December 17

Mom’s Chocolate Cake and Mother Dough

Krissy’s Letters To Her Mom

Dear Mom

Why can’t I ever make a chocolate cake?  I wish you were here to help me….I remember your cakes always turned out perfect and beautiful.   I made a cake for Jane’s birthday and nothing was right with it.   I have to scrape it out of the pan and trim it down into a small rectangle just to get candles into it.    Worst part of all it was so heavy and rich we could only take a few bites.

I love having Jane home with me.  It still feels funny calling Churchville home.   I love this town and I so badly want Jane to call it home also.   I am going to ask her to stay in Churchville  to help me start up the restaurant and gourmet boutique.   I hope she will fall in love with everything and everybody here like it did.

I hate thinking of her wondering as I did town after town.   I know  I was doing research but I think that was just an excuse not to settle down and get close to anyone or anything for fear of them leaving or hurting me.    I know I should work with someone on this whatever you call it “anxiety” but I guess Mom I am not ready to face it yet.

What should I do about Mark … I love him but what if he does not love me back?   I sound like those romance books where each and every story is the same.   They meet, fall in love, get scared and run away from each other only to figure out that being in love and together is far better than being apart.    Those stories never get old I am reading now you  would really like it by Barbara O’Neal and it’s call How To Bake A Perfect Life!   It’s about a women that owns a bakery and uses mother dough.    I am just to the part where she meets a man from the past …. I want to figure out how to make mother dough and bread.    Her mother dough was handed down to her from her great grandmother.

My eyes are falling shut miss you and I will be watching for you.

Mother Dough

pre-ferment is a fermentation starter used in bread making, and is referred to as an indirect[1][2] method. It may also be called mother dough.

A pre-ferment and a longer fermentation in the bread-making process have several benefits: there is more time for yeast, enzyme and, if sourdough, bacterial actions on the starch and proteins in the dough; this in turn improves the keeping time of the baked bread, and it creates greater complexities of flavor. Though pre-ferments have declined in popularity as direct additions of yeast in bread recipes have streamlined the process on a commercial level, pre-ferments of various forms are widely used in artisanal bread recipes and formulas.

Thank you once again Wikipedia for the definition of Mother Dough




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November 28

Pumpkin Pie In Churchville

Candle Light Dinner

Sally Ray’s winning pumpkin pie recipe which can be found in the 2004 edition of St. Marta’s Church Cook Book.   She makes these every year and gives them away to families in need.

This is the note Sally Ray attached to each pie this year.   Every year it’s a different list!

I am THANKFUL for my husband for being so old school traditional, my kids for being my kids, sun shine in the warm summer, flowers that bloom, my Mom in heaven for watching over me, my Dad on earth for all he does for the world, my sisters for being the best sisters in the world, my brother for showing the world he could do it, my brother again for always being the first in line to help, my dogs for being misfits, valley girls and vampires, fresh fruit in the winter time, warm winter hats with big fat pompom’s, moon boots, small motor boots and big fish, bright colored beach towels, and best friends!

Be thankful for the little things in life like pumpkin pie with whipped cream!

Sally Ray’s Pumpkin Pie 

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 piece pre-made pie dough
Whipped cream, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Adapted from Paul Deen and made her way!



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October 31

Chocolate Cake and Boutique Talk

The Very Best Chocolate CakeOctober 14th



Hi Sarah

Thanks for recapping the notes from the club meeting.   I did speak to Krissy yesterday and she is coming to the next club meeting which as you know is scheduled right after pot luck dinner.

Speaking of  Pot Luck Friday I still need a dessert are you willing to try a new Chocolate Cake Recipe?   I found this in my Grandma’s old church book.   I would make it but I am making the main meal and between that and helping Joe make the teams year end party awards I need some help?  If you cannot do it I was thinking about asking Krissy to make her award winning chocolate chip cookies?

Thanks and let me know

Sally Ray

October 14th



Of course I can make the cake for Friday…. You know cake is my specialty thank you for asking.   Just send me over the recipe and I will make it in the AM on Friday.  How many people do we have reservations for?

I have been asking Krissy to come to a meeting for how long?  Do you think she does not like me?   I will ask her on Friday before the meeting I know at times I can be a bit loud.

By the way did you see Krissy’s car at Mark’s again last night?  I notice it’s not there in the AM so maybe they are just friends.  What a cute couple they make.   I heard from Earl that Mark does not date (men or women).   Such a shame a handsome man like Mark.    I wonder if he will be helping Krissy with the huge project she is taking on…. A restaurant and a boutique?

As you know I was talking about doing that same thing in town opening a local gourmet boutique.     I just be Laura told Krissy about my plans and that spurred her idea to do this.     I have to be honest I am a little taken back by her doing exactly what I was thinking about  doing in addition to a restaurant. 7G58BUZEUDN7

Anyway send me over the recipe I am sure I will add my special touch to it.

See you Friday.


Oct 14th



I am running out the door so I have to make this quick … Here is the recipe and really Sarah just be happy for the town, club, and Krissy.    Why don’t you send Krissy a note with your idea’s you never know maybe she will hire you?

Oh and about the cake can you do a blueberry drizzle and bring some whipped cream?

Very Best Chocolate Cake

3 cups flour                         1 cup oil (I used olive oil for baking)

2 cups sugar                          1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder          2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup cocoa                      2 cups cold water

2 tsp vinegar                          2 eggs

Put all ingredients together in one bowl.  Mix well.  Pour into greased and floured 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cake springs back and does not wiggle in the middle.   Perfect for cupcakes or layer cake also.

