Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I started out this holiday season with good intentions with this cookie but soon fizzled out and I have not done a lot of baking so far.  I put this cookie together using a couple of standard recipes.  I think they are worthy of staying in my good cookie recipes.


2 sticks butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In the bowl of your mixer add butter, both sugars, and peanut butter.  Mix on medium spead until light and fluffy -- about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time until mixed in well.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Combine all dry ingredients together and add slowly to wet mixture.  Fold in peanut butter chips.  Place tablespoons of dough on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press down just a little.  Bake at 13-15 minutes until golden brown.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pecan Pie Cookies

I'm always looking for new cookie recipes.  We had a good crop of pecans this year and I was lucky enough to be able to go to my son's friend's property and pick up pecans.  I found this recipe on Pinterest which took me to this blog. These cookies are soft instead of crispy and the filling is similar to pecan pie. Following is the way I made them.


3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until egg is fully incorporated and mixture is once again smooth and fluffy.
Add baking powder and flour, continue beating until mixture is uniform, with everything incorporated. Set dough aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix pecans and brown sugar. Add in heavy cream and vanilla, mix until well combined.
Roll cookie dough into balls that are about 1.25″ in diameter, and place them on cookie sheets – leave about 2″ between the cookies.
Gently use thumb to press down in the middle of each cookie, making an indentation. Roll thumb slightly to stretch the indentation out a little. Fill each indentation with about 1 tsp of pecan filling
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Trip to Kennebunkport, Maine

My cousin and I went to Kennebunkport, Maine this past week. We both had wanted to go to Maine since we were young girls. Hurricane Sandy was hitting just days before we were due to leave so we were wondering if we would get through as we had to change planes in Newark, N.J. Things improved and we were on our way.

We were in Kennebunkport during the 'peaceful season'. We stayed in a cottage at the Maine Stay Inn which was cozy and the 'big house' was lovely. Warm cookies every afternoon. Yum.

I had my first taste of New England Clam Chowder the night we arrived. It was delicious. For lunch the next day my cousin had a bowl of 'Souper Chowder' which included clams, lobster, and scallops. It was great. I tried my first lobster roll. It was not as good as I thought it would be, but the lobster couldn't have been more fresh. Fried clams were also great.

Sightseeing took us to several lighthouses and the Maine coastline is just breathtaking. It turned very cold while we were there (which was a great respite from the hot Texas weather we are still having) so we were happy to experience that. The night before we were due to leave a Nor'easter came through and dumped a few inches of snow. We woke up to a beautiful sight, although a little anxiety about having to drive to the airport. It all turned out well and we were on our way back home to Texas with great memories.

Cottage at Maine Stay Inn

Maine Stay Inn

Beach in York, Maine

Nubble Lighthouse

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Bug Light House, Portland, Maine

Bush Compound, Kennebunkport, Maine

Going home day.  A Nor'easter blew through the night before we left. 

Lemon Muffins

I found this recipe in the November Southern Living under the Community Cookbook. These are a good muffin, although I thought a little dry. Definitely needs a cup of coffee or glass of milk. There is not a lot of lemon in the muffin itself, but the glaze certainly adds what is missing. Of course, I had to throw in some chopped pecans.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon lemon zest.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and lemon zest.  Add wet to dry and stir just until moistened.  Add pecans if desired.  Spray muffin tin with Pam.  Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Whisk together and drizzle over muffins.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oatmeal Brittle

One of the first blogs I started reading was Anna Ginsberg's Cookie Madness.  I have her blog in my Google Reader and she posts almost every day.  Recently she posted a recipe for Oatmeal Brittle.  This recipe is definitely going on my Christmas goodie list.  It is easy and delicious. This is how I made it.


1 stick butter, melted (I used salted)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup, Karo
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups oats (I used whole grain, not quick)
1/3 cup angel flake coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13×15 inch heavy duty rimmed baking pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the butter, corn syrup, sugar, salt, vanilla and baking powder. Add the oats and coconut and stir until thoroughly mixed. Spread the mixture as thinly as you can across the baking sheet to the edges. Set in preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, the cookie should be perfectly crisp. Break it into pieces. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chocolate Velvet Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting

Another birthday at work last month.  I had saved this recipe from Southern Living from December 2003.  This chocolate cake batter can be used for any kind of chocolate cake recipe you can imagine and just changing the filling or frosting.  It makes a great, moist cake.


