Featured Guest: Robyn Stone

RobynProfile300x300As my readers know, I have a thing for recipes.

I love to read cookbooks and I subscribe to four different cooking magazines, and am always browsing the internet looking for something that sounds yummy to eat or drink, and during one of my searches that probably said “easy, delicious chicken dinner” I came across  Add A Pinch, Robyn Stone’s website and it immediately became one of my favorite sites for great family friendly recipes.  And then I discovered her cakes.  Oh, I love Robyn’s cakes!  But then I love all things sweet and when I was writing The Good Wife, I reached out to Robyn about coming up with a recipe just for my readers, friends, and fans, and she most graciously agreed.

Robyn has been awesome to work with and everything she does is fantastic and I knew you  had to meet her.  So here she is, and we’re going to go straight to her so she can explain what she does for you!

Robyn, welcome to the JaneBlog, so glad you are here.  Can you please tell us about your website, Add A Pinch – what do you do?

I love sharing recipes on Add a Pinch that I’ve created and several that have been in my Southern family for generations! I usually have a story to go with just about all of my recipes because in the South, it seems that sharing meals and desserts with people has traditionally been a way to gather with those you love and care about. The foods I’ve cooked with my mother, grandmother, and other ladies in my life certainly evoke memories – and I enjoy sharing those with my readers as I share the recipes.

From time to time, I like to tell my readers about what I’m growing (or not growing) in my garden, or show them pictures of our chickens and Golden Retrievers, and tell them other happenings of the moment in my neck of the woods! I also enjoy sharing my thoughts on things I have found that I really like or products I’ve bought that I’m crazy about. I might even share a DIY project or a time saving tip along the way!

My family also loves to travel in our RV, so I share the adventures we have from time to time. My husband loves to grill and I love to cook so we are a pretty good pair when we hit the road, so I will share the foods we love to prepare while camping.

My husband and I decided a few years ago to homeschool our son. I share experiences about our homeschool learning fun or educational programs I’ve found and like from time to time on Add a Pinch, but not as much as I concentrate on recipes, living and travel on the website. I let Little Buddy help decide which stories about his school days that he wants me to share because that is important to me that he has a voice in what information about him that I share with my readers.

How did Add A Pinch come about?


I created Add a Pinch essentially three years ago – soon after I left the corporate world. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and I love making suppers for my family and friends. I really enjoy cooking special treats for my son – as my mother and grandmother did with my sister and me when we were growing up.

Southern Caramel Cake Recipe (click photo!)

Add a Pinch was really born from a desire to pass on a part of my Southern heritage to my son. I decided that I wanted him to have a place that one day he could have the recipes and stories from me and his grandmother and my grandmother – as well as my memories that went along with them. I’ve always liked to write in some form or fashion – as well as cook. As a person that enjoys technology, I knew that a food blog would be the perfect place to chronicle my recipes and a database for my son (and maybe his children) in the future!

I’ve been asked how I came up with the name “Add a Pinch”. I spent a great deal of time and thought to come up with the perfect name, even including my family in the brainstorming process. Since I learned how to cook from my mother and grandmother, standing alongside them as they prepared recipes with love, the name I chose came from something my grandmother always said. I would ask her often, “Grandmother, how much sugar (or salt, or flour, or butter, etc.) do you put in this?” She would usually always answer, “Oh, just add a pinch of this and a pinch of that until it tastes just perfect!” So I knew what I had to name my blog, and Add a Pinch was born.

You put a lot of emphasis on heirloom recipes that you learned from your mother and grandmother. My character, Lauren Summer, in The Good Wife opened her bakery with her sister, using family recipes.  Can you share one or two of your favorite memories of being in the kitchen with them as a little girl?

There are so many memories I have of my mother, grandmother, and even my sister, that are woven around cooking and spending time in the kitchen! At least in my Southern heritage, spending time with family usually revolved around sharing suppers together.

Balsamic Roast Beef Recipe (click photo!)

In the small town where I grew up, there were no fast food restaurants close by – no pizza place delivered to our part of the country either. So our meals were pretty much all prepared from scratch each and every night other than when we went out to eat or the rare occasion that we picked up something and brought it home. Those times gave us a lot of time to talk – and I’ve been told that I could out-talk just about anybody as a young girl!

I loved to help my mother make treats during the holidays and special occasions. Mother, like Grandmother, is an excellent cook. Like I mentioned, most every meal was prepared at home since we lived out in the country. We had an eat-in bar in our kitchen and I loved to be right there on one of those barstools watching and talking – even before I was interested in helping – my mother cook. I am so very thankful that I did watch and help her cook so that I was able to do so even as a young bride.

