Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


Homemade Churros

IMG_8617Inspired by a photo of my daughter at Disneyland eating a nice big churro, I wanted to make them at home.  It could not be that hard right?

I spent much of this week looking through old cooking magazines that I had in a box, looking for inspiration of new recipes to try, when I came across churros in the Feb/March 2016 edition of Cook’s Country. It did not look difficult to make.  They did not turn out an inch thick though, more like half and inch thick and some of them bubbled and looked like cacti by the time they were finished cooking, but they were delicious.  My hubby, who is not normally a fan of churros, really liked these, so I guess they are a winner.

The first time I made this, I forgot to add the sugar to the water – and as I was filling the piping bag with dough, I realized this… I threw out the dough and started over.  Churros are pretty easy to make. A few tips, don’t overfill the piping bags – I had a hard time piping it with a tip on, so I just removed the tip so they did not have the fancy ridges, but they were still quite delicious – and I would make them again.  The recipe said to refrigerate them before cooking, but I found that the ones that had come back to room temperature had fried up puffier and had a better texture, so I would skip that.  Also don’t use a candy thermometer that does not have high temperatures… I overheated the oil and my thermometer broke! So, don’t do that!

So-Cal Churros

adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine (Feb/Mar 2016)

Makes 18 Churros (depending on thickness and length)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil
  • Coating:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray liberally with a cooking spray.

In a medium pot, over medium-high heat, bring water, butter, salt, butter, and vanilla to a boil.  Turn off the burner and pull the pot off heat.  Add the 2 cups of flour and use a rubber spatula to combine the flour until there are no more white streaks of flour.  Transfer the dough to a stand mixer and beat on low for one to two minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until it is combined before adding the second egg.  Increase speed to medium and beat for one minute.

Fill the piping bag with half of the batter and pipe 6 long logs on the  parchment lined pan, cutting the ends with kitchen scissors. Cook’s Country magazine had a step to refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes to an hour, but I think they fry up better when the dough is at room temperature.

Preheat 2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet to 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fry 3 to 6 at a time in the oil. You may need to use tongs to separate them as they fry so they don’t get stuck together.  Fry them about two to three minutes on each side before removing them to a paper towel lined plate to drain some of the fat off. Repeat with remaining churros.

In a glass pie dish or large shallow bowl, combine the half cup of sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Once the fried churros are cool enough to handle toss them in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

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Mohnflesserl – Austrian Poppy Twist



Growing up in Austria, I loved the fresh baked breads.  My absolute favorite was Mohnflesserl – a savory roll that had been braided and was topped with poppy seeds.  Recently I wanted to make my own at home.  I found a recipe in German and translated it into English.  Before I post the recipe, I have to share a funny story.  My mother would pronounce it Mohnfresserl – and growing up that is what I called it.  Upon my return to Austria in 2011, I landed at the airport in Linz, Austria and promptly ordered myself one, since my ride had not arrived yet.  I did not understand why the lady behind the counter was smirking.  Later I learned, I had been saying it wrong all my life – fressen means to eat like an animal would, flesserl is a braid; I laughed at myself (and my mother).  No wonder my web searches to find a recipe for Mohnfresserl gave me no results…

I realize my last blog post was in October of 2017 – life has been keeping me busy with homeschooling and a new passion for quilting. I still love to cook, so this year I hope to post a few more recipes than I did last year.

Mohnflesserl – Austrian Poppy Twist

Serves 8

translated from German by Becky Pallmann


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon malted barley flour
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • additional:
  • egg white
  • poppy seeds, salt, other bread topping


Place warm water, yeast and malted barley flour (available at Amazon – get diastic type- it adds sweetness and flavor to your bread- if you cannot find it, use sugar in its place).  Add flour, and salt to the yeast and knead until it becomes one ball of dough and pieces have pulled off the sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Divide into 8 sections and roll each piece out into a snake. Form into a braided twist ( has a great series of pictures that illustrate how to do this.)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Add a little water to the remaining egg white and beat. Brush your twists with egg wash and sprinkle them with poppy seed, kosher salt or other bread topping seeds you may have on hand.

Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of your oven for steam or spray the twists with a mist of water during the baking process.

