Monday, October 4, 2010

making gobs of whoopie pies

I've moved a lot in my life (4 states in 10 years of marriage) and I'm always enthralled by the local or regional cuisine with each move. We now live in the greater Pittsburgh area. Most notable among the cuisine here is the dentency to put french fries ON things... sandwhiches, salads, etc. It is rather good. The other day I got a sandwich with french fries on it and was given the option of a side with it. I of course picked the onions thus giving me onion rings and french fries... MWAHAHAHAAHA! Anyway, another culinary treat around here is the gob or even gob cake. Also, there are mini gobs. Gobs seem to be whoopie pies which are rather trendy right now. Only, they have never gone out of style in NW Pennsylvania. Reminds me of when Lenny served at a church in Detroit and I was helping to put out the table signs for their "Harvest Dinner" and I remarked and how chic and retro the signs were. Picture a drawing of a 1950's lady with a waistline so narrow Blondie would be jealous serving a whole turkey to her pipe smoking, arm-chair-seated husband. My comment meet with blank stares and a giggle from someone in my age group who grew up in that church. She explained to me that they were not chic and retro, these table signs were original from the 1950's. We had a good laugh at that. Ah, it all comes back around, no?

Anyway,gob cake is a thick rectagular layer cake with frosting only on the inside which is cut into squares. I have never seen a round one, yet. There is a burnt sugar gob that is wonderful. I think that was my first gob cake that I tried when we moved here. Gobs are 2-3 inch cake-like-cookies sandwiched with frosting in the middle. They are fabulous. Mini-gobs are the same as gobs but are a bite size 1 inch version. Here is my first attempt at gobs or whoopie pies if you prefer. (I do prefer whoopie pie to gob. Whoopie pie is just cuter and these are stupid cute.) These are pumpkin with a cream cheese maple filling. I plan to put chocolate chips in some of the filling when I serve these at a women's meeting tomorrow night.

Here's the recipe I used -
Pumpkin Gobs

2 cups brown sugar 2 eggs
2 cups pumpkin 1 tsp cloves, cinnamon, ginger, salt
3 cups flour baking soda, baking powder
1 cup oil and vanilla

Cream together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Add vanilla, then add dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and drop by tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. Fill when cool.

For the cream cheese filling -
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, add the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla, lemon juice and maple syrup. Beat until smooth.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

overcoming my weaknesses

I am feeling better but I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about biscuits. I have admitted it before that I cannot make biscuits. Until yesterday. I made these lovely, cheddar buttermilk biscuits using Ina Garten's recipe. I really do enjoy Ina Garten. Her recipes are simple, straightforward and they always work out well. These biscuits were really yummy - we had them for breakfast with soft scrambled eggs and sausage and then for lunch with turkey and provolone on them.

I followed the recipe exactly. I was shocked that there was an egg in the recipe - I canp't recall putting an egg in my biscuits before this. Maybe that is why my biscuits were always nasty... I don't know. I am just glad I found this recipe!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I am home sick for a few days with nothing to do but lay in bed and play Nancy Drew games. Beats staying in the hospital.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I am planning to make a patchwork table runner for Thanksgiving. (Yes, I know there are a few holidays and occassions between now and then.) It is hard for a lot of people to think about Thanksgiving when it is warm outside but lately I have been thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas more often than now. I have been looking at this Martha Stewart Holiday baking magazine from last year over and over and planning which cookies to make this year and how to package them and so on and so on. It's kind of sad.

Anyway, back to the table runner - yes, those fabric there in the picture as a patchwork runner. As fabulous as it is, I don't think the orange fabric will make the final cut. Maybe... I don't know.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This is my first orchid. Wish me luck.

I have been thinking a lot lately about being simple. Not that I am complicated by any stretch - life has gotten a lot more simple since we moved to PA in February. I am completely off of the "earn to spend" treadmill... well, almost completely. I often feel guilty about only working part time but I know a full time job would involve a new wardrobe, perhaps a new car, hiring a housekeeper, more convenience food, more eating out, more stress, etc. I really don't want any part of it anymore. More money would be nice but not at that cost.

I don't know where I am heading with my thoughts on simplicity but I know I am interested in the concept of owning less than 100 personal items and having only what I need versus what I want. So, this post is certainly to be continued...

Friday, July 2, 2010

a sewing box and a month long commitment

Lenny brought this lovely vintage sewing box home for me. An elderly lady in our parish passed away back in April and her family are just now sorting her belongings. Apparently, she was a crafter and a sewer. This was among her possessions and her family insisted on giving it to Lenny for me to have. They are rather fond of my husband. It was full of sundry items - old wooden spools of thread, a lot of elastic, a dollar sign money clip (alas, no money was in it) and several pieces of candy. Yeah. I have since cleaned it out and I it is just crazy how very much I am in love with this thing. Certain mid-century items are so fabulous and wonderfully made. Another mid-century item I would love to own is one of those vinyl coated woven laundry hampers. Oh, and a martini!

