Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jake's Shrimp and Grits

1 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
1 c. stone ground grits (not instant)
3 T. butter
2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese
6 slices of bacon, chopped
4 t. lemon juice
2 T chopped Italian parsley
1 c. thinly sliced scallions
1 large clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Cajun Seasoning

2 t. salt
2 t. garlic powder
2 1/2 t. paprika
1 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 t. onion powder
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 1/4  t. dried oregano
1 1/4 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. lemon juice

Marinate 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp in Cajun seasoning.

Cook the bacon crispy and remove from pan. Save 2 T. of bacon grease in the pan.

Cook grits per package instructions.  When done, stir in cheese, butter, salt, and pepper until the cheese and butter have melted and are well mixed.

Cook shrimp in pan with the bacon grease until pink.  Add cooked and sliced bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
YUM! Enjoy . . . 

Saturday, November 18, 2017


  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 12 oz. Evaporated Milk 
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell (4-cup volume)

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves.
Lightly beat eggs.
Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425 oven for 15 min. Reduce temp. to 350; bake for 40-50 min. more or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Top with REAL whipped cream made by Bella.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fudge Cake

Fudge Cake

1 cup unsalted butter
4 (1 oz) squares of semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ¾ cup of sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup of flour, sifted
1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Microwave butter and chocolate (on high until completely melted) for 1 minute.  Stop and stir every 20 seconds.  Add sugar and stir until combined.  Cool for 10 minutes then add eggs one at time.  After adding each egg, stir until combined.  Gently add in flour, nuts and vanilla.  Don't over stir.

Spray 9x9 pan or 10 x 10 pan with cooking spray.  Then line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper allowing the paper to extend 4 to 5 inches over the edges of the pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes OR until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 30 minutes.  Then lift from pan with parchment paper "handles" and cool another 30 minutes.  Cut into small squares (very rich)  and dust with powdered sugar.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Braised Chicken Thighs with Slow-Cooker Marinara

 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped (about 5 cups)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
3 T. tomato paste
1 (3 inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind
1 bunch basil stems, plus 1/4 c. basil leaves
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs.)
1/2 t. black pepper
2 t. kosher salt, divided
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. uncooked fettuccine, cooked according to package directions
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine tomatoes, garlic, onion, tomato paste, Parmesan rind, and basil stems in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Sprinkle chicken thighs evenly with pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken to skillet, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to slow cooker, and nestle into tomato mixture. Cover and cook on LOW until tomatoes have broken down and chicken is very tender and done, 2 to 3 hours.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board to cool slightly. Remove and discard basil stems and Parmesan rind from slow cooker. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Process mixture using an immersion blender until mostly smooth, about 30 seconds. Shred chicken into 1-inch pieces, and stir into slow cooker.

Toss pasta with tomato-chicken mixture, and divide evenly among 6 bowls. Top with basil leaves and grated Parmesan.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Martha's Fudge Peanut Butter Brownies


1 cup of butter (2 sticks, no substitutions)
1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa 
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) jar peanut butter
  1. Melt 1 cup butter and 1/3 cup cocoa in a saucepan over low heat until butter melts, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. Combine sugar, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Slowly add chocolate mixture and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended. Do not over beat.
  6. Spread mixture into a greased 15 x 10 inch jellyroll pan. 
  7. Bake in 350-degree oven for 25–30 minutes. Every oven is different, so I recommend inserting a toothpick in the middle of the brownies and making sure it comes out clean. If not, cook one minute at a time until done. Don’t overcook.

Peanut Butter Topping

  1. Spoon mounds of peanut butter across the top of the hot brownies. As peanut butter begins to soften and melt, gently spread evenly across the top of the hot brownies.
  2. Let cool completely, and then chill for 30 minutes until peanut butter sets up firm.

Fudge Frosting

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup whole milk (no substitutions)
10 large marshmallows
1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
  1. Cook 1 stick of butter, milk and marshmallows in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until marshmallows melt.
  2. Remove pan from heat and gradually sift in 1/4 cup cocoa, beating with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
  3. Sift powdered sugar and gradually stir into cocoa mixture with hand mixer until smooth.
  4. Spread frosting over peanut butter; place back in fridge and chill at least another 20 minutes so fudge frosting will set.
  5. If not serving immediately, cover with foil and keep in fridge.
  6. To serve, trim off all of the edges of the brownies. Cut into small squares (these are very rich). Optional: Garnish each piece with 1/4 of a miniature peanut butter cup. Best served at room temperature.
courtesy of Martha Sartin Thompson (friend from college, one of the girls from Johnson Hall.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Chocolate Coconut Cake


For the chocolate cake:

·         1 box devil's food cake mix
·         oil, eggs and water as directed on cake mix package
·         cooking spray

For the coconut sauce:

·         3/4 cup milk
·         3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         15 large marshmallows
·         3 cups flaked sweetened coconut
·         3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

For the chocolate frosting:

·         3 tablespoons butter
·         6 tablespoons granulated sugar
·         4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder , sifted
·         4 1/2 tablespoons milk
·         2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles (optional)


1.    For the cake: Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray. Prepare the cake mix with the oil, eggs and water in amounts as directed on the box and bake according to package instructions. Cool completely in the pan.
2.    For the coconut sauce: Combine milk, sugar and marshmallows in a medium saucepan, cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are melted.
3.    Stir in coconut and cornstarch, bring to a boil. Cook one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour the coconut sauce over the cake while it's still warm, then let cool completely before you add the frosting.
4.    For the frosting: Melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add granulated sugar, milk and cocoa powder, cook for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly combined.

