Caramel Cake


My Mom used to make this cake all of the time! To me, it was her specialty. Well, everything she made was her speciality! Any who, I LOVED when I could smell the caramel cooking on the stove top and could hardly wait for the cake to cool so we could cut it. It seemed to take FOREVER … kinda like waiting for a pot of water to boil. This is a simple recipe with ingredients that are probably in your pantry and refrigerator right now. And, it is delicious! Yumola, even! Of course my Mom didn’t follow a recipe, so this one took some collaborating with her to get the measurements just right. She made her caramel the old fashioned way, too, with butter, evaporated milk and sugar and stood over the stove for an hour while it cooked perfectly. Uhhhhmm, so about that. Yah, I came up with a GREAT alternative. For real. Mom put her stamp of approval on it! So….. 😊

You will need:

3 cups of sifted cake flour

2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 t salt

2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups of sugar

6 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup of sour cream, at room temperature (or you could use 1 cup of milk)

1 T of vanilla extract (yes tablespoon)


2 sticks of unsalted butter

2 cups of dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup of milk

4 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Butter three 9″ round cake pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper. Butter the paper, as well, and flour the insides of the pans.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, fluffy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and mix. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.  With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour and sour cream into the egg mixture ending with the flour. Do not over mix. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans and cool completely on the wire racks.

For the icing, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Beat the confectioner’s sugar into the milk mixture until smooth. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake plate and spread 1/3 of the icing onto it. Place the second layer on top of the bottom layer and spread another 1/3 of the icing onto it. Place the remaining layer on top and spread the remaining icing on the top and sides.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


A few years ago, when the ‘pumpkin spice latte’ craze came on the scene, I was looking for a recipe with pumpkin to bake, take and share with my women’s bible study group. I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, AT ALL #teamsweetpotatopie, so that was out of the question. I saw a recipe, online (All Recipes), for these pumpkin cream cheese muffins and decided to give them a try. Anything with cream cheese is DELISH! I tweaked the recipe, to my liking, and they were a huge hit with my group. In fact, one of the ladies (shout out to Angela Compton .. wonder if she even remembers this) said, “These are like the breeze of October; the scent of November and the taste of Thanksgiving!” Now that’s a stamp of approval for ya! In fact, she was one of the people pushing me to take my cooking to the next level … a blog, cookbook … Thanks, Angela! 💗

Muffin Mix

2 1/2 cups of flour

2 cups of sugar

2 t baking powder

1 t ground cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 t salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/3 cups of canned pumpkin

1/3 cup of pure olive oil (not EVOO) or vegetable oil

2 t vanilla extract


2 – 80z pkgs of cream cheese

2 eggs

2 t vanilla extract

2/3 cup of brown sugar

Streusel topping

9 T flour

10 T brown sugar

1 1/2 t ground cinnamon

8 T butter

10 T chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

For the filling, place the cream cheese in a bowl and mix until it is the consistency of sour cream; with a few lumps left in. Fold in the egg, vanilla and brown sugar and set aside.

For the streusel, mix the flour, sugar cinnamon and pecans in a separate bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

For the batter, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the beaten eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.

Place the batter in muffin pans, about 1/3 of the way full.  Then, add 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of the batter.  Add more batter to make the batter reach half way up the muffin tin. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of streusel topping on top of the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes.  This will make 12 extra large muffins


Ingredients matter


Do your taste buds a huge favor and buy quality ingredients. Buy locally grown, when possible, and organic as much as your budget will allow. Most of the big box stores carry organic products now, as well as several smaller chains, making them much more affordable than before. Just try it. I’m confident that you will be able to taste the difference.


Grass fed 85/15 beef (seasoned with my special spice blend) on a toasted brioche bun topped with cheddar, uncured applewood smoked bacon, heirloom tomatoes, avocado & red onion slices. All organic and mostly locally grown. I can taste the difference. Ingredients matter … to me.


‘Not your average’ Cornbread


Growing up, we had cornbread at least once a week; usually with Sunday dinner. There is nothing like collard greens and cornbread! My Mom made almost everything from scratch and rarely followed a recipe. Her mother cooked the same way. Like most of her dishes, she didn’t follow a recipe for cornbread. And, she had so many variations and all in that adorable head of hers. Blows my mind! Sometimes, we would have corncakes. They are a lot like pancakes; made on top of the stove on a griddle or in a skillet. Or, we would have corn muffins which were different in texture than my FAVORITE: cornbread cooked in her cast iron skillet. My Mom lives with me now. So, guess where her cast iron skillet is? ☺️

This cornbread is very similar to my Mom’s, but isn’t as dense. It’s almost cake like in texture. My family LOVES this recipe because of the texture. It’s airy and lighter than ‘traditional’ corn bread recipes. Ever had the corn muffins from ‘Heaven on Seven’? Mmhmm try this recipe and let me know what ya think. My Mom loves it fresh out of the oven with homemade honey butter. ☺️ And, her stamp of approval is EVERYTHING!

3 c flour

1 c cornmeal

1/4 c sugar

3 T baking powder

2 t kosher salt

2 sticks of melted, unsalted butter

3 eggs

2 c milk (so so good with buttermilk, too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Slowly add the melted butter to the egg mixture, a little at a time, so that the eggs don’t scramble. Pour into the flour mixture and combine.

Let the batter sit for for 20 minutes, at room temp, before baking. Yepper. TWENTY.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

This cornbread is scrumpdiliocious like it is. But do you want to blow their entire minds and tastebuds? ☺️ Add in 2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1 jalapeño that has been seeded and chopped finely (or a small can of diced chilis for a little less heat) and 1/2 a can of creamed corn to your batter. So good with chili!!!


Kimmie Bee’s Mexican Rice


A few years ago, one of my girlfriends took me to a Mexican fusion restaurant named Bien Trucha. She knows how much I love Mexican food and was so excited to have me try this place. The food is OUTSTANDING; drinks delicious and it just has an overall good vibe. I felt like I was in Miami. Great music, beautiful people and a swanky ambiance. I fell in LOVE! They do EVERYTHING right! No, really, they do! The rice and beans (my take on the bean recipe coming soon) was probably some of the best I’ve ever had. So, in true Kimmie Bee fashion, I set out to duplicate it based upon my inquiries to the wait staff and my taste buds. First time I tried it … Fail. A little tweaking here and there and I must say that now it’s pretty spot on. If you like Chipotle’s burrito bowls and their cilantro/lime rice, you will LOVE this rice.  This recipe takes it to a whole other level.  You will need :

6 cups of hot rice, cooked according to the instructions on the packaging

2 poblano peppers

1 cup of sour cream

1 1/2 cups of chihuahua cheese, shredded

the juice of one lime (two if they are very small)

1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

While the rice is cooking, blister two poblano peppers directly on top of the stove (gas) or under a broiler until the skin is blackened. Place the peppers in a plastic bag and leave them for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the peppers from the bag, take off the charred skin, remove the stem and seeds and finely chop. Once the rice is done, add the chopped peppers, sour cream, cheese, cilantro and lime juice to the hot rice. Gently fold the ingredients into the rice, season with salt & pepper and serve. This rice is delicious as a side to my fajitas, tacos or make your own burrito bowl! SO GOOD!!!