Archive for June, 2011

Posted on June 10, 2011 - by

Aunt Adeline’s Texas Sheet Cake

My friend Peggy has brought this cake to the past two choir potluck dinners and let me just tell you people fight for a square. Baked in a jelly roll pan, it doesn’t look like much, but it tastes delicious and feeds a crowd. Peggy lightened it up with applesauce and low-fat yogurt, so it’s not as caloric as it could be:)


1 stick of butter
1 cup water
4 heaping TBSP cocoa powder

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp soda

2 eggs beaten
½ cup applesauce
½ cup plain no-fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

Heat in a saucepan, melting butter & add water and cocoa powder.
Bring to a boil on stove and remove from heat.

Sift dry ingredients in a bowl

Beat all these ingredients and then blend with dry above and add in cooled chocolate liquid from saucepan

Pour into a greased & floured (or Pam sprayed) 15 x 10 x 2 “jelly roll” pan.
Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Make frosting five minutes before cake is done and spread on cake while still hot and then let cool.

1 stick of butter
4 TBSP (or more for darker chocolate) cocoa powder
6 TBSP milk

1 pound box powdered Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup chopped peanuts or pecans (nuts optional)

Heat & melt butter in saucepan with cocoa & milk but do not boil.  Remove from heat and beat into powdered sugar and vanilla.  Spread on hot cake.

Posted on June 7, 2011 - by

Ravishing Rhubarb Cake

Tis the season for rhubarb in our neck of the woods and we have quite a handsome specimen just outside our garden. I’m not crazy for rhubarb–my mother used to stew it into a slimy, sinewy mass that didn’t hold much appeal for a kid. But I hate to see it go unused and I imagined there might be an easy way to make it into a tasty coffee cake. I fooled around with a recipe from and came up with just that: easy and tasty with ingredients I had on hand. We liked it well enough to repeat, only this time I added chopped strawberries and a crunchy oat topping. And vanilla ice cream on top. I give you this!

Rhubarb-Strawberry Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

1 1/4  cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 cup milk or buttermilk

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups sifted flour

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups rhubarb, chopped

1 cup strawberries, chopped

For the topping: 1/4 C. butter, 1/3 C brown sugar, 3 TBSP flour, 4 TBSP rolled oats

Cream the butter and sugar, and add the egg. Sift together flour and baking soda and add to creamed mixture with the milk and vanilla. Fold in the rhubarb and strawberries. Pour into greased 9 x 11″ pan. Blend topping ingredients until pea-sized with a pastry blender and sprinkle on top of the cake. Bake at 350 for 30-35″.


Posted on June 1, 2011 - by

Get Clued In

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the CH Booth Library in Newtown, CT to kick off a series of talks for mystery writers (and readers) called “Get Clued In.” The librarians could not have been lovelier and clearly a knot of writers is burgeoning in western CT! The series continued last week with a forensics speaker and will end next week with a Newtown police officer talking about procedure. He promises to be helpful and entertaining. Sign up here. (And besides, the desserts were homemade and delicious!)

I was pleased to meet Donna Renzulli at this event, who asked to feature my writing and books on her website. You can find that interview here. Thanks Donna!