Texas Sheet Cake

Ahhh Friday, the golden child of weekdays!

This Friday is better than last Friday, because it’s the beginning of a long weekend!

So what are you doing? Any big plans?

I debated long and hard over which recipe to give you today. It came down to a really delicious stuffed loaf of French bread or this sheet cake. I figured with the holiday weekend I would give you an easy dessert that is very portable. Perfect to take along to any picnics or barbecues you are going to.

Texas

This recipe came from a coworker of mine. She made this a few times for various luncheons that we had over the years and it was always a huge hit. She recently retired and I miss her every single day.

I love this cake, which is huge, because I don’t like chocolate cake. Give me white cake with a raspberry filling any day. But this cake isn’t like other chocolate cakes that I have had. This one is super moist and the frosting kind of hardens a little bit and it’s just amazing. Sometimes I play around with the frosting and add some extra powdered sugar until it’s thick, but still pourable. and when it hardens it reminds me of a layer of fudge on top of the cake. So feel free to do that. You can’t go wrong here, this recipe is pretty fool proof. Obviously I did the whole thick fudge frosting thing with this one.

Texas Sheet

OH! Wanna know what the best part is???

You don’t need 3 different bowls and the beaters or a mixer. Just a pot and a spoon!

Just look how moist that cake is! Are you disgusted by that word? I’m sorry! It’s the best word to describe a cake. Have you ever looked at the synonyms for moist? Damp, soggy, watery, oozy, clammy. Yeah….so…there’s that.

Whatever, just make this super damp cake!

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

For the cake:

  • 2 sticks margarine or butter
  • 1 C water
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C sour cream or buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick margarine or butter
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 4-6 Tbsp. milk
  • 4-6 C confectioners sugar
  • 1  tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. Combine butter, water, and cocoa in a medium pot over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, beat eggs and sour cream together until smooth and free of lumps. Add baking soda.
  3. Once cocoa mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and add dry ingredients, mixing well. Then add egg mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Pour into greased 15x10x1 jelly roll pan. You can also use a 13×9 casserole dish. Bake for 20-22 minutes in a 375º oven.

For the frosting:

  1. Combine butter, milk, and cocoa in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, mix well.
  3. Spread on cake while still warm.

Crab Cakes with Remoulade

Happy Monday!

Crab Cakes

Just kidding. It’s Tuesday. I totally effed up the whole “give all of you beautiful people a new recipe to make Monday a little better” thing. Sorry. Really, I am. Remember that migraine I was complaining about on Friday? Yeah, well guess who woke up at 3:15 a.m. with a raging cluster headache? That’s right. This broad right here! So please forgive me for not giving you something yesterday, but I was basically dying. I would take the worst migraine any day over a cluster headache. In other news I desperately need to see my chiropractor. He can fix these ice picks in my brain thing.

Also, did it make your stomach drop just seeing the words “happy Monday”?

I made these crab cakes last weekend after my husband had a piece of corroded metal drilled out of his cornea. Yeah, you read that correctly. Sounds pleasant, ehh? Between the two of us we’re a hot mess. All aboard the hot mess express!

Obviously we needed something good to look forward to after leaving the eye doctor’s. I say “we” because while my husband was the lucky one in the chair, his eyeball was numb, he didn’t feel a thing. I on the other hand had to actually watch him get his eyeball picked at with a needle and then drilled with the tiniest eyeball drill ever. I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term for it.

What’s that? You have no appetite now? Shoot…well, more crab cakes for me then!

 

Crab Cakes with Remoulade

  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 16 oz. crab meat
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 C Ritz crackers, crushed

For the Remoulade

  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Tony Chacheres cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • small dollop Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Sriracha to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a large skillet melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat and saute onion and bell pepper until softened. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Add next 8 ingredients and mix well. Form into patties.
  4. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat and add crab cakes. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a greased baking tray and bake 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. For the remoulade, add all ingredients to a bowl and stir well.

Makes about 10 crab cakes.

