“Food is Love!” at the Farmer’s Market

What a busy summer we’ve had and it is only half over! In early June Barbara Theroux of Fact and Fiction in Missoula, Montana hosted us for an author event. It was an evening of meeting old friends, sharing some Mama Cassie’s desserts and signing lots of books. We had such a great time we hope to be back in Missoula this autumn. Thanks for everything, Barbara!

From Left to Right: Author- Carol Cassie, Bookstore Owner- Barbara Theroux, Editor and Publisher- Erin Duffy Osswald

From Left to Right: Author- Carol Cassie, Bookstore Owner- Barbara Theroux, Editor and Publisher- Erin Duffy Osswald

We are also very happy to announce that “Food is Love!” is available in Helena at The Panhandler in the historic Last Chance Gulch. Our intention is to have copies of the cookbook in local stores all across Montana. We’ll keep you posted on where you can purchase copies. Ask your local independent booksellers to carry “Food is Love!”

Starting this Saturday, July 20th in Great Falls, Montana we will be selling the cookbook at the Farmer’s Market! We will be at the Wednesday market, as well.  Cookbooks will be priced at $30.00.

Join us at the Farmer's Market Saturday and Wednesday through the end of September!

Join us at the Farmer’s Market Saturday and Wednesday through the end of September!

Come on down to the Farmer’s Market and pick up some beautiful produce. Then make something wonderful from “Food is Love!”

See you there!



Rum Cake Recipe


One could easily imagine we might’ve been hitting the sauce when we wrote the Rum Cake recipe for the “Food is Love!” cookbook. I mean, we forgot to add the EGGS!!! We also forgot to add a heaping half cup of sour cream. It’s funny because the Rum Cake served as the template recipe which most of the Mama Cassie’s cakes were patterned off of. You’ll notice they all call for 4 eggs, 1/2 heaping cup sour cream, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup water. When combined with dry ingredients (the secret is out, boxed cake and pudding mixes), a splash of booze, and paired with nuts, chocolate or perhaps both, you’ve got the makings for an endless variety of cake-y goodness! Remember, Mama wants you to make it your own!


We’ve been spreading the word about the missing eggs and sour cream from the Rum Cake recipe in the first printing of the cookbook. If you purchased your book last year, then you might want to pencil the corrections into your copy. Here is the CORRECT version of the recipe.


Rum Cake

Yellow Cake Mix

Vanilla Pudding

4 Eggs

1/2 Heaping Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Water

½ Cup Oil

½ Cup Dark Rum

1 Cup Chopped Nuts (Walnuts or Pecans)

¼ Cup Sugar


Preheat oven to 350

Blend cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, water, oil and rum together in a food processor for at least 3 minutes. If using a hand mixer blend together for the same amount of time. Fold nuts into the batter by hand.

4 Eggs & a heaping 1/2 cup of Sour Cream ~ Don't forget!!!

4 Eggs & a heaping 1/2 cup of Sour Cream ~ Don’t forget!!!

Mix ¾ cup walnuts or pecans with ¼ cup sugar and spread into the bottom of a greased bundt or angel food cake baking pan, before pouring batter in. Pour in the batter, then sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup nuts on top.



1 Cup Sugar

½ Cup Butter

¼ Cup Water

½ Cup Rum

xxDSC_0476Stir all of the glaze ingredients except the rum in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer for about five minutes. Add ½ cup rum. Take off heat. Pierce cake with a long skinny knife and pour glaze mixture over the top of the cake. Allow glaze to soak into cake thoroughly.

Serve warm, really it is best this way, and always with a nice big serving of whipped cream on top!

We cannot help ourselves from innovating in the kitchen, so taking a cue from last months #bundtamonth club ingredient of cherries (which we actually missed because we couldn’t get it together in time, c’est la vie) , we created a new and flavorful take on the classic Rum Cake. We’re calling it Tart Cherry Rum & Orange Cake.


