all sorts of recipes, from me to you

all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lemon Texas Sheet Cake



At last, winter is over and it’s time to pull out the spring recipes! This one is just in time for Easter if you are looking for a delicious dessert.

Lemon Texas Cake puts a great spring twist on the conventional chocolate cake, Texas Sheet Cake.  I’m sure most of you are familiar with that cake but this lemon cake is just what we need this time of year as it starts to warm up a little!  It is a thin flat cake that can be put together quickly and baked quickly. 

I’m not sure how I came upon this recipe but like it just for the love of fruity cakes.  This cake is filled with lemon love in every single bite!  I love lemon flavored desserts and this one uses natural lemon juice.  None of the bottled stuff goes into this cake and it has even extra zing because of the grated lemon rind and lemon flavoring, topped with a great lemon frosting. 

The scent of lemon is in the air with this cake.  It won’t make you pucker up but, it will be the perfect end to a meal!  





Lemon Texas Sheet Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sour cream
1 cup butter
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (not the bottled stuff)
1 tablespoon lemon extract

Method:

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until blended.
Combine butter and next 4 ingredients in medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil.
Add to flour mixture, stirring well.
Pour into greased and floured 15-by-10-by-1-inch jellyroll pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Be careful not to overbake!
Cool in pan on wire rack.

 Lemon Frosting

Ingredients:

2 (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Method:

With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy and fluffy.
Gradually beat in sugar, then remaining ingredients.
Spread frosting on cake, if not spreading consistency, refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
Garnish each serving of cake with a sprig of fresh mint and/or a small piece of lemon peel, if desired.
Makes 24 servings.


Lemon Texas Cake is for big-time lemon lovers!





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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cheddar and Chive Scones

The first time I made scones was a disaster.  It was years ago and they were inedible.  They were dry as a bone, crumbling into a hundred pieces.  Looking back at the recipe, I realized there was no liquid in it and that surely must have been the problem.  Now, I have moved on this to this great recipe and thankfully they are moist and hold their shape. 

The scone is a small British quick bread that is popular in North America also and can be sweet or savory.  The early recipes were made with oats, prepared into a large round cake and baked on a cast iron griddle in an open hearth.  To make it easily divide into portions, they were deeply scored before being baked. 

A scone is a wonderful thing:  buttery, soft yet firm with being very easy to make.  They are a lot like biscuits but do tend to get hard once they are cold, probably because the dough is on the dry side.  That’s OK though; just dunk them in a cup of coffee or tea!

This scone recipe includes lots of cheddar cheese, butter and chives.  I think maybe even a little lemon zest would give them great additional flavor.  One taste of these will tell you just how delicious they are!



Cheddar and Chive Scones

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 stick butter, cut into ¼” slices
2/3 cup heavy cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chives

Method:

Heat oven to 425 degrees. 
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until mixture becomes like coarse crumbs.
Stir in 2/3 cup cream.
Add cheese and chives and combine with hands, dough will be crumbly.
Knead dough until it comes together.
Form into a ball and flatten slightly to 1” thick.
Transfer to a baking sheet.
Slice into quarters and then cut each quarter in half.
Brush tops with remaining cream.
Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm

Delicious!!!





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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Morning Quick Coffee Cake


 Sunday Morning
 Antonio Feralli


Good morning!  Ah, it’s Sunday morning and time for a coffee cake.  There’s nothing like it early in the morning with a cup of steaming coffee.  I love the aroma coming from the oven, filled with a great cinnamon fragrance.  It makes the house smell like a bakery…

This is a recipe of Mom’s; it’s moist, buttery and filled with plenty of good things!  She added 1 cup of sugar, I add ¾ cup; she had a great sweet tooth and loved her sweets.  It also combines sour cream and chopped nuts, with a nice flavorful streusel on top. 

This coffee cake is very good and quite easy to make; quick like she says!  Mix it together; pop it in the oven and Voila!  You are ready to enjoy it hot out of the oven, warm or room temperature.  And it even freezes well if you care to do so.  I like it right out of the oven myself!

So get to baking your coffee cake and brew up your coffee!     



Quick Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla

Streusel topping:

½ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Method:

Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing all the time.
Add sour cream and baking soda.  Stir.
Sift flour with baking powder, add to mixture, stirring well.
Add vanilla and blend.

