3 girls, me, and a recipe

Welcome! I hope you enjoy reading about the passions in my life, my family, cooking, gardening, my pets and making memories that my girls will pass on to their children.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is there life in your baking powder??

Every time I bake something that calls for baking powder I always cross my fingers and think I sure hope this is still good. Here is an easy way to test baking powder to see if it is still active. Dont take a chance on ruining a holiday baking project!! All you do is add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to 1 cup of warm water. If it starts to bubble away, then the powder is still active and can be used. If not, you should toss it.
STORAGE: Once you've opened the container, be sure to put the lid on securely after each use to help the powder stay active. It will stay usable for about 6 months or so if store in a cool, dry place.
SUBSTITUTION: In a pinch, for most recipes you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar for each tablespoon of baking powder. Only make as much as you will need for that particular recipe because this doesnt store well.

I keep mine in a small tupperware with a tight fitting lid and it seems to work great.

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Ultimate Comfort Food-Meatloaf

I think every southerner has been raised on meatloaf. It seems like everyone has their own special recipe too. I have tried many recipes over the years and have learned that I like my meatloaf plain, just like my mom used to make. I have made this recipe my own over the years and I think I have it just like we all like it. We always pair it with mashed potatoes and it doesn't matter how bad of a day you have had. This is a cure-all.


1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 egg
1/2 seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatos
1 can tomato paste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
garlic, to taste

Saute onion and bell pepper in about a tablespoon of butter until soft. Let cool. Mix meat, egg, bread crumbs, tomatoes and mix well. Add seasonings and mix again. Spread mixture in a casserole dish and spread tomato paste on the top. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

These are the ingredients you will need.

After you put it in your pan, just spread the tomatoe paste over it.

This is the finished meatloaf. Delicious!

If your truly southern, you will have leftover meatloaf sandwiches the next day!!

Brown Sugar Pound Cake/Piloncillo Bread

I found a great recipe at Mommys Kitchen for this wonderful cake. I believe she got it from Teresa at Mexican American Border Cooking. It smells just like heaven when it is in the oven. I have always walked by the mexican spices in the grocery store and wondered what the heck you do with that cone shaped brown sugar. Now I can say that I know. It is a sweet, kind of a molasses flavor. It bakes up really nicely.

This is everything you will need.

This is the finished cake. Notice the corner is missing.....I couldn't wait!!

Brown Sugar Pound Cake/Piloncillo Bread

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cone piloncillo, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 2 (8x4)loaf pans by greasing and flouring. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until well combined. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to butter/sugar/eggs mixture. Combine well. Fold in piloncillo pieces. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for about an hour. Cool 10 minutes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Easy Ice Cream Dessert~

Hi everyone! I hope ya'll are having a great day! We got a pretty good cold front in last night and I dont know what it is about a weather change but I get a burst of energy. Its about 15 degrees cooler with no humidity. Its invigorating! My oldest daughter Lauren and I were on the phone this afternoon and we were talking about what we were going to have for supper and we decided it has been too long since we have had this for dessert. This is one of those things you can make up at the last minute and freeze it for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and it looks like you spent a bunch of time on it. Plus it tastes like pure heaven! My husbands Aunt Sandy made this for us the last time we were in Kentucky visiting. We told her we had to have the recipe and she just started laughing because it is so easy! Hope you enjoy!

Easy Ice Cream Dessert

30 mini ice cream sandwiches

1 jar Smuckers caramel sauce

1 jar Smuckers hot fudge sauce

2 small containers of whippped topping

1 cup pecans

Place half of the ice cream sandwichs along the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan, sides touching. Cover these with one of the containers of whipped topping. Drizzle half of the caramel over this, then drizzle half of hot fudge over that. Repeat layers and top with nuts.

This is the ingredients you will need, although you will need more of it!

Layer the first half of the sandwiches on the bottom.

This is the bottom layer, put your next layer of sandwiches on top of this.

This is what it look like when its finished. Yummy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful night!

My first award!!

I am proud to share with all of you that I have received my first award. Gloria at Cookbook Cuisine has awarded me this. I am so excited. Even more so that she is a local and has such a great blog herself. Thanks so much Gloria!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I am SUCH a winner!!!

