Thursday, June 25, 2015

Custard Cake

I've been making this one for many years, sometimes with coconut, sometimes with lemon rind.  You may actually know it as Impossible Pie.

My favorite has to be the coconut, but my son doesn't like it so I tend to stick to either the lemon or just the plain custard.

The magic part is how it creates it's own crust, followed by a silky custard filling and a crust on the top.  It's so good, and so easy to make.  A definite to throw together when you have unexpected guests.

For this version, I used the recipe from Hugs and Cookies

Custard Cake

4 eggs (whites separated from yolks), room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
8 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk lukewarm
powdered sugar for dusting cake

Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease and Line 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with parchment.
Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and beat egg whites stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla. Beat for two mins. Add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.

Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for approx 60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. Cool and dust heavily with powdered sugar.

Custard Cake

Mexican Lasagna

Back in the kitchen, and back at it.

The kitchen has always been my haven, since I was a little girl.  I've told you all the story many times of how I used to sit at my great grandmother's feet and pretend to cook.  I guess my love for cooking started at a very early age and was definitely inspired and brought on by my great grandmother, she loved cooking, loved feeding the family and was always in the kitchen, apron around her slender body and humming a song while she worked.

These last few months that I couldn't really cook, were terrible.  I missed it so much, and so now that I'm back at it, I feel immense happiness.

Last night I made a Mexican Lasagna adapted from one of my Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks.  I changed a few things, not many, and it turned out really good.  The family were thrilled to be sitting back down at the dinner table with a home cooked meal.

Mexican Lasagna

1 pound mild pork sausage
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic
Chili flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of celery soup
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
18 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tomato, seeded and diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in diced tomatoes and next 5 ingredients; cook until thoroughly heated.

Spoon one-third of sauce onto bottom of a lightly greased 13"x9" baking dish; top with 6 tortillas; sprinkle with half of Cheddar cheese. Top with 6 tortillas; repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese and next 3 ingredients.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Chocolate Chip Challah French Toast

Back in April I made a Challah Bread for Easter weekend, a chocolate chip Challah bread.  It was so good and so simple to make.

I used a recipe from the Cuisinart website, I was looking for an easy Challah Bread recipe, if there was such a thing and I lucked out because this one really is as easy as it claims and it's delicious too.

I had leftover Challah and made French Toast the next day.  It was AMAZING!!!

I'm giving you the recipe for the Bread and you can just use your favorite French Toast version to complete it.
Easy Ten-Minute Challah Bread

one package of active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose bread flour
2 eggs
4 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm (105-110°F) water
1 egg mixed with water for egg wash
handful of sesame or poppy seeds
cooking spray


Sprinkle yeast over water in a small bowl or cup, add sugar and watch it bubble, about five minutes.
Pour the above mixture into a food processor; add flour and then the rest of the ingredients. Mix and let it rise (It's okay to cover and leave it in the food processor or remove it to a greased bowl and cover) for about an hour.
Punch down the dough (press pulse a few times) and let it rise again (about an hour).
Separate the dough into four pieces. Use three to make the main bread, and use the fourth piece to make a smaller braid that you’ll pinch into place on top of the main braid. Place the braided dough into a greased bread pan and cover with greased plastic wrap (PAM is easy to use.). Let it rise another hour.
Paint with egg wash (egg and water whisked together). Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake for 45 minutes in a 350° oven.

Chocolate Chip Challah French Toast

For savory: Saute' finely chopped onion in olive oil. Roll onion in dough (No braiding with this version). Sprinkle some onion on top of egg wash (in place of sesame seeds) for an Onion Challah.
For sweet:
Before separating into four pieces, knead about 1/2 cup raisins OR 1/2 cup chocolate chips into dough.

Chocolate Chip Challah French Toast

Chicken Fajitas

Without a doubt one of my favorite food to eat, aside from the Portuguese, obviously, is Mexican.  I just love everything about it, the flavors, the combinations, the copious amounts of cheese, yeah, everything.

