoop like I used. If using a cookie scoop use your fingers to pack the dough into the scoop.
You can add a few extra M&Ms on the top of the cookies if you want.
If the dough gets too warm you can put it back in the refrigerator between batches.
Bake for 10 minutes, and let cool on the cookies sheets for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
If you are in Boston and want good Italian food, you head to the North End. If you are in the North End and want good pizza, you head to Regina. Which is exactly what my daughter and I did yesterday and it was so good! We lucked out because we were able to walk right in and get a table which is pretty much unheard of. There is usually quite a line stretched out along the sidewalk and the reason we don’t go more often than we do.
The North End is filled with restaurants and if you were to walk into any one of them lining Hanover or Salem Streets I’m sure you would not be disappointed. However, tucked away by itself on Thatcher Street is where you really need to go if you want great pizza.
Regina Pizzeria is one of the oldest pizza restaurants in Boston, if not the oldest? They have been serving up these delicious pies in this location since 1926. It is no frills and in no way fancy, and very possible it hasn’t been updated since 1926. For me, that is another reason I always head to the original location even though their newer locations are easier to get to. Depending on which table you sit in and what time of year it is, you may need to be careful not to lean on the hissing radiator abutting your table.
They only make and serve pizza and they do it right. No salads, nothing except pizza.
I hardly ever eat the crust on pizza, but I eat every bite of the crust of Regina pizza. It has to be one of the best crusts I have ever had.
The next time you are in Boston craving pizza, head to the best. Actually, maybe you shouldn’t so I won’t have to wait too long to get a table 😜