Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Good Earth

A friend of mine who is still displaced from Hurricane Ike is living on a farm. When she came for a visit she brought along some vegetables she had harvested from the garden there. Here is a great squash casserole recipe compliments of Paula Deen that makes good use of squash in a most tasty way. As with all of Mizz Paula's recipes, this is not for the WW conscious.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Somehow through a frugal blog or message board I came across an offer for a free subscription to Martha Stewart's magazine. There's not a lot in there that relates to me or my lifestyle, but on the last page of each issue is actually a recipe that is 'down to earth'. This month's recipe was Strawberry Shortcake Cookies. I thought they looked pretty good for something different from the usual chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, etc. type of cookie. These went together pretty easily and are not too bad. Check out the link to the recipe here Martha Stewart's Strawberry Shortcake Cookies.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Congo Squares

There is a tea room in Fredericksburg, Texas that is named the Peach Tree Tea Room. It is a lovely place with the most delicious food. They have a gift shop and sell their family cookbooks. I was lucky enough pick up a 'like new' copy of one recently. There are some great recipes in there. I happened to have all the ingredients for this one and decided try this recipe. It's another keeper for sure.


1 cup melted butter
2-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and pour over the brown sugar. Let this set while you measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add the eggs gradually to the butter mixture and beat well. Add vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bake Sale

My small community is having a bake sale today to raise funds for the Heritage Society. They do it the weekend of Mother's Day. Maybe someone will buy something so their mom doesn't have to cook. I made a few things to take over to the bank this morning. There were some beautiful goodies there for sale. In addition to taking my Lemon Jello Cake I took the following things for the sale.

(Cake Mix Doctor recipe)

1 (18.25 oz) chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 oz.) package dark fudge instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
4 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, syrup, coffee crystals, 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 bundt cake pan.

Bake for 55 minutes 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. Because of time constraints I just sprinkled powdered sugar. It can also be glazed as follows.

To make it look extra special, drizzle white over the dark chocolate glaze. It adds just a little extra something to the appearance of the cake.

Chocolate Glaze

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup evaporated milk

Combine chocolate and milk in small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until blended and mixture comes to a boil. Lower heat and cook, stirring constantly until thickened.

White Chocolate Glaze

Place 1/2 cup white chips and 1/2 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil) in small heavy seal-top plastic bag. Microwave at high for 45 seconds. Squeeze gently. If necessary, microwave an additional 10 to 15 seconds; squeeze until chips are melted. Make small diagonal cut in one bottom corner of bag; squeeze mixture onto cake as directed.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup toasted pecans

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla and bananas. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture alternately with sour cream. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased and floured 10" bundt pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 50 minutes or tests done with toothpick. Cool, then dust with powdered sugar before serving.

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon together and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl. Combine egg, milk and oil and add to flour mixture. Stir by hand just until moistened. Pour half the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and cinnamon mixture, then draw a knife through batter to marble. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Wrap and store bread overnight before slicing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

First Place

Well, I did it - I took first prize for my entry. I was really surprised. I won a really nice basket full of all kinds of kitchen things. We had a nice picnic. The weather was really warm and muggy, but we were under some nice trees with a bit of a breeze. I worked the 'fruit table' and filled bowls with melon, strawberries, bananas and grapes. I didn't think the line would ever end! I think my eyes are sunburned! It was really nice to win though. Our company also gave us Coleman lanterns and a $50 WalMart gift card for the upcoming hurricane season. Thank you Gulf Coast Center.

Spring Fling

This is the entry I'm taking to the picnic. I am so nitpicky (is that even a word?) I don't think this is a winner on taste, but maybe I'll get points for presentation! I made this bread back in December and I think it is a good bread -- maybe not great for a competition though. Jamaican Jungle Bread. Maybe next year I'll help organize the event and take the pressure off myself (although doing that part is hard work too). We'll see how it goes.