Chew This! Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday!!! I am so excited to share this FOUR generations-old recipe with all of you! It was taught to me by my Mom, Darla Doubman – and it was taught to her by her Mom (my Grandma), Deloris Bolinger – and it was in turn taught to her my her Mom (my Great Grandma), Viola Davis.

FOUR generations…

I love old recipes like this that have history, memories and stories behind them. This can be made ahead, and served when ready. Perfect for entertaining!

Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 4th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Generational Casserole Recipe Wins Approval…
Blaise Doubman

I love recipes that have history around them. Recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation are not only some of the best, but some of my most popular recipes. No matter what food trends come and go (peanut butter flavored pickles, or coconut popcorn sorbet, anyone?) true and trusted “heirloom” recipes, are hard to beat. The recipe I’m sharing today has been in my family for years and years. I remember first learning about this from my Mom, Darla, when I was about five years old. It amazed me how such simple ingredients could come together to make such an incredible dish.

My Mom was taught this recipe from her Mom, my Grandma, Deloris Bolinger – who was in turn taught the recipe from her Mom, my Great Grandma, Viola Davis. Are you adding that up? That means this recipe is a four generations-old recipe! The stories and memories that go along with each recipe handed down to the next generation are some of my favorite growing up. Listening and watching my Mom teach me this recipe will then be shared with future generations and now here with all of you. I hope this recipe brings memories and stories to share with the ones you love – just like it’s done with mine.

Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

This casserole can be made ahead and placed in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, just remove from the refrigerator, place in preheated oven and bake. There really is no substitute for “Velveeta” – brand cheese. If you’re not a fan of using this type of cheese, give it another try. The taste and texture of this cheese has really improved, compared to other types of “processed cheese”, and the delicious “melting” of this type of cheese just can’t be beat…

2 pounds of Idaho baking potatoes
4 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound (16 oz.) Velveeta-brand cheese
2 small packages (or 1 large) mini sausages (28 oz. total)

Start by preparing the potatoes. Peel the potatoes, cut them into medium-sized cubes, and place in a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat until tender.

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the salted butter, white all-purpose flour, whole milk, salt, black pepper and Velveeta-brand cheese until melted, smooth and creamy. If any lumps are present, whisk with a wire whisk to remove them.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F and lightly grease a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the cooked potatoes in the dish, and spread out evenly.

Next, pour the cheese mixture over the potatoes, being sure to distribute evenly.

Before placing in the oven, spread the mini sausages, evenly, over the top of the cheese and potatoes. Place in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Remove and allow to cool very slightly before serving.



Chew This! Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

I am so excited to be sharing this “Chew This!” column with everyone! This one was a labor of love that involved quite a few people, and several recipes (that I narrowed down) and honestly – it was such a fun experience! Special thanks and shout out to Patricia McDaniel, Lisa Perry, Donna Cronk and, in passing, Charlene Perry and Catherine Winters. We may never know what happened to Catherine, but we do have some inspiring recipes.

The angel food cake with bitter sweet icing (original spelling) was a huge hit – as was my Jell-O red velvet cupcakes (which have appeared here before – but with different frosting). Such an interesting history presented itself with this column… And last but not least, thank you to YOU (the reader). Without you – I would not be able to do any of this…and words can not describe how much you all mean to me.

Thank you xo

Blaise the Baker Chew This Angel Food Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 20th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Recipe mix: Catherine Winters, Angel Food Cake and Cupcakes…
Blaise Doubman

Not that long ago, I was contacted by Patricia McDaniel, Chair of the Historic National Road Yard Sale, to let me know that two of my submitted recipes had made the upcoming cookbook the “Historic National Road Yard Sale Cookbook” – Volume 6. I expressed my excitement, and told her of my plans to write about it here for my column. We were discussing ideas and she asked if I had ever heard of Catherine Winters. I told her yes! While working at the New Castle – Henry County Public Library, I would hear questions about Catherine Winters from patrons several times a week. I always found the story fascinating. After talking about Catherine for awhile, Patricia sent me a few recipes that can be tracked down to that family and that time in history.

I’m sharing two of those recipes here with you. I am also including a recipe for my red velvet cupcakes – which will appear in Volume 6 of the “Historic National Road Yard Sale Cookbook”. Patricia told me that more of Catherine’s family recipes will be included in the cookbook, as well as my recipe for “Grandpa Max’s Stuffed Green Bell Peppers”. For more information please contact Patricia at

Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing

This cake is an old recipe that was originally found in “Good Things To Eat” By: The Gleaner Glass. The old, brittle and coverless book was discovered by Charlene Perry in an antique store along route 40 one summer. Since then, the book and recipe have been shared by Charlene’s daughter, Lisa. The recipes have a connection with Catherine Winters – it was Byrd Winters’ who submitted this recipe, along with some other recipes that were published and shared by her Sunday school class…

For the cake…

1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cold water
½ cup hot water
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cream of tarter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 egg whites, beaten until stiff

For the icing…

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Beat together the white granulated sugar, egg yolks and cold water until very light in color. Next, beat in the hot water. Sift together twice, the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, cream of tarter and salt, before adding to the mixture. Beat in pure vanilla extract before gently folding in the beaten egg whites. Place mixture in a tube-pan and bake in preheated oven 60 minutes. Once baked, remove from oven and invert pan until cake has finished cooling.

