No-Bake Pumpkin Pudding

*Before starting, taste test pumpkin pie filling. If spices are too strong, use plain canned pumpkin and add your own cinnamon, ginger, and cloves at the end.

1 pint half and half

1/2 cup water + unflavored gelatine

1 can pumpkin pie filling

1/4 cup (or to taste) maple syrup

½ tsp vanilla

In ½ cup, room temperature, water add 2 tbsp unflavored gelatine. Stir with fork to break up clumps. Let sit till firm. (If not firm after a few minutes, add more gelatine and stir again.)  If it holds in place when held at a 90 degree angle, it’s firm enough.

In a pot, over medium heat, add half and half (whipping cream will also work). When it starts to bubble, add geletin, whisking constantly for about 1 minute.

Add pumpkin pie filling, continue whisking for another minute. Remove from heat, add vanilla and syrup. Pour through a strainer into small dessert cups.

Refrigerate over night.

Mini – Pineapple Upside Down Cakes


The Cake


2/3 cup sugar (can substitute applesauce….but may need to add more flour if it makes the mixture too ‘soupy.’)

4 tablespoons pineapple juice

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

The Topping

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons)

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 (14 ounce) can pineapple rings or crushed pineapple (drained)

maraschino cherries

Set oven at 350°. Spray or coat muffin tins with oil (nut oils such as almond or hazelnut work well.)

In a mixing bowl, blend together wet ingredients; eggs, sugar, and pineapple juice. Beat for 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients and mix till smooth.

In a sauce pan on low, melt  butter then add the brown sugar – stir constantly.  Remove heat once sugar is melted. *Watch this step closely so that the sugar doesn’t burn.

Build your mini cakes from the bottom up. 1st add a tablespoon of the butter / sugar mixture to each muffin tin. Next, place  cherry in the middle, top this with the pineapple then add enough batter to fill the muffin up to the half-way mark.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a wooden pick in the center of cakes comes out clean.

five minute ficitonShort Fiction paired with the Recipe

Sarah’s Words – a woman uses baking to express her feelings

Sarah picked up the salt dish. As she held the small, decorative container in the palm of her hand, her thoughts drifted to another time. Aunt Rose gave this to me when I was twelve. She laughed so hard when I told her how I used to make fairy stew in it with the long-handled glass spoon. The fine lines at the edges of Sarah’s eyes deepened when she smiled.


Sarah gathered a small mound of the crystals between her forefinger and thumb. She gently rubbed them together over a pile of four so that that the Celtic Sea Salt would distribute evenly. In Aunt Rose’s, day the salt in this container would have been Morton’s.

These Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes are going to be so cute!  she thought as she hefted the bowl into the crook of her arm. Her hand and arm began to move in circular motions. The happy family recollections faded. A small frown appeared b as Sarah thought about why she was making the cakes.

Sarah didn’t consider herself an overly emotional person. She was proud of the fact that she was known for being ‘on point,’ extremely focused, dependable and very hard working. When people around her were suffering, her standard response was a pat on the back, and a gruff, “Just keep going, it will pass,” type of comment.

But this time was different.  Sarah had a hard time grappling with the reason for the gathering that she and her family were about to attend. Her standard responses would not apply here. For a well-educated and well-spoken person, Sarah was at a loss. She, truly, did not know what to say. So she poured her love, comfort and concern into the little cakes. She hoped that showing up, and the care that went into the baking of them would make a difference.

Coconut Pudding – Cocada

Fantastic coconut flavor…but the texture needs some improvement.pudding

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 large sticks cinnamon

1/4 pound grated cocoanut

1 quart milk

3 egg yolks, well beaten

3/4 cups cold milk

Boil sugar, water and cinnamon together for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon, add coconut and cook until the coconut absorbs all of the syrup and is dry. Bring the quart of milk to a boil in a deep saucepan, add coconut and cook mixture for an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Mix beaten eggs with cold milk, add to pudding and continue cooking slowly, stirring constantly, until thick, about 15 minutes. Pour into buttered platter and chill before serving. This pudding will keep a long time in a cool place. Serves 6. A nice variation for Cocada is to use 1 cup chopped walnuts instead of coconut.

*Lisa’s notes – I used 3 cinnamon sticks during the boiling process, coconut milk instead of cow milk, and added a teaspoon of vanilla. The flavor for this pudding is fantastic!

However; the chewieness (from the coconut) didn’t work. I like a velvety, smooth, melt-in-your mouth texture. Because the coconut and cinnamon/sugar water were very coarse, Blending it in the blender helped…some.

The coconut milk did not set up like dairy, so I used tapioca and chia seeds as thickeners.

In this case, I think the encaustic (hot wax) art piece that I created with this recipe turned out better than the real thing.  The taste was great but the texture needs more experimentation.

Recipe from ‘Life at Home in Mexico’ cookbook 1944.cocada - coconut pudding

One Bowl Devils-Food Cake – Grandma & Jeanette

1-3/4 cup sifted flourchocolate cake
1-1/3 cup sugar
2/3  cup cocoa powder
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup spry
1 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Sift dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Drop in spry, add milk, vanilla and eggs and mix all until smooth.
Bake in 2 deep 8-inch spry-coated layer pans at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.


Jeanette ( 3rd Daughter, child#5) : This recipe card was written in my grade-school handwriting, so I’ve had it for a long time. There seemed to be a lot of dessert-making when we were growing up; we had a lot of well-used stand-by recipes. Dad seemed to insist that there should be dessert after every dinner, PLUS, it seemed to be the assigned job of “the girls” to make desserts for “the boys” to bring back to college when they came home every two weeks.


Easy Chocolate Frosting – Jeanette



Cupcake_(1)Melt 3 or 4 squares Bakers Unsweetened chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter.
Measure 4 cups sifted confectioners sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 7 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Blend. Add hot chocolate mixture and mix well.

Jeanettes notes: This frosting will harden and make a layer like fudge on top of your cake. I think this is wonderful. If you only like cake for the frosting, you can pull the the frosting just like separating an oreo!

1979 ray don jeanette mary grandma aaren adam

Butter Cookies – From Grandma’s ‘Go To’ Cookbook

1 1/2 cups sifted flouremil and bertha peterson
1 1/2 teasp. baking powder
1/2 teasp.salt

1/2 cup shortening
One cup sugar

1 egg
1 teasp. Vanilla
1 tblsp. milk or cream

Add more flour for dough stiffening.


Roll 1/8″ thick on floured board Cut.

Bake 375 approx 8 minutes

Watch carefully to avoid burning

Sprinkle with sugar before baking
Grandma’s ‘Go To’ Cookbook

brennan christmas cookies

Pumpkin Pie – Grandma’s

2 eggs slightly beatenfour generatins
1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 2/3 evaporated milk

2 – 9″ pie shells

preheat oven

bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes

reduce heat to 350 degrees for 45 minutes

dianne 4 years

dianne 8th grade


Bread Pudding – Grandma’s

6 slices bread – buttered and cut into 1 inch squares
3/4 qt. milk
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
few raisins

mix all – bake at 325 degrees for one hour


Betty’s Notes:  Peggy found this.  Originally from wife of one of Harry’s cousins – Norbert or Vincent way back in 1940.

grandpa's family

grandpas siblings

Chocolate Cake – Grandma’s

2 cups flourpeggys 9th bd
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder


1 2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/3 cup water

mix all together

Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes




peggys birthday


lisa grandma grandpa