Steve Spivey’s Low-Snot Pecan Pie

November 17, 2017

My cousin Vikki’s friend, Steve used to make awesome pecan pie, with a reduced amount of the gooey filling (“snot”) as preferred by all. Steve is no longer with us here on Earth, but Vikki has reminded me of how he made the pies.

“Steve said he uses the recipe on the Karo syrup bottle with these changes:.  He uses half light and half dark syrup.  3 cups pecans and splits the entire mixture between 2 shallow pie shells. He also bakes a little longer than recipe, about 5 to 10 minutes; that’s what makes it crunchier than other pecan pies. But you have to keep your eye on it the entire extra time and be ready to pull out if it is looking too dark.  It’s the extra pecans and splitting the mixture between 2 shallow pie shells that reduces the goo layer.  Must use shallow pie shells.”

Thanks, Vikki, and Thanks, Steve!


Sweet potato/ butternut squash breakfast hash

January 4, 2016

Chop up however much sweet potato and/or butternut squash you need for your number of guests. We’re talking dice-size or smaller here.
I usually par-cook them in water in the microwave to get them started…about 3 minutes. Then drain and let dry a bit on a clean kitchen towel.
In a big pan, sautee 1 chopped vidalia onion until tender. Add the potatoes and I cut up smoked sausage. I use Conecuh, but you could certainly use one of the nice chicken sausages. When almost done, you can add eggs and let them cook, or serve them on the side.

Spicy Black Eyed Pea Soup

January 2, 2016

This New Year rendition of black eyed peas turned out so awesome, I had to blog it before I forgot what I put in it 🙂

Leftover ham bone (hopefully with some ham still on it)
1 pint fresh blackeyed peas
1/2 onion, chopped
Several broccoli florets (they basically disintegrate, but good for nutrition, right?)
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups vegetable stock
water, as needed
1 TB thyme
2 bay leaves
2 TB Cholula or other hot sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Black pepper to taste

My cooktop was broken on New Year’s day, so I made this in a dutch oven in the oven. I put the ham bone and all the vegetables, tomato sauce, herbs, spices, and stock in the dutch oven and put it in the oven on 375 for a couple of hours. I ended up cranking the temp up to 400 to keep it simmering, and I added water as needed until the peas were done. The peas took a lot longer than I thought they would. I think the total was about four hours. Shred any ham left on the bone and toss it in. It’s delicious!

Lemon Ginger Raspberry Scones

March 11, 2015

I cannot overstate how delicious these are.

1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 cup smashed fresh raspberries
1.5 cups self rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into dice
1 cup (or less) cream and milk…any combination of your choosing
1 egg

Combine ginger, lemon peel, raspberries, egg, some of the cream/milk and whisk (reserve some of the milk to adjust consistency). Combine Flour, baking powder, and sugar, and then cut/smash the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Fold in the wet ingredients. If it’s not pretty wet, add more milk/cream. To be honest, I did not have enough milk/cream so I used some ginger ale and it was AWESOME ( you could also go with some lemon juice at this point. after all, you have that half of a desiccated lemon sitting there). Dump the dough out onto the floured counter (it’s cool if you mix some sugar into the flour on the counter) and knead it gently until it just holds together. Then cut it into whatever shape you want: traditional wedges, circles (not recommended – wasteful), dinosaurs (really wasteful but fun), whatever. Bake at 375 degrees American for about 15 minutes, checking occasionally because I’m not really sure how long they take. Serve with butter and/or whipped cream.
These were SERIOUSLY delicious.

Banana Peach Nut Nearly Fat Free Muffins

August 8, 2012

Well, I’m pretty weirded out because I never set out to make almost fat free muffins. It’s just that I FORGOT to put the butter in. And guess what? They’re really good. I suspect that they will be something that is better served straight out of the oven, that they will crisp up significantly as they cool. However, they’re really tasty and totally accidentally partially healthy!

2 very ripe bananas
1 very ripe peach (possibly the source of the moisture replacing the fat)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup finely chopped (or maybe coarsely, you be the judge) walnuts
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Toss the bananas and peach into a food processor and puree. Add the eggs and flavorings. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix the banana mixture, the dry ingredients, and the nuts with a whisk until combined. Bake in muffin tins until done (did not pay attention). You might do a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar in the tins. (Oh, and you’ll need to grease/butter/Pam them, duh.) I was really flabbergasted that these came out great. Now, granted, they are not rich and yummy. You may want to butter them. And they may be super crispy tomorrow. But in the meantime, they are surprisingly delicious and almost fat free.

*** Note. I have started just baking stuff without recipes. It’s kind of exciting.

Gabris German Potato Salad

March 15, 2012

My cousin Joan Gabris Crader made some awesome German potato salad for our excellent family get-together this past weekend. I think she and mom had a pretty good time making it. Cooking is a big passion of our family. There aren’t a lot of exact measurements here…it’s an art, not a science 🙂

5 lbs red potatoes, boiled until done, peeled, and thinly sliced

Celery, green peppers, and onion, diced (maybe 1 cup each??)

1 or 2 lbs bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped (reserve the drippings!)

Sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar (cider?), cornstarch

Place the vegetables and bacon in a large pan and sprinkle with sugar, salt, and pepper. Let stand for hours. Liquid will leach off.

Reheat bacon drippings and add vinegar and water (3 to 1 ratio). Thicken with a water/cornstarch slurry.

Pour over potatoes, stir, and adjust seasoning to taste.

Gooey Butter Cake

March 15, 2012

UPDATE: Since this original posting, you can now find cake-mix-free recipes online. I’m going to try the one below. There is a more difficult version involving a yeast-crust layer that I’ll try if this one’s not satisfactory. Kathy’s original version is still below 🙂


By Monica              24 servings
This popular St. Louis cake has been a regional favorite since the 1930’s. It is characteristically crispy around the edges and gooey in the center. Most recipes begin with a yellow cake mix, but this yummy version is made completely from scratch. Serve it as a breakfast/brunch coffee cake or a dessert.


  • 2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temp (any milk will do; use cream or evaporated milk for richer flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar (same as confectioners or icing sugar), plus additional for dusting top
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, use electric mixer on medium speed to blend butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg, then add milk and vanilla; mix until uniformly blended. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing after each addition (begin each addition on low speed and increase to medium speed to avoid flying flour), scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared 9×13 pan. (Spraying your hands lightly with cooking spray makes it easier to spread the sticky dough.) Set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, use electric mixer at medium speead to beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. On low speed, mix in powdered sugar and salt until combined. Then mix in vanilla and eggs, mixing in eggs one at a time at medium speed until uniformly combined. Scrape down bowl, and continue to mix on medium speed until smooth. Pour mixture over bottom layer in pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

BAKE until golden brown around the edges, approx. 40-45 minutes. Be careful not to overcook so it stays gooey in the middle. (Cake will rise in the oven, especially around the edges, and fall as it cools. It gets crusty around the pan edges and should remain gooey inside the outer edges.) Cool completely and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving. 245 calories, 9.8g fat, 6g sat fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, 79mg potassium, 37.6g carbs, 0g fiber, 27.1g sugars, 2.9g protein; Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 12

See the recipe online at


Original Post

This is from my cousin Kathy Gabris Lang, who is the hostess with the mostest. She served this (among many other wonderful things) during our recent visit to the homeland, St. Louis. Every last one of the cousins, aunts, uncles, etc were so welcoming and fed us to the gills with German and St. Louis specialties.

1 pkg yellow cake mix

1 stick butter

1 egg

8 oz cream cheese

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 lb box powdered sugar

Mix first 3 ingredients and pat into slightly greased 13 x 9 pan

Mix and beat next 4 ingredients. Kathy likes to beat these thoroughly, a couple of minutes to achieve a crisp top layer.

Pour over cake mix layer.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar as soon as you take it out of the oven.

Optional: sprinkle nuts or spoon cherries, or pie filling, or blueberries on top before baking.