My Favorite Guacamole

Especially during the summer I love having Guacamole.  A few years ago I got a recipe from my co-worker that I adapted to my tastes.  It’s quick and easy to make and everyone loves it.  I also use it as a dipping sauce for steak, pork, ribs, chicken and just about anything you can think of.  Just think how good it would be instead of mayo on a sandwich.  My husband just had some on an tomato guacamole salad sandwich.  You can’t name all the things this works with.

In a couple of weeks I’m having my family and my in-laws over for dinner (well it’s on a Sunday and it starts around noon and lasts most of the day) and this recipe is a regular on the menu for my get-togethers.  Normally there’s no leftovers.

The only problem I have I have with Avocados is that I have a hard time choosing ripe ones that aren’t overripe or starting to turn rotten.  If anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear them.


Ready to start the mashing.

After grating the onion.

All mixed up and ready to eat.



  • 3 Avocados, ripe
  • 1/2 small onion or Vidalia onion to taste, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice or the juice from 1/2 lime or more to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste


Step 1:  Using a sharp knife, cut the Avocados in half by starting at the top (the narrow end) and cutting down to the bottom (the wider end) on one side and up to the top on the other side.  Do not cut through the pit in the center.

Step 2:  Using a spoon scoop out the Avocados and place in a medium bowl.  Discard the skin and pit.  Grate the onion into the bowl and mix into Avocado.  Add juices and salt and mix thoroughly.

Step 3:  To store the Guacamole, cover with plastic wrap and ensure that the plastic wrap is placed directly on the mixture and that there are no or few air gaps; then chill in the refrigerator.  Fresh Guacamole doesn’t keep well, so it should be made only about an hour before it is served.


Recipe adapted from my co-worker.

Sour Cream Coffee Ultimate Crumb Cake

Last weekend I went to a pig roast on Saturday and met up with my cousins at my sister’s house on Sunday, so I made two of these cakes and they were the hit of each party.  I’ve had the recipe for the crumb portion of this recipe for the better part of 22 years and I had gotten it from a coworker but I don’t know where she had originally gotten it from.  The cake portion of the original recipe was a doctored up box mix but I wasn’t happy with it, so a few years back my sister-in-law found a coffee cake recipe that went with the crumbs very well and this recipe is the result of that pairing.  If you liked what Entenmann’s Ultimate Crumb Cake before they turned into the version they currently sell (which is a mere shadow of what the product started as), this is the crumb cake for you.

There is a warning that goes along with this recipe also.  You can’t be concerned with your weight or cholesterol while eating this cake.  The cake is filled with so much buttery goodness and you’ll agree it’s just worth it.


Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl to ensure all ingredients combine well after beating.

First (1/3) flour addition.

First (1/2) sour cream addition.

Second (1/3) flour addition.

Last (1/2) sour cream addition.

Last (1/3) flour addition.

Ready for the oven.

Meanwhile, prepare the crumbs.

Ready to top with crumbs.

Crumb-topped and ready for final baking.

Fresh out of the oven.

Topped with powdered sugar and ready to eat.


Sour Cream Coffee Ultimate Crumb Cake

Yield:  12 – 24 servings                Cook Time:  60 – 70 minutes



  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1 lb butter, melted
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Powdered sugar, a few tablespoons


Step 1:  For the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 13” by 9” pan with parchment paper and ensure some of the parchment is higher than the sides of the pan on all sides to help keep the crumbs in place.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well.  Combine the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl.

Step 2:  Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla and bead on high speed (Kitchen Aid 6) for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scrape down sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure the ingredients are incorporated properly.  Mixing each addition until just incorporated with mixer on low (Kitchen Aid 1), add 1/3 of the flour mixture; then add 1/2 the sour cream mixture; then add 1/3 of the flour mixture; then add the remaining sour cream; then finally add the remaining flour mixture.

Step 3:  Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread evenly across the entire pan.  Bake for 40 minutes.

Step 4:  For the crumbs:  While the cake is baking, mix together all the ingredients for the crumbs with a fork to start.  Finish mixing with fingers.  There should be large crumbs.

Step 5:  To finish the cake:  Remove pan from the oven and sprinkle all the crumbs evenly on top of the cake with fingers.  Try to ensure the crumbs on the edge of the cake are as thick as in the middle.  It’s likely the crumbs are higher than the sides of the cake pan and the parchment is holding them in place – this is fine.  Also, the weight of the crumbs will flatten the cake somewhat.

