Posts filed under ‘Recipes’

Rhubarb aka Pie Plant

Outside it’s cool and rainy. Inside, the oven is 400 degrees F and the first cobbler of the season is bubbling away.

For the past couple of weeks, every time I pass the rhubarb plants I’ve been like the witch eyeing up Hansel and Gretel: fat enough to eat yet? Today the answer was “yes!”

Recently I found out that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s misadventure with pie-making in “The First Four Years” involved rhubarb. In the book, Laura calls it “pie plant,” but it’s rhubarb. If you remember back to the story, Laura–a new wife–is cooking for the threshing crew, and forgets to add sugar to the pie. Hello, sour.

If you’d like to check out my favorite rhubarb cobbler recipe, it’s in one of my old blog posts:

And, since there’s no sun for a photo today, I’ll share a photo I took of a cobbler from seasons past.

• tess •


May 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

Finally Fall Foods

Do you love it when the weather turns and it’s time to bake again? We’ve been waiting extra long for the autumn weather here. No complaints, because I started baking anyway. I mean, we’ve got apples and pumpkins sitting around. Let’s get it going, already.

Assembling apple crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe

Lentil soup and cornbread from scratch

Homemade pizza with the last of the summer basil


Loving the scones with jam and the fine china. ;-)


November 15, 2010 at 10:46 pm 3 comments

Chocolate Dogs and Cakes

I could write about chocolate every day. But this week I’m limiting myself to one post on chocolate.

Chocolate Topic #1

We have a new dog! When you see her picture, I hope you get the reference to chocolate.

This is Dharma, adopted from our local humane society. She is a two year old, 39 pound Chocolate Lab mix. Still not sure what the mix is. We are her third family and can’t help but wonder if she was harshly treated because she has taken awhile to stop flinching when someone makes a sudden move toward her.

Dharma is sweet and goofy like most Labs, but not hyper and destructive like Marley.

I can absolutely verify that she does not smell like chocolate.

I’ll admit I had been hoping that our next dog would have spin-able fur. Unfortunately, there will be no Dharma yarn forthcoming. But I do love having a dog with fur that doesn’t tangle.

Ahh…felt-free dog.

Chocolate Topic #2

Here’s your reward for hanging with me through the dog fur and dog smell discussion. Real chocolate.

If you are a WordPress user, you might have seen this featured on the front page. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this idea before–single serving chocolate cake microwaved in a mug. I lifted this recipe from ovenhaven’s blog and can’t wait to try it, though I’ll probably put my cinnamon in my coffee instead of in my cake.

Five-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
(adapted from here)

50g dark chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add flour, ground cinnamon and sugar to a small mixing bowl, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and mix well. Add the melted chocolate and mix again.
  3. Pour the mixture into a large microwavable coffee mug. Microwave for 2 minutes on medium, 1 minute on high. It should be cooked (skewer test comes out with moist crumbs), but still a lil moist. Remember, it will continue to cook while standing.
  4. Allow to cool a little, give yourself a pat on the back, and indulge!

It’s good I have the dog to help me walk off this recipe, since I can see this becoming a summer dessert fav.

• t •

July 19, 2010 at 11:54 am 5 comments

Rhubarb–How I Love Thee

Oh frabjous day! It’s rhubarb cobbler time!

When we bought our house, it came with a single rhubarb plant in the backyard. That was the deal-clincher, I think.  Shortly after moving in, I planted two more rhubarb plants. Just enough to keep one family in rhubarb cobblers during spring and fall.

My love affair with rhubarb began as a child visiting the farms of aunts and uncles in Northern Iowa, where rhubarb doesn’t just grow, it conquers and dominates. Resistance is futile. So, no one really cares if children break off a stalk and munch on the crispy veggie, pulling it apart fiber by fiber, like so much string cheese, puckering at its crunchy tanginess.

In Missouri, where I grew up, rhubarb lives a less abundant and more precarious life in the clay soil and southern heat.

But now my yard is in the northern land. The land of ice and snow. And rhubarb.

Here’s my very favorite-est recipe, handed down from my Iowa aunt and godmother, Joan W.

Rhubarb Cobbler
Grease a deep casserole dish. (Mine is like a 9″x9″ but with high sides.)

Finely chop enough rhubarb to make 4 cups and set aside. (NOTE ADDED 6/13/10: If you’re short on rhubarb, or want a less tangy taste, try substituting chopped, fresh apple. It works great!)

Then combine into a batter (I do this right in my greased casserole):
1 c flour
2 t baking power
dash of salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 c sugar
2 T oil (I use canola)
3/4 c milk
1 t vanilla (optional)

Batter goes into the casserole, then sprinkle the chopped rhubarb evenly over it.

Finally, heat 1 c water until very, very hot (or boiling) and dissolve 1/2 c sugar into it. Pour this over the rhubarb and batter. (No, really. Trust me. This will work.)

Bake at 400 degrees F for approx. 35 minutes, until bubbly all over and the top and edges have begun to brown slightly. Serve warm or cold. A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this a transcendent experience!

Here’s how mine looks after it has cooled slightly. It’s still too hot to eat here, or else you’d see parts missing.

Rhubarb Cobbler...Life Just Got a Whole Lot Better

Do you have a rhubarb recipe? story? complaint? Let’s hear it!  If it doesn’t fit into the comments, you can e-mail me at: coldhandswarmart [at] yahoo [dot] com and I’ll try to work it into another post.

• t •

June 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm 6 comments

Time Out for a Chocolate Syrup Recipe

[Stickler Warning: The words “syrup” and “sauce” will be used interchangeably in this post. If you’re not up to the inconsistency, you might want to skip this one, or plan to lie down afterward.]

Chocolate. It’s about the only thing that will voluntarily lure me away from my wool.

Last week I was enduring the torture known as “grocery shopping” and spotted the chocolate ice cream toppings on the shelf. One second later I was holding a squeeze bottle in my hand. (I still don’t quite know how it got there.) Then I made the mistake of reading the ingredients. Somewhere between the guar gum and polysorbitatolinal (OK, I just made that up) I think there might have been some chocolate.  I sighed. I put the syrup back.

I just can’t justify buying that junk when my homemade syrup is cheap, easy, almost fat-free, and darn good. You gotta try this.

Making chocolate sauce

Making chocolate sauce

Where’s-the-fat Chocolate Sauce

In a small saucepan or 4-cup microwave-safe container (not plastic), stir together:

3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa powder
2/3 c. evaporated skim milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)

Cook and stir over medium heat until sauce is thick and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. (If microwaving, watch it constantly and stir frequently. It’s prone to boiling over.) Remove from heat and add:

1 t vanilla

Let cool and store in refrigerator. Try not to eat it with a spoon as if it were a chilled chocolate soup.

That’s it! Note the lack of guar gum. This recipe is pretty flexible, too. Sometimes I skip the vanilla. Often I make it with regular milk (1%, 2%, whatever I’ve got). It turns out a lot less thick when made with the regular milk, but just as tasty.

• t •

May 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm 1 comment

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