Just a taste

I’m a sucker for bite-sized treats because sometimes you just need a taste. 

With a cup of your favorite tea.

Chocolate Cream Puffs

1/4 c. margarine

1/2 c. water

1/8 tsp. salt

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 eggs

Line one extra large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  This recipe makes about 3 dozen mini-cream puffs.

In a small bowl, add sugar, cocoa, and flour.  In a medium sized saucepan, add margarine, water, and salt.  Bring water mixture to a full boil and remove from heat.  Pour in flour mixture and stir until dough forms a ball and batter pulls from side of pan.  Add 1 egg at a time, beating with electric mixer until batter is smooth.

Using a small teaspoon, or the star tip on a pastry bag,  drop onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until cream puffs are firm to the touch.  Turn off the oven and crack the door open.  Allow cream puffs to cool slowly in the oven.

Fill  your cream puffs  with a scrumptious  filling of  choice.  I filled my with a Boston Cream filling,  and I used a very fine pastry bag tip to do so.  This was time consuming but worth the effort.

What is your favorite bite-sized treat?



Welcome to Cookie of the Month

Welcome to Cookie of the Month.  This is a new segment at TJOC where I will be featuring a new cookie recipe each month until Christmas. 

I’m hoping you will enjoy the new cookie recipes, and will add them to your cookie making list this coming holiday season.


If you like dark chocolate, cappuccino, and walnuts, then you’re going to enjoy these.  The recipe is simple, and the results are delicious.

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The secret behind these cookies are the dark chocolate cappuccino flavored Ovation bits which can be ordered through Sweet Works Candy by the box, or bulk. 

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Walnut & Chocolate Cappuccino Chunk Cookies

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 c. Ovation Cappuccino Bits

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a large bowl, add margarine, sugars, egg, and vanilla.  Beat with electric mixer until light and creamy.  Add flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; mix completely.  Fold in cappuccino bits and walnuts.

Drop by tablespoon onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, or baking stones.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until light, golden brown.

Cool  slightly before transferring to a baking rack.

Makes about 1.5 dozen cookies.

I used my baking stones to bake these cookies on.

These cookies would make a great gift packaged in a pretty coffee mug, with a pound of coffee, or simply put the dry ingredients it in a decorated mason jar with the instructions, and let the recipient of the gift make their own fresh-baked cookies.

Please share this month’s recipe with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

When Sweet Meets Salty


What do you get when you cover square pretzels with candy wafers, bake them for 3-4 minutes in a 200 degree oven, and top them off with Sixlets?

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I found this idea at BeBetsy on Pinterest who pinned it from the blog G*rated. G*rated made the treats using Hershey’s Hugs/Kisses and plain M&M’s.  I adapted the recipe and used ingredients I normally have on hand.

Use your imagination; mix colors and flavors to create your ultimate sweet and salty snacks!

Making Homemade Granola


I love fruit & yogurt parfaits.  They are tasty, low fat, and fairly healthy.  They make a pretty good snack or dessert when your sweet tooth is misbehaving and you are trying to watch calories.

Since I like granola on my yogurt parfaits I decided to try making my own at home.

Armed with oats and slivered almonds I contemplated what flavor granola I would make.

I scavenged through the cupboards and pulled out some of my favorite flavors.  Brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and  pure maple syrup. 

The great thing about making your own granola is that you can adapt it to fit your own tastes.  You can add honey, coconut, or a variety of nuts and dried fruits.  Because I wasn’t sure how my first batch would turn out I kept it simple.  I also decided to stay clear from adding any fat (oil) to make my granola.


2 c. oatmeal

1/2 c. slivered almonds

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. brown sugar

3/4 c. pure maple syrup

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.  After everything is thoroughly mixed, pour it out onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20-30 minutes; stir every 10 minutes. The granola is done baking when it is a light golden brown.  Be careful  not to over bake it.

Allow it to cool on the cookie sheet.  As it cools it will become crunchy.  Once cool; store in zip-lock bag to maintain freshness.

This granola is only slightly sweet.  You can add extra brown sugar if you prefer a sweeter version.  Or be creative and come up with your own custom blend.

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Garlic, Red Onion, and Jarslberg Gratin Potatoes

We all know about comfort foods.  They are typically warm, bubbly, flavorful, and tend to be loaded with carbs and/or fat.  And it’s probably because of those reasons that we crave them from time to time.

These potatoes definitely fall into the comfort food category.  The Jarlsberg cheese makes them one of my favorite side dishes. They are delicious!

This recipe was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Grilling Book.

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1/4 of a large red onion, sliced thin

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 heaping cup of Jarlsberg cheese (I diced slices of cheese)

9 medium sized potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

1 cup heavy cream

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8”x8” baking dish using non-stick cooking spray.

Arrange half of the potato slices in the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle half of the garlic, onion, cheese, and salt & pepper over the first layer of potatoes.  Repeat with a second layer of potatoes: add the remaining garlic, onion, cheese and salt & pepper on top.  Pour heavy cream over the top of all the ingredients. Cover and bake for 70 minutes.  Uncover and bake for additional 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and the top turns golden brown.

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This dish pairs well with hamburgers, chicken, and meatloaf.  I can almost guarantee that if you share these potatoes as a dish to pass you’ll come home with an empty dish.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Finally found time to bake – lucious lemon blueberry bread

What a combination


The batter


Bottom side of bread fresh out of the pan


Life is good, and busy.  This time of year the nice weather calls me outside.  Because of this I  put baking on the back burner, so to speak.    

This week we planted our garden which now has a variety of fruits & veggies and herbs packed into it.  Today was more or less, a day of rest, and I finally found time to bake.    

I found some nice looking blueberries at the grocery store and they help inspire me.  I had been wanting to make something on the lemon side so with that in mind I dug through my (not quite organized yet) recipe box and found a great recipe I’ve made many a time.  Lemon Blueberry Bread   

The recipe is as follows:  3 tbls shortening, 3 tbls margarine, 1 c sugar, 1 tbls lemon juice (I used real lemon extract), 2 eggs, 1 1/2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 c milk (I used skim), 1 cup fresh blueberries.  Mix in order.  I used  3 mini bread pans and baked for 37 mins in a 325 degree oven.  You know the routine.  Whatever you bake it in, make sure the toothpick comes out clean in the center.  Enjoy!   

We are enjoying it as I type….. Moist and tasty – not overly sweet.