Breakfast Casserole You Don’t Want to Miss

You are thinking, “oh great, just another breakfast casserole” but wait…this is not just another one. It is probably the lightest and fluffiest one I have ever had. Had breakfast at a friends home yesterday and she had made this. She had been to a breakfast where every lady there requested it. And yes, all 6 ladies there yesterday did the same. I don’t like cottage cheese, but didn’t even know it was in it.

10 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 teas salt

1/2 teas pepper

2 teas baking powder

2 cups grated cheddar or jack cheese

1 4 oz can chopped green chiles

5 slices bacon, cooked an crumbled

2 cups small curd cottage cheese

Blend eggs, flour, butter, baking powder, salt and pepper. Fold in cheese, chiles, bacon and cottage cheese. Pour mixture into a greased 9×12 baking dish.

Bake for 30 min at 400 or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean

Serves 6-9 depending on sizes of portion.

Options, can add mushrooms or spinach to batter.

Thanks Marilyn for sharing this with us…it was really delicious.

Indian Taco Soup?

You are probably thinking I have totally lost it. But…hear me out. Saturday we were at Costco and of course if you have been reading my blog for any length of time or have read some of the stories in Princess on the Porch, you know that Mr. Adventure loves to go to Costco and see how many samples he can eat before they run him out of the store. Well, I do have to admit, this past Saturday was one of the best sample days we have had in a long time. First of all, they were giving away samples of CARAMEL APPLES! There were about 5 different flavors so I ended up hiding around the corner because I was too embarrassed to keep going back for another sample, but not Randy. He would ask me what flavor I wanted this time and would just head on over to the counter and take another sample and bring it to me. After about 4 times, I told him that he just couldn’t go back. But Oh my goodness, they were delicious. If you are wondering why I didn’t just buy one, I had just had the report from my doctor that my Bad cholesterol was 150 over what it should be, not to mention the total cholesterol of 311. So I had better just stick to samples until I can get my numbers down just a tad. BTW, the way this doctor got my attention was this; “well, Trudy, since you cannot take statins, will you promise me you will stay off fats and start exercise? Then three months from now, we will check your numbers again and see if you are a women of your word.” WHAT? A woman of my word? You are kidding me. So what am I suppose to do with the 6 lbs of butter in my fridge and the 3 lb block of cream cheese? Do I just pour my quart of whipping cream down the drain and use my 5 lb sack of shredded cheese for potting soil? Of course I’m a woman of my word. When I say that butter is my life, I truly mean it!

Back to Costco. One of the samples on Saturday was Tasty Bite Madras Lentils. Absolutely delicious. Both of us agreed that they were so good, and I’m sure very healthy, as they are lentils for petes sake, that you could actually use them as a topping for cheese enchiladas. (oops, there I go again, stop it Trudy, you cannot have cheese anymore) So we bought a box of them. They tasted just like a really good chile, but with no meat, just lentils.

This morning, trying to make up for the caramel apple samples I had on Saturday, oh, and the Mexican breakfast of huevos rancheros yesterday… and the Kentucky Butter Cake last night, I thought maybe a low cholesterol taco soup would be good for us tonight before I go to Bunco and snack on the bowls of M&M’s the ladies always have at the tables. So I gathered up all the veggies in the fridge and even used a 1/2 lb of ground turkey instead of beef. After all, us high cholesterol gals need to learn to eat turkey in place of beef, right?

So here was my taco soup with ground turkey, onions, celery, yellow squash, fresh spinach, chopped cabbage,carrots, a little left over rice and added a can of Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, plus a 2 cups of waterAdd your garlic, cumin and chile powder, and wa la….you have taco soup. But wait; what if I added a packet of the Madras Lentils to it? Wouldn’t that just add a little more spiciness and flavor? So I opened it up and poured it in and put the pot of soup in the oven. Baked it at 300 for 2 1/2 hours. The soup is delicious. But then I looked at the packet of the Madras Lentils to see all of the ingredients.  It is actually an Indian food! Really? Either Randy and I have totally lost our taste buds or Indian food taste a lot like Mexican food. All I know is that it added such a great flavor to the taco soup that we will make all our taco soups with it. Isn’t Madras a Spanish word? You have got to try these Madras lentils. Now for the kicker. They might sound healthy, but when you look at the ingredients on the package, (which I guess I should have done before adding them to the soup), they have butter and cream in them. Now my low choldestol taco soup isn’t very low cholesterol, but it sure is good.