Cake Batter: 
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels 
1/2 cup 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-ounce) container sour cream  
1 cup hot water (I used coffee) 
2 teaspoons vanilla 

Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 30-second intervals until melted.  Stir until smooth. Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Spoon cake batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
3/4 cup butter or margarine
6 egg yolks 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 

2 cups chopped pecans, toasted 
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, 12 minutes. Remove from heat; add remaining ingredients, and stir until frosting is cool and of spreading consistency.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The World's Best Cookie

This recipe has been around since the 70's.  It was called the 'cornflake cookie' for a long time.  I have received this cookie in a Christmas cookie exchange (thank you, Carolyn) and I have given them also as it makes a lot.  I'm sure many would disagree this is the World's Best Cookie, but I think it is up there in the top 10 for sure.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup vegetable oil 
1 cup white sugar 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 egg 
1 cup crushed corn flakes (or can use rice krispies)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal (I used old-fashioned)
1 cup flaked coconut
4 cups flour, decrease to 3 1/2 cups for a chewier cookie 
1 tablespoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter, sugars, vanilla and egg. Add oil. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop cookies onto baking sheet.  Bake for 10- 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on pan for a minute or two, then transfer to a rack to cook.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pecan Pie Muffins

I saw these muffins on Pinterest from Southern Living.  They are quite tasty but a challenge to get out of the little muffin pans so be sure and season your pans well before baking.


1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1 cup chopped pecans 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup butter, melted 
2 large eggs, lightly beaten 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
Vegetable cooking spray 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in center of mixture. Add melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Stir just until moistened. Coat 2 (12-cup) miniature muffin pans well with cooking spray.  Spoon batter, filling almost to top. Place muffin pans on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 2 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each cup to loosen muffins, and remove from pans.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guest Recipe - Seafood Quiche

I have the pleasure of spotlighting a good friend and fellow foodie's recipe for Seafood Quiche.  This is a much more adventurous recipe for this Southern girl, but what a beautiful picture and I think it would stand up against any Coastal recipe and take a prize.  I tried to use very little editing in order to maintain the Chef's wicked sense of humor.  Here is his recipe and I hope you enjoy.


Pie Crust:  If not making my own, I prefer Oronque Farms frozen crusts.

4 eggs (sometimes I use more)
1 cup of light cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (less visible than black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed (or sprinkle some fresh dill onto each layer.  I use twice this amount myself, but I like dill in seafood.
1/2 pound of of mozzarella, sliced thinly as possible, cubed.
About a pound or big double handful of shrimp and/or scallops.  Surimi works too.
A big handful of fresh spinach or parboiled broccoli tops cut small.
1 package of frozen spinach (squeezed and drained well).
1 big a** crawfish (Texas, Louisiana, or even Upstate New York).  (Chef's note:  The crawfish stays in place better if they are dead, so cooked is good).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

If using bay scallops use whole, sea scallops slice in half or thirds.  Pre-cook them a little to get some liquid out.  Not long enough for them to turn completely white.  The liquid can be mixed in with the egg mixture.  If so, use a tad less cream.  If the scallops are put in raw, the liquid yielded may not mix.

Cover rim of pie crust with aluminum foil, shiny side out.  Thin strips pinched around the rim to prevent burning.

Place unbaked crust on a metal tray to prevent dripping when putting into the oven.  I put it on an upside-down tray so I can slide it off onto the oven shelf.

Mix eggs, cream, spices, salt and pepper.

Add a layer of shrimp or scallops.  Fill in spaces with egg mix.  Add a layer of fresh spinach or broccoli pieces, cheese, fresh dill.  Cover with egg mix.  Repeat layers until pie is 99% filled.  Add a bed of chopped and drained frozen spinach, pushing down into the egg mix, especially near the edges.

Place whole crawfish on top, pushing down a bit for stability.

Place in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees.  Carefully remove foil when you reduce the heat to help in the browning.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

For a deep-dish pie bake at 350 degrees and use proportionately more filling.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fudge Iced Brownies

I was going to bake a chocolate cake for a birthday at work last week and was missing an ingredient so I thought I would make brownies instead.  There are probably a thousand different brownie recipes but I went in search of one similar to the ones I used to get when I was a girl growing up in West Texas.  I think I have mentioned before that we had a bakery near our house called Snow White Bakery.  Oh, the smells in that bakery come back to me even after all these years later.  They used to have these iced brownies that were so perfect.  I went to Google Images to see if I could see any pictures of brownies that reminded me of those.  I came across Gotta Make This blog and there was recipe that looked good enough to try.  I got quite a few compliments so I think it's a keeper recipe.

