Crumb Topped Coffee Cake

I have been working on this recipe for over 6 months,
I am NOT kidding you!  I think I have made this
recipe more than I want to admit! (lol)
(I am thinking around 10 times!)
 I just kept thinking it was missing something.
So I am very happy to share with you the 
FINALLY approved version!
I hope you will enjoy it along side your
morning Hot chocolate or Coffee soon.
Crumb Topped Coffee Cake
Cake Batter:
2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
2/3 C. Brown Sugar
3/4 C. Sugar
3 Eggs
3 TBSP. Oil
1 1/2 C. Sour Cream
Crumb Topping:
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Quick Rolled Oats~Blended
1/3 C. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3 TBSP. Butter~cold
*1/3 C. chopped nuts~* optional
Preheat oven to 350
Start by sifting the flour,baking powder,
baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar’s.
To the sifted ingredients stir in the egg’s,
oil and sour cream. Beat until smooth.
Pour this into a lightly greased 9×13 pan.
Set aside and proceed to make the topping.
In a bowl combine all  dry ingredients,
dice the cold butter and cut into mixture.
You want a mixture of sized crumbs.
Sprinkle 3/4 of the crumbs over the batter.
Reserving the 1/4 left over for later.
Bake for 35 minutes or until cake is cooked
all the way through the center.
Remove from oven, sprinkle the remaining
topping over the cake.
 Lightly press topping into the baked cake.
Let cake cool completely before cutting.
Perfect for crisp mornings,

Lark’s Creamy Blackberry Syrup

I Have been wanting to share this 
recipe with Y’all for a while now.
I am SURE it will be worth the wait! 
No matter how you choose to serve it,
on morning pancakes, 
over Ice Cream, or tossed with
fresh fruit for a salad.
You are going to want to share it 
with everyone…(or maybe not!)
3 C. Fresh Blackberries
3 C. Sugar
4 TBSP. Lime juice
2 C. Cran-Grape Juice
1 C. Buttermilk
2 C. Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Almond Extract
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
3/4 C. Light Corn Syrup
Start by placing the berries and sugar
in a large sauce pan. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
Stir in the Lime Juice and rest again 
for another 15 minutes.
Pour in the cran-grape juice, 
place on medium heat. Stirring constantly
until sugar is dissolved. 
Remove from heat.
Place in blender 2 cups at a
time, blend until smooth.
*Be careful not to close the lid of
the blender to tight. The steam with want 
somewhere to escape.
After all the mixture has been
blended, place back into the sauce pan.
Turn on med.-high heat. Whisk in
the buttermilk, cream, nutmeg
and almond extract.
Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
Turn off heat, stir in the corn syrup. 
At this point I like to strain out the seeds.
Let cool completely before
pouring into jars.
*Will keep in fridge for 4 weeks*
The Berry Best,

Zucchini Raspberry Bread w/ Lemon Glaze

I am being over run by fresh Zucchini.
Anyone who gardens knows that this is
the easiest veggie to grow! 
With a basket full of zucchini sitting
on my kitchen island I needed to use,
I thought might as well  make more
zucchini bread. Knowing I could always
give it away to neighbors.   
(I sometimes wonder if my neighbors ever
want to hide and not answer the
door when I start coming around…)
Anyhow…I wanted to make it a
little different, while looking through the
 freezer I came across some fresh raspberries
I had frozen earlier in the season. ..why not?!
It was a hit!
This bread is already very moist,
then add in all those fresh berries
and it is a whole different level of Moistness!
Zucchini Raspberry Bread w/ Lemon Glaze
6 Eggland’s Best Egg’s
4 C. Sugar
1 C. Oil
1 C. Applesauce
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
3 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Apple Cider or Orange juice
6 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
4 C. Shredded Zucchini
1 C. Fresh or Frozen Raspberries
*1 C. Chopped Nuts~ * Optional
Lemon Glaze
2 C. Powdered Sugar
1/2 C. Lemon Juice
Preheat Oven to 350
In a large mixing bowl combine the first 9
ingredients until smooth.  Toss the raspberries in
2 TBSP of the flour. set aside.
Add in the flour and zucchini, and nut’s is desire.
Fold in the coated berries.
Divide the batter into (4) loaf pans.
Bake for 60-70 Minutes.
Glaze hot loaves with Lemon Glaze.
Cool completely before removing from pan.
Reap what you Sew,

