Kick Up Your Heels, Honoring Nonna Catherine, Tap Room Recipe

Hello from Huckleberry Hill. April 19th is the anniversary of my mom’s passing to heaven. My mom sure loved to inspire everyone she met, including me. She was so very proud of my writing. Mom taught school for thirty-nine years. My mom gave me much courage and inspiration, not only did she kick up her heels, she kicked up my motivation in becoming an author. As a matter of fact, her Facebook photo is from my book launch event. A cherished memory is when my mom read from my book during the photo shoot. We were spellbound by her voice, she forever embraced teachable moments. 

Everyone that interacted with my mom, felt her love. She had a gift, like a personal coach, in motivation and inspiration. That sure is a life lesson, we can inspire or deflate. Let’s all take the inspiration route.

Nonna Cathy had many local favorite Monterey Bay ‘hang-outs’. However, her top place, for certain, wasn’t a physical location. Her heart was happy when she was surrounded by her loving family.

Her Ocean’s 11 dinner group, founded by my mother’s very best friend, Anne Roberts was a highlight. My mom and Anne sure did know how to ‘kick up their heels’!

Ocean’s 11 great pleasure is visiting various famed Monterey Peninsula restaurants. They find great companionship in connecting over delicious meals. I was honored when Ocean’s 11 group inducted me into their ranks. A group like this sure is a great way to ‘kick up your heels’.

These monthly get togethers have given me much joy, especially connecting me to my mom’s memory and her dearest friends. I encourage everyone to keep expanding your connections. It fills the heart with pure contagious joy.

In 2019, on day of my mom’s funeral, we had a beautiful exclusive dinner party at The Tap Room, (Pebble Beach Lodge). My mom had just loved The Tap Room, she had spent much time within the famed walls of this iconic local hang-out. This location was a comforting cocoon of happy memories. At The Tap Room a yummy bread basket is provided prior to the meal. My mom adored the mini zucchini breads.

So, in honor of my mom’s April 19th passing, I’m sharing the Tap Room zucchini bread recipe.

Take a moment to ‘kick up your heals’, sip gourmet coffee and munch on these delicious muffins. Spread joy! Make today fun, even if it’s listening to your favorite tunes, staying up late eating gourmet chocolate or passing the day with an engaging book.

What inspires you? What favorite memories or recipes do you hold close to your heart? How do you ‘kick up your heels’? Reach me anytime at

Many Blessings, XO from Huckleberry Hill, Maxine (A.K.A. “Molly”)


*Enjoy this recipe and article, originally published in 2019 celebrating the PBC Centennial.

Better than birthday cake! Let’s celebrate the 100th (centennial) birthday of Pebble Beach (and the return of the U.S. Open) with deliciously joyful zucchini muffins. Inspired by the iconic ‘Tap Room’ (at the Lodge in Pebble Beach) mini muffins. My mother (Nonna Cathy)  LOVED hanging out at the Tap Room. As a matter of fact, the servers knew she adored the bite-sized zucchini muffins. Upon seeing her enter the Tap Room, they always had warm muffins immediately served to her table.

US Open Pebble Beach Centennial

This recipe is SUPER EASY. It’s our own ‘Huckleberry Hill’ variation based using a vanilla cake mix. Of course, cooking from scratch is terrific. However, with a hectic life, it’s not always an option. This recipe uses either a yellow, vanilla or ‘plain’ box cake mix. I’ve used pudding variations, those also work well. The recipe is forgiving, use nuts, grated carrots, cranberries or mix it up based on what you have in your pantry. I’ve even used chopped apricots, figs and dates! All work well and add texture to the muffin. 



(Inspired by the Tap Room)

Happy 100th Birthday PEBBLE BEACH


Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Grease muffin tins, either regular size or mini (baby muffin)


I box yellow, white, pudding in the mix cake mix (any of these varieties work)

3 large eggs

1 cup shredded zucchini or ½ cup zucchini and ½ cup shredded carrots

1 heaping TBS melted butter or vegetable oil

1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract

½ cups of nuts of choice, chopped fine (I use walnuts or pecans)

½ cups dried fruits of choice, (I like golden raisins, cranberries, chopped dates/figs/ apricots)


Combine with a large spoon, do not over mix as this will make muffins tough.


Fill muffin tins about ¾ full.

Regular muffin tins take about 18-25 minutes

Mini (baby) muffin tins take about 8-12 minutes (watch carefully as mini muffins burn easily)

Place candle on muffin, make a wish and celebrate 100 years of Pebble Beach!



Do you have a favorite variation of an easy muffin or cake using a cake mix as a base? I would love to hear from you and share your recipe. Contact me anytime via or message via Facebook at Maxine Carlson Author. Follow along with my author events at Huckleberry Hill Events. Huckleberry Hugs, Maxine (A.K.A. “Molly”)