I had to share with everyone that I was the winner of a contest over at http://www.southernplate.com/.

I won the cookbook she was giving away. Let me tell you, I ripped it open like a crazy girl when I found it in my mailbox and I have been glued to it ever since. This is the most helpful and wonderful book! As you can see in my picture I have yellow stickies marking all the recipes I am going to try. I have a grocery list made up and I will be "a cookin'" this weekend. I just want to say THANK YOU to Christy over there and all you cooks should check out her site. You wont be disappointed! You can also get your own cookbook there too!

Have a super day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

San Antonio Blend~~~

I love coffee! I love all kinds of coffee and coffee drinks. Yesterday I was at Starbucks, I cant pass one without getting my vanilla latte. Iced in summer, hot in winter. Keep in mind this isn't real often because I dont live in the city. So, I make coffee alot at home, it is just a passion I have. Anyway, I found a new blend that they have called San Antonio blend. It is a blend of two bold coffees. I had it this morning and it was delicious. I also love tea. I have the obligatory pitcher of sweet tea in my fridge. Thats just part of being southern!!

Bobbys Nachos

Good Morning! I hope everyone is having such beautiful weather as I am, wherever they are! I just wanted to show everyone what goes on in my kitchen about 3 nights out of the week. Being from South Texas we eat alot of Mexican Food. Whenever we are out of town it just kills us because I think our area has the best all around. We make it alot around here and I hope to show you more recipes in the future. But right now, I want to show you our "snack". All we
do is get a plate and place a layer of corn tortilla chips. (We usually use Tostitos brand) We spread each chip with refried beans and then place squares of milk cheddar cheese on each one. Then we cut a clice of jalapeno on each. Place these in the microwave just until the cheese is melty (my word). The reason he doesnt grate the cheese is because it needs to be thick and kind of stay together. We are addicted to these things. My husband also makes the best guacamole which I will post soon! Try these whenever you can, I promise you wont be disappointed!!

Have a wonderful Day!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I have a request from all you foodies out there. I am looking for two things.

  1. I had a cherry cobbler this weekend at a restaurant that was just wonderful. When I chewed it, I am sure I heard angels singin! It had a crust on top with coconut and pecans. Anyone have a good recipe for this? I would love to have a "tried and true" one.
  2. All of us southerners have potato salad with our BBQ. I have one I ALWAYS make. What do you guys season yours with?

    Thanks!! Hope to hear from ya'll.

Pumpkin Brownies

Hi everyone! I am back and venturing into the kitchen and my stomach is as good as new. The first thing I have been hungry for is sweets. I usually make these twice in the month of October only. My family and friends love these things. I hope you do too!

Pumpkin Brownies

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together eggs, oil, pumpkin and sugar. Stir in remaining ingredients until evenly mixed. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for
30 minutes or until center springs back when touched.
This is great with just Cool Whip. Since I have had such a sweet tooth I frosted it with Cream Cheese frosting..1 8oz cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, a dash vanilla and about 5 tablespoons milk. I was totally winging it on that frosting.....

This tastes just like fall....

I am showing you guys this picture for two reasons.

1. This is what your batter should look like.

2. I wanted to show off my new Halloween spatula!

Sometimes it really is necessary to really "grease and flour" the pan. But this is one recipe you can use Bakers Joy on. This stuff is fantastic. It is actually the grease and the flour in one spray.

The finished product. Yummy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Still not feeling good...

Hello everyone! I'm sorry I havent posted anything good to eat but I have been battling a stomach flu. My family is taking great care of me and letting me rest. I will promise I will
have something good up by the end of the week!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Introducing..drumroll please!.........My beautiful family!!

These are my three precious ladies.

This is my wonderful husband and me!

