Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Purple Majesty and Back from a Very Long Break

It's been a long while since I have posted to this little ole blog.  I haven't made a lot of new things to share anyway but had a big life moment occur which set my kitchen back a bit.

On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey blew into my life dumping over 50 inches of rain in this area. I was very lucky to be able to evacuate to my son and his family's home.  It was several days before I could get back home to find that I had over a foot of water in my home.  I've lived here for over 38 years and gone through several hurricanes without issue, but Harvey was something else.  Tearing everything out of my house and starting over took 82 days and I was able to move back in.  Right now I am still waiting on furniture but the house is back, newer than ever. I am so fortunate to have had a safe and comfortable place to stay and insurance.  There are so many families still not back or even close to starting over.  Such a tragedy.

My birthday also happened the weekend Harvey visited and when I was able to get out and visit my cousin and her husband, I found the most beautiful birthday present waiting for me.  A purple professional Kitchen Aid mixer.  I was overwhelmed with such a gift.  It was a work horse during Christmas cookie baking.

I hope to get back to blogging and hopefully I will have new things to share soon. ♥♥♥

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Some people call these lemon brownies, but it's hard to call something so light and buttery looking brown.  Another recipe for the abundance of lemon juice I have frozen.  These are really, really good.


2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla


3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blend until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with Baker's Joy or Pam. Mix together all ingredients. Spread in pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Edges will be light brown.  Pour glaze over cooled cake.  Let glaze set before cutting.


I made this recently for work and shared the recipe with a coworker.  You know my pictures are not this good, so she was kind enough to share her picture after she made it.  It's a really good, moist pound cake loaf.  I've been lucky over the summer for friends to share their abundance of lemons and have frozen lots of lemon juice and zest to use in recipes.


1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix together until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9 x 5 loaf pan with Baker's Joy or grease and flour.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl combine eggs sugar, butter, sour cream, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice until blended well.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add oil and lemon zest.  Mix well.

Pour into prepared loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove and cool.  Pour glaze over top of cooled cake.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cheesy Corn Grits

My cousin hosted a ladies brunch this past weekend.  I normally make something sweet, but decided on a savory dish instead.  We had lots of nice food and games and conversation.


6 cups chicken stock
2 cups 5-minute grits (not instant)
1 tablespoon Hidden Valley ranch seasoning
6 slices thick bacon cooked and chopped (I used jalapeno bacon)
1 can of roasted corn, drained (can use frozen)
2 cups smoked gouda cheese
1 stick butter
Milk or cream to desired thickness
Green onion tops and cheese for topping

Place 6 cups stock and grits and seasoning in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cover.  Simmer for 6 minutes until grits are done.  Stir in grated gouda cheese.  Cut butter into pieces and stir in until smooth.  Stir in corn.  Stir in bacon, leaving a little for the topping.  If the grits are too tight, pour in some cream or milk to desired consistency.

Pour into a serving dish.  Top with green onion and bacon and cheese.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

7-Up Biscuits

I have a friend whose favorite gift from my kitchen is biscuits.  I normally use my favorite recipe which I posted years ago Very Best Buttermilk Biscuits.

I didn't have ingredients for my usual recipe and a coworker had made these and brought to work so I thought I would try them.  Very easy, but not quite as good as buttermilk biscuits.  You can't taste the 7-Up.  It does make a light biscuit though.


4 cups Bisquick
1 8 oz. container sour cream
1 cup 7-Up or any lemon-lime soda
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a 9 x 13 pan, melt the butter.  In a bowl cut the sour cream into the Bisquick until well mixed.  Add soda.  Stir together and roll out onto floured surface.  Cut into 12 biscuits and place in buttered pan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.  Butter tops of biscuits right out oven.

Friday, December 2, 2016


Another birthday cake for a coworker.  I've seen this cake named Pig Pickin' Cake but since this was for a birthday and not a barbecue, I thought a more appropriate name would be just what it is - Mandarin Orange/Pineapple cake.  Another dressed up cake mix.


