Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The kindness of friends.

Hi there...I recently heard the news and spent lots of time in reflection trying to find the right words other than 'I'm sorry' whose 7 letters seems to fall completely short. I can't offer much other than hope, gratitude and inspiration...memories provide us the joys of life.

  • I heard these words and thought of when my Mom passed. It's how I saw things then:

    Day one day one start over again
    Step one step one
    I'm barely making sense for now
    I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it
    From scratch begin again but this time I as I
    And not as we...

    I hope you and your family are well. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


    From this poem to all the words of support. I thank u all :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Letting Go

Adam Robert Vakiener

April 1, 1967- March 16, 2012

 God saw you getting tired. When a cure was not to be,
He closed his arms around you and whispered, "Come to Me".
In tears we saw you sinking. We watched you fade away.
Our hearts were almost broken, you fought so hard to stay.
But when we saw you sleeping so peacefully free from pain,
We could not wish you back to suffer so again.
So keep your arms around him Lord, and give him special care.
Make up for all he suffered and all that seemed unfair.

My husband.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hazelnut &Olive Oil Shortbread

               There's a lot of fantasy about what Scotland is, and the shortbread tins and that sort of thing.
-Sean Connery

Well, this is not a Scottish shortbread, more Italian . Hazelnuts paired with another citrus.( I have left over HAZELNUT meal from my Nutella pound cake.) This time -lemon. This classic combo I also adore. The tart lemon, and buttery nuttiness. Sandy, light, a bit salty. The original recipe is all olive oil. I did add butter because I wanted to press then into shapes. I was afraid oil alone would not be enough. I also added all the lemon juice  into the cookie.vs using it as a glaze with powdered sugar. I bet this would  have add another layer to the cookie, as well as sharpening up the beauty factor. They r surprisingly delicious. A nice rainy day, hot tea and these :)

Hazelnut & Olive Oil Shortbread

 Adapted from : From: ArcaMax Publishing's "Variety Menu," by Faith Durand (2/12/2012)
(Faith Durand is managing editor of, a nationally known blog for people who love food & home cooking.)


1 1/4 cup hazelnut meal
3/4 cup A-P flour  ( I used wheat because it was all I had )
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon  fine sea salt
1 lemon, zested
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4cup extra-virgin light olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • Heat the oven to 375ºF.
  • Cream butter with brown sugar, powdered sugar - until light
  • Stream in olive oil and continue to blend until mixed.
  • Add lemon zest, and juice, vanilla - mix until blended 
  • Whisk together the hazelnut meal, flour, salt . 
  • Mix dry  into wet oil, until dough pulls together off sides of bowl.   The dough will be sandy & quite crumbly
  • Roll the dough out onto parchment paper- approx-1/4-1/2 inch thickness.  I think thicker is better because how crumbly the dough is.
  • Cut with cookie cutter or hand cut into shapes. ( I used a simple large cutter. Anything too intricate will break when placing.) 
  • Sprinkle with Demara sugar ( optional)   or  glaze with lemon juice and powdered sugar- after baking
  • Bake for approx 7 minutes/ -on parchment paper- or  until edges are light brown. 


  • I will cut them a bit thicker. Shortbread should be FAT!
  • I will make the lemon glaze :)  
  • I'll have white flour ..LOL 
  • MAYBE I'll actually find my camera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

black and white 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

World Nutella Day - Nutella Pound Cake


World Nutella Day- officially is February 5th. So yes, i' m a day late and a dollar short , but i did bake. I promise to myself to get back here, and present all those delicious recipes..i've been hording for years.

I actually could not find my camera. ..LOOOOOOL So these pictures r pretty horrible, but i assure u the cake is moist and delicious. I am now typing like i text.. See all those inappropriate abbreviations?:(

Nutella Pound Cake


1.5 cups all -purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa
1 cup hazelnut meal  ( BOB's Red MIll does make this- just like ALMOND)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder 
1/1/2 cups milk
3/4 cups butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1  teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of one orange
1/1/4 cups Nutella spread
1 cup (or more ) of chopped hazelnuts -toasted lightly


           Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan.

  • In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat Nutella and butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in Grand Marnier, vanilla and orange zest
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • Add hazelnut meal to dry ingredients ( u can sift this , but then some gets left behind) 
  • Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture along with half of the milk Slowly beat until well blended then add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and the remaining milk. Beat until blended then slowly beat in remaining dry ingredients. Beat until smooth and well blended  
  • Layer toasted hazelnuts at bottom of bundt pan. Spoon into the prepared baking pan. 
  • Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake bounces back after lightly touched with a finger.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes then carefully remove from the pan and invert on a serving plate or rack 

Yes, u can omit the meal and cocoa all together and just use all flour, even omit the orange   I love orange and hazelnut/ chocolate together- a traditional Italian combo ! :)
I should also change this blog to" the poundcake", or"  the bundt " ..because that is all i seem to be baking :):..


