Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Sunshine

This is a recipe from my friend who made it while I was on my trip to Oregon. She used roasted corn from Trader Joe's for this. I love Trader Joe's. There is a rumor that we are getting one in Houston and I can't wait! This truly does taste like summer and sunshine. Very yummy.


2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 or 3 carrots shredded or use bagged shredded carrots
5 or 6 ears of corn cut from cob or use a bag of frozen
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet. Add chopped onion. After cooking for 1 minute add carrots. Cook 8 minutes. Add corn. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add milk salt and pepper.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lavender Sugar Cookies

Back in June I took a trip to the Texas Hill Country to see the Lavender Festival. Sadly due to the drought and excessive heat this year the lavender fields were dry and not blooming.

Last week I was fortunate enough to travel to the Portland, Oregon area to visit a friend and got to see the most beautiful lavender fields. They were amazing. The area is so lush and I have never seen such beautiful flowers. It was a welcome escape from the horrible summer we are experiencing. The weather there was just wonderful and I enjoyed every minute. My friend is a superb cook and thought these cookies would be a good showcase for our lavender. These cookies are taken from a recipe of Penny McConnell from Penny's Pastries in Austin, Texas.


Butter Sugar Cookie Dough

1 cup butter, salted
1 cup granulated sugar (7 oz.)1 large egg
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups (15 oz.) unbleached flour, unsifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
We added 2 teaspoons culinary lavender to these cookies.

Cookie Glaze

3 to 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon flavoring (almond, orange, lemon, etc.) We used lavender syrup.
1/4 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or in a heavy-duty mixer, combine butter and sugar using low speed with mixer. Do not over mix. Add egg, whipping cream, vanilla and almond extract all at once to butter/sugar mixture. Mixture will probably look curdled. Mix just until combined.

In separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder. Add dry ingredients to liquid. Mix to form dough. Give dough a quick knead, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on parchment-lined sheets until set and very lightly browned around edges about 12 minutes. Cool before decorating. Mix up glaze and drizzle over cooled cookies.

This dough rolls out beautifully. A good tip is to use powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out to keep the cookies from tasting too doughy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Banana Split Cake

Finally a birthday at work to give me a reason to bake. Although the birthday girl did not want a lot of attention, it really became a 'Monday Cake' instead. This is a Southern Living cake.


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups mashed banana (about 4 bananas
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple drained (save juice)
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Jar of hot fudge sauce

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in banana and next 3 ingredients.

Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Drain cherries and pat on a paper towel. Chop cherries (save about 6-8 for top of the cake). Stir pineapple and cherries into banana mixture. Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (This took a bit longer than an hour in my oven. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Add pineapple juice until a nice consistency to pour over the cake. Pour hot fudge sauce over and garnish with chopped pecans and cherries.