German Chocolate Pecan Pie


A delicious twist on an old favorite! The addition of chocolate and flake coconut completely transforms this pie. 


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 4 ounce stick  plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 stick chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chilled butter pieces and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 5 seconds. Drizzle in the ice water and pulse just until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap; flatten to form a disk. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round; transfer to a pie pan. Cut the excess dough to leave a 1/2-inch overhang. Using your fingers, roll the dough edge under and crimp. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork; refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees .
  3. Line the shell with foil and pie weights or dried beans; bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. In a heavy, medium saucepan, whisk together the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt with the brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until melted and smooth. Whisk the sugar mixture into the beaten eggs. Stir in the nuts and coconut.
  5. Spread the chocolate chips in the pie shell. Pour in the filling and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before slicing.


  • Keep a baking sheet in the freezer when you’re rolling out dough. If the dough gets too soft to handle, just place the frozen baking sheet on top to firm it up again.
  • When cooking sugar, use a heavy saucepan to prevent burning.
  • To avoid messy oven spills, bake the pie on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips on the bottom of the crust to create a gooey pie layer.

Baked Churros


One of my favorite sweet treats! These were actually easier to bake than fry and healthier.


Yield: 8 (10-inch) churros, about 6 servings

2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup margarine or unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup water, brown sugar and salt. Add butter and place over medium-high heat. Heat until butter is melted and mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Mixture will clump and pull away from the sides of the pan. Mix and mash with a wooden spoon until no streaks of flour can be seen.

2. In a small bowl, combine eggs and vanilla. Scramble mixture with a fork and then add to the dough ball in the saucepan. Stir and mash, breaking up the dough until loosened. Stir well until eggs are incorporated and mixture has the appearance of mashed potatoes.

3. Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. You could also pipe the dough in a zip-top bag with the corner snipped to make churros with no ridges.

4. Pipe dough into long, thin lengths on the parchment-covered pans. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the end of the dough from the piping tip (Image 1). Leave about 2 inches of space between the churros.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed. Turn oven to broiler setting and watch carefully as churros toast and turn deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. If you’re baking the churros one pan at a time, be sure to return the oven setting to 425 degrees F before putting in the next pan.

6. Combine sugar and cinnamon and pour onto a long dish (Image 2). Roll churros in mixture. Serve.


Chocolate Eclair Pie


Today is National Pie Day!!! To celebrate I’m sharing this wonderful Chocolate Eclair Pie recipe.  You don’t have to make this recipe in a pie plate, you could easily make it in a 13X9 baking dish to serve more people if you want.  Either way, it still taste just as yummy!

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 8 oz. container whip topping (just enough for a thin layer) or one batch of homemade whipped cream.
  • chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce.

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9″ round pie plate or 9″X13″ glass baking pan.

For the Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Mixture will be very wet. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won’t be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease. No big deal but I like the crust to go up the sides a bit.

eclair crust

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don’t want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don’t touch or push bubbles down).

eclair crust2

For the Filling:

  • Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, egg, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Add cornstarch and flour; whisk until smooth and pale yellow. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine milk and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until milk begins to steam. Whisking constantly, add half the hot milk to the egg-yolk mixture. Stir until smooth; add combined mixture back to remaining hot milk in the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking rapidly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
  • Place over ice bath and let stand, stirring frequently, until cool. Remove from ice bath, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface until ready to use. (If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of whipped cream however thick you want it. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.


Alternative filling recipe:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 cups milk
Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding by beating the pudding mix and the milk for 3 minutes and put in the fridge until set. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.

Spiced Indian Vegetable Stew


This hearty dish is full of flavor and great on a cold winter’s night.  Serve with fresh hot naan on the side.



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup small-dice carrots
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons seeded minced jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 cups small-diced potatoes
  • 3 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped cored tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces paneer*, cut into 1/2-inch dice (optional)
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • thinly sliced scallions



Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy dutch oven. Once melted, add the onions, carrots, ginger, jalapeno, garlic, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne. Saute until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cauliflower, saute for 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and saute for 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, lime juice and salt; stir well and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Two minutes before time has elapsed, stir in peas and paneer. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallions before serving.


* Dating back to ancient India, paneer remains the most common type of cheese used in traditional South Asian cuisines.




Roasted Indian-Spiced Vegetables with Chickpeas and Raisins


This is a delicious recipe!! A great dish to try if you aren’t familiar with Indian cuisine. I served it with couscous and it was a big hit with my family.