To make the icing, mix together the powdered sugar, melted salted butter, cream and pure vanilla extract. Spread this on the cooled cake. Drizzle melted dark chocolate on top before serving.

Jello Red Velvet Cupcakes

This recipe was originally published on my “Blaise the Baker” blog, and went on to be one of my most popular recipes for 2014. It’s also one of the recipes that will be published in the upcoming “Historic National Road Yard Sale Cookbook” – Volume 6. For the publication of this column, I’ve changed my original recipe to include a delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting, which is perfect for Autumn…

For the cupcakes…

1 package Red Velvet cake mix
1 3.9 oz. package of Jello Instant chocolate pudding

For the frosting…

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 ½ – 3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Whole milk

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake wrappers and lightly spray each cup with non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk together the cake mix according to the package directions, being sure when adding the water, the water is hot.

Once thoroughly mixed together, add in the package of Jello instant chocolate pudding, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the unsalted butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Next, beat in the powdered sugar and pure vanilla extract. Add in the ground cinnamon and combine. To reach desired consistency, add a little whole milk if needed.

Frost cupcakes and serve.


Grandma Barbra’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes – but this one is not new. It is an old old favorite of my Grandma Barbra. She has had the recipe taped to the inside of her kitchen cabinet ever since I can remember. I wanted to keep with the traditional recipe and I wanted the “old fashioned” taste that I remember – so I followed the recipe exactly. Try these the next time you want a nostalgic bite from the past…

Grandma Barbra's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies Blaise the Baker

Grandma Barbra’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) margarine, melted
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose white flour
1 (12 oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating the oven to 375-degrees F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the melted margarine, white granulated sugar and brown sugar together until thoroughly combined.

Next, add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract before stirring again.

Add the baking soda and salt, stir and then dump in all of the white all-purpose flour at once, and stir until just combined with the other ingredients.

Finally, fold in the flour covered semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoon size amounts on the parchment lined baking sheets, and bake each sheet (one at a time) in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool on baking sheets.



Cookbook Corner – Extra Virgin

Time for a new “Cookbook Corner”! 

Extra Virgin Cookbook Blog

“Extra Virgin” By: Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar

You might recognize Gabriele and Debi from their hit cooking show “Extra Virgin” on “The Cooking Channel”. I have been a fan of their show since day one, and I credit it for helping me expand my vision of what true Italian food is and what true Italian food is all about.

A lot of people get wrapped up in “popular” cooking methods or the “must have ingredients” of the moment – but not this adorable Italian couple! Their cooking is rustic, straight forward, easy and delicious.

As soon as I received my copy of “Extra Virgin” the cover blew me away. I was not quite sure what the dish on the cover was…but I knew I wanted to try it! It looked delicious…and encouraged me to flip through the book until I found the recipe. (“Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Caprese” page 22).

The pictures throughout the book are absolutely gorgeous (and aside from the delicious recipes) the perfect excuse (if you need an excuse) to buy the book…

After marking down the cover picture recipe to try, I flipped to the back and looked under “desserts”, as I usually do with cookbooks. And…I was not disappointed!

“Almond Cookies” (page 234), “Carnival Fritters” (a personal favorite and page 236), “Coffee Granita” (page 247), “Tiramisu” (one of my all time favorite desserts and page 248), and “Lemon Sorbet” (page 256) were all marked with a couple executed to perfection!

The cookbook is beautifully put together with chapters divided up into perfect categories – each with wonderful and rustic recipes! Categories are: Appetizers, Pastas and Sauces, Risotto, Soups, Salads, Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Pizza, Panini, Desserts and Drinks.

The “Guacamole” recipe (page 28) is amazing alone, but even better with the “Baked Beet Chips” (page 29). Tip: Wear gloves when handling beets…and be careful because they stain EVERYTHING they touch…

Another wonderful (and simple, rustic) recipe can be found on page 59 – “Fake Sauce”. It’s delicious, chunky and very flavorful. The “fake” part comes from the lack of meat in the recipe…which is perfect for vegetarians. The sauce is very versatile and delicious when served with any form of pasta…but also just as delicious when served with your favorite crusty bread.

The chapter on “Risotto” has been flagged for me to try just about every single recipe. I love making risotto and find the whole process relaxing…but I have not had the chance to try any of these recipes yet…but look forward to when I can!

“Grilled Tuscan Chicken” (page 143), “Beef Stew with Polenta” (page 155), “Grilled Endive with Gorgonzola and Sage Oil” (page 186), and all of their rustic pizza recipes are perfect examples of the type of cooking that fills this book! They are simple, rustic, flavorful and couldn’t be easier!

I highly recommend this cookbook for those of you who want to know and experience more “true and rustic” Italian cooking. There’s no hype here – just truly simple and delicious Italian cooking…

To buy the book please click here…

To visit their website, blog and learn more about the cookbook (including recipes) as well as their TV show, please click here…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.