Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Big 4-0!

Today is Friday, the 9th of September 2011.  FORTY years ago, my mother-in-law gave birth to a little baby boy, who would twenty-four (or so) years later become my husband.  I am so thankful for this fact!

   This time of year always takes me back to when Brian and I first started dating ( it was either late August or early September, I wasn’t one of those girls who kept track of things like that).  We were both working at St. Louis Children’s Hospital when he asked me if I wanted to go to the zoo and then get pizza afterward.  Back in those days we listened to REM, The Black Crows, and The Eagles ALOT.  We were pretty much inseparable.  Thinking back to those times always puts a smile on my face.  We’ve now lived together longer than we have lived separately (does that make sense?).  I cannot imagine what my life would be without him in it… and THAT makes total sense to me.

In the tradition of Pedro, “I built him a cake” for his birthday.  Sure, the cake could look better, but I used the secret ingredient.  And I think most things homemade taste better anyway. 

Brian, I hope that you enjoy your day.  You deserve all things good today.  I admire and love you more than words can say!  You are always there for me and always unconditional, You’re The Best!!  (I also love that when you sing, you sometimes sound like Kermit the frog) 

Happy 40th, Bri, I love you.



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Gooey Butter Cake

Sometimes, making mistakes can be a good thing, and other times, making mistakes can be a GREAT thing!  In this case, it really is a great thing!  It seems  that some of the best culinary mistakes made have stood the test of time and have made history.  For example, buffalo wings, toasted ravioli, ice cream cones and one of my very favorites is: The Gooey Butter Cake.  This is my mother-in-laws, along with most of my family’s favorite desserts that I make.  One of the things that I like the most about this dessert is that I usually always have ingredients on hand to make this scrumptious dessert, and it travels well.

The history behind this dessert is interesting, and there are many legends surrounding the “invention” of the gooey butter cake.  This goes back to the great depression, in the St. Louis area.  The original gooey butter cakes had a yeast crust and were more along the lines of a coffee cake.  A German baker added the wrong proportion of ingredients in the coffee cake he was making.  It turned into a gooey pudding like filling.  Today’s recipe calls for a cake crust and a gooey, cream cheese filling and the whole cake is topped with powdered sugar. 

Bakers have tried to bring the gooey butter cakes to other cities throughout the country, but the cake was not well received.   Yes, there have been other knock offs of the gooey butter cake with some adding fruit (pineapple or cherry), but that’s not really a genuine gooey butter cake.  I would like to share my recipe for the sweet, rich, ooey gooey cake.

Gooey Butter Cake:

Crust ingredients:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 egg

Grease bottom of 9×13 inch pan.  Mix cake mix, softened margarine and one egg with fork until moist.

Pat this mixture into the bottom of the cake pan.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (8oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar + some to sprinkle on top

Beat 2 eggs, softened cream cheese, and powdered sugar for 3-5 minutes in electric mixer.  Pour over crust mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees in a preheated oven. 

Remove from oven when top is golden brown and has a slight crust on the top. 

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Let cool.  Serve!


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I’m Back!!

It has been almost a month since I’ve posted any recipes.  My apologies.  Life got in the way during most of the month of August.  I had undergone surgery on the 18th and spent a little over a week in the hospital.  I got home from the hospital and was convalescing nicely when my mother got gravely ill.  The good news?  I’m doing SO much better and so is my mother.  I am feeling blessed in so many ways. 

August  made me be cognizant of what is really important in my life.  And what is important to me is my family.  What do you have if you do not have family?  I couldn’t imagine what it would be like. 

In celebration of my family and feeling much better, I decided that I needed to make a special dinner this evening.  I think I may have bitten off more than I could chew in doing this today, but it was well worth the pain and effort.  I am taking the rest of the evening off and am going to put my feet up.  Wanna know what I made for dinner?!  Chicken Enchiladas.  I happen to know that this is one of my mom’s favorite dinners.  🙂

The recipe goes as follows:

Chicken Enchiladas:

  • 3-4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts (baked in oven until cooked through)
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2/3- 1 cup water
  • 2-3 cans (15 oz.) Green Enchilada Sauce
  • 10 Flour Tortillas
  • 1 small block Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded

In large skillet,saute’ onion in oil until tender and translucent. 

Shred chicken breasts, and add to onion mixture.

Add water, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder.

Cook until water is absorbed, about 10 – 15 minutes, on medium low heat.

Spray large baking dish with canola spray.

Add a spoonful of mixture to tortillas, roll up tortilla and place seam side down in large baking dish.

Pour 2 cans of green enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas.

Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Sprinkle shredded Monterey Jack Cheese over enchiladas and bake until cheese is melted.

*optional- serve with guacamole, sour cream or salsa.*


This was Brian’s actual plate.  Chicken Enchiladas in the front row, refried beans, beef enchiladas and Spanish Rice in the back row.  Just looking at that picture of his plate makes me feel full.  He was a happy camper!


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