We all know what’s going on and it’s not a good feeling. We’re experiencing disruption in one way or another, and it’s extremely unsettling. The good news is life still goes on. We’ve got each other, and “this too shall pass.”

A new season is on the horizon, gazing out the window beautiful buttercups are making an appearance. I’m excited because it will soon be time to play in the dirt, planting flowers is an all time favorite for me. While some or most of us are on temporary lockdown, what a great time for baking. After you have eaten a delicious meal, it’s time to end it with a good dessert.

Desserts come in many ways, pies, cookies, puddings and many others. Some desserts can also be muffins, breads, and yes, even some candies.

Taste ‘N’ Tell, there is no better way to complete a meal than to eat a delightful, delicious dessert.

We eat various foods throughout the day and we have numerous traditions about food, many of which go back thousands of years. One very strong tradition is that dessert, the sweetest portion of our food consumption, is the final thing eaten in the day. A good meal makes you less able to resist dessert.

Back in the day, my mom always had dessert at the end of a meal. We always looked forward to what she had fixed. My favorite was her pudding and caramel sauce, chess and buttermilk pies. While desserts some times causes obesity and other health problems, we can enjoy it with caution. Don’t over indulge and that can apply to other foods as well.

I must admit, it’s not easy to refrain from that slice of cake or pie and settle for a piece of fruit. If you find yourself with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It’s all about balance. I hope you and your family enjoy these dessert recipes.

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

8 maraschino cherries (optional)

1 (9-ounce) package yellow cake mix

Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Drain pineapple.

Stir together melted margarine and brown sugar in 8-inch cake pan. Place pineapple slices in sugar mixture. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice and in the center of the pan.

Prepare cake mix according to the package directions. Pour cake batter evenly over pineapple.

Bake at 350 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn out onto serving platter.

EARTHQUAKE CAKE

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 (3.5-ounce) package flaked coconut

1 (18.25-ounce) package German chocolate cake mix

½ cup butter

8 ounces cream cheese

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9x12-inch cake pan. Cover the bottom of the cake pan with the chopped nuts and the flaked coconut.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter over chopped nuts and coconut. Melt butter or margarine, add cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar. Stir until blended. Spoon over unbaked batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 42 minutes. Please note: you cannot test for doneness, as the cake will appear sticky even when it is done. The icing sinks into the batter as it bakes, forming the white ribbon inside.

CHESS CAKE or CHESS BARS

I package of yellow cake mix

1 stick of butter — softened

4 eggs divided

3 ½ cups confectioners sugar powdered sugar

1 block of cream cheese

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon almond extract

Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a 9x13-inch casserole dish as follows: Line with aluminum foil and then spray the aluminum foil with a baking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine cake mix, butter and ONE egg.

Pat the cake mixture into the bottom of the 9x13-inch pan.

Mix together the sugar, eggs, cream cheese, extracts and pinch of salt (will look like cake batter or pancake batter) and pour this over the cake mix layer.

Bake in center of the oven for 35-45 minutes. it is done when it gets puffy and starts to brown on the top. Shake the pan and when the center has just stopped jiggling, it’s done. Allow to cool before serving so that the center can gel. Don’t bother with the toothpick test — doesn’t necessarily work on this one.

OLD FASHIONED BANANA PUDDING

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 large egg yolks reserve egg whites

2 1/3 cup half & half

2 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 (11-ounce) box vanilla wafers

4 medium bananas sliced

MERINGUE

6 reserved egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

6 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Whip the six reserved egg whites with the vanilla, and cream of tarter. Sweeten with granulated sugar. Whip for 3-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Spread the meringue on top of the banana pudding. Set the oven to broil to toast the top until golden.

Garnish the edge with vanilla wafers, if desired. Store chilled.

BUTTERMILK CHESS PIE

1 (9-inch) pie shell

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup whole buttermilk

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons plain cornmeal

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

18 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, stir together eggs, sugar, melted butter, buttermilk, flour, cornmeal, vanilla and salt until combined. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.

Bake until set, approximately 45 minutes. (Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary.) Let cool to room temperature before serving.

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