Biscoff Spread Blondies

 I fell in love with Biscoff Cookies, it seems a life time ago, and when I started seeing them in our local Kroger, and it was like seeing an old friend! I started bringing them home in small quantities and noticed they were disappearing quickly! Turns out my family is as big a fan as I! A few months ago, I noticed when I was purchasing our favorite all natural peanut butter, there above on the next shelf was the familiar red, white and gold label from the cookies, what?



This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mom IQ (Burst Media) . I have received product and compensation for the post. Any opinion expressed is my own and I have developed a custom recipe for the product.  You may find more information about my disclosures and policies here.

Well, if you know me, I didn’t have to think long on this one and snagged a jar ‘just to try it out’ (yeah right) and I didn’t get the groceries put up at home before I’d opened the jar, dipped in a spoon and found myself just shy of heaven! (I hid the jar, btw, I’m selfish that way)

Since then, I’ve noticed the spread in almost all our local grocery stores right there in the peanut butter section, but if you need help locating the product, try the store locator to find it where you live!


Recently, I was contacted by the company to tell you about Biscoff Spread and a fabulous contest they have going on. Knowing how much I love the product and how many different ways I’ve used it since I found it, I thought you’d all enjoy a fresh recipe and some more information on it as well as some glorious details on their contest. When the product arrived here at our home, my husband immediately opened the jar and dug in a spoon, he’s as in love with it as I am!


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Italian Cream Cake

Becky left me an email earlier this month, wanting  my recipe for Italian Cream Cake. Well, as it happens, that’s my favorite birthday cake, and guess what ? My birthday was this week, so I made one. And can I just say. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!  This is layer on layer of  to die for flavor !

Much more Southern in heritage than Italian, this cake’s close cousin is the Hummingbird Cake that I dearly love as well. It’s popularly served at weddings, baptisms, birthdays and holidays. And is so moist, it almost melts in your mouth!

The  recipe itself appeared in Southern Living Magazine somewhere in about 2002. Its one of those I bothered to write onto a recipe card, instead of destroying the magazine (which ultimately took a swim in the gulf thanks to hurricane Ivan). I’m going to have to rewrite that card for my box now, its getting a little tattered.  The addition of brown sugar gives the cake its caramel color and flavor.  Don’t let the ‘steps’ in this one throw you off, it is pretty simple to assemble, you just have to get your ‘ducks in a row’. 

Go ahead, grab a print of this one, and you’ll be the hit of your next holiday party!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Italian Cream Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A Favorite Southern Cake For Birthday’s or Christmas. Adapted From Southern Living Holidays 2002 (or thereabouts)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 12
  • 3 cups shaved coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Simply Quick Caramel Frosting
  • Simply Quick Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place shaved coconut in a single layer in on a cookie sheet
  3. Place pecans on a second cookie sheet.
  4. Bake coconut and pecans at the same time 5 to 7 minutes or until coconut is toasted and pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring each halfway through cooking.
  5. Using a heavy stand mixer beat butter and shortening at medium speed until fluffy
  6. gradually add granulated and brown sugars, beating well.
  7. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  8. Add vanilla, beating until blended.
  9. Combine flour and baking soda
  10. add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  11. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  12. Stir in pecans and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut.
  13. Using another bowl,beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter.
  14. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  15. Bake at 350° for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  16. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  17. Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting. Immediately spread frosting between layers and on top of cake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting over sides of cake; press 3 cups toasted shaved coconut onto sides of cake.

 By the way, for those of you who have asked,  you can subscribe to  Southern Living (1-year auto-renewal) or get  SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine instantly on your Android device.  

Southern Living Magazine is as much a part of the South as sweet tea, ask any southern woman. Odds are fairly high she’ll have at least the last 6 months of the magazine on her shelf. I love the magazine personally, and I think you will to. They have not sponsored this post or provided me any payment to mention them.

Orange Candied Pecans

Here in the South, we’re blessed with wonderful goodness like fresh veggies, fruits  (oh the peaches in summertime!) and nuts! Lots of Nuts. We have acres and acres allotted to pecan groves when the property isn’t relegated to peaches, so its only natural (to me at least) that the favorite ingredient in Southern desserts comes down to  pecans!