Lesson learned from this Costco trip. Indian people use Spanish words in their foods. Caramel apple samples are not the kind of apples that “one a day keeps the doctor away.” If I don’t want to disappoint my doctor by my character, I guess I’m going to have to stay away from Costco Sample Saturdays!

Fettuccine Alfredo With Asparagus

Why is it that this is the day after Cinco de Mayo and all I can think about is Italian food? We had an adventure this week of going to Temecula, CA to meet up with 20 of our closest friends for lunch. Because it is a 6 hour trip from our house, we went the night before and found a great little Italian restaurant called Trattoria Toscana, where the pasta was freshly made and the eggplant literally melted in our mouths.  The waiter’s Italian accent was so heavy, I could hardly understand him, but when I heard, lobster ravioli, I figured that was really all I needed to hear. Randy kept looking at me with this precious “love me tender, love me true” look which I took that he was just so glad to get me off to himself for a couple of days, but no, it was the eggplant that was on his mind. He was quick to blurt out, “no really, this eggplant is literally melting in my mouth. It is the best eggplant I have ever eaten” to which I knew immediately where his “look” was coming from. He was choosing the pasta over his princess. But if Im going to take second place, I’m glad it is to a great pasta dish. Every since we ate there, all I can think about is making pasta and finding new recipes for eggplant. But in the meantime, I came across this recipe in a Southern Living Magazine from 2016. So until I can get my hands on an eggplant, this dish will suffice, along with fresh garlic bread and tomato-mozzarella salad.

8 oz uncooked fettuccine

1 teas olive  oil

1 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces

3/4 teas kosher salt, divided

1/2 teas black pepper, divided

1 teas lemon zest

2 teas fresh lemon juice

1 tables butter

1 tables vodka or water

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup milk

6 tables grated Parmesan cheese

1 tables chopped fresh chives

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander over a large bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add asparagus, 1/4 teas of the salt and 1/4 teas of the pepper. Sauce until tender crisp about 6 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add lemon zest and juice, toss. Keep warm.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add vodka (or water) and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add cream cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in milk, Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/2 teas salt and the remaining pepper. Stir in reserved cooking water, pasta and asparagus and toss. Sprinkle with chives.

Memory, Depression & Cholesterol

Today was a rude awakening for me. Just returning from the doctor office, I have some great suggestions, some new insights and some new thoughts. First of all, if you are under 40, just go read a different blog and don’t waste your time reading this.  While you are still “fit” and young and can eat anything you like without worrying about wearing sleeveless blouses, or wondering if the Twinkie you are devouring is going to be your last one until your birthday, when you are allowed to have a treat, this blog is not for you.

Upon entering the doctor’s office, I was given a sheet of questions, such as:

Are you depressed, or lack motivation to participate in normal daily activities?

Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Well, I didn’t until now, when I will probably stay awake wondering if I passed this stupid test.

How many times have you fallen in the last two months? Really? So the fall that I had back 3 months ago, I can forget about.

Well, I aced that test! I was able to mark NA on all of the awful questions except one. I did walk out of the bedroom the other day forgetting I had just mopped and as soon as I hit the wet floor, I fell, butt first and landed on my elbow. But…because I eat (not drink) lots of milk by consuming my weight (a girl doesn’t get to be this size by just eating veggies and salads) in cakes, puddings and milkshakes, I guess I have great bones.

So I bounced (ok, maybe waddled a little) into the doctor’s office with a little smirk on my face leaving the old folks back in the waiting room, as they probably thought to themselves, “wow, look at her go, she is spry and doesn’t even need to wear orthopedic shoes!”   I was ready to defend any question the Dr might have for me.

But before the dr came in, Donna Nurse walks in and sits down in front of me and informs me that today “we” meaning me I guess, will have a memory test. No sweat. I will show this little teeny bopper I still know what year it is and also still remember who is President, even though it’s been several months since the election. Well, Nurse Donna gives me a list of 5 items which she said she will ask me to repeat. Ok, no problem, I am repeating them over and over in my mind. Wait…what did she just say? She is going to read me a story before asking me to repeat the 5 items? You are kidding me. I missed the first half of the story still trying to keep the list of the 5 items straight in my mind. So I had to ask her to start the story over as I wasn’t concentrating because of the first 5 things I was trying to remember. OK, I missed the lady of the stories name, and when ask to repeat the 5 items, I forgot “pie”. How could I miss the word pie, I bake one everyday for Pete’s sake. So then she tells me I have to give her the number she will give me, in reverse. She says, “78” then I say “87”. So far so good. UNTIL…she gets to 8,753. Im suppose to repeat that as 3, 578. I couldn’t do it. I got the 3 right, and ended with 3,something 5 something. Donna Nurse takes a couple of notes and says “the dr will be right in”…

I had forgot that the other day a friend of mine said that she was given a memory test when she went in for a physical and they ask her to repeat the alphabet backwards. She said, “if you are smart, you will write it on the inside of your hand so you will be able to repeat it to them. I had totally forgot to do that so was so thankful I had a different test.

