The Spirit Of Texas Pervades H-E-B

The Spirit Of Texas Pervades H-E-B

The spirit of Texas pervades H-E-B. Since its founding in 1905, H-E-B has grown from a store to so much more.

We are grateful for the spirit of Texas that seems to pervade every H-E-B store. It starts with the employees, these quiet heroes . . . they are cheerful, dedicated employees of H-E-B. During the coronavirus pandemic, an employee greets every customer with a smile and a hand/shopping cart sanitizer, throughout the store many employees help customers find special ingredients and offer a helping hand, during the checkout process, an employee quickly scans and bags groceries . . . the entire process is swift and efficient. Even more, it is a positive, good-for-the-soul experience. With the current quarantine restrictions, grocery shopping is often the only time for us to see other people – while minding our social distancing etiquette.

In addition to the great customer service, H-E-B’s shelves are filled with top quality products at affordable prices. The produce, meat, seafood, wine, bakery, and deli departments are loaded with special, high-quality, and tasty ingredients. There is something at H-E-B for every one!

In January, while most of us(I can speak for myself here) were in denial, H-E-B was busy making plans in order to serve their customers. Thanks again.

It’s a good feeling, knowing how the spirit of Texas pervades H-E-B.

The spirit of Texas at H-E-B serves communities:

Paula Lambert, founder and owner of the Mozzarella Company sells her delicious line of cheese to H-E-B. She is the lady on the left side of the photo. Valerie Jarvie, the very talented freelance writer of food, lifestyle, real estate and travel is the lady on the right side of the photo. I admire both of these lady’s beautiful spirits and their profound use of talents.

The spirit of Texas pervades H-E-B!

If You Have A Garden And A Library

If You Have A Garden And A Library

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” -Cicero

This is just as relevant today as it was back in the days of the Roman Empire. During our quarantine, gardening is a wonderful new hobby to enjoy! It’s ideal for an individual or a family.

Yesterday’s New York Times ‘Sunday Styles’ section included an article about gardening. Apparently, there is a big increase in people wanting to start their own food.

Growing up in Louisiana, I enjoyed gardening with my father, Boots Apple. We had a simple, small garden. Mostly, we planted radishes, corn, and lettuces.

In 2001, the year that my fourth son, Ben was born, my father introduced the Earth Box gardening system to me. As a proficient gardener for years, he appreciated the design and efficiency of them. For years, I continued his Earth Box gardening system. In fact, I still have those original Earth Boxes that I purchased in 2001. They have withstood the test of time! They are in perfect condition(no cracks or chips). Other companies have copied the original Earth Box gardening system and they look very similar. However, I cannot vouch for the durability of these products.

When we moved into our new house in 2008, three raised garden beds fitted with irrigation systems were in the backyard. I was delighted and couldn’t wait to plant a garden. I have had some luck with gardening . . . mostly with Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, lemon balm, basil, mint, thyme, and a variety of herbs. However, the Earth Box gardening system consistently outperformed the larger raised garden beds!

Three advantages of Earth Box gardening system:

  1. Better yield of vegetables and herbs.
  2. Efficient use of water(water reserve in the bottom of the container).
  3. They don’t take up as much space. They are perfect for an apartment terrace, patio or porch.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake . . . how are they the same and how are the different? Angel Food Cake Pans

Chiffon Cakes are Angel Foods are the same:

  • They belong to the basic family, the foam cake. Sponge cakes are included in this family too.
  • They’re aerated by beating air into the egg whites and folding the egg foam into the other ingredients.
  • They require a special technique, folding.
  • They are baked in the same type of cake pan.
  • It isn’t necessary to grease the pan because the cakes need to cling to the sides of the pan while cooling.
  • Bake in a 10″ ungreased Angel Food cake pan.
  • Cool the cakes upside down over a standing wine bottle or large funnel. Gravity will keep the cake’s full volume until it sets.

Chiffon Cakes and Angel Food cakes are different:

  • Chiffon Cakes contain egg yolks and oil.

Secrets to perfectly beaten egg whites every time:

  • Always, use a clean, dry bowl for separating and beating egg whites.
  • Separate eggs whites and egg yolks one at a time into a cup. Place egg white in a liquid measuring cup and the yolk in another cup. Continue until the desired amount of egg whites is achieved.
  • If one speck of the yoke gets in an egg white, throw it out. Put the cup aside and get a clean, dry cup and continue separating the eggs.
  • Beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar, continue beating until soft peaks form, begin adding sugar 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form – like these!Perfectly Beaten Egg WhitesBeing careful not to over beat! When the egg whites begin to clump, you know they have been beaten to long – like these!Over Beaten Egg Whites

Why Cake Flour:

Swans Down Cake-Flour is made with the finest American soft winter wheat and repeatedly sifted so that it’s 27 times finer than all-purpose flour.

Orange Chiffon Cakes are delicious too!

For years, Orange Chiffon cakes have been a tradition in the Graass family. In 1948 at the age of 23, Betty Graass, my beautiful mother-in-law baked an Orange Chiffon cake for her son, Jeff’s 1st birthday. This was the year when Better Homes and Gardens featured the cake as the “first new cake in over 100 years!” It was a national sensation. The family loved the Orange Chiffon Cake so much that it became a family tradition for birthdays.  I continued the tradition. For Jim’s birthday as well as our children’s birthdays and bake an Orange Chiffon Cake for every celebration!