I have not yet been able to completely and successfully recreate a lot of my favorites, but I keep trying because even if they are not authentic, they are delicious.

One thing I do like doing, is following Authentic Mexican Food Blogs, I believe that is where I'll find the best recipes and I have yet to find one I didn't like.

The Chicken Fajita recipe I'm about to share comes from Cooking Mexican Recipes.  I have found quite a lot of gems on that website.

Chicken Fajitas

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 medium yellow onions sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1 large red bell pepper sliced into 1/4 inch strips
2 medium zucchini, sliced into strips


1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/4 cup water
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. soy sauce

Combine the ingredients for the marinade and place 2/3 in a glass bowl or Ziploc bag and the other 1/3 marinade in another glass bowl or Ziploc bag.

Rinse chicken in cold water and slice into 1/4 inch strips. I happen to like chicken thighs so I use them in this recipe. If you are concerned about fat intake use chicken breast.

Remove any remaining fat. Add chicken to the bowl with 2/3 of the marinade.

Slice the vegetables and place them in the bowl with 1/3 of the marinade. Refrigerate both dishes for 2 hours or more.

Pan fry the chicken in a cast iron skillet, remove, and fry the vegetables, toss together and serve with warm flour tortillas.

Easy Cream Puffs

Right, I am back and I'm ready to start sharing recipes again.  The first few I'm sharing are actually recipes I made back in Idaho and never got around to posting because I was in the middle of the big move.

I do have some new ones coming up too, so keep an eye out for those.

So the first recipe I'm sharing today is one that my 16 year old daughter actually made.  It's one of those recipes that is so easy to do and it always looks like you've been working on it for hours.  Matter of fact, cream puffs were one of the first things I learned to make in my teenage years.

We had Home Economics in high school and for cooking, we had to make these.  I've always enjoyed them, and I'm happy to pass on this love of cooking to my children.

The recipe comes from Real House Moms, go on over there and take a look, you're sure to find tons of yummy things to try.

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs

½ cup (one stick) butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz each)
1⅓ cup cold whole milk
8 oz sour cream
powdered sugar

Cream Puffs:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Melt stick of butter and water to a rolling boil
Stir in flour and stir vigorously over low heat until mixture leaves the pan (comes off the sides) and is in a ball (about 1 minute)
Remove from heat and cool for a couple of minutes
Beat in eggs (one at a time) with a mixer
Beat mixture until smooth and velveety
Drop by spoonfuls (walnut sized) onto ungreased cookie sheet
Bake until DRY, 20-25 minutes (maybe longer)
Allow to cool

Cream Puffs


Mix instant vanilla pudding with whole milk until the pudding is dissolved
Add sour cream until thick
Put mixture in the refrigerator (at least an hour)
Slice the cream puffs in half and fill with the chilled pudding mixture
Sprinkle with powdered sugar

Cream Puffs

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Knock, Knock....anyone still out there?


Oh what a crazy past few months this has been, actually what a crazy year it has been for my family and I.

I just realized that my last post on this food blog was back in January when I made those amazing Banana Beignets, which if you haven't yet had a chance to try, I would suggest you do.

I've since relocated from Idaho to the beautiful State of Texas and it's been a crazy roller coaster.  My husband came first and the kids and I remained for 4 months before joining him, it kind of meant not cooking much in the sense of trying new recipes or making elaborate meals.  When it's just the kids and I, things like hotdogs and chicken nuggets and ramen noodles seem to take the stage.  Boy was I glad when we finally reunited with the hubster and I could start thinking of cooking actual meals.

I'm now in Texas, I've not yet started cooking much but that is about to change, which means this blog is going to get a nice little revamp and a pick up.

It's time for me to clear out the cobwebs, make a new header, change out the background and get back to cooking in my huge kitchen.

What say you?  Ready for new recipes?  Is anyone even still out there?