Combine ingredients for streusel, reserving 1/3 cup for top.

Grease 8” x 8” baking dish.
Pour half of mixture in pan.
Sprinkle with nut and cinnamon streusel mixture.
Spread remaining batter on top.
Sprinkle with remaining streusel mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick tests clean.


I’m off to enjoy my big slice of coffee cake right now!  Here’s wishing you a wonderful Sunday! 




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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Alice’s Creamed Asparagus on Toast



Don’t you just love fresh asparagus in the springtime?  We do and have it often.  I had usually eaten steamed asparagus but, when I met Bill, I learned there is another delicious way to enjoy it. 

I lived in Louisville, met Bill and came up here to Crystal Lake to meet his family.  One of the meals his mother, Alice, prepared was fresh caught blue gills with creamed asparagus on toast.  I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!  I could not get enough of it and tried not to be a piggy in front of his family.  I’m sure my future mother-in-law thought I was eating like it was my last supper!   I love, love blue gills and what could be better than fresh ones? 

Herb, Bill’s father, was a great fisherman and caught many varieties of fish.  In fact, after we moved here in 1980, we bought a house in a subdivision with a lake for fishing and are still here.  My father-in-law stored his boat here and especially after he retired, we would find him out on the lake many a day and we thoroughly enjoyed his bounty!  Unfortunately, they changed the lake rules to a “fish and release” program several years ago, so that is the end of that.  But, while my father-in-law was living, I was thrilled that it provided many a good day of enjoyment for him!

But, at that dinner back then what really got my mouth watering besides the fresh blue gills was her creamed asparagus on toast.  


Oh my gosh!!!  It was out of this world delicious.  I had never heard of it and couldn’t believe my mom had never prepared this great asparagus dish!  If you love asparagus and have never eaten creamed asparagus on toast, you are in for a mouthwatering experience!




Creamed Asparagus on Toast

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh asparagus, cut into 1” lengths
1 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
4½ teaspoons flour
1 small can evaporated milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Toast

Method:

Prepare and simmer asparagus for about 10 minutes, just until tender.
Drain well, reserving the broth.
Melt butter in saucepan.
Stir in flour.
Slowly add milk, salt, pepper and broth.
Cook until bubbly and thickened.
Add additional water if the sauce is too thick.
Heat just to boiling, avoid mashing the asparagus.
Pour the mixture over the asparagus and gently combine.
Meanwhile, toast several slices of bread and slice in half diagonally.
Spoon creamed asparagus into a bowl.
Serve on toast slices.

It is Oh My Gosh, DELICIOUS!!!



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Friday, March 26, 2010

Kathryn’s Orange Cake

 Photo credit ~ Al Hopkins


Kathryn was a cousin of Mom’s, Ez’s daughter.  She probably died before I was even born; however, I heard Mom talk about her many times ~ what a great cook and baker she was.  Mom learned a lot about cooking from Kathryn and prepared many of her recipes, including this cake. 

I do remember Ez Courtright though.  He was a small bald man with a moustache, wore glasses and smoked cigars.  What I remember most about him was his laugh.  I can hear him now with his soft deep laugh and he was always jovial with something funny to say.  And he adored his grandchildren!

To tell you how old this recipe is, it includes Spry as an ingredient.  Do you remember Spry?  It’s a vegetable shortening first produced in 1936.  It lost its appeal in the early 1950’s because mainly of Crisco.  As I remember it, it was very yellow but, I’m not sure about that.  Spry’s mascot was Aunt Jenny with her saying, “We can afford to have cake oftener.
It seems we seldom hear of orange cakes anymore but, if you love oranges, this is the cake for you!  It’s moist and delicious with a delicate citrusy taste thanks to the orange juice and grated rind.  Plus, it’s very fragrant!  It’s light and refreshing and a great cake for springtime.  How about your dessert at your Easter dinner table?


Kathyrn’s Orange Cake

Ingredients:

¾ cup Spry shortening (Crisco works!)
¾ teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 1 orange
1½ cups sugar
3 unbeaten eggs
3 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Water

Icing:

2 tablespoons Spry and 1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pound powdered sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour two cake pans.
Combine Spry, salt and grated rind.
Add sugar and cream well.
Add eggs, mix well.
Sift flour and baking powder.
Add enough water to orange juice and lemon juice to make 1 cup.
Alternately, add flour and juice mixture, beating after each addition.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until top is golden and when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool.