Step 6:  Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake on a higher rack for another 20 – 30 minutes.  The crumbs will brown ever so slightly.  Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes.  Use the parchment paper to help remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a rack.  Transfer the cake onto a serving tray and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.  Cut into 2 to 3 inch squares and eat.


Cake recipe adapted from Everyday Food.
Crumb recipe from a co-worker.

Chocolate-Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Mocha Frosting

A few weeks ago when my family visited I had sprained my foot, so I needed to go back to a foolproof and easy recipe for dessert.  This is a wonderful very chocolaty bundt cake recipe that I’d pulled out of an old Bon Appetit magazine a few years ago.

I’ve been using my Mom’s original bundt pan from the 1970’s – it’s harvest gold –  for this recipe but I don’t think I can do that for much longer because some of the coating is starting to chip.  I think I’ll just have to retire it and keep it for the memories.  I don’t mind getting a new pan from Nordic Ware though because I love that their products are made in America and they’re well made.

I’m told this cake is dangerous and addicting, so try it but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Be sure to spray your bundt pan with plenty of cooking spray before pouring the batter into the pan.  And, a bit of harvest gold peeking through the middle.

Ready for the oven.

Hot out of the oven.

Iced and ready to go.

Don’t you want a slice?  I wish there were scratch ‘n sniff computers, so you would know how good this smells.


Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Mocha Frosting

Yield:  12 – 16 servings                Cook Time:  50 minutes



  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips


  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (if you want a more subtle mocha flavor, use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature


Step 1:  For the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil water and dissolve cocoa powder and espresso powder in it.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Step 2:  Take about 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and mix it into the chocolate chips in a small bowl and set aside.  Mixing the flour with the chocolate chips will help prevent the chips from falling while baking along with some additional steps I’ve incorporated into the process.

Step 3:  Beat brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer to blend.  Beat in eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Beat for another minute until smooth.  Add about half of the flour mixture until combined, then beat in the cocoa mixture until combined and then beat in the remaining flour mixture until combined.

Step 4:  Spray a large bundt pan liberally with cooking spray.  Pour some of the batter (about 1 1/2 cups) into the bottom of the bundt pan.  Fold chocolate chips into the remaining batter.  Pour the remaining batter into the bundt pan.

Step 5:  Bake about 50 minutes.  Test with a toothpick inserted near center at 45 minutes – it should be clean.  If the toothpick isn’t clean test again in 5 minutes.  Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes.  Gently jostle the cake to loosen it from the pan sides.  Depan cake inverted onto a cooling.  Cool another 30 minutes.

Step 6:  For the icing:  While the cake is cooling, stir brown sugar, espresso powder, and water in small saucepan or small frying pan over medium heat.  Stir continually until sugar melts.  Remove from heat and mix in butter and chocolate chips.  Stir until butter and chocolate melt and butter is completely incorporated.  Cool until frosting thickens a little.

Step 7:  Transfer cake to a serving dish.  Drizzle icing over cake making sure it drips down the sides a little.  Let cake cool completely.  It’s time to eat.  If you have any leftovers, this cake keeps well at room temperature.  If you like chocolate cold, chill the cake in the refrigerator for a few hours.


Recipe adapted slightly from Bon Appetit.

Moist Johnny Cake

Today is the 4th of July and although we’re not doing anything special, I wanted to try something as American as baseball and apple pie.  I tried this Johnny Cake recipe that turned out quite nice.  I’ve always felt that corn bread should be sweet but most recipes are much less sweet than I think they should be.  I’ve tasted a delicious version of corn bread many years ago at a local barbeque restaurant that has since closed, so there’s no chance of ever having it again.  This Johnny Cake recipe is most like what I expect corn bread to be and it’s an American classic – perfect for your 4th of July celebration and easy to make too.

There’s another Johnny Cake recipe that I’d like to try, so you may see another version sometime soon.


Moist Johnny Cake

Yield:  12 cupcakes or one 8 by 8 inch cake                Cook Time:  20 minutes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil


Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare an 8 by 8 inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray or line a muffin pan with paper liners or spray with cooking spray.

Step 2:  Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl.

Step 3:  Beat egg in a small bowl.  Add sugar to egg and mix.

Step 4:  Heat milk in a small saucepan on the stove or in a small bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds or until lukewarm.

Step 5:  Transfer milk to a large bowl and mix in honey.  Add the egg and oil to the milk mixture.

Step 6:  Mix the flour mixture into the milk mixture until smooth.  Pour into the prepared pan.

Step 7:  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Use the aluminum foil to remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.  Slice into 16 pieces and eat with butter while warm or by itself.


Recipe adapted from