Fudge-Iced Brownies
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup butter
5 tablespoons cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Hot water

To make Brownies: Combine brown sugar, butter, flour, cocoa, eggs and vanilla in a bowl. With electric mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly into a buttered 9 x 13  baking pan. Bake at 350F until just set, about 25 minutes. (It will take a bit longer if you are using a glass pan.)  Remove from oven and let cool.

To make Icing: Melt butter in a saucepan; stir in cocoa, salt and vanilla. Heat mixture, stirring frequently, until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. (Mixture will be thick.) Add small amounts (1 to 2 teaspoons) of hot water at a time and stir until mixture is just thin enough to spread over brownies. Let cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry fields

Love those trees.

No roll pie crust

Beautiful berries.

Such a lovely pie.
I recently had the pleasure of escaping the dreadful, oppressive Texas heat to visit one of my very best friends near Portland, Oregon.  If I could transplant my family there I would move in a heartbeat as it is one of the most beautiful places I've visited.  There are farms where you can pick your own strawberries.  I must say Oregon strawberries are like no other I've tasted.  More colorful, juicy and sweet than what I've had in the past.  My friend is an excellent cook and baker among her other amazing talents in decorating a beautiful home.  We had a little trouble with this recipe not setting quite right, but that did not change the taste at all.  Her addition of spreading a cream cheese layer made this a great pie and keeps the crust from being soggy. This pie used a no roll pie crust which was amazing and so easy.


Pie Crust:
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons cold milk

Sift dry ingredients into pie pan. Combine oil and cold milk in a measuring cup. Whip with a fork and pour all at once over the flour mixture. Mix together with fork until flour is completely dampened. Press evenly and firmly with fingers to line the bottom of pan, then press dough up the sides and partly cover the rim. Be sure dough is uniform thickness. Prick dough with a fork and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. 

Mix together 6 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth and spread over cooled crust.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin mix
3 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced -- save some big ones for the top

Combine sugar, gelatin and cornstarch and stir well.  Add water and cook until thick and clear over medium high heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Set aside and let cool.  Hull and slice strawberries and place over cream cheese layer, placing whole strawberries on top.  Spread cooled gelatin mixture over all and refrigerate for several hours.  Can be served with whipped cream, but we didn't even need that.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Trisha Yearwood's Key Lime Cake

I had family over for dinner last evening.  I had seen this cake on Trisha Yearwood's show on Food Network.  My menu was Mexican food, so I thought this would be kind of 'Margarita-ish' and would go well.  It was well received.  I made a few adjustments to her recipe but it is a good cake.


1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3 oz. package lime-flavored Jello, dry mix
 3/4 cup vegetable oil (her recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups which I think is way too much)
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 large eggs slightly beaten

1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup softened butter
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan or three 9 inch layer pans.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the gelatin, granulated sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the oil, orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until well combined. Pour the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly touching the tops or inserting a toothpick. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.

For the glaze:
While the cake is still hot, mix the lime juice and confectioners' sugar together well. Pierce the cake with a fork to allow the glaze to soak in and pour it over the cake on the cooling rack. Allow cake to cool completely as you prepare the icing.

For the icing:
Cream the butter and cream cheese and vanilla. Beat in the confectioners' sugar until mixture is smooth and easy to spread. Spread the icing on the top and sides of the cake.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

I've got lots of cookie recipes but was looking for something new.  I came upon these cookies from Shugary Sweets and they looked really good.  I prefer my cookies to be a little more crisp, but I think these are pretty nice.  This is my version.


For the Cookie:
1 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled.
1 cup granulated sugar  
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 eggs 
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon  
1 teaspoon salt  
1 teaspoon baking soda  
1 tablespoon baking powder 
2 cups quick oats 
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans
For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In mixing bowl, blend together butter with sugars. Mix 1-2 minutes until combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.  Mix together dry ingredients and add to wet mixture.  Stir until thoroughly combined.
Drop by tablespoon or cookie scoop onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 16 minutes. Remove and cool.  To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with heavy cream and cinnamon until smooth. Frost each cookie and allow to harden. These harden nicely and can be stacked.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shrimp Etouffee

The first night in D.C. we had a taste of Louisiana. My first time to have Shrimp Etouffee and it was delicious.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped heart of celery or celery leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 can of original Rotel diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning or Slap Yo Mama
8-10 oz. seafood stock
1 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
6 servings of steamed rice for serving
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops for garnishing the serving of étouffée

Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet or dutch oven set over medium heat. Sauté onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic for 10 minutes. Add flour and stir continuously until thickened. Add tomatoes to the pot and season with the bay leaf, add season salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk in the stock.

Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Remove bay leaf. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the shrimp and add them to the pot, stirring to evenly distribute. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shrimp are firm and cooked through. Add chopped parsley to the pot and stir to combine.

Serve over rice

Yields 6 servings

Trip to Washington, D.C.

I've been in a blogging slump lately as far as baking or cooking, but I went on my first trip to Washington D.C. in April. I had hoped to see the cherry blossoms in bloom, but they bloomed early this year and there weren't too many to be found. I had a great trip though with so much to see and do.
Cherry Blossoms

Union Station

Capitol Building

Washington Monument

White House

White House

Arlington Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

National Cathedral

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Senate Building

Monday, April 23, 2012


Sunday's dinner included burgers on the grill with potato salad and baked beans. I made this banana cream pie for dessert.


1 pie shell, baked and cooled
3 cups half and half
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
3 medium-sized bananas
Cool Whip

Banana chips for decoration

In a medium saucepan stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Add half and half and eggs.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens (about 5 or 6 minutes).  Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Use your favorite pie crust and pre-bake and cool.  Place a layer of cream filling and slice 1-1/2 bananas followed by cream filling and the rest of the bananas.  Chill.  Cover with Cool Whip or meringue.  Add baked banana chips for decoration.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We recently moved our office to a new location. We decided to do a meet and greet with our new 'neighbors' in the other side of the office. We had hamburgers and hot dogs and all the trimmings. I have had this recipe saved for a long time. It's been around a while but I just now managed to try it out. I had two people ask for the recipe so I think it is a good one for a pot luck.


2 cans Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush melted butter inside a 9 x 13 pan. Remove 1 can of dough and press seams together and line the pan. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Pour over bottom dough. Unroll second can of dough and press seams together and lay on top of cream cheese layer. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool and put in refrigerator to chill. Cut into squares.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Marble Cake

It seems most of my posts are about birthday cakes at work. The problem is it's hard to blog about them unless it is something new. I had never made a marble cake so I went searching for one and found this one on a blog I had in my favorites Baking Bites. I found that it's tricky getting the chocolate mixed with the vanilla batter though.


1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder, hot water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream. Working in two or three additions, alternate adding flour mixture and milk to butter mixture (ending with addition of flour), mixing until no streaks of flour remain. Scoop out 1 cup of cake batter and stir into cocoa mixture. Spread white batter into prepared pan. Top with chocolate batter and drag a knife through to create a swirling pattern (don’t over marble, though!). Bake for 32-36 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan and whisk until cocoa is dissolved. Add butter, milk, corn syrup and salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil (about 10 minutes). Continue boiling; stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (approx 1 hour). Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla and pour on cake. Frosting will spread easily and will set up itself after a few minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Carne Guisada

Carne guisada is a dish I almost always have when we go to lunch at our local Taqueria. I've wanted to make it for a while and went online to see how to do it plus talked with some people at work who have made it. I have to say I think I got it pretty close. Except for the beans, rice and flour tortillas, this was a good match.

3 tablespoons oil
Approximately 2 pounds stew meat
1/2 small onion chopped
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
A shake or 2 or of cumin
2 tablespoons flour
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can beef broth

Season meat and in a large pot cook the meat and onion in the oil until no longer pink and onions are translucent. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of flour over meat. Add tomatoes and broth. Cook over low heat with a lid for 2 hours stirring often. I added a little flour and water at the end to thicken up the gravy. This makes a rich gravy when done. Serve with rice, beans and flour tortillas for scooping up the yummy meat and gravy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black Magic Chocolate Cake

There are probably 100's of recipes for chocolate cake. I have several here on my blog that I've done and all were good but I think this might be one of the best according to my trusty taste-testers at work. Don't let the addition of a cup of black coffee put you off with you as it helps enhance the chocolate. I should have taken a picture of the inside, it is truly dark chocolate it's a very moist cake. I baked this in my new Nordic Ware pan that has snowflakes on it and had planned to dust it with powdered sugar but sadly that didn't work out and I had to top it with some frosting to cover up the top.


1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee, cooled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9x13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.

1/2 stick butter
6 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter and cocoa and stir until smooth. Add cream and vanilla. Pour mixture over powdered sugar and mix well. Add milk if too stiff. Frost cooled cake.