Bake at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

I love these with a nice slab of butter while they are still warm.

translated from:

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Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins

My daughter asked for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins one morning.  I of course knew where to turn: Pinterest and my many pins!  The pin led to this link. I followed the directions exactly – but was disappointed in the baking time they recommended – they  muffins were seriously over-baked and dry. The next time I made them, I reduced the cooking time to 15-18 minutes and was much happier with the results.  It is not as chocolatey as the ones you can get at Costco – or the like, but they are still quite good.  Here is my adaptation:

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins

adapted from Ingredients, Inc (see link above) Makes 1 dozen regular sized muffins


1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup plus 2 tsp canola oil
1 egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
additional mini chocolate chips to sprinkle the tops of the muffins before baking.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, sugar and chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, sour cream, canola oil, egg, and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.
Add about 1/2 of the flour mixture into the liquids and stir to combine, using a spatula.  Add the remaining flour and incorporate it into the batter.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin cups (lined ones- or spray the muffin tin with a non stick spray like Pam)
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional mini chips if you have them on hand (about a teaspoon per muffin).
Bake for 15-18 minutes. (originally 20 minutes, but I found that to be too long for this preparation)

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Okay, Pinterest has  become an obsession, but I have not made very many recipes that I have found at that site.  This one is though- Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips called to me- it is a winner.  I used a banana more than it called for because I had that many! It worked out really well. I think these would be great as muffins too, just reduce the cooking time – for those breakfast on the go mornings. I would even increase the peanut butter amount to bring out the flavor even more – it was subtle, and increased the vanilla as well, because I love the flavor of vanilla. My recipe is adapted from the recipe found here.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

adapted from For Goodness Sake Catering

Serves 12


  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur)
  • 6 Tbsp white sugar
  • 6 Tbps brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used natural)
  • 2 Tbsp yogurt (Greek works too)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips (tossed in 1 Tbsp flour)


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper (this will help remove the loaf from the pan).

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, or the bowl of your mixer add: bananas, peanut butter, egg, vanilla, and oil.  Mix to combine.  Add about half of the flour mixture and mix to incorporate.  Add remaining flour mixture and mix until you do not see any more dry flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips (the flour helps them not sink to the bottom for the loaf pan as it bakes.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread with the spatula to even the batter.  Bake 40-50 minutes (mine took almost an hour, but every oven is different, so test if it is done with a toothpick or skewer.

Cool the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing the pan.  Cool completely before slicing (this is totally optional– we tore into the loaf as soon as we removed it from the pan.  Delicious!

I imagine the baking time in regular size muffins would be around 20 minutes.  I will have to try that next,because I have bananas to use up!

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Hot Buttered Pretzels

Pretzels! Yum! Enough said!

Oh wait.. you want me to blog too? Wait, I am busy eating my third buttery pretzel! I have gained 2 lbs just sitting here. There! Licking my fingers and ready to type.  I tried a recipe for pretzels last week from all recipes.  It was their top rated recipe and I was hopeful, but it did not turn out right.  The dough was dry, but to be completely honest, I cannot be sure that it was not my error, because the yeast was past its expiration date too.  The pretzels tasted okay. but I was not completely happy with the texture.. armed with fresh yeast in hand, I went on my quest to find a good pretzel recipe.  I have a nice thick cookbook from the King Arthur Flour Company and in it I discovered a recipe called Hot Buttered Pretzels. (p 229 The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook) LINK

I doubled the recipe.

Hot Buttered Pretzels

Yield: 16 palm sized pretzels

adapted from The King Arthur Flour Company Bakers Companion pg 229


  • 5 cups all purpose unbleached flour (King Arthur Brand of course)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 3/4-2 cups warm water


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • coarse, kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter, melted


In your kitchen aid stand mixer, combine the ingredients listed under dough.  Use a dough hook to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.  You may need to dust the dough with a teaspoon of flour if it is sticking to the sides of the bowl.  Scrape the dough off the dough hook and remove the hook.  Dust the dough with a pinch of flour so it does not stick to the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500F (for my oven that was a little hot and the tips of the pretzels burned, so I reduced the temperature to 475F and the results were better).  I prepared the pans with my favorite silicone mats.  These are an excellent investment as the bottoms of items I bake do not burn.  You can also line your cookie sheets with parchment paper if you do not have silicone mats.

Divide the dough into 16 equal sized balls of dough.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray or grease lightly with cooking oil and place the balls of dough in the dish.  Turn to coat them with the oil.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Take one small ball of dough and begin to roll it out into a 18 inch long snake.

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in the cup of water and dip the string of dough into the water and form them into a pretzel.  Place the pretzel on your cookie sheet (I could fit 8 on my large cookie sheet). Sprinkle the pretzel with a little coarse salt.  Allow to rest 10 minutes before you put them in the oven.  Bake at 500 (or 475 in my case) for 8-9 minutes, rotating the pans half way through cooking time. After removing them from the oven, brush the tops with the melted butter.  I brushed each pretzel 2 times with the butter.  You really want the buttery taste to get on the pretzel.