1 box yellow cake mix
11 oz. can mandarin oranges, do not drain
4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 16 oz. carton Cool Whip
1 15 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 small box instant vanilla pudding

Mix together cake mix, canned oranges with juice, eggs, and oil.  Pour batter into three greased and floured 8 inch round cake pans.  Layers will be thin.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool layers on wire racks.

Mix together Cool Whip, drained pineapple, and DRY pudding mix.  Frost layers and cake.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Strawberry Margarita Cake

I haven't blogged anything in such a long time.  Still making birthday cakes for coworkers based on their likes or wishes.  This one was for someone who likes strawberry margaritas.  Not a big fan of using cake mixes, but sometimes that's what it takes.  This is such an easy cake, but everyone seemed to like it.


1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup frozen strawberry margarita mix (thawed)
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 16 oz. container Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 9 x 13 cake pan.

Mix cake mix, egg whites, water, oil, and margarita mix.  Mix until smooth.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cake.  Cool cake.

Mix lime zest into Cool Whip.  Frost cake.  Decorate with strawberry slices and lime wedges and some grated lime zest.  Put in fridge for several hours or overnight before serving.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Navajo Tacos/Indian Fry Bread

I spent the day yesterday with one of my best friends.  When we get together we like to try a new recipe or cook something together.  When I was a girl my family took a vacation to Ruidoso, New Mexico where I first tasted Indian Fry Bread.  My friend has Native American heritage and had a recipe for this.  Her family used to serve this with a type of stew but we decided to make Navajo Tacos.


5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups hot water
Oil for frying

Stir together the dry ingredients.  Make a well and pour hot water and stir until dry ingredients come together.  Knead until dough comes together.  Put a little oil on your hands for the final knead.  Cover with a cloth to rest.  Pull off small balls of dough and press out.  Fry in hot oil until brown on both sides.  Drain on paper towels.  If you make them small and a little thicker they are more doughy. Flattening them out thinner like a tortilla they are more crispy.

We made our tacos with hamburger meat seasoned well with salt and pepper, chopped onions and a can of green chiles.  Once that was drained and put aside, we made a little buffet consisting of refried beans, fresh tomatoes, chopped lettuce, jalapenos, cilantro, and cheese.  These are good even with cinnamon sugar for a dessert option. Kind of reminds me of elephant ears that way.

It was a fun day well spent.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Girl Scout Cookie Samoas Bundt Cake

Our annual company picnic (Spring Fling) was yesterday.  Among the fun we have a bake off.  I won first place with this one.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  



1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour bundt pan or using baking spray.
Melt chocolate chips until smooth when stirred.  Set aside.  Beat butter and brown sugar with mixer until blended well (about 5 minutes).  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Beat in melted chocolate until just blended.  Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture to batter, alternating with sour cream on low speed until just blended.  Slowly with mixer on low add hot water.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove cake from pan onto plate to cool completely.


1/2 stick butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter until creamy.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar.  Beat in enough cream or milk to get to spreading consistency.  Spread on cooled cake.


1-1/2 cups toasted coconut
Caramel sauce
Hot fudge sauce

Sprinkle toasted coconut all over cake.  Drizzle caramel sauce and hot fudge sauce.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Famous Brick Street Chocolate Cake

A recent birthday for a coworker who requested a chocolate cake.  I had saved this recipe a while back from Pinterest.  This just might be one of the best chocolate cakes I've made.  Of course, being in Texas it had to be served with Blue Bell ice cream which is lurking in the background. :o)  

Pinterest took me to a blog Through Her Looking Glass which tells the story about this delicious cake which comes from the Brick Street Cafe in Greenville, N.C.  If it's Southern, you know it has to be good!



2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup baking cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Small box instant chocolate pudding mix
2-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup baking cocoa, sifted
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk (more or less for consistency)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat in eggs. Mix in cake flour, baking cocoa, soda, salt, chocolate pudding mix and buttermilk.  Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased tube pan.  (There is too much batter for a regular bundt pan).  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Adjust baking temperature down to 325 degrees and continue baking 30-45 minutes more until cake tested comes out clean.  (Mine took close to an hour).  This is a very dense cake.  Cool cake completely before icing.