Strawberry “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

Hip hip hooray, it’s Friday!

Strawberry2

I had a migraine all day yesterday. Two doses of otc’s and it was still there. I could not wait to go to bed with my new eye pillow. I saw it on Amazon the other day and decided to buy it and keep it around. It showed up on Wednesday, not a day too soon. I stuck it in the freezer for the next time I had a migraine. I sat at work yesterday fantasizing all day about wrapping that thing around my face and going to bed! I don’t even remember falling asleep. This thing is magical. I put it on and thought “ok this is cold, but not too cold. It’s not uncomfortable by any means. Hey, I can’t feel the pounding behind my eye anymore. Sweeeet! This is kind of soothing. Boy I really like the eye pockets. It’s super dark. This is nice.” And *BAM* next thing I know, my alarm is blaring. I can’t remember the last time I actually slept so hard. This thing is a God send. For any of you that are interested, it’s called “The IMAK” and it will set you back a whopping $12! I figured I had nothing to lose when I ordered it, if it didn’t work, no big deal. But I love it, I can’t wait to go back to bed tonight!

Soooo, whatcha got planned for the weekend?

I think I’m going to start planting vegetables in my garden. My herbs and raspberries have come back and they’re all looking great. I want to go grab some tomatoes and definitely tomatillos. My tomatillos took off last year, it was awesome. Sadly I only got two tomatoes from my great white tomato plant. And as usual I want to do zucchini again. I have never had good luck with zucchini and I don’t know why. Everything else grows nicely. I feel like everyone else I meet has zucchini coming out the whazoo, they can’t give it away. And then there are my zucchini plants, empty and bare, except for one or two tiny little zucchini that end up either dying or getting eaten by some rabbits.

I also need to clean up my basement. My Halloween decorations are taking over and I need to organize them. But who actually wants to clean their basement? Not me. And definitely not my husband. We keep finding new shows on Netflix that are just way more important!

Oh, there are some great tag sales in my area this weekend. So obviously I won’t be able to organize my basement. I will be busy looking through other people’s holiday junk to drag home and stick in my basement. I really should wait. If I clean now It will just get cluttered again after tag saling. Yeah, that’s a great plan!

I wasn’t quite sure what to label this post. Strawberry sandwiches…no, that sounds gross. Strawberry whipped cream graham crackers? No. Then you wouldn’t want the recipe. Is this a recipe? Yeah. I mean, kinda. It’s super easy, it tastes really good, and you will want to double this because it’s not actually ice cream and I mean there’s fruit in there too, so it’s basically health food and you can eat it all in one sitting.

Strawberry

Strawberry “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

  • 1 C diced strawberries
  • 1 C Cool Whip
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 sleeve Graham Crackers

Directions

  1. Combine diced strawberries, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add Cool Whip to strawberries and mix well.
  3. Break Graham Crackers in half, spoon cool whip mixture on one Graham Cracker half and place other half on top. Squeeze very gently. Continue until Cool Whip mixture is gone. Place in the freezer for 1 hour or until set. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pasta

Pasta

Salutations!

Did that just remind you of Charlotte, the spider in Charlotte’s Web?

No? Just me? Alrighty then.

Happy belated mother’s day to all the mom’s out there. I hope your children were on their absolute best behavior and gave you peace and quiet all day. I’m sure they didn’t, but hey, maybe next year. Yeah, probably not, but a mother can dream!

So lets chat about this pasta.

Last week I was talking to a friend who had made sausage and peppers to take to a new mom. This was about 2 hours before heading home and trying to figure out what to make for dinner and it was about 3 hours past lunch, so obviously I was starving. And for some reason that just sounded so good, even though it’s not a dish I grew up with and it’s not something that I make. Weird.

As I drove home I just kept thinking about it. First I thought about making sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions, now that I can do, my dad makes them quite frequently in the summer. But that wasn’t appealing to me, we typically put BBQ sauce on our sausages. I wanted to cook the sausage and peppers in a red sauce. But of course I kept thinking about bread of some sort, because carbs. Duh.

