Even Kris Kringle Will Love This Cookie


In doing research on kringle, I kept reading about Danish Kringle not Norwegian. I learned that Danish Kringle first appeared in Racine, Wisconsin by Danish immigrants in late 1800’s.  I wanted to learn the difference between the two so since the bakery, OH Bakery in Racine would charge $21.49 for the kringle plus $9.99 to ship, I decided to go to my nearest Trader Joe’s and buy the same kringle for $7.99.

Other than the shape, oval vs. one-inch squares, there was no difference in taste. Both Kringles are a multi-layer butter pastry. So since my friend was from Norway, her kringle became Norwegian Kringle. You can add a variety of jams such as cherry, blueberry and even chocolate or cream cheese to the second layer.

Below is a recipe given to me by friends in Florida who got it from a neighbor from Norway.  The  cookies are delicious and last fairly well if kept in an air tight container.  I leave mine on the enclosed porch where the cold seems to keep them fresh.

Layer One

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon water

Blend together.  Press on a 10 x 14-inch baking sheet.  Dip your fingers in cold water to help you press the mixture in place.  It can be done, it takes time and patience.

Layer Two

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat water and butter to the boiling point, remove from heat; add flour.  Stir until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add almond extract.  Spread on pie crust.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Layer Three

3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Mix together until smooth.  Spread on the cooled Kringle.  Cut into 1-inch squares.  This cookie is very rich!

Cheeseburger Chowder goes to Patriots football game

Friends who have been long term season ticket holders are always looking for a new soup/chowder to take for tailgating at Gillette Stadium. This year I suggested that they try my Cheeseburger Chowder. It is always a hit especially with men as it has a delicious cheesy flavor and plenty of ground hamburger. I suggested they serve them with Snowflake Rolls from Big Y for dunking.

I have highlighted the recipe on a previous blog and I have included a link for you to check it out. It can also be found in the Soup chowder in my first cookbook, the Taste and Tales of Massachusetts.

Fried Clams To Die For


There are fried clams and then there are fried clams!!  This past week I attended a conference in Freeport, ME.  I asked at the Harraseeket Inn where we were staying who had the best fried clams in the area where the locals ate.  I was told it was the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster on Casco Bay. The weather was quite lovely on the evening we went. The lobster shack was like so many other lobster and clam shacks along the coast of New England. Visitors had the choice of dining in or out, but since there was quite a breeze we decided to eat in the dining room which was simple and immaculate.


At the window we ordered fried clams and learned you could have them with a choice of batters, crumbs or batter. My friend and I went with the crumbs and it was an excellent choice. The clams with the batter option would have been more batter than clams in my humble opinion. The fried clams with the crumbs were light with just the right amount of batter. One could actually enjoy the taste of the clams. It didn’t hurt that these were most likely the freshest clams I have ever eaten. Literally right off the boat! The order came with fries which were hot and crispy and the order was large enough for the two of us to share one order.

Batter choice

Crab Cakes

As an appetizer, we tried the crab cakes.  Again they were made with Maine crabs and were light and absolutely delicious. If you are heading to Maine this summer, it is a mere 3 miles from L L Bean on Main Street. Just head down Bow St (right across from the main entrance), take a right on South and continue until you see the sign for Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster right on Casco Bay.

Clam Cakes

Fried Clams at Janine’s in Ware, MA

Believe or not, Janine’s in Ware, MA serves delicious fried clams and an excellent lobster roll.  Whenever I have had their fried clams I have requested a light dusting of flour which make them similar to those at Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster.

Fried Clam Recipe from Woodman’s in Essex, MA

For the recipe from the inventor of the fried clam, check out our blog at http://tasteandtales.com/books/chubby-and-the-clam/.


Tropical Monkey Bread

Tropical Monkey Bread is absolutely the most delicious bread and it will be a big hit at any brunch or gathering. I served this at our Easter brunch and it was the hit of the day with my Key Lime Pie following close behind.  The guava, banana and macadamia nuts adds a delicious favor to the bread. The Tropical Monkey Bread recipe comes from the famous Checca Lodge in Islamorada, Florida.

Tropical Monkey Bread¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (30 biscuits)
¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 small banana, sliced – not too ripe
½ cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup guava paste
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8- to 9-inch tube pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a medium-size plastic bag. Open the biscuit tubes and remove the biscuits. Cut the biscuits in halves. Place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar-cinnamon mix in the bag and shake well. Arrange the pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Coat the remaining biscuit pieces with sugar and cinnamon in the same manner. Continue layering the biscuit pieces, sprinkling the macadamia nuts and banana slices among the pieces as you layer them. The pan should be ¾ filled. Do not overfill the pan.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes and remove from the oven. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a plate. Let cool for about 10 minutes more before adding the icing.
  5. Allow the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature. Spray a small saucepan with vegetable oil spray. Place over low heat and add the guava paste.
  6. Cook until the paste is soft and can be blended into the butter and cream cheese. Beat the butter, cream cheese and heated guava paste together in an electric mixer. Slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar. After the sugar is added, mix for 12 minutes (do not shorten the time). When almost done, add in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Spread over the warm bread.

Serves 10

Cook’s Note:  Make sure you spray the tube pan with non-stick baking spray.

Flavors of Key West (2010)

Christmas Cookie Recipe

Christmas Cookie Recipe

Christmas Cookie Recipe

Dreamy Island Cookies

If you love coconut and chocolate, you will absolutely love this Christmas cookie recipe.  This is a new cookie and I must say I love the combination of coconut, chocolate and pecans.  I made a slight change to the original recipe because the dough was not binding so I added a little orange juice and voila it came together perfectly.  The OJ added a nice flavor.