One of the most vivid memories I have of spending time in the kitchen with my grandmother involves a special treat she did for my sister and me from time to time. She had a set of really old crystal wine flutes that had been passed down to her. Even as very young little girls, my sister and I would ask for her to let us see those “wine glasses” as we called them. Now, my grandmother never ever drank anything, so hearing us talk about her wine glasses kind of made her laugh a little. One summer day we went into the kitchen for some cookies. To our delight, there on the table sat our plates of cookies and those wine glasses with the most beautiful red liquid in them! Of course it was just Kool-Aid, but I believe that was the best it had ever tasted to me then or since!

Favorite dessert to serve during the summer?

It is so hard to name just one favorite! My husband adores anything with strawberries – from cookies, to pie, cakes and so on. My son is one that loves anything chocolate (and I’m kind of with him in the chocolate loving department). I also enjoy baking cakes and homemade ice cream with the fruits of summer – peaches, strawberries and the like.

Favorite family cookie you make for the holidays?

Ever since my son was old enough to pull up a stool to reach the kitchen counter and help me, we have loved making Christmas Cookies together – basically sugar cookies that we cut out in Christmas shapes and decorate together. Baking and decorating these cookies with him every year is so special to both of us and reminds of doing this with my mother as a little girl.

5 adjectives that describe you:

Determined (or hard-headed as my Daddy or my husband might say)

I see from your website that you like to travel.  I’m a huge travel junkie.  Where are you itching to go next?

I do love to travel with my family. I enjoy the trips that we take together and seeing Little Buddy get so excited about going places and seeing new things. We just recently got back from Oshkosh, Wisconsin from a huge air show. We traveled from our home in the south by RV and made a few stops along the way. It was a lot of fun!

We like to take special trips for Little Buddy’s birthday and have done so since he was very young. He loves to go to Disney World, and those trips are always so special to me, so I am always itching to go on the trips that make him so excited and full of wonder!

Do you like to read, and have you migrated to e-readers or do you still like books?  Have you read anything this summer you’d recommend?

I’ve always loved reading! My mother is a huge reader and has been all my life, so she passed that interest down to me I guess. I do enjoy reading on e-readers since I can just look and purchase which ever books I’ve heard are good or have just been released without having to drive to the book store. But there will always be something sort of romantic about the smell of the pages of a book. I still like to read the physical, hold-in-your-hands-and-turn-the-pages books from time to time. I read Gone with the Wind that way over and over again as I get the chance.


This summer my son and I started our own little book club, if you will, where we’ve been reading The Hunger Games series and discussing it as we go. There is nothing like reading a book series with your child and discussing it. I’d always thought I enjoyed a girls’ book club until I started purposefully having a book club like plan with my son. Hands down my favorite!

You recently created a delicious chocolate cake for me for my book, The Good Wife.  Can you tell us about this recipe?  (And can we share it here?)

I was thrilled when I heard from Jane about creating a chocolate cake just for The Good Wife! I used to say as a little girl that when I grew up, I was going to write books, so just imagine how cool it is for me to have a recipe in one!

I spend a lot of time creating what I thought would be a traditional, yet special and delicious chocolate cake for the bakery in the book. It is rich and very decadent – just as you would expect from a true Southern cake shop!

I would be honored for you to share that special recipe that I created just for The Good Wife! I hope your readers enjoy it as much as I did in creating it!

Thank you so much Jane for this amazing opportunity!!!



Thank you, Robyn for sharing with us today!  It was a pleasure to have you with us and an equal but more delicious pleasure to try this yummy recipe!   For my readers and friends, I’ve a special contest, so in the comment section below, tell me about one of your favorite family recipes, and if you enjoy baking, and you could win an advanced reading copy of The Good Wife plus a Starbucks drink card, some of my favorite authors books, and lots of other wonderful treats.  The contest runs through Wednesday and the winner will be announced Thursday morning so be sure to enter soon!

And now here is the recipe the wonderful, kind, and talented Robyn Stone created for The Good Wife.  Once you read the story, you’ll understand my character Lauren Summer’s obsession with making the perfect chocolate cake, and I think once you make this cake, you’ll agree, its pretty darn perfect as chocolate cakes go!




  1. Great to meet Robyn Stone here today. I leave the baking up to my Mother. Her cooking is amazing. One of my favorites is her Port Wine Trifle. All made from scratch & ideal for any celebration.

  2. I really enjoyed meeting Robyn and reading her post.My Mom and Grandmother were 2 wonderful and gifted cooks also ad I have so many favorites . My grandmother’s Baked Ziti and homemade meatballs is my all time favorite. Absolutely drool worthy. lol
    Thanks for the chance.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  3. This book sounds yummy! 🙂

    We have a potato salad family recipe. We each put a little different spin on it.

    I hate baking!

  4. i do love to cook! cant wait to add a pinch to my favorites. my favorite recipe would be our family’s lasagne recipe.

  5. My mom used to make “mush” by taking leftover roast beef, shredding it up (probably with the pressure cooker), adding leftover gravy, and stirring it up to pour onto our bread and mashed potatoes (to make the meat go further). She died many years ago and I don’t own a pressure cooker, but once every decade or so my sister 2000 miles away will make it for me/us with her pressure cooker. OMG….

    Yes, I enjoy baking. I bake one recipe and share a lot of it with my friends for the next few days (maybe two tarts or three/four cookies each). Once our treats are gone, I make something else and do the same thing. In that way, we all get fresh treats, but not too many for the waistline (or at least that’s my way of thinking, LOL).

  6. I love baking. It´s a big hobby of mine. And I love trying out new recipes as you know.

    I´ll get right on the chocolate cake when I´m done eating the Three Layer Caramel Cake that I assume Robyn also made the recipe for 🙂 It´s a great cake.

    I´m very much looking forward to baking the chocolate cake. I have always had a hard time finding the perfect recipe for a chocolate cake. They so very easily get dry and boring.

    And now I´m also very intrigued to read The Good Wife and to find out how the whole baking makes it´s way into the story.

    My favorite family recipe is for a cookie. And since I´m from Europe it´s not a soft cookie but one that´s crisp. It´s with hazelnuts and I have not meet a person who did not just love this cookie.

    1. Alas, Elisabeth, our Three Layer Caramel Cake isn’t Robyn’s recipe! It’s a recipe from my family (and don’t tell any of the Porter women!!) but I think Robyn’s recipe is better. Now that you’ve made my family’s recipe, you’ll have to make Robyn’s and report back! 🙂

  7. I LOVE baking! Our favorite family recipe is for cutout cookies, the special ingredient being sour cream. Everyone who tries them loves them! It’s either my great-great aunt or my great-great-great-aunt’s recipe! Either way it’s a lot of greats! 🙂
    I also love red velvet cake, so I’ll have to try the chocolate velvet cake! Just as soon as we move into our new house and get all of.my baking stuff out of storage, that is!

  8. After reading this post, I am very hungry. i wish I had an experience to share about cooking with my mother. But, the truth is, she didn’t want anyone in the kitchen. I learned to cook from my ex husband. He was pretty good, but always made easy things. That’s pretty much what I stick with to this day.

  9. I LOVE baking from scratch and can’t wait to try this recipe.

    I just finished up both The Good Woman and The Good Daughter and am looking forward to the next Brennan sisters book. Thanks for the chance.

  10. My family recipes are mostly ethnic foods that my mother grew up eating/making in the Philippines. My favorite is lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) and pancit (similar to lo-mein).

    I love baking. My problem is that I’ll eat all the goodies I make since my husband and daughter won’t eat “junk food” and my boys are all out of the house.

  11. My favorite family recipe is my grandmother’s salad dressing. It’s very vinegarry and sweet. It’s so yummy!

  12. My Mom used to make a chocolate cake in a loaf pan & when cooled, cut into 1″ slices, and alternate those slices with 1″ slices of vanilla ice cream (back when it still came in a rectangular paper carton) & then wrap it & freeze it for a few hours. Oh so good…like a giant striped ice cream sandwich. Love to bake!

  13. Sounds delicious! I took band rather than home economics in school. Subsequently, I have taught myself how to cook (along with a little help from the Betty Crocker Cookbook). After learning the basics, I admire and learn from friends and family. I truly admire people who confidently cook and entertain for others! My sister makes excellent stuffed peppers!

  14. My mom’s homemade noodles is a big favorite…that I haven’t learned how to make yet! Need to get on that! I love baking, but try not to too much as I love eating more!!! Hope all us well!

    Amy P.

  15. Robyn’s cake recipe looks delicious! I love to bake. An early memory I have of my grandmother is her making her spritz butter cookies. She would put the dough into her cookie press with the jagged pattern edges and make our initials. I have enjoyed making cookies since I was. Kid, and I still do.

  16. The cake recipe looks great. We make my mom’s triple layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s legendary in our family.


  17. I’m so glad to have met Robyn, I love to collect cookbooks and cooking and baking is my favorite thing to do. I would bake with my mom’s friends at Christmas and we’d bake about 20 or more different kinds of cookies and exchange, but I would give them out fory Christmas presents, and a lot of family and friends looked forward to them. I have so many favorite recipies but at the moment I’ve been making a lot of zucchini bread and blueberry crunch pie which is my son’s favorite pie, its been in my family for years from my mom’s best friend. Everytime I make it I think of Gloria and my mom, they both are gone, but always in my heart! I made the carmel cake and I didn’t even get a piece so I know it was good…got a lot of compliments. I’m going to check her website soon! I have so many family recipies, some are written in Italian but my mom wrote them in English for me. Have a wonderful Monday!

  18. Jane! Thank you so much for allowing me to work with you on this chocolate cake recipe for The Good Wife. I have to tell you, this cake has definitely become one of my favorites! And your book? As with all of them, can’t. put. them. down!

  19. Jane, I am loving these recipes and they are making me very hungry! I love cooking and always looks for new slow cooker recipes…can’t wait to try that Roast beef! Thanks for sharing:-)

    So excited for the book next week.

  20. It was great getting to meet Robyn/Add a Pinch on here; thanks for sharing her/blog with us.
    My Mom baked something everyday for us while i was growing up. I think we loved her chocolate chip cookies best, but i have a fondness for the pineapple upside down cake she made. I love to bake, when it isn’t hot in the kitchen 🙂

  21. What a great interview!! Love getting to know Robyn better. She has got to be one of THE sweetest, most down to earth, talented people out there!!

  22. My favorite family recipe is cut-out-cookies. It’s a tradition my my family that started for Christmas many generations ago. I now get to enjoy doing the cookies with my children. It’s a lot of work but a family favorite for us!

  23. Nice to meet Robyn and will have to read her books! I also make Christmas sugar cookies and even though they take hours, I still look forward to baking them, and everybody loves them.

  24. I love to bake but cooking not so much! Favorite recipe is a sugar cookie with an almond flavored icing. A lot of work involved but everyone loves them!!!

  25. I am excited to start following Robyn on Facebook/Twitter and Pinterest. I don’t like to cook or bake….however, I love to eat!! Would love to have a huge piece of The Good Wife chocolate cake right now!! Thanks for the chance to win fun swag in your giveaway Jane!!

  26. I started cooking with my Grandmother when I was 9. We did not have fast food in our town either – all homemade from scratch. When my children ask my Mom if she taught me to cook – she just laughs and says no. My children’s favorite recipes are chocolate chip scones and chicken noodle soup (with homemade noodles).

  27. Hi Robin,

    The chocolate cake looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it out for Labor Day weekend.

    Two of my favorite recipes are from my M-I-L. She came over from Hungary of German descent. She made melt in your mouth cheese strudel with the dough so thin you could see through it and buttery spritz cookies.

    PS I’m glad you loved the air show. I live about 35 miles west of Oshkosh.

  28. Yummy! A favorite family recipe for us is my husbands Mexican carne guisada! Its a secret recipe and so delish.


  29. Thanks for the recipes..love it. and yeap, i love baking. some of our favorite recipes, My homemade Double choco brownies, Devils Cake and Oreo cream cake. yummo 🙂

  30. Thanks so much for introducing us to Robyn, everything sounds so delicious. I remember my Grandma was like that when I would ask her what was in something she would say a pinch of this and a pinch of that. My mom was never one to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so unfortunately I am not a very good cook or baker, but I am trying to branch out of my comfort zone and giving some things a whirl.

  31. Oh yum! I bake and cook…a favorite family recipe? Hmmm…my Mom and I love to make lemon bars, and we work on a recipe to make them as lemony as we can!

  32. I love to bake cakes and this recipe comes at the perfect time. I now know what we are having for dessert on Labor Day. My family’s favorites are banana bread(my mother’s recipe), carrot cake with maple-cream cheese icing, the baked brownie from the Baked-New Frontiers in Baking cookbook, and most recently almond bread. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. I have discovered so much!

  33. I will have to try this recipe. I don’t bake a lot, but I enjoy the old recipes for canning. I have recently started canning and love the memories it brings back.

  34. I do spend a bit of time myself on the internet looking up new recipes to try for meals and desserts. I will definitely give Robyn’s chocolate cake a try and I will definitely be making a trip to her website.

  35. Great feature on Robyn! I love her blog, follow her on both Facebook and Pinterest and always am excited to see what type of recipe she’s going to post next!
    I LOVE to bake…just pulled a tray of Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins out of the oven actually 🙂 One of my favorite family recipes is for a Blitz Torte cake that my mom learned to make from my father’s mother, specifically so she could make it for him on his birthday every year. It is SO good!

  36. What a great Blog topic.
    I love to bake.
    My favorite old recipe is for Mississippi Mud cake the recipe was found in an old Farmers Market Bulletin about 35 years ago.
    It is a family favorite. 🙂

  37. Yum, that balsamic roast beef recipe looks delish! I’m definitely going to try that one.

    My kids love my banana chocolate chip muffins, so I guess you could call it a family favorite. One time I had run out of chocolate chips and had to use white chocolate chips instead, and told my boys that whoever found a white chocolate chip in their muffin had to give me a hug and a kiss. They are 8 and 11 now, and still very good about dishing out the hugs and kisses when I slip some white chocolate chips in with the regular chocolate ones (which I do on a pretty regular basis!)

    Looking forward to trying out some of Robyn’s recipes too!

  38. All of my favorite recipes are from my grandma. Cabbage rolls, berry dumplings, stew, and many more. She was an amazing cook and an even more amazing person!!

  39. I have a banana bread recipe that I have made for years and years. We always seemed to have 2 bananas that turned brown, just perfect for bread. My daughter now has the recipe and we get to enjoy yummy banana bread quite often. I love to bake, especially for other people’s enjoyment. Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

  40. What a fun post. Food posts are always fun! A favorite recipe of mine is Death by Chocolate: it has layers of chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, and then chopped up candy bars. My favorite is to use chopped up Reses Peanut Butter cups.

  41. I love to cook & bake. Wish I had someone to clean up after me though! 😉 My family’s favorite cake is an easy Jello Poke cake with cool whip frosting. But my favorite is a homemade chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting…mmmm mmmm mmmm. 🙂

    Thanks Jane & Robyn!

  42. Sadly, I don’t have any family recipes to make for my family – my mother hated to cook! I’m not much of a baker either:(, except for cookies. But I am committed to cooking this more and eating as a family. Just checked out Add a Pinch and printed out a slow cooker recipe to make tonight!

  43. I love, love to bake! And cook! My favorite thing to bake is pie because my mom taught me how to make a flawless crust when I was little girl and I take a lot of pride in never serving frozen pie crust. They don’t taste bad, but I like the whole process of trying to make the crust and then working on fancy toppings using a second pie crust. I saved the link to Add A Pinch, love having new food blogs to follow 🙂

  44. Thanks Jane for introducing us to Robyn. And, thanks Robyn for contributing the cake recipe to Jane’s book, The Good Wife!

    We are so busy these days being the ‘jam sandwich” generation with my dad and our grandchildren that we use our slow cooker a lot. We make a really good lasagna that is so easy and we just discovered a delicious slow cooker recipe for orange chicken. At night in the hot summers here, we enjoy Frozen Hot Chocolate….Yummy!

  45. The older I get, the less I seem to bake. But, I may have to fire up the oven and bake that Chocolate Velvet Cake.

  46. Thanks for introducing us to Robyn! When I was little, my grandmother used to make us a graham cracker roll every Christmas. Marshmallows, raisins, English walnuts, and of course crushed graham crackers. Now I enjoy making for my family every Christmas.

  47. I can’t wait to try the yummy recipes!My favorite recipe is the Betty Crocker Pumpkin Bread. I make it for all my friends and family during the holidays. I also make the same cookbooks brown sugar peanut brittle.

  48. Yummy! Can’t wait to try these recipes out! Will most def. try out some of the recipes in Add a Pinch thanks for the tip!

  49. Actually have a few good recipes from my grandmother that I enjoy baking, but my husband has been baking his own version of chocolate chip cookies since he was in 5th grade. Yummy–fresh from the oven! Our younger son learned to bake them and is always being asked for them by his college housemates, who aren’t bad cooks either. He even made them on his last day of work at the company he interned with this summer.
    Can’t wait for The Good Wife!

  50. I love the recipes, especially the chocolate frosting! Sounds delicious! I love sitting down with a good book, a cup of tea, and a yummy dessert!

  51. Did a winner get picked last Thursday? I’m not seeing the name of the lucky duck, I keep hoping it is me!!!! 🙂

  52. Whoops! I knew I was forgetting something! Sorry everyone.

    Our winner is #58 Tonda Hargett!

    Tonda, please email me at jane(at)janeporter(dot)com with your mailing address and I’ll get the prize in the mail to you asap!

    Thank you, everyone, for sharing and thanks also to Janet for the reminder!

    Jane xoxoxo

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