Ol’ Black Joe Cake

Growing up, this recipe has been a family favorite for birthday celebrations. We always topped it off with Coffee cream cheese frosting.

Mix together
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
In a second bowl
1 c. strong brewed coffee (2 heaping tsp. instant)
1 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients
In a second bowl, mix wet ingredients together
Combine both mixtures & blend until smooth.
Bake at 350 for approx. 30 minutes.
When cooled, top with coffee cream cheese frosting or PB frosting. (We always used Coffee cream cheese:-)

Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp instant coffee? (or to taste)
Dissolve coffee in heated milk.
Blend together cream cheese and vanilla.
Add milk/ coffee mixture.
Add powdered sugar.
I usually add the coffee to taste, so I’m not sure on the exact measurement. If you want it stronger, just dissolve more coffee in the milk & add it to the icing.



Dinner Rolls


This recipe came from my Youth Pastor’s wife, Amy DeBruin. It is the perfect touch to any meal. You will love it! One of the great things about it is, that you can make the dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and pull it out and bake it when you need too!IMG_0663

1 c. warm water (110 degrees, if you have a candy thermometer)
2 packages of active dry yeast (1 pkg = 2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. salt
4-41/2 c. flour
Combine warm water and yeast.
Let it “poof” for 5 min.
Mix in butter, sugar, eggs and salt.
Stir in flour (1 cup at a time) until dough is too stiff to mix.
Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 4 days.

Grease a 9×13″ pan
Turn chilled dough out onto lightly floured board.IMG_0694 Divide dough into 24 peices.
Roll each piece into a small ball, place balls in rows in pan.
Cover and let it rise until doubled.
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
Brush warm rolls with melted butter.

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

IMG_0648Creamy Peanut Butter frosting

1 box (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. Meijer all natural creamy peanut butter
dash of milk
Mix sugar, butter and vanilla together. Add PB to taste and milk as needed.
(variation: if you omit the PB, you have a butter creme frosting).

Cranberry Coffee Cake

It’s a rainy day, and the house is so cozy. The Christmas tree is still lit, and I’m listening to Pandora, as I sip orange spice tea and wait for my friends to arrive. From the kitchen comes the most wonderful smell of . . .

Cranberry Coffee Cake



1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 c. butter/ margarine
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
4 eggs
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t.  salt
1 pkg (12-16 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
confectioners sugar

-Beat together cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
-Add eggs, one at a time; mixing well after each addition.
-Combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt; gradually add to butter mixture.
-Mix remaining flour with cranberries; fold into batter. Batter will be very thick.
(If cranberries are frozen, defrost before adding to batter)
-Spoon into a greased 10″ tube pan or bunt pan.
-Bake @ 350 for 65-70 minutes. Let it stand 5 minutes before removing from pan.
-Dust with confectioners sugar.













One loaf of frozen bread dough
Three meats and three cheeses, about 1/2 lb of each.

Try combos of the following:

  • sausage
  • deli sliced roast beef
  • chipped ham
  • chipped turkey
  • hard salami or pepperoni
  • mozzarella
  • cheddar
  • Colby jack

One loaf of frozen bread dough= 1 stromboli.
Thaw bread dough, roll out to rectangle
Cover with a thin layer of mustard and spread to coat.
Start with sausage; lauer meats and cheese on top. Fold up sides and edges of stromboli.

You can either 1) Bake & serve the stromboli now, or 2) cover in freezer paper and freeze for when you want a meal. When you are ready for your stromboli, take it out of the freezer, give it some thaw time and then pop them into the oven for a tasty meal!

To serve, rub top with oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and cut several vent holes. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 20 minutes.IMG_0488
Variation: Recently, I made a vegetable stromboli & loved it! Just take any type of chopped vegetable you want (onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli) and saute them with a little olive oil until tender. Put them in a colander to drain any excess juice and allow them to cool. Then, place them on your dough & roll up (I still add a little bit of mustard beforehand, because it gives such a good flavor. IMG_0494
Recipe from Michelle Kunjappu

Crispix Snack Mix

IMG_0509No one ever said this was healthy . . . but it sure is yummy!

1 (12.3) box of crispix cereal
2 bags microwave popcorn
1 can salted peanuts
4 sticks of butter
3/4 c. corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix cereal, popcorn and peanuts and place in two 9×13″ pans & set aside (I usually pick out all the unpopped kernels, so no one bites into something unexpectedly hard)
Combine butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in a sauce pan.
Boil for 2 minutes
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda.
Pour syrup mixture over cereal mixture and stir
Bake at 225 for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
Put in container while still hot.

Humming Bird Cake

Yes, this recipe seems to have a million ingredients, but it is very moist and dense, with a nice banana nut taste.

3 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. gr. cinnamon
3 eggs
2 c. mashed ripe bananas
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 can (8oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. chopped walnuts

Pineapple Frosting
1/4 c. shortening
2 T butter, softened
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. salt
6 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tsp half and half cream
chopped walnuts (optional)

-In a large mixing bowl, combine, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
Add eggs, bananas, oil, pineapple and vanilla; beat until combined.
Stir in walnuts.
Pour into three greased and floured 9″ round baking pans.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center, comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; then remove from the pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
For frosting, in a large mixing bowl, beat shortening, butter, lemon peel and salt until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar alternately with pineapple juice. Beat in the cream. Spread between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.

Yields 12-14 servings.
-Recipe from Nancy Zimmerman,
Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

1 pkg. (6 oz) instant vanilla pudding
3 c. milk
1 tub of cool whip
1 pkg. graham crackers
Chocolate frosting

-Mix together vanilla pudding and milk; then add cool whip.
-Line the bottom of a 9×13″ pan with graham crackers. Pour half the pudding mixture on and spread over graham crackers.
-Place another layer of graham crackers on top
-Pour on remaining pudding mixture
-Place on another layer of graham crackers
-Finish with spreading the chocolate frosting on top (if you need to microwave the icing for 30 sec, so it softens, that’s fine)
-Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, so the graham crackers soften.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

IMG_0158 (2)

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

IMG_0155IMG_0161 (2)

Pretzel Rods
Wilburs chocolate coating wafers (Both white and dark)
wax paper

-Line a cookie sheet with wax paper

-Melt the dark and white coating chocolate in separate double broilers.(I place mine in bowls and microwave the white and dark separately, stirring every 20 seconds. You have to be careful doing it this way, so you don’t overheat it & burn the chocolate! Remove from the microwave when the chocolate is still lumpy and stir for awhile . . .you will find that stirring often melts the remaining chocolate & you won’t overheat it this way. The key is to stir frequently and not microwave it too much :-))

-Cover the pretzel rod 3/4 of the way with dark chocolate and then place it on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with more pretzel rods. Allow them to dry.

-Dip a spoon in white chocolate and drizzle it over the pretzel rods in a back and forth (left to right) motion, creating lines over the pretzels. Allow the chocolate to harden before removing from the wax paper. Stack (with waxpaper in between) in tupperware container or clear plastic bags, sealed tightly.

Gooey Turtle Bars


Gooey Turtle Bars


1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 bag of semi-sweet chips
1 cup pecans
1 jar of caramel Sunday topping


-Crush graham crackers with a rolling pin.
-Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter
-Press into a 9×13 dish
-Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans on top
-Microwave caramel for 1 min. and 30 sec., stirring after 30 secs.
-Pour over all ingredientsIMG_0476
-Bake at 350 for 15 min. or until chocolate is melted.
-Cool on rack, then chill before serving

-Recipe from Erin Risser.