Recipes

Texas Sheet Cake

I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the years learning how to cook and bake. The Texas sheet cake is just one of the many recipes that I have had so many complements on. When I lived in Jacksonville, Florida, I was regularly asked to make this cake for my co-workers. I ended up feeling like I was making the cake about every other day but I did not mind because I enjoyed baking.

Here are the ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
  • 4 tbsp Hershey Cocoa
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs

Here are the steps on how to make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven 350
  2. Grease and flour lightly 10×15 inch pan.
  3. In a medium sauce pan bring to a boil: 2 sticks of butter,water and cocoa. Stir continually until boiling, then remove from heat and set aside. Let the sauce cool some. Sometimes I put the sauce in another bowl to cool quicker.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients: 2 cups sugar,2 cups of flour,1 tsp baking soda,1/2 tsp salt.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Using a hand mixer begin to pour some of the sauce into the dry ingredients mix on medium. Once that is mixed: add one egg at a time and then add the sour cream.
  6. Pour cake batter into cake pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. I insert a tooth pick in the center to see if it is done. The cake may take longer to bake sometimes.
  7. After cake is done take out and let cool,or you can remove the cake from pan. I just keep it in the pan.
  8. Once the cake has cooled, we are going to add the frosting.

Here are the ingredients for the frosting:

  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of nuts (optional)
  • 1 stick butter (room temperature)
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 box powered sugar

How to make the frosting:

In a medium bowl combine all the above ingredients. Add the milk gradually. You can always add more milk,but you can’t take milk out. Add the nuts once everything is mixed together. Mix with a mixer. Make sure the butter is mixed well into the frosting and the butter is at room temperature. Then spread frosting on to the cooled cake. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top if desired.

Discussion · Recipes

Shepherd’s Pie VI

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Thought today I would share with you one of my many favorite recipes. I am always searching for new recipes to try and came across a shepherd’s pie that is really good. If you go to Allrecipes.com you will find the recipe there.  Prep times takes about 30 minutes and cook time is about 20 minutes. So as you can see it does not take a lot of time to make. I try to get as much of the prep work done ahead to save on time. So I hope you will give this recipe a try.

Happy cooking,

Sharon

Discussion · Recipes

Crock Pot Beef Vegetable Spanish Stew

IMG_0452I don’t know about you, but I like to use a crock pot on my busy days. So thought I would share a recipe today that is really good and easy to put together in the crock pot.  Now are you ready to see how easy this meal is to put together? Here we go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, any kind ( I buy a roast but you can use stew meat.)
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 4 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 5 or 6 carrots, cut
  • 1 4 1/2 once bottle pimento-stuffed olives, drained
  • 1  8-ounce bottle Creamy French salad dressing
  • 2 cups of hot water

Directions:

  1. Place the roast into the crock pot. Add onions, carrots, potatoes and olives. Pour salad dressing and hot water over the foods in the crock pot. Then cover with lid.
  2. Turn crock pot on low and cook for 7 1/2 to 8 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

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It’s so good and the meat is so tender it falls apart!!

Discussion · Recipes

Eggplant Parmesan

Good morning everyone! I hope you had a great Easter. Today, I am going to share a recipe with you that I found a couple of weeks ago. I did make some changes to the recipes and I’ll share those as I walk you through the recipe. My husband and I are vegetarians so I am always looking for new recipes and came across this recipe and thought I would give it a try. So lets go to the kitchen and get started making our dish. Here we go!

Gather your ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil

1 Spanish onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/2 medium carrot, finely grated

2 (28-ounces) cans peeled, whole tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved

Salt & pepper

3 large eggplant

1 bunch fresh basil leaves

1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8 inch thick

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (you can add more)

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 eggs

Seasoned breadcrumbs

First, we are going to make our sauce. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add your onions and a pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes until onions are soften; then add your garlic and wait for both to turn a golden brown. Next, add thyme and carrot and cook for about five minutes or more:; then add the tomatoes and  juice, a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil stirring often and lower to a simmer. Let the sauce cook for about 30 minutes or so. Make sure to stir the sauce occasionally. Cook until the sauce looks thick. Add another pinch of salt to your tasting.

