Sunday Dinner Dessert – Blackberry-Pear Kuchen (Cake)

Since my 85 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Our Sunday dessert this week is another version of an easy fruit kuchen, made this time with fresh blackberries and pears.  The cake layer is thin which lets the good fruit really shine and the flavors are wonderful.  From my 2017 post:

Blackberry Pear Kuchen

  • Servings: One 8-inch cake - 6 servings
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3 Tblsp. sour cream
3 Tblsp. milk
3 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup blackberries
1 cup pear slices

Cinnamon-Ginger Topping: 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
and 1/4 tsp. each of cinnamon and ginger, mixed together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan

In medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, oil and sugar.

Mix together the salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and gradually stir into sour cream mixture. Place batter in greased pan. The dough will be stiff and somewhat sticky. Dampen your fingers with water and then press the dough into the pan.

Arrange the blackberries and pear slices over the top of the cake.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Cinnamon-Ginger Topping over top of cake and continue baking for 5 more minutes.

Place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 servings. 

Also served: A great crunchy chicken salad which features veggies (snow peas, green onions, red/yellow peppers, coleslaw mix and romaine) plus an interesting dressing.  From my 2012 post:

Sunday Roast Beef Dinner

A blogger friend recently asked me how I make the Roast Beef Dinner that I mentioned in one of my posts.  It’s nothing special  – just a roast the way my mother always made it, carrots the way my mother-in-law fixed them, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus with my version of a light Hollandaise sauce, and homemade yeast rolls.  For dessert, some kind of homemade pie.  For what it’s worth, this is how I cooked my roast beef dinner this past Sunday.

SUNDAY ROAST BEEF DINNER FOR 6 (with some leftovers)

I like to buy a 4 lb. Regal Rump beef roast.  The meat is lean, juicy and easy to slice.  I pour about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of a roasting pan, place the meat on a rack and surround it with about a pound of baby carrots.  I sprinkle the roast and carrots with salt and pepper, cover the pan and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 3-1/2 hours.  We like our beef well done, so you can adjust the time to get your roast just the way you like it.  Allow time to remove the roast from the pan, place it on a platter and cover with foil for about 15 minutes before slicing.

While the roast is in the oven there’s time to set the table with my vintage Jadeite dinnerware.  Before we left our country home 10 years ago, I had a dining room, but now we gather around the kitchen table.


After the roast has been cooking about two hours, tip the roasting pan and ladle out 1/2 to 3/4 cup of broth.  Place the broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  In a small cup, dissolve 2 tsp. cornstarch in  1/4 cup cold water.  Whisk this into the broth and continue whisking until gravy starts to thicken.  My husband hated pale gravy, so I always add a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet for color and a little flavor enhancement.  Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until time to reheat it for dinner.  This saves some time when you are trying to get everything on the table.


Peel and quarter 6 medium red potatoes.  Cover with cold water and cook over medium high heat until potatoes are done – about 20-30 minutes.  Drain potatoes and place in the large bowl of an electric mixer with paddle beater.  Beat until potatoes are broken up, then add 2 tablespoons butter and 2-3 tablespoons of milk, a little at a time, and beat to desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.

A lot of people like lumpy mashed potatoes, but I grew up with a mother who used an old-fashioned potato masher and yearned to have creamy, smooth mashed potatoes.  When she was finally able to get an electric hand mixer in the 1950s, she never went back to the old-fashioned masher.  My family expects mashed potatoes to be whipped smooth with no lumps.


I buy one pound of asparagus and break the spears at the spot where they break easily, discarding the lower portion.  This will help avoid having stringy, tough asparagus.  Break the upper portions into 1-2 inch pieces.  Steam until fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes.

I serve the asparagus with a lighter Hollandaise Sauce.



Because of limited oven space, I bake my rolls the night before or use some of my supply from the freezer.  I put the rolls (thawed if from the freezer) on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and warm in the oven in the last 10 minutes or so before the meal is served.

Easy Potato Yeast Rolls

Everyone liked the dinner very much.


I usually have home-baked pie with a Roast Beef Dinner.  The kind of pie depends on the season and/or what I feel like baking that day.  Today, I decided to make a Kentucky Lemon Chess Pie, which we try to have at least once during the winter.  I made the pie early in the day before the roast went into the oven to allow ample time for the roast to bake and for the pie to cool.

Kentucky Lemon Chess Pie

There may be variations in the green vegetable or the pie, but basically this is the same dinner I’ve been fixing about once a month for almost 60 years.

Chicken and Asparagus Pudding

This recipe is a combination of several of my favorites and made a delicious casserole.