Meanwhile, prepare icing.
Combine all ingredients, except powdered sugar and cream well.
Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Assemble cake:
Place one layer on cake plate and spread icing.
Add top layer.
Spread icing over all.


It’s a perfect dessert or snack!




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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lindsay’s Chocolate Café Chocolate Chip Cookies







I am a cookie fanatic and love just about any type, but especially a good chocolate chip cookie!


Midwest Living magazine published a wonderful recipe for chocolate chip cookies and I would like to share it with you.  These cookies are made at Lindsay’s Chocolate Café and Coffee House in O’Fallon, Missouri, in the St. Louis area.  I will definitely be visiting this café the next time I am headed that way!

The cookies have a “flavor-packed lineup” of ingredients that make for a great treat.  They are filled with rolled oats, grated milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate pieces and nuts to make each bite delectable.  The double chocolate adds color and flavor and the oats and nuts add a great chewy texture.  


The unique thing about this recipe is that the cookies can be baked on a preheated stone as well as cookie sheets.  The article states that the baking stone makes slightly crisper edges.  I have never heard of cookies being baked on a baking stone.  Have you?  I am really curious about that! 

Lindsay’s Chocolate Café Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2½ cups regular rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 12-oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)
1½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans
4 ounces milk chocolate bar, grated

Method:


In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
Add sugars; beat on medium speed until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer.
Stir in any remaining flour mixture with a wooden spoon until combined.
Stir in chocolate pieces, nuts and grated chocolate.
Drop dough from a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) 4 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets or a preheated baking stone.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 9 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown.
Cool on cookie sheets or baking stone for 1 minute.
Transfer to wire racks and let cool.
Makes 30 cookies.


This cookie is a star!




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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Navy Bean Soup




My cousin, Vicki, commented a while back on my round steak post about how much she loves it and  when her Mom asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner, she always requested round steak. 

I know exactly how she feels, it is just a simply delicious meal and I feel the same way about bean soup also.  This would be a perfect dinner to me anytime and especially on my birthday.  I am guessing there are very few people who love it that much.

When I was growing up, I could count on every Saturday night Grandma cooking bean soup and corn bread or sometimes it would be with dumplings and always a large glass of ice tea.  Those were the good old days, for sure!

Most people like bean soup in a bowl best, but many times I place a slice of bread on my plate, slather it with butter, load it up with bean soup and top it with a blob of ketchup.  Yum!!!  If I bake cornbread, that works just as well.

I like a thick bean soup, very basic, no added frills except for maybe a ham bone.  When the soup is nearly cooked, I mash some beans to thicken it up and then enjoy.  It’s like a touch of heaven to me and if only Bill would agree!



My Navy Bean Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound navy beans
1½ quarts water or more
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
Ham chunks, hock or bacon

Method:

Wash beans.
Add to dutch oven or a suitable pot.
Fill with of water.
Add ham, onion salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until done.
With the back of a wooden spoon, mash some beans against the side of the pan to thicken the soup, if needed.
Serve


This is so simple but an absolute favorite of mine!  Yum!!!   Yum!!!




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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hasselback Potatoes


I love potatoes...


Hasselback potatoes are baked potatoes kicked up a notch.  They are named after the Restaurant Hasselbacken that first served them in the late 1700’s in Stockholm, Sweden.  They're known throughout European cuisine with the Irish calling them Accordion Potatoes.  It makes sense to me because that is what they look like.  They are a fun potato to make and delicious to eat!

These potatoes look like they might take a long time to prepare but that is not the case.  I found that the easiest way to cut them is to place a wooden spoon handle on both sides of the potato, hold it firmly and start slicing every ¼” from the top down to the spoon handles.  It’s very easy and a sure way not to accidentally cut through the whole potato.  When properly made, the potato should have opened up like the folds of an accordion into a fan shape. 

They are delicious and have a great presentation to add some dazzle to an ordinary meal or a holiday meal.  They go well with about any meal and would be excellent with ham for your Easter dinner!


Hasselback Potatoes

Ingredients:

8 long baking potatoes, scrubbed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon paprika                                                                               
Coarse salt, to taste
Fresh parsley, minced (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
Oil a shallow glass baking dish.
Peel the potatoes.
Place on a cutting board and cut a narrow slice from the bottom of each potato, discard the slice.  This keeps the potato from rolling.
Place a long-handled wooden spoon on each side of the potato lengthwise.
Using a sharp knife, slice each potato crosswise ¼” apart, slicing vertically.
In a small bowl, place the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, paprika, salt and blend well.
Brush the potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Pat bread crumb mixture on top of each potato.
Place potatoes in the oiled baking dish.
Cover with foil.
Bake 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Sprinkle parsley on top, if desired.
Serve



They look like little “ roly-polys” and taste wonderful!





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Monday, March 22, 2010

Congratulations, Matt and Kathy!



Congratulations, to the new bride and groom! 

It was a wonderful day, even with the 2” of snow!  We all had a fabulous time and have many good memories of it now.

We are so happy for you, Kathy and Matt! We wish you many, many years of love and happiness with a dose of humor and heaps of romance.  May your days ahead be filled with joy!  You are truly a couple that is a perfect match for each other; a match that seems made in heaven for sure!



 Time for the reception!



Their gorgeous cake!



One more dance!





Love and blessings!





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Friday, March 19, 2010

A Wonderful Thing is Happening Tomorrow! And an Award!





I am ecstatic and overjoyed!!!  I will not be posting for the next couple of days as we have a great event happening in our family, Matt and Kathy are getting married tomorrow!  This is the first wedding in our family.

They have been going together for 2½ years and I have patiently (Bill probably doesn’t agree) been waiting for this day and am beside myself with excitement now and can hardly contain it. 

I have never attended a wedding where I didn’t have tears in my eyes when the bride walked down the aisle so I think I should have taken lessons in self-control before this.  I will probably fall to pieces when I see beautiful Kathy walk down the aisle and then be sobbing as I turn around toward the altar and see Matt and Bubba standing there!  Bubba sent an email this morning about his little speech at the reception when toasting the bride and groom.  My eyes were glassy just reading it….






Before I close here, I would like to tell you about an award I received:

A wonderful, formerly Midwest lady, was gracious enough to give me this lovely Happiness Award.  She has a great attitude and tells interesting stories along with gorgeous photos of her life in England now.  She makes you feel like you are there!  Thank you, Jane @ midwesttomidlands, for thinking of me and sending the award my way!






Here are the rules:

1.       When you have received this award you must thank the person that awarded it to you.
2.      Name the 10 things that make you happy.
3.      Pass this award onto 10 other bloggers and inform the winners.

TEN THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

Obviously my family, our 2 cats and friends make me happiest so I will not place them on the list.  They are my rock and at least one of them makes me laugh every day.  So, here is the rest of what makes me happy:



  1. That first cup of freshly brewed coffee in the early morning along with the quiet.


  1. The chaos in the kitchen with the family at holiday time and the anticipation of a delicious meal forthcoming.

  1. A good belly laugh.

  1. Listening to music or reading a good book, cookbooks included.

  1. The smell of fresh cut grass.

  1. Playing golf with the league, and others too.

  1. Freshly laundered sheets and hopefully ironed also!

  1. Sitting on the deck with Bill on a warm summer evening enjoying a cocktail or two.

  1. A loaf of home-made bread just out of the oven.

  1.  A thunderstorm, just as long as it is not severe!




 I could go on and on but, lucky for you, I will stop here.  I hope you all out there are thinking of those things that really make you happy!!!

Now, here are the 10 bloggers I would like to pass the award to:


Coralie @ charmsofdays

Joni @redcouchrecipes

Jake and Addie’s mom @ corginews

Kim @ theungourmet

Ally @ sweetandsavoryfood

Karen @ ohboykarencooks

Annalisa @ atthehob

Zia Elle @ incucinaconziaelle

Mia @ mimis-kitchen

Kathleen @ gonnawantseconds

I’m looking forward to reading your lists and seeing what makes you happy!
Have a great weekend and…..


See ya! Monday!!!





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