Penne with Cream, Ham, and Pea Leaves

penne and cream

One of my favorite meals is a classic pasta dish

With a little cream,

A lot of prosciutto,

And an insane amount of peas;

Yet I never make it for dinner because my family does not share the same enthusiasm for those sweet little orbs of deliciousness. It is all about the texture of the peas that make them unappealing to my crew;

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Vanilla Rose Bundt Cakes

vanilla rose bundt cakes

Let’s channel our inner flower child
And bake something simple and homey
With a hint of rose and a touch of vanilla.

It will be a groovy distraction
While we wait for the real spring to arrive.

Rose water gives us the flavor of spring minus the topsy-turvy weather. Forget about the weather channel, I can predicate the forecast with 100% certainty. It will be very cold and blustery tomorrow. I can guarantee it because today I sent my coat to the dry cleaners and put away my favorite wool sweaters.

Rose water is lightly floral in aroma and taste, but only if you use it sparingly. A few drops will do the trick. If you use too much, you risk a not so pleasant soapy taste.

rose water

Since local roses are not yet available, dried organic roses from The Larder in Doylestown will work just fine. Untreated organic roses – fresh or dried – are delicious in tea, salads, scones and cookies. Here I use them as a flavorful garnish for the bundt cakes. It adds an extra depth of rose flavor, plus they are so darn pretty.

dried organic roses

The Larder is a little gem of a store that carries every herb, spice, and dried bulk ingredient you can imagine, even hard-to-find ingredients. The prices are unbelievably budget friendly.

The Larder

Let’s get baking. Spray a six cavity bundt cake pan with nonstick baking spray.

bundt pans

This recipe is a simple two bowl recipe: one for the dry ingredients, one for the wet. Nothing complicated. No special equipment. In the end the two become one and they live happily ever after in bundt cake bliss.

Speaking of the batter, I break the rules when it comes to filling the pan. Most bundt recipes call for filling the pan half-full to keep the trademark hole in the middle.

But I am a rule breaker with a sweet tooth. I fill the pans 3/4 full. The cakes will bake all the way to the top of the pan, over the tube center.

vanilla rose bundt 053

The top of the bundt cakes still have the trademark hole, but the bottom is sealed. It becomes an edible container to hold extra glaze, because really, a bundt cake is all about the glaze.

vanilla rose bundt 062

This recipe is a quickie, leaving us plenty of time to take advantage of the next warm, sunny day. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s slow down and enjoy nature.

Don’t forget to smell the roses, my friends. And eat them too.

v rose 003

Vanilla Rose Bundt Cakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temp
  • ½ cup neutral tasting vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 6 cavity mini bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.
  3. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the eggs until frothy. Add the sugar and mix until combined and thickened, about a minute. Add the sour cream, oil, vanilla and rose water. Mix until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  6. Fill each mini bundt cup ¾ of the way full. Smooth batter with a spoon.
  7. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until cakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. For the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, rose water and vanilla with a fork. If glaze is too thin, add more sugar. If glaze is too thick, add more milk.
  10. Pour glaze over the top of the bundt cakes.

Mushroom and Swiss Quesadillas with Bacon

mushroom quesadillas

What a strange week. I overslept on Monday. I swear my alarm clock is possessed. It was silent well past the time I should have awoken. It finally made its presence known in the middle of Tuesday night. Scared me to death.

I was perpetually late for everything, made even later by driving the demolition derby of potholes. One was so massive, I caught a glimpse of China.

And today, the first day of spring, we are met not with flowers or green grass, but snow. Lots of snow. Really?

Tuesday was the most bizarre. I forgot it was the 17th, so this Italian girl with the Irish name, made Mexican inspired food on St. Paddy’s Day.

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Ricotta Frittata


Last night I opened the fridge and for the most part it was empty with not much more than the bulb and condiments; and I thought to myself, Were we robbed? I just put away a trunkful of groceries yesterday;

And with the ding of a text, there was suspect number one:

What’s for dinner?

Not to be outdone by suspect number two:

Is dinner ready?

Since we are all in the same house, separated by only one floor and twenty something years, I responded in voice, not text, because the art of conversation has not been lost on my generation:

Dinner will be ready in 20 minutes. It will be a surprise to us all.

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Banana Layer Cake with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

banana layer cake

My plan to eat my way through a box of warm doughnuts on Tuesday was hampered by the weather;

Snowed in on Mardi Gras;

As I was trying to quell my sweet tooth with my third cup of coffee, my mind drifted into a momentary lapse of insanity; perhaps I should spend my free day getting a head start on spring cleaning. I’ve been meaning to de-clutter the closets and tackle the pile of paperwork in the office.


It’s time to put the fat in Fat Tuesday.

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