Happy National Pasta Day!

Happy National Pasta Day!

Celebrating National Pasta Day with Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells!

Pasta made with simple ingredients – flour and water – is loved by people of all ages.

A Family Favorite

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells filled ricotta cheese, mozzarella, spinach, eggs, and served over Marinara Sauce is delicious!

Happy National Pasta Day!

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells

A family favorite - pasta shells stuffed with cheese and spinach, layered over Marinara Sauce!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound jumbo pasta shells, count out 15 or 16
  • 1 jar Marinara Sauce
  • 2 frozen spinach, thawed and excess moisture drained
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 T. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.

  2. Cook the pasta according the directions on the box, drain; set aside.

  3. Pour and smooth out the Marinara Sauce in a casserole dish; set aside.

  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, eggs, parsley, and salt. Stir the ingredients until they are well mixed.

  5. Fill the shells with the spinach/cheese mixture. Sprinkle with 2 T. Parmesan cheese.

  6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

  7. Garnish with fresh basil and serve!

Frying Funnel Cakes

Frying Funnel Cakes

Frying Funnel Cakes . . .

On a beautiful fall day, September 27th, we went to the opening day of the State Fair of Texas. We learned about hydroponic gardening in the greenhouse, saw the llamas, goats, lambs, swine and horses. We toured the Creative Arts building – where we saw the “Glue a Shoe” contest, the famous butter sculpture, award-winning quilts and all sort of handmade crafts. Walked the Midway and enjoyed our Fletcher’s Corny dogs. It was a picture perfect day!

2019 State Fair of Texas State Fair of Texas paradeMidway at the State Fair of TexasGlue a Shoe ContestGlue A ShoeThe Texas StarState Fair of Texas livestock Jams and Jellies of the State Fair of TexasParade horses

Our favorite Lone Star llama!Texas Llamas

Best of the State Fair of Texas . . . the Funnel Cakes!SFT Funnel Cale booth

Leaving the State fair, I wondered if we could make the Funnel Cakes in My Texas Kitchen?Frying Funnel Cakes

Frying Funnel Cakes!

Top Five Funnel Cake Questions:

  • Are there any special ingredients? Funnel cakes are made with simple, kitchen staples, milk and a couple of eggs.
  • How will I know if the oil is hot enough? The oil should heat to350º.
  • What should I serve them on? In keeping with the fair theme, serve the funnel cakes on red and white check paper.
  • Last but not least . . . Is it worth it to make funnel cakes at home? Yes, Funnel Cakes are so easy to make at home. They are delicious. Your friends and family will love the Funnel Cakes and you for making the treat!

Funnel Cakes

My version of one of our favorite State Fair of Texas fried foods!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Servings 4 Funnel Cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Criscoº vegetable oil
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; whisk together; set aside.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the milk and eggs. Add to the dry ingredients; beat until smooth with a rotary beater.

  3. Add the vegetable shortening to an 8" cast iron skillet.

    Heat over medium-high heat to 350º.

  4. Covering the bottom of a funnel with your finger, pour a generous 1/2 cup batter into the funnel.

    Hold the end of the funnel close to the hot oil.

    Remove finger and release batter into the hot oil in a spiral shape.

    Fry until golden, about 3 minutes. With a spatula, carefully turn the cake over and cook for 1 minute.

    Drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag.

    Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve!

 

 

Happy Angel Food Cake Day!

Happy Angel Food Cake Day!

Happy Angel Food Cake Day!

The Angel Food cake gets its name because the airy, light cake is said to be the “food of angels”.

What’s the Secret?

The secret to making Angel Food cakes is room temperature egg whites. They will whip up to a higher volume!

Why cream of tartar?

Cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites, just as they become frothy, continue whisking, adding the sugar and other ingredients until the egg white mixture is are stiff, but not dry.

Why an ungreased Angel Food cake pan?

The ungreased Angel Food cake pan allows the cake to rise higher as it clings to the sides of the pan.

What’s the topping?

Most of the time a glaze, fruit sauce or whipped cream compliments Angel Food Cakes. My Coffee Angel Food cake has a coffee buttercream icing. Creamy and delicious!

Happy National Angel Food Cake Day!

Coffee Angel Food Cake

This award-winning cake won a blue ribbon at the 2007 State Fair of Texas cake contest!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 T. powdered instant coffee
  • 1 T. hot water
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites, 10-12, room temperature
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar

Coffee Buttercream Icing: 1 cup room temperature butter, 3 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 T. powdered coffee dissolved in 1 T. hot water, 1 t. vanilla, 1/2 t. salt and 2 T. whole milk.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.

  2. Dissolve coffee in hot water; set aside.

  3. Sift together the cake flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt 4 times; set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until frothy; add the cream of tartar and continue beating to soft-peak stage. Add the vanilla and coffee mixture.

    Continue whisking, gradually adding 1 cup of sugar; whisk until the mixture is stiff but not dry.

  5. Sift one half of the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites; fold in lightly. Sift the other half of the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites and fold in lightly.

  6. Pour into the ungreased round tube pan.

  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

  8. While the cake is baking, make the icing.

    Cream the butter, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, coffee mixture, vanilla and salt. Add milk to make a creamy consistency. Continue beating until the icing is smooth.

  9. Remove form the oven, invert onto a funnel over a wire cooling rack and cool.

    Once cool, turn out of the pan. Ice with the Coffee Buttercream Icing.

Blue Ribbon Lemon Cake

Blue Ribbon Lemon Cake

 

Blue Ribbon Lemon Cake

Featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. "Best of Show" in the State Fair of Texas 2009 cake contest. Susan Apple Graass - Dallas, Texas

Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Cake: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 T. baking powder, 1 t. salt, 1 cup vegetable shortening, 2 cups whole milk yogurt, 2 cups sugar, 6 separated, 2 T. lemon zest

Glaze: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 6 lemon peels(leftover after juicing lemons)

Lemon curd filling: 1 t. unflavored gelatin, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/8 t.salt, 10 egg yolks, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes

Icing: 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, 1/4 to 1/3 cup Limoncello, 1 pound room temperature unsalted butter, 1 pound crisco®, 1 t. salt, 1 t. vanilla

Meringue garnish: 4 room temperature egg whites, 1/2 t. cream of tartar, 1/2 cup plus 1 T. superfine sugar, 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions

Cake: Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 3, 3 X 8-inch round cake pans, place 3, 8" parchment paper rounds in the pans; set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. In another bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, yogurt, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the cake mixture. Pour into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on racks. Invert cakes onto racks and cool completely.

Glaze: Stir water, sugar, and lemon peels in a small saucepan over medium. Heat until sugar dissolves, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and strain. Set aside.

Lemon curd filling: In a small cup, sprinkle the gelatin over 1 T. lemon juice; set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot but not boiling. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, slowly add about 1/2 to 1 cup of the hot lemon mixture to the egg yolks; whisk together. Return the egg yolk/lemon mixture to the original mixture, stirring occasionally heat until the mixture reaches 170º. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the gelatin/lemon juice mixture; blend until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the butter. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Press a plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

Meringue: Preheat oven to 200. Place a Silpatº in a jelly roll pan; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar, continue beating. Continue beating and gradually add the sugar. Beat until the whites are stiff and glossy, but not dry. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar. Spread onto the prepared pan. Bake for 2 hours or until dry but not brown. Set aside. Cool.

Icing: Add the confectioners' sugar, Limoncello, salt, and vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until thick like a pancake batter. Add the butter and shortening, continue whisking until the mixture is thick and creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Assembling the cake: Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate, brush with the glaze, spread 1/2 of the lemon curd on top, Repeat with the second cake layer. Place the third cake layer on top of the cake. Spread a generous amount of icing on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth out the icing. Break pieces of the meringue chips and decorate the top and sides of the cake with them.

Light, Airy Biscuits

Light, Airy Biscuits

For years, I have been trying out biscuit recipes and making changes to develop one that is just right . . . the result is here today.Light, Airy Biscuits

Check it out . . .

Light, Airy Biscuits

I’m serving homemade biscuits with Blackberry Jam in honor of St Michael. Today is the Feast day of St. Michael the Archangel. St Michael is known for fighting Lucifer(Satan) and driving him out of heaven, he landed on a blackberry bush. The tradition is serving blackberry jams, tarts, pies or desserts on his feast day.

Happy St Michael’s Feast day!

Light, Airy Biscuits

Light, Airy Biscuits are down-home and delicious! Ten minutes to make and ten minutes to bake.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup shortening, cut into cubes
  • 2 T. butter, melted and cooled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.

  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt; whisk together and set aside.

  3. Dissolve the baking soda in buttermilk; set aside.

  4. Cut in the shortening into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

  5. Pour the buttermilk/baking soda evenly over dry ingredients, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Careful not to over mix!

  6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured Silpatº. Pat the dough out to a 3/4" thickness.

    Dip cutter in flour.

    Cut dough straight down; do not twist cutter.

    Place biscuits on a parchment-lined or lightly oiled baking sheet.

  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. or until light golden brown.

    Brush lightly with melted butter.

Phil’s Texas Tacos

Phil’s Texas Tacos

Today, I am cooking Phil’s Texas Tacos in honor of Phil Collins. Just last night we saw him in concert at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. 

What a fantastic concert! 

Everyone know Phil Collins as a rock star. Did you know that he is also named an honorary Texan for his collection of historical artifacts?!! Last time that Phil was in Dallas, I saw him speak to the Dallas Historical Society about his Texas artifact and document collection. 

Phil wrote and published the book, “The Alamo and Beyond”. Reading through it gives much insight into the Alamo and the men who fought the battle at the old, abandoned mission in San Antonio. 

Phil’s passion for Texas history started at an early age when he watched Davy Crocket with Fess Parker. Fast forward to success, his interest in Texas history led to collecting Alamo artifacts. 

As we fix Phil’s Texas Tacos, let’s ‘Remember the Alamo’!

‘Must have’ taco equipment:

  1. The cloth tortilla warmer is made by IMUSA, purchased at Sur La Table.IMUSA

2. Taco holders purchased at Ace Mart.Taco Stands

 

Phil’s Texas Tacos

Tacos made with ground beef and Tex-Mex seasonings are the easiest dish to cook and everyone loves them!

If you in a pinch for time, substitute Taco Seasoning for the 5 spices!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pkg corn tortillas
  • 1 pkg flour tortillas

Taco toppings: 1 sliced Romaine lettuce, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 diced tomato

  • 1 jar favorite salsa

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the onion and the jalapeno until the onion begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add the seasonings – paprika, chili powder, salt , pepper, and garlic powder, continue cooking 1 minute.

  3. Add the ground beef, continue cooking mashing with a potato masher into small pieces until the pink color is gone.

  4. Add the water, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until blended.

  5. Heat the tortillas.

  6. Serve with warm tortillas, toppings, and your favorite salsa!