Posted by: bree1972 | January 21, 2010

Life Is Uncertain – Eat Dessert First. 01/22/2010

The famous quote by Ernestine Ulmer used as today’s title says it all, doesn’t it?  How many times as a child did we pick our way through peas, cauliflower, and – dare I even say it – L I V E R – just so we could get a piece of that pie our moms had pulled out of the oven HOURS ago!

DESSERT – I mean just the word makes my mouth water.  The funny thing is until I hit 40 (a couple of decades ago), I really wasn’t a big dessert eater.  Oh, I liked ice cream (chocolate), candy bars (chocolate), and cake (chocolate) – are you beginning to see a pattern here?  But did I have to have it everyday?  Not even close!

My wonderful husband Ted knows I have a chocolate tooth, and he also knows I have absolutely NO will power when it is around the house – but neither does he.  The problem is he can eat pounds of the stuff nightly and never gain an ounce.  I can look at an M&M and go up a dress size.

One of the maddest I have ever been at Ted was one night after I had spent a WEEK on a diet.  I had asked him to please not put anything chocolate any place I could remotely see it, smell it, or hear it melting.  After dinner that night, Ted came into the den with a coffee cup.  Now that should have been a clue to me because he never drinks coffee after dinner – but I was busy and not half paying attention.  After a few minutes, I glanced over and noticed Ted “sipping” from the cup – except he was taking little jerky sips.  And it seemed to me that I could hear whatever was in the cup “rattling”.  He saw me watching him and said, “What?”

“What’s in the cup, Ted?” I said, suspiciously.

“Nestle’s semi-sweet dark chocolate pieces,” he said, innocently. 

I reached over and grabbed the cup, and sure enough – it was half-full of little morsels of chocolate.  What a sneak!

Now you know the reason I started Bree’s Recipe Day with Desserts.  I received more than I can use , but I am going to keep them all, and we’ll get around to Desserts again soon.  Eventually, they will all be published. 


 AUNT BETTY’S NUTTY PIE  (Submitted by Joanne Sawatzki – Lansing, Michigan)*

*Recipe was updated at 7:44 a.m. Friday, January 22, 2010, with additional instructions written in blue.

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup crushed soda crackers/saltines
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup ground walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ pint whipping cream (whipped) – or Cool Whip

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Add baking powder and salt.  Gradually add sugar and beat until shiny.  Crush crackers and fold into egg whites with nuts and vanilla.

Pour mixture into WELL GREASED 9” pie plate (make sure to grease even the lip of the pie plate because as the mixture bakes and expands, it will come up over the lip.  Bake approximately 45 minutes in 300 degree oven.  When cool, spread whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with nut pieces for garnish.  Make day ahead and keep refrigerated until needed.


 PRETZEL DESSERT (Submitted by Alice Kelly – Temperance, Michigan)

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup melted margarine
  • 3 tsp. sugar

Combine ingredients above and press into 9 x 12 inch baking dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool.

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (9 oz.) Cool Whip

Combine cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip, and spread on top of cooled pretzel crust.

  • 1 (6 oz.) strawberry jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries (with sugar)

Combine jello, water, and strawberries, and pour on top of cheese mixture.  Refrigerate until jello mixture is firm.


 FUDGE STRIPED COOKIE DESSERT  (Submitted by Jane Kemp – Minnesota)

  • 1 (3.5 oz.)  package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • 1 pk. Keebler fudge striped cookies, crumbled.  Set aside. (The Keebler brand cookie seems to work/taste the best.)
  • 1 reg.size can pineapple tidbits, drained.  Do not used CRUSHED pineapple.
  • 1 regular size can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • 2 bananas, sliced.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together dry pudding mix and buttermilk or sour cream with a wire whip. Mixture will be lumpy. Fold in thawed Cool Whip, and blend till smooth. Add pineapple and mandarin oranges. About 1 hour before serving, fold in the bananas and cookie crumbles. (Cookies will get soggy if you add before this, and the bananas will turn dark).



