My Mom’s Red Velvet Cake

My mom was known for many things – she was a loving wife and mother, a passionate preacher and prayer warrior, and a gifted singer and musician. She was also known for her from-scratch cakes. She raised a lot of money for church projects over the years by baking and selling scrumptious sour cream pound cakes, Italian creme cakes, and red velvet cakes (to name a few).

Although this video, Mom’s Red Velvet Cake, was shared around Christmas time, this recipe is delicious and sure to impress year-round.

Mom’s Red Velvet Cake

3 cups sifted all purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

3 cups sugar

½ cup crisco

1 stick of butter

1 cup of sour cream 

2 tsp. red food coloring

1 tbsp. Vinegar (only use vinegar if you put the food coloring in)

6 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Have cold ingredients at room temperature.

Cream shortening, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until fluffy, and add eggs one at a time.

Mix cocoa & baking soda into flour. 

Alternate adding flour and sour cream to the creamed mixture. 

Mix red food coloring with vinegar and add.

Pour into sheet cake pan lined with parchment paper that has been greased and floured on all sides as well as the parchment paper.

Cook for approximately 35 minutes on 350.  Keep checking your cake after

30 minutes by sticking a tooth pick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

Icing for this Sheet Cake:

1 1/2 8oz. boxes of cream cheese (room temperature)

1 1/2 sticks of butter (room temperature)

One box of 10x or 1lb of powdered sugar

One tsp. of vanilla

Toasted pecans (cook on 30 percent for 3 minutes in microwave and check them)

These recipes and more are waiting for you on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel!

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!


Making Magic With Holiday Leftovers

Not sure what to do with excess holiday leftovers? I’ve got some options for you that are simple and sure to please.

This Turkey Chowder is a delicious way to enjoy leftover turkey on a chilly winter day and making it in the Instant Pot is a breeze!

If you made ham this year, you can put that ham bone to good use with Hambone & Pinto Bean Soup in this easy Instant Pot recipe. Crumbling Old Fashioned Southern Cornbread into your bowl will take this tasty soup to the next level!

If you are interested in a casserole-style option, Thanksgiving In A Bowl is an excellent dish. Need fewer carbs? Simply substitute mashed cauliflower for the potatoes. Both versions are delicious – even my granddaughters love them!

For those of you who are traditionalists and enjoy your leftovers as they are, you can find instructions on how to reheat your leftovers in the Instant Pot here.

These recipes and more are waiting for you on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel!

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Indoor Power Smokeless Grill

Spring is nearly here, which means it’s nearly time for doing things outdoors!

Spring and Summer are both excellent seasons for grilling, but unless you live somewhere with higher temps year round, the next couple months may still include some chilly days.

If you’re considering an Indoor Smokeless Grill, I have a few videos that may help you with the decision making process.

My video on How to Use the Power Smokeless Grill will offer basic information and instructions, and perhaps more importantly, my How to Clean the Indoor Power Smokeless Grill will show you how easy it is to clean up after use.

If you’re interested in recipes for the Indoor Power Smokeless Grill, here are a few options:

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Salmon

Amazing Burgers

Ribeye Steak

These recipes and more are waiting for you on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel!

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Potato Patties for St. Paddy’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I love potatoes. Years ago, I made a few basic potato recipes, but over the years, I’ve added more options to my repertoire – such as Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole, Air Fryer French Fries, and today’s recipe, Air Fryer Potato Patties.

This recipe is a favorite at my house, and an excellent way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. You can watch my instructional video here, but the recipe is also below.

And for those of you who prefer sweet potatoes, here’s a tasty recipe video for Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries!

Mashed Potato Patties in the Air Fryer


    1 Cup Mashed Potatoes

    1 egg, beaten

    1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

    ¼ to 1/3 cup green onions chopped (to taste)

    ½ cup Italian bread crumbs


    Mix Potatoes with cheese, egg, and onions

    Make into a patty.

    Lightly spray olive oil cooking spray on patties.

    Sprinkle on bread crumbs.

    Repeat spray and bread crumbs on the other side.

    Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to help hold form.

    Place patties on foil in the air fryer.

    Cook on 400 for 9 minutes.

    Flip over and cook for an additional 4 minutes. (Check them after 2 minutes.)

You can easily double this recipe.

These recipes and more are waiting for you on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel!

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake

Have you ever had unexpected guests? The pressure is on to be a great host, but you’ve not had time to prepare!

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake is a quick and easy dessert option whether you have surprise guests or not. There’s no mixing involved – it’s as simple as layering each ingredient before baking for an hour.

The flavors mingle to create a divine dessert that is similar to a cobbler in consistency. Eat it as is or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to wow your guests – or enjoy on your own!

