Tea Time! 

It was such an honor to be able to meet one of the most talented and inspirational friends I have – Donna Cronk! A couple days ago Donna and Travis came to Glen Oaks Health Campus and had “tea time” with my Mom, Darla, my Grandma Deloris and I. It was such a fabulous time! 

Read all about it – and my “Dessert Donation” here – 


(Photo taken by Travis)



Chew This! Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! Please pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” today – or become an online subscriber – and let me know what you think of my newest column! I am beyond excited to share this recipe with everyone. Every time I eat, or make, Devil’s Food cake – especially cupcakes – I think of my Great Grandma Flora. These cupcakes are a family favorite and I think they will quickly become a personal favorite for you as well. Try them – and let me know what you think.

On a side note – send me an email and let me know YOUR “earliest” childhood memory and how old you were. I write in my column that in the photograph I was two years old – I may have actually been less than that. Maybe a year old!? True story – I remember.

Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting 

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 3rd 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

This old-fashioned cupcake is updated with flavor and frosting…
Blaise Doubman

Not many people know this about me, but my memory is pretty good. Well, let me rephrase that, my long term memory is pretty good. I remember when I was little, hearing that my memory was “like an elephant’s”. Do elephants have a good memory? Must have…I’ll have to make a mental note to Google it later and find out for sure. Regardless, I remember hearing that and being pretty proud of the fact – true or not. One of my earliest memories is having my picture taken with my Dad, Jamie, his Mom and Dad, Barbra and Junior, his brothers (my uncles) Brett and Troy, and my Grandpa Junior’s Mom and Dad, Flora and Jim. I very distinctly remember that hot summer day, having my picture taken, my Dad holding me, and me wanting to be anywhere but there – I was burning up! When I tell my family this, they just laugh at me. Why? Because I was only two years old at the time… Yes, I know – strange. But true.

One of my very earliest food memories in the kitchen would be in my Great Grandma Flora’s kitchen. My Grandma Barbra and I were visiting and I remember Great Grandma Flora in the kitchen making chocolate cupcakes. I remember seeing her sifting the dry ingredients, pouring in the liquid, adding coffee to the mixture and really working hard. The smells and sounds from that day in the kitchen, are still with me to this day. I even still associate Devil’s Food cupcakes with my Great Grandma Flora. I have taken an old-fashioned recipe and updated it with instant coffee granules, a little extra butter, and topped them with a frosting that is almost too good to be true – almost. But, I have kept the old-fashioned mixing process intact, which results in a moist and tender cupcake that you will want to make again and again.

Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

As with almost every other recipe in baking, start with room temperature ingredients before attempting to make these cupcakes and frosting. It’s essential for the butter to be soft, the eggs to be room temperature and the milk to be the same temperature as the butter and eggs. If you only have salted butter, use it and leave out the pinch of salt. Other milks can be used as well, but if you use anything less than whole milk, the texture of the cupcakes will change slightly. Baking is a science, but that doesn’t mean you can’t substitute ingredients, experiment and have fun!

For the cupcakes…

1 cup white all-purpose white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
Pinch of salt
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2/4 cup white whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…

2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ stick (2 oz.) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup regular size cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Lightly spray the tin and liners with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee granules and salt. Using a wire whisk, whisk all ingredients together to ensure the ingredients are combined and lump free.

In a separate bowl, combine the unsalted butter and white granulated sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Next, add in the two large eggs and combine thoroughly.

Add the pure vanilla extract to the white whole milk and stir together.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the beaten butter and sugar mixture, and stir to combine. Next, add in the milk and pure vanilla extract mixture and beat. Finally, add in the remaining dry ingredients and combine until mixed thoroughly.

Fill each cupcake liner three-fourths of the way full and place in preheated oven for exactly 19 minutes. After baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, whisk together the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and salt to ensure the ingredients and combined and lump free.

In a separate bowl combine ½ cup of the powdered sugar mixture with the unsalted butter and tablespoon of whole milk. Beat together until smooth.

Next, add in the remaining powdered sugar mixture and tablespoon of whole milk. Beat together until smooth. Add in the pure vanilla extract and light corn syrup. Beat this mixture well to incorporate as much air as possible. The finished frosting will be smooth and thick, lump free and deep in color.

Frost cupcakes and serve.

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Here is a photograph that took place during one of MY earliest memories. I was less than two years old…

From left to right and down: Grandpa Junior, Brett Doubman, Jim Doubman, Troy Doubman, Flora Doubman, Barbra Doubman, Jamie Doubman and Blaise Doubman (me). 

Chew This! Judi’s Red Cabbage Salad

Sharing recipes (and memories) with friends and family are really special moments. My “Chew This!” column today is dedicated to a near and dear friend of mine – Judi. She is one of the strongest women I know, in many ways.

My Grandma Barbra and I first met her awhile back, while we were out cookbook shopping. Ever since that first meeting, we have been close friends. She was so excited to share this recipe with me – and even MORE excited when I told her it was going to be a future column piece…she could not wait for it to be shared with everyone! I took the recipe, added some of my favorite seasonings, and it has been on rotation at the dinner table ever since.

It is simple, fresh and so delicious!

Judy's Red Cabbage Salad

Judi’s Red Cabbage Salad

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 3rd 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Sharing recipes (and memories) with friends
Blaise Doubman

I first met my friend Judi when I was cookbook shopping with my Grandma Barbra. She was working behind the counter, and once I explained that my Grandma and I were looking for cookbooks – a friendship was formed. Judi explained that she too loved cookbooks and had more of them than she was willing to admit. I had to laugh – I told her I had way too many than I was willing to admit. She laughed and so did my Grandma – she knew it was true. From that first meeting, I went on to meet up with Judi about every week. We would exchange recipes, food, cookbooks and stories. A couple of months passed, and I felt like we were family; talking on the phone, text messaging each other and praying for one another when our families needed it.

I looked forward every week to going into the bookstore to see Judi, catching up on what we had been doing, family news, health news, current topics and always ending the conversation with exchanging recipes. A year went by and things changed, but we still stayed in each other’s lives. She got to see my new career path grow from blogger, to photographer, to cookbook reviewer, to columnist and cookbook author. The more I talked with her, the more I admired her. She had overcome so much in her life, and admitted that she was blessed beyond belief. The more I got to know Judi, the more I knew she was right. She has a past history that would put just about anyone’s to shame. She was a nurse, a multiple-time cancer survivor, a working woman, an independent woman, a volunteer, a friend and family loving soul – who also had been on “Air Force One” just to name one fascinating story. Judi is currently fighting cancer again, but is looking towards the future with nothing but faith and strength. I have really grown to love her like a member of my own family. This recipe is dedicated to my friend Judi…

Judi’s Red Cabbage Salad

This makes a delicious side dish, can be served chilled or at room temperature, and can be kept (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is also very versatile because you can use almost any herb you have on hand to add to the already complex flavor. Judi likes to add chopped dill and parsley – while I added chopped basil and a little celery salt. Make this side dish a meal by adding cubed chicken or turkey! Judi lovingly gave me this recipe to try and it’s been a constant dish in rotation with meal time ever since…

½ head of red cabbage, chopped
1 cup chopped green onion, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
1 cup dill pickle chips, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons pickle juice
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons celery salt

In a large bowl, combine the red cabbage, green onion and dill pickle chips with a wooden spoon.

Next, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, pickle juice, chopped basil, salt, black pepper and celery salt until combined.

Pour the mixture over top of the cabbage mixture, and lightly stir to combine.

Sprinkle on the reserved green onion and serve.

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