Tag Archives: Butter

Mistake Cake (or Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Cake)

This morning my girls (very adorably) demanded pancakes for breakfast. So I took out my trusty pancake recipe and started mixing.

Problem. I used baking SODA instead of baking POWDER. But then, I added the baking powder, and, oh my goodness… I tried one pancake and it didn’t work. It just fell apart all over the place. It also tasted like baking soda. Blech!

Here’s something you probably already know about me by reading my posts; I can’t waste anything – especially food. So I tried to salvage it. I thought it probably wouldn’t work, but I had already messed it up, so what the heck, right? To my left was a baggie of ready-made oatmeal – my version of the instant packages. It had oats and raisins, some sea salt, and cinnamon/nutmeg. I keep these made up and ready for my husband to grab in the mornings. All he has to do is add a cup of water to quickly make a healthy breakfast for the girls. I poured that in the mix. Then I wanted something else. I couldn’t put my finger on it! Looking in the fridge I saw some apple butter looking kinda lonely. I chucked it in, stirred it up, and hoped for the best.

40 Minutes later…

Mistake Cake (or Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Cake) ::Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals BlogWell, hey, it worked! I made a beautiful little breakfast cake! It’s also pretty healthy. Yay!

Without further adieu…

Mistake Cake (or Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Cake) ::Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals Blog

Mistake Cake (or Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Cake)


2 Cup spelt flour

1 Cup rolled oats

2-4 Tblsp coconut sugar (depending on your sweetness preference)

1 tsp nutmeg and/or cinnamon

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

2 Cup whole milk

1 Cup applesauce (I used apple butter!)

4 Tblsp melted butter

2 Tblsp melted coconut oil

2 large eggs

1 Cup raisins or other favorite dried fruit (optional)


Mix everything together however you want with a mixer. It doesn’t really matter what order because I totally “invented” this by messing it up. Pour into a well-greased pan.* Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Mine was an oval pan. You can use this handy conversion chart to check the time for your pan. The chart works well for this cake. Want to make a heart-shaped Mistake Cake? Go for it! 

Have fun!

Love, Veronica


Clean Eating Breakfast Cake – “Healthified”

Clean Eating Breakfast Cake - "Healthified" :: Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals

I gave away my white sugar.

I did. It was hard. A good pound or more of it just walked out my door one day. I told my friend, “I just can’t justify feeding it to my family anymore.” She could, which was fine for me because I didn’t have to waste it.

Lately, I have been on this amazing food journey. Every step I take I discover something new about what I can do to really FEED my family. Food is more than just food. There are nutrients and anti-nutrients, probiotics, good sugars and bad sugars, good fats and bad fats. We’re not being told the real story. The good fats are actually those we have been told to avoid! Saturated fats are good! Mind. Blown.

Cue whole milk (pastured and raw if you can get it!), butter, ghee, lard, coconut oil, FAT. It’s not all bad. Of course, everything in moderation, but I want you to know, it’s ok to put butter on your veggies. In fact, it’s encouraged. Because that little bit of fat helps your body utilize many of those vitamins you’re eating.

This whole journey started with the purchase of one book. Nourishing Traditions. I recommend it to anyone who wants to be healthier, happier, and really eat well. Then I started fermenting. First sauerkraut, then pomegranate “soda”, then dilly pickled carrots… All these have helpful, tummy healing, brain boosting probiotics.

Then the sugar. So, goodbye refined, white, bleached sugar. Hello sucanat, honey, maple syrup, coconut (palm) sugar.

And this is where we get to cake. Breakfast cake.

I found a recipe that called for 2 cups! of sugar… for a breakfast or coffee cake! (Aside: You’ll have to excuse me. As a Mormon, I don’t drink coffee, so calling this a coffee cake seems odd to me. We call it breakfast cake around here.)

It called for brown sugar; but brown sugar is really white (refined) sugar with molasses added to it. You can bet that molasses probably isn’t organic either. But, here’s a cool fact about coconut sugar: It tastes like brown sugar! Score!

The recipe I read originally called for refined (not clean) brown sugar, oleo (yuck!), refined flour, and some other ingredients that weren’t so bad. But I knew I could replace those bad ones. So, without further adieu… the recipe.