Layered Zucchini Rice Casserole

When my garden is in full 
production mode, I have ample
amounts of zucchini!
That’s when I start to get creative.
You know…..”sneak” it into cakes,
salad’s and soups.
I have friends who make squash
 casserole’s. I really like them too, it’s 
just that I happen to live with (2)
VERY picky eaters…ok sometimes I
make it (3)..but who’s counting?!
What ever I make has to “mask” that I
usually chose the lighter  fat free version 
of ingredients. Plus whole grain vs white….
the list goes on.
While I know My daughter likes squash
my husband does not. My daughter doesn’t
 like onions, or tomatoes. And neither are
big fans of Brown rice….that was the
obstacle, I was facing.
Well…I am THRILLED to say 
both enjoyed this dish! I even
had some taste testers give me
feedback saying they weren’t huge fans
of squash, but they loved this dish.
You and your family be the judge.
Layered Zucchini Rice Casserole
2 Med. Zucchini~ peeled/sliced
2 med. Yellow Summer Squash~peeled/sliced
1/2 tsp. Onion powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt/ pepper to taste
2 C. Cooked Brown Rice
4 C. Light Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
2 C. Fat Free Sour Cream
1/4 C. Diced White Onion
1 (14oz.) Mild Rotel Tomato’s with green chilies
I start by steaming the squash along with
the onion and garlic powder, salt/pepper 
until it is fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Place cooked rice into the bottom of a 
lightly greased 3 qt. baking dish.
In a bowl combine the sour cream, rotel
and onion together. Pour  half mixture over rice.
Sprinkle with half cheese. Layer the 
drained squash over cheese layer. 
Repeat with remaining sour cream layer
then top off with remaining cheese.
Cover with lid or foil, Bake at 350
for 30 minutes. Remove cover
bake another 10 minutes.
Let set 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy mixing things up,

Filled Ham Roll Sandwiches

You know those easy to prepare
appetizer’s where you take deli
ham slice’s and spread some
softened Cream cheese over,
then chop up some chives
and perhaps add a few 
shakes of Franks hot sauce
then roll up?
Well that is all there is to these
Ham Roll Sandwiches!
I figured WHY NOT?
I created these one night when 
had NO idea what to fix and 
NO time in which to fix anything.
It seemed that I was headed
out the door, my daughter was already
gone at practice and my husband was 
calling my cell phone asking
 what time to be home from his shop
for dinner. So I knew it had to happen FAST!
They were a HIT! EVERYONE loved them!
Go ahead and try them for yourself.