So now the doctor comes in and sits across from me, writing notes on his computer. When he looked up at me, he told me that all my blood work had come back normal except, and here it is folks, cholesterol. I was WAY over 200 and according to him, I guess I shouldn’t wait on filling out a Living Will paper, as he sent for one for me to fill out. So my suggestions to the medical personal is this:

Wait until after the doctor visit to have us fill our the sheets that ask about depression or lack of interest in daily activities. I came in feeling great and left with a sense of doom and gloom. I came home and threw away the firm bananas, as I probably won’t live long enough to see them ripen. I have now lost any desire to pursue daily activities as “why bother, since he had me fill out my LW, I probably won’t live long enough to finish painting a picture. Or, why get involved with the new season of Designated Survivor, I probably won’t live to see the last episode”.

Instead of telling you how bad your health looks and then telling the nurse to go get a living will for the patient to sign, maybe just have the LW in a packet of papers and suggest that we might go home and read over and think about what we might want. I felt that if I didn’t sign it before leaving, I might not get the chance to make the decision as apparently he was worried I might not make it home.

When I inquired about having a hearing test done, he told me that maybe I didn’t really want to hear better, as I might not want to hear what he had to say about diet and exercise. He is such a smart alec.   He ended up telling me that because of the new guidelines, he has to ask me a couple of questions that will make me wonder “what business is it of his” but I told him to proceed. Here are the questions he ask.

! What type of heat do we have in our home, gas or electric?

2. Are there any guns in the house. I told him no, that I had a rolling pin and didn’t need a gun when I had rolling pin that was perfect for pies and combat. He looked at me and told me that maybe that was why my cholesterol was so high.

I guess that the medical professionals are now worried that when we leave their offices they want to know if we have a gas oven or gun in the house in case we are so depressed when we leave, we take our Living Will paper and go stick our heads in the oven. I would have except I have to wait until the cake I baked is finished baking. If i’m going out soon, why bother with dieting.

After I got home I was able to go over all the details with Randy and we both decide that it is so good that old folks are already retired. We would never be allowed to take off work as much as we needed to go have all these awful tests done. After reading all the tests that he is sending me for, more depression and gloom set it. So now I guess I have to call and make another appointment to see if I can get a prescription for an antidepressant. But wait, then I will have to go have more blood tests done to be sure that medication is not effecting my liver….and so it goes!

And they wonder why we put off going to the doctor? I think from now on, I will just go on line and google my medical questions.  You aren’t required to do a memory test. As long as I can remember how to google, I’m good!

Chile Rellanos Ole’

Tuesday evening we had dinner for some friends of ours who has given me a really bad time because I fry my own chips and make my own salsa.  Because one of our friends who I won’t name, OK, I will name her, Judy’s words to me was, “really, you  fry your own chips? Just go to the store and buy a bag of chips for Pete’s sake” So I thought I would show her why I make my own chips and once in for all, settle this question of why I choose to spend the better part of 2 hrs frying chips for a Mexican dinner at our house. So here it was Monday and I am scrolling through the internet looking at different recipes for chile rellano casseroles when I came across Mario Batali which he made when visiting the TV program The Chew. When I read over it, I decided that it sounded so much better than the last rellano casserole I had made.We drove to the store to pick up the necessary grocery items and Randy decided that he wanted to buy Anaheim peppers and roast them himself instead of using all canned green chiles. So we bought 8 of them.

Tuesday morning arrives and we are decorating the table to seat 8 friends and find our Mexican dishes to serve the homemade chips, salsa and casserole. I had made the salsa on Monday evening so that the flavors would have time to blend and after sampling it, found that it was really really good. Randy roasted the peppers and I start frying chips. After an hour and a half, I figured that if they had eaten all the chips I had fried, they certainly could then go to the store and “just grab a bag of chips”. I smelled like grease from head to toe, but it was worth it. The chips were amazing. We sprinkle Lawry’s Seasoning salt and a little pepper over them as soon as they come out of the fryer.

