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.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lemony Cream Butter Cake

I haven't blogged in so long. I've had this recipe forever in my files to try and finally gave a try.  I found the recipe on this blog Blackjack Bake House when browsing through blogs.  A friend of mine had a bumper crop of lemons and I froze lots of juice.  Lemon is one of my favorite flavors.  I've made a lot of lemon desserts lately it seems.


For the cake:

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
1 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Cream cheese filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease or spray a 9" springform pan with vegetable spray.
Make the filling -- In a large bowl beat the cream cheese on medium-high to high speed for about 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.  Add powdered' sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Add butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla.  Beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Make the cake -- In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest until combined. Do not overmix.

Pour batter evenly into springform pan. Carefully pour filling mixture evenly over the cake batter to within about 1/2 inch of the edge of the pan. (The filling should cover all but the outer 1/2 inch, at which point the cake batter will be visible.)  Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has puffed up and toothpick inserted near edge of cake comes out clean.