I just wanted you all to finally see them after me talking about them. My husband is 42 this month and he is a sales manager for the east coast. He works for Abraham of North America and
his company imports dry cured ham. What most of you call Prociutto. Its quite delicious. But most of all he is the best father any kids would be lucky to have. They just dont come any better.
My girls are all special in their own way. They keep us beaming with pride. My oldest has a job at an office for Tax Appraisers. She works full time downtown, Lauren is very proud of what she does and she does do it well. My next child Sara is a full time student at Incarnate Word College also downtown. She is taking some great classes she loves that challenge her. She lives in a dorm
up there and she is enjoying her alone time. She does like me to load her up with leftovers whens he goes. She said its better than the cafeteria! Now my youngest is our firecracker and she proves it with her flaming hair. Her hair is just the most beautiful shade of red. We cant even go
to the grocery store and someone will say something about her beautiful hair. Shes strongly opinionated but we have learned she loves to get her opinion out there and then thats it. They are just smart girls I just cant wait to see where this adventure takes us and I get to see who they will become. I am extremely blessed to be their mother and my husbands wife!!
Have a wonderful evening!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Olive Cheese Bread~

Hello Everyone!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. We have not done much today. My husband is still recovering from having surgery on his knee, so I have been trying some new recipes out. I made Southern Plates Apple Dapple Cake and I really cannot even say how good that cake was. Notice I said was. Ha! I made it last night and my parents came over today and we all ate a piece and then another piece.....with coffee it is awesome! This evening my daughter Sara had some friends over so I got to try this new recipe out. They all gave it thumbs up. You will be addicted to this. This was recommended to me by a friend who said her family has it on holidays. The girls eat it in the kitchen while the men are outside bar-b-queing. Isnt that great? I love this and I hope you do too!!

Olive Cheese Bread

1/2 cup butter melted

1/2 cup mayonaise

1 small can ripe olives, chopped

3 green onions with tops, chopped

4 oz. medium cheddar cheese

4 oz. parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic minced

1 loaf unsliced french bread

In a large bowl, combine first seven ingredients. Slice bread in half lengthwise.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet ( I always cover it in foil...easy cleanup!).

Spread mixture over the bread. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes


Slice french bread lengthwise

Mix up the ingredients
Spread it over the bread

All done. Notice there is only one.
I almost forgot the picture!

I hope you all have a super weekend!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pecan Pie Muffins

I have been over to Southern Plate and she had thebest looking muffins ever. It was a great fall morning so I thought I would try to make these. They were so simpleand so tasty. Shes got the recipe up so go over tohttp://www.southernplate.blogspot.com/ and check it out.

Heres a couple of pics from me.

This whole recipe took 30 minutes from preparation to the buzzer going off.

Happy Birthday Pris!

My friend Priscilla had a birthday back in September and I just had to show ya'll the cheesecake I made her. It is the best cheesecake recipe that I have ever come across. Its come out great everytime. Although I have tried cherry everytime, my favorite is blueberry so I will do that next time.

Cherry Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350, rack in middle position.

2 cups vanilla wafers (measure after crushing)
3/4 stick melted butter (6 tbsp.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour melted butter and extract over cookie crumbs. Mix with a fork until evenly moistened.

Cut a circle of parchment paper (or wax) to fit inside the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.Spray pan with non stick spray, set circle in place, spray again.Dump moistened crumbs in the pan and press down over paper circle and up the sides about 1 inch thick. Stick this in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare rest of cheesecake.

For the topping:
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
21 oz. can of cherry pie filling-I used comstock

Mix the sour cream, sugar and vanilla together. Cover and refrigerate. Set unopened can of filling in fridge for later.

Cheesecake batter:
1 cup white granulated sugar
3 eight oz packages of cream cheese at room temp.
1 cup mayonaisse
4 eggs
2 cups white chocolate chips-11 or 12 oz bag, I used Ghirdellis
2 teasp. vanilla

Place sugar in the bowl of electric mixer. Add blocks of cream cheese and the mayo, and whip it up at medium speed til its smooth. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition.Melt white chips in microwave safe bowl stirring at 15 second intervals until smooth.Cool for minute or two and then mix in gradually at slow speed. Scrape down bowl and add vanilla mixing it thoroughly.Pour batter on chilled crust, set the pan on a cookie sheet to catch drips and bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Remove from oven but DONT TURN OFF THE OVEN.

