Olive and Tomato Toasts

These “toasts” – either baked and served hot from the oven or unbaked and served at room temperature – are great to pass around at large parties. The fresh tomatoes cut into little cubes have a sweet taste that goes well with the concentrated taste of the oil-cured black olives.


4 Tbsp virgin olive oil
16 slices from a baguette, preferably homemade, cut ½ inch thick
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice (1 1/3 cups)
½ c oil-cured black olives, pitted and cut into ¼-inch pieces
4 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro leaves
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread 2 Tbsp of the oil on a cookie sheet, and dip both sides of the bread slices in the oil. Arrange on the sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, until l ...

Goat Cheese Crostini with Grape Salsa



1 cup red grapes, diced
1 cup blue and/or black grapes, diced 
1/2 small red onion finely chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, leaves for garnish
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 baguette, thinly sliced 
6 ounces herbed goat cheese, slightly softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1. Combine grapes, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro and vinegar in medium bowl. 
Season, if desired with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 30 minutes
2. Preheat oven to 375. Arrange bread on large baking sheet in a single layer and 
bake, turning over, 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crisp on both sides.
Remove and let cool.
3. Combine goat cheese with mayonnaise in small bowl until smooth. Spread 
cheese mixture onto crostinis, ...

Shortbread Cookies


1 c butter, at room temperature
2/3 c confectioner’s sugar
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c sifted all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
2/3 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350º F. Finely chop the rosemary leaves. Add to all remaining ingredients except for pecans. Stir until smooth or combine in a food processor. Remove batter from processor and stir in pecans.
Measure out dough by the teaspoonful. Roll each into a small ball and flatten to about ¼ inch thick with the bottom of a glass covered in butter and dipped in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes then remove to cool completely. Store in a tightly-covered tin. Yield: 6 dozen. ...

Scandinavian Tea Cookies & Raspberry Jam


1 c butter                                                           
½ c light brown sugar
2 egg yolks, well beaten
1 tsp baking powder
2 c sifted flour
½ c ground nuts
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites, for dipping cookies

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten yolks. Add sifted dry ingredients. Stir well to combine. Add vanilla. Form small balls, dip into slightly beaten egg whites and roll in ground nuts. Make impression in center of each ball. Bake at 375º F for 12 minutes or until light brown. When cool, fill center with small dash of jam.

Tea Cakes

1 c butter
1 c oil
1 c powdered sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs
4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Cream together the sugars and shortenin ...

Marcia’s Cardamom Pound Cake


2 cups soft butter
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp powdered cardamom
½ tsp salt
Nut mixture:
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ cups chopped walnuts
Cream butter and light brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat in well. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mix. Fold in each addition just enough to blend. Don’t beat or otherwise over mix. Spoon one-third batter into a well buttered tube or bundt pan, then half the nut mixture. Top with more batter and the remaining nut mixture finishing with cake batter. Bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees until brown on top and dry when you in ...

Chocolate Coffee Gingerbread


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
1 c sugar
1 c dark molasses
1 c vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 c freshly brewed hot coffee
1 c chopped bittersweet chocolate 60% cocoa 5-6 oz
1/4 c chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour with the next five ingredients in bowl to blend.

Combine sugar, molasses, oil and eggs in large bowl; whisk until well blended. Add dry ingredients and stir to blend. Mix in hot coffee, then chocolate and crystallized ginger (most of chocolate will melt). Transfer batter to prepared pan.


Bake cake 55-60 minutes. Transfer pan to ...

Gingered Earl Grey Scones


2 ½ cups self-rising flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. shortening
2 tbsp. butter
Contents of 1 Earl Grey tea bag
1 tsp. candied ginger, minced
1 egg
½ cup whole milk
• Preheat oven to 400°F.
• Grease a baking sheet.
• In a large chilled bow, combine flour, sugar, shortening, butter, and tea.
• With your fingers, work the flour and fat together until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
• Stir in the candied ginger.
• Beat the egg until it froths and set 1 tablespoon aside.
• Beat the milk into the remaining egg and pour over the flour mixture.
• Toss together until the dough can be gathered into a ball.
• Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a ¼-inch thick circle. 
• Cut the dough into wedges with a sharp knife, making about 12 scones.
• To reserve ...

Berry Cream Cheese Muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 package (ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 jar (10 ounces) Dickinsons Seedless Raspberry Preserves (or your favorite flavor of seedless preserves or fruit curd
Fresh raspberries and mint leaves, optional
Prepare dough: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in nuts. Add eggs and oil; mix well. 
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Prepare cream cheese topping: In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, sugar and egg; spread over dough. Drop by tablespoonfuls into the center of each muffin. Drop raspberry pres ...

Pound Cake with Blueberries and Lavender Syrup


Preheat oven to 350 º
2 C flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 C butter
1½ C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
½ C milk

Blueberries and Lavender:
¾ C water
½ C sugar
4 tsp dried lavender flowers or 2 Tbsp fresh
2 tsp lemon juice
1 pint blueberries (10 oz.)

For Cake: prep a 9x5x3 pan with butter and flour. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add zest and vanilla. 
Reduce speed to low and add flour and milk alternately in batches, ending with flour. Bake 1-1¼ hours. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Invert and cool completely. 

For Berries: bring water and sugar to a boil (4 minutes). Remove from h ...

Lillet Marshmallows

Makes about 64 marshmallowsActive Time: 25 minutes - Start to Finish: 3¾ hour (includes time for setting)


About ½ cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting and dredging
A stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment
A candy thermometer
3 (¼) envelopes unflavored gelatin
¾ c Lillet Blanc, divided (½ c for dissolving gelatin and ¼ c for the syrup)
1 ½ c sugar
1 c light corn syrup
¼ c water
• Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking pan.
• Sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup Lillet (water for non-alcoholic version) in bowl of mixer and let soften while making syrup.
• Stir together sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt. Add ¼ cup water plus the remaining ¼ cup Lillet, (or for nonalcoholic add ½ cup water) in a small heavy saucepan. Boil over medium heat, without stirring, until thermometer registers 238 to 240 degrees F. R ...