Avocado Bacon Toast

Let’s just be honest here for a sec: sometimes I’m a little late to the party. Avocado Toast has been around for as long as there’s been avocados & toast, but here I am way behind the curve, an outlier, of sorts. I can be a slow learner. However, I should be cut a little bit of slack considering it’s only been within the last 5 years or so that I discovered I even liked guacamole. I know! With that said, this is quickly becoming my favorite breakfast/ brunch/ lunch meal.


  • 2 slices Sourdough, or another equally hearty type bread (this is not the time for super soft Wonder Bread)
  • 1 avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon, cooked & chopped


While the bread is toasting, half the avocado lengthwise & remove the pit. Once the toast is ready, spoon out one half of the avocado & using the back of the spoon spread it out around the toast. Repeat. Crank a salt grinder once over each slice, add a very light drizzle of olive oil over the avocado mash, & top with bacon bits. Enjoy!

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Breakfast Burritos

Sausage, egg, & cheese

Bacon, potato, egg, & cheese

Aside from tasting good and being a filling meal, they make easy leftovers. So while you may think, “I don’t need to make that many.” Rest assured when I say, it’ll get you off the hook for making them again when the freezer has the remaining ones wrapped up individually; at the ready for the microwave. Voila, in a minute you’ll have breakfast in hand.


  • A dozen eggs
  • 2-3 tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 lb bacon or sausage
  • S & P
  • Shredded Colby jack cheese
  • 10 – 12 flour tortillas (it just depends how much filling you put into the tortilla)


Whisk together the eggs, add a splash of cream or milk, and season with salt & pepper; set aside. In a large electric skillet, cook either the bacon or sausage until done. Remove most of the grease. If using bacon, remove from skillet & chop into chunks & put back into the skillet. Pour the eggs over the meat, stirring occasionally until eggs are scrambled & incorporated with meat. Sprinkle cheese over the top, cover, & allow to melt. Spoon onto warmed flour tortillas & eat as is or add toppings of salsa, sour cream, or avocado.


I’ve also shredded a potato & cooked with the meat.

For remaining mixture, spoon onto tortillas, roll & wrap with Saran Wrap, place in a gallon sized bag, label & place in freezer.

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Doubletree Cookie Recipe


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, & brown sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, & blend on low speed for 30 seconds before increasing to medium speed for 2 minutes, or until light & fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. With mixer speed on low, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon & blend for 45 seconds without over mixing. By hand, stir in the chocolate chips & walnuts.

Form 3 tablespoons dough balls & place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until edges are golden brown & center is soft. Remove from oven & allow to cool 1 hour on baking rack before removing.

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Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Poppy Seed Cream Cheese Frosting



Every year I look forward to baking my own birthday cake. A new cake every year for the last several years. Perhaps one day I’ll tire of this or change it up with a pie or other type of dessert, but as of now, I’ll stick with cake. This is also the first year I celebrated my birthday a la quarantine style due to Covid-19.

A few weeks ago, before the world seemingly fell apart, we went to Colorado to visit my parents. While we were there, the state essentially shut down because of the Coronavirus so we opted to return home to get some things done before returning to work. It was at that time, my boss let me know I was unable to return to work for 2 weeks since I’d been in Colorado. While there are still slices of this yummy lemony cake left, my birthday has now come & gone. I’ve done some conference calls & will be back to work tomorrow as an essential worker in my role as a hospice social worker. Since the rest of my beloveds birthdays are to follow, we joked about having this cake to celebrate:



Stay safe out there & wash your hands!


For the cake:

  • 3 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk (**or 1 cup sour cream)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Thinly sliced lemons & fresh raspberries for garnish

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (since my oven bakes at a higher temperature, I preheated mine to 335 degrees). Grease & flour 2 9-inch pans (you can also use 3 pans, if you’d like) & line with parchment paper that is also greased & floured; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, & salt; set aside.

Put the sugar in a food processor along with the zest of one lemon. Pulse until the sugar & zest is completely incorporated. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use the back of a large spoon & press the zest into the sugar until fully incorporated.

Cream together the butter & lemon infused sugar for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides & bottom of the bowl, as needed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Slowly incorporate flour mixture into creamed mixture & mix on low until it just comes together. Add in the buttermilk (or sour cream) & fresh lemon juice. Mix together, being careful not to over-mix.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans. If using 3 pans, bake for 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Since I used 2 pans, I baked for 33 minutes, again at 335 degrees.

Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes prior to removing from pans. Allow cakes to cool completely on cooling rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

Cream together the cream cheese & butter until smooth. Add in the salt, lemon juice, & zest until incorporated. Using 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time, sift in & beat well after each addition, scraping down the sides & bottom of bowl to fully incorporate.

After frosting the cakes, garnish with thin lemon slices & fresh raspberries. Note: the lemon slices are for presentation only, don’t leave them on the cake as the liquid from the lemons will seep out.

*If planning to use three pans, I’d increase the cream cheese to 16 oz, add another stick of butter, increase the powdered sugar by another 3 cups, & another tablespoon of poppy seeds.

**This is the first time I made this cake, & while I did not over mix or over bake, the cakes weren’t as moist as I would have liked. In the future, I will use 1 cup sour cream in lieu of 1 cup buttermilk.

Recipe for cake obtained from: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/lemon-layer-cake-with-lemon-poppy-seed-buttercream-recipe/


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Pork Tacos

This is a meal that comes together relatively quickly & in terms of the family, one we all agree on, which sometimes is a rarity.

We use this kind of cheese:


  • 1-2 lb. packages of pork stew meat
  • Canola oil
  • Tex Mex seasoning, 2-4 tsps, sprinkled over pork while cooking
  • Cheese sauce
  • Flour tortillas

Tex-Mex Seasoning (I keep this on hand & use it for nachos, beans, tacos, & all sorts of things:

  • 3 tbsp, plus 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coarse ground black pepper


In a large skillet (I use a cast iron) heat oil to medium-high heat. Add pork, seasoning, & cook until no longer pink. While the pork is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce as directed on package. Add meat to flour tortillas & drizzle with cheese.

I serve this with beans, rice, chips, & guacamole.

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Oatmeal Scotchies

I’ve only had these cookies a handful of times with the last time being at least 15 years ago, if not longer. A few weeks ago, seemingly out of nowhere, I had a strong taste for them. I ignored it, but the taste persisted & today while grocery shopping I made my way to the baking aisle knowing full well I would succumb. I baked, ate several, and am sated for at least another 15-20 years. I bagged the rest up & am sending the remaining with Bri to take to work tomorrow.


  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 11 oz package of Nestle Toll House butterscotch chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat the butter & sugars together until light & fluffy. Beat in the eggs & vanilla extract. Stir in the baking soda, salt, & cinnamon. Add the flour & stir until just incorporated. Lastly, add in the oats until combined & then stir in the butterscotch chips.

Use a large cookie scoop & drop onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-9 minutes & transfer to cooking rack.

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Books I Read in 2019

Even though I maintain this site as my digital recipe box, the annual post I look forward to most is the collection of books I read throughout the year. In fact, ever since I committed to reading 52 books in 2014, I’ve kept an ongoing list in the notes app on my phone of the books I’ve read. I have a life long love of reading. I was the kid who who would sneak in extra reading by the hall light after bedtime until I could hear my parents’ footfall on the bottom of the stairs prompting me to hurriedly feign sleep. During family road trips after dusk I would read what I could of the Sweet Valley High series & later books by VC Andrews (I’m dating myself, I know!) using the beam of head lights from the cars behind us. While in school for my undergrad when reading was primarily required, I have a hazy memory of my friend Jed in my dorm room, picking up Victor Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning splayed across my stomach where I’d lain it before I dozed off. He gently picked up the book, laid it on my desk, and whispered, “You’re on page 83, Ang,” & then he turned the light off, slipped out the door, & closed it quietly behind him. Those are just a few of the memories I have that involve reading. It’s safe to say when someone has memories of reading, they’re likely a bona fide bookworm. I am what I am & if you’re still reading this chances are you are too!