1⅔ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
1¾ cups milk chocolate chips
¾ cup flaked sweetened coconut
¾ cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in small bowl.

  3. Beat butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until creamy. Beat in egg.

  4. Gradually stir in flour mixture until well combined; add a little orange juice to bind dough.

  5. Stir in chocolate, coconut and pecans. Drop by large tablespoons onto baking sheets.

  6. Bake 10 minutes for a chewy cookie.

Yields 4 dozen cookie

Adapted from Meet Me In My Cape Cod Kitchen (2014)

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies


Cranberry Oatmeal

Everyone loves these Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies as they are nice and moist.  The secret to this recipe is to soak the dried cranberries in orange juice overnight. I use dried cranberries from Decas Cranberries in Massachusetts. You can find their product in stores under the name Paradise Meadows. They are the best!!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup dried cranberries, soak in
1 cup orange juice
1 cup  butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

    1.  Soak the dried cranberries in orange juice over-night.
    2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    3.  In a medium-bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
    4.  In a large bowl cream butter and add sugar and brown sugar; combine well.
    5.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
    6.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; blend well.
    7.  Drain the cranberries and fold in the oatmeal and cranberries.
    8.  Drop by rounded teaspoons on ungreased baking sheet.
    9.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.  Cool 1 minute on baking sheet for a few minutes; move to wire rack.
    10.  Store in an air tight container and cookies will keep for several days.

Yields:  4 dozen

Muffin Recipe

Muffin Recipe

Oh, what to do with those overripe bananas?? Usually we bake banana bread, but instead let’s look at a delicious muffin recipe from the “Taste of Home” from University of Massachusetts Dining. UMASS dining is listed as number 1 in the nation for excellence.  I adapted this recipe a bit.  As bananas ripen their sugar content increases, so they are very sweet.  I reduced the amount of sugar from 2 cups to 1/2 cup and I believe that the next time I would reduce it even further to 1/3 cup.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of cinnamon, or to taste
1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 medium over-riped bananas, mashed
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract                                                                                                                                             1 cup blueberries
1 cup ground walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 18 muffins cups with baking spray.
2. Whisk together flour, sea salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, sugar and bananas.  Whisk in eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.  Stir in the flour mixture, blueberries and walnuts.
3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out dry, about 25 minutes.

Makes 18 muffins

Adapted from UMASS Dining “Taste of Home” 2014

Yummy Blueberry Plum Crisp

A friend gave me 4 pounds of Damson Plums from her tree.   They are also known as blue plums. I couldn’t imagine what I would do with all of them.  They are small but full of flavor. After reviewing a few recipes, I decided to go with an original creation.  I always have blueberries in the fridge and I thought the combination would be tasty.  I had wanted to add peaches, but the ones I had bought at a local orchard were not ripe enough.  It took about an hour to quarter and remove the pit of all the plums.

Plum-Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry Plum Crisp

4 pounds Damson or Blue Plums, pitted and quartered
1 pint blueberry, washed and drained
1 package of Phoebe’s Kitchen Crisp mixture
1 stick butter, softened

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place plums and blueberries in oven proof casserole.  I used an Dansk casserole dish.
3.  Place butter in medium bowl and add the crisp mix.  Mix and sprinkle on top of the plum-blueberry mixture.
4.  Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves 6-8




Lightest most Delicious Blueberry Coffee Cake – Blueberry Boy Bait

My childhood friend Irene and I starting making this recipe when we were in our early teens.  I can’t imagine how many of these I have made. It came from a Pillsbury Booklet. The story goes that in 1954 a 15-year-old Chicago girl named Renny Powell submitted a blueberry coffee cake recipe to the Pillsbury $100,000 Recipe & Baking Contest (precursor to the Pillsbury Bake-Off). She came in second place in the youth division for her creation. She gave it the special name, Boy Bait, in honor of its powers with the opposite sex.  This past weekend I brought out the recipe and it taste just as good today as my memories of times past. There are several adaptation of this on the internet, but none could possibly be as delicious as this. The secret to its lightness is the whipped egg white that must be gently folded into the batter.  Do not over mix the batter!

Once the batter is spread in a 9 x 13-inch pan, I drop as many blueberries as possible on top.  The picture below shows how it should look.  Once you put the blueberries on top, sprinkle the reserved topping over the batter.

Blueberries on topBlueberries on top of batter

With topping

Topping sprinkled on top of berries

Finished Product

Finished Coffeecake

Blueberry Boy Bait

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
112 cups granulated sugar
23 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 cups blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Sift together flour, sugar; cut in 2/3 cup butter until particles are small. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture for topping.

  3. To remainder, add sea salt, baking powder, vanilla, milk, & egg yolks; blend well.

  4. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry; fold gently into batter. Spread in a well-greased and lightly floured 9″ X 13″ baking pan.

  5. Arrange drained blueberries over batter. Sprinkle reserved ¾ cup crumb mixture over top.

  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until tester come out clean.

On Serving Tray

Polar Bear Ice Cream with Raspberry Truffles – Westview Farms, Monson, MA

Today, Sunday the 19th is National Ice Cream Day and I must say                                                           Westview polar bear ice cream
that the above ice cream is the bestest.  It is vanilla ice cream with
raspberry swirls with chocolate raspberry truffles in it.  You can find Westview Farm on East Hill Road in Monson, MA.  The view from the farm faces west and one can still see where the tornado went through four years ago.  Fortunately the farm was not greatly damaged but several homes nearby were, but have been rebuilt.  If it weren’t for the trees, one would never know that a tornado had gone through the area.

The farm also has a wonderful pumpkin patch in the fall and a great fenced in area where many goats of all ages reside. You can purchase cones filled with feed for $.25 cents.

Baby goats