 TEXAS SHEET CAKE (Submitted by Lana Stuart – Atlanta, GA)

  • 2 cups sugar

    Besides being a fabulous cook and one of my best friends in the whole world, Lana is also an unbelievable photographer. The picture of the beautiful pie cooling in today's header is hers, as is this photo of a square of her Texas Sheet Cake. You can find many more recipes from Lana at

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate Icing (see below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease and lightly flour a 15×10 inch jellyroll pan. Set aside.

Sift together sugar and flour in a large bowl; set aside.

Combine butter and next 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until butter and shortening melt.  Remove from heat and pour over sugar mixture, stirring until dissolved. Cool slightly.

Combine eggs, buttermilk, baking soda and vanilla.

Stir into the sugar and chocolate mixture.

Pour into prepared jellyroll pan.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Start making the icing when the cake has about 10 minutes left to cook.

Spread warm cake with Chocolate Icing. And don’t worry about those dips and cracks. They all even out with the icing and no one will ever know they were there!

Chocolate Icing

  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 16 oz. package powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Combine butter, cocoa and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until margarine melts. Then turn the heat up to medium and bring to a boil. 

Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and the sugar dissolves. Stir in pecans.

My sister makes this recipe and she cuts it into tiny little squares about 1 1/2 x 1/2 inches. Me, I make big old brownie size squares. About 4 x 4.

However, you slice it up, it serves a huge crowd of people. I made one for a neighborhood party last weekend and the large slices filled two plates with slices stacked three deep.


STRAWBERRY DELIGHT (Submitted by Bree – Lake Blackshear/Mackinac Island)

Bet you thought I was going to give you a chocolate dessert, didn’t you!  I have made this Paula Deen recipe over and over again – for family, for parties, for pot luck suppers.  I always bring the bowl back empty.

  • 1 large Angel Food cake (I get mine at WalMart’s)
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 (10 oz) pkgs. frozen, sweetened, halved strawberies, thawed.  (I can never find 10 oz. pkgs. of strawberries, so I just try and get as close to 20 oz. as I can).  Fresh strawberries DO NOT work for this recipe.  You need all that juice in the thawed out berries.

Cut Angel Food cake into cubes – about the size of walnuts.  In small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk, mixing until smooth and completely blended. 

In separate medium bowl, whip cream with sugar, until stiff peaks form.

To assemble:  In a trifle bowl (or any pretty glass bowl), layer half the Angel food cake cubes, cream cheese mixture, whipped cream, and strawberries.  Repeat layers in same order, using remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate several hours before eating.

Ok – here is your mission, should you decide to accept it.  Make one of these delicious desserts this weekend and receive lots of hugs and kisses from your family.  OR – throw some chocolate chips into a coffee mug and sip slowly.

See you Monday, good Lord willing. God bless.

“Many people who have been used of God were great sinners and seemed unreachable.  Don’t give up on anyone.  There is no person beyond the grace of God.” . . . Billy Graham



  1. Bet TED can’t wait for YOU to start baking ALL these yummy recipes.

  2. MMMM!! While I can’t claim any culinary skills, the same is not true for Jeanine. I’ve already shown her the pictures which were enough to convince her to give one or two (or five) of these recipes a try! Thanks!

    • I don’t think she can go wrong with any of these, Mike. Next week, I wish she would send me some of her favorites too. Next Friday will be “casseroles”.

  3. Ohh they all sound so yummy! Maybe I’ll join Ted with a cup of morsels until I decide where to start. That’s too funny. 🙂 Hi, my name is Hilde, and I am a chocoholic. 😉

  4. On my refrigerator I have a page out of one of my old calendars which says “Life’s short—dessert first”. Actually on my Dad’s side of the family we all love dessert and usually eat it first. Now chocolate is not at the top of my list of favorite but just about every other dessert is on the list to eat. When there is nothing but chocolate—I dive right in. Strange I know but I do need my dessert. Have a great weekend.

  5. If you eat dessert first, you will never feel deprived. One of us on this couch is drooling and I don’t think it is the dog.

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