Lemon Cream Filled Sandwich Cookies

What do you do when you feel 
a little over whelmed, or a little stressed?
Some people choose to go to a movie,
or perhaps listen to some soothing music.
You can find my husband in his
wood working shop. My daughter
would be surfing the net.
Me….Well you can find me
doing one of 2 things.
Either I head out for a long run.
Or find me in the kitchen cooking or baking.
NO REALLY… My friends think I am Crazy.
Many times they’ve told me that cooking
IS what GIVES them stress. (lol)
For myself it is my little get-away.
The time I get to create something with my 
mind, hands and heart.  I challenge myself to 
think outside the box, come up with
something new. Put a new twist on a
an old favorite. Believe me not
every “creation” is a winner!
But I still enjoy the process. 
These cookies came about in a time I
was feeling a  bit overwhelmed.
I have shared with you all about my 
Little Sister Niki before. Well she is still
really struggling. It is so hard for me to see
her go through this. I want to be angry with
someone….anyone!  When there is NOTHING
I can do to help her, it makes me ….UGH!
Anyway, it just so happens this particular
week I was “told” I needed to donated
a few dozen goodies For a Bake Sale.
(I Love to Volunteer! So my husband had told a coworker
that I would for sure want to do this! Then he forgot
to inform me until the night before. I am
ashamed to say that I was NOT feeling very
“giving”…I didnt even ask what the 
proceed’s went to, I just huffed and puffed and
stormed into the kitchen.)  
*more on the “story” after the recipe.
Lemon Cream Filled Sandwich Cookies
1 C. Butter~ softened
2 C. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Egglands Best Egg’s
1 tsp. Lemon extract
2 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
3 C. All Purpose Flour
1 C. Powdered Sugar
8 oz. Cream Cheese~ softened
2 TBSP. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Lemon Zest
3 C. Powdered Sugar
Preheat oven to 375
In mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar
for 3 minutes. Add in vanilla, eggs, extract, juice
and zest, beat for 1 minute. Next place the 
remaining ingredients into mixing bowl
and blend well. If dough is slightly “sticky”
 you may want to add in a 1/4 C. more flour.
Let dough chill while you mix the filling.
For the filling beat the cream cheese
until smooth. Add in remaining
ingredients and beat well.
Place filling in covered
container, chill for 1 hour.
Roll dough into balls and 
slightly flatten. Bake for 9-11 minutes.
Cool on wire rack completely
before filling with and sandwiching.
Back to the “story”…. As I storm into the kitchen,
my hubby following, telling me to just make a box of 
brownies~ “they wont care, what you make!”.
NOT what I wanted to hear. I mean if they 
didnt care what I make then why make it?…
My attitude was NOT good.
Then the phone rings… I answer it…
It is my Mom wondering if I will talk to NIKI
because she wasnt having a good day.
Of course I want to! I try my hardest to make 
her laugh and tell me how she is feeling.
I tell her I can come visit and would she 
like me to bring her a treat? Knowing
Niki’s Favorite dessert is Lemon Meringue Pie
I knew what was coming….and sure enough
that’s what she wanted.  I  told her I was making
some cookies for a bake sale. She asked
if they were Lemon Cookies? Hmmmm?
Why Not? Sure Niki I will make Lemon Cookies!

*The MORAL of this “story” is ATTITUDE!*

After the phone call I changed my attitude.
Gone was the irritation, gone was my stress.
Replaced with “You Can Do it!” ~ Niki Attitude.  :)

Day’s Later My hubby came home from work
with a  thank you card from the family
who held the Bake sale. Telling me that the 
Cookies where a hit! They also wanted to 
say thank you for helping them raise money
for the Special Olympics.
~Wow…it’s as if Niki  had a part in it
herself!  No Matter what your
“stress reliever” is…do it with a 

Pasta with Sausage and Fresh Tomato’s

This is one of those meals that you
think, why didn’t I think of making this
years ago? It’s simple, quick and
everyone likes it. A Win – Win kind of meal!
I will say I am not a huge fan of store
bought Alfredo sauce, yet when you add
in the fresh garden tomato’s it really
does seem to add a TON more flavor.
Pasta w/ Sausage and Fresh Tomato’s
1 lb. Italian Sausage~ cut into pieces
1 (16 oz.) Radiatore Pasta
2 (15oz.) Bertolli Garlic Alfredo w/ Parmesan Cheese
4 Lg. Fresh Garden Tomato’s~ diced
1 C. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
In skillet Cook sausage until no longer pink.
Drain on paper towel, set aside.
Cook pasta according to box directions.
Pour sauce into skillet that you cooked
the sausage in to warm. Add the sausage
into the sauce, along with the diced tomato’s.
Once the pasta is cooked and drained.
 Add the  hot pasta to the sauce.
Stir to coat well. Last stir in the shredded
mozzarella cheese until melted.
Serve warm.