A thick slice of warm sweet cake…

A thick slice of warm sweet cake…

Oh, my, my! It’s time to bake and share…. You know, those gifts that you have ready when you need something for a friend at work, or a favorite neighbor. My recipe for Blueberry Poppy Seed Loaf with Jammin’ Berry Jam fits the bill for a bake a share holiday treat. An excellent way to present this sweet and heavenly loaf of thoughtfulness is to wrap it in a linen kitchen towel, and tie it off with a sprig of holly.

Visually it works, and taste bud wise it totally works. I can all but guarantee nothing’s better with your morning skinny latte than a thick slice of warm, sweet cake with a slather of tart berry jam. It’s a combo that makes your tongue want to slap the roof of your mouth!

The jam is super fresh, owing that to a total of two pints of fresh blue and blackberries, zesty citrus and hint of mint.

This recipe works well, printed out and tucked into the gift of a new electric mixer. In my book, SUNDAY BEST DISHES, I recommend this Kitchen Aid – and since you’re already on Amazon, go ahead and get my cookbook while you’re at it. I can guarantee a personalized bookplate if you order before Christmas. But without further adieu…

Blueberry Poppy Seed Loaf

with Jammin’ Berry Jam




1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon table salt

½ cups whole milk

⅓ cup canola oil

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine the milk, canola oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts. Mix in the flour. Stir in the poppy seeds and blueberries until just combined. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake until the loaf is golden on the top and a tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely.



1 pint fresh blueberries

1 pint fresh blackberries

½ cup granulated sugar

Zest of 1 medium lime, about 1 to 2 teaspoons

Juice of 1 large lime, about 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Place the berries, sugar, lime zest and juice into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the berries are mushy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the mint and cook until the berries break down completely, about 5 minutes more. Pour the jam into a bowl and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container.


A Winner for Your Cookie Xmas Exchange

A Winner for Your Cookie Xmas Exchange

I’m not psychic. I’ve just lived through a whole lot of Christmases, so I’m sure there’s a cookie exchange party in your future. Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies are my go-to when I want to give the gift of baked goods, and there really is no greater gift, seeing as the gift of baked goods is, essentially, the gift of your time.

So far as cookie recipes go, my PBCs (what I call this recipe for short) is a classic. I use the basics: sugar, flour, margarine, eggs and add whatever nuts and chocolate I have on hand. The chunkiness of the cookie, I’ve found, is all due to using margarine in place of butter. Shh! Don’t tell the health nuts – unless you can find a way to add more actual nuts to this recipe, lol.

Oh, and be advised when you make these lovelies, that just about any candy or specialty chips work in a batch 🙂 You’ll find many, many versatile and FUN recipes in my new cookbook, which of course gets plugged even in a cookie post. BUY Sunday Best today and I sign TODAY, wink, wink!

Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies


2 ¼ cups whole-grain pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

1 cup margarine (2 sticks), room temperature

1 cup smooth peanut butter

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits

4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375°. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.  Use an electric mixer to combine the butter, peanut butter and sugars until smooth. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Pour in the flour and stir. Mix in the oats, peanuts, chocolate chips and white chocolate.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or you can use Silpat liners).  Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into about a 2-inch ball. Use your hand to gently flatten the cookies. Bake until they are golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for several minutes.  Transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.