  • 2 cups cubed bread (something hearty like Italian bread is good)
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup of asparagus, steamed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • One hard-boiled egg
  • Thin white sauce (recipe below)
  • Topping of 1 cup of bread crumbs tossed with 1 Tblsp. of melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Oil or spray a 9″ casserole dish

Place two cups of bread cubes in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Place the shredded chicken on top of the bread cubes.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, saute the red pepper and onion slices in the olive oil until pepper and onion slices are tender.  Spoon the vegetables over the chicken in the casserole.

Arrange the steamed asparagus slices over the top.  Peel the hard-boiled egg and cut into small pieces, sprinkling over top of the asparagus.

Make the thin white sauce:


  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cold milk
  • 3/4 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Grating of black pepper
  • Grating of nutmeg

In a medium pan over medium heat, place the flour and whisk in the cold milk.  Whisk in the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly until mixture begins to bubble.  Lower heat slightly and continue whisking for two minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Pour the sauce over the chicken/vegetable mixture in the casserole.  Sprinkle the crumb/butter mixture over the top.

Bake uncovered in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes.

Yield:  4 generous servings

Easy Italian Bread

A November Sunday Dinner


In the past 9+ years, I’ve been able to find Concord grapes at my supermarket only twice.  This past Friday was one of those days and although I had told my daughters we wouldn’t be having pie for Sunday dinner until after Thanksgiving (to whet their appetites for holiday pies), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make one of my favorites.  I posted about my Streusel Concord Grape Pie back in 2007, when I had just begun blogging.  It’s a messy looking pie, but the flavor of the grapes is just incredible.


Back in the 1980s and 1990s, my husband and I lived on a two-acre plot of land that included every type of fruit that grows well in our southwestern Ohio area, including Concord grapes.  I used to have five-gallon pails of them setting in the kitchen waiting for me to cook up something delicious.  The grape jam and jelly were good but the pie was a family favorite from the beginning.  It takes some time to make, but is well worth it.  Check out the recipe.

Streusel Concord Grape Pie

Our meal was also an old standby – grilled pork tenderloin, sweet potato patties, and Spinach and Mushroom Casserole.

Spinach and Mushroom Casserole

I did try out a different recipe for a marinade, based on one I saw on All Recipes.  It was delicious.


  • 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tblsp. liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion salt
  • Grating of black pepper

Mix ingredients in a 9×9 square baking dish.  Add 1/2″ thick slices of pork tenderloin and toss until coated.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours, turning occasionally.  Remove from marinade and grill – I use a stovetop grill.

Above recipe is enough to marinate about 2 lbs. of sliced pork tenderloin.

I served dinner with some fresh homemade potato rolls and enjoyed a beautiful autumn day with my family.


Easy Potato Yeast Rolls

Really Good Buttermilk Bread/Rolls


The Sunday dinner I made for my two daughters and two grandchildren seemed like a Thanksgiving preview – in miniature.  We had a small roasted chicken, a small amount of stuffing that would fit in its cavity, mashed potatoes, corn and something that was full sized and then some – buttermilk rolls.  This recipe made a medium loaf and 15 large soft, delicious rolls.


  • Servings: One 9-1/2-inch loaf or one 7-1/2-inch loaf plus 15 rolls
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  • 2 Tblsp. dry fast-acting yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 7-8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups buttermilk, heated to 130 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place the yeast, salt, soda, sugar and 2 cups of flour.  Add the heated buttermilk and melted butter.  Beat with the paddle beater at medium speed for 3 minutes.  Add the egg and beat for another 30 seconds.

Remove paddle beater and insert bread hook.  Add 2 cups of flour and beat at medium speed for another 6:30 minutes, gradually adding more flour until the dough is smooth and elastic.  You may need a little more or a little less flour.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.


Oil bread pans or baking sheets.  Punch down dough and form into loaves and/or rolls.   This time I chose to use 1/3 of the dough to make a loaf to fit a 7-1/2″x3-1/2″ pan (inside measurement) and pinched off dough about 2″ diameter to make 15 rolls.


Cover the bread and let rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

When bread has risen, place in oven on middle rack and bake approximately 12 minutes for rolls and 25-45 minutes for loaves, depending on size.

I have a note in my recipe binder:  “Excellent – first made in March, 1988.   From a library book, Miss Mary’s.”


I like to keep at least 3 thick slices of homemade bread in my freezer for the times when my oldest son stops by for breakfast.  He loves toasted homemade bread with his bacon and eggs.


For dessert we had an old favorite which I posted in October of 2007, Old Fashioned Plum Streusel Pie.  It was delicious – the purple plums seemed especially flavorful.