Southern Living’s Coconut-Almond Cream Cake for Christmas…

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, December 07, 2008
Coconut-Almond Cream Cake from Southern Living

Prep: 30 min.; Bake: 47 min.; Cool: 1 hr., 10 min.

Brooks makes this cake with the precision of a skilled baker who has made his masterpiece many times. If the tops of the layers are a little rounded, he recommends leveling them with a serrated knife. This is a tall cake, he says, and it needs to be level if you want your friends to admire your work before they devour the cake--as they absolutely will.


Makes 12 servings


  • 2  cups  sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2  cup  sliced almonds
  • Parchment paper
  • 3 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  tablespoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/2  cups  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4  cups  granulated sugar
  • 1  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5  large eggs
  • 1  cup  whipping cream
  • 1/3  cup  coconut milk
  • 1  tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  tablespoon  almond extract
  • Coconut-Almond Filling
  • Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Garnishes: kumquats, currants, fresh mint sprigs


1. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 minutes. Place almonds in a single layer in another shallow pan; bake, with coconut, 7 to 9 minutes or until almonds are fragrant and coconut is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

2. Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl.

4. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until blended. Beat 8 minutes or until very fluffy, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (about 30 seconds per egg). Stir in whipping cream and next 3 ingredients.

5. Gently fold butter mixture into flour mixture, in batches, just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

6. Bake at 325° for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

7. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread half of chilled Coconut-Almond Filling over cake layer. Top with 1 layer, pressing down gently. Repeat procedure with remaining half of Coconut-Almond Filling and remaining cake layer.

8. Gently spread Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Press toasted coconut onto sides of cake; sprinkle toasted almonds on top. Garnish, if desired.

Source:  Brooks Hamaker, New Orleans, Louisiana, Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2008

Knit and purl.....

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, December 02, 2008

My buddy V is a great knitter.  I've wanted to knit forever, tried it a couple of years ago, but the timing was off, decided to try it again, bought some soft, fuzzy yarn, fired up my computer, went to you tube, found a left handed knitting tutorial.  Well, it looks so easy, NOT!  Decided I had the wrong kind of yarn, so I was off to Wally World for some plain, generic non fuzzy yarn and bigger needles, by the time I got back I was too tired to knit.

V has already told me she would knit my scarves if I can't figure it out.  I used to be a great crafter, and I crocheted afghans in my twenties, but duh, that was years and years ago...  Surely I can do this, surely I can..

Stella is trying to get her groove back here, after being gone, I have to get those Christmas recipes published - V gave me a new one today for Snowy Trail Mix to add to the collection.  And Lindsay found a recipe for an Orange Cranberry Cheesecake, she wants me to try for Christmas.

Those Cranberry Bliss Bars were so good, it makes us want to try other orange/cranberry things as well.  Scones and muffins sound good, too.

And speaking of food, do you know that I ate my entire birthday cake over the course of the week?  I did, except for one last piece!  And I wish I had ate that!  Dilly is a great little baker, and I hadn't had homemade German Chocolate Cake for years.  And what did the scales say when I got home?  Oh yeah, Miss Piggy here gained 3 lbs.  And let me tell you, it was worth every friggin' pound.  So now I'm back on that horrid Atkins program, which I detest with a purple passion.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted...

Rattlesnake Pasta

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, December 01, 2008

1 pound linguine - bow tie pasta works great with this, it's easier to eat than the linguine

8 TBS Butter
2 TBS Flour
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese

Approximately 4 cups of a mixture of half and half and heavy (whipping)cream. Play with it until you get the right consistency, it should be like Alfredo Sauce.

2 TBS Lime Juice
1 Red Pepper, julienned
1 Yellow Pepper, julienned
2 Anaheim Peppers, chopped
2 TBS red onions diced
2 TBS Green Onions Sliced
2 Tsp minced Garlic
10 Ounces Grilled Chicken breast, sliced (you can also use sauteed chicken breast, or even a cooked rotisserie chicken from the deli)
2 TBS cilantro, julienned

Rattlesnake seasoning
1 TBS cumin
1tsp red pepper
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp onion powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tsp salt

Melt 2 TBS of the butter in a sauté pan over low to medium heat. Add 2 heaping TBS of flour and work with a wire whisk into a white roux. Be careful not to brown the flour.

Work in the remaining 6 TBS of butter and slowly add the half and half/cream, a cup at at a time, continuing to whisk and incorporating the ingredients over medium heat. When all the cream is incorporated, add ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese and continue to whisk. The sauce should have a light consistency and coat the back of a spoon.

Add Rattlesnake seasoning. Recipe is best if you double the seasonings, it's really spicy and hot that way.

Combine the chicken, lime juice, peppers, onions and garlic and continue to sauté over medium heat until all ingredients are hot and sauce is a creamy consistency

Cook linguini al dente. Place the pasta in sauce and toss thoroughly.

Garnish the top of the pasta with smoked mozzarella and cilantro.

This is a huge recipe, serves 6-8, can be cut in half.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, November 15, 2008

4 tablespoons sweet butter, very soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated (optional)
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (If using frozen, thaw first)

12 tablespoons sweet butter, very soft
7/8 cup white sugar (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
1 large egg yolk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place 4 tablespoons of butter in a 9 inch cake pan. (The pan should have at least a 2 1/2 inch rim.) Place the pan in heated oven for 4 to 5 minutes until the butter is fully melted. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest (optional). Spread the sugar mixture evenly across the bottom of the cake pan. Spread out the cranberries in an even layer over the butter and sugar mix.
3. To make the cake, begin by using a wooden spoon to cream together the butter, sugar and egg yolk for about 30 seconds. Switching over to a whisk, stir in the eggs one at a time. Continue to whisk another minute until the sugar crystals dissolve. Whisk in the vanilla extract, salt and sour cream.
4. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Whisk everything together until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
5. Pour the batter over the cranberries and bake for 50 to 65 minutes. When done, the center of the cake should be dry to the touch and spring back when lightly poked.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes (no longer as the bottom begins to set as it cools).
7. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Invert cake onto a serving plate and remove pan. Let it rest an additional 15 minutes before serving.
8. Best served warm.  

