Kristen’s Nutella Brownies

“Chocolate doesn’t ask silly questions; chocolate understands.”

Our seven year old niece’s favorite food is Nutella so it was only natural that we would make something using this gooey and delicious spread. Nutella can be really messy so have plenty of paper towels on hand!

Ready for the oven....

Ready for the oven….

This recipe is found on many websites and all over Pinterest. Our inspiration came from and had been posted by a user named “A Nice Czech Girl.”

Prep Time: 15 mins. Cook Time: 15 mins. Servings: 12


½ cup Nutella
1 large egg
5 T all-purpose flour
12 Hershey’s milk chocolate kisses (chopped nuts can be substituted)


Fresh out of the oven ....

Fresh out of the oven ….

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use paper or foil liners in a 12-cup mini muffin pan.

2. Whisk the Nutella and egg together in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Add the flour and whisk until well blended.

3. Spoon the batter into each prepared muffin cup until about ¾ full. Top each brownie with a Hershey’s milk chocolate kiss.

4. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.

Haylee’s Banana Muffins

“Make all your friends cupcakes; the fatter they get, the thinner you look.”

My eight year old granddaughter and I made these muffins today. It was easy and much more fun than a video game (or, at least I thought so). I cannot describe the banana aroma that filled the kitchen when the muffin pan came out of the oven.

This recipe is found on dozens of websites and has been around for a long time. My inspiration was Banana Muffins II by Abi_Godfrey on

Prep Time: 15 mins. Cook Time: 25 mins. Servings: 12

Fresh out of the oven and smelling great!

Fresh out of the oven and smelling great!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, must be very ripe
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, peel the bananas and discard peel. Using a potato masher, mash the bananas until they have a paste consistency. Now add the sugar, egg, and melted butter into the bowl with the bananas. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans just over halfway in each pan.
3. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes … mini muffins should bake for only 10 to 15 minutes.

Just waiting for some pats of butter....

Just waiting for some pats of butter….

Pumpkin Chess Pie

“Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance.”

Normally I am not one for desserts whether it be eating them or cooking them …. however, when I spotted this recipe in the Holiday Cottage 2013 issue of The Cottage Journal magazine I knew I had to give it a try and I’m certainly glad that I did. Although I do enjoy pumpkin pie during the holidays, at least to me it typically tastes like it just came out of a can of pumpkin filling and it seems too heavy and too solid. Well, this recipe provides you with a pumpkin pie that is light, almost fluffy, and it is very, very delicious.


Hot, right out of the oven and smelling unbelievably good!

Hot, right out of the oven and smelling unbelievably good!

6 T butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
4 tsp corn meal
1 cup canned pumpkin (15oz, not pumpkin pie filler)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust, deep dish (or you’ll have lots of batter leftover)


1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Bake the pie crust per the package instructions.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and cornmeal at medium speed until combined. Add pumpkin, cream, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, beating until

The first slice still warm and ready to enjoy.

The first slice still warm and ready to enjoy.

combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.
3. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until center is set and does not move when pan is lightly shaken. Let cool completely.

Pumpkin Bread

“Where there’s a whisk, there’s a way.”

Most kids want something really special when they return home for a visit … something like grilled steak, a crawfish boil, or the like. Our youngest, Taylor, is perfectly satisfied with fresh Pumpkin Bread because that has long been his favorite.

3 1/3 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup of water
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups of pumpkin (canned)
1 cup canola oil

In a medium bowl, mix the first six ingredients together. To this blend, add the last four ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into two lightly greased 3″ x 6″ loaf pans. Bake at 350-degrees for approximately 1 hour.

(NOTE- Photos will be posted asap.)

Peach Cobbler

“Life is short, eat dessert first.”

Here’s another recipe from the Koenig Family Cookbook (my wife’s family); this one was contributed by Mary Clifford Whitehurst.

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Self-Rising Flour
6 to 8 Peaches
6 Tbsp. Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Just waiting for some homemade vanilla ice cream!

Just waiting for some homemade vanilla ice cream!

Peel the Peaches and slice. Place in a casserole dish. Mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl. It will be a crumbly consistency. Sprinkle, with your hands, over the Peaches evenly. Bake 45 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Apple Brown Betty

“Baking is only fun when you lick the spoon.”

This is considered to be a classic recipe because it has been around since early colonial times. There are literally hundreds of variations of the recipe on the Internet and I don’t believe anyone can actually claim it as “theirs”. I saw Ree Drummond prepare this on her Pioneer Woman cooking show in 2012 and I’ve chosen to use her version of the recipe.

I’m not sure if you call this an apple pie, and apple cobbler, and apple crisp, or what … regardless though, you will call it delicious when you take that first bite!

1 1/2 to 2 sticks of butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing
8 slices hearty wheat bread, diced
3 apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 packed cups brown sugar, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Ree didn’t use this ingredient)
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F. Generously butter a 9” x 13” baking dish.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together

Place half the diced bread in the baking dish, and then sprinkle on half the diced apples, half the brown sugar mix and half the butter. Repeat with another layer of bread, apples, sugar mix and butter. End by sprinkling 1/2 cup of water all over the surface, a spoonful at a time.

Bake, covered in foil, until the apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to brown.

Serve by itself or topped with homemade vanilla ice cream.

(NOTE- Photos will be posted asap.)

Rum Cake

“A party without cake is just a meeting.” Julia Child

My little sister, Jennifer, makes the best Rum Cake ever. Even though I know that all the alcohol is cooked away, this cake still seems to pack a wollop! Like so many others on my site, this recipe is featured in the Koenig Family Cookbook.


1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1 large box Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Oil
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

Using a mixer and mixing bowl, combine and blend all ingredients. Pour mixture into bundt pan. Bake at 325-degrees in bundt pan for approximately 1 hour. Let cool.


1/4 cup water
1 cup Sugar
1 stick unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

In a pan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. While still warm, pour over cake in bundt pan. Let cool and then turn cake out onto plate.

(NOTE- Photos will be posted asap.)

Pumpkin Crisp

“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” C. Claiborne

Our church enjoys a traditional covered-dish luncheon each Sunday after the morning service.  Yesterday this dish was among the desserts on the buffet table and I was so impressed by it that I waited around after the meal to see who would pick up the empty dish so I could ask them for the recipe.  The lady who prepared the dish very graciously shared the recipe with me and it turns out that Southern Living printed it in their November 2005 magazine so I need to give them proper credit.

Although classified as a dessert, this dish could easily be served as a side.  I plan to prepare it next substituting canned sweet potatoes for the canned pumpkin … I’ll let you know how that turns out.  In the meantime, let’s cook a Pumpkin Crisp!

Makes 10-12 servings. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour.

Pumpkin Crisp

1 can pumpkin, 15-ounces
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 package butter-flavored yellow cake mix, 15 ½ oz. box
2 cups chopped pecans (orig. recipe called for 1 cup)
1 cup unsalted butter, melted

In a mixing bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients.  Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture; sprinkle evenly with pecans.  Drizzle butter evenly over pecans.

Bake at 350-degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let stand for 12-20 minutes before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature with Whipped Cream (optional) and sprinkle with nutmeg (optional).