My family loved the result of this recipe.  I will be making them again, even though I do not bake often.  These are worth the time!  And by the way, they are better and cheaper than the ones I can get at the mall.

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Herbed Oatmeal Pan Bread

I used a recipe in the Pillsbury The Complete Book of Baking Cookbook that was published in 1993.  It is a wonderful edition filled with wonderful recipes.  You may be able to find a used copy at popular book sellers.  It reminds me of an oatmeal bread that my Aunt made when I was living with her.  This one has a nice herb topping. It takes some time to make, but is well worth the effort I think.

Herbed Oatmeal Pan Bread

Serves 16

adapted from Pillsbury The Complete Book of Baking p 458


  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats (Old Fashioned)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 packets active dry yeast (but I used only one and they turned out fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4-2 1/2 cups additional flour, as needed

Herb Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter


Combine the boiling water with the rolled oats in a large bowl and stir.  Allow to cool to 110-120.

In your stand mixer combine the 1 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast.  Use your paddle attachment to stir the ingredients to combine on low for just a few seconds.  Add the cooled rolled oat mixture and the egg.  On low speed, mix the ingredients until combined and then increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 more minutes.

Add the remaining flour a little at a time and stir together with a spatula until it forms a stiff dough.

Flour a surface and knead the dough for another 5 minutes adding in another 1/2 cup of flour or until the dough is no longer sticky.  Let the dough rest on your kneading surface and tent it with a bowl.

Spray your 9″x13″x2″ baking dish with a cooking spray.  Spread the rested dough into the pan spreading it out evenly. Cut the dough with a sharp knife making diagonal cuts about 1 1/2 inches apart to form the bread.  Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the dish.  Then cover with a towel.  Allow to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place (I love to use the top of my fridge).

Heat your oven to 375F.  Uncover the dish, Cut along your score lines again.  Combine the dry ingredients for the herb topping.Brush the tops of the bread with melted butter and bake at 375F for 15 minutes.  Remove the bread.  Brush the tops again and sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan Cheese and Herb mixture.  Bake another 10-15 minutes.

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Corn Bread Pudding

Okay, this is the world’s easiest recipe to make!  It is our favorite adaptation of corn bread.  It goes really well with Chili… which is my next post.

Every year I “enter” a chili cook off.  Okay, mostly it is good fellowship with great friends that we have known for 15+ years now.  This year my girls want to bring a chili to enter – so we will be bringing 2! 🙂  How fun it is to see my girls take an interest in cooking as well.

Back to the corn bread pudding.  It is easy as pie.. actually easier than pie! Unless of course you buy your pies…

Corn Bread Pudding

adapted from a Betty Crocker Cookbook (a friend’s cookbook, so I don’t know the year or edition sorry)

Serves 8

1 box Jiffy corn bread mix

1 stick butter, melted

1 (15 oz) can corn kernels, drained

1 (15 oz) can creamed corn

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Melt the butter in a microwave for 1 minute  (cover the dish or it may splatter).

In a  mixing bowl, combine the jiffy corn bread mix, eggs, sour cream, corn kernels, and creamed corn and mix.  Add the melted butter and mix.  Pour into a square 8 inch baking dish.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until it is set.  Serve with Chili.

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Sausage Gravy

Wake up sleepy head!  Biscuits and Gravy will get them up and out of bed!

I found this recipe on my all time favorite site (allrecipes).  The recipe was posted by Bob Evans.  It is a restaurant chain on the East Coast that serves incredible breakfasts. I tweaked the recipe here and there.

Biscuits and Gravy
adapted from Bob Evans recipe on
Serves 8
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 2 Tbsp butter (optional)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and black pepper to taste
additional ingredients:
  • 8 prepared biscuits
  • 8 fried eggs
Bake biscuits (I used the Bisquick Mix and used the recipe on the box).
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and cook the sausage, crumbling the sausage as you cook it until it is no longer pink.  Move the sausage to the side of the pan and tilt the pan to let the drippings flow to the other side.  Add the flour and about 1/2 tsp of salt to the drippings (oh this is BAD!  But I feel a tingle! I should really not be eating this, but oh it is sooo good for you –oops tasty!)  Stir the flour into the drippings and combine until there is no raw flour left.  I actually added 2 Tbsp of butter to the drippings so the flour was not clumpy.  Heat the milk up in the microwave.  I find it combines better adding a warm liquid.  Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture and whisk it into the pan.  Add the sausage back in.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.  Bring the gravy to a boil and allow to thicken.  If it becomes too thick you can thin it out with additional milk.
To serve, split a biscuit in half  Top with a fried egg and ladle sausage over the egg, replace the top of the biscuit and ladle more gravy over the dish.  Soon you will have all sorts of creatures (children) crawling out of the woodwork to eat breakfast (big ones too).

