Copy-Cat Thin Mint Cookies


Copy-Cat Thin Mint Cookies

26 Oreo cookie halves, or 13 whole Oreos.
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ tsp peppermint extract


1. Separate Oreo cookies and scrape off the middle cream.
2. Combine chocolate and peppermint extract in a double boiler to melt, or put in a microwave safe bowl and melt in 20-second increments until you creamy.
3. Dip Oreo half into the chocolate using a fork and flip over to coat on both sides. Once coated remove cookie from chocolate and hit fork on the edge of the bowl to get excess chocolate to drip back in.
4. Place dipped cookie onto a piece of waxed paper and allow to set for a couple hours till chocolate is hardened.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit


Cornmeal Pancakes

Cornmeal Pancakes

I got this recipe from my friend Pat whose grandmother made these often. They have become a family favorite around here too. Thanks, Pat!

(My grandmother’s recipe from the 1930s – Patricia Plake Keeney)

Makes eight saucer sized pancakes

1 Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 Tablespoons Coarsely Ground Corn Meal
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Salt

1 Egg, beaten
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
2 drops Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Cup Broken Pecans (optional)

Combine first six ingredients in a medium bowl – mix with a fork and set aside.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork, add buttermilk, vanilla, and cooking oil
Add egg mixture, all at once, to flour mixture.
Stir with a large wooden spoon (that’s what Grandma always used) until moistened.
(Batter should be lumpy.)
Lightly fold in Pecan pieces.

(Add additional buttermilk to thin the batter if needed, but batter should be thick.)

Spoon onto un-greased, stick-free griddle. If using a regular skillet lightly spray with cooking oil.
When bubbles appear on the surface of cakes (at about two minutes), flip them over.
Cook another minute or two and serve.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit

New Baby at our Place


I know this doesn’t look like a new baby, but it is. It’s my new fiction, based on fact which is out this month. So, do we call that “faction”? Hard Times in the Heartland the third in the series of The Late Sooner. It’s based on my dad’s letters to Mom and me during WW II and family stories. Like my other books, the facts are carefully researched and woven into this story.

As a kid, I hated history class because it consisted of learning endless lists of dates to be regurgitated later onto a test paper. When I found my great-grandfather’s one-line-a-day diary in an antique chest fourteen years ago, the first Oklahoma Land Run became more than a list of facts–it became story. That diary became The Late Sooner.

When I found my dad’s stack of letters, WW II came alive as I saw it from his eyes. I was also struck by the parallels between then and what we see flashing across our TV screens today.

This December will be the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. This month marks the 87th year since the Stock Market Crash of 1929. These two events mark the beginning and end of the era covered in Hard Times in the Heartland.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit

Jasper Mirabile’s Hand Pulled Mozzarella


Jasper Mirabile’s Hand Pulled Mozzarella

I’d never made Mozzarella from scratch before I saw this. It’s kind of fun. This recipe makes a little more than is shown–but I ate them before I took the picture. Wasn’t bad for my first try!

1 gallon of whole milk
1 Rennet tablet
1 tablespoon of citric acid or lemon juice
1 tablespoon of sea salt

Pour milk into a large, stainless nonreactive pot.
Add citric acid or lemon juice to the pot.
Heat milk to 90 degrees. Remove from heat.
Dissolve Rennet in 1/2 cup of hot milk. Add to whole milk mixture. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours. Strain in cheesecloth and refrigerate curds until ready to pull mozzarella.

To pull mozzarella:
Bring 2 quarts of cold water to a boil.
Place curds in a Pyrex glass bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of salt or more. (Most of the salt is lost in the process.) Add boiling water.
Place rubber gloves on. Knead curds, submerging in hot water as necessary until you get a clean, silky, outer surface. Fold into a ball.
Place back in leftover whey or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve:
Slice fresh mozzarella and layer on sliced tomatoes. Add basil and drizzle with EV Olive Oil. Season with cracked pepper and sea salt.


