Saturday, February 23, 2008


I was inspired by Em at Sugar Plum Sweets when she made her beer buttermilk biscuits. I have had this recipe in my 'to try' files for years. I've made beer bread lots in the past but never thought of making it into rolls. This recipe calls for a beer that I had not seen before. My son brews his own beer and I was thinking I could use some of his home brew, but he gave me this beer to use and I think it worked well. In the past I could always taste the beer in the bread, this is very subtle. I tried to do some research on what Meier & Frank was and it points to a department store in Portland, Oregon that was kind of a precursor to Macy's. Apparently there was a restaurant there called the Georgian Room that served these rolls. I think they would be a nice addition to any meal and they go together really quickly and are easy.


1 12-ounce bottle hefeweizen beer
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons granulated sugar (I only used 3)
3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups self-rising flour
Melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the beer, oil, and sugar. Add 3 1/4 cups flour and stir until just combined. If the mixture is too wet, add an additional 1/4 cup flour and just barely mix in. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and knead 4 or 5 times. Pat or roll the dough 3/4 inch. Cut rolls with a 3-inch biscuit cutter and arrange the rolls in the greased pan. Reroll and recut dough scraps as necessary. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool slightly. Makes 12 rolls.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pecan Pralines

It's not often that Paula Deen lets a guest come into her kitchen. On a recent episode she had "The Candy Man", Stan Strickland of Savannah's Candy Kitchen on and he made his pecan pralines. I happened to have the ingredients so I gave them a try. I've made pralines before and sometimes they turn out, and sometimes not. This recipe was easy and worked like a charm. These pralines are not gritty like some. I didn't quite let them cool down enough before I spooned them onto the paper, so they spread a little too much. Next time I will wait until they are a bit more 'cloudy' before I spoon them out. One of my 'taste testers' said it was better than a praline she ate in New Orleans, so I think that was a good compliment.


2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup half-and-half
1/3 stick butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole pecans (I used large pieces)

Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat stir mixture until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to stir. Spoon mixture up on sides of pan to melt any sugar that hasn't melted. Cook until mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees) on a candy thermometer. Stir in the pecans. Remove from heat. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Drop onto parchment paper, or buttered pan using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Let cool.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Probably because I love hearts. I am taking treats to the office (wellness will have to be held for one day).

The mini-cheesecakes are a nice little treat and you can jazz them up any way you like. The brownies are from a recipe I tried a few years ago when we had a brownie bake-off at our company picnic. I didn't win, but I think they are a great brownie.


2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Vanilla wafers
Cherry pie filling (or topping of your choice)

In a bowl mix cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix with mixer until smooth. Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of a cupcake liner. Spoon filling into liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. Chill. Garnish with pie filling. Recipe said it made 12, but I got 16 out of this recipe.


8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
5 eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups toasted chopped pecans

In a saucepan on low heat, melt butter and chocolate together. Cool. In a bowl mix eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high for 10 minutes. Mixture will be light and creamy. Slowly add chocolate and butter to egg mixture. Blend in flour. Do not over mix. Add pecans. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. I baked these in individual heart pans that had been sprayed with Pam at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cappuccino Cheesecake Bars

Boring Sunday. Looking through old recipe files and came across this recipe. I'm going to have to find a homeless shelter or someone to bake for!


1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon Kahlua or brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Line 13x9 pan with foil. Crust: Beat butter and powdered sugar until blended with mixer on low speed. Gradually add flour. Press into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 until light golden brown (don't overcook!)

Filling: Combine instant coffee & Kahlua or brewed coffee in a bowl, stir and let sit 5 minutes to dissolve. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Take 1 1/2 cups of batter and stir into coffee mixture. Spoon plain filling onto crust. Top with coffee batter. Run a knife through to marbleize. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until puffed around the edges firm in the middle. Cool on wire rack (in the pan) and then cover & chill for at least 4 hours (overnight is better). Remove from pan by lifting foil ends. Cut into squares.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tag and Tag Again

I've been tagged twice now with memes that are generally the same, one by Val at More than Burnt Toast and one by Emiline at Sugar Plum who told me I had no excuses. My biggest excuse is that my life is pretty much an open book and quite boring and there is not much that people don't know about me (well, there was that one time...........). So here is a feeble attempt at completing the meme task.

1. I was born on President Lyndon Baynes Johnson's birthday (not the same year!) He was from Texas (like me)

2. When I was 14 I had my gallbladder removed. At the time I was one of the youngest people to have it done. Oddly, it was on the same day as Lyndon Baynes Johnson had his gallbladder removed.

3. I went to New York City with a friend once and we got a $40.00 ticket for parking in front of Macy's. (The sign said 'no STANDING' -- who knew that meant parking???) In thinking back, I realize why would one be able to just pull up in front of Macy's in Manhattan and park anyway?

4. The first recipe I ever baked on my own was for Texas Sheet Cake. I have to wonder if this same recipe is called Arkansas Sheet Cake or whatever other state a person lives in?

5. And lastly, if you haven't dozed off just yet. Zzzzzzz.....sorry, I dozed off myself. I have upon occasion broken chain letters, so I will end this meme with saying that most all of the blogs in my circle of reading have been tagged, so I will just stop here.

Thanks ladies, for including me. The blog world really puts you in touch with some fascinating people that is for sure.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cheese Ball

My grandson turned 2 last week. Gosh, where does the time go, seems we were just celebrating his arrival into the world! We had a family party on Saturday. This is a quick and easy recipe if ever you need something to take to a party.


2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 green onions diced real fine, tops and all
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix
Dried parsley
Crushed pecans

Mix the softened cream cheese and all other ingredients until well incorporated. Roll in pecans to make a ball (can also make a loaf or log if you choose). Chill until firm. Serve with crackers. I've also made this with chopped black olives or bacon bits mixed in. You can also use dill if you like. Use your imagination for whatever things you like. It's a good base for a cheese ball.