Source:  RecipeZaar

Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, November 03, 2008

Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings

2 cans crescent rolls. I used Pillsbury 8 count cans in original flavor
2 apples.
2 sticks butter. 2 cups sugar.
2 tsp. cinnamon.
1 can Mountain Dew.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Core, peel and slice apples.
Wrap each in a crescent triangle. I basically just tried my best to get every inch of the apple covered by the dough.
Line up in a 9x13 inch pan.
Melt butter, cinnamon, and sugar together. I just nuked the butter and then stirred in the sugar and cinnamon until it had a pretty smooth, pourable consistency.
Pour the Mountain Dew around the edge of the pan.
Bake 45 minutes.
Eat warm with a scoop of vanilla or butter pecan ice cream

~ Awesome Dessert ~
~ Jan

Smoky Bacon-Biscuit Dressing

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 30, 2008

Smoky Bacon-Biscuit Dressing

In this savory dressing, homemade cream biscuits stand in for the traditional bread, while crispy bacon adds delicious smoky flavor. For the biscuit recipe, click on the link at left.


Twelve 4-inch cream biscuits, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

1 lb. sliced smoky bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 yellow onions, diced

5 celery stalks, diced

8 oz. white button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage

2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

5 cups chicken stock


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.
Spread the biscuits out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.
In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 3 Tbs. of the fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms, parsley, sage and thyme and cook until the celery is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the bacon to the bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the biscuits and stock and stir to combine.
Transfer the dressing to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the dressing is lightly browned, about 20 minutes more. Serves 10.


Cream Biscuits

Delicious on their own, these biscuits can also be transformed into a savory dressing that makes a wonderful accompaniment to roast turkey (see related recipe at left).


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. sugar

2 1/2 cups heavy cream


Preheat an oven to 425°F.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the cream and stir until no lumps remain.
For each biscuit, drop 1/4 cup batter onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing the biscuits about 1 inch apart. Bake until the tops of the biscuits are pale golden and the bottoms are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Turtle Trifle

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 26, 2008

Trish’s friend sent this recipe, a friend of hers made it, she says it’s the most requested recipe she’s ever made.

Oh my, talk about decadent, but I bet it is AMAZING!!!!!  Would this be great for Thanksgiving, or what???

~ jan Trifle
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. bowl Cool Whip
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 frozen (Wick’s Pecan Pie) or homeade pecan pie cut into 1/2" cubes
1/3 C chocolate fudge ice cream topping
1/3 C caramel icre cream topping
1/2 C chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Fold in Cool Whip and vanilla.  Place 1/2 of pie cubes in bottom of bowl or pan.  Drizzle with 1/2 of the ice cream toppings and sprinkle with 1/2 of the pecans, if desired.  Cover with half of the Cool Whip mixture.  Repeat layers using all ingredients.  Chill & cover.

For this dinner, she had made this in a 9x13 pan, but I'm sure you could make it in any kind of bowl or container since it doesn't have to be heated or baked.  It  looks great in the pedestal bowl pictured above.

I Googled this recipe, and apparently the above is an adaptation of the original, as the original calls for marscapone cheese and real whipping cream.  The above recipe is easier, but if you want the authentic recipe, as Southern Living published it, here it is…


  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened (you can substitute an 8 oz package of cream cheese here if you want) .
  • 2 lbs frozen pecan pie, thawed & cut into 1-inch cubes .
  • 1/3 c chocolate fudge topping .
  • 1 1/2 c whipping cream .
  • 1/2 c sliced pecans, toasted (optional) .
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract .
  • 1/3 c caramel topping
  • Step #1 Beat mascarpone cheese, & vanilla extract In a large-ish bowl at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whipping cream, 2 to 3 mins or until smooth & firm.
  • Step #2 Place half of pie cubes in bottom of a 4-quart trifle dish or tall, clear 4-quart glass bowl.
  • Step #3 Spread half of whipped cream mixture over pie cubes.
  • Step #4 Drizzle with half each of chocolate fudge topping & caramel topping.
  • Step #5 (You might need to zap the fudge & caramel topping in the microwave for 15-25 seconds to get them to drizzling consistency).
  • Step #6 Sprinkle top with half of sliced pecans.
  • Step #7 Repeat layers.
  • Step #8 Cover up & chill at least 1 hr & up to 8 hrs.
  • Step #9 **Cook time does not include toasting the pecans, defrosting the pie, or refrigeration time.

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats with Candied Peanuts from David Lebovitz's site...

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 09, 2008

Adapted from the Kellogg's original recipe

Surprisingly, white chocolate marries perfectly with Rice Krispies and marshmallows and I never make a batch without melting in a few squares. Using salted butter adds a slight dose of salt, as do the salt-flecked candied peanuts. If you wish, substitute dry-roasted peanuts, preferably salted, for the candied nuts, or another toasted or candied nut.

I also find snipping the marshmallows in two helps them melt quicker. Or use mini-marshmallows, if you have them.

3 tablespoons (45g) salted butter
3 1/2 ounces (100g) white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (100g) candied peanuts
10 ounce (300gr) bag marshmallows, snipped in half
6 