So, last month I kept track of how much money we spent eating out. It's crazy stupid how much we eat out... especially considering that I am a trained chef. Sigh. I hope this next statement isn't terribly arrogant sounding but it's not like any of the restaurants we eat out at are preparing anything that I can't do equally well or even better. We usually eat out for the following reasons - 1) I don't feel well and do not feel like cooking. 2) Poor planning.

So, my challenge is one month, no eating out. We do have a scheduled lunch about mid-month so that will break the rule right there but if we can make the remainder of the month that would be great. So far, so good but it is only July 2nd. We had meat loaf with mashed potatoes and Caesar salad last night and Italian sausage with soft polenta and fresh tomato sauce tonight. Both are items I normally do not make but love to eat. Oh, the meat loaf was really awesome grilled this morning for breakfast with mashed potato pancakes and poached eggs. Sound strange but it was really awesome.

I am also going to make an effort to post more of the everyday type of food we eat in hopes that I will have a log (haha, a weblog if you will...) of recipes that we enjoy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

well, hello gorgeous!

Is there anything quite as lovely as peonies in your kitchen window sill?

I don't think so.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

frogs who don't fit it

So, I bought this frog pillow about 2 years ago. I really like it but it just does not really go anywhere in my house. It's cute but it's just not me. So, I decided to recover it with a patchwork pillow front.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, mostly. It is a little less sophisticated than I would have liked but that is ok. The back is brown with small white polka dots on it. I have never put welting on a pillow or anything else for that matter. It was a pain in butt until I figured out how to do it and then it was pretty easy. I would be a little embarassed for anyone to take this cover off and look at the inside of the pillow since I had to run the corners through the machine at least 4 times each. I trimmed them up after the fact but it is still rather "stitchy" on the inside.

It definately goes better with my house now. I think I will put it in the nearly ready guest room.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


My father passed away February 22, 2005. He was 66 years old. Today would have been his 70th birthday. The picture above is from his first birthday. He had a pony at his party.

I am not sure if I should say happy birthday or rest in peace. Maybe I should just say this - not a day goes by that I don't wish I had known you better.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I totally want this...

It's a migracap for migraine sufferers. It provided cold therapy and total blackout - both of which I want when I have a bad migraine. I normally put a frozen gel pack (affectionately known as my freezy pack) and a pillow on my head. The husband worries that I will suffocate one day. The only downside I can see on this is that it cost $78. Yikes!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Opening (birth)Day 2010

Lenny bought me 2 tickets to Opening Day for my birthday earlier this month. I decided to take him with me. It just seemed the right thing to do. I like to joke about who I should take with me to the game whenever he gives me tickets for an occasion. It's just fun. I think he always knows I will take him with me. I think.

This was not, unfortunately, to see my beloved Detroit Tigers but our new home team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. I love baseball enough to not really care who is playing. I also love ballpark food. Not the posh stuff served in the suites. No, the real ball park food - hot dogs, peanuts, french fires, beer, soft baked pretzels... you know, junk food. Here is my first baseball hot dog of the year, loaded with relish, onion, mustard and ketchup (so I don't have to really taste the hot dog) and that is PNC Park in the background.

Friday, March 5, 2010

H is for Huck

I have long known that my boy beagle is built like a football player. He now has a varsity sweater to prove it. I am so proud of him for lettering. What a good boy!

I used the pattern from Martha Stewart's website. I decided to put just one letter on my sweaters (P is for Pebbles... or it will be) instead of spelling out dog - I know my dogs are dogs, so I don't need to identify them as such. (Completely tongue in cheek here, I thought "dog" was pretty cute on the sweaters for Martha's French bulldogs). Since I am making one in blue for each dog, I want to be able to tell them (the sweaters, not the dogs...) apart. I am not sure why I want to tell them apart, but I do. Anyway, my first thought was to put the letters on the chest but my husband suggested I put them on the back at the haunch area.

I purchased all the supplies for this project at Joann's except for the elastic cord and cord stopper which are recycled from an old fleece sweater of mine. This project took about 45 minutes from start to finish. Polar fleece was on sale 40% off, so this was a pretty cheap project.

For my Maryland friends who are curious about my new house in PA, the picture of Huck in the sweater was taken in the church office which is downstairs in the basement. The picture of just the sweater was taken on my living room floor. I promise that pictures of the new house will follow soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We really are moving into this lovely house next month! Wow!