eat well. bake from scratch. have another cupcake.


Recipe: Grandma Patti’s Baked Oatmeal

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Back in November, Em and her husband caught a flight to Houston, TX to visit their friends, Mark and Nadine, for the weekend. On their first morning there, Nadine made her Grandma’s baked oatmeal and an obsession was born. We’ve never had the privilege of meeting Nadine’s Grandma Patti, but she certainly sounds lovely, and we’re sure we’d love her just as much as we love this recipe. “Grandma Patti” is from Cathay, ND and was a farm-girl turned farm-wife.

Nadine’s Grandma Patti and 6 of her 9 Great-Grandchildren

Not only is this recipe SO easy, it’s also the perfect cold-morning breakfast that will fill you up and stay with you until lunch time. It’s also not packed full of butter and is fairly low on sugar so, although it is just sweet enough to tame a craving, it won’t totally wreck your diet. This baked oatmeal is just too good not to share, so after clearing it with Nadine (since it’s a family recipe), we’re passing it on to you. Here we go!


  • ½ cup oil (can substitute applesauce)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups quick oatmeal
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • We’ve been adding a little cinnamon when we make it – optional!


  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Mix oil, brown sugar and eggs
  • Add oats, baking powder, salt and milk
  • Pour into a buttered 9×5 (loaf) pan and bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes
    • You can mix recipe and leave overnight (refrigerate) to bake in the morning
    • Keep in fridge after baking and microwave before serving
Oatmeal will rise slightly after baking 

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. We make it often and it never lasts long around here.


Doris Jane


Baby it’s chili outside …

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Fresh off the plane from Naples, Florida, Em came home to a cleared out refrigerator and zero motivation to drag a baby to the grocery in this cold weather. (Yes, we know it’s warmed up a bit, but when you were in flip flops on Sunday and today there’s ice on the ground, there’s definitely an adjustment period.) However, she also needed something to feed her little family tonight.

One of our favorite quick and easy recipes is our dad’s chili. We tend to keep the ingredients stocked for just such an occasion. A grey day calls for something warm to ease you back into Cincinnati weather.

We shared our dad’s chili recipe in our canning post a few months ago, but with the recent snap of chill-you-to-the-bone weather Cincinnati has had, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share it again in case you need a quick, but delicious idea for dinner tonight:


• 1 lb ground chuck, browned and drained

• 2 cans tomatoes, diced and drained

• 1 can red kidney beans (we like the low sodium option), drained

• 1 packet French’s Chili-O Chili Seasoning

• 1 box elbow macaroni (optional)

• 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

• Oyster crackers (optional)

Brown ground chuck in a skillet, then remove from pan to drain grease. Add ground chuck, tomatoes, beans and 3/4 – 1 chili seasoning packet to a large pot and stir. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over cooked elbow macaroni or by itself – topping off the chili with a handful of oyster crackers and a heap of shredded cheese and devour.


Recipes for Days … Literally.

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We baked for 4 days, friends. You read that right. FOUR. DAYS. We rolled, cut, baked, washed and did it all over again. Four times. Now, as promised, we sit down with flour in our hair, chocolate on our clothes and an ache in our belly (because we have no shame, and also no self control. Anywho…), to bring you the recipes that’ll make your dentist blush. The roadmap to our baking marathon, you might say.

Day 1: “Aunt Philly” cookies and Oreo Truffles – The Oreo recipe we’ll gladly hand over. The other is the best kept secret this side of the Ohio so we can’t share this one, sorry!


  • Oreo Truffles – these taste like you spent all day in the kitchen, but take about 20 minutes to put together. Perfect for a last minute party favor or host gift. They also go GREAT with a glass of red wine … just sayin’.
    • Add one whole package of Oreos to a food processor and blend until crushed
    • Add Oreo crumbs and an 8 oz. bar of cream cheese to a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.
    • Roll into 1″ balls, place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and freeze or refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 30 truffles.
      • To finish, we dust ours with a little powdered sugar, but if you want something a bit more decadent try dipping them in melted dark chocolate with a white chocolate drizzle.