We always seemed to have plenty of nuts of all kinds available during the fall and winter. Daddy was forever coming home from the farmers market with big white bags holding all sorts of nuts that weren’t grown locally. I developed, at an early age a love of things like hazelnuts, black walnuts, hickory nuts and more.  Granny would always have  fresh pecans in abundance for all of her baking and cookie making. And she always cracked a few just for us kids to taste.  Occassionally, she’d crack a pound or so and clean them well then  toast them ever so lightly in a little melted butter. What a treat, warm from the oven!

My Aunt Betty, famous for all of her desserts and goodies during the holidays, would make wonderful glazed pecans crusted with egg whites and sugar. So this recipe for Orange Candied Pecans came into being as a bit of a departure from our family traditions but one that is loved dearly by all to this day.  As with all Southern recipes  the list of ingredients is simple and straight forward. You’ll notice most Southern recipes have short lists of ingredients, and the shorter the list the higher the quality of ingredients must be used. Pecans are the star here, but use the finest organic ingredients you can find. This recipe is splendidly simple, and just perfect for holiday parties and snacks!


5.0 from 2 reviews

Orange Candied Pecans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vintage Southern Flavor Perfect for Parties or Snacking!
Recipe type: Sweets/Desserts
Cuisine: Southern
  • 2½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 scant cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 lb. Diamond Pecan Halves, shelled
  • Rind of 1 orange, grated
  1. Place Pecan halves into large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix lightly with orange rind.
  3. Cook sugar, milk and vinegar at medium heat until syrup forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water. (watch and stir carefully 15-20 minutes is my experience)
  4. Remove from heat and pour over pecans and rind.
  5. Beat the mixture until it begins to sugar(crystallize) and quickly pour on waxed paper lined cookie sheet spreading out carefully (mixture is HOT).
  6. Separate nuts with two forks when candy has cooled.

Candy making is affected by the weather. It is impossible to make good hard candies in a moist, hot atmosphere. They become sticky, then sugary. So make these on a cool, dry day.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, bring to room temp before serving.


100 years of holiday traditions you just don’t mess with.

Classic family recipes call for a classic ingredient. Diamond of California nuts.

The only nut good enough for your mom’s mom’s recipes is the only one that should be in yours.

Diamond of California. Premium quality nuts since 1912. 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Diamond of California via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Diamond of California

Simple Homemade Granola Recipe

Welcome ‘Yall to day three of our party! Read on to enter and don’t forget to enter the first two days giveaways here and here.


I love oatmeal. Yep, I said it. Not everyone does, admittedly. For all of my childhood I  equated oatmeal to wallpaper paste. Thick, and gooey and not very tasty unless it was laden with brown sugar and cinnamon or a pat of butter and regular old table sugar. Not too appetizing at the least. But that is what it was. Fast forward to my own kitchen and grocery buying habits.

I discovered McCanns Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal. And I loved it!  No more mush, it actually had flavor, minus the traditional condiments! I was elated. One drawback, however, it wasn’t a fast breakfast for a growing, working family. We mostly ate it on the weekends when there was time to prepare.  Fast forward again to experimenting with cooking in a crockpot. Got it done and we could have oatmeal mid week if we thought far enough ahead.

One more fast forward to today and  we have Rolled Irish Oats… same flavor, same tooth..much easier to work with! I’m happy as a kid in a candy store!

And now I can make my granola with the best, non GMO oats. I’m a happy camper. I want you to be happy too! So here’s the recipe for today. Load up your own print of it then read on for today’s giveaway!

Homemade Granola
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A Simple Healthy Snack or Hearty Breakfast
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole roasted almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • ¾ cup shredded fresh coconut
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Tupelo honey
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.
Substitute slivered almonds, cashews or any nut you like for the nuts in this recipe. Dark Raisins or Yellow Raisins work equally well. Add in or takeaway ingredients according to your family’s tastes.



Today, while I’m celebrating my  Southern Roots, I want to introduce you all to a friend,  another small business owner, cohort, and the definition of “Southernness” Ben South. We met almost 14 years ago, after he’d developed his line of Southernness products, which I believe sprang from the research he did on defining Southernness. Ben South, was the first person to fully define the distinctiveness of the American South with his trademarked “Seven Signs of Southernness” which he drafted after leading a $2.3 million study of “The South in the 21st Century.” I fell in love with Ben back then (and his 7 signs) and I’ve shopped his items for gifts ever since.