Monday, December 12, 2011

Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011-Pink Peppercorn and Strawberry Shortbread

 Thanks for participating in the 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen!

I found this recipe last month in an old magazine hanging @ my work. I thought ..WOW .. I have to try these. I was curious about the jam added to the dough?? and though they would be hard to work with and sticky. I was pleasantly surprised.....

rolled cut sprinkled with sugar

Recipe: ( Better Homes and Gardens 2009)

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns ( I used 1 teaspoon for increased heat )
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour

Coarse decorating sugar-optional 

2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Pre- Heat oven to 300 degrees F .
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

Beat butter until smooth  with a stand or hand mixer.
Add granulated sugar, perserves, vanilla, peppercorns  . Beat  all until well combined.
Sift flour and salt. 
Beat in flour mixture to butter mix. Beat until well combined. 
Bring dough together into ball and roll into plastic wrap. Flatten as a disk and chill for at least 30 mins. 

Remove dough and roll out into desired shapes with cutters, or by hand. 

Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake. OR Bake and spread icing on cookies OR cut as I did below for a modified " Linzer cookie" and sandwich  with Strawberry Jam.

rolled /cut  for "Sandwich style:"

modified Linzer style

These cookies have an amazing kick of sweet heat from the pink peppercorns. I liked them best with the extra jam. They have that " shortbread" texture- buttery and crumbly, with a crisp yet soft bite. The dough is super easy to handle and rolls perfect for all cutout shapes, with almost no spreading or puffing. No sticking or extra flour needed.

I doubt they would appeal to kids, but this is how I like my cookies. Classic with an unexpected twist.

I will make these again and again, changing the jam and mixing in different spices. I hope u will try these and make new combination of flavors.

I rec'd my 3 dozen beautiful cookies from :
Biking before bed , Lindsey  - Nutty Buddy Bars 
My Life...An Adventure- Alison  - Behn's Molasses Cookies

Check out the AB FAB blogs from some very fantastic ladies :)


I cant wait for next year :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vampire cupcake

Here is the cooooooooolest Bday present I got this year. My dear friend, Kevin drew this for me. :) He  is a fantastic artist. God given talent, that I respect immensely.I told him I have been ignoring my blog..I needed a muse..I think this little fella was a gesture to inspire me, back to doing something I love. 
xoxoxox Thanks, Kevin 

Here is Kevin's blog..Please check it out :) Kevin M. Rucker

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whip it Wednesday- " Ice Cream"

Yes, i have been gone for a long time...I'm soo sorry blog. Trying to find my way back to you :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mojito Poundcake

Neglect- not a pretty sounding word. I actually got suspended from work for three days for using it. When you work in a nursing home the administrator can get pretty pissed off at you, when you think a resident has been neglected. ALL kinds of bells and whistles goo off. A LTC facility could be fined huge $$$ amounts if that claim could be justified.  Could also lose the ability to admit more residents. All kinds of reprimands . It was ugly, (but I was right). Even if she was too big a bitch to see it. 

We are not talking neglect to that magnitude. I am only speaking about NEGLECT..of my poor lonely blog. Yes, "ACCRO", is not making me happy these days. I have had no desire to bake. No desire to photograph. No desire to share. It is ugly. I am a big enough bitch to see it. 

With my mood being so "HO-HUM" I just decided to throw something together quickly. For some reason I am fixated on the  Mojito. . I Googled ...and found THE most complex recipe  by Warren Brown, of Cake Love. ..BUT WOW....THAT recipe was an all day project! I bet it is super yummy...but did I tell you how "HO HUM" I  feel? I decided to whip up something easier, with no ITALIAN Meringue! SHEEEEESH! . So the easiest cake ever, is your classic pound cake. Thank me later.

Mojito Pound cake


3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 /2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of ground cloves
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup demerara sugar ( and more for sprinkling)
4 whole large eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter-or 1 cup
1 lime zest ed
juice of one lime
3 Tablespoons light rum
2-3 Tablespoons fresh mint leaves dried and crumbled. ( I think fresh may be better?)
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoon milk ( optional)

Pre heat oven to 350 degree F.  PAM coat spray a 10 inch tube pan. Sprinkle extra demerara sugar to coat inside of pan. 

Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time and blend until combined
Sift  flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, mint, . -reserve.
Mix sour cream, rum, lime juice, and zest together. -reserve.
After eggs are mixed. Alternate dry ingredients and wet ingredients in thirds to egg batter, ending with dry.

Pour into prepared pan and bake Approx 40 to 50 mins until tester comes out clean.


The taste and texture are lovely. The demerara sugar I added to the tube pan  give you that nice crunchy sugar cane feel .

However, the Mojito.flavor was not as strong as I liked so next time I will double the amounts of lime, rum, and mint. Right now I would call it Mojito-LITE
Or consider a glaze drizzled over the top...or a sugar syrup soaked in when the cake is hot. 

I will definably perfect this recipe....another day..but I feel this is a fantastic start.