Without further ado, the list:

  1. Educated, Tara Westover
  2. The Last of the Stanfields, Marc Levy
  3. Evidence of the Affair, Taylor Jenkins Reid
  4. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  5. Not Famous, Matthew Hanover
  6. Dracula, Bram Stroker
  7. Born a Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood, Trevor Noah
  8. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  9. Kindred, Octavia Butler
  10. Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis
  11. The Upside of Falling Down, Rebekah Crane
  12. The Professor, Robert Bailey
  13. The Happiness Trap, Russ Harris
  14. A Curve in the Road, Julieanne Maclean
  15. Mother’s Group, Liane Moriarty
  16. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe The World, Admiral William McRaven
  17. The Eighth Sister, Robert Dugoni
  18. Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward
  19. The Butterfly Garden, Dot Hutchison
  20. Pretty Girls Dancing, Kylie Brant
  21. The Short Drop, Matthew FitzSimmons
  22. The Practice House, Laura McNeal
  23. Last Summer, Kerry Lonsdale
  24. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman
  25. The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing, & Coming Out, William Dameron
  26. What You Did, Claire McGowan
  27. Heartland, Sarah Smarsh
  28. The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice For Making Life Decisions, Emily P. Freeman
  29. Thin Air: A Jessica Shaw Thriller, Lisa Gray
  30. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, Kelly Harms
  31. Maybe You Should Talk To Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, & Our Lives Revealed, Lori Gottlieb
  32. The Friend, Sigrid Nunez
  33. Room To Breathe, Liz Talley
  34. Toil & Trouble, Augusten Burroughs
  35. Heavy, Kiese Laymon
  36. Talking To Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don’t Know, Malcolm Gladwell
  37. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell
  38. Emily, Gone Bette Lee Crosby
  39. The Like Switch, Jack Shafer, PhD & Marvin Karline, PhD
  40. The Obesity Code, Jason Fung, MD
  41. A Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult
  42. A Beginner’s Guide To The End: Practical Advice For Living Life & Facing Death, BJ Miller, MD & Shoshana Berger

My favorites (in no particular order):

“In society we do horrible things to one another because we don’t see the person it effects. We don’t see their face; we don’t see them as people. Which was the whole reason the hood was built in the first place: to keep the victims of apartheid out of sight & mind. Because if white people ever saw black people as human they would see that slavery is unconscionable. We live in a world where we don’t see the ramifications of what we do to others because we don’t live with them. If we could see another’s pain & empathize with one another it would never be worth it to us to commit the crimes in the first place.”

*If you haven’t read this book, or even if you have, I urge you to listen to the Audible version. His style, accent, cadence is unprecedented. Also, you will find yourself pealing with laughter. I promise.

“Even in the best possible relationship, you’re going to get hurt sometimes & no matter how much you love somebody, you will, at times, hurt that person. Not because you want to, but because you’re human. You will inevitably hurt your partner, your parents, your children, your closest friend & they will hurt you because if you sign up for intimacy, getting hurt is part of the deal. But, what is great about a loving intimacy is that there is room for repair. Therapists call this process “rupture & repair.” And, if you had parents who acknowledged their mistakes & took responsibility for them & taught you as a child to acknowledge your mistakes & learn from them too, then your ruptures won’t feel so cataclysmic in your adult relationships. If, however, your childhood ruptures didn’t come with loving repairs, it will take some practice for you to tolerate the ruptures; to stop believing that every rupture that happens signals the end, & a trust that even if a relationship doesn’t work out, you will survive that rupture too. You will heal & self repair & sign up for another relationship full of its own ruptures & repairs. It’s not ideal, opening yourself up like this, putting your shield down, but if you want the rewards of an intimate relationship, there’s no way around it.”


“I would learn 15 years too late that asking for consent, granting consent, surviving sexual violence, being called a good dude, & never initiating sexual relationships did not incubate me from being emotionally abusive. Consent meant little to nothing if it was not fully informed. What & to whom were my partners consenting if I spent our entire relationship convincing them that a circle was not a circle, but just a really relaxed square. I’d become good at losing weight & great at convincing women they didn’t see or know what they absolutely saw & knew. Lying there on that floor, I accepted that I’d actually never been honest with myself about what carrying decades of lies did to other people’s hearts & heads.”



“This has been a book about a conundrum. We have no choice but to talk to strangers, especially in our modern, borderless world. We aren’t living in villages anymore…Yet at the most necessary of tasks we are inept. We think we can transform the stranger without cost or sacrifice into the familiar & the known & we can’t.”


A book worth mentioning:

While it wasn’t a favorite of mine, I do believe it’s an important and worthwhile book. I’ve been a hospice social worker for over 3 years now so the information outlined isn’t new to me, but for someone not in the field, this is an essential handbook to help guide people during a time when it’s often difficult to think straight.