Clean Eating Breakfast Cake


2 cups coconut palm sugar or sucanat

1 cup coconut oil (or butter, or a mixture of the two)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups unbleached flour (I prefer spelt flour and grind my own. But einkorn or emmer are also good. Read why here and here.)

1 cup of sour milk or buttermilk (Good way to use up your milk if it sours! Keep in mind, raw milk sours beautifully over time. Pasteurized milk rots. Don’t make the mistake of using rotten pasteurized milk!)

1 teaspoon baking soda

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon together. Then mix coconut oil/butter in with your hands until mixture resembles crumbly sand. Reserve one cup for topping. Stir baking soda into sour milk/buttermilk. Add to flour/sugar/oil mixture. Stir to combine. Pour into greased 13×9  pan, and sprinkle with topping. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm (or that evening with ice cream!).

The changes I made were 1:1. Everything came out perfectly. My family devoured this recipe. And I know that it was much healthier than it was in 1962 when sweet “Mrs. McCarter” wrote it in a small-town cookbook. I hope you enjoy it. Please comment and let me know what your favorite recipe was that you “healthified” or cleaned up.

Happy (clean) eating!


Chicken and Handmade Noodles

chnAuthor: Cassie Stevens

One of my favorite dishes my mother makes for Thanksgiving is her turkey and homemade noodles. OMG! They are so good, she makes them the day before and lets them dry out overnight. Although I have tried many times, I don’t make them the same as my mama.  Well, this is a similar recipe to hers.  My chicken and noodles has veggies in it unlike my mama’s, but I think it adds a lot of flavor to the stock.

I start by making the dough for the noodles. It’s really very easy, all you need is

2 cups of flour

1/3 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

2 egg yolks and one whole egg beaten

1 tsp olive oil

Prep: In a large bowl stir together the flour and salt, then make a well in the center.  In another small bowl mix egg yolks, whole egg, water, and olive oil.  Add egg mixture to flour. Mix well. add a tsp of water at a time if too dry. On a floured surface roll out dough and knead until smooth and elastic. (8 to 10 minutes). Cover and let dough rest for ten to fifteen minutes.  Cut dough in half and roll out as thin as you want your noodles. Dust with flour on each side so the dough does not stick to the counter and cut with a knife, pizza cutter, or the nifty little roller cutter that I found at a thrift store never opened for fifty cents.

chn2I love that thing. I’m glad I picked it up. It also has another roller blade that tenderizes meat. I use it for pastas only. I tenderize my meat other ways.

chn3So after all your pasta is cut, it’s time to set it aside to dry.  I just place it on a parchment lined baking sheet to air dry. I turned it after an hour to help it dry out more evenly.

chn4I let mine dry for about two hours. It was dry enough by that time. As soon as it was dry I started the stock. I added a Tbsp of minced garlic and enough olive oil to cover a stock pot. Then I added the veggies:

chn5About three carrots, half an onion, and two stalks of celery. Dice them all up and sweat them out in the stock pot. I also, added two Tbsp butter, cause I can never cook without it. I love butter, real butter!  Once your veggies are sweatin’ add 3 cups water and simmer.

Next in a cast iron skillet or whatever pan you have (I love my cast iron skillet) brown your chicken. I used 3 boneless breasts and I seasoned my chicken with salt and pepper and a little bit of minced garlic in the bottom of the pan. Once browned on each side I set aside to rest for a few minutes. Then cut into small cubes and put inside stockpot to finish cooking for about ten to fifteen minutes.

chn7Drain the liquid from the stock pot into the skillet and bring to a boil, then add your noodles. Cook for about three minutes. Noodles will be done. Cook a little longer for thicker noodles.

chn6Once the noodles are done, add them to your stockpot. Before you add more water, make a slurry to thicken to a gravy.

chn8Add 1 Tbsp cornstarch and 1 Tbsp flour and mix well in a measuring cup with just enough water to dissolve. Add to stock pot, then add more water to desired consistency. Let simmer for a few minutes and it will thicken up to a gravy consistency.


