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Glazed Lemon Cake

This is a light cake, perfect for a time when you need a dessert that won’t put you away. It’s my favorite for brunch or if you have that person who doesn’t like chocolate, for a birthday cake. A raspberry or strawberry puree is very nice poured over a slice.

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 ½ tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (3 large lemons)
2 ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 large lemons)

½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Tip: When making zest use a very fine, sharp grater. If your grater is dull, you will have too much pith and not enough fine peel. Keep that grater only for doing zest. Grate all the lemon zest before juicing the lemon.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10 inch tube pan, line the bottom with parchment or wax paper and grease again, then lightly dust with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, allowing the eggs to be incorporated into the mix each time. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Add these to the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.

Pour the batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool for 10 minutes.

While cake is cooling, prepare glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, sugar, and lemon zest. Invert the cake onto a serving plate or cake stand and prick the surface numerous times with a toothpick or cake tester. Brush the glaze over the surface of the cake. Repeat several times, letting the glaze sink into the cake each time. Cool to room temperature. This cake will keep several days.

Fresh Pear Cake with Caramel Frosting

The Willamette Valley in Oregon has a beautiful selection of pears in the fall. I will often use a couple of different types of pears in this recipe. Of course, you can use apples. This cake keeps well in the freezer and is a great treat for the holidays. The cake can be enjoyed without the frosting, but why ruin a good thing? After all, it does include your daily serving of fruit.

2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs beaten
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups peeled and chopped pears
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 cup peeled and sliced pears
2 Tablespoons butter

Combine the first five ingredients and beat well. Combine the next five ingredients and add it to previous mixture. Beat well. Add pear and pecans and mix by hand. Pour into a greased bundt pan. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauté pan, and add pear slices. Cook the slices until coated with butter, but still relatively firm. Reserve these pears until you have frosted the cake. Bake for 1½ hours at 325 degrees. This dessert serves 12 delicate servings or 8 normal ones.

Caramel Frosting
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup milk
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add brown sugar and milk, stirring continually until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool, then gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and stir until well blended and very smooth. After cake has cooled, spread frosting over the top and down the sides of the cake. Place the sautéed pear slices on top of the frosted cake, arranging in a circle. Yummy.

Pumpkin Bread

This recipe is a good substitute for a dessert when you want something sweet, but not too rich. I often use 6 small loaf pans and freeze them to have for the holidays, to giveaway, or just to have after dinner for a treat. It also makes a great “tea sandwich” with pineapple flavored crème cheese. The sandwich gives a pretty presentation for Christmas or a Tea Party.

3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sultanas or golden raisins soaked in 1/2 cup Grand Marnier, brandy, or orange juice. Let soak 15 min, the raisins can even soak overnight. Drain raisins from liquid, before adding to batter.
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients with whisk; then add remaining ingredients and mix well. Bake in 2 well-greased loaf pans or 6 small pans 50-60 min.

Great Summer Squash Casserole

This is a great solution for all those squash from the garden and the family will love it too.

Serves Six to Eight

About 4 cups, or 2 pounds of yellow zucchini squash or crookneck squash, green zucchini or patty pan squash can be used too, cut in one inch pieces.
1 large onion, cut in quarters
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 to 3 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers or bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans
salt and pepper to taste

Place water, salt, squash and onion in large saucepan and cook until tender. About 10 minutes. Mash the squash and onions until smooth. You may also use a food processor or hand mixer. Transfer to a large bowl and add the butter, eggs, half and half, sour cream ,¼ cup of the crushed Ritz crackers and ¼ cup of parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread into a buttered 2 quart casserole. Top with the remaining Ritz crackers, pecans and parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes. Top should be brown and a knife inserted should be clean. Freezes and reheats well.


Mango Ginger Salsa

Mango ginger salsa is prefect for the summer months because of it’s tropical taste. As a topping for grilled halibut or scallops, it makes you think of fun in the sun.

1 mango chopped
1/2 cup pineapple chopped, fresh or canned
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 T olive oil
1 lime, (2 Tablespoons lime juice)
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)

Gently combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve with chips or grilled vegetables, meat or seafood.

Very Delicious Chocolate Cake

This is absolutely an easy and delicious chocolate cake. The cream cheese keeps it from being too sweet. Yummy.

Yield: One 2 layer round cake, serves 10-12 people

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two nine inch round pans by greasing and coating with cocoa, tapping out the excess chocolate.

2 – 8oz packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup Crisco
1 tsp. vanilla
6 cup confectioners sugar
4 bars unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4 cup hot water

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and Crisco until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Combine the melted chocolate and the hot water. Add the confectioners sugar, alternating with the melted chocolate. Put aside two cups of this mixture to be used to frost the cake, the remaining mixture will be used in the batter of the cake.