This pasta is my new favorite. The peppers and onions are so sweet and they’re enveloped in a delicious red sauce with wine and then wrapped up in really thick noodles and lets not forget the delicious sausage. I legit ate this for lunch every day last week except for Friday. I also kept pulling it out of the fridge and having a bite or two in the morning or right before bed. It is so so good.

Sausage

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pasta

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage-sweet, hot, or a mixture of both
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 tsp. Penzey’s pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp very dry sherry
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 C parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 16 oz. wide noodles such as pappardelle

Directions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven or skillet. Cook sausage until browned and cooked through. Keep the sausage chunky, don’t break it up too tiny. Remove sausage and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Add onions to sausage drippings and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions begin to caramelize. Add salt, pepper, and pizza or Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Add peppers and saute for about 2-3 minutes until they become tender. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add wine and sherry and cook until reduced by a little more than half. Add crushed tomatoes, Parmesan, and sausage and mix well. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, basil, and parsley and stir to combine.
  3. Add noodles to pan and toss well. Serve immediately with extra grated Parmesan.

 

 

Beef Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce

I can’t even begin to express my love for today. It’s Friday, and while it feels like it took extra long to get here this week, the weekend is finally upon us. My brain feels so foggy this week. It was one of those weeks that literally creeps by and you get your days all mixed up, thinking Tuesday is Wednesday, but it’s really not, it’s actually just Tuesday. Ugh. Yeah. It was one of THOSE weeks. And let me also add that it is disgustingly hot out and it makes my car feel like 9,675,987,356,701 degrees inside. And it’s only the beginning of May. Can we fast forward to September already!?

First world problems! Do you ever sit and bitch to yourself and then think “wow I’m being really ridiculous right now!”.

I do.

All. The. Time.

Anyway…

I made this dish last week and it blew me away. Sometimes when I’m testing a new recipe that ends up being really easy, I feel like it won’t taste good. As if making a recipe that includes 20 million steps in it is going to make the food taste far superior to anything else I have ever eaten.

I don’t know. I guess sometimes I undermine how amazing a meal can be when it’s just a handful of ingredients tossed together.

I started the day wanting steak of some sort, but as the day went on I started getting a craving for peanut butter, which got me thinking about this great chicken satay that my dad used to make. He once grilled a ton of it for all of the guests at my high school graduation party. He wanted our guests to really enjoy the food, so he cooked the main dishes. What a guy!

This dish was a happy accident. I had the idea in my head, I just wasn’t sure it would work out the way I was hoping it would. But it worked out in a big way. I could eat this meal every week and be quite content. Plus I really just want to nose dive right into the peanut sauce, it’s so good!

Beef Satay

 

Beef Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 C very dry sherry
  • 1/2 C low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Sriracha- feel free to add more if you like it spicy
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1  1/2 lb. sirloin tip, cut into strips

For the peanut sauce

  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 C lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • sriracha to taste

Directions

  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a a bowl and stir well. Add steak strips and allow to marinate for about 1 hour.
  2. Heat your grill up and cook steak on a grill tray. Alternatively you could also use a grill pan on your stove and cook the steak over medium-high heat until meat is cooked to desired doneness.
  3. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for peanut sauce in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thoroughly mixed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Serve steak over rice or noodles with peanut sauce on the side.

 

 

 

Lobster Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream

Lobster

HELLLLLOOOOOO (said in Mrs. Doubtfire’s voice)! How was your weekend, did you do anything especially fun?

The hubs and I got out on Sunday for some tag sales, followed by a little fishing, a nice ride on the bike, and a little relaxing at a local vineyard. The weather was beautiful, sunny, but not too hot, a nice breeze. Just the way I like it!

After a full day out in the sun we wanted something nice and refreshing for dinner, and a little on the lighter side. And you’re in luck, because it’s going to work perfectly for Cinco De Mayo.