Here’s the recipe:

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake Recipe:

1 can of crushed pineapple with juice

1 can of cherry pie filling

1 Duncan Hines Super Moist yellow cake mix

1/2 cup of melted butter

1 cup of chopped pecans

Use a greased and floured 9 x 13 cake pan.

Dump crushed pineapple and cherry pie filling in pan.’

Mix together. 

Pour cake batter on top of fruit. Gently spread over the fruit mixture.

Pour melted butter over the batter.

Pour chopped pecans on top of cake.

Bake at 350 for one hour. 

Cool cake for 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy!

*Great with vanilla ice cream on top.

This video and more are waiting for you on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel!

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Hearty Cabbage Soup in the Instant Pot

Winter is almost over but there are still chilly days ahead for many of us. If you’re looking for a healthy (but still tasty!) soup for cold, wet, windy days, Hearty Cabbage Soup is a fantastic option! It’s quick and easy to make, and the flavor is outstanding.

The veggies included in this recipe provide an immune system boosting dose of vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and fiber. Healthy, delicious, and hot – perfect for this time of year!

I made it in the Instant Pot, but you can also simmer the soup on the stovetop!

This recipe and more are waiting for you on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel.

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

The Legacy of a Lifetime

Recently I said goodbye to my dear parents. My father, Charles Leverett, passed away a month ago from COVID, and my mother, Linda Leverett, passed a few days later.

Mom and Dad were deeply in love through all of their years together. They celebrated 64 years of marriage this last Christmas and their love never wavered. I am so grateful that their prayers to go to heaven together were answered, but I grieve the temporary loss of my parents in my life.

My father was an amazing man of God and a wonderful husband and father. My mother was his perfect counterpart in every way. Together they impacted the world for Jesus – both in the churches they pastored as well as the surrounding communities. Their love for each other, for their family and friends, and for everyone they came in contact with shone through every single day.

A few years ago, I recorded a video with my parents. We shared memories and laughed together as we reminisced. I am so grateful God laid it on my heart to take the time to record this video.

My parents were an integral part in who I am, and I look forward to the day when I will see them again. In this video, I share more about the events of this last month.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

The Ginger Optimist

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Winter is the perfect season for soups, chowders, and chilis. Their hearty warmth is comforting on a cold day, and the flavors of the season are to die for!

Years ago, my husband developed a tasty recipe for potato soup. A few years later, my daughter added to the recipe to make a comfort food version – loaded baked potato soup – and now I have modified the recipe so you can make it in the Instant Pot!

The rich flavor of bacon, the tang of sharp cheddar, and the fullness of heavy cream blend with the other ingredients to create a combination that is sure to please!

You can find this Loaded Baked Potato Soup in the Instant Pot recipe and so much more on my The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel.

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Tasty Holiday Side Dishes

This time of year is wonderful, stressful, chaotic, and fun. One of the best parts – apart from showing our love for each other – is eating a delicious Christmas dinner. It’s often a lot of work, but usually worth the wait.

This year will be different for many. Gatherings will be smaller and some people will even be spending Christmas alone. Making the effort to put a nice meal on the table may seem pointless, but I encourage you to do it anyway – even if it’s on a smaller scale.

After the way this year has gone, choosing to find joy in the little things is more important than ever. While good food may seem insignificant in light of other things, it’s a huge part of our holiday traditions. For tasty holiday side dishes that are sure to please, check out the options below.

There’s a reason Mac & Cheese is a favorite comfort food.  Making it from scratch may take a couple more steps than Kraft, but it is easy and so good.

Love sweet potatoes? Making baked sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot is simple and sure to please. Yum!

I saved the best for last – Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole. This dish is to die for and will definitely bring you and your family back for seconds!

These recipes and more are waiting for you on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel!

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Quick & Easy Holiday Desserts

Looking for quick and easy holiday dessert options? The Ginger Optimist has you covered! Click the links below for instructional videos and recipes.

Pistachio Salad is blend of creamy and crunchy and is a breeze to make! This lovely dessert is sure to delight the senses without breaking the bank. Click here for more information.

If Pistachio Salad isn’t your style, try Cranberry Jello Salad!  This sweet treat is also quick and easy but big on taste. I made this one for Thanksgiving and my family loved it.

Love pumpkin? These Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins are an excellent option if savory sweet is more your style. And if the words “gluten free” in the title make you nervous, let me assure you there’s nothing to fear here.  These muffins don’t just smell good, they taste divine.  No cardboard flavor here!

For a tasty option that’s high in fiber, check out My Pecan Log Roll. This healthier version of the Georgia Pecan Log Rolls is the perfect option for those that like their sugar a little salty.

And for my friends who love to bake and aren’t looking for a quick and easy option, here’s a recipe that will flood your tastebuds with flavor. This Carrot Cake is a holiday favorite at my house.

These are a few of my favorites, but there are many more options to be found on The Ginger Optimist YouTube channel.

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

%d bloggers like this: