Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for October 7, 2020

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews hosts a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: Recipes from my city/state/country.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for July 31, 2019

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews will be hosting a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: My Favorite Food and How I Use It

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Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

This is one of my family’s favorite desserts to serve on cold winter days. It’s easy to make, tastes delicious, and freezes well. Sometimes I’ll whip up a double batch of it and then slowly nibble my way through

One of the other things I love about it is how forgiving it is if you need to substitute certain ingredients. For example, I’m allergic to milk, and I have several relatives who need to avoid consuming it for health reasons as well.

We’ve all had beautiful results substituting soy or almond milk for the cow milk in this recipe. It’s always nice to find desserts like that!

Be sure to use plain pumpkin puree in these cupcakes, not pumpkin pie filling. You’ll be adding your own spices to it.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

This recipe will make 12 cupcakes or one 8×8 inch cake


1 can of plain pumpkin puree

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all-purpose white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup of chocolate chips
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Cinnamon Icing Ingredients (optional)

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons melted margarine

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. If you’re making cupcakes, grease the tin or put muffin liners in it. If you’re making a cake, grease the cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients together.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones by hand. This dough can be a little finicky, so using a hand mixer will make the the batter gummy. Stop stirring as soon as all of the ingredients have been combined.
  5. Gently mix the chocolate chips into the batter.
  6. Fill liners 2/3 full (if making cupcakes) and bake for 22-24 minutes. If you’re making an 8×8 inch cake, bake it for 30-35 minutes, and if you choose to double the recipe I’d bake it for at least 45 minutes. Once a butter knife cleanly comes out of your cake or cupcakes, it’s finished!
  7. Cool completely before icing them.

I find this cake quite sweet and tasty without icing, but I thought I’d include that option for anyone who would like to try it the traditional way.

Here’s a bonus photo of this dessert in cake form. Enjoy!

Recipe: Banana Bread

As I promised in 5 Ways to Cope with Cabin Fever, here is my family’s banana bread recipe.

This is something my mother used to make for the sheer joy of it whenever we had bananas that has become too ripe for anyone’s liking. It’s a simple recipe that I’d almost call foolproof. Or at least I’ve always had a lot of luck with it!

Oh, and be sure to use bananas that are as brown and squishy as possible. This recipe works best with bananas that are very overripe.

Banana Bread


1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
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2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (I usually need 2 medium-sized bananas for this)


Mix the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar together in a bowl.

Mix the oil, eggs, and mashed bananas in a separate bowl.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl. Mix them all together until the batter looks a little fluffy.

Pour this dough into a greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 F for 45-60 minutes. A toothpick stuck into the middle of it should come out clean when it’s done. My oven generally tends to need a full hour of baking in order for this to happen.

Recipe: Tamale Pie

Growing up, one of my favorite meals my mom made was Tamale Pie.

It’s a rich, yummy comfort food that’s perfect for warming the belly in the winter time. Most recipes I’ve seen will put the cornbread on the top like a crust, but I prefer my mom’s version of mixing the cornmeal into the casserole to thicken it.

Here’s the secret family recipe…don’t tell anyone *VBG*… I hope you enjoy!

Tamale Pie

1 onion (chopped)
1/4 c oil
2 tsp salt
tobacco sauce to taste
1 c cornmeal
1 can creamed corn
1 clove garlic
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1 Tbsp chili powder
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 c milk
1 can olives (sliced or whole)


1.Cook onion and garlic in oil until soft (about 5 mins).
2.add ground beef and cook until browned.
3.Add seasonings (tobasco, chili powder, salt) and tomatoes. Turn to low and simmer 15 mins.
4.Mix cornmeal with the milk, then add to the meat mixture. Cook 5 mins, stirring regularly.
5.Add creamed corn and olives. Mix well.
6.Pour into baking dish.
7.Bake at 325 for one hour.

Traditional New Year’s Day Meal?

Several years ago, Judy and I were having a talk about New Year’s and mentioned making her traditional dinner of black-eyed peas, collards, cornbread and pork, something she did every year. I’d never heard of such a thing, but I live in New England by way of growing up in California, so figured it was a southern thing (Judy is from Georgia).

I was right.

I pumped Judy for more info as to WHY those foods. Apparently they are about luck and prosperity: black-eyed peas represent coins, collards are green-backs (or paper money), corn is gold and pork is for … well, honestly I didn’t know. So I looked around and found this article:

The True Story of Traditional New Year’s Lucky Foods

It says, in part:

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Well … okay, I guess.

I have to be honest, though. I’ve never even eaten black-eyed peas. Or collards. It’s true! Maybe that’s why I’ve never been lucky enough to win the lottery?

We don’t have a traditional family meal for New Year’s Day. I’m feeling a tad left out. And I have to admit, Hoppin’ John Stew (pictured above — click the photo for another recipe) sounds pretty dang good.

What about you? Do you serve a traditional meal for New Year’s Day? Do tell!