  • 28 ounces baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 5 grinds black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2- x 1/2-inch matchsticks
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1/2 of a large onion, cut into 1/2-inch wide slices
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currants
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • About 2 cups plain  yogurt, for serving (optional)


1. Place two oven racks in the top two-thirds of the oven. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the top rack and heat the oven to 400°F. Once the oven is hot, carefully remove the hot pan. Using tongs, toss the potatoes well with half of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and all of the pepper. Roast until the potatoes are tender and golden brown and crispy in many parts, about 35 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through.
2. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; spread on one side of the pan and roast for 15 minutes (put this pan on the lower oven rack); remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to flip over the carrots. Onto the empty half of the baking sheet, use tongs to toss the cauliflower florets and onion, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep the carrots and cauliflower separate as best as possible. Return the pan to the oven and roast the carrots and cauliflower until both are tender when poked with a fork and golden brown in a few spots, about another 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of boiling or very hot water. Let sit until the raisins are tender, about 30 minutes, then drain.
4. Pour the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and onion (with their oil) into a large bowl, then add the drained raisins, drained chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice, tumeric, garam masala, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss well with tongs. Divide among the serving plates and add a dollop of plain yogurt alongside each portion (optional).
Roasted Indian Spiced Veg 2 Roasted Indian Spiced Veg

Texas Sheet Cake


This isn’t a fancy looking cake for a special occasion, but it’s great for gatherings, potlucks and picnics when you want a little something sweet and need to feed a crowd. This is a very simple fool proof recipe that is delicious! Recipes for this cake have been found in cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. This cake has been known by many different names, but I found among all these recipes the use of buttermilk, pecans and most importantly, the cake is baked in a baking sheet or a jelly roll pan- so it is large in size, but the height is a mere one inch.


sheet cake:

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1 cup hot water


1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped toasted nuts (pecans or walnuts)



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 18 x 13 inch sheet pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.

In a small to medium sauce pan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and coffee; increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Follow with the egg mixture and stir until all the ingredients are completely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rap on the counter a few times to distribute evenly. Bake the cake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and frost immediately.

For the frosting:

When the cake has 5 minutes left in the oven, start the frosting. In a medium to large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder until combined. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. Fold the toasted nuts into the frosting and immediately pour over the warm cake. Use an offset to help gently spread a thin layer over the entire surface.

Cool frosted cake on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the frosting to harden a bit.


TXSheetCake TXSheetCake3

Vegan Peanut Butter Pie


So simple, but highly addicting!!! This pie is delicious and full of flavor. No one will be able to tell that there is tofu in this pie.

Note: full fat coconut milk or coconut cream, needs to be chilled overnight (no shaking the can! You want the cream and liquid to remain separate).
  • 1 sleeve graham crackers
  • 4.5 Tbsp melted vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 12 ounces firm silken tofu, slightly drained and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1 14-ounce can (~ 1/34 cups) full fat coconut milk OR coconut cream
  • 1 cup semisweet or dark dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used  almond milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly oil a standard glass pie pan (8 inches x 1 1/4 inches).
  2. Add graham crackers to a food processor and process until you achieve a semi-fine meal. A little texture is OK, just remove any large pieces that didn’t get ground. Add melted butter and pulse to combine.
  3. Add to greased pie pan and press down with your fingers to flatten. You can lie a piece of plastic wrap over the top when pressing down to ensure a more uniform layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Add tofu, peanut butter, maple syrup or agave to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more agave for added sweetness or a pinch of salt if your peanut butter wasn’t very salted.
  5. Next, scoop out the cream of our coconut milk or cream and whip into whipped cream in a large, chilled mixing bowl.
  6. Fold the peanut butter-tofu mixture into the whipped cream.
  7. Pour filling over crust and pop in the freezer to chill. Once it’s fairly chilled and slightly firm (about 1 hour), prepare your ganache.
  8. Add chocolate chips to a bowl and heat your non-dairy milk to a low simmer. Then pour over chocolate chips and don’t touch for 5 minutes to allow it to melt. Then stir gently with a spoon or rubber spatula until a smooth ganache forms. If it doesn’t quite melt, you can also heat it in the microwave in 10 second increments until smooth and melted.
  9. Spoon over the top of the pie and spread in an even layer with a knife or spatula, working quickly as the ganache will get clumpy if it sets too long.
  10. Top with crushed, salted roasted peanuts (optional) and pop back in the freezer to set. 20-30 minutes before serving, remove from freezer and serve. Alternatively, you can chill this in the fridge, but it is much more delicate to slice and serve, but just as delicious.
  11. After the initial chill, make sure you cover the pie with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.