Now we are going to prepare the eggplant for frying. Slice each eggplant into 6 pieces about 1 to 1/2 inches thick. Dip each slice in egg then bread crumbs. Heat skillet with olive oil. Place in skillet and fry until golden brown. The recipe calls for you to bake the eggplant in the oven, but this makes the eggplant mushy and has no texture at all. So I recommend to fry the eggplant in the skillet. Serve over spaghetti noodles if you wish. Now lets serve the plates. First, layer of spaghetti noodles. Second, eggplant with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Third, spread sauce evenly over noodles and eggplant. Lastly, enjoy!

Sharon

Discussion · Recipes

Meatless Italian Minestrone Soup

Soup

Baby its cold outside in the Tampa Bay area this evening!!! Its not often that I fix soup because our weather usually does not get cold enough but, this evening it has turned cold. So I decided to make a pot of soup for dinner.  What is your favorite soup? Mine is minestrone soup and I love this recipe that I found several years ago. If you are looking for a soup recipe I suggest you give this recipe a try. It is really easy to make and it will make about 16 servings. So lets get started making the soup now! Grab your aprons and lets get started!

Ingredients needed:

1 tablespoon Crisco vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans (14.5 ounces, each) tomatoes, chopped and undrained

4 cups of cabbage

1 1/3 cups chopped carrots

1 can (46 ounces) tomato juice

1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans (white kidney beans) drained

1 can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans,drained

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

3/4 cup of uncooked small elbow macaroni cooked

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

First, heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add celery, onion and garlic. Cook and stir until crisp and tender. Next, stir in the canned tomatoes, cabbage and carrots. Then reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the tomato juice, beans, parsley, oregano and basil. Now, simmer until the beans are heated. Lastly, stir in the elbow macaroni just before serving.

I had fun making soup with y’all!  See you next time!

Recipes

Chicken Gumbo

  We are having cool weather here in Tampa FL. so, I decided to get out my recipe box and see what kind of recipes I had for cool weather. I came across a recipe that I have had for some time and wanted to share the recipe with you. It is very is to make and you can also use your crock pot too. So, ladies grab your aprons and we will do some cooking! Here we go!

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup crushed tomatoes

1/4 pound boneless smoked ham, cut into 1/2″ pieces

3 skinless chicken thighs about (3/4 pound)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Now I am going to tell you how to put this all together.

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat and then add the onion, celery, green pepper,garlic and black pepper. Cover and cook just until the vegetables begin to soften, maybe cook for about 5 to 6 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook, making sure to stir frequently, for about 3 minutes. Next, slowly stir in the 2 1/2 cans of broth and then bring it to a simmer.

Add the tomatoes, ham, chicken, thyme, bay leaf, and ground red pepper. Cook until the chicken is tender, about 25 minutes. Add the remaining broth if needed. For example, if the gumbo is to thick. Remove from heat and transfer the chicken to a plate, and cool slightly. Then cut into bite-sized pieces and return to pot.

Here are some tips:

I have made some substitutions to this recipe. (1) I use boneless chicken breast in place of chicken thighs. (2) Kielbasa in place of ham. (3) add 1 box (10 ounces) frozen okra.

The recipe makes about 6 serving.

I hope ladies that you had fun cooking with me today!

Sharon

Recipes

Broccoli Chicken Pasta Casserole (Low Fat)

I found this recipe in one of my many Low Fat cook books and thought I would give it a try. I will have to say that I was impressed with the over all dish. Many of you probably know when cooking low fat you should use a lot of spices to give the food  flavor. This particular casserole has a lot of flavor and is easy to make too.

So, follow me to my kitchen, and let’s begin making this dish!

Let’s grab the ingredients we need first:

2 teaspoons Crisco Oil

2/3 cup chopped onion

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cans (141/2 ounces each) whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1/4 cup of ketchup

1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil leaves

3/4 teaspoons dried  oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed and well drained

5 ounces uncooked small  macaroni, cooked and well drain

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Now, let’s put the dish together:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat Crisco Oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook and stir until tender. Add the chicken. Cook and stir until  the chicken is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, basil, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil. Next, reduce the heat to low. Then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine broccoli, macaroni, chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese in a bowl. Make sure to stir well. Spoon mixture into a 13x9x2- inch baking dish. Last, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes.

I hope that you had fun cooking with me today! See yall next time! Sharon