Tag Archives: cookbooks

Would you call this…odd? #MFRWauthor Week 37

So it’s no secret I like to read. And cook. I also like to read cookbooks. Hee hee. See what I did there?

I have over 130 cookbooks in my house, some dating back to the early 1900’s – old church-sponsored cookbooks with recipes like Lard Pie and Potato Treacle. Weird, no? Some are from famous celebrities – Trisha Yearwood’s and Rachel Ray’s are my fav – and some from the likes of Betty Crocker, Southern Comfort Magazine, and Weight Watchers.

I’ve read all of them – really. I have my own recipe books with written copies of the recipes I’ve read about impressed into them. I’m always up for a new cookbook gift. (Hint Hint)

I’ve got cookbooks devoted solely to chicken, meat, veggies, pasta, desserts, cookies, pies, hors d’ouveres, appetizers, munchies, smoothies, cupcakes and cakes. I have entertaining cookbooks with complete meal selections in courses from soup to nuts. I’ve got holiday cookbooks galore – of every holiday, not only Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Valentine’s Day, Easter, and even the Fourth of July.

I’ve got cookbooks with the titles “the best of American Cuisine” “The Number one recipes in England” “Fifty way to serve hotdogs”. Hubby loves that one!

I think my cookbook collecting is a little addictive, no?

Hi, my name is Peggy and I collect cookbooks.

Lets see what some of the other authors in this blog challenge collect. MFRWauthorBlogChallenge

When I’m not looking at recipes, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe


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How can I pick just one??

We’re winding down on the 52-week blog. Just a few entries left and today is such a hard one for me. I have to share a favorite recipe with you all. Just one. One recipe. I think I mentioned before I am a cookbook hoarder. Truly. I own upward of 130 cookbooks from all over the world and from all eras – case in point, I have a church-sponsored spiral bound cookbook from a Methodist church dated 1913. EVERYTHING, EVERY SINGLE RECIPE calls for whole milk, real butter, pork fat, or fresh cheese. Proof that nutritional times have changed greatly in the past 100+ years!

Any hoo…I digress.

I delved deep into my recipe card files, trolled through my holiday food prep books and came up with a family and friend favorite that’s easy, delicious, and depending on how you make it not too too too calorie-laden!

My Chocolate Trifle

I made this just last week for a holiday party and was smart enough- for once – to snap a pix.


Here’s the EASY recipe ( the harder one follows!)


1 box of any commercial brand chocolate cake

2 16 oz tubs of Cool Whip Lite

1 5 oz box of instant MyTFine Chocolate, sugar-free  pudding

Crumbled chocolate bar of your choice ( I use the Cadbury Chocolate Orange that comes out at the holidays)


  1. Prepare and bake the cake as directed on the cake box using 2 9″ round baking tins
  2. Prepare the pudding and chill
  3. Once the cake is baked and cooled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, place one complete cake round into the bottom of a trifle bowl. You can either place it in one whole piece, or crumble the cake up.
  4. next, layer one tub of cool whip lite over it. Smooth it out so you get two distinct lines of color
  5. next, layer 1/2 the pudding over the cool whip. Smooth it out so you get 3 distinct lines of color.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the other cake round, the other tube of cool whip and the rest of the pudding.
  7. top with crumbled chocolate bar pieces or you can shave the chocolate on top if you prefer small chunks.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2-4 hours.

Now the harder recipe ( and the one I make!!!) And the reason the above picture has 3 cake rounds instead of two!


a. for the Chocolate Cake:

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup all purpose white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup refined sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream


1.oven goes to 350 degrees to preheat. Take 3 9 inch cake pans and grease them

2.In a bowl, mix the cocoa, flour, and baking soda together and set the bowl to the side. With a mixer, cream the sugar and the butter until soft and light. Beat in one egg at a time on low speed. Add the vanilla and mix. Then add in half the flour and cocoa mixture, then the sour cream. Finish with the remaining dry  ingredients.

3. Pour into baking pans evenly, about a 1/2 -1 inch each to make even layers.

4. bakes for 20-25 mins, or until a toothpick comes back clean when placed in the center. Oven temps vary. Check at 20 minutes and every 5 minutes until this happens.

5. cool completely.

b. For the pudding:
Use either  Packaged instant or the packaged kind you have to cook. If you use the old-fashioned kind, make sure the pudding is completely cooled and set before the layering starts.

To assemble, see the instructions as above. Cake/cool whip/pudding. Finish with a  cake layer ( like my pciture_ and top with candy.

Both the easy recipe and the from scratch one are delish!!!! To save calories, substitute skim milk for any whole asked for,  use cool whip LITE and SUGAR-free pudding made with skim milk ( not whole)

Every single time I make this whether it is for a dinner party 0f 6 or a group gathering of 10+, it is GONE. I never have left overs of this dessert. Ever.

I can’t wait to see what recipes the other authors in this blog hop have to share. I’m sure to pick up some new goodies!



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The things I learn just to use them in my books…


I came across this little meme today and -surprise! – thought it was perfect for a writing post! Yeah, I know, it always amazes me where inspiration comes from too!


If you know me personally you know I lovelovelove to cook. My mother is not exactly what could be termed “a good cook.” Working 2 jobs during most of my childhood made for many dinners that were thrown together at the last minute with no preparation or thought put into them. Dried, baked chicken with no seasonings served with bland boiled carrots became a staple as did peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches. Is it any wonder when I grew to maturity the desire to learn how to actually cook a meal that tasted good was a necessity?

I scrounged garage sales, discount stores, and the sale racks at books stores for any kind of cooking tome from How-To’s, to 50 ways to make chicken books. Currently, I have over 100 well loved, dog-eared and, frequently used cookbooks in my house. A new cookbook as a present will send me into spasms of pleasure that equal…well, I let you fill that in with your own imagination!

In every book or story I write, someone cooks. Well. The MacQuire women are all superb cooks who can whip up five-course meals for a house full of company in less than an hour. The San Valentino women cook old-school recipes using things we’ve been told are bad for us like real butter, cheese and red meat. No one in the family has any kind of weight problem from eating this way. Interesting, don’t you think?

I use my cooking skill in my books, and I’m still learning new recipes and ways to cook and serve food everyday and I will until I can’t hold a ladle any longer. So…have you ever learned something new just to use it in a book? Or do you incorporate any hobbies or things you love to do into your own stories?  Let’s discuss….

And since we’re talking about cooking, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from my 3/11/16 release of THE VOICES OF ANGELS.


“T’isn’t the most nutritious meal I’ve ever prepared in this house,” Addie said, “but at least it’ll fill your bellies.”

“Personally, Addie,” Mike said, “I love sandwiches for dinner and cold turkey is my absolute favorite.”

Addie beamed. “Sure now, you’re just saying that to make an old woman feel better.”

Mike made an elaborate gesture of crossing his hand over his heart. Through unblinking eyes that zeroed in on the older woman’s face, he said, in a voice filled with sincerity, “I swear on my life, these are the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.”

Addie and Carly burst into laughter.

“Well now, there’s a sweet man you are. Now, if you’ll excuse me,” she removed her apron, “I’m off. It’s plum worn out, I am. I’ll see you both in th’morning.”

Carly rose and kissed the woman’s cheek. “Thank you for everything, Addie.”

“Oh, darlin’, t’is more than welcome you are.”

When they were alone, Carly sat back in her chair. “That was sweet of you. Addie may look and sound as tough as nails sometimes, but she’s always pleased with a compliment.”

“I meant what I said. I do love these kinds of easy dinners. I’ve made them enough for myself and Cole over the years to appreciate them.”

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