Tart Cherry Rum & Orange Cake



Same as Classic Rum except where noted below


1 1/2 Cup Cherries

1 teaspoon Vanilla

½ Cup Rum, plus 2 Tablespoons

The juice of 1 orange

The zest from 1 whole orange peel, reserve 1 T for cake batter

1 Cup Pecans


Follow the instructions as above for a traditional cake, but use 3/4 cups pecans instead of walnuts in the cake batter and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup pecans on top of the cake batter just before baking. You will also be adding one cup of the cherries to the batter, but not until they have soaked in the orange, cherry, rum mixture.

Zest the entire orange (organic is a good choice when using the peel) and add 1 tablespoon of zest to the cake batter. The remainder will go into the glaze mixture.

Once the orange has been zested, remove all of the white pith and process the orange in a blender or food processor for its juice.

Mix all the glaze  ingredients (except the 1T of zest reserved for the batter,  2T rum and 1 Cup Pecans) together in a bowl and allow the cherries to plump up by letting them soak in the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Strain out 1 Cup of the Cherries and add to the cake batter. You can add them whole, or chop them into whatever size chunks you prefer.

Glaze goodies

Glaze goodies

Just before the cake is finished baking, simmer the remainder of the cherry rum orange glaze mixture in a saucepan over medium low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the 2 T additional rum after five minutes and remove from heat.

Remove cake from oven and pierce evenly spaced  holes in the top with a long skinny knife. Pour glaze mixture over the top of the cake.

Enjoy this cake warm with a dollop of REAL whipped cream!

Mother’s day is sunday. Don’t forget your Mama! We have just a few Mother’s Day baskets left and we will deliver them free of charge in the Great Falls area, a perfect last minute gift! Click here to order online. Don’t forget you can pick up copies of the cookbook at Pizazz downtown and Hastings Entertainment. 

Wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to ALL the mom’s out there!

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 © Mama Cassies LLC, all rights reserved.



Freshly Picked News From Mama Cassie’s

Pasta Primavera! From The Mama Cassie's "Food is Love!" Cookbook

Pasta Primavera! From The Mama Cassie’s “Food is Love!” Cookbook

Signs of springs are popping up almost everywhere, even in Great Falls! From one cozy and snowy weekend to temps in the 70′s by the following one, Montana weather remains true to its extreme roots! It has been an exciting couple of months for all of us at Mama Cassie’s and Pixel Lab who have been working on the cookbook project! One way we beat the winter blues was with a fun appearance on All Things Considered contributing to a story on how humans have evolved to show affection with food. You can listen to the piece at NPR’s online archive by following this link: http://bit.ly/lovefoodevo

Recording our interview at Copperhead Studios in Great Falls, Montana.

Carol and Erin Recording the NPR interview at Copperhead Studios in Great Falls, Montana.


At some point in human evolution, our brains became wired to remember food events and the people associated with them.










In March Pizazz hosted a book signing event for “Food is Love!” complete with delectable treats from the cookbook. It was a wonderful afternoon saying hello to old friends while enjoying slivers of Mama Cassie’s cakes and samples of Mama Cassie’s salads. Downtown shoppers, don’t forget Pizazz is your place to pick the cookbook!

Behind the scenes we’ve been working on getting all the wonderful incentives we offered to our Kickstarter backers available for sale at our online shop. We’ll have aprons and t-shirts available with the distinctive Mama Cassie’s logo by the end of this month. In the meantime, we’re offering a special sale in honor of Mama’s birthday. From now until May 1st  enjoy FREE shipping on cookbooks purchased in the online shop.[featured_products per_page="12" columns="4" orderby="date" order="desc"] We are happy to announce that “Food is Love!” is now also available at Hastings Entertainment in Great Falls, Montana. In fact, there will be a book signing this coming Saturday, April 26th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Hardback Cafe! Please come on down if you can and say hello. We are looking forward to it! More details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/486836568039009/

book signingpromobanner

The Wait is Over!


We are thrilled to announce

The Mama Cassie’s

“Food is Love!” Cookbook

is available for purchase once again.