Around 5 I begin to put the casserole together. I deseeded the peppers he had roasted and skinned. Laying them in the bottom of the lightly greased Paula Deen casserole dish, I covered them with 1/2 lb of fried and crumbled ground beef. Then comes about 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar. Because we had about 1/2 of package of Mexican cheese (the white cheese used to stuff chile rellanos or use in quest dip, I cannot remember the exact name) I crumbled that over the cheddar. Then I poured about 2/3 cup mild green chile enchilada sauce over this mixture. Running out of our roasted anaheim peppers, I opened up a can of Hatch whole green chiles and sliced them in half, removed the seeds and used those to top the layer of casserole that was already in the pan. I repeated the second layer with the rest of the hamburger meat, the rest of the Mexican cheese, another 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar,  another 2/3 cup green chile sauce and then poured my milk mixture (see below for the milk mixture)*over the top of the layer. Finally, I used another 2 cups of shredded cheese and covered it with foil and  baked it in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes. Let it sit about 10-15 min before serving to allow to set.

The friends who we served it to all wanted the recipe and each guy ate two servings. It truly was the best chile rellanos casserole we have had and just finished the last two servings for lunch today. (Yes, Randy was so impressed with how hard I worked frying all those chips Tues, he took me to Costco for a hot dog yesterday, so we had leftovers for our lunch today. Mr. Romantic strikes again)

Thank you Mario Batali for sharing this great recipe. It was such a hit and allowed us to send our friends, Mary Lou and Danny back to Minnesota with a great memory of having  real Mexican food that will have to last them until they come back in November. OLE’


1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

3 teas chile powder

1 teas ground cumin

1 teas salt

1 (15 oz) can evaporated milk

4 eggs

1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

1 tables flour

2 1/2 cups mild green chile enchilada sauce (Mario used salsa, I substituted the sauce)

24 oz of sharp cheddar cheese (Plus I used the remaining white Mexican cheese we had in fridge)


To Assemble: brown the meat with the onion and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Add the chile powder, cumin and salt to taste.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, cilantro and flour together with a whisk.

Arrange half the chiles in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with half of the meat mixture, half of the enchilada sauce, half of the cheese. Top with the rest of the meat, more cheese, rest of enchilada sauce and then pour the milk mixture over the top. Sprinkle rest of shredded cheese and bake in preheated 350 oven for about 45-50 minutes or until edges are brown and cheese is bubbling in center of casserole.

Allow to sit for about 10-15 min so it will firm up before cutting into squares to serve. Top with fresh cilantro and sour cream if desired to serve.



Anniversaries Bring Annoyances

April Anniversaries, ah….makes the month go by so quickly when I spend the first 2 weeks of April trying to plan something special for Mr. Romance. The 3rd week we spend celebrating and the 4th week, is usually spent taking back all the gifts each other has bought for the other and promising that the next year we will just plan a trip instead of trying to buy gifts for each other. So here we are in the last few days of our special month. Leading up to the 18th was really a little different this year. Because last year, Randy was not able to travel or go anywhere due to a dislocated shoulder and broken bones in his arm (and no, I didn’t get so annoyed that I hit him) and told me that he would NOT go out to eat until he could cut up his own food, we celebrated at home for our special day. This year, he wanted to make up for the past year, so we began our day at Starbucks then went shopping until we dropped. We did come home for a few hours to rest our achy feet and then drove to Scottsdale to have dinner at Houstons, where we chowed down on some of our favorite dishes, ending the night sharing a piece of their famous Key Lime Pie AND….he ordered one to go so we could have it again the next night. It was a grand day. But…because the years sometimes bring out those little bitty things that we just didn’t happen to notice about the other in the first 15 years of marriage, we have discovered that we are still learning things about each other. For example, I have learned that my darling husband considers it thrilling to wait until he is driving 65 MPH down the freeway before trying to fasten his seat belt (remember he still doesn’t have full use of his left arm and has to drive with one arm). Today when I had to grab the steering wheel to bring us back over to our lane, I told him,

” Randy, this is just a thought and maybe I”m wrong, but just maybe, wouldn’t it be fun to fasten your seat belt BEFORE leaving the driveway?” His response to me was, “it wouldn’t be as challenging” I told him that his next challenge might be trying to keep the back of a one size fits all hospital gown that only fits people who weight less than 130, closed as he walks down the halls, if he continues to do that.