5.    Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour over the cake. Add the sprinkles on top while the frosting is still warm. Do not try to spread the frosting with a knife or it will not set properly.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

No Bake Strawberry Dessert

yield: 9 TO 12 SERVINGS

prep time: 20 MINUTES

total time: 2 HOURS 2 MINUTES


  • 2 packs of graham crackers
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 5 Tablespoons sugar
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, cut in half (for top of cake)
  • 1/4 cup melting chocolate wafers, optional
Line a 9x9" pan with the graham crackers and set aside.
Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until a stiff peak forms, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then add the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Mix just until smooth. Then spread 1/3 of the mixture onto the graham crackers. Then layer 1/3 of the sliced strawberries on top. Repeat with 3 layers. Save the strawberries you're putting on top, until ready to serve.
Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour, to allow the graham crackers to soften. I like to place in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving, so it firms up a little bit. Then I place the top layer of strawberries on top right before serving.
Slice with a sharp knife and drizzle chocolate on top if desired.
** from I Heart Nap Time

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Snickers Rice Krispie Treats

Makes 36 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 – 10-ounce package marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1-½ cups salted peanuts
  • 1-½ – 11-ounce bags caramels
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2-½ cups milk chocolate chips


  1. Line a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  3. Add the marshmallows to the melted butter and stir until completely dissolved.
  4. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until the cereal is evenly coated in the marshmallow-butter mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread it out evenly and press gently into the pan using the bottom of a measuring cup.
  6. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top of the Rice Krispies mixture.
  7. In a medium-sized bowl, add the caramels and the heavy cream. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each interval, until the caramels are fully melted.
  8. Pour the caramel sauce over the top of the peanut layer.
  9. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each interval, until fully melted.
  10. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the caramel layer.
  11. Set the treats aside for about 1 hour, allowing the chocolate to set completely, before cutting and enjoying.

Chef’s Tip

  • Lightly spray the bottom of the measuring cup with pan spray to prevent the Rice Krispies from sticking to the bottom of it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

1 9-inch graham cracker crust, baked and cooled

2 qt. Ice cream
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/3 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. dry roasted peanuts

Mix peanut butter and corn syrup.
Put 1/2 of the ice cream into crust. Pour 1/2 of the peanut butter mixture over ice cream. Sprinkle half of the nuts over this next. 
Repeat. Freeze.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 ¼ cup basmati rice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
16 oz. chicken stock
3 tablespoons of cilantro (or basil or parsley)
1 tablespoon harissa (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in lidded sauté pan.  Add olive oil and cook onion until translucent (2-3 minutes).  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Onions and garlic should not be browned.

Add lemon zest and lemon juice to pan and cook for 1 minute.  Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Add rinsed basmati rice.  Return to simmer and cover for 12 minutes until rice is al dente and liquid has been absorbed.  Season with salt, pepper and optional harissa.  Remove from heat and toss with cilantro right before serving.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Strawberry Crisp

2 cups of fresh strawberries – remove tops and slice
2 tablespoons of cane sugar (or white sugar)
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

½ cup of oatmeal
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Let butter come to room temperature.  For filling, add cane sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice to strawberries, stir and set aside.
For topping, add oats, flour, brown sugar and salt to a bowl.  Use pastry blender, forks or hands to cut butter into other ingredients until butter is mixed with other ingredients.  It’s OK if there are pea-sized dots of butter.  Topping should be chunky.
Butter pyrex or other small glass cooking dish.  You can even divide into 4 ramekins. 
Fill buttered dish with strawberry mixture.  Top gently with oatmeal mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes until oat topping is golden brown.

Serve slightly warm. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced or pressed garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
¾ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a screw top jar and shake to combine.  Lightly dress salad greens.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Luckenbach Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

1/2 cup whole milk 
1/2 cup buttermilk 
1 egg 
2 tablespoons Crisco
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 cup cornmeal 
1/3 cup all purpose flour 
1 ½ tablespoons chopped jalapenos, fresh or pickled 
1 ½  tablespoons whole kernel corn 
2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar
Preheat oven to 425 with 8" skillet in the oven.
Mix together dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour,sugar,
 baking powder, salt). 
Add cheddar to dry ingredients and coat cheese with 
cornmeal/flour mixture.
In separate bowl, whisk together milk, buttermilk, and egg.
Gently stir dry and wet ingredients together. Gently mix in melted
 Crisco. Pull skillet from oven and drop in butter.
Swirl to cover skillet and pour cornbread mixture into
skillet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.