Starting in center spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake, spread till you are within a half inch from sides. Return pan to oven and bake 5 more minutes.Cool on counter and then when it is cool enough refrigerate at least 8 hrs. uncovered.To serve, run a knife along the sides of pan then release spring form. Spread cherries over the top and you have the prettiest best tasting cheesecake ever!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Tuesday!

Hello everyone, I hope everyone had a great weekend. My oldest daughter and I, and two of our dear friends, Tisha and Kirsten took a road trip this weekend. We went to Canton Texas for their monthly trade days. It is 100 acres of shopping fun. We stayed in a cute little bed an breakfast on a mountain. Although the booths at trade days closed about 6 pm, our mountain we stayed on came alive at night. We shopped until after 10 pm, went to a quilt auction, found a restaurant with comfort food and had massages. Although it was alot of walking we had a great time. Tisha even purchased her new daughter, Kallie Nicole, a schnorkie. She is half schnauzer and half yorkie. She is the most precious girl! She is 11 weeks and the cutest pup you have ever seen. She was such a good girl in the car on the way home. We found this wonderful pie shop and stopped in there not once, not twice but about 4 times to try different pies. They were homemade and we devoured them. We got alot of great finds and bargains and Kallie got some great toys and a new bed and blanket. Lauren found some really pretty things for her room. If there is anything, and I mean anything, you are looking for this is the place to find it. Here is a few pics from the weekend!
Have a wonderful day!

Tisha And I with our empty carts.

Lauren and Kirsten with all of the yummy pies.

Lauren and I at the pie shop.

Tisha, Lauren, and Kirsten at our favorite spot on The Mountain.

Kirsten and the new baby Kallie Nicole

Kirsten and Lauren ready to shop!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Snacks!!

Hi everyone, hope all of you out there are doing well. I had my monthly meeting
with our local garden club today. I am serving as vice-president this year and this
was the second meeting. So far, I have learned zip about gardening but I keep
following everyone asking for the recipe for the covered dish or snack they brought!
One precious lady brought this and I had to share. We have the holidays sneaking up
on us and that means company. These are perfect to keep in a tupperware and eat
by themselves or any topping would work.


4 sleeves premium saltines (unsalted works best)
1 1/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes (Pizza peppers)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 pkg. dry ranch salad dressing mix

Stand all crackers on their edges (like papers in a file) in a large bowl or dutch oven. Have a second bowl of similar size ready. Mix all remaining ingredients in a small bowl to become dressing. Pour this mixture over the cracker. Let the dressing drain down and let set for 15 minutes. Transfer the crackers into the second bowl by hand. Reuse the same "dressing" over the crackers again. Let sit for 15 more minutes. Repeat this cycle 2 more times.
Remove crackers from any remaining liquid and store in an air tight container.

I hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did. Very savory on their own too!

I am leaving town tomorrow on a girls weekend! We are going to a flea market in Canton, TX.
We are staying in a really nice bed and breakfast and we hope to relax. I will take lots of pics
and show you my loot when I get back!

Have a very happy and safe weekend!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Fur Children

Although I love good southern recipes for my family and it gives me great pleasure to feed them well, I also get great pleasure from seeing my pups happy too! We have three dogs that entertain us greatly. We are definately a pet friendly family! This morning as I was digging in their treat jar I thought we were running low. I thought why not make them something homemade too! I found this recipe for homemade dog treats and they absolutely love them!!

Here goes:

Snickerpoodles (Dont ya just love that?)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup honey

2 eggs.

3 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix vegetable oil, shortening and honey with eggs. Beat well. Add flour, soda, cream of tartar. Knead dough until mixed well. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls. Mix the cornmeal and cinnamon in a bowl and roll balls in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Press the balls down with a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

I mixed the whole thing up with my upright kitchen-aid mixer. Easy, easy, easy!

The dough was pretty soft. In hind sight I should have made them smaller, but they are little piggies. Here are some pictures of Pinky (the poodle), Bella Grace (terrier/dachsund mix) and Tucker (Fox terrier).

Pinky waiting patiently while I mix them up.

Rolling them up and putting them on a the sheet.

All done.

Pinky and Bella Grace

This is Tucker. He knows they are for him.

Everyone have a wonderful day!!