1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Oh-h-h, how beautiful that is!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This photo is amazing! How beautiful Idaho is even in the cold season. We are supposed to have temps in the upper 70s all weekend. Are we both living in the same country ??? Lol!

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Day 2: hostess ORGANIC cupcakes

And now … the cat’s meow of Hostess!!! (Yesterday, I shared my twinkie recipe.)


Copyright MARYJANESFARM Magazine, April/May 2010
PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
MAKES: 12 cupcakes

1    cup organic flour (I use the quality specialty flour that I sell. I’m just saying. If you start introducing variables, I can’t guarantee you’ll meet with perfection like I did.)
½   cup organic unsweetened baking cocoa
¾   t baking soda
¼   t baking powder (non-aluminum)
¼   t salt
¼   cup organic butter, softened
¾   cup organic sugar
2    eggs, at room temperature
½   t organic vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
4. Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients until well combined.
5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18–20 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack.
6. Once cool, fill with my Organic Cream Filling (inject into the bottom by punching a small hole through the paper liner), ice with Chocolate Glaze, and decorate with swirls of White Frosting (recipes below).

Substitute organic white rice flour (, use ½ t baking powder, and use 3 eggs.

MaryJane’s Organic CREAM FILLING
¾    cup organic sugar
½    t cream of tartar
¼    cup water
1     T light organic corn syrup
2     egg whites, at room temperature
1     t organic vanilla extract

1. In small saucepan, combine sugar, cream of tartar, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and using a candy thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 230°F. (Do not stir while mixture comes up to temperature).
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
3. Slowly pour hot syrup into egg whites while beating. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add vanilla and beat 5–7 more minutes, until stiff peaks form.
4. Put filling into a cake decorator, using a #7 tip (or use the frosting/cream filling kit that comes with the canoe pan from yesterday’s post), and gently inject filling into bottom of cupcake by punching a small hole in the paper liner.

MaryJane’s Organic CHOCOLATE GLAZE
1½  t organic corn syrup
¼   cup organic heavy cream
2    oz organic dark chocolate (approx. ½ cup), broken into small pieces

1. In a small saucepan, combine corn syrup and cream and heat to just before boiling.
2. Place chocolate in a medium bowl, pour hot liquid over, and stir until chocolate is melted.
3. Dip tops of cooled, filled cupcakes into warm glaze. Let glaze cool, then decorate with White Frosting.

½  cup powdered sugar
1   T organic milk

1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients and mix well.
2. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip and decorate tops with swirls. (This takes a bit of practice. Get-your-swirl-on by perfecting it first on the bottom of a bowl.) -Copyright MARYJANESFARM Magazine, April/May 2010


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    An American lunch box tradition saved!! Yay!!

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Want to STITCH some hostess goodness? The instructions for the goodies pictured here can be found in the 2010 April/May issue of my magazine, MaryJanesFarm. Here’s where you can order that back issue as part of a bundle.

  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    I forgot about these. I’ll have to make some with the help of my grandgirls,when they come here for Christmas

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Day 1: Hello ORGANIC twinkies!

Did you miss my recipes for ORGANIC hostess treats, whoopie pies, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (you know what I’m talking about), etc. that were published in the 2010 April/May MaryJanesFarm magazine “Garden Secrets” issue?

With all the recent hubbub about Hostess going under, it felt like the perfect time to dig out my homemade hostess recipes and share them with you. Should you need a twinkie fix … and the company can’t provide or … OR, you want to eat an organic, better-for-you twinkie, I’ve got you covered. (I don’t want you going all Woody-Harrelson-in-Zombieland on me.) How ironic is it that the company who makes Twinkies, the yellow spongy cake that will supposedly last for an eternity, is going bankrupt around the end of the Mayan calender on Dec. 21st? Many people have taken this to mean it’s seriously the end of the world. I might make myself a foil hat and dance around while eating homemade ORGANIC twinkies! (My organic version doesn’t last forever anyway.)

While in my kitchen late one night in 2010, my first attempt to make a cream-filled “canoe” gave me fits.

But after two days and an embarrassing amount of not-quite-right cake that I fed to my compost, I finally got it right. It’s a recipe for only 8 treats (the indents in a NorPro canoe pan) because the key is how some of the wet ingredients are whipped just before you fold in the final ingredients. The second half didn’t come out of the oven as light and airy (because it sat on the counter waiting for its turn in the oven). So here’s my tip: Follow my recipe to the T, even my instructions to lightly butter the pan. Oil spray didn’t work as well. If you want to double the recipe, you’re going to need two pans so they can both go into the oven at the same time.

You’ll need a “Cream Canoe” pan (below, I bought mine on Amazon). The canoe pan comes with a 9-piece decorating set, perfect for injecting a creamy surprise inside or putting a swirl on top (stay tuned for my hostess cupcakes recipe coming tomorrow).


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  1. Eileen Stone says:

    canoe pan?

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    O.K. That is too tempting for those of us who used to be junk-food junkies!! I guess I’ll have to try these.

  3. DianeL, sister 4595 says:

    and it sounds easy to make, Thank you!

  4. drMolly says:

    OK!! This is just the ticket. I’m saving this recipe right now. Thanks! I, then am going to look up the old issue to find the other goodies.

  5. Eileen Widman says:


  6. Lee says:

    Sounds great! How long and what’s the best way to store these? Thinking xmas… 🙂

  7. Pingback: Day 2: hostess ORGANIC cupcakes | Raising Jane Journal

  8. Laurie Scott says:

    Thanks MaryJane, saw the recipe in the MJF April/May issue. Lost that issue and so glad to see it again. Tried them out the first time and they were great.

  9. Deborah says:

    We used to buy twinkies for my great-nephew because he is allergic to eggs. Can we make this without the eggs?

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Six Already?

We don’t know how it happened, but our littlest Jane turns 6 today!!

Happy birthday to our little Stella Jane!

We love you to bits and pieces.

  1. Terry Steinmetz says:


  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    That little shy grin says it all!! The sweetie!!!

  3. Happy birthday to little Stella Jane!

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Today’s Recipe: Duck Dinner in a Dakota Fire Hole

Yesterday, Ashley and I showed you how to skin a duck. Today, for the recipe of the week, we’re showing you how to best cook your fowl when you are in the remote wilderness.

My suggestion?

Cook your meal in a Dakota Fire Hole.

These fire pits are SO nifty.

They take less wood to fuel.

They burn hotter.

And they’re less likely to catch nearby brush or trees on fire.

Below, Ashley and I have a three-course meal you can make when you are out camping that is totally delicious and leaves you with little KP. We also show you how to correctly dig a Dakota Fire Hole and why they are so cool. Grab yer gloves, mini shovel, and axe, and let’s get to work …

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  1. jean says:

    ohmygravy this looks delicious!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Really quite remarkable ladies as I’ve never seen a fire built this way. As I look through your wonderfully detailed pictures it makes sense to build the fire pit in the ground instead of on top~I’m guessing for a, ‘Safety First’ reasoning? And you provided an airway for it too? Is the airway something you learned from a “trial & error” kind of thing; or did you learn this from Emil or your parents…or just instinct? MaryJane, do you teach classes on this sort of survival skill/training basics? If I followed a Forestry curriculum at a state level, is this something they would teach? Thank you for the lesson & great pictures ladies.

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Yummy!! I look forward to making these recipes. What fun too!!!

  4. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I remember making a big meal like this in Girl Scouts one cold November camping expedition. We were all amazed at how it worked and the dinner was delicious. I remember it even rained that day but our meal was safe beneath the dirt cooking away. So cool!!

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15 ways to skin a … duck? Okay, just one.

Happy hunting season to you and yours. This year, when your guy starts busting out his neon orange, you should too! Get your girlfriends together, take a gun safety course, and get on out there. (You know, there is a sisterhood merit badge for that.) Hunting, like fishing and gardening, is a healthy and rewarding way to get outside and take part in the process of harvesting your own food. When I worked as a wilderness ranger (decades ago:), I caught fish every day for my dinner and sometimes for breakfast.

Did you know Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor of Facebook, ate ONLY meat that he had killed for an entire year? He takes on a new challenge every year …

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  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Great idea! I think that ‘ll grab hubby & go bird hunting. We live off the venison that he shoots every year, not to mention the partridge, rabbits & squirrels that we both hunt. I feel much akin to the land & love the fact that we know what our game is eating. I personally don’t like duck, so we don’t eat that. So with that & our garden we live pretty much off the land. And we love it!

  2. jean says:

    Beats plucking off feathers! Good to know. I’m keeping this for my files. We are new to the PNW, I hear there’s darn good duck hunting over east of the cascades. Hubby wants to go on a guided hunt first to refresh his memory. Shoot, I should, too!

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I could never kill and eat a bird or animal. If it were up to me, I would just have to be a vegetarian forever. I have struggled with the meat thing all of my adult life but being married to someone who loves meat makes it hard. But I have learned to make lots of meatless dishes and decrease the amount of meat I ever eat to teeny amounts, if even that. I hate guns and prefer my wildlife to stay right where they are. Call me a wimp, call me crazy, but this is just who I am. Softheaded my Dad used to say!!!!!

  4. Pingback: Today’s Recipe: Duck Dinner in a Dakota Fire Hole | Raising Jane Journal

  5. Blake Stuber says:

    we have always pulled the legs meat off of the bigger ducks, Mallards, Canvasbacks, ect. It is not much more but it helps. Otherwise i found this passage very helpful for seeing how someone else does it.

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I Voted …

Today … I’m voting. When my kindergartner gets out of school today, I’m taking both of my daughters to the polls. We’ll probably have to park some distance from the fairgrounds, and it’s supposed to be raining, and then I have to find the map that shows my district and stand in line until it’s my turn. I can’t forget my identification and I always get nervous that I might mark something incorrectly. Taking a 3-year-old and 5-year-old to do all this with me certainly doesn’t make the task easier, but I want them to KNOW.

When the poll worker hands me three stickers, I will explain to my daughters, as I do every year, what it means to be an American and what it means to be a female American. Then, I will proudly walk through the rain hand-in-hand with my two daughters—wearing stickers on our lapels.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Thanks Meg! This might be the most important civic lesson your children learn. Voting matters.

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    As a “retired” homeschooling mom, I used to make a big deal about ANY & ALL elections with my 4 children. We even celebrated after the results came out. I mean sparklers, special cake & ice cream, buttons that had the saying “Our family votes!” We even did mock elections with a voting booth, ballots, & my hubby counted all the votes. The kids would ask at the local library other peoples’ opinions about issues & candidates. Now they all vote & very proudly! And my grandgirls are now taken to the election hall to watch the whole process, just as their mommy used to. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A. Thanks for the memories, Meg!

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Forgot one thing–I voted today, too!

    • Meg says:

      I love it! Yup, my mom taught me the importance of voting and I am proudly passing it along to my daughters too. Good work Grandma!

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