“Only a small fraction of us, 10 – 20% maybe, will die without warning. The rest of us will have time to get to know what’s going to end our lives. As discomforting as that can be, it does afford us some time to live with this knowledge, get used to it, & respond. We do have some choice about how we orient ourselves to the inevitable: where we’ll die, maybe, or around whom. And most important, how to spend the time meanwhile.”

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White Velvet Sugar Cookies

It’s possible you’ve already retired your apron for the baking season because you are simply cookied out! I feel you, I’ve been there, read: may be there now. If, however, you’re getting a late start or are on a baking extravaganza, I urge you to try these cookies. Afterwards, you might just decide these are your new go-to Christmas cutout cookies.

They are impressive in that you can roll them out thick & they keep their shape while baking instead of becoming a misshapen pool of dough. But more importantly, they taste so, so good! They stand alone on their own. Good enough to eat without any frosting, I know because I’ve eaten my fair share just that way.

Typically, I make royal frosting, but as I mentioned before, I’ve fallen victim to the, “I’m done baking!” So, I made a traditional butter cream frosting & told the fam they could frost & decorate their own cookies, a sort of Christmas cookie assembly line, if you will. Give these a shot, I’m confident you will be happy with the results.


  • 2 cups (16 oz) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt


In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter & cream cheese, until light & fluffy, 3 – 5 minutes, scraping down the sides & bottom, as needed.

Add the sugar, egg yolks, & vanilla. Mix well, another 1 – 2 minutes. Add the flour & salt. Mix until combined, being careful not to over mix.

Place dough in a Tupperware container, cover, & chill for a minimum of 2 hours. Longer is fine, of course.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters & cut into shape, placing 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until set, but not browned on edges or bottom. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost cookies or place unfrosted in a Tupperware container & freeze until you’re ready to frost or eat as is.

Source: melskitchencafe.com

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Caprese Salad – Take Two

The first time I posted about caprese salad it was for a serving of one. I would pack this for lunch during the summertime. It is no longer summer, but I don’t ascribe to the notion certain foods and/ or dishes are only to be eaten according to the calendar. With this dish, I can make a generous bowl of it, eat some now, keep it in the refrigerator, & eat some later.

The cast of characters:

Preparation is easy. I diced up the tomatoes & seasoned them with salt & pepper. Chiffonade the basil. Combine the tomatoes, basil, & fresh mozzarella pearls. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve & enjoy!

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Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

The moment the weather changes from a bright, warm sunny day to gray, cool, & overcast, you better believe I will be in the kitchen.


for the rolls:

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for handling

for the filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted

for the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted


for the rolls:

Warm milk to 110 degrees (not more than 110 or it will kill the yeast) if taking milk out of refrigerator, heat in microwave at 30 second intervals, testing temperature each time. Whisk in the sugar & packet of yeast. Cover with plastic wrap & allow to proof, approximately 30 minutes.

Add egg yolks, one egg, cooled melted butter, kosher salt, & proofed milk/ sugar/ yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand up mixer & whisk together using the paddle attachment. Add flour, one cup at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Remove the paddle attachment & add dough hook, knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be soft & moist, not overly sticky. Transfer the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl & cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled, approximately 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toast pecan pieces for 5-7 minutes, turning at least once. Allow to cool.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the butter, salt, brown sugar, honey, vanilla extract, & cream. Stir until melted, remove from heat, & stir in 1 1/2 cup of the toasted pecan pieces. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Pour the cooled caramel/ pecan sauce into the pan.

Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a large, lightly floured surface & roll to a rectangle that is 18 or so inches wide (the side closest to you) & 12 or so inches long with 1/4 thickness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the softened butter over the rolled out dough. Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, dash of nutmeg & 1/2 cup of the toasted pecan pieces. Spread evenly over buttered dough. Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight, 18 inch long spiral. Very gently, using floss and/ or a string (or even a serrated knife sawing gently) cut into 1 1/2 inch sections so that you have 12 rolls. Place rolls on caramel/ pecan sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in middle reads 190 degrees. Remove from oven, allow to cool in pan for 20 minutes. If you have a dish long enough, invert pan so caramel/ pecan sauce is on top. I do not have one of these so when I served them I simply inverted a roll onto the plate. Whatever is not eaten the day baked, place in Tupperware container & store in refrigerator. Heat in 30 second intervals. Enjoy!

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