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Patti Howerton: Different type of treats for your table

Want to raise some eyebrows?

This week’s recipes are just the thing for conversations of how and what is that? We will keep it a secret between you and me. Let’s surprise everyone with the sweet treats made with strange ingredients and different appearances.

So put your apron on and let’s get started on these treats!

• 1 pkg. (18.25 ounces) Chocolate cake mix
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 pkg. (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
• 1 egg
• 6 ounces chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper baking cups. Make cake mix according to package directions. Spoon batter into the muffin pans, filling each cup about two-thirds full. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, Stir in the chips. Drop 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture into each cupcake. Bake as cake mix package directs. When cool, frost with your favorite flavor and color frosting. Makes 24-28 cupcakes.


• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 2-1/2 cup peeled, diced apples 1 cup walnuts, chopped
• 1/2 cup diced celery


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the eggs, sugar, and vanilla, beating until mixture is light and fluffy (at least 2-minutes with an electric beater), much longer if by hand. Beat in mayonnaise. Add third of the flour mixture to the egg-sugar mixture followed by half the milk. Mix to combine after each addition. Repeat this process, ending with the final third of the flour mixture. Using a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the apples, walnuts and celery until evenly distributed. Turn the batter into a greased and floured 12- cup fluted tube pan (Bundt). Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, loosen edges and turn on a rack to cool completely. Frost with vanilla glaze or just powdered sugar, even plain its very good.


This recipe became a tradition in our family. The pie, which resembles a tart, needs to cook at low heat or the eggs will curdle. If you don’t have any strawberries on hand, you can use peaches, raspberries, or blueberries for the sauce.


• 2 cups white sugar
• 1/2 cup softened, butter
• 3 large eggs
2 tbsp. whole milk
• 2 tbsp. white vinegar
• 2 tbsp. regular cornmeal
• a pinch of all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 unbaked pie shell
• 1 cup fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved
• 1/4 cup any fruit Liqueur
• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


reheat oven to only 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until well combined. Add the milk, lemon juice, vinegar, cornmeal, flour, and vanilla extract and mix well. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell and cook in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until the custard is set and the top lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and the liqueur and stir gently to mix. Slice the pie and serve each slice topped with a couple tablespoons of the strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at phowerton@ gmail.com.