You can buy your copy online at


or locally at Pizazz

403 Central Avenue

Great Falls, MT


Cookbooks are $35.00

which includes shipping and handling

when purchased in our online shop.

We can scarcely believe that it was a mere 12 months ago that the cookbook project began in earnest! What a year it has been for Mama Cassie’s and Pixel Lab. We sat down recently to recount our journey. Click  the following link to read the story:


2012 was quite something, to be sure! We’re cooking up even bigger plans for 2013 so stay tuned, you don’t want to miss what is next!

Mangia! Mangia! Facebook Photo Contest

Mama Cassie's Very Lemon Cake Photo & Baking Credit: Brian Bartlett


I love hearing about what everyone is cooking from the new Mama Cassie’s “Food is Love!” Cookbook. The only thing I love more is SEEING what you are making.

Between January 20, 2013 & February 3, 2013 I’m having a photo contest on my facebook page! Whoever makes and photographs the highest number of different items from my new cookbook and posts them to the Mama Cassie’s Facebook wall will win:

An embroidered Mama Cassie’s apron

One of the last remaining copies of the first edition printing

I’ll also throw in an oversize Mama Cassie’s t-shirt!

The Rules

1. Photograph your culinary creation with a copy of the Mama Cassie’s “Food is Love!” Cookbook. See example above.

2. Post your photograph on the Mama Cassie’s Facebook Wall and Tag Mama Cassie’s Facebook page in the picture. You may have to Like the page first to be able to tag. www.facebook.com/mamacassiescookbook

3. Tell me about what you made. What is it? How did it turn out?

4. An individual must submit something different from the Mama Cassie’s “Food is Love!” Cookbook for each photo contest entry.

5. Contest ends at midnight Mountain Standard Time February 3, 2013. Winner will be announced on the Mama Cassie’s Facebook wall on Monday, February 4, 2013.

Enter Today!!!

They’re Here!!!



We will be distributing local orders at Carpet One Wednesday through Friday AND we have a limited quantity of additional books for sale in case you still need to pick up your copy! See you at 1301 7th Street South, in Great Falls, MT between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m!

We are busy packing and shipping all out of town/state orders as we type!

Thanks again to our amazing backers! We couldn’t have done it without you!!!

Reach For The Good Stuff!

Fresh is best! The quality of your cooking can always be helped by using the best ingredients. Whenever you can, reach for the good stuff! Splurge on the fancy cheese, press your own garlic, squeeze your own lemons. It makes a difference you can taste!

A little under three weeks remain on our already successful Kickstarter campaign and now we want to STRETCH our goals to make a difference with our cookbook that you can SEE! Click this update link to learn more. Thank you so much to our amazing Backers. You are making the dream a reality and we are very appreciative of your support. We can’t wait to send our cookbook off to the printers and get it into your hands!

Nearly two-thirds of the cookbooks from our minimum order to the printer are already spoken for!!! We want to be sure we order enough copies, especially for anyone planning on giving the cookbook or related merchandise for gifts this holiday season. Please let your friends and family know about our Pre-Order campaign. Click this link for more information. Thank you all so much!

Mama Makes Marinara

The marinara sauce that was served daily at Mama Cassie’s comes from a special Buffalino family recipe that Carol’s mother only made once a year on Christmas Eve for the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  Please enjoy this recipe as a special thank you for all of your support for our Kickstarter campaign for The Mama Cassie’s “Food is Love!” Cookbook!

mmmm... marinara!

Mama Cassie’s Marinara Sauce 

This is a fast sauce and should not be overcooked or cooked at too high of heat. The beauty of the sauce comes from the bright, fresh flavors so keep an eye on your temperature! It takes about 45 minutes to prepare marinara sauce, less time than a pizza delivery! Think about making up a big batch of this sauce every week. Not only is it great on pasta, leftovers work well in a quick egg scramble, as homemade pizza sauce, or added to tomato soup! This sauce goes best on linguine or also with a big slice of Italian bread!