Looks yummy right? Time to eat! Pair it with your favorite dinner rolls and you have a great dinner your family will be talking about for a while!

chn10I hope you enjoy as much as we all did! Happy cooking!

Spicy Shrimp and Butter Grits ~ Southern Comfort Food

sg6Author: Cassie Stevens

I am a southern girl, and I eat like it too.  Cornbread, beans, grits, mashed taters, all kinds of gravies, butter, BBQ, etc.  Southern comfort foods, and this is one of them.  Shrimp and grits! YUM! better yet, spicy shrimp and grits! YUM! YUM!

Shrimp and grits started out as a seasonal fisherman’s dish of shrimp cooked in bacon grease served over creamy grits in the south where they were also known as “breakfast shrimp.” The popular cuisine of corn grain provides a new twist in a variety of ways that it can be made. This has caused chefs to try to create new variations of the basic shrimp and grits recipe.sg2

You may be wondering what grits are made of. Well grits, formerly “hominy,” is ground corn that has been mashed. This dish was invented by the Native Americans from the Carolina region. Grits were used as one of the ways for Native Americans and white people to communicate in the latter part of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century before people learned how to speak the same language. An important event happened in 1584, when Native Americans gave some of their grits to Sir Walter Raleigh, and the people who came to live in Jamestown, Virginia a few years later.sg3

The colonists were learning about maize (corn) from the Native Americans, who were well versed in that area. Multiple items quickly became basic food sources for the settlers, including corn and grits. These items had been a normal part of the Native American diet for a long time.sg1

Centuries later, in 1976, grits were  declared as the official state food of South Carolina and are well known for their significant contribution to the culture and economy of South Carolina, and the power of the people who live there. The region stretching from the Carolinas to Louisiana is now called America’s Grits Belt.sg4

For many people in this region, a day without grits is like a day without sunshine. They hate and have no respect for prepackaged instant grits or quick grits. For them, the only way to eat real grits is to cook them the old fashioned way slowly with stone ground grits. However, there are a number of ways to spice up the meal like adding shrimp.

For many decades, shrimp and grits were a mainstay of the diet of the people who lived in and around Charleston, South Carolina.


I live in Tennessee, not far from the origin of shrimp and grits. I love it! Well, in this recipe I used, lemon juice, butter, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, parsley, garlic, and onion powder. Spicy!

I cooked my grits then added a little butter, salt, and cream to my taste. Viola! the best ever spicy southern shrimp and grits. Gotta love it! Good southern comfort food! Enjoy! ~ C


10 to 15 cooked shrimp (depending on size)

Juice from half a lemon

1 tbsp salted butter

1 dash cayenne pepper (or to your heat preference)

1 three finger pinch dried parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

In sauce pan combine all ingredients until heated through. Serve over cooked grits.


Friday’s Flavor ~ Shrimp Scampi with Leeks

ss1Author: Cassie Stevens

What’s easier than a shrimp scampi? Lemon, garlic, butter, parsley, onions (or in this case leeks), salt, pepper, and shrimp.  Bring a little white wine to the party and jazz it up a bit. Mmmmm…. Just about every shrimp scampi photo I see on the Internet looks delicious, even from first timer cooks.  Scampi is quick, easy, and old school, but so good, and good for you.

ss2Served either with bread, or over pasta or rice, although sometimes just the shrimp alone. Most variants of the “shrimp scampi” come on pasta.

Fun Fact: Scampi is a kind of small lobster known as  Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn, or true scampi.  The name is often used to loosely describe a style of preparation typical for this lobster.

And now for the leeks…….



Leeks are a new ingredient for me. Until now, I have never had or used a leek.  I had heard that they are a lot like an onion in flavor.  I would agree with that, I think they are very good and mild in onion flavor with a hint of mild garlic. My husband was new to leeks as well, and he too would agree that they are very good. He said it was  ****ing awesome! Ha! ha ha!

For those of you that don’t know:  The edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves (above the roots and stem base), the light green parts, and to a lesser extent the dark green parts of the leaves. One of the most popular uses is for adding flavor to stock. The dark green portion is usually discarded because it has a tough texture, but it can be sautéed or added to stock.

