Wishing For Cooler Weather

August drags on. My next statement is a given: it’s hot! Where I am not wishing for winter weather, cooler temps would be nice.

Inside is where I’ll be found today. In the kitchen, baking an apple cake. Digging around in the gadget drawer for something else the other day, I found the apple corer my former mother-in-law gave me a few years back. Seeing the  Pampered Chef gadget made me want apple cake. So, I’m spending Sunday afternoon in the kitchen.

The apple corer is a handy little thing to have: makes preparing apples for recipes a whole lot easier.


Put the sharp tool on the blossom end of the apple and push straight down. A plunger inside the gadget makes dispensing the core easy. Simple, simple.

Cake’s in the oven and I think I better check it.  I wrote Miss Hudy’s Apple Cake last year. That’s the recipe I am using today. But I didn’t peel the apples like Mrs. Hudy says to do. No reason, really. I just didn’t feel like peeling apples today.


Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.


My Grandmother’s Scarf


Last week it rained. The week before that it rained.  And the week before that. It’s soggy. None of my family in the Baton Rouge area were personally affected, but they are helping with the clean up and tearing out. Brings back childhood memories- sad, scary ones. This flooding in Louisiana is worse than what we experienced in 1983. My heart goes out to my native city. Our church collected needed items last Monday. I gave what I could.

My youngest went back to school Saturday afternoon. All day he kept asking if I was going to miss him.

“I already do and you’re not even gone yet,” was my answer.

He threw open his big arms and said like he did when he was little: “Hug?”

I hugged. He packed. Getting into his truck, he hesitated, jingled the keys.

“You know, if you need anything, just call me.”

“I know I can,” was my answer. “Now get on up to school. Be careful on Spring Ridge Rd. Wear your seatbelt. Message me when you get there, please.”

“Yes, ma’am. Love you.”

“Love you, too.” One last, “Be careful.”


I drove to my 1902 farmhouse.

Primer, paint rollers, brushes and a radio were unloaded from the trunk of the car.  A box fan was positioned to blow into the parlor, windows raised. Big windows, wavy glass symmetrically placed in ten foot high walls.

I listened to the news. They gave reports about the flooding in Louisiana. Interviews of Baton Rouge residents, their distress and plight clear in their tired voices, had me teary eyed. Bad memories.

I rolled primer over antique green paint. The walls are tall, but as the green disappeared a brightness rose. A message from George meep-meeped from my phone. He had arrived at school and was lugging his stuff up to his dorm. As I text him back, movement in the front yard caught my attention. A doe and her spotted fawn cautiously picked their way through the overgrown front yard. Beautiful.


I changed the radio station and found a rebroadcast of the Prairie Home Companion. I laughed and primed.  When there was no more primer in the two gallon bucket, I washed out my roller and brush. The new well has water that comes out cold and sweet.


Sunday morning: prayers for Georgie at 7 a.m. Dressed for church, I rummaged through a drawer for something to tie back my unruly head of hair. I found one of my grandmother’s scarves. The red was a little darker than the pants I wore (reds are hard to match perfectly), but wearing it today brought back good memories of Grandma. Strong lady. Maker of chicken pie. Eyes the color of dark blue marbles and a bright intelligent smile.


Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Orange Apple Muffins

Last night I had a play date with my grandson Brentlee. He’s nearly six months old and is thriving. Excuse a doting grandma, but he is beautiful.


I can’t wait till he is old enough to join me in the Exile’s Kitchen, so I can share some tasty good things with him. Speaking of which, here’s one: Orange Apple Muffins


1 1/2 cups reduced fat Bisquick

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Gala Apple and 1 Pink Lady Apple (washed and chopped)

1 cup orange juice

1 egg

1/4  cup corn oil


What to do:

Turn oven on to 375°. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add in the chopped apples. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, egg and corn oil. Add wet ingredients to the first. Spoon evenly into the muffin cups. Bake till the tops of the muffins are nice and brown.

Note: the orange juice makes this recipe light and fluffy and adds a hint of citrus taste to the traditional apple muffin.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Try These Two Together

Try these two easy recipes together for a cool summer time treat: Peanut Butter Frig Fudge and No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream. Both recipes have just a few ingredients and take minutes to mix up. These sweet treats are great by themselves, but combining them creates a cool desert your special people will love.

First- Peanut Butter Frig Fudge

Mix together in a medium bowl 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup Smucker’s Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter, 1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder, 1/4 cup honey and a splash of vanilla. Divide mixture into 24 mini muffin cups and chill in the frig till firm. Store in the frig till you are ready to eat or use in the next recipe. Each fudge round is 90 calories. Try them in the bottom of a cup of coffee. Yum!

Second- No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

In a mixer pour in a 16 ounce carton of heavy whipping cream. While that’s spinning around, in another bowl combine 1 can of fat free sweetened condensed milk,  a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla. When the cream is whipped, fold one cup into the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Then add that back into the whipped cream, stirring lightly, till well combined. Pour into a bread pan and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer till firm. Serve over warm apple pie or a brownie or your choice, your choice.

Or wait 2 hours. The ice cream will be soft-served at this stage and the perfect time to add anything you’d like. Peaches, Oreos, oo! Cherry pie filling would be fantastic. But since I have given you the fudge recipe, let’s do that.

Microwave about 6 of the fudge cups in a little bowl, and break into pieces an additional 6 cups.  Sprinkle over the top of the semi-soft ice cream. Take a knife or spoon and swirl around and down through the vanilla ice cream cloud of easy goodness.! Cover again and return to the freezer till firm.


Enjoy. Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.