Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love making old-fashioned chocolate fudge for Valentine’s Day! This fudge is creamy and delicious! This is my grandmother Birdie’s recipe.

I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Birdie's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge

* Be sure to best the fudge on a LOW SETTING on your electric mixer because the fudge becomes very creamy and thick as it cools. The motor may be overworked on a high setting.

This is my grandmother Birdie's old-fashioned chocolate fudge recipe. It is a favorite family heirloom recipe!


  • 3 small packages semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz jar marshmallow cream
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large can Evaporated milk
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped coarsley
  • 1 t. vanilla


  1. Grease a 9 X 13 pan; set aside.

  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer, add the chocolate chips, butter, and marshmallow cream; set aside.

  3. In a 2-quart heavy-bottom saucepan, add the sugar and pet milk.

    Cook,  stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a boil.

    Continue boiling for 10 minutes without stirring. Keep and eye on it!

  4. While beating on a low setting, gradually add the syrup mixture to the chocolate chip mixture. Continue beating on a medium-high setting for 30 minutes.

    Add the pecans and vanilla, continue beating until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.

  5. Pour into the prepared pan. 

    Cool completely.

    Cut into squares.

    Place in mini paper cups.

  6. For a party, serve on your favorite cake stand.

    For gifts, store in a heart-shaped box.


Baking A King Cake

Baking A King Cake

Baking a King Cake for Fat Tuesday is easy with make! The night before, mix and chill the dough. On Fat Tuesday, make the brioche dough, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, roll out the dough, add the filling, bake, cool, drizzle icing on top with icing, sprinkle with green, gold, and purple sugar, place on a platter, hide the baby under the cake, serve, and celebrate!King Cake in My Texas Kitchen

King Cake

This brioche pastry dough is of French origin is an enriched bread with a high egg and butter content giving it a rich and tender crumb. 

This dough has a thick pancake-like consistency. It's easy for beginner bakers and elaborate for experienced bakers!

Servings 2 king cakes
Author susanapplegraass


  • 1/4 cup warm water(80º-100º)
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1 zest of lemon
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling: Blend together 8-ounce Philadelphia cream cheese(room temperature), 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 T. whole milk, 1 T. cinnamon, 1 t. vanilla. Set aside.

Icing: Blend together 8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese(room temperature), 1 bag confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1 t. vanilla. Set aside.


  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 t. sugar in warm water. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.

  2. In a small saucepan, scald the milk. Set aside to cool to less than 100º.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast mixture, scalded & cooled milk, sugar, melted butter, eggs, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Begin mixing, gradually add the flour. Continue mixing until smooth. 

  4. Cover the bowl with a dish towel. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk(about 2 hours) at room temperature. Or overnight in the refrigerator. If refrigerated overnight, allow to come to room temperature before rolling out the dough.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375º.

    On a heavily floured Silpat®, place 1/2 of the dough. Roll out to a 1/2" thickness. Spread with 1/2 of the filling. Starting at the widest edge, roll up to dough into a cylinder. Carefully pick up the dough and place on a Silpatº lined baking sheet. Cover with a clean dish towel. Allow to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.

  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 200º.

    If the King Cake is getting too brown, cover lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil. 

  7. Remove from oven. Place on a wire rack. Cool completely. Place on a serving platter. 

    Hide the baby in the King Cake!

  8. Drizzle with the icing onto King Cake. (You might have a little icing depending on how much you prefer.)

    Sprinkle with purple, gold, and green sugars.

    Place on a serving platter and hide the baby under the cake.

    Happy Mardi Gras!

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

The Mansion on Turtle Creek is one of our favorite restaurants. During the 80s, the Mansion’s chef, Dean Fearing created one of his signature dishes,Tortilla Soup. It was and continues to be popular.

It wasn’t long before restaurants around the country began adding their version of Tortilla Soup to the menus. 

Tortilla Soup is a popular dish in our home too. It is fun to serve for friends and family.

Tortilla Soup

My favorite ingredient in the tortilla soup is the ancho chile. Ancho Chiles are red poblano chiles that have been dried.


  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Ancho Chiles
  • 2 28-ounce cans Muir Glen® Fire-Roasted tomatoes
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, deveined, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 quart chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded to bite-size
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnishes: tortilla chips, 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 2 ripe avocados - peeled and diced and 1 bunch fresh cilantro - stems removed and diced


  1. Prepare the Ancho Chiles and Tomatoes:

    In a Pyrex® bowl, pour boiling water over the Ancho Chiles, set aside for about ten minutes. Remove chiles from water and discard the stems and seeds. Place the softened Ancho Chiles in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add the canned tomatoes and roasted tomatoes pulse until the tomatoes are bite-size. Set aside.

  2. In a heavy bottomed, 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper, sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

  3. Stir in chili powder and cumin, cook for 1 minute.

  4. Add the prepared Ancho Chiles and Tomatoes, chicken stock and corn. Simmer for about 1 hour. Add the cooked chicken, simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Setting the buffet:

    Arrange the garnishes in small bowls, wide-rimmed soup bowls, spoons on a buffet table alongside the simmering soup.


    Ladle Tortilla Soup into soup bowls and garnish with favorite toppings.




It’s Sunday! Who Wants Pancakes?

It’s Sunday! Who Wants Pancakes?

It’s Sunday, Who wants pancakes?

In our house it’s everyone!

Here’s our favorite pancake recipe . . . they are light, fluffy and delicious. Puffing up like a soufflé, the presentation is beautiful. Instead of flipping pancakes one at a time. This Puff Pancake recipe may be doubled or even tripled. So it serves many people at once. That’s a real time saver! 

5 from 1 vote

Puffed Pancakes

This is our favorite breakfast to make for our children and their friends. Actually, I should say Jim because he always makes these puff pancakes. And every time, they receive rave reviews!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes


  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Toppings: maple syrup and sliced fresh berries


  1. Preheat oven to 450Fº.

  2. Place the butter in an ovenproof skillet or casserole. Place in the oven until butter is melted.

  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until light and bright yellow. Gradually beat in the milk and flour until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.

  4. Pour the batter into the skillet or casserole of hot butter and return the pan to the oven.

    When doubling the recipe, use a couple of skillets or casseroles because the batter will rise!

  5. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 12 minutes.

  6. Slice into wedges. Serve at once with warm maple syrup and sliced fresh berries.

Sweet And Spicy

Sweet And Spicy

Sweet and Spicy . . . Pork Tenderloin made with the Kuby’s Raspberry Chipotle Spread and pork tenderloin. 

For years, inspired by one of my favorite chefs, Helen Corbitt, I have served her pork tenderloin from Helen Corbitt’s Potluck.

Just recently, as we have been making an attempt at healthier meals, I made a couple of changes: no cream and substituting Kuby’s Raspberry Chipotle Spread for the original currant jam.

The new and improved recipe is sweet and spicy!

-Preparation: 20 Minutes

-Bake: 30 minutes

-Make the sauce: 5 minutes

-Slice and Serve: 5 minutes

Delicious sides for the sweet and spicy pork tenderloin: sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and wild/long grain rice 


Raspberry Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

Inspired by Helen Corbitt's recipe, the original recipe calls for currant jelly and cream in the sauce. Recently, I decided to omit the cream and much to my surprise the dish was even better. Also, Kuby's Raspberry Chipotle Spread was substituted for the currant jelly. The flavors compliment the tenderloin and rosemary quite well. This sweet and spicy tenderloin is easy enough for weekday meals. It is a perfect dish for entertaining too.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 2 2-pound pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 jar Kuby's Raspberry Chipotle Spread
  • salt, freshly ground pepper and dry mustard
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 T. butter, room temperature
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.

  2. Remove the membrane from the outside of the pork tenderloin.

  3. Rub the tenderloins with the salt, pepper and dry mustard.

  4. Melt the butter and olive oil in an oven-proof pan or skillet. Brown the tenderloins on all sides.

  5. Add the raspberry chipotle spread. Sprinkle with rosemary.

  6. Cover and bake for 25 - 35 minutes.

    Cook pork tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145ºF.

  7. Place the tenderloins on a cutting board; rest for 10 minutes.

  8. Blend the butter and flour; add to the skillet, cook over medium heat, whisking constantly.

  9. Slice the tenderloin. Serve with the sauce. Enjoy!



Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread is a delicious treat for the holidays. A gingerbread boy cake will add some cheer to your holiday table!

5 from 1 vote


Homemade with a short cut. . . starting with a yellow cake mix is easy. Adding ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg spices up the cake! 


  • 1 box yellow-cake mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cups molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg


  1. Grease a gingerbread boy cake pan or 3 8" cake pans.

    Set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 350º.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add all of the ingredients. 

    On a medium setting, mix the ingredients for 5 to 10 minutes. 

  4. Pour into the prepared pans. If the gingerbread pans are different shapes, fill up half way. This allows for proper rising of the cake.

  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes for the 8" rounds. Adjust the baking time for smaller or larger cake pans. Insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. When it comes out clean, the cake is ready. 

  6. Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan. Flip over.

  7. Allow to cool completely. Transfer to a serving piece.

  8. Decorate with gumdrops, peppermint sticks, holiday candies, and royal icing.