For icing, in a small pan on the stove, melt the water, butter and vanilla.  Remove from heat. Stir together the sifted powdered sugar and sifted cocoa powder.  Pour melted chocolate mixture over and mix well.  Add heavy cream until you get the desired consistency.  This will be poured over the cake.  The icing will harden as it cools.  It is a challenge to get this smooth so work fast.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Spinach Madeleine

I was visiting my cousin recently who is from Louisiana.  She made this recipe for a function we were attending.  It comes from the River Road cookbook by the Junior League of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  History is that this recipe dates back to 1956.  Back then Kraft Jalapeno Cheese came in a tube and a woman by the name of Madeline Wright used it to enhance a creamed spinach recipe. She used the French spelling of her name and thus the recipe was created.  Over the years it has changed many times, but is a great side dish for any meal. Here is the version from the cookbook.


2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound pepper jack cheese cut into small chunks

Cook spinach as directed on package, drain, reserve 1/2 cup liquid (use chicken broth if preferred)
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.  Whisk in flour until smooth. 
Add onion, cook until soft but not brown.
Slowly add milk and reserved spinach liquid, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened.
Stir in garlic powder, salt and pepper, Worcestershire and cheese.  Continue until sauce is smooth.
Combine with spinach.  

Pour into a 2 quart dish and bakd at 350 degrees until heated through and bubble, about 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chocolate Cream Pie

I'm going to visit my sister soon.  She has wanted to try chocolate pie, so I tested my recipe to make sure it was something to share.  We'll make it together when I get there.  More fun in the kitchen with someone to share with.


1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch (or flour)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups milk or half and half
3 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 baked 9-inch crust
1 carton Cool Whip

Prepare a home made or store bought 9 inch pie shell.

In a medium sized saucepan stir together dry ingredients.  In a bowl blend the eggs with the milk or half and half.  Add wet ingredients to dry and blend well.  Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Add butter and vanilla.  Pour into a baked pie shell.  Let cool.  Top with Cool Whip or meringue.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lemon Pie

I've been so lucky this year to receive lemons from several friends. The tree is from my sister's yard. This year has been an abundant year for lemons it seems. So, when life gives you lemons........make lemon pie! I've never been a fan of meringue so I top my cream pies with Cool Whip.


Prepare and bake a home made or store bought crust.  Set aside.

3 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

In a 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch.  In a small bowl beat egg yolks until fluffy. Add to dry mixture.  Stir in water. Stir in lemon juice.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Pour into prepared crust.  Chill several hours.  Top with meringue or Cool Whip.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Time for a treat for my coworkers this week.  Although it doesn't seem like Fall here on the Gulf Coast, this pumpkin cake gave a little hint of Autumn.  A really easy cake to pull together.  I'm not sure if it was the cake or the candy corn that they liked the most!  Not sure what it is about candy corn that people love, but it made a hit with this cake!


2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add oil and blend well.  Add pumpkin and mix well.  Mix flour, baking soda and spices together.  Add to wet mixture.  Add vanilla.  Add pecans.

Pour into an 8 cup bundt pan that has been sprayed with Baker's Joy or Pam.

Bake for 1 hour or until middle of cake tests done.

Make an icing of powdered sugar, butter, and cream, add some cinnamon and vanilla to thickness desired.  Drizzle over cake.  Decorate with candy corn.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ina Garten's Lemon Cake

My friend grows the best lemons.  I was able to put away several containers of juice in the freezer. What better time to use some of that juice to make something yummy.  I love anything lemon and had company coming, so thought I'd make a nice treat.  This can be made as a bundt pan or cupcakes. Either way you make it, it has a great soft crumb and the lemon syrup makes it extra good. Below is my adaptation.


For the cake:

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon syrup:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 8 inch loaf pans with Baker's Joy.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 5 minutes or so.  Add eggs one at a time and add the lemon zest.

In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Combine the 1/4 cup lemon juice with the buttermilk and vanilla.  Add the flour and buttermilk mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.

Divide batter between the two loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, testing for doneness in the middle.

Cool the cakes.  Combine the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice over low heat until dissolved.  Spoon the lemon syrup over them.  Allow to cool completely.