Category Archives: Guest Chef

Ann’s Decadent Turtle Brownies


My friend Ann is a wonderful baker and cook. The other day she brought me a brownie she had made. It looked so good, I had to take a picture of it and ask her for the recipe! She said it was made with a Tastefully Simple Truffle Fudge Brownie Mix, but that you could substitute your favorite brownie mix and it would still be great! These brownies are topped with chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and caramel sauce…one of the most decadent brownies I’ve ever tasted! Here’s an adapted version of the Tastefully Simple recipe, which makes an 8×8″ pan of brownies. If you buy a brownie mix that makes enough for a 9×13″ pan, just double the other ingredients in the recipe.

DECADENT TURTLE BROWNIES (adapted from Tastefully Simple)

Makes an 8×8″ pan 


  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix for an 8×8″ pan (if your brownie mix fills a 9×13″ pan, just double the rest of the ingredients)
  • The ingredients needed to prepare the mix, such as water, oil, and eggs
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

NOTE: You can also make your brownies from scratch if  you prefer…just make your favorite brownie recipe.


  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup warmed-up caramel sauce or topping*

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions; if you want your brownies to be extra chocolatey, mix 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the batter–this is optional. Spread batter in a greased 8×8″ baking pan and bake as directed.

When the brownies are finished baking, top the hot brownies with the chocolate chips, sprinkled evenly over the top, and then the chopped pecans. Finally, drizzle the warmed caramel sauce or topping over everything. The topping ingredients will get nice and melty and gooey, as you can see in the photos…YUM! Cool brownies completely, then cut into bars.


*If you want to try making your own homemade caramel sauce, here’s Ina Garten’s recipe from Food Network:


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil, uncovered, until the sugar turns a medium brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Watch it carefully at the end, as it can go from caramel to burnt very quickly! Stand back to avoid splattering, and gradually add the cream and vanilla extract to the sugar mixture. Simmer until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Serve warm, or add another 1/4 cup of heavy cream and serve room temperature.

If you like brownies, you’ll have to treat yourself to these!

Linked to Make It Yours Day, Show and Tell, We Did It! Wednesday, Foodie Friday, Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Potluck Sunday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday.


The Best (Texas) Chocolate Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake2 @ NancyCA few posts ago, I told you about a recipe for Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes, made by Jane Ann for her department lunch. Well, Jane, who is also in that same department, madethis fabulous Texas sheet cake for the dessert. It was super-good…nice and moist, very Continue reading

Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes

Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes2 @ NancyC

My friend Jane Ann made this cheesy potato casserole the other day. Her department was having a special lunch at work, and this was a side dish she made for the meal. So I took some photos of it and then, of course, I had to eat it…couldn’t let any of this creamy potato cheesiness go to waste! 🙂 It’s a yummy blend of hash browns, cream of chicken Continue reading

Polly’s Corn Casserole-Pure Comfort Food

Photo by Lorinda Gray

Thanks to my friend Lorinda, I had the pleasure of tasting this delicious corn casserole when I was having lunch with her and some other gals at her home one day. We were all commenting on how wonderful this corn casserole was! Lorinda said it was a favorite recipe of hers which she received from her sister Polly. She said it was really easy to make, too. Well, of course we all wanted the recipe! Lorinda said I could share it with you, too, and took this great photo of it! By the way, Lorinda is a very talented award-winning photographer and has a blog of her own called Ragamuffin Photography. You’ll can visit her blog by clicking HERE…she has many wonderful photographs posted for you to enjoy viewing!

And now for the recipe…like most comfort food, it’s very rich. It’s very buttery, too, and has a yummy sweetness. It’s something you’ll really enjoy digging into on a chilly day or any day, for that matter!


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 (16-oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (16-oz.) can cream style corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Melt butter in a 9×9″ casserole dish. Dump in both cans of corn, sour cream, and beaten egg, and stir. Then dump in the cornbread mix and stir well.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until lightly browned.

Then enjoy every delicious bite!

Linked to Tasty Tuesday, Show  and Tell.

Eileen’s Cranberry Almond Breakfast Scones

My artistic friend Eileen made these delicious scones and gave me the recipe (and this wonderful photo she took of them!) so I could share them with you, too! Eileen adapted her recipe from a cranberry scone recipe she found in a cookbook called Scones, Muffins, and Tea Cakes: Breakfast Breads and Teatime Spreads. These are buttermilk scones made without eggs, flavored with dried cranberries, almonds, and almond extract, and topped with a sweet touch-of-cinnamon glaze–doesn’t that sound yummy? Here is Eileen’s recipe…it makes 16 scones.


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the dried cranberries and almond slivers. Pour in the buttermilk and almond extract and mix with spatula until blended.

Gather the dough into a ball and divide in half. On a lightly floured board, roll into 2 circles, approximately ½ to ¾ inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 wedges.

To make the glaze, combine the cream, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl;  set aside.

Bake the scones on the prepared baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden. Remove scones from the oven and brush with glaze. Makes 16 scones.

Not only is Eileen a very good baker, she is also a talented artist! Here’s a still life she painted…

Isn’t that beautiful? Eileen is involved in art shows from time to time and has her work shown in galleries, too. She is such a talented artist!

Thanks for sharing your wonderful scone recipe with us, Eileen!

Linked to Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Potluck Sunday, Tasty Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, It’s A Keeper Thursday, Foodie Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday.

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage