Browse Month by July 2017
Baking, Writing

Countdown to Release Day & Chocolate Cupcakes

Let the countdown begin! In eight months The Uninvited Corpse will be released. Pinch me. 🙂 I thought we’d have a little tasty fun with the countdown. So today it’s all about chocolate cupcakes, which I love, love, love.

These cupcakes are so easy to make that you’ll never be tempted to reach for a box mix again. I know I’m not. This recipe can also make a heavenly chocolate cake. Ready to bake? Awesome!


My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  1. – Preheat oven to 35 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. - Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking
  3. powder, and salt. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with paddle attachments; add the eggs and yolk,
  4. then the milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined,
  5. about 3 minutes; scrape down sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. – Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
  7. – Bake until a cake tester inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, about 20 –minutes.
  8. – Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool completely. Cool then frost.


Baking, Quick Breads

Irish Soda Bread

A few days before St. Patrick’s day I was on the phone with a friend chatting about my pup’s recovery (he did amazing and fingers crossed for his next follow-up appointment) from a surgical procedure and she was interrupted by her husband who had a question. He wanted to know if I was baking Irish Soda Bread (he’s not Irish but he loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day since I moved in across the street). I said, “of course I am.” It’s one of my favorite breads and I bake it throughout the year, not just on the Wearin’ of the Green day. I was first introduced to Irish Soda bread by my uncle’s second wife. Born and bred in Ireland she moved to the United States in her twenties and kept along with her brogue her Irish traditions. Each year she bought Irish Soda bread from the nuns and that’s how I got introduced to the bread. Even though my family is Irish, no one ever baked Irish Soda bread. Go figure. Well, I set to correct that terrible error and I’ve been baking this bread for years.

I bake my bread on a pizza stone. I love the texture to the bread when it’s baked on the stone. There’s a lot of speculation of the meaning of the cross that is slashed into the dough prior to baking. There are some that say the cross wards off the devil, others say that it lets the fairies out and others who claim that it was an easy way to portion the bread. I select #2, letting the little Irish fairies out.  When you bake your loaf, you can decide. 🙂


The bread comes together quickly so it’s perfect for any meal.

Whenever I bake this bread I think fondly of my late Aunt Bridie. She was a tough old broad with a big heart. That’s the one awesome thing about cooking, even if you’re standing at the counter in your kitchen by yourself, you’re never alone because our recipes keep the spirits and hearts of our beloved ones with us.

If you haven’t tried baking Irish Soda bread before I hope you try this recipe. I’m sure you’ll love it. If you have baked this bread before, who’s recipe do you use? Is it one that has been handed down or did you get it from some place else?


Irish Soda Bread
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir well to
  3. mix.
  4. Add the butter and combine until well-blended into the flour mixture.
  5. Stir in raisins.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk ad egg together and mix into the dough mixture with a
  7. rubber spatula.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and fold it over itself several times, shaping
  9. it into a round loaf. Transfer the loaf onto a cooking sheet covered with parchment paper or
  10. onto a pizza stone and cut a cross in top.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 15-20 minutes
  12. more until slightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  13. Cool the bread on a rack and serve with plenty of sweet butter.


Summer Reads

The flip-flops are out, the sunblock is all ready to be applied and it’s time to chill with a good book. Summer and reading go hand-in-hand so it’s always a good thing to have a few books ready to be tucked into a beach bag. Since I launched my newsletter in January I shared some of my favorite reads, with a bonus share of 4 books in June in preparation of the summer reading season. Today I’m sharing those books with you. Happy Reading!