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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chuy's Salsa Fresca

I'm making Tex-Mex for Father's Day lunch for my son and his family.  King Ranch Casserole, Guacamole, Rice and Beans.  A local Tex-Mex chain, Chuy's makes great salsa.  I've also made their Jalapeno Ranch Sauce too before.  I think the red sauce will go well with today's meal.


10-12 Roma tomatoes
1 to 1-1/2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, deveined, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2-3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
Juice of 1 lime

In a food processor, blend onion, cilantro, and jalapeno.  Cut ends off tomatoes and rough chop.  Add to food processor.  Blend well.  Add lime juice, garlic powder, and salt.  Chill.  Serve with chips.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding With Vanilla Sauce

I made bread pudding for a potluck dinner last weekend.  I had not made this in a long time.  Hoping to live up to expectations of a moist bread pudding, I think this was received with lots of compliments.


1 pound bread, torn into pieces (I used Oro-Wheat Italian Bread)
4 cups half and half
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs

1/2 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup chopped pecans


1 cup half and half or milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter.  In a mixing bowl mix the eggs and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes at medium speed.  Add half and half, vanilla and melted butter and mix well.  Tear bread into 1 inch pieces and place in prepared pan.  Sprinkle raisins and pecans over bread. Pour wet ingredients over and let sit for 30 minutes until bread has soaked up the milk mixture.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes until middle is set, using a toothpick to test.

To make sauce, combine milk, butter, sugar and flour and cook to boiling until thick.  Add vanilla.  You can add rum or whiskey or even some maple syrup to this sauce if you like.  You can either pour the sauce over, or have it on the side.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches is a town in northern Louisiana that is most famous for being the site for filming Steel Magnolias.  My cousin and I visited there last December for the Christmas Festival and had one of the best meat pies.  Since then we said we were going to try our hand at them and this past weekend we did just that for a potluck dinner.  They are usually deep fried, but we baked these.  They were really delicious and not too hard to make.   I've also included a few photos below from our trip.  It is a sweet little town and it was a fun trip. 



1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 green onions including tops, chopped fine
1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped fine
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

In a large skillet, cook the beef and pork until browned.  Add the onion, green onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, pepper, cayenne, pepper flakes and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour and stock.  Cook until thickened.  Cool.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

In a mixer, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Cut in the shortening.  Combine the milk and egg together and add to flour.  Stir until dough comes together. 

We made small empanada size pies.  Cut the dough in desired size circle and put filling inside just in the middle to allow for crimping the sides.  Mix one egg with 2 tablespoons water or milk.  Brush the crimped crusts with egg wash.  Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 23 minutes until lightly browned.  These can also be deep fried in a deep fryer at 375.



Sunday, May 31, 2015

One Pan Cheesy Pasta Bolognese

Main dish for the birthday celebration yesterday was this recipe I found on Instagram at 'Cooking With Mimi'.  I think it is a keeper.  One pan meals work for me. Serve with crusty garlic bread and a salad and call it done. 


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion chopped fine
3/4 cup grated carrots
1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1 cup water
12 oz. pasta (I used Penne)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded (divided)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add in dried oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Next, add the red wine and stir to combine. Add Worcestershire and canned tomatoes, stirring to combine. Pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper.
Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Add pasta, stir well. Cover pan and cook until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.When pasta is tender, gently stir in grated Parmesan and ½ cup of mozzarella cheese. Scatter the remaining mozzarella evenly over top. Turn off the heat. Place lid over skillet and allow mozzarella to melt, 2-3 minutes.

White Texas Sheet Cake

A birthday celebration yesterday.  Since I was a teen I have been making the chocolate version of Texas Sheet Cake.  I've had the vanilla/white version in my files to try for a while now.  This cake is traditionally made in a jelly roll pan, making the ratio of icing and cake about even.  I don't care for it that way and most always make it in a 9 x 13 pan.  This is a very moist cake and gets better each day.


2 sticks of butter

1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small saucepan, bring the butter and water to a boil.  Remove from heat.  In a large bowl mix together sugar, flour salt, baking soda.  Pour the water and butter mixture and stir.  Add sour cream and eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  No need to use a mixer, just a whisk or wooden spoon will work.  Pour into a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with Pam or Baker's Joy.  Can also use a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes until done.


1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup half and half or milk
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil the butter and milk.  Remove from heat and pour over powdered sugar.  Add vanilla.  Mix with mixer until smooth.  Spread over cake. Can add pecans or coconut if desired for a different twist.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Neverending Chocolate Cake

I wanted to take a dessert for a recent crawfish boil.  I found this recipe from Taste of Home.  I used to subscribe to this Reiman publication over the years and always found good recipes.  I don't usually use box mixes, but this type of cake really starts with that.  With the addition of buttermilk it is a super moist cake and really packs the chocolate.


1 devil's food cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Chocolate Fudge)
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix (I used Hershey brand)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
4 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, syrup, and eggs. Beat on low speed to blend, then beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Gently stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into greased and floured 12-cup Bundt cake pan.

Bake for 55 minute to 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for garnish or drizzle with glaze.  I just used a powdered sugar glaze.  You can melt some chocolate chips also if you wanted more chocolate.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lemon and Pecan Buttermilk Bread

Using more of that good lemon juice I froze from my friend's trees last summer, I found this recipe on  Pretty yummy stuff with a nice cup of coffee.


1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 inch loaf pan with Pam or Bakers Joy.  Beat butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Beat in vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice. Whisk together the flour and dry ingredients. With a wooden spoon, stir in half the dry ingredients.  Add half of the buttermilk.  Repeat and mix thoroughly with spoon until smooth.  Add pecans.  Pour into loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes until tested done.  Glaze with a mixture of 2 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with 1 cup powdered sugar.  Pour over loaf.