My mom made our Easter dessert and decided to make a Texas Sheet Cake, a recipe that was provided by a friend of hers and which made its way into our recipe books. Let me rephrase that, her coveted recipe binder. Each of my parents have made binders that my sisters and I will undoubtedly fight over some day (or make copies of) that include a ton of different recipes. One of which is this Texas Sheet Cake recipe.
Texas Sheet Cake
1 c butter
1 c water
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp almond extract
Bring butter and water to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees in a 10×15 greased pan for 20-22 minutes, until golden and the toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes, then frost with:
1/2 c butter
1/4 c milk
4 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 c nuts
Bring butter and milk to a boil. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients. Spread over warm cake.
Sometimes there are recipes from childhood that make no sense in terms of what I love today and what would be considered a positive intake of food. For me, one of these items is scalloped corn. I don’t eat very many casseroles, or corn, or crackers these days, but when I was going through an old recipe box when I came across a recipe for a Broccoli Corn Bake from “Norma” that I knew I wanted to try.
Broccoli Corn Bake
16 oz can creamed corn
1 package frozen broccoli (cooked and drained)
1 beaten egg
1/2 c saltine cracker crumbs (12 crackers)
1 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c cracker crumbs (6 crackers)
1 Tbsp butter, melted
Combine first eight ingredients — pour into a 1 quart casserole. Combine the last two ingredients. Sprinkle over the vegetables. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
This gem of a recipe came from the mysterious box of recipes, that the spiced apple jello came from last month. When my parents were driving through on the way to my sister’s house last month, this seemed like a great way to add a little gelatin/protein to our meal in a way that was fun and unexpected. My dad loves lime jello with pears, and this seemed like a possible comparable jello salad.
Ginger Ale Salad
2 pkgs lemon jello
1 cup boiling water
3 c ginger ale
1 c nut meats, ground fine
1 c pineapple tidbits
1 c grapefruit sections, white grapes, or cherries
1 c orange sections (cut)
3 Tbsp crystallized ginger
Dissolve the jello in the boiling water. When cool, add the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with watercress greens
With autumn in full swing and the orchards of the area full of apples, it was time to return to the recipe box of questionably delicious recipes to find something to use these fresh apples. A lot of us think of fresh salads and apple pies when we start to get excited about what fall has to offer. I also turn to Curry Squash Soup and other Oktoberfest-related items. However, today I found myself drawn to a section of the recipe box labeled “Molds.”
Don’t worry. This section did not focus on fungi and mushrooms and the things that grown in the back of the refrigerator. But, for some folks, this section would be equally problematic. This section is all about the jello mold. It’s absolutely a sign of the times in which this recipe box was filled with food.
The spiced molded apple salad was tied to a couple other recipes and clipped from a newspaper, although the clipping didn’t indicate which newspaper or provide a date. The other two recipes on the page were: apple salad bowl and cinnamon candy salad. Both have promise and may find their way on the page at some point. But, the opportunity to make a jello salad was too exciting to pass up today.
As I was digging through the recipe box, I was searching through the “Cookies and Cakes” section to find the appropriate treat to bring to some colleagues at work and came across this recipe for Honey Mounds, which according to the notation, was first placed in Woman’s Day Christmas Issue in 1963. While the article calls for the baker to use red and green sprinkles, I had to show a little school pride and use purple sprinkles!
The note on the recipe card stated, “rather a chewy cookie with good honey flavor.” After I tasted them, I have to agree that this is an apt-description.
I was surprised at how little they spread when baking. Mounds is a really perfect description for them. Had I known this, I might have made the cookies a little smaller. But, the folks I brought them to at work thought they tasted great, so the recipe is definitely worth keeping around.
1/3 c soft butter or margarine
1/3 c sugar
2/3 c honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter, sugar, egg, and honey. Add vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Chill. Roll into 1″ balls. Then roll in sprinkles. Place on cookie sheet and make in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.
Looking for a recipe in the box of recipes I mentioned a few weeks ago, I found this recipe for Carrots Vinaigrette. Baby carrots were on sale, so I modified the recipe slightly and decided to move forward with it. I’m not generally a fan of cooked carrots, but I am a fan of checking out different cooked carrot recipes to try and find the magic recipe that will help me on board. This one turned out fine. I don’t know if it’s a keeper, but it’s one that I was fine serving to the director of civic engagement and her partner.
This year’s garden harvest has included a number of cucumbers, and coming up will be some great acorn squash, brussels sprouts, and other yummy vegetables. One Saturday, as I was picking up ground cherries and cucumbers, I spotted a rogue zucchini. It was HUGE. Literally, the size of a small child.
After a zucchini gets to be about 10 inches long, my belief is that it is only good for baking. So, I embarked upon recipes for baking. I made my favorite, Carrot Zucchini Cake, and then was scouring cookbooks and other recipes, looking for the perfect zucchini recipe.
A friend of mine had purchased a cool-looking recipe box, filled with recipes.
As I was paging through the recipes, looking to see what delights were in there (a lot of molded gelatin concoctions), I came across this recipe for Zucchini Bread:
Doesn’t this recipe scream to be baked? Especially if I had all needed ingredients in the house? So, I went to town, making this twice, in addition to the cake, and finally used up all of the edible portions of the zucchini. Then, of course, I brought them into work to share with my coworkers.