Sunday, November 9, 2014

White Texas Sheet Cake

***Check out my new blog for better pics of this amazingly delicious recipe!

 The pictures don't do this cake justice- it is amazingly delicious! I have never had traditional Texas sheet cake, but I plan to make it in the near future! It came out moist, just dense enough, and not overly sweet. The only thing I did wrong, is I didn't pour the frosting on when the cake was just out of the oven (rookie mistake!). I will definitely be making this again, and I'm interested to see what the difference in texture is! This is a perfect dessert to bring to a potluck. It's so yummy!!! Oh, and if you haven't tried any Taste of Home recipes, I highly recommend them! Many of our family's favorites come from their cookbooks and magazines!

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
up to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I only used 3 1/2, and it was perfect)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring butter and water just to a oil. Immediately remove from the heat; stir in the flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, salt, baking powder, almond extract, and baking soda until smooth.
Pour into a greased 15" x 10" x 1" baking pan. Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes. 
For the frosting, in a large saucepan, combine butter and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in sugar and extract. Stir in walnuts, if desired; spread over warm cake. 

{Kudos to The Taste of Home Baking Book!}

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Magic Custard Cake

This recipe is my first ever time baking or eating a custard, and I was very happy with it! I love textures of food, and this is amazing! It is from one of my very favorite food blogs, The English Kitchen- definitely go check it out!

The batter is very liquidy when it goes into the oven, so I wasn't sure if it would turn out alright. It "magically" bakes into three separate layers- a crust, the custard middle, and a cake-like top. I believe I made it for Father's Day, and it got rave reviews from my husband and father-in-law. 

Sorry about the picture quality, but this is the only pic I got showing the inside of the custard.
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 Tbsp water
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup flour
2 cups milk, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar
fresh berries

Preheat oven to 325. Butter an 8-inch round baking pan very well, or line with baking paper and butter the paper. (Do not use a spring-form pan; the batter will leak out.)
Beat the egg whites until stiff. In a clean bowl, beat together the egg yolks with the sugar, water, and vanilla until light. Add melted butter and beat for one minute. Beat in flour. Add milk and beat until it is mixed in well. Fold in egg whites.
Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 3 hours before serving.
Dust with powdered sugar and top with fresh berries before serving.

{Kudos to!}

Monday, April 14, 2014

Best Boiled Corn on the Cob

We have officially decided there is no other way to boil corn, and I think you'll agree with us once you try this!

6 -8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
2 1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, optional 
1. Fill a large stock pot half full with water (use a large enough pot to hold all the corn).
2. Add in the milk, sugar and butter.
3. Bring to a boil, then add in the corn cobs.
4. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow corn to cook for 7-8 minutes or until just tender, depending on size of corn try not to over cook the corn as it will become tough.
5. Using long tongs remove and place on a plate or in a bowl, then cover with foil until ready to serve.

{Kudos to!}

Sugar and Almond Pastries

I found a food blog called The English Kitchen, and this was the first recipe I have tried. Not only did it taste amazing, but I felt extra fancy reading directions like "75g caster sugar" or "few drops of almond essence." (Don't worry, there are measurements we are used to, also!) The only thing I would change is that I think there is enough filling for five or six pastries. We ended up with two that were really full and two that had about half the amount of filling, and the less-full ones were definitely better; there was a better balance of ingredients.

3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
pinch salt
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
few drops of almond extract
1 1/3 cup ground almonds
generous 2/3 cup flaked almonds

Pastry crust:
Pre-made puff pastry, 2 sheets, thawed

4 Tablespoons butter, melted
6 Tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for the filling until light and thick. Whisk in the salt. Whisk in melted butter and almond extract a bit at a time. Stir in almonds. Set aside.
3. Roll out one pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface to a 12"x 12" square. Cut into 4 squares. Brush the outer edges with cold water. Divide half of the almond mixture equally between the four squares, dolloping it into the center of each square. Bring the corners of the pastry together in the center, covering almond filling completely. Press edges together firmly to seal.
4. Repeat step three with second pastry sheet.
5. Arrange the squares on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and brush immediately with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Serve warm or cold. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Yield: 8 servings.

{Kudos to!}

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Apple Cider Floats

***Check out my new blog for a better pic of this amazing drink!

This will definitely be a tradition for our family now- it's so yummy and seasonally perfect! We have even made up large batches for family gatherings, and it was a huge hit!

1 cup chilled unfiltered apple cider
1/2 cup chilled ginger ale
1-2 scoops vanilla ice cream, or any other seasonal flavor such as cinnamon or apple pie
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg, for garnish
1-2 Tablespoons bottled caramel sauce

Pour apple cider and ginger ale into a glass. Add vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle on nutmeg and cinnamon, to taste, and drizzle caramel sauce on top. Serve immediately with a straw and spoon.

