Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Chocolate and Beet Bundt Cake

Admittedly the name doesn't sound appealing, but this is one you must try!  I especially like making bundt cakes.  You have one pan and drizzling a glaze over the top of the finished cake is quicker than adding frosting.  I use my Lodge cast iron bundt cake pan.  I'm a fan of cast iron in the kitchen and cakes just fall right out of this one.

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups pureed beets
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
confectioners sugar

Steam beets until soft.  Puree in food processor.

In microwave, melt chocolate and 1/4 cup butter.  Stir until smooth.  Cool.

In large bowl, cream remaining butter and brown sugar.

In small bowl, combine chocolate mix, beets, eggs and vanilla.

Beat into creamed mixture.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to creamed mixture.

Pour into prepared bundt pan.  Bake at 375 for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sprinkle top of cooled cake with confectioners sugar.  Or, as I did, make a glaze with 1 tablespoon water, 1 cup confectioners sugar and about 1/4 cup of the pureed beets.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Strawberry Pineapple Bread

This is probably my favorite quick bread.  I tend to get in a rut making banana nut bread just to use up bananas that are over ripe.  It goes together quickly and makes two loaves.

1 1/4 cup chopped or pureed strawberries
1/2 of 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine strawberries, pineapple, eggs, oil and sugar.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix flour mixture into the fruit until evenly moist.  Fold in nuts.  Divide batter between two pans.  Bake about one hour or until toothpick inserted into loaf comes out clean.  Cool on rack.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

New Pot Roast Recipe

I just put a pot roast in the oven that I am excited about.  It was demonstrated on TV yesterday and I just had to try it!  I ran to my freezer in the basement and pulled out a roast to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

First, brown the roast on all sides in olive oil and garlic.  Place in a dutch oven.

Chop up:  pearl onions, carrots, mushrooms, baby red potatoes, and celery.

Empty out your spice rack!  I tossed together:  salt and pepper, basil, oregano, garlic salt, and paprika

Combine the vegetables and the spices.

Mix together chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine.  (Not sure why chicken broth with a roast!)  Roughly a few splashes of Worcestershire, a cup of chicken broth and a cup or two of the wine.

Place the vegetable mixture around the roast in the dutch oven.  Pour the liquid mixture over and around the roast and vegetables.

Bake at 425 for half hour or 45 minutes.  Turn oven down to 325 and bake 3 to 4 hours.

This could also be cooked in a crockpot.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Texas-size Muffins

These are great tasting with lots of nutritious ingredients.  You'll need a "Texas -size" muffin tin.

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup raisins
3 eggs
2/3 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices and salt
Add in carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, raisins.  Thoroughly combine.
Mix together the eggs, oil,orange juice, and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients.
Fill muffin liners to the top.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

New Ways With Green Beans

I've never been excited about green beans.  Other than using them in three bean salad, I consider them a blah vegetable!  Then I found this recipe.  Try it!  It really puts pizzaz into them!

Saute beans in olive oil.  Then add soy sauce and brown sugar and cook a few minutes more.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Best Ever Artichoke Dip

This one was buried in my recipe card file.  I made it today for my family.  It is always a hit and doesn't last long!  When it was fast disappearing, my daughter-in-law, said, "Sherry, they don't like your artichoke dip!"  Serve with fresh veggies for dipping.

8 ounces cream cheese
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small jars marinated artichoke hearts, chopped, drain well

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Bake in an uncovered casserole dish at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve warm from the oven.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Quick and Easy Dog Treats

I ran across this recipe recently and made it for my Labs, Morgan and Bailey.  They loved it. . . but I must be honest!  There aren't many things my two won't eat!

2 cups oats
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet.

Process the oats in a food processor until a powder mixture.

Combine all three ingredients and mix well.  Form into balls or small patties and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hard.

Cool before serving.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Potato Salad

My daughter-in-law always said I made the best potato salad and asked for the recipe.  Well, there was no recipe!  I could tell her what was in the potato salad but I never measured the ingredients!  Often, at a family gathering, I would mix it together and then have one of my boys taste it.  "Just right", "You need more salt", "More pickles". . . were common responses!

As much as I think my "recipe" is the best, this one is even better!  It comes from one of my many Southern Living cookbooks.

4 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover, about 40 minutes, or till tender.  Drain and cool for 15 minutes.  Peel potatoes and cut into one inch cubes.

Combine potatoes and eggs

Stir together mayonnaise and next 7 ingredients.  Gently stir into potato mixture.  Serve immediately or chill 12 hours.

And for a really special presentation, sprinkle crumbled bacon over the salad just before serving.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Here is a salad that I like and make often, especially in the summer.  It is full of flavor and nutrition.

2 15 oz. cans corn
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 large tomato chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Note:  I use cherry tomatoes, cut in half and prefer using dried black beans, rather than canned

Whisk lime juice, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine all other ingredients and then mix well with the lime juice mixture.  Refrigerate till ready to serve.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Smoked Chicken

You don't have to be around me long to discover I LOVE smoking meat.  Today I will talk about smoking a whole chicken.

I use a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker with charcoal for fuel.  I think this is the very best smoker on the market in terms of ease of use, reliability, and it is easy to clean.

The night before, or very early on the morning you are smoking it, soak the chicken in a brine.  Make enough of the brine to completely cover the chicken.  There are numerous recipes out there for brine, but this is the one I use:

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups water

I usually have to triple this recipe to make enough.

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator after soaking in the brine and let it sit at room temperature.  Rinse well and blot with paper towels.  Rub generously with a good quality rub.  There are many recipes available for rubs and also store bought varieties.  Actually, I have never used a rub I didn't like!  The very basic one is:


While this is sitting, prepare the smoker.  Fill the bottom of the smoker with cold charcoal.  In a chimney, heat charcoal till most of it is grey.  Pour this hot charcoal in the center of the unheated charcoal in the smoker, along with three chunks of apple wood.

I buy my wood chunks online from  Their wood is stored indoors, thus protecting it from bugs and other undesirable "stuff!"

Fill the water pan, which goes above the charcoal.

When the smoker is heated, place the chicken on the rack, close the lid, adjust the vents at the bottom to maintain a temperature of 225 or 250.

Sit back with a glass of wine, enjoying the warm sunshine and the wonderful aroma coming from your smoker.

My chickens are smaller than most you find in the stores, since they have not been injected with hormones to make them bigger.  I get all my meat from a local farmer. It takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours for mine to be done.  The internal temperature should be 165.