Today, one lucky commenter will win this  kitchen apron from Ben South’s Southernness Collection:

One of but many products in Ben’s store that adequately express the sassiness of THIS southern bell!  ‘Yall should click over to his online shoppe and check out his new candle fragrance “Hissy Fit” and get the story behind all his delightful  “Southernness”! You can find him irreverently posting on Facebook (not for the faint of heart or those lacking a   funny bone) and look for his products in your local specialty stores .

So here are the Rules. Yes we have to have rules, ‘yall! [donotprint]

1. Leave A Comment On This Post telling me about your ‘inner Southern Belle’ and why she would love to have this darling apron.

2. See #1

Of course I’d love it if ‘yall would pin this post and folllow me there. And I’d love it even more if you’d tweet and facebook this post and follow me there too! But those aren’t mandatory. And don’t forget to enter the first two days giveaways here and here. Oh and there are some great recipes on those pages too!

This contest will end on April 17, 2012 at midnight and I’ll draw a random comment number and announce the winner on April 18th. Good luck ‘yall!  CONTEST CLOSED

 disclaimer: I have a non-material relationship with the company (Southernness). Lawdy knows he’d have a hissy fit if he heard elsewise.  ‘Yall just go visit his store

An Apple A Day…

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Steve Jobs


Fall brings on football, tailgating, pumpkins, scarecrows and apples!   A delicous way to get that apple a day!

Fresh Apple Cake  [print_link]

Summary: Sinfully delicious? Nahhhh but good to the core!  Use what ever varieties of apples you have on hand. Go ahead mix em up, the flavors are yummy!

From the kitchen of : Geraldine Olive, Bhm, AL


  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a large tube or bundt pan.
  3. Sift together salt, baking soda and flour.
  4. In mixer bowl, blend oil and sugar well.
  5. Slowly add dry sifted ingredients into oil and sugar mixture. (Batter will be stiff at this point)
  6. Whisk eggs together lightly and add to batter.
  7. Reduce speed on mixer and add nuts and vanilla to batter.
  8. Pour batter slowly into prepared pan, shifting carefully so that batter is even .
  9. Bake for 1 1/2 hours @250 degrees.
  10. Cool.
  11. Invert on to cake plate.
  12. Add topping

Quick notes

You can substitute walnuts for pecans and serve as a coffee cake  with no topping as well.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

Copyright © Simple Plate 2004-2011.







Praline Topping


  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. Bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat
  2. Whisk constantly as it boils for 1 minute
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Stir in Vanilla
  5. Gradually add in powdered sugar beating with hand mixer until smooth.
  6. Mix gently for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened and cooled.
  7. Spoon over cooled cake
  8. Sprinkle with chopped pecans

Quick notes

You’ll need your hand mixer for this one. And be sure to remove the frosting from the heat before adding in vanilla.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

Copyright © Simple Plate 2004-2011.


This recipe was given to me by a dear friend who’s mother deserves ALL the credit for this yumminess!  Ms Geraldine was a true southern lady! A wonderful wife and mother. We loved her dearly and she is missed, but not forgotten!


Creamy Caramel Fudge

There’s not an ounce of chocolate in this fudge so if you’re looking for chocolate move along. If you’re a caramel lover, you’ve come to the right place! Kids love this fudge and so do the grown ups! Its super rich but oh so wickedly delicious.

I started experimenting with this recipe when I was a ‘poor’ graduate student and buying extras like chocolate cocoa powder were just not in the plan.

I’ve heard this called Russian Fudge (guess Chocolate was an issue for them too) but the recipe calls for corn syrup, which I cannot stand. And I think this is probably similar to what some call RedHead Fudge (sorry Vicki)(though I’m not sure). What I do know, is that this is incredibly rich and delicious. Caramel lovers will gobble it up! My recipe here is a little extended from my original version, which included melting the brown sugar with the white sugar milk mixture. The candy came out a little grainy, which I think was the sugar never being melted enough. So, I did the simple syrup and it worked! I use real butter, real vanilla and half and half. I’ve not tested this with margarine or skim milk so I couldn’t tell you the results. But you’re making candy, not diet food, so go ahead and make the full on recipe!

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