Don’t go out tomorrow. You and I both know that every Mexican restaurant from here to Tucson is going to be packed.

Just stay home, make these tacos, make a margarita, and veg out with your friends.

If you want to place a to-go order for chips and queso from your local Mexican eatery, by all means, you have my blessing. But make these tacos, seriously. The lobster meat is light and sweet, complimented by the corn and spicy chipotle sour cream. There is nothing overpowering here. You really taste the flavor of each component. And your mouth wants to sing a beautiful aria. No joke.

I went to three different grocery stores looking for live lobster and all of the lobster tanks were empty! So I grabbed a package of cooked lobster meat from the seafood department. It was just as delicious and I didn’t have to go through the hassle of murdering a crustacean. So buy whatever you feel comfortable with. If you want to buy a live lobster, steam it, and pick the meat out, go for it. If you want to buy lobster tails and grill them, by all means go for it. Or if you just want to buy a package of lobster meat like I did, do it.

Lobster Tacos

Lobster Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream

  • 1 C sweet corn kernels
  • 2  1/2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoon red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • 4 tortillas, corn or flour
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 8 oz. lobster meat, cooked
  • Vegetable oil

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine corn, cilantro, red onion, lemon juice, lime juice, and salt. Stir well to combine.
  2. In another bowl, mix sour cream, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Blend well with an immersion blender. You can also use a small food processor.
  3. If you’re using corn tortillas, rub a small amount of oil between your hands and rub your tortillas well, until they are lightly oiled. Cook them in a small frying pan over medium heat until little brown spots appear on both sides. For flour tortillas, heat for a few seconds in the microwave until pliable and transfer to the pan and cook on either side until small brown spots appear. Or just go straight from the microwave to your plate.
  4. To assemble the tacos, lay lobster down on each tortilla, spoon corn salsa over each one, and drizzle with chipotle cream. Top with sliced avocado if desired.

Patty Melts with Horsey Sauce

Remember last week when I promised you all another recipe that uses my horsey sauce?

And then I didn’t post it…

I suck. I’m sorry. Really, I am.

But don’t worry, I got up early just to get this recipe up for you guys.

So, I have a confession. I have never eaten a patty melt in a restaurant. I have dined with friends who like to order them, but I have never gotten one myself. I do however make them at home from time to time, and they are delicious. When we have burgers at my house, my husband is usually in charge of the meat part. I make condiments and accoutrements, but he shapes the patties and grills them. My husband is really good at making really big, juicy patties. But here’s the thing, every once in while, I want a thin patty. Like the kind you get at a drive in burger joint. Thin, but juicy, and flavorful. Patty melt to the rescue. Oh, and the patty melt uses really good toasting bread, not a bun. I think that’s what I love the best.

So go grab a loaf of really good bread from your local bakery and ask them to slice it on the thinner side.

Patty Melt

Patty Melts with Horsey Sauce

  • 1  1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 8 slices of bread
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 package sliced baby portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Horsey Sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 Tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. In a large skillet melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook slowly until golden brown and soft, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and 1 Tbsp. of butter and cook until mushrooms are soft.
  2. Form ground beef into patties and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a grill pan over medium heat and cook patties until they reach desired doneness.
  4. Spread Horsey Sauce generously on each slice of bread.
  5. To assemble patty melts: slice of bread, patty, cheese, onion and mushroom mixture, slice of bread.
  6. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the outside of each slice of bread. Heat a panini pan/grill or a large skillet over medium heat. Grill sandwiches on each side until golden brown and crisp. Cut and serve immediately.

 

 

 

Honey Butter Biscuits

Monday, why are you here so soon?

Why are my weekends just flying by in the blink of an eye?

The fact that I have some of these leftover make today just a little more bearable!

Honey Butter

Yesterday my hubby got up and made breakfast. Sausage gravy and biscuits, with his homemade breakfast sausage! I was super excited. His buttermilk biscuits are awesome and he takes pride in how fluffy they are. But I wanted something more. I wanted honey butter biscuits from Churches Chicken. I have been craving them for about 2 weeks now. Those biscuits are the best! They’re light and fluffy and drizzled with honey butter. Have you had them?

