Thursday, June 3, 2010

White Texas Sheet Cake

White Texas Sheet Cake

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in the flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, almond extract, baking soda and salt until smooth.
Pour into a large greased sheet pan. Bake at 375° F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes.

For frosting, in a large saucepan, combine butter and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in sugar and extract. Spread warm over cake. Sprinkle almonds over top.

Serve with fresh berries.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sugar -n- Spice Popcorn

A sweet and healthy snack for celebrating the end of school year or preparing for those summer afternoons when the kids are "hungry!"

Sugar-n-Spice Popcorn

4 quarts air-popped popcorn
3 Tbls. butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbls. water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Place popcorn in large bowl. Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar, water, cinnamon and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour over popcorn. Toss to coat. Spray non-stick cooking spray onto 12x18 baking sheet. Place popcorn on sheet and bake at 300 degress F. for 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Asian Noodle Salad

Asian Noodle Salad
This Salad is a MUST for everyone to try!
It's beautiful, colorful, fun to make and a true hit!
You might just want to keep this one and try it out very soon.


 1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
½ heads Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste
½ heads Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste
 ½ bags Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
 1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
Chopped Cilantro -  1 Bunch, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced
3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced
1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet


1  whole Lime, Juiced
 8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
 8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
 2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
 ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
 3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
 2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapeno's, Chopped ( I omitted these, call me whimpy)
 Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions:
Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.
adapted from the Pioneer Woman Cooking Blog
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Taste of the Orient

I am so lucky to have such great friends and family who are amazing cooks and bakers! Recently, my friend Lynn tried out some fabulous Desserts. I have to admit, I had recently considered making fortune cookies but was a little intimidated by the process. However, Lynn is fearless in the Kitchen and will take on any recipe!
Double Mango Pudding

Orange mangoes symbolize gold and riches. Prepare and chill pudding the night before. Whip the cream just
before serving, and allow guests to dollop some on their own desserts.

3 mangoes, peeled and divided
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup whipping cream

1. Coarsely chop 2 mangoes. Dice the remaining mango.

2. Combine coarsely chopped mangoes and 1/4 cup water in a blender; process until smooth. Press puree
through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids.

3. Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add sugar to pan, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over water in the saucepan; let stand 1minute. Add the mango puree, stirring with a whisk. Pour the mixture evenly into each of 8 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Cover and chill overnight or until set. Top evenly with diced mango.

4. Place cream in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve with pudding.

Cooking Light - 2009
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 ramekin and 1 tablespoon whipped cream)

Fortune Cookies 

• 1 egg white
• 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 pinch salt
• 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a cookie sheet. Write fortunes on strips of paper about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Generously grease 2 cookie sheets.

2. Mix the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and blend into the egg white mixture.

3. Place teaspoonfuls of the batter at least 4 inches apart on one of the prepared cookie sheets. Tilt the sheet to move the batter into round shapes about 3 inches in diameter. Be careful to make batter as round and even as possible. Do not make too many, because the cookie have to be really hot to form them and once they cool it is too late. Start with 2 or 3 to a sheet and see how many you can do.

4. Bake for 5 minutes or until cookie has turned a golden color 1/2 inch wide around the outer edge of the circle. The center will remain pale. While one sheet is baking, prepare the other.

5. Remove from oven and quickly move cookie with a wide spatula and place upside down on a wooden board. Quickly place the fortune on the cookie, close to the middle and fold the cookie in half. Place the folded edge across the rim of a measuring cup and pull the pointed edges down, one on the inside of the
cup and one on the outside. Place folded cookies into the cups of a muffin tin or egg carton to hold their shape until firm.
makes 1 dozen
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cake Mix Cookies!

Cake Mix Cookies

2 eggs

2/3 cup shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cake mix

1 cup favorite mix-in*

Mix eggs, shortening and ½ of cake mix until light and fluffy. Add remaining cake mix and vanilla.

Stir in one cup of mix-in, or a little more, to mixture. Drop by teaspoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 9-10 minutes at 375°F. Makes 32-36 cookies.

*Mix-ins: try chocolate chips, toffee pieces, m&m’s, peanut butter chips or pieces, or my personal favorite mint m&m’s (found only at Christmas) or the new Premium m&m’s (see picture below and purchased at Target)

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Mint Brownies



2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

4 eggs

4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

2 ½ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Mint Frosting:

4 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons evaporated milk

2 cups powdered sugar

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

Few drops green or red food coloring

Glaze Topping:

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vanilla

In large bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs until well-blended; then add melted chocolate. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture along with vanilla and nuts. Spread in a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 325°F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until no imprint is left when touched. Do not overbake. Mix mint frosting ingredients until creamy and spread on cooled brownies. Refrigerate 1 hour. For glaze, combine butter and chocolate chips in top of double boiler; add vanilla and blend thoroughly. Pour gently over mint frosting and spread by tipping pan; refrigerate.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sunday Brunch

We served this for Easter Sunday Brunch and it was fabulous!
We hope your family enjoys this quiche as much as we did.

Hash Brown Quiche

1 pkg. (24 oz.) shredded hash browns or 3-4 potatoes, cooked & shredded

1/4 c. butter, melted

2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

2 c. Swiss cheese, shredded

2 c. ham, bacon, or sausage, chopped

6 eggs

1½ c. milk

½ t. salt

Lightly press hash browns in well greased 9 x 13. Brush top with melted butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn down temperature to 350 degrees. Beat eggs, milk & salt, set aside. Layer cheese and meat over hash browns, then pour egg mixture over. Bake 350 for 30-40 minutes. (Until inserted knife is clean.)

