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Tag Archives: Dessert

You can say it with flowers

or breakfast in bed,

“Say It Sweetly” (Iced Sugar Cookies) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/20s, ISO 640, +0.3EV, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fony ‘Puffer Diffuser’, +0.7EV, Color Efex Pro ‘Vignette Border’

but I choose to say it

with COOKIES instead! 🙂



I love you!!!

Gertrude Noyes (aka, Nancy’s mom) made the most wonderful blueberry cake. Nothing fancy, mind you, but rather a fairly simple cake, dotted with sweet blueberries throughout and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Yummmmm. 🙂

“Gert’s Blueberry Cake” (Blueberry Cake) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.7EV, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

This delicious treat would usually arrive as a surprise on a Saturday or Sunday morning, still warm from the oven, the aroma of cinnamon filling the air. Didn’t matter if we’d already had our breakfast or not. Resistance was futile. 😉

Blueberry Anticipation

Years ago, I was fortunate to acquire the recipe from Nancy which I tucked neatly into my recipe binder. Starting in early August, blueberry memories began wafting into my brain and when I saw quarts of wild blueberries (the best kind) at a local farmstand, I knew I hadto make that cake! Therefore, on a bright Saturday morning, I gathered the ingredients and, following the recipe to the letter, happily anticipated the tasty results.

“Yes, Please” (Blueberry Cake Square) Nikon D300, 50mm, F/5.6, 1/15s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Vignette Blur’ Filter

Hot from the oven, the cake looked and smelled divine. I put a pot on for tea while the cake cooled just a bit and impatiently waited for the moment when I could cut into my blueberry masterpiece. A good deep inhale of that cinnamon aroma and then, finally, that first bite.

Wait for it…wait for it…wait…damn. How could this be? Instead of the expected gastric euphoria, both hubby and I were, well, sadly disappointed. It wasn’t that the cake was bad, but it certainly wasn’t Gert’s. Something was missing. 😩

A couple of days later, I yelled over the fence, “Hey, Nancy! When your mom made her (famous) blueberry cake, did she use lard?” 

“No, she always used shortening.”

“No butter?”

“Nope. Never.”

“Huh. Well, I made the cake and it tasted… flat. And, it wasn’t as moist as hers. Did I over-bake it?”

“Hmmm, I doubt it. What did you use for milk?”

And, just like that, it hit me. You see, back in the day, milk was milk. There wasn’t 2%, 1% or skim, no lactose-free or soy or almond. When a recipe called for milk, it meant wholemilk. An item that is not regularly found in my icebox. Mystery solved. 🙂

“Spread” (Blueberry Cake Buffet) Nikon D300, 45mm, F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

With new confidence in hand (and enough blueberries remaining), it was back to the kitchen to try again. In addition to using whole milk, I also made a few more tweaks to the recipe (we bakers just can’t resist can we? 😉 ).

For example, I like to grease and sugar my cake pans as it adds just a little extra sweetness that flour can not deliver. I also like to layer flavors, so instead of using plain white sugar and plain table salt, I substituted vanilla sugar and vanilla salt. I also used two kinds of vanilla extract since each adds their own bit of ‘something’ to the finished product.

When the timer went off, anticipation along with a bit of nervousness, swelled within me. I prepared the tea, gathered the plates, utensils and napkins, cut and served the slices and then waited for hubby to take the first bite. 

“Have a Bite” (Blueberry Cake) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/100s, -0.7EV, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser


“It’s delicious.”

Woo hoo! 😀

Happily, Nancy concurred and it was a delightful Saturday morning, sipping tea and noshing on a (now) treasured family recipe, shared amongst good friends and remembering a cherub-faced Gert whom, I hope, I made proud.

Folks, it doesn’t get any better than that. 🙂

“Marble Magic” (Cream Cheese Brownies with Milk) Nikon D300, 150mm, F/5.6, 1/20s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL-BL Flash, -0.7EV

Desserts…aaaah, the best part of the meal. 🙂 Well, they were when I was younger.

These days, sweet endings aren’t the status quo, therefore, when I do indulge, they best be special treats! (or, at least, ones that are worth the extra minutes required on the elliptical! 😉 )

Good thing I love to bake since pre-packaged cookies and snack cakes aren’t welcome in our cupboards (too many ingredients born out of a chemistry lab than a kitchen).

First up, one of my favoritesCream Cheese Marble Brownies. Layers of dark chewy chocolate brownies dotted with chocolate chips and topped with ribbons of sweetened cream cheese. No sissy portions here but a nice generous square to be washed down with ice cold milk (of course).

This next one may look like a pre-packaged item but I assure you, it isn’t.

“Fo Hos” (Chocolate-covered, Cream-filled, Vanilla Cake Rolls) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/5.6, 1/20s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL-BL Flash, -0.7EV

Inspired by my favorite childhood snack cake, Hostess Ho Hos, these chocolate-covered, cream-filled rolls are beyond tasty! I’ve also made them with chocolate cake (like the original) but discovered that when you only have a yellow boxed cake mix in the pantry, you simply have to rollwith it! 😉

“Salty Sweet” (Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream ‘Late Night Snack’) Nikon D300, 130mm, F/5.6, 1/30s, ISO 640

Not all our treats come from my oven.

We are HUGE fans of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and when he recently unveiled the latest Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavor created just for the show, we knew we had to try it!

The perfect combination of salty and sweet, Late Night Snack is ‘Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with a Salty Caramel Swirl & Fudge Covered Potato Chip Clusters.’

Yes, folks, you read that correctly: Fudge. Covered. Potato. Chip. Clusters. Genius! 

For a limited time only, so run out to your local grocer and scoop up a pint! 😉

Staying with the ice cream theme, this last image comes courtesy of Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

“Mouse Cream” (Mickey Mouse Sundaes, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, Disney’s Beach Club Resort) Nikon D300, 62mm, F/2.8, 1/25s, ISO 640

I didn’t sample these Mickey Mouse sundaes but they were simply too adorable(and too colorful) to pass up! 🙂

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