Just “mix” it up!


I love to bake and prefer doing it from scratch but, now and then (much more on the now), there just isn’t enough time.  So, I scoot into the pantry for a cake mix which works well for last-minute yummy cookies and these easy, tasty, cake shortcuts.


Apple Spice Cake

  • 1 pkg. Spice Cake Mix
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 can Apple Pie Filling
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Chopped Nuts * optional

Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch pan.

Combine cake mix, eggs and oil in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes then..stir in apple pie filling until well-mixed.  If using, stir in nuts. Pour into bake pan.

Bake at 350 ºF for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes.  Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into squares and serve.

This recipe is great using a Devil’s Food cake mix and 1 can of chocolate pie filling, a Lemon cake mix and 1 can of lemon pie filling or a Yellow cake mix and 1 can of fruit filling of your choice.  Adding 1 cup of nuts, coconut or chocolate chips to compliment whatever cake flavor you choose is optional.  Just follow the same measurements/baking time and, of course, that powdered sugar at the end which sets the cake off very well or…. any other topping you prefer.

No one will believe you didn’t slave for hours baking these goodies!


workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Write a blog post inspired by the word: bake.


Where I’m From


I am from travels across long and winding roads.  From musty clothes and a tattered suitcase.

     From the lonely U.S. Navy sailor on shore leave and the USO singer looking to escape, I am the aftermath.

I am from Huguenot, number 327.  Long dark halls where fear hid behind each door.

I am from constant disagreements and hurt from Strollo, artistic talents from Havens and depression…from Smith.

I am the sarcastic one of Lloyd Chester and ever-critical like Mary Patricia but not as hateful as Mary Agnes.  I have Marjorie’s fleeting elegance… but not her voice.  I have Lee’s fingers guiding mine as I write …but not the music from his soul.

I am from kneeling in Catholic church until my knees were numb and my back ached from staying rigid.   From pain that was better than any punishment from the nuns who patrolled the aisle.

I’m from the poor shadows of decaying New Rochelle and the wealth of golden San Francisco.  Beef Stew and Pâté de Foie Gras.



I am from Lilacs, briefly bursting with soft color and fragrance.   From sand that washes into the ocean with every storm.

I’m from hindsight…and wishing.  Always wishing.

I am from dreams of different beginnings; from gathering moments into boxes of forgotten memories labeled… Indifference,  Anger and Why? 

Mostly, I am an outsider, safely standing on the edges of my life, wondering.



Mama’s Losin’ It

From Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts….Complete the “Where I’m From” poem. 

I first wrote and shared this post way back in 2014 and there was nothing about it I wished to change for this current prompt response, nor did I want to write a new post.  This reflects me; my beginnings and where I am at this point still in my life. 



If you really must know…


I will assume that you have some deep-seated desire to learn a bit more about me since you stopped by to read this.  If not…please just pretend, okay?

Aside from what’s stated in the “About Me” section of my blog, and in various posts I’ve shared, there are a few more items that define who I am.  As with most of us, there are more that can fall into the wishful thinking category.  Those unfulfilled dreams. 


What you don’t know about me.

1.     I’m a registered Republican, once a registered Democrat.  Let me emphatically state that the philosophies from both parties make me cringe at times.  Honestly, I do make every attempt to sweep up some crumbs of sensibility from all the ramblings each faction puts on the political table when I vote.  What can I say?  Don’t judge me.

2.    I have ADD.  Grew up in a time where the nuns in parochial school gave children the strap or made them stand in the coat closet if they didn’t pay attention or do their work.  Somehow, I made it this far and managed to channel my disorder into something positive with a degree in Business and a license in Cosmetology, plus a whirlwind of projects that circle over my head, spinning furiously, all at the same time (but never quite get finished).  It works, for the most part.

3.    Do. Not. Laugh.   I am a certified mechanic.  Went to General Motors Training School back when I was racing my hot rod in the 60’s.  The big issue is that I’m quite capable to work on most vehicles from way-back-when but, modern day computerized-everything vehicle technology?  Fuggedaboutit.

4.    Tripe.  I despise it.  No further explanation needed on this one.  Please don’t ask but feel free to read an old post on this subject.

5.     I don’t have many dreams left to dream.  Yes, a line right out of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cartoon classic, I know.  At this stage of my life, the focus is on survival, of gathering-up the loose ends of my life and possibly, somewhere in between all of this, there might be a few adventures waiting in the wings.  Before I get my wings, hopefully.


Things I know about (to the point of being obnoxious).

1.     Cooking.  Good is as good does and I wear that well.

2.     Photography.  Digital cameras and camera phones can’t hold a candle to work I’ve done with my Nikon F3.  I do miss my Kodachrome.

3.     Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.   This grandma still rocks out to American Girl.  I rock.  Period.

4.     1966 Pontiac GTO’s.  THE hottest muscle car of all times.  At least mine was.

5.     Alzheimer’s disease.   I was a bystander to the brutal rampage of this vicious disease, watching both with anger and sadness as it turned my mother into a stranger.  My experiences fueled my need to write, a book (not yet completed) and the creation of this blog. 


What I know nothing about (and maybe care never to learn).

1.     Where Jimmy Hoffa is

2.     Mountain climbing

3.     Calculus

4.     Hair removal threading

5.     Archaeology


What I really, really believe.

1.     Paying it forward.   I expect nothing in return except the satisfaction from sharing a good thing.

2.     There is a secret, one-sock-eating, compartment in all clothes dryers. 

3.     There is life elsewhere in this universe where strange beings observe us while laughing and shaking their antennae at how we are destroying this planet of ours.

4.     Death.  After life.  That’s it.  Exit stage left.  Bring down the curtain.

5.     Santa Claus.  Yes, I still believe.


Thanks to Mama Kat’s for the prompt-inspiration that helped generate this post.  It was an entertaining and fun writing workout that I sorely needed.  Have to admit that it was difficult to come up with 5 of anything about me.   I learned a few things about myself that I either didn’t know or had forgotten about!