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken WonTon Salad

Chicken Won Ton Salad

2 heads leaf lettuce, washed and torn

1 small bunch green onion

¼ cup toasted sesame seeds

¾ cup toasted slivered almonds

1 small package won tons (cut into strips and deep fried)*

3-4 chicken breasts – cooked and shredded


½ cup canola oil

½ cup rice vinegar (white wine vinegar okay)

½ cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

Mix together in glass jar and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

In large bowl, combine lettuce, onion, seeds, nuts and chicken and toss together. Just prior to serving, add won tons and dressing and toss again. (I do not use all of the dressing so go slow and depending on desire, add more dressing.)

*Note: This salad is wonderful for a large party, you might want to deep fry the won tons a day before so your house doesn’t smell like a deep fryer. Can store won tons at room temperature in an air tight container.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grilled Chicken Salad

With the official arrival of spring last week, it is fun to start thinking about uncovering the outdoor grill and longing for a garden full of fresh vegetables. While the garden is still on hold, we fired up the grill this week and dinner was a snap -- Grilled Chicken Salad Bar! 

This is a great way to encourage your family to eat their vegetables and fruit, while enjoying some protein. Look through your veggie crisper and chop up some color. After a few trys, we promise your kids will look forward to this kind of dinner. Our youngest still does not like to mix everything together, but instead prefers neat piles on his plate, but the older ones have come around and they LOVE this meal!
Give a try and enjoy!

Marinate chicken for 60 minutes in your favorite teriyake sauce and grill to perfection
Boil eggs
Slice strawberries
Chop broccoli
Chop carrots
Slice tomatoes
Slice cucumbers
Add some croutons
Drizzle your favorite dressing (we like Brianna's Poppyseed)
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Banana Cake

Banana Cake


½ cup sour cream

½ cup margarine or butter

1 ¼ cup sugar

2 eggs


3-4 mashed ripe bananas

2 cups flour

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. soda

Grease and flour Jelly Roll (10x15) pan or 2 bread pans. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes (sometimes a few extra minutes – check middle of cake).


1 stick butter

4 oz. cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbls. Milk

½ - 1 tsp. vanilla

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Cinnamon Twists

       Delicious & Divine......

Cinnamon Twists

1 cup sour cream

3 Tbsp. shortening

3 3/8 tsp. yeast

½ cup warm water

4 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. soda

3 cups flour

1 egg


¼ cup soft butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon


2 cups powdered sugar

2-3 Tbsp. milk

2 Tbsp. soft butter

1 tsp. vanilla

In saucepan, combine sour cream and shortening. Let it come to a boil and remove from heat. Let cool. Mix yeast, water and sugar. When dissolved, add dry ingredients. Mix well and add egg. Mix and add sour cream mixture. Work dough until soft and smooth (by either kneading or using a mixer). Let dough rise for 20-30 minutes. Roll dough into a rectangle. Spread cinnamon filling over half of the rectangle. Fold dough over, cut with a pizza cutter into small strips and twist. Bake at 375°F for 12 minutes. When cool, drizzle frosting over twists.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Raspberry Biscuits

 Perfect for a breakfast on-the-go or a great complement with dinner!

Raspberry Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick

2 Tbsp. sugar

¼ cup softened butter

2/3 cup milk

Raspberry jam


½ cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. warm water

¼ tsp. vanilla

Mix Bisquick, sugar and butter. Add milk and beat 15 strokes. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers. Place 1 tablespoon dough in cup; top with 1 teaspoon raspberry jam. Drop more dough on top. Bake at 450° for 10 to 15 minutes. Add glaze to top. Yield: 1 dozen.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Pear Salad

Staying in this Valentines Weekend?  
Enjoy this beautiful salad as part of your Valentines dinner menu!

Winter Pear Salad

5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Mix dressing ingredients in jar, shake well and refrigerate.


½ head green leaf lettuce, washed and torn
½ head red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
2 ripe d’anjou pears, thinly sliced
2 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
½ cup cashews, toasted*

In salad bowl, combine greens, 1 ½ sliced pears, cheese, and ¾ of the dressing. Arrange remaining pears, cashews and sprinkle some extra cheese over salad. Drizzle remaining dressing.

*Toasted cashews: place on foil-lined baking sheet and toast at 350°F for 10 minutes.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

We are Celebrating with Cake Today!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

2 cups white sugar

2 cups flour

½ cup cocoa

2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients. Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir only until well blended. Bake 350°F for 35-40 minutes in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.

Fudge Frosting

2 cups white sugar

½ cup butter

1 Tbls. cocoa (level)

½ cup milk

Combine ingredients over medium-high heat and boil for 2 minutes.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla and cool completely.

Beat until slightly thickened. (It will look a bit runny). Spread over cake.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I Love Chocolate Chip cookies ! 

Every once in a while, I love to surprise my girls with cookies and milk when they return home from school. My mom always baked the best after school cookies, so I guess it runs deep within me.  Recently, I have been searching around for a great chocolate chip cookie recipe and was so happy when I came across this one from Our Best Bites

If I try something more than once, then it must mean it's worthy!!
( I have already made these twice in 10 days)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ c. butter
½ c. high-quality tub margarine (like Smart Balance)
¾ c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2  c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 12-oz. bag chocolate chips

Cream together butter, margarine, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes until lightly browned. Every oven is different, so make sure to keep your eye on them until you know for sure how they will cook in your oven. Makes about 4 dozen.

*** Note, the original recipe calls for only 3 cups of flour but I always add in an extra 1/2 cup flour for a more chunky cookie.  On Saturday, I was out of chocolate chips ( I know, what kitchen is ever out of these?) So, we just chopped up a Hershey's chocolate bar and added in a cup of M&M's -- they were so yummy!

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