Life Plus Cookies

How are things going with all the changes?

Crazy times. Truth be told, my life hasn’t been altered much. Most of my days are spent watching Baby J grow, doing small jobs around the house, and cooking up some yumminess. I guess I was already practicing social distancing and sheltering in place. Lol! The problem I seem to be having with it all is when you say I can’t do something, I want it. I want to go out and eat, shop, and mingle but I choose to do what’s best. Do you feel the same? I am a rebellious rule-follower. Yep, that’s me.

We are at the farmhouse in Oklahoma. We had only planned to stay a week and return to California for our monthly visit with the social worker. But the week has become three with the chance of more. It’s not a problem. We love it here. If we have to be somewhere to shelter in place, it is here. Spring is starting to show up, and things are getting green. The ground is covered with tiny purple flowers growing up with the grass, and our pear tree is blooming. We have seen the redbuds with their hazy bright pink blossoms beginning to brighten up the dormant woods.

Our kids are still going into work. They are part of those who are responsible for supplying our community with the necessities. After their shifts, they come home and shower off the germs before they un-distance themselves hug their loved ones. We are thankful they can continue to work, but at the same time, we are continually watching for virus symptoms, that we hope will never come.

If you follow me on social media, you know that I’ve been cooking up a storm, but what else is new? Haha! That’s the way I roll every day, but when things are chaotic, it brings comfort to gather and enjoy something delicious. Over the past few days, we have enjoyed egg rolls, lasagna, chicken pot pie, fresh-baked bread, and more. I am getting some of these recipes ready to post soon, but today I thought I just end with something sweet.

There’s something about a sweet treat when stressed.

For me, homemade cookies of any kind bring me back to my mama’s kitchen and the security I felt in her presence. It wasn’t just the food she provided. Her words were wise and always brought better perspective to things. These days, her company sure would be a comfort. Since I can’t be with Mom, who now resides in heaven, I strive to pass along the warmth I felt in my mama’s kitchen to my family and friends either in person or through writing. It’s a worthy calling, and if I can provide a small measure of what I received, I will be pleased.

This week’s cookie is another cake mix recipe. Hummingbird Cookies are a take on an old-time cake recipe. (See a bit of its backstory below.) I love these little bites of goodness that comes from mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, and chopped pecans, and topped with cream cheese icing. Yep, they are yummy. I hope you give them a try.

Hummingbird Cookies


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package spice cake mix
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained, reserve 2 tablespoons of juice
  • 1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (1/2 a 16-ounce tub) ready to spread cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cake min, drained pineapple, banana, flour, melted butter, egg, and cinnamon with a wooden spoon until blended.
  3. Drop by tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with chopped pecans.
  4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched. Cool one minute on sheets, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese frosting and 2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Drizzle or spread over cooled cookies.

The Backstory

The Hummingbird Cake and its tropical ingredients was a clever marketing scheme created to conjure up visions of Jamaica as a vacation destination in the 1960s. Why the hummingbird you ask? The hummingbird is the logo for Jamaican Airlines. Lol! I think dreaming of a vacation in the tropics or even, somewhere else, is a pleasant pastime in our state of lockdown, don’t ya think? Here’s another bit of trivia from my research. In Oklahoma, it is called “The Cake That Doesn’t Last.” That might be the truth when it comes to these cookies, too. Enjoy!

What to Look Forward to This Week

Watch for my recipe for Lasagna to add to your menu. Also I’ll be sharing Stinky Business: a true story of how something smelly can move in when your foundation compromised. And in case you missed it, be sure to go back to Trustworthy Travel, to see how the right guild can help you navigate through these uncertain times.

Welcome to my kitchen. I hope you will find it a pleasant place.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Glad everyone in your family is well and thriving at this time, Patty! We are absolutely self-quarantined as we do have preexisting conditions. Be careful, and stay healthy!

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Please stay in and well. Praying the virus passes you by. Thanks for stopping by. It’s always good to hear from you.

  2. All y’all take care up there Ms. Patty. And your henbit (my bet on those small purple flowers)? What a mess it makes; and it sprouts everywhere. 🙂 In my best “Yosemite Sam” voice, “I hates them pesky little plant varmints.” 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am; and enjoy your hummingbird cookies; they look delicious.

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Thanks for stopping by. Those little purple flowers do spread everywhere and from a ranching/farming standpoint I imagine they are a nuciance. From a desert girl’s perspective, they’re pretty alternative to tumbleweeds.

    2. Patty Schell says:

      I realized those Henbit flowers you were talking about are what we call goat heads in CA. Their seeds are deadly bare feet. Paul is quickly mowing them now in hopes to keep them from going to seed. They did make great for great pictures though. I will be writing about this in some form sooner or later.

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