I would recommend trying leeks if you haven’t.  I think they are just great.  I shouldn’t have waited so long to try them. I will be seeking more recipes that use leeks in the future.

Back to the scampi…..Mmmmmm! Oh Yeah!

ss2This is an easy dish you must try out whether you are a beginner, or if your a veteran cook.  I hope you enjoy and make lots of memories while cooking and just have fun in the kitchen. Bon Appetite!

Rosemary Garlic Parmesean Yeast Rolls


Author: Cassie Stevens

Light and buttery, you’ll love these! They go great with anything from pasta to seafood.  Fresh rosemary from my patio garden, grated Parmesan, garlic, and butter. Hot from the oven, they are crisp around the edges. and so soft and delicious on the inside. These will be a big hit at the dinner table with your family and friends.

I make a large batch and most I will make plain (for snack-time sandwiches) and the rest I will top (like these above) for dinner. I start with the yeast, the milk/cream mixture, and a little sugar. I will let that sit about 5 to ten minutes until it’s nice and foamy. Like this:


Then I will mix  in another bowl the eggs, the rest of the sugar, salt, and softened butter. Mix well and add to the yeast and milk mix. Stir until incorporated. Then add 6 cups of flour and mix in well with a wooden spoon, add one more cup of flour and mix in well again. Clean off your wooden spoon, cause you will be using your hands from here. I always knead my dough with my hands. For the last cup or more of flour, I will sprinkle a little on top of the dough and spread the rest out on the counter.  Roll the dough ball out on the your floured surface and begin kneading your dough ball. Keep adding flour down on your counter until your dough has a smooth and soft not sticky consistency. your dough shouldn’t need too much more flour. Place in a greased bowl and let it rise for about an hour in a warm place, like your oven or on top of your dryer if you are doing laundry, or I heard even on top of your refrigerator works great too. So, after your dough has risen and doubled in size, flour your counter, roll out the dough and knead for just a minute to get the big air bubbles out.  Then cut into about thirty even pieces.  Shape into balls. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Brush each roll with a little melted butter and egg mixture.  Then sprinkle on you seasonings, or leave plain. Let rise until doubled again. Then bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Here is pan of plain ones I made for sandwiches. They keep well if I store them in a plastic bag once they are cooled.


OK, so here is my recipe: This was the one I found online

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup water

5 tsp yeast

2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 sticks butter

2/3 cup white sugar

7-8 cups all-purpose flour

For my Rosemary Garlic Parmesan Topping:

Lightly sprayed tops of rolls with cooking spray, sprinkle on grated Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, 1 chopped sprig fresh rosemary.

POW! you get these ~ awesome herb and cheese crusted yeast rolls.


Hope you enjoy!

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits


Author: Cassie Stevens

Warm fluffy, buttery, homemade buttermilk biscuits. Do I have your attention yet? Sounds good right? They are so easy to make from scratch. If you haven’t ever made your own biscuits before you will love this recipe. It’s easy and simple. I make these all the time, and they are a huge hit on my house.  I usually make them for white pepper sausage gravy, one of my husbands favorites. I try to make it every Sunday for him (it’s his only day off).

2 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold butter (you can use shortening or lard if you have it, but I really like the buttery taste better)

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Cut up cold butter into small cubes. Using a fork or a pastry blender cut in butter into the flour, until resembles a course meal.  Slowly pour in one cup buttermilk, careful not to over mix. You don’t want to break up the butter too much, because those lumps of butter melt in the oven creating pockets of steam that leave your biscuits light and airy or flaky.  Once you have it all mixed, lightly flour a work surface to roll your dough out on. Keep your dough thick, about an inch or so.  Cut with a cookie cutter or a cup, and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  You can re-roll your leftover dough from the edges when you cut your first batch of biscuits. Be careful not to over work the dough. You just want to get all the pieces back together again. Bake for about ten minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool for a minute, and dive right in. Split it open and spread butter, or jam or whatever your fix is. Just enjoy the bounty of your efforts.