1 yellow onion
5 garlic cloves
2 T olive oil in pan
1 C red wine
2 Cans (28oz) whole tomatoes
2 C Water

Herbs & Spices:
4 T parsley
2 T Basil
1 t red pepper flakes
2 T granulated garlic
1 ½ t salt
½ t pepper
½ t sugar (if tomatoes are bitter)
2 T fresh parsley



Julienne Onions – cut in half lengthwise, quarter and slice end to end in ¼ inch strips. The shape and size of these onions is very important to the texture and flavor of this sauce. Err on the side of smaller, not bigger!

Crush garlic in a press or under the blade of a heavy cleaver. Crushing imparts a milder garlic flavor than mincing does.

Prepare Tomatoes- Crush whole tomatoes by hand or use a potato masher. Look for any stem ends that were not removed and take them out.

Measure out all the dry herbs and spices (except for the salt and pepper) into a small bowl and be sure to crush them together before adding to sauce for simmering as this releases the flavors. Remember! Don’t add salt or pepper until the end.


Heat Two tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a heavy sauce pan (6 qt) on med high heat Saute Onions until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add Garlic, and be careful not to burn it. You have to watch it!! You may need to adjust your heat. Keep an eye on the garlic and don’ t let it burn! You just want it to get golden, about 2 minutes.


Reduce stove heat to medium to medium low. Add one cup of red wine to onions and garlic. Reduce it 5 mins. Add crushed up Tomatoes (Mama thinks Hunts is best).Add two cups water.Stir in Crushed herbs .Reduce slowly for 20 minutes. Hold off on Salt and black pepper until the end.

Sometimes when you are tasting the sauce, the tomatoes might seem a little bitter, if that is the case add ½ t of sugar to correct.

Add salt last. You don’t want it to gas off during the simmer plus the tomatoes have salt in them. The recipe calls for 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, don’t exceed that amount. Start with 1 t and then add more if necessary.

After you take the sauce off the heat add 1T fresh parsley. It brings out the color and flavor. But don’t forget, you need to use Italian flat leaf parsley for the authentic flavor!

Add black pepper to taste.

40 mins. cooking time.

Mangia! Mangia!

Mambo Italiano!

4,3,2,1... Ready for Launch!

It is almost impossible to believe that a week ago today we were filming and editing our Kickstarter campaign video and 7 days later we have already met our initial funding goal. We did it within just 48 hours of launching our campaign, too! We are overwhelmed by your support and we are so excited to bring you this cookbook that we have been working on for almost a year now!



It has been a week to remember, and it started with a bang. On Monday afternoon we gave an impromptu interview to the Great Falls Tribune about the cookbook Kickoff event we held at Carpet One Contact Flooring. Thank you to Kim and Amie at the Trib for all of your support. We really appreciate it! As soon as we finished the interview it was time to film our Kickstarter video. Anyone who has ever done theater with Carol knows how hard it is for her to learn lines, so I just want to say that she did a great job working with a script we were basically writing on the spot!

One more for the laugh track!

The video was so much fun to film. We laughed until we cried and laughed some more. The outtakes sure would make a funny film reel. Hmmmm, maybe we’ll have to edit one together that is visible to Backers only?! Carol’s natural animation and exuberance are a delight all the time, but especially so under a tight creative deadline!

Smile, You're On Camera!


Wednesday morning Erin From KRTV came to film her segment on the cookbook project and the Kickstarter campaign. We enjoyed her so much. She’s a real delight and knows her cooking, too! She got right in on all the test kitchen fun with us including Mama’s good natured nagging about the onions! And for the record, yes they were too big!

The onions ARE too big!


We were invited to Montana This Morning to a live segment and to introduce the wonderful story that Erin put together. Live TV at 6:30 am is actually a lot of fun and we had a great time. Everyone at KRTV was great and we really appreciate their support of the Kickstarter Campaign and the cookbook project.


We're Live!


Friday evening two of Carol’s son’s and their families arrived to help us out with the Kicstarter Kickoff event. We had a celebratory dinner and strategy session. It was very exciting to all be working together again. Just like old times at the restaurant.