Yield: One serving

{Kudos to!}

Friday, April 4, 2014

Southwest Chicken Salad with Spicy Cilantro dressing

***Check out my new blog to find pics of this fantastic recipe!

1 large bunch Romaine lettuce or 2 bags of Romaine
1 red bell pepper, sliced or diced
1 can corn (we love Costco's sweet corn!)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 green onions, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and sliced


6oz plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup minced cilantro
2 Tablespoons mayo
1/4 cup fat free half and half
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use only a pinch if you don't want it to be as spicy)
1 tsp cumin
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp white sugar

Mix all ingredients for dressing, and add to mixed salad ingredients.

Yield: 5-6 main dish salads or 7-8 side salads.

{Kudos to my friend at! Definitely check out her other recipes!}

Caribbean Salad with Sweet Orange Vinaigrette

***Check out my new blog to see better pics of this amazing salad!

I really love salads, but it's hard to find many that are very different. This one is fantastic- oranges, peppers, cilantro, and the almost always necessary chicken, plus a light, citrus-y vinaigrette; you're sure to love it!

1 large bunch Romaine lettuce (or two pre-bagged)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled
8 oz mandarin oranges, drained
1 red bell pepper, sliced or diced
4-5 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6-8 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries
(optional) black or regular sesame seeds
(optional) fresh pineapple, diced

1/4 cup orange juice (about 1/2 of a large naval orange, if fresh-squeezed)
1 1/2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon canola oil
white sugar to taste, up to 2 Tablespoons

Yield: 6 main dish salads or 10-12 side salads.

{Kudos to!! Seriously, go check out their website, if you haven't already!}

Friday, September 27, 2013

Veggie-Packed Minestrone Soup

I love when the weather gets a little cooler, because I can bust out my soup recipes that have been gathering dust! This is a new recipe to us, but it is going to get used a lot this fall and winter...and spring (because that's how long we have some form of cooler weather in the Pacific Northwest!). Anyway, this has tons of vegetables and beans, and was also fantastic to feed our 11 month old, because she could pick up almost everything really easily! Our 2 year old and baby ate seconds and thirds! Plus, I really like hearty soups (I don't like to drink my dinner), and this is perfect!

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup frozen french cut green beans (I recommend cutting these in half or thirds; every other ingredient is
      bite-sized, so the green beans were kind of awkward to eat.)
2 15-oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 15-oz cans white beans
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I pulse them in a blender a few times so there aren't chunks)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
32 oz (4 cups) vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups hot water
1/2-1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
2-3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Heat a large stock pot to medium high heat. Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute 4-5 minutes, until onions start to look translucent. Add zucchini and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring until garlic is fragrant. Add green beans, kidney and white beans, tomatoes, and seasonings, and stir to combine. Add broth and water and bring soup to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes, until carrots and celery are tender. Add pasta and cook until pasta is soft, 8-10 minutes. Add additional broth or water if you feel it is not your preferred consistency. Remove pot from heat and stir in spinach and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 8 (1.5 cup) servings.

{Kudos to!}

Slow-Cooker Kalua Pork

Ahhhhh so yummy, and, with only three ingredients, it really couldn't be simpler! We ate it on Hawaiian rolls, as suggested on the website, and -Trust Me- it was fantastic!

1 2.5-3.5 lb boneless pork shoulder (butt) roast
1/2-1 tablespoon salt (the author recommends pink or smoked Hawaiian sea salt, but I don't know where to find it.)
1 Tablespoon Hickory-flavored liquid smoke

Rinse the roast and pat it dry. Pierce the entire roast with a fork. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon liquid smoke over the whole roast, the sprinkle with 1/2-1 tablespoon salt. Rub the salt into the roast, then place the roast in the slow-cooker on low for 8-10 hours, or until it shreds easily with a fork. Shred roast, discarding any large pieces of fat. Reserve cooking liquid if desired to keep meat moist. (Ours was very moist without the extra liquid.)

Yield: About 16 roll sandwiches-worth.

{Kudos to!}

Brown Rice (Boiled)

It took a little while, but I have finally been successful switching our family over to whole grain pasta! I slowly upped the ratio of regular : whole grain pasta, and now I can do all whole grain and nobody flinches. Next on my list is switching to more brown rice, and this recipe is simple and delicious!

1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
3 quarts water (NOT 3 cups!)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp vinegar or citrus juice

Fill a large pot with 3 quarts of water (again NOT 3 cups!) and add the salt. Bring to a boil. When the the water is boiling, add the rice and cook uncovered for 22-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Drain in a fine-mesh strainer.
If you are adding it to a salad, stir fry, etc, you will want to dump the rice onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, drizzle with citrus juice, and toss to combine.

Yield: about 3 cups.

{Kudos to!}