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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This summer my daughter Jena and I were on our way home from Wal Mart. We live in the country so there is a road we go down that is not very populated. There are some houses but they are kind of off the road. It was one of those beautiful Texas days in July when the temp. was hovering around 105. I mean it was hot. We were riding along talking and all of a sudden we both notice a puppy on the side of the road up to the top of his head in stickers and panting like crazy. My daughter tried to convince me it belonged to someone on that road but I just couldnt leave it there. I am so glad I didnt. Jena opened the passenger door and he just hopped in. It was almost as if he were waiting for us. He had alot of stickers on him but he didnt smell or anything. We came home and we made flyers with his picture on it and our number but no calls. I know in the country alot of people dump dogs (I swear, I better not ever catch anyone doing that or I will not be responsible for my behavior!) Well after just a little while we all fell in love with this sweet natured, very smart pup. He is now a part of our family and I hope he will be forever. This may seem silly to some but when I look at this dogs eyes I know I was meant to find him that day. He is completely potty trained and loves our other animals and even plays with the cat!

Introducing CHARLIE!!

I think he likes us too!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet

Good Morning All!! I just have to spread my happiness around today! We are at 65 degrees this morning. Yep. Thats 65 degrees. I cannot express to you what this weather does to me. It motivates me, inspires me, it gives me a feeling of renewal, it makes me want to bake fall things, makes me want to get up and move and get something done! It looks like we may get a little rain too! I have my daughter home with me for a couple days. She is 20 years old but still my baby. She called me day before yesterday and told me she was sick. She has an apt. on the other side of town and it was killing me I wasnt there to take care of her. Yesterday my husband and I went and picked her up and took her to the dr. FLU! YUCK! I brought her home with me and have been taking care of her. ( I secretly love this! Not that shes sick, but that I get to baby her).I have made plenty of soup, chili, and baked potatoes the last couple of days but I also made this yummy, yummy cake. I mean this cake is really good. You really need to try it. It has a very rustic feel. I love anything I can bake right in my cast iron skillet. I absolutely love my cast iron pans and after about 20 years they are seasoned just right. Before I get to the recipe I have to tell you that it came from one of my favorite blogs www.thepioneerwoman.com. Even though my photography isnt what it should be-yet (Coming soon-better pics!) you should go over to Ree's site and see her tutorial. Its awesome. These apples in this first pic represent my favorite color. This apple green is so fresh and clean I realized I had three rooms in my house with this as a dominant color. I need to branch out and try other colors but I gravitate toward this color! On to the recipe:

Start by melting butter and sugar in your skillet.

Peel, core and wedge your apples and lay them curved side down til they are gettting soft. Just a little head up: Your house is going to smell wonderful!

Dice up the remaining apple.

Mix up the batter portion of the recipe and spread over the apples. Bake for just about 20-25 minutes and its perfect.

Look at that beautiful cake. It would be so wrong to not have Blue Bell homemade vanilla with this!

Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet
4-5 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1 3/4 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more if your like me!)
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped finely
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a 9 or 10 inch iron skillet melt your butter over low heat. Add 3/4 cup sugar to the pan and stir around, then place apple slices, wedge side down in the butter. Dont pack them too tightly but dont leave overly large gaps. Allow this to cook over med. low heat while you make the batter. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat 1 stick of butter and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Add sours cream and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture until just combined. Gently stir in the chopped apple. Remove from heat and spread batter over the top very gently until batter is evenly distributed. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake is golden brown and bubbly. Allow cake to sit in skillet for 5 minutes. May be inverted to a serving platter. This cake is absolutely delicious!
Coming Next: Another Debbie Macomber Cedar Cove Cookbook Recipe!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fresh Herb Crab Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce

I have made my first recipe from my Debbie Macomber Cedar Cove Cookbook. I have enjoyed this book so much! I have marked several recipes in it that I cant wait to make. I have wanted to make crabcakes ever since my husband and I had fresh ones in Maryland. I love crabcakes and I have never had any as good as when we went there. They were so fresh with nice lumps of crabs in them. These are wonderful because they have fresh herbs in them and the taste is just perfect. The homemade tartar sauce really tops them off perfectly. Another thing, I am so sorry about my pics. My camera was dropped when my daughter had it with her friends. Uggh. So I am using this cheapy one in the meantime. I have my eye on a new camera, I just gotta save my pennies, er, dollars for a bit. I realize this is my first seafood post! I hope you all enjoy it!Here are the ingredients. That bowl of goo is a slightly beaten egg!
This is the mixture before formed into patties. Again, terrible pics. Sorry!

After the patties are formed they need to be refrigerated awhile so I have them on a cookie sheet.

I sure do wish you could see this better. They were so good after being fried in hot oil. They were very tasty. I served them with a nice caesar salad.

Fresh Herb Crab Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce
1 pound lump crabmeat
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup mayonaise
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 large egg, slightly beaten
In a large bowl combine crab, scallions, breadcrumbs, mayo, parsley, tarragon, chives, salt and pepper. Fold in beaten egg just until moistened. Using about 1/2 cup each form mixture into patties. (I made mine kinda thick). Place on a platter or baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Warm oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Cook cakes 4 minutes per side until golden and cooked through.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
1/2 cup mayonaise
2 tablespoons minced cornichons (I used baby dills, my store didnt have these!)
1 teaspoon cornichon juice (I just used the pickle juice)
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced drained capers
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a medium bowl mix all ingredients and serve with warm crab cakes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stuffed New Potatoes

I went to a party last week and the host had some fabulous appetizers. I really could forgo any meal if there are great appetizers. I love to be able to munch and visit more than anything when you are with people you havent seen in awhile. These little bite sized stuffed potatoes were so tasty I kept sneaking them. I didnt get the recipe so I just made up my own. These little savory bites are really versatile. I kept thinking they would be really good with some chorizo sausage (mexican sausage with a strong chili powder taste) mixed in. First, I slowly boiled them until they were tender.Then I used a melon baller and scooped all the insides out and saved that to mix in with the filling.

I added some cream cheese, butter, garlic, cut up some chives, and then added some season all and whipped it until it was light and fluffly.

I put them in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes, just until toasty across the top. They were really delicious. The best part of this is you can experiment with other things too. Add, bacon, cheddar or even some flavored cream cheeses. Go ahead, experiment!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My New Cookbook

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend! I had to share my new cookbook with you. I have always been a big fan of the author Debbie Macomber. She has a series of books that are set in a tiny town called Cedar Cove. I have dearly loved reading these books. I really love any books that incorporate how cooking for your family and friends is the ultimate way to show how much you love and care for them. When I was in Wal-Mart this weekend I always look to see if she has any new books out and this one was sitting on the shelf and I grabbed it so fast! This is a direct quote from Debbie written on the inside cover in the front of the book and it sums up exactly what I think as well.
"I believe that food is central to the important relationships in our lives, and a good dinner sustains us in more than the obvious ways. Preparing and serving a meal is probably the ultimate expression of hospitality and friendship, comfort and love."
-Debbie Macomber
I am only part of the way into this book and I am savoring every page. I will surely be trying many recipes that I am reading so I will be sure to share them here. I cant wait!