Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Author Recipe: Pistachio Cake

Written by: Meg Mims

My mother-in-law was a fabulous cook and baker. She could make baked chicken in the oven
taste like real fried chicken, melt-in-your-mouth style, and delicious pies -- her go-to favorite
as strawberry-rhubarb. I *loathe* rhubarb, but my husband loved her lemon ice-box pie that was
so rich, it was sinful. However, my favorite recipe of hers that I adapted (saves calories and fat)
is Pistachio Cake. It's so pretty as a bundt cake -- a yellowish-green in color, and no frosting
is needed -- just a dusting of powder sugar. A glaze of 1 spoonful of water in 1/4 cup powdered
sugar is also good if you *must* have that extra oomph, but try it first without it.

Meg Mims' Pistachio Cake

4 eggs
1/3 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small individual size applesauce
1 cup light sour cream
1 Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden cake mix
1 small package pistachio instant pudding mix

Spray bundt pan with Baker's Joy. Mix all ingredients together and pour into pan. Bake in a
350 degree pre-heated oven for 50-55 minutes, test for doneness. Sprinkle with powder
sugar after inverting onto plate, or make a powder sugar glaze.


A murder arranged as a suicide … a missing deed … and a bereft daughter whose sheltered world is shattered.

August, 1869: Lily Granville is stunned by her father’s murder. Only one other person knows about a valuable California gold mine deed — both are now missing. Lily heads west on the newly opened transcontinental railroad, determined to track the killer. She soon realizes she is no longer the hunter but the prey.

As things progress from bad to worse, Lily is uncertain who to trust—the China-bound missionary who wants to marry her, or the wandering Texan who offers to protect her … for a price. Will Lily survive the journey and unexpected betrayal?

Ebook: ISBN# 978-1-936852-48-2 Print: ISBN # 1466223200

BUY LINK: Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords



I packed a small trunk. My traveling suit, two shirtwaists, a nightgown, plus several hats and my parent’s framed photograph barely fit inside. I stuffed a spare nightdress and underclothes inside a worn valise. Then I added a toothbrush and powder, hairbrush and other essentials plus my leather riding boots. I’d rolled my wad of cash, roughly a hundred and fifty dollars, into one toe. Crumpled tissue beneath the bed caught my eye. I leaned over to retrieve it along with the leather sketchbook Father had given me.

Fighting an urge to leave it behind, I pushed it into my pocketbook along with a handful of pencils and a small pocketknife. One slim novel barely fit beside it. I hurried into Father’s bedroom and rummaged through his wardrobe. I finally found his gold watch in his suit pocket and pulled out a small scrap of paper. I shoved them both in my skirt and then retrieved his Army revolver from behind his stash of boots.

I’d promised not to handle it, but knew I needed something for protection. Charles wouldn’t be able to face a killer or a wild Indian savage.

Back in my room, I shoved the weapon beneath my boots along with a box of ammunition and fastened the bag. Then I stored it with the trunk under my bed and hurried downstairs to breakfast. Aunt Sylvia had a ranting fit over my hair. I’d pinned it up, but stray wisps escaped and it did look awful. She jammed a heavy veiled bonnet on my head and dragged me out to the buggy. Sir Vaughn looked bored as we drove to the cemetery.

Few people attended the graveside service. Charles and Adele stood beside their father, aloof in the shimmering heat. Dry leaves scuttled past my dusty shoes. Reverend Hanson offered prayers and scripture verses, but even the beloved 23rd Psalm failed to offer any comfort. Except one, my Father’s favorite. The words calmed my rebellious, angry spirit.

“‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust....’”

I watched the casket lowered by creaking ropes into the ground. What an ignoble end for a courageous man. Father had faced death on the battlefield, never expecting it would creep upon him in the safety of his beloved home. Betrayed by a friend he’d trusted, a friend who saved him at Shiloh. A friend who succumbed to pure greed. Aunt Sylvia and Sir Vaughn both gripped my arms tight, as if they expected me to hurl myself into the yawning hole. Instead I pictured Father sitting in the library, pipe clenched between his teeth, newspaper in hand.

I’d give anything to have him back again. Safe and alive.

I opened my hand and let a handful of dirt rain upon his coffin. “I will find your killer, Father. I promise.”


  1. though my wife has enjoyed them for years, I've only recently acquired a taste for pistachios.
    I can't picture how this cake would taste, but now that I like the nuts (or whatever they are ... seeds?) I'd prob. like the cake.
    Well, except that I'm off gluten these days, so no cake for me.

  2. Hi Meg,

    I love pistachios, but have never thought of them in a cake. I will try anything with 'cake' in the title though, so I am definitely saving this recipe for the future.

    I love rhubarb, I can always remember my dad growing it in the garden when we were children. Unfortunately hubbie hates the stuff, so I very rarely bother with it, as it is just too much trouble for 1 serving.

    I loved the book and the post was great, thanks,