To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut Pancakes from

I’d never used coconut milk before and found these pancakes very light and enjoyable. I like to sprinkle a few blueberries on top, too.

Ingredients (2 servings):

• 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
• 1/8 cup sugar
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1 egg
• 3 T. melted butter and some extra for greasing
• 1/4 tsp salt


1: Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2: In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and coconut milk.
3: Pour milk/egg mixture and melted butter into the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until well combined.
4: Grease a medium-sized pan with some butter over low-medium heat and pour two tablespoons of the pancake mixture onto the pan, cooking approximately 5 minutes on each side. Enjoy with some fruits and maple syrup!

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit




Crust for 10-inch quiche pan
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup slivered onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 cup 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh tomato
basil leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10-inch quiche pan with crust. Heat a nonstick pan with olive oil; sauté onion and garlic until slightly brown. Spread onion mixture on crust and sprinkle cheese on top. Top with basil.
Combine milk, cornstarch, pepper, eggs, and egg white. Process in blender until smooth. Carefully pour into crust. Carefully arrange tomatoes on top. Bake 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil leaves.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit

Gazpacho Soup


Gazpacho (Spanish Tomato Soup)

Are you tired of eating salads? Overrun with tomatoes? Try this! It’s yummy!

3 pounds of tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 large or 2 small green bell peppers, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other vinegar
1 slice white bread, crust cut off, saturated with cold water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tablespoon hot-pepper sauce
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, onion, and peppers (each separately) until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the processed vegetables, add the remaining ingredients, and stir to blend. Set the soup aside for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to marry. Serve cold.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit

Gluten-free Carrot Cake Truffles

Carrot Cake Truffles

Carrot Cake Truffles
For a cake that’s named after a vegetable, carrot cake is usually packed with copious amounts of sugar and oil. These scrumptious bliss balls are not. They’re wholesome, nutritious and naturally free from gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar! Make a batch, it’ll take you less than five minutes and your body will LOVE you for it (so will your taste buds).
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup almond meal
6 large medjool dates
1/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut + a little more for coating
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 heaped tbsp raw honey or pure maple syrup
1 heaped tbsp nut butter (I used peanut)
1 tbsp water

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend for a minute or so until the ingredients begin to stick together (similar to a dough-like mixture).
Form small balls with your hands.
To finish, coat the balls by rolling them in the remaining coconut.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit

White Chocolate Torte

White Choc. Torte

White Chocolate Torte

For the Crust

o 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted
o 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) gingernut biscuits/gingersnaps crumbs
For the Mousse
o 3 and 1/2 cups (600g) white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
o 1 cup (240ml) Greek-style yogurt
o 4 gelatin leaves
o 2 and 1/2 cups (600ml) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
o Raspberries and chocolate chips, to garnish


For the Crust
1. Grease the base and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
2. Mix together the biscuit crumbs and melted butter. Press the crumbs into the prepared pan, and chill while preparing the filling.

For the Mousse

3. In a heat-proof bowl over a pan of very gently simmering water (making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl), add the white chocolate and stir occasionally. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate or it will seize and become lumpy. Once melted, remove from the heat, and allow to cool slightly.
4. Place the gelatin into a heatproof bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of cold water and soak for 10 minutes until soft, then place over a saucepan of simmering water until dissolved.
5. Stir together the melted chocolate and yogurt. Stir in the gelatin, then fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture over the biscuit crumb base, and spread out evenly. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit

A Fruit Dessert

Fruit Tapioca

Fruit Tapioca

9 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups baby pearl tapioca. (Let it soak in some of the water for at least a couple of hours so it will cook faster.
4 small boxes Jell-O
1 cup sugar
Fruit—as much or as little as you want.

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add tapioca. Cook until clear; keep stirring while it boils. Remove from heat and add Jell-O and sugar. Add fruit.

To see my books visit
To see my other blog visit