Obviously Churches wasn’t open at 9 a.m., so I set out in the kitchen to whip up a quick batch of this copycat version. I think I might like these even better than what Churches serves up!

These biscuits are extremely fluffy inside and the sweet honey butter poured over top is divine. Here’s the best part, you probably have all of the ingredients and it will take you less than 10 minutes to whip up. Another 10 minutes in the oven and you can burn your taste buds off when you immediately grab one right out of the oven…just me?

Honey Butter Biscuits

Honey Butter Biscuits

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. melted honey
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 C milk

For the honey butter

  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, a Silpat, or greased tinfoil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, honey, salt, and baking powder. Mix in melted stick of butter and milk. Stir to combine, but do not over mix.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto your baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown and cooked through.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together 5 Tbsp. melted butter and 3 Tbsp. honey. Generously spoon it over top each biscuit.
  5. Devour them all yourself and quickly make another batch for the ones you love!

How to Clean Your Misto

Misto

It’s spring, we have had some ups and downs weather wise. Right now it’s like 40º and that’s the high for the day! Apparently we won’t get out of the 40’s this week. It doesn’t really bother me, but it’s not nice enough to get me motivated for Spring cleaning.

But I really need to do some Spring cleaning.

Bad!

I’m going to start slow, baby steps.

Now, who has a Misto? Raise your hand if you love your Misto.

Some of you don’t have a Misto? Whaaaat? Go buy one, seriously. I love using mine for cooking and my husband uses it for grilling.

I got a Misto for my parents at an estate sale recently and picked it up for 50 cents. It was practically brand new, but unfortunately the previous owners used canola oil instead of olive oil. It took a very thorough cleaning to get it completely clean and clear again. This method worked like a charm.

If you have a Misto and it’s not spraying like it used to, you need to clean it. It’s pretty simple, just a few ingredients that you most likely have in your house. Your Misto will be good as new by the time you’re done.

cleaning

 

How to Clean Your Misto

  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  1. Take your Misto apart and make sure the canister is empty.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix 1/2 C warm water and 1/2 C vinegar. Place in the microwave and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add 1-2 drops of dish soap, just a very small amount. Pour the solution into the Misto canister, making sure to only fill the canister halfway. Screw the top back on. Begin pumping and spraying the vinegar solution into the sink until the canister is empty. Repeat until all of the solution has been used.
  3. Rinse canister and fill with hot water and spray into the sink until it is clear and there is no more soap coming out.
  4. Set on a towel to dry thoroughly.

*If your Misto is extremely gunked up, you may need to repeat this process more than once.

Horsey Sauce

Horsey Sauc

You know that sauce they give you when you order a bloomin’ onion at Outback? I was craving it all weekend. I didn’t feel like sitting and waiting for an hour to get a table though. The line at Outback is always crazy long.

I just wanted to eat some onion rings while binge watching Prison Break. And more importantly, I wanted that sauce!

I figured it couldn’t be too hard to replicate. It’s a mayonnaise based sauce that is loaded with horseradish. So I grabbed a package of onion rings at the store and headed home.
This sauce is pretty close to what Outback serves. It’s not an exact replica, but I’m thrilled with how it turned out. In fact, it would be good on a lot of things…like French fries, sandwiches, sweet potato fries, potato chips, fried zucchini!

I will have another recipe this week that will feature this sauce.

Horsey Sauce

Thanks to my husband for being a hand model. Don’t quit your day job, babe!

Horsey Sauce

  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. horseradish
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • a pinch of oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • chipotle chile powder
  • pinch of chili powder

Directions

  1. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, paprika, oregano, chili powder, and salt
  2. Add a small sprinkle of chipotle chile powder. Taste and add more if desired, it’s spicy, so the amount you add is up to you.