Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Texas Sheet Cake

I know, I know, we've all had Texas sheet cake...but have you REALLY?! This, my friends, IS the recipe. It's the way it SHOULD be and the way it SHOULD taste. Rich, light, chocolaty cake with a warm frosting that oozes into the cracks and crevises of the cake, creating a incredible chocolate haven. Now if you're gonna make Texas sheet cake, make it the right way - the way your grandma made it - and the way my MOM always made it. When I think of her, I think of this cake. And let me tell you, you'll be the talk of the town when you bring this to your next neighborhood party.
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup cocoa
6 T buttermilk
1 t vanilla
2 - 21/2 cups powdered sugar (depending on your desired consistency)

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in your mixer bowl. Mix butter, cocoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour cocoa mixture over flour mixture and mix on low until it comes together. Add milk, eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Bake in a greased sheetcake pan at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes until the cake is not hot, but still very warm (this helps it seep into the cake better.)

After you remove the cake from the oven, start on the frosting. Bring butter, cocoa and buttermilk to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar. With a whisk, beat the frosting until the sugar is well incorporated and there are no clumps. Pour over cake and spread evenly. If I were making it, I would then grab a fork and eat it straight out of the corner of the pan...all warm, gooey and delicious. But if you're taking it to a party I don't suggest this:)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

California Salad Bowl

My mother-in-law introduced this to me. I LOVE it. It's perfect for summer too. So fresh, crisp and the avocado dressing...MMMM. I could eat it by the spoonful. It goes great with everything and would be a wonderful addition to your next barbeque.


1 head romail lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1-2 tomatoes, chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 (16oz) can pitted olives, drained and cut in half

1 cup slightly crushed corn chips

Avocado Dressing

Avocado Dressing:

1 ripe avocado, peeled and seed removed

Juice of 1 lemon (about 1-2 T)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup vegetable oil

salt to taste (You're going to have salt from the cheese and chips so keep that in mind)

In a blender, mix dressing ingredients together until very smooth. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to mix well. Serve immediately.

PS: I don't recommend dressing the salad until RIGHT before you serve it. If you aren't going to eat it all, don't dress it all because it doesn't keep...but that's OK because you're probably going to eat the whole salad yourself:)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Homemade Fudge Rounds

I don't know about you, but I grew up eating these! My mom would pack them in my lunch for our "treat". I bet she knew that I ate it first:) I don't think I've had them since high school, but either way I knew I was up for the challenge to recreate them when I saw them on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. The cookies are oh so soft and the filling, oh so delicious. Reminisce in the memories of your childhood with a batch of these cookies!

For the Cookies:
1 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda

Heat oven to 350. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. Mix in vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Add slowly to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat until combined. Drop spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove baking sheets to cooling racks and remove cookies after a few minutes to continue cooling. While cookies cool, make your filling.

For the Filling:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons buttermilk

In a mixer, beat the shortening and butter on medium speed until smooth and combined. Beat in vanilla. Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar and beat on low until just combined. Add buttermilk and beat on medium high for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Once cookies have cooled, pipe or spread filling on the flat side of half of them. Gently press another cookie on top of the filling.

For the stripes, microwave 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 15 seconds until smooth. Drizzle or pipe on top of Fudge Rounds. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

*From Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
* Also check over at Sweet as Sugar Cookies for a TON of delicious desserts!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Overnight French Toast

I love me some french toast. It's one of my favorite breakfasts. This recipe is such a wonderful, delicious and SIMPLE idea for breakfast! I love it. It's perfect for those times when you have a ton of company and no time or ideas for breakfast. You'll be sure to impress those guests with this one!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 loaf french bread, cut into 1 inch slices
1 cup brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk (you can substitute with regular milk)

Melt butter and put at the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Wisk together eggs, both milks and vanilla in a separate bowl. Put a layer of sliced french toast over the butter in the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the bread. Put another layer of bread over the sugar mixture. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and cinnamon over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes until the top is browned and set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve! It can also be served with syrup.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

So my computer died. It was a REAL struggle there for about 2 weeks...for me to be out of a computer:) But now I have a back-up of delicious recipes that you're sure to love! I got this recipe from my friend Nettie when we went to a pool party and she broke this gem out. This caramel popcorn is the best I've ever had and positive to create heart attacks, so beware! Perfect caramel popcorn is ooey, gooey, buttery, and ADDICTING!! I promise you won't be disappointed. Just make sure you have A LOT of people to feed it to or you'll eat the whole bowl yourself...seriously. You can't stop eating it. Make it for your next movie night and your guests will think you're the best host in town! Now make it...and then hit the treadmill...

5 regular bags butter popcorn, popped
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pour popcorn into a very large bowl or two large bowls. In a saucpan, put butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir until melted and boil about 2 minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk and boil for 3-5 minutes until very smooth and thick. Pour over popcorn and stir until each kernel is evenly coated.