Simple advice for a better life.

My favorite pancakes are Pan Apple Fritters   (pancakes), made from scratch, without using any premixed pancake flour.

My children make these for their families and friends, and now one of their friends suggested to use buttermilk and chocolate chips, hence this recipe today.

Actually I did some research regarding the substitution of buttermilk for milk in recipes where baking powder and baking soda are used.

This is what I found out:

substituting buttermilk for regular milk when using baking powder, as it upsets the balance of alkali to acid.

As a result, I removed the baking powder from my original recipe, and increased the baking soda in this recipe  as buttermilk is substituted for regular milk.

You are welcome to check out the original recipe for Pan Apple Fritter (click on the highlighted link at the top of this post), for tips and cooking technique.


  • 2 cups  flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 – 1 1/2  tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or less, as per your taste)
  • 1/2 chocolate chips, or chunks (or more if you like)
  • Vegetable oil for frying (I use canola oil)


  1. Sift the flour with salt and baking soda.  Set aside.
  2. Beat the egg with sugar until light and creamy.
  3. Mix in melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Mix in the buttermilk.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to incorporate.  Under mix rather than over mix.
  6. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Heat 2 Tbs vegetable oil on medium heat (see TIP)..
  8. Drop about 2 heaping spoonfuls of pancake batter onto hot oil, spacing them about 1 inch apart, so they don’t stick together during cooking.
  9. Fry a minute or so, until you see air bubbles forming on top of pancakes, then breaking up leaving small craters, and the edges are getting lightly browned.
  10. Flip them  over to the other side (away from you, using a spatula, to prevent splattering on yourself), and fry a minute longer.
  11. Remove from the pan onto paper towel, to soak up any extra oil.
  12. Serve these hot, with your choice of syrup, jam, or hot chocolate fudge.
  13. I served mine with hot chocolate fudge AND maple syrup……yum!



TIP: To test your oil for readiness, once you see the oil begins to move round slightly, drop a small drop of batter on the pan and if it starts to sizzle and bubble around it, the oil is hot enough for frying.

You may also choose cooking spray over oil.


You can never go wrong with a jello dessert, especially for parties with mostly ladies, since even though it is not calorie free, it feels lighter than baked goods.

Actually you can make it lighter than my recipe, which I already posted previously for only three layers jello dessert, by using sugar free jello, 1/3 fat or fat free cream cheese.

I already posted a recipe for this jello dessert (click this link)  with only three layers, but decided to share a photo of 5 layers, which adds one more layer of jello, and you split the cheese mixture in half, to create two cheese layers.

I prefer the 5 layers, since the cream layers are thinner, and complement the jello layers more favorably.

If you made this jello dessert, please let me know which one you prefer, the three layers or the five layers.

Thank you.



This tomato soup recipe originated from a picture I found on Pinterest.

After reviewing the ingredients, I realized that I had most of them on hand, thus a perfect time to try it out.

I cut the recipe in half, and made the measurements more user-friendly.

My recipe yields 4-5 servings.


  • 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 T Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (I used Yellow onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or chicken bullion and water)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1 tsp of chopped basil leaves

Baked whole peeled tomatoes.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place tomatoes, with juices, in a casserole dish, add Balsamic Vinegar, Olive oil, sugar and salt.
  3. Bake tomatoes for 45 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Meanwhile, saute the chopped onions in 1 Tbs of olive oil, until translucent, mixing frequently to prevent burning.
  5. Add the chopped garlic and saute for a minute longer, stirring often.
  6. In a medium pot mix the tomato paste, soy sauce, and sugar.
  7. Mix in  the chicken broth.
  8. Add the sautéed onion mixture, and set a side.
  9. Once the tomatoes are done baking, puree them in a food processor, or a blender.
  10. Add the tomato puree to the chicken stock, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Turn off heat.
  12. Mix in the heavy cream.

Serve it hot, garnished with chopped basil leaves, and accompanied by a piece of  crusty fresh bread.









New Year Resolutions – Humor

Someone shared this with me via email, so I instantaneously decided to share it with all of you to have a good laugh.

After all ” laughter is the best medicine”.



Love this Chinese Doctor!

Q:   Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A:   Heart only good for so many beats, and that it… Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q:   Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A:   Oh no. Wine made from fruit. Fruit very good. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Grain good too. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two body, your ratio two to one.

Q:   What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A:   Can’t think of one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain…good!

Q:   Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A:   YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?

Q :   Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A:   Oh no! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: You crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q:   Is swimming good for your figure?
A:   If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.

Q:   Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A:   Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!

Well… I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – chardonay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO, what a ride!!”


For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1.   The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

2.   The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

3.   The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

4.   The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

5.   The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like.

Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Eastern Europeans harvest their own poppy plants, thus have plenty of organic, home grown poppy seeds to use in their cooking and baking.

I already posted one Poppy Seed Sheet Cake recipe, and now have another one for you to try out.

This one uses butter rather than oil,  and larger quantities of similar ingredients, making it lighter in color and texture, and giving it a buttery, cake like taste.  It is the Solo recipe, with some modifications.

Here again, I would like to stress that this sheet cake is NOT very tall, even though it looks like it is, due to the close up of the photo.  Most sheet cakes are not very tall in general.

This cake rises well during baking, but drops to 1.5 – 1.75 inches in height, once completely cooled.


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 can (12.5 oz) Solo brand Ground Poppy Seed Filling
  • 4 large eggs, separated (keep the whites refrigerated for later use)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used lemon extract)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting the top of cake before serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease, and flour, a 10 x 2 x13 baking pan, and set aside. (I use Crisco shortening to grease my cake pans)
  3. In a large mixer bowl place the room temperature butter and granulated white sugar, and beat well until light and fluffy.
  4. Add Poppy Seed Filling, and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add the egg yolks one at a time, and mix well after each addition.
  6. Mix in vanilla extract and sour cream, until incorporated.
  7. In a separate mixing bowl sift the flour with baking soda and salt.
  8. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  9. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  10. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
  11. Pour the cake batter into the greased/floured pan, smooth the top to spread it evenly.
  12. Bake in preheated oven, on a middle oven rack,  for 45 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  13. Remove from the oven, and cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  14. After 10 minutes, transfer the cake from the baking pan onto the wire rack, and cool completely.
  15. Cut into serving pieces, and dust with powdered sugar before serving.


This cake also freezes well.

Must be wrapped well, to prevent freezer burn.








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