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Easy Banana Bread

My friend and mentor Mom, Carol is a fantastic cook.  Here is an easy recipe for Banana bread that uses ready made biscuit mix to make it.  It does not use any oil either, which is nice.  Bake it a loaf pan.

Carol’s Easy Banana Bread

Serves 12

3 cups Bisquick Mix

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

3 (very) ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts)


Preheat oven to 375F.  Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray (or coat with butter).  Mix all the ingredients together.  Pour into a loaf pan and bake at 375F for 45-60 minutes or until the cake tests done, when you insert a toothpick (mine usually is done around 45 minutes).  For an extra twist you can sprinkle about 3/4 cup chocolate chips on the loaf when you pull it out of the oven, wait a few minutes for the chocolate chips to melt and spread them.  Allow the loaf to cool and slice into 12 slices.  Yummy for breakfast or anytime.

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Lemon Yogurt Cake

I love cookbooks.  I have more cookbooks than is legal in the State of California.  Shhh please don’t tell!  I first discovered Ina Garten by watching the Food Network on TV.  Her show is “The Barefoot Contessa”.  After watching her on tv and trying some of her recipes, I purchased several of her cookbooks (okay, I admit I have all four!)  In one of them was a recipe for Lemon Yogurt Cake.  This sounded a lot like the lemon loaf that is sold at the local (large chain) coffee shop.  I made a few changes to the recipe.  Since I like a strong lemon taste in the frosting, I added lemon zest to the glaze.  I also increased the powdered sugar in the glaze so it is thicker.  I had to bake it 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for as it was not done after 50 minutes.  Every oven is different though, so your loaf if you try this recipe may be done at the 50 minute mark.  Use a large skewer to test the cake in several places, if the skewer is wet, bake it longer and re-test.  I also changed the yogurt from plain to Vanilla and omitted the vanilla in the cake the second time I made it.  It was good either way.

Okay, confession time:  The first time I made it – I didn’t check if the loaf was done, so as I removed it to cool on the rack the whole loaf fell completely apart.  Splitting in the middle, and the center oozing onto the rack. I had to carefully wrestle the hot loaf back into the pan, because there was NO WAY I was going to throw it away.  I returned it to the oven to baked it more.  After 10 more minutes in the oven I checked it and discovered it was no more cooked than before!  What?  Yes, that is right I had turned off the oven, so I turned on the oven and baked the poor loaf 10-15 minutes and then I glazed it.  It was great!  I took pictures of the second loaf that I made and glazed.. don’t do what I did okay?  Test your cake when you pull it out of the oven to see if it is ready!!  Shortcuts are not short!  Here is the link to Ina Garten’s Book.

What makes this cake unusual from other cakes I have made is that you bake the loaf and then slowly pour a syrup into it for flavor and then after it has cooled, glaze it.  It makes for a moist and flavorful cake that will quickly become a family favorite.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Serves 12

adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa at Home Copyright 2006 page 168)


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1  cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, (omit if you use vanilla yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar


  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat your oven to 350F.

Grease a glass 4.5×8.5×2″ pan (meatloaf pan size) with butter.  Cut a piece of parchment paper for the bottom of the pan and line the bottom of the pan with it.  Butter the parchment paper.  This will aid in removing the baked loaf from the pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.

In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla (if you are not using a vanilla yogurt).  Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended.  Add the vegetable oil and stir until well incorporated.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes.  Test the cake, and bake longer if necessary. (Mine took 60 minutes, but test at 50 minutes).

Meanwhile combine the lemon juice and sugar for the syrup in a small saucepan.  Whisk over medium heat until combined and turn off heat.

After you remove the cake from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan to a wire rack over a sheet pan.  Slowly pour the syrup onto the top of the loaf, pausing from time to time to allow the cake to absorb the syrup.  Pour more after it is absorbed until the syrup is gone.  There may be some on the cookie sheet below the rack.

For the glaze, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest and powdered sugar and stir to combine.  After the loaf has cooled completely, pour the glaze over the loaf.  Slice into 12 slices.  Enjoy!

TIPS:  To remove lemon zest (grated lemon peel) invest in a good microplane and you will have quick work of removing the zest.

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