My next annoyance came the other day as we were headed out to run errands. When I ask him if he took Oliver out before we left he quickly responded with , “shoot, I forgot I have a bag of poop in my pocket”! What? oh my gosh, here we are headed to the grocery store and my husband, who now goes by the name Mr. Poop Pocket, has a zip lock bag of doggie poop in his pocket. His usual routine is that after walking Oliver, he throws the small bag of you know what in the garbage before coming in the house. But for some reason, that day he forgot. I informed him that if he ever did that and I ended up throwing his shorts with poop in the pocket in the wash, well…all I can say is that it would take him more than a day of  taking me shopping and a dinner at Houstons to make up for that.

Since that day, I am getting better at checking his pockets before throwing them in the wash. I’m also learning to remind him to fasten his seatbelt before leaving our driveway. I would write to tell you about his annoyances with me, but he assures me that even after these 22 years, he couldn’t think of a thing. That’s my story and this is my blog and I will write whatever I want.

Travel Guide for Blondes

Since we have out of town company coming I’m busy cleaning and not baking and posting,  so thought I would reblog some “blonde” insight that might entertain you until I have time to bake and post!

Chocolate Castles

Have arrived back home after being gone since last Monday. I knew you would be interested in hearing about a few life lessons that I learned on this trip. As I was flying back yesterday, I had 3 hours to contemplate “life” since the book I had bought was pretty boring, I thought I would just “think”. These are the things that were on my mind as we flew through the air at 36,000 feet. 

1. As the old saying goes, “You can take the lady out of Texas, but you cannot take Texas out of the lady. I thought about that each time I pulled through Whataburger, had my choice of sweet or very sweet tea, had to decide which Tex-Mex restaurant I would eat my breakfast tacos, then which one would I meet friends at for enchiladas for lunch, then end the day with faitas at yet another…

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There are many out there who remember the television series 24. We were so hooked on it that we used to have dinner parties with friends  at the beginning  and end of the season  so that the show became quite a huge tradition of watching this great show with close friends so that when we got together, it certainly gave us much more to talk about than the latest doctor visit. As you remember, each hour of 24 was marked with a tragic happening that could only be saved by one man…..Jack. Each hour was so jam packed with the CTU  task force trying to “rescue” certain folks or trying to figure out plots which would destroy the world. Well, this weekend was our own little 24 show. It has been a while since we babysit for a 4 year old for over a few hours. All I can say is that we are ready to call in Jack.  Each hour, I felt so lucky if I could come up with a chore that Noah could help with. His mom had told me that Noah loves to “help” so I thought of the chores which take me the longest, thinking that this might help me gain some time to cook (or even just brush my teeth.) if precious little Noah could go dust, water plants, or vacuum. maybe I could at least get the bed made or toast a piece of bread without having to go change the TV channel, turn on the bathroom light or come see  the 357th bird he was drawing. How can one four year old, drain you? By the end of our 24 hour assignment, I felt like I was my own CTU task force, but reinforcements nor Jack ever came.

On Friday evening we even considered going to both the 4 and 5:30 Good Friday service since the church was having the nursery open for kids 5 and under.

On Saturday, we broke a promise to ourselves that we had made years ago that we would  never, never go near another Chuck E Cheese, EVER! We stayed for 2 hours. Then at lunch, the cute little hostess at Chick Fila finally had the courage to come tell us that they needed our table after we had sat there for over an hour. We told her she had mistaken us for the people before us and that we had just arrived. Truth be told, we were still searching for Noah’s shoes in the play area that he had taken off  the minute we arrived and didn’t remember where he put them. I told Randy that I was not going to climb up the tunnel slide to retrieve the shoes!   This time it was his turn to do that. Besides, last time I got stuck and the  manager had to come rescue me from the tunnel.  That incident  reminded me of the slogan “a moment on the lips is forever on the hips” and why it should be my motto.

I love grandkids as much as the next Nana, but I’m thinking that we might have just discovered the idea behind Martin Luther King’s famous quote by the end of our 24 saga. As we drove away from dropping off precious little Noah (and yes, we did wait until his parents were home to do that although we were tempted at one point to just give him some Benadryl for a possible runny nose and sit him in front of a 4 hour movie at his house to wait for his parents to come home. Instead we bribed him with  Baskin Robbins every Saturday for the rest of his sweet angelic little life if he would just let us lay down for 15 minutes!), I looked over at Randy who “put the petal to the metal” as he began the famous speech, “free at last, free at last, thank God we are free at last.”  I just wonder how many grandkids MLK had kept the day before that famous speech?