Cake Batter:

1/4 cup shortening
3 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup whole milk

Cream the shortening until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together with a fork. Add the flour mixture to the shortening and eggs, alternating between the whole milk and flour. Combine this mixture to the remaining frosting mixture.

Pour mixture evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. After the cake has cooled, remove from pans and frost with the remaining 2 cups of cream cheese frosting mixture.

Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles

1 cup hazelnuts
12 tablespoons butter or margarine
3-1ounce sq. semisweet chocolate
3-1 ounce sq. milk chocolate
5 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar, unsifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 1 cup chocolate sprinkles or finely chopped dusts

Spread the nuts in a single layer in a shallow pan and place in a 275-degree oven for 30 minutes or until lightly toasted, shaking pan occasionally. Let cool slightly; remove skins by rolling nuts between the palms of your hands or in a towel. Discard the skins and chop the nuts.

Put 6 tablespoons of butter into a blender container. Add the nuts and whirl until very smooth and creamy. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 6 tablespoons of the butter until it bubbles and foams. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and stir until melted and smooth, set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is thick, and then add vanilla. With the mixer set on medium speed, begin adding nut butter one tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. Begin adding warm chocolate mixture one teaspoon at a time, beating briskly after each addition. After 6 teaspoons have been added, increase the additions to 1 tablespoon until all of the chocolate has been added and the mixture is well blended and smooth. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Put the chocolate sprinkles or nuts in a small bowl. Scoop out rounded teaspoon of the truffles, form them into balls, and roll in sprinkles or nuts. Try not to eat them all at once! The truffles freeze very well, and they will last in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

LaMont’s Seafood Fettuccini

This is a recipe from my southern roots, which takes advantage of the abundant seafood from the Atlantic Ocean. This recipe serves between 8-10 people but the sauce can be made separately, frozen and used for several meals for two. Do not add the seafood or fettuccini until you are ready to serve the dish. Leftover grilled shrimp or salmon can also be used with this sauce.

4-5 pounds of seafood (bay shrimp, scallops crab etc.)
1 quart of half and half
1 quart whipped cream
½ cup butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 or more garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup flour
¼ cup white wine
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large fry pan, sauté seafood in olive oil till cooked and remove excess moisture.

In another large fry pan, melt butter and flour, make a paste, add half and half and cream, then wine, garlic and seasonings. Stir continually at medium heat until thickened and blended throughout.

Add seafood and lemon juice at the end. Serve over fettuccini noodles cooked with a drop of olive oil in boiling water, and then serve with Parmesan cheese.

Paula’s Fire Roasted BBQ Sauce

This sauce adds a unique flavor to grilled chicken, pork, hot links, fish or you name it, even veggies. Let it simmer on the back of the stove while you prepare the meat.

It is very important to use Glen Muir Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes. This brand makes the flavor difference in this recipe. If you’re the ambitious type, you can also grill fresh tomatoes and use those to add to the sauce.

2 – 14.5 oz Glen Muir Fire Roasted Organic Whole Tomatoes
1/4 cup finely minced onion
2 Tablespoons olive (olive) OIL
1 large clove of garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Chop the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. In a large pot, add the olive oil and sauté the minced onions for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for one hour or more at low heat. At this point you can “dress” the meat or place the cooked meat in the sauce and serve.

Other great additions to this sauce are bell peppers and hot peppers.

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Apple Carrot Crunch Salad

This salad is great year round because the apples, celery and carrots are always available and fresh even during the winter months. The addition of the sugared nuts makes this (salad) a special treat! It is a tasty way to get the kids to eat all their veggies. The carrots and apples give a beautiful splash of color. give the (apples) SALAD a pretty orange color. For your garden party, serve on a platter surrounded by sliced apples.


¾ cup coarsely chopped nuts, pecans or hazelnuts
2 Tablespoons sugar

Place nuts and sugar in sauté pan on medium heat. Continually stir nuts until sugar is melted and light brown in color. Approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool on a sheet of aluminum foil. After the nuts have cooled, break into smaller pieces for salad topping.


The salad should be prepared 2-3 hours ahead and chilled in the refrigerator. It can be even made the night before serving. The nuts can be made ahead, but placed on the salad right before serving, as they will get soggy.

3-4 large stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
2 Red apples, cored, and chopped in ½ inch pieces
½ cup golden raisins
½ Hellmanns Best Foods Mayonnaise, (this brand makes a difference)

Combine celery, carrots, apples, and raisins with the mayonnaise. Chill before serving.

Garnish for Serving Platter:

One red and one green apple cored and cut into slices, tossed in 1 Tablespoon lemon juice.

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