Archive by Author

My Baking Sidekick

She’s my Friday-afternoon sidekick. We are the Miss NiNi delivery team. As we meander the Des Moines Metro streets in Ethyl–my faithful 1994 Buick Roadmaster woody wagon,–we dine on conversation along with the finest of after-school snacks—rice cakes and water. A Shared Passion We’re both passionate about dessert baking. And now, she’s my teaching assistant […]

Remembering A Groom’s Cake

1989. The era of big hair! Shoulder pads in women’s clothing were hip! Steel Magnolias with its star-studded cast of actors and actresses made its debut on the silver screen. The plot of that movie was fun to follow! However, Dear Readers, the action in one scene featuring the groom’s cake is what truly hit a home […]

Seeing Double

It is a well-known supposition that a dessert baker such as Yours Truly cracks open dozens upon dozens of eggs. After breaking open the shell of an egg, I customarily visualize one egg yolk sitting cuddled inside the surrounding egg white. Pretty ordinary…correct? However, infrequently, this same set of egg-cracking circumstances reveals two yolks from […]

From Coloring Books to Recipe Books

As I reflect on memorable teachers in my life, I cannot help but recall some of the I-remember-you well-because-you-taught-me-the-joy-of-learning moments. My country school teacher, Mrs. Violette Arntz, an attractively attired, beautifully coiffed, energetic grandmother will always hold a special place in my heart. She imprinted a joy for learning within my mind unlike any other. […]

A Family of Food Judges

Last Sunday…at the Iowa State Fair. What a memory-making day it was for our family, Dear Readers! Yours Truly, both Dear Daughters, and our grandchildren Little Missy and Little Sir each donned the official blue-ribbon judging badge for the Iowa State Fair. For us three ladies of the family, the annual let’s-have-fun assignment was old […]

An Ambrosial Delight

Sometimes, I desire just a little something chocolaty! How about you, Dear Readers?   Something simple with flavor on the darker side. It must bathe my taste buds with passionate silky undertones. A wee bit of sweet timidity need complete the overall experience. Has Miss NiNi discovered an ambrosial delight such as this? Simple and Sweet […]

The Soloist and the Orchestra

Some people thrive as a soloist—the one in charge—the one whose expertise or talent through dedicated practice and experience might outshine that of others. Willing to step forth and take risks, the soloist says, “I can do this” and then proceeds to go to all lengths by independently demonstrating perseverance, risk taking, and endurance. On […]

Extraordinary Mentors

Of the two baby girls, she was born first—by 35 days. Each of these babies grew to adulthood—one in sunny Florida, Mrs. Maida Heatter—the other in the northern Great Plains, Mrs. Eudora Pfeiffer. Though unrelated by blood, residence, and occupation, they shared commonality. Had they ever met each other? No, they had not. Yet, both […]

She Said ‘Yes’

The request came from one of our talented Miss NiNi bakers via my Smartphone. The text message read, “We had a guy call (Miss NiNi’s Desserterie) and ask about Japanese style cheesecakes. He would want two for Saturday if we can do it.” Can we do it?   Miss NiNi was going to give it my […]