Peanut Butter & Jam Cake

IMG_4611.JPGAre you like me and the minute you see a recipe which you are dying to try, but instantly decide that you will change up a few things? It was no different when I saw the picture of this amazing looking cake. Today, I decided that it will be our Easter Dessert, but since kids are involved in eating it, I am going to make it a chocolate cake, instead of vanilla. But…what better flavor combinations than chocolate, raspberry and peanut butter? So go wild with different flavors. Don’t be afraid to substitute flavor combinations. After all, don’t you think that was how sushi was probably discovered? They took  a dead raw fish and combined it with rice and bean sprouts and they had a food everyone went goo goo over. So you never know if you might be the next baker or cook which invents a new winning food.

*This recipe was taken from Cooks Country Magazine

For the cake:

Using A Duncan Hines Cake Mix, chocolate or French Vanilla, bake cake according to directions on box using the 2 8″ square (or round) cake pans.


16 tables (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3 tables heavy cream

1 teas vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/4 cups seedless raspberry jam

1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350. Generously grease 2 8″ square (or round) baking pans and cover pan bottoms with squares of parchment paper. (I do not do this, because, well, I’m either lazy or a rebel, depending on the mood of the day, I just grease the pans with Pam or Butter.) Grease and flour parchment. Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until cake tops are light golden and cakes tests done when you insert toothpick in center and it comes out clean.  About 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Run knife around pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto large plates, peel off parchment paper and place on a lightly  greased rack. Cool completely.


Using mixer, whip the butter, peanut butter, cream and vanilla until combined. Reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Mix until no lumps are left. Whip frosting until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To Assemble:

Slice each cake layer in to two equal layers, giving you 4 layers. Spread 1/2 cup jam over each bottom half and replace top half. Place 1 reassembled half on cake plate, then spread 1 cup frosting over the top of that layer. Place second reassembled cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Press peanuts onto sides of cake. Heat remaining 1/4 cup jam in bowl in microwave until melted and smooth. about 20 seconds. Transfer to piping bag or small plastic sandwich bag with 1 corner cut off. Pipe jam in straight lines over top of cake and then drag paring knife through lines to create marbled appearance. Serve.

Mrs. Fondren’s Brownies

Back in the 70’s I use to attend a church which had a great music program. There were 4 men who sang in a quartet which would have given the Blackwood Brothers some serious competition. For those of you who did not grow up with Gospel music, this was a serious type of music that made you feel like dancing in the pews, but also that you were almost at Heaven’s Door. One of the men in the quartet at church was named Herb Fondran. (Yes, I’m getting to the point) and his wife was famous for her brownies which were requested at every gathering at the church. I don’t remember ever going to a fellowship or event hosted for the youth at their house that these brownies were not the main attraction. There is no way to count how many times I have made these through the years. They are a very simple brownie that just has the best chocolate flavor. Because I’m sure I don’t get enough sugar during the day from my M&M’s and pieces of cake or pie which is eaten every time I walk through the kitchen, I always sprinkle sugar on top of these brownies, just in case, I’m short on my sugar quota for the day.  I just found a few left over ones in the freezer from a couple of months ago that I thought I would freeze and use to make ice cream sandwiches, but Randy and I have eaten most of them while unloading groceries. I’m so thankful I bought a new 10 lb sack of sugar when we were at the store, now I can make more. Last night a friend texted me to ask if I would bake her 2 dz brownies for her tomorrow so guess I’ll have to bake a double batch.  After all, what would we do if there were none for us to snack on while watching Kevin Can Wait? IF you have not watched that sit com yet on Monday nights, do yourself a favor. It feels so good to sit and laugh for 30 minutes instead of hiding your eyes trying to watch CSI. Seriously! These brownies freeze very well.  I wrap them in Press and Seal and then put them in a baggie to freeze.

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

2 teas vanilla

4 eggs

8 Tablespoons cocoa

1 cup flour

1 cup nuts, chopped (if desired)

About 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to sprinkle over the top. OR if you prefer, dust with powdered sugar.

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs, add cocoa. Stir in flour and nuts. Pour into a 9″ square pan or a 9×13 if you like them a little thinner. Bake in preheated 325 oven until they are still a little fudge. They will finish baking as they cool. You don’t want to bake them until they are completely done, as they will be a little dry. As soon as you take them out of the oven, sprinkle a little granulated sugar over the top.