Look at all that Cake!!!

The Kickoff event on Saturday was successful beyond our wildest dreams. It was just wonderful to see so many people from the community. Old customers and employees, alike.  Thank you so much to Jeff & Millie Platisha and everyone at Contract Flooring Carpet One. You all were amazing and it was really lovely being able to host our event in your gorgeous new showroom! Thank you also to all of the Backers who came out to say hello and pledge on Saturday.

Thanks for coming out and pledging your support!


Sunday morning we woke up to discover we had entered double digits and were within dollars of our initial fundrasing goal. It was a delicious day watching our tally inch closer and closer to its mark. Sometime between 9:45 and 10:15 pm a real team effort took us over the limit. Thanks to our backers Zoe, Alex, Nan, Rod, Joni and Paula. Look for a little something special when your reward incentives arrive in December as our Thank You to you for that extra push!



Wow! So the demand for this cookbook and the reward incentives is HUGE! Make sure you continue to PRE-ORDER your copies if you want yours in time for the holidays!


Cheers to The Mama Cassie's "Food is Love!" Cookbook!!!


The Mama Cassie’s “Food is Love!” Cookbook can be pre-ordered online at the Kickstarter website until October 15th.


Contact Mama Cassie at www.mamacassies.com if you have any questions about pre-ordering.

What the Heck is a Kickstarter?

From the very beginning Mama Cassie’s has been a “Do It Yourself” enterprise. We got the restaurant up and running on a wing and a prayer with the help of at least one mysterious angel and thank heavens we did because that little restaurant brought such joy to our whole community! Throughout this year, as we’ve been on the journey of writing this cookbook and reconnecting with all of you it has been absolutely amazing to see how that sense of  joy for a special place we once shared has only grown with time.  It has often fueled our process as there were days when the challenge of all this loomed quite large! Hey, there’s a lot of love to get right in these recipes and stories!!! From the very start Mama Cassie’s has also always been a labor of love and this cookbook is no exception. We worked diligently to capture these beloved recipes and we are eager to share them with you. The world has waited long enough for the Mama Cassie’s cookbook!

So, the recipes have been painstakingly tested, plate after plate of beautiful food styled and photographed, and all the great stories of a much beloved restaurant collected and transcribed for the first time ever. By combining the power of pre-ordering with the broad reach of online tools we will be able to get more copies of the  Mama Cassie’s cookbook into more hands across America-  faster. Here’s where you come in: what we need you to do between September 15th and October 15th to support our Kickstarter campaign is to pre-order your cookbook copies to help us get it to the printers and into your hands where it belongs!

So what the heck is Kickstarter anyway? Kickstarter is an online website and it is a new way to fund creative projects, like this cookbook. We dream up fun reward incentives including, but not limited to the cookbook, plus other awesome goodies and you pledge/pre-order at whatever level you would like to. Stay tuned for the campaign launch to learn all about that, but haven’t you always wanted a Mama Cassie’s apron? Thought so… We think you’ll like what we’ve got in mind and there are many enticing reward options!

If you are in the Great Falls area  on September 15th, please join Mama Cassie at the Contract Flooring Carpet One showroom located at 1301 7th Street South between 3pm and 6pm for the launch of the Mama Cassie’s Cookbook 30 day Kickstarter campaign. Come by and say hello to Carol, pre-order copies of the cookbook, enjoy a slice of Mama’s world famous cake and learn more about the exciting rewards you can receive for helping Mama get this project to the printers!  Don’t worry if you’re not in town, or you can’t make it to the event, as soon as we launch our campaign you’ll be able to pre-order online, but only during this one month window.  The 30 day campaign will kickoff on September 15th and run through October 15th, 2012.

Please stay tuned for details on the campaign, itself. We are putting the finishing touches on our video and the rest of our presentation. Just wanted to be sure to give you all a “save the date” and to let you know more about Kickstarter!

Hope to see those we can on the 15th!

Mama and company will have cakes and computers standing by!