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake . . . which cake wins today??!! The chiffon cake wins today because today is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day!

Bake a Lemon Chiffon Cake for your family and celebrate tonight!

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Light and airy, moist and delicious . . . this is the cake we bake for birthday celebrations!


  • 1 Cup Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 t. Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 1/4 Cups Cake Flour, sifted
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 7 Large Egg yolks
  • 3/4 Cup Freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 325º.

  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, add the egg whites, beat until frothy add cream of starter, continue beating until soft peaks form. Begin adding 2 tablespoons of sugar until 1/2 cup of sugar is added and the whites standing stiff, glossy peaks. Being careful not to beat until dry.

  3. Sift together dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt); set aside.

  4. In another bowl of an electric mixer, add the oil, egg yolks, and lemon juice; beat well.

  5. Add the dry ingredients, and blend together.

  6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the mixture into the beaten whites.

  7. Pour the combined mixture all at once into tube pan.

  8. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Invert the pan onto a funnel to cool.

  9. When cake is cool, run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove the cake from the pan.

Lemon glaze: In the bowl of an electric mixer blend together powdered sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice until the desired consistency is reached. Pourable but not to thin!


Pickling The State Pepper of Texas

Pickling The State Pepper of Texas

Pickling the state pepper of Texas, Jalapenos. If you prefer pickled jalapenos to store in the pantry, it will require more time and work. However, if you are more interested in delicious flavor and an easy preparation, then this recipe is the one for you!

These are refrigerator pickled jalapenos. They are easier to make and just as tasty!



Five easy steps:

  1. Wash in soapy water, the canning jars and lids; set aside to dry.
  2. Wash and slice the jalapenos.
  3. Make the brine – In a heavy-bottomed pan set over medium heat, add 2 cups white distilled vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, 1 t. salt; stir to combine and heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the sliced jalapenos.
  4. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until they turn a deeper green, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Ladle into jars. Refrigerate overnight. Serve!

*Refrigerator pickles may be kept in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 weeks.

Cinnamon Is How I Roll

Cinnamon Is How I Roll

Cinnamon is how I roll . . . with these delicious, homemade cinnamon rolls! The cinnamon rolls are made with a rich dough of eggs, milk and butter, rolled out and filled with a cinnamon filling, baked, and drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. Richness and decadence at its best!Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon is how I roll . . . how do you roll?!

Cinnamon Rolls

For years, I have baked this recipe for my children and friends for breakfast. Each time, it receives rave reviews. It is a family favorite. Once you get the hang of it, the cinnamon rolls are easy to make and it will become one of your family favorites too!


  • 2 pkgs. active dry yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (110ºF.)
  • 1 3/4 cup 2 % or whole milk, scalded
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, while cold, sliced into 1 tablespoon-size pieces; then, set aside to come to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 T. cinnamon

Milk Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Dough Instructions:

  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar in water; set aside for 10 to 15 minutes until frothy.

  2. In a bowl, pour the scalded milk over the butter, sugar, and salt; stir together; set aside to cool(110ºF.)

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the eggs and beat about 1 or 2 minutes.

  4. Add the yeast mixture and cooled milk mixture; blend for a couple minutes.

  5. Begin adding the flour, 1 cup at a time. Continue blending on low speed until all the flour is added. The consistency of the dough will be like a thick pancake batter.

  6. Pour a couple of tablespoons vegetable oil into a large bowl, pour the dough into the bowl, lightly coat all side is the dough with the oil. Cover with a clean dish towel; set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours until it doubles in volume.

  7. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon filling. In a small bowl, stir the sugar and cinnamon together. Make the Milk Glaze.

    Set aside.

  8. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

  9. On a lightly floured silicone baking mat, pour out the dough, roll out the dough 1/2" thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon filling.

  10. Trim each long edge, just 1/2" to 1" to make it straight. Cut the dough in half down the center of the long side. Roll each half of the dough up, forming 2 cylinders. With kitchen scissors, cut each dough cylinders into 2" pieces.

  11. Lightly spray a 9" X 13" pan with cooking spray. Arrange the cinnamon rolls in the pan, leaving about an 1/2" between each roll to allow for rising. You might have a few scraps pf dough left over.

  12. Bake in a preheated 425ºF. oven for 25 - 30 minutes. The inside of the rolls should measure 190ºF - 205º. If they are getting to brown before they reach the correct temperature, cover lightly with a piece of aluminum foil and continue baking.

  13. Place on a wire rack. Serve at once!

    I prefer to slice and place a couple of cinnamon rolls on a serving plate and drizzle with the icing. Or you could drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls in the pan. It's your choice!

  14. Enjoy!

Milk Glaze Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until the milk glaze is smooth.

Cinnamon Roll Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425º

  2. Spray 9 x 13' pan with PAM®, set aside.

  3. Melt the butter, set aside.

  4. Lightly flour a Silpat or silicone baking mat, roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness.

  5. Brush dough with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

  6. With a pastry wheel, cut the dough in half.

  7. Roll up each section of the dough.

  8. Using kitchen sheers, cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch thick rounds.

  9. Place rolls in a prepared pan, allow 1/4' in between rolls for rising.

  10. Cover with a clean dish cloth and set aside in a draft free location for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

  11. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

  12. Remove the rolls from the oven and top with the milk glaze or serve the glaze on the side.