Mist Mint Mousse


I first made this recipe from Family Circle Magazine in 1986 as a small pie.  The recipe at that time was doubled and placed in an 8-inch baked pie shell.  I noted in my dessert recipe binder:  “12/23/86 – Shannon loved this.”

Daughter Shannon was 16 years old then and loved rich desserts.  Now, she tries to avoid the extra fat and calories of pie crust, so I used the adapted recipe below and made four servings of light, refreshing mousse.  Using low fat cream cheese and whipped topping along with non-fat condensed milk helps trim it down a bit, too.


  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)*
  • 1/2 tsp mint extract
  • One drop green food coloring
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/3 cup Andes chocolate mint baking chips


*Save remaining milk in a covered jar and freeze for future use

4 dessert dishes

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and condensed milk.  Whisk in mint extract and food coloring.


Stir in whipped topping and Andes chocolate mint chips.

Spoon mousse into four pretty dessert dishes (about ½ cup each).
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4 servings 

Peppermint Candy Cake – a 1940s Recipe

One of my Christmas gifts was a small 4-½ x 6 inch leather bound book engraved “Cooking Recipes”, purchased at an antique mall in Sugar Creek, Ohio.  The pages are edged in gold and there are 10 index tabs for food categories.  

The real gold in this book, though, is the collection of handwritten recipes.  There aren’t a lot of recipes – just 25, 22 of which are desserts.  The book itself could have been from the 1930s, but I believe the recipes are from the 1945-1950 era.  This is based on a lot of recipes calling for shortening, for using the word “oleo” rather than margarine in most recipes and the attention given to oven temperatures.  I believe it’s post-World War II because of all of the sugar-laden desserts.  

The handwriting is clear and ingredients are listed correctly, although most of the recipes give no idea of how the item is to be prepared, what kind of pan to use or how long to bake.  That’s why I’ve decided to make each of the recipes, using the products specified, and adding my own instructions.  I like to think that the woman from the 1940s kitchen (who would have been about my mother’s age) would enjoy having someone fuss around with these recipes again and turn out some delicious food for the family.

Here is a nice cake that will use up some of your leftover peppermint candy canes.  Crush the candy as fine as possible by putting it in a plastic bag and hitting it with the flat side of a mallet.

The candy softens when the cake is baked but the pieces sprinkled on top can be a little crunchy.  The next time, I think I’ll substitute peppermint decorative sugar for sprinkling on top.

There were no directions for mixing the cake, pan size or baking time, so this is how I made it.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (canola)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 1/3 cup finely crushed peppermint stick candy
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans

To Make the Cake:

In large bowl of mixer, place flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, oil, milk, water, vanilla and food coloring.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Update:  Add crushed peppermint candy along with the food coloring.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Gently fold beaten whites into the cake mixture.  Divide mixture between the two prepared layer cake pans and bake @ 325 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.

Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then loosen and turn out onto racks to continue cooling completely.

Note:  The candy stuck a bit in one of the layer pans but it was easy to remove and  was covered by frosting before adding the second layer.

To Make the Frosting:


  • ¼ cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tblsp. milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup finely crushed peppermint stick or a sprinkling of peppermint decorative sugar

To make frosting:

Combine margarine, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla – beat until smooth.  If necessary, add a drop or two of milk or a bit more powdered sugar until frosting is desired consistency.

Frost top of bottom layer lightly.

Place top layer on top of bottom layer and frost sides first, then top.  Sprinkle top with crushed peppermint candy or peppermint decorative sugar.

Servings:  6 to 8

This is a moist, pale pink cake with a mild peppermint flavor.  My family liked it a lot.

A Good Way to Keep Herbs


One of my Mother’s Day gifts this year was a cute little 7-part bud vase which is perfect for displaying small flowers and buds.  When my herb garden started producing, I thought it might be nice to have an assortment of fresh herbs on hand and that maybe I’d be more inclined to use them daily if they were available right on my kitchen counter.  The bud vase was perfect for this use.  In the picture, I have basil, lemon thyme, rosemary, peppermint, chives, sage and apple mint and I can replace any I use as I’m passing by the garden.

These cute vases (approximately 6″ tall)  are reasonably priced on QVC, Item #H00007.