Must Run

Sally Ray





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October 30

Opening Soon Church Cooks!


September 10th



Hi Sally

Did you hear Krissy got approval to start work on her restaurant and in addition to a restaurant she is opening a local artisan shop focusing on food and hand made goods in part of the building.   What a perfect place to showcase our club.  Laura told me this not sure if I was to tell others just yet so keep it under your hat.

Here are the notes from the special club meeting last night.  Should I email Krissy to see when she can meet with us to discuss our idea’s.

Notes and concerns on how the club can collaborate with Krissy Carpenter in her opening a Restaurant in town.

1. We all agree we like her idea for a name “Church Cooks”

2. We could sell and market our cook books at the restaurant

3. A featured item on the menu weekly from the cook book or daily special

4. Hold cooking classes to drive more people into town

5.  co create a website with a blog

6. Potluck Fridays to be moved to her place?  And we cook on Friday’s giving the chef the night off?

I think that’s about it?  Does anyone know who will be the chef?   Do you think she will bring someone in from the city?

This is the most exciting thing that has happened in Churchville since Robin was arrested.  Poor thing is still sitting in prison.

Guess what I am making for the dance team this weekend at convention?

Cheerio Magic Wands  remember I told you about the dance they do with Magic Wands as props?


Cheerios Cranberry and Granola Magic Wands

inspired by The Cheerios Cookbook adapted from
(makes 12-14 3″ stars plus lots of bits for sampling)

  • 3 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 5 cups marshmallows (large or mini)
  • 6 cups Cheerios
  • 1 cup plain granola (with no dried fruit in it)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, roasted and (un)salted
  • a few tbsp gold shimmer sugar or sprinkles (optional)
  • 12-6″ lollipop sticks

Line a 9″x13″ rectangular pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the marshmallows and coconut oil over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from heat when marshmallows and oil are melted and combined. Add cheerios, granola, cranberries and seeds. Mix well.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan and if using, sprinkle the gold shimmer sugar over top. Let it cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Once the mixture has cooled, lift the parchment paper with the Cheerios out of the pan and place it on to a flat, sturdy work surface. Using a 3″ star cookie cutter, cut 12-14 stars out of the Cheerios rectangle. With a gentle twisting motion, push a lollipop stick between two points of each star cutout. If needed, you can carefully reshape the star since the mixture should still be slightly malleable. Gently place each magic wand on to the parchment lined cookie sheet with the handle hanging over the lip of the cookie sheet. Once set, you can store them in an air tight container at room temperature for about one week.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Instead of cooking this on the stovetop, it can be made in the microwave. Melt the coconut oil and marshmallows in a large microwaveable bowl for up to 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Mix in the remaining ingredients and follow the rest of the directions as above.
  • Use any dried fruit combination that you desire. We use cranberries because Emma loves them but dried cherries would be fantastic too.





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September 1

Churchville – Coconut Cake (bread)



Hi Jane

I will be so happy when you are done with your whatever it is you are doing “finding yourself”. If I only was brave enough to have come with you. Your last email and the graphic account of taxi’s in NY still has me laughing. Where are you headed to next? Guess what Mark and I made a few nights ago? Mom’s pizza it was just as good as I remember and as happy as I was in remembering Mom and her pizza I also miss her and feel so sad sometimes.

Anyway I know we are talking on the phone tomorrow night but I wanted to quickly write you and give you this recipe I just took out of the oven. Made it for you as I know how much you love coconut in hopes for luring you for a visit. One positive thing about you out traveling is I do not have to share with you!

Mark is such a good friend I am so lucky to have met him and us both wanting to just be friends. Ok I admit maybe just friends …. I cannot even say it he is so handsome when you come visit at Holiday you will see.

Coconut Cake (bread)

This was mostly taken from I just changed up a few things

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

6 tablespoons coconut oil melted or melted

Butter or oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth be careful not to over mix.

Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Serve in thick slices, toasted, with whipped cream, ice cream or butter. I was just thinking that adding some heated peaches on the side would be yummy I will do that for Mark when he comes for dinner.

Sister BFF

PS ok fine yes I have a crush on Mark

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August 18

Out of Order and Here is 11

I think I skipped this day and was planning on skipping it all together because it’s a bit boring and redundit and I had dinner with Mark and between that and this crazy town and the Zucchini bake thing…..well time ran short and I chose Zucchini over Natalie sorry my friend.  I owe you some Zucchini Cake the chocolate is best by far.


So Day 11: Which business model is best for you and what one revenue stream is most feasible?

The best business model for me living in Churchville is writing and marketing online courses to women in 2nd world countries.  Now I see why i skipped this question I am not nor never will be the type of person to just do one things.  So officially I take a pass on real answer to this question.  

Instead I will share the best ever Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe in the world!  

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1 1/2 cups Flour

1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch pressed)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or allspice

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

3 cups Zucchini grated and squeezed dry

1 teaspoon honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-square cake pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Whisk the remaining flour, the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

Beat the sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, the eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the flour-cocoa mixture; beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes (the batter will be thick). Add the zucchini and beat until combined, about 2 more minutes. Fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

Make the glaze: Combine the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Spread over the cake, then cut into pieces.

recipe courtesy of Food Network Magizine




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