  • Day 2: Jessica’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies – we realize you’re probably asking yourself why it took us an entire day to make chocolate chip cookies. Well, that’s because we decided to make 4 batches. Yes, 4. Mostly because the first batch has a hard time making it past our dad and Emily’s husband. Also because about half of that first batch doesn’t even make it to the oven. Like we said: zero self control.
    • Surprise! She actually uses the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag + a little extra flour because we like our cookies fluffy. Find that recipe here.


  • Day 3: Iced Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
    • Cut Outs
      • Ingredients:
        • 2 3/4 C all-purpose flour
        • 2 tsp baking powder
        • 1 tsp salt
        • 1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
        • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
        • 1 egg
        • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
        • 1/2 tsp No Color Almond Extract
      • Directions:
        • Preheat oven to 400 F
        • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
        • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
        • Beat in egg and extracts. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
        • Divide dough into two balls and Roll each dough ball with a pin between two sheets of wax paper until it is about 1/4″ thick.
        • Cut cookies into desired shapes with floured cookie cutters.
        • Place shapes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze about 10 minutes so the cookies will hold their shape while baking
        • Bake cookies about 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden.
    • Icing – We use The BonBonerie’s copycat recipe. Click here!


  • Day 4: Not-from-the-tube Cinnamon Rolls – We have two recipes we love. One from chef, Alton Brown and another from a fellow blogger, Maria of 50’s Housewife Me.
    • Alton’s are delicious, but so are Maria’s and her recipe reads a little easier for people like us who got so wrapped up in wrapping gifts that we left our rolls in a little too long. Luckily for us, they’ll soon be doused in homemade icing and no one will ever be the wiser. We opted to bake them a few days ahead of time and freeze them so all we have to do is pop them in the oven to warm on Christmas morning. Stay tuned for photos of the gooey goodness.                  Both versions of the recipes can be found below:
  • Day 5: Complain about a stomachache for 6 hours, have cookies for dinner. Schedule root canal.

Emily’s planning to make cinnamon rolls a Christmas morning tradition for her family. Do you have any baking traditions? Favorite cookie recipes? Christmas cookie tips and tricks? Share them in the comments!


Pasta, Please!


Grandma Doris had a knack for cooking from scratch. Cookies, soups, breads. You name it, she could make it. Every so often we get that same homemade “itch” and it’s just gotta be scratched (…get it?). So this week we thought we’d dust off the Kitchen Aid Pasta Attachment and take a crack at homemade pasta which, as it turns out, isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. So rather than a post on how to make pasta, we thought we’d bring you our blunders. A “How-NOT-to” make your own pasta, brought to you by two German girls who love Italian food.


Step 1: Read your pasta press attachment instructions. Forgoing this step will lead you down a 15-minute detour of YouTube tutorials. We found a great one from Williams-Sonoma here.


Step 2: Prep your ingredients. Our recipe called for 4 eggs at room temperature and 2 1/2 Cups of flour, what we had was 2 cups of flour and 4 extremely cold eggs.


Step 3: Go easy on the social media. That pasta dough sure looks pretty on Instagram, but it’ll dry out faster than you can get 10 likes. We went insta-crazy and almost found ourself in a sticky situation. Quite literally. Our dough started to get warm and dry out while we were picking the perfect filter.


Step 4: Don’t overload your pasta attachment. We filled the attachment about half way, then waited. And waited. Our pasta was creeping out slowly, so we loaded the attachment to the brim. A few minutes later we found ourselves feeling like Lucy and Ethel at the candy factory. One of us cutting pasta, the other twirling as fast as we could.


Step 5: Don’t eat all the pasta before it makes it to the table. Once we boiled our pasta we couldn’t keep our hands out of it. We stuffed our cheeks like Lucy at the factory. Here’s hoping there’s enough left over for dinner!


Bloopers and blunders aside, we added basil pesto, minced garlic and parmesan cheese and it was delish! Here’s an online version of the recipe we used from Williams-Sonoma.

Do you have any tips for our next go ’round? Comment below! We need all the help we can get!





Recipe: Cherryl’s Cranberry Sausages

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Without further delay … because, let’s be serious, you’ve waited long enough and we promised it to you last week … just in time for Sunday brunch, we give you: Cherryl’s Cranberry Sausage recipe from our visit to Sycamore Farms Country Inn! The perfect “link” (get it?) between sweet and sour and savory, and hands down the best thing going on in our lives right now. The best part, they’re SO. EASY. and you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.

If you missed our visit to the very lovely Sycamore Farms Country Inn … check it out here.


You’ll need:

  • 1 package sausage links
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Dried cranberries
  • Medium skillet/pan (bonus points for a cast iron)


  • Brown 1 package of sausage links in a medium skillet
  • Add in 1 cup orange juice and let simmer for a few minutes
  • Throw in a handful of dried cranberries and let simmer until the juice forms a glaze and the cranberries plump.
  • Serve with hot coffee and alongside waffles, pancakes or a couple eggs. Enjoy!



Our secret to taking your favorite fall recipes up a notch …


Picture your Grandma’s basement. Great wasn’t it? Chock-full of discovery. The way it smelled like old books and powder detergent and could keep you entertained for hours. Grandma Doris’ basement didn’t disappoint. Not only did she have a swing (translation: old piece of wood tied to a rope) hanging from the rafters, but it’s also where she kept her canned vegetable collection – the secret to her lick-your-fingers cooking. Plenty of her favorite recipes called for fresh vegetables and no matter the time of year, she never had to go further than down her stairs.


This tradition of canning using the “Water Bath Method” was passed on to our Dad and just so happens to be the secret to the best chili you’ve ever had. We promise. We’ll share that recipe in a minute – but first let’s start with the canning process:

Disclaimer: While we are confident in this canning technique, we do not assume responsibility for any illness or infection that may occur from improper sterilization during the canning process. Please use caution – food will spoil if not sealed correctly.

What you’ll need:

  • Water bath canner
  • 2 large saucepans
  • Canning jars, lids
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Canning salt

How much will this cost?

  • Water bath canning pot with rack – approx. $20 (one time expense)
  • Set of 12 pint-sized canning jars – approx. $10 (one time expense)
  • Canning salt – approx. $3


Let’s get started!

  1. STERILIZEone of us is a nurse, the other has a one year old, if there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s sterilizing and disinfecting. Put all your jars, lids and rings into boiling water in your water bath canner and let that baby bubble.
  2. TOMATO PREP – Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait, remove the core of the tomatoes (similar to coring an apple) and poke a few holes into the skin. **You’ll also want to cut out any imperfections or bad spots. This may sound like common sense, but you “can”not can rotten tomatoes.

FullSizeRender-53. BOIL – add tomatoes to boiling water. They should boil until skin can be pinched and easily removed. About 3 minutes.

4. REMOVE tomatoes from boiling water to cool. Skin will peel off when tomatoes are properly cooked. To peel, pinch tomato and peel skin back. It is that easy! (Be sure we are skinning with clean hands of course!)

FullSizeRender-65. REMOVE sterilized jars after about 7 minutes. We like to do this with tongs to avoid contamination and burns.

6. SALT: If you are using pint jars as we did, you will now add ½ tsp of salt into the bottom of the jar.

FullSizeRender-77. CUT tomatoes into quarters and place into prepared jar. You will want to smoosh the tomatoes down as you place them into the jar to get rid of any air bubbles.

8. LEAVE ½ inch of room at the top of the jar for an air seal.

FullSizeRender-99. WIPE the tops of the jars with a paper towel that has been dipped into boiling water. Use a new paper towel with each jar to remove any juice or germs that may still remain on the jar’s rim. Again, cutting down on any risk of any contamination.

FullSizeRender-1010. PLACE boiling lids on jars. Remove the lids from the boiling water with tongs (that have been dipped in boiling water of course) and place on jars.

FullSizeRender-1111. NEXT, screw on the canning lids hand-tight. No need to sterilize these but if you’re extra cautious, proceed.

FullSizeRender-1212. SWIRL the now fully assembled jars into your saucepan, full of boiling water. This slowly introduces the jars to the temperature change to avoid any cracking glass. Repeat with all jars.  Jars should be completely submerged with lids pointing up.

13. SLOW BOIL all of the submerged jars for 25-30 minutes (with the lid on the pot).

FullSizeRender-1314. REMOVE the jars after 30 minutes of boiling. We like to place our jars on a towel, again, to avoid any cracking due to a cool countertop and hot jars.

15. LISTEN for a “pop!” (if you don’t hear a pop, the jar is not properly sealed) and your fresh summer tomatoes are now on stand-by for your fall chili craving!


And now for that chili recipe we promised you …


  • 1 lb ground chuck, browned and drained
  • 2 cans tomatoes, diced and drained
  • 1 can red kidney beans (we like the low sodium option), drained
  • 1 packet French’s Chili-O Chili Seasoning
  • 1 box elbow macaroni (optional)
  • 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Oyster crackers (optional)


Brown ground chuck in a skillet, then remove from pan to drain grease. Add ground chuck, tomatoes, beans and 3/4 – 1 chili seasoning packet to a large pot and stir. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over cooked elbow macaroni or by itself – topping off the chili with a handful of oyster crackers and a heap of shredded cheese and devour.

Blog, Home Decor, Recipes

Happy Mother’s Day from Sincerely, Doris Jane …

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A mother is a delicate balance. She is strong enough to be the cornerstone of the household and the matriarch of her little family, yet gentle enough to offer her shoulder to tiny crying faces. She is confident in her maternal wisdom, both inherited and instinctual, yet humble enough to remain in the shadows to let her children take the spotlight. She is beautiful, sometimes in ways only a mother can be, whether it’s the light in her eyes when she plays with her children, or the beaming “glow” radiating beyond the round, firm belly of pregnancy, yet she lacks enough vanity to put her children and her family before herself. She is the first friend. The loudest cheerleader. The kisser of bumps and bruises. The steady hand when learning to walk. The phone call for reassurance. The first card on your birthday. The giver of hugs and kisses and rides to elementary school. She is both uniquely and wonderfully herself, yet a perfect combination of the mothers and grandmothers who have come before her.


Home Decor, Recipes

An Elegant Antique Easter


Our favorite holiday of the year came with lots of preparation, and plenty of opportunities to incorporate our favorite heirloom pieces and other antique accessories. Our Elegant Antique Easter post will provide a peek into our family’s Easter celebration, with a recipe for the best carrot cake you’ve ever tasted as an added treat.

Let’s start with one of our favorite accessories. Easter is a time for feminine frills and floral touches, a favorite, yet often forgotten Easter accessory of ours, are a pair of delicate white gloves. Here is a simple guideline to “getting caught glove-handed” and wearing your shorties with style and grace:

  1. Always remove your gloves when they are at risk of being stained. In general gloves should be removed before eating and may be put back on after you are finished. After dinner cocktail? You may keep your gloves on, unless there is a high chance that you may spill your beverage onto your gloves.
  2. Need to powder your nose or reapply your favorite lip gloss? This should be done in the privacy of the Ladies room with gloves removed. At these parties there will be a lot of meeting and greeting, in this situation you should not remove your glove unless it is someone of high religious authority.
  3. Speaking of religion, going to church Easter morning? Don’t get caught with your gloves on if you plan to take the Eucharist by hand. If receiving by mouth gloves may remain on.
  4. Have fun with your gloves, we enjoy searching through antique shops who often have them for as cheap as 3$! But, be careful how you handle your new found accessory as there used to be secret meanings in the Victorian Era!
Shown here, a favorite pair of gauntlet-length white gloves, just $6 at an antique store in Lebanon, OH. 

Our dinner table this year held an extra special gift from our Poppy. Our Great-Great Aunt Clara’s rose floral china was the focal point for a beautiful Easter table. Though we had to bend the table setting rules a bit (rearranging the utensils for example) to fit everyone we could, it still turned out exactly the way we planned, and the “bunny-fold” napkin tutorial we found here was the perfect touch.


Now for dessert. A staple at our Easter table each year is carrot cake. We’ve found this sweet and dense, but not too rich recipe to be absolute Easter perfection. The recipe is also relatively simple. Display on a glass or delicate cake pedestal for added elegance. Serve with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of cold milk to ensure every crumb will be gone by the time your guests leave. Our favorite recipe from Taste of Home can be found here.

This glass cake stand came with a beautiful cut-glass dome, a great find at an antique show for only $40! 

We hope your Easter celebration was as delightful as ours was and that you were able to enjoy the day surrounded by your family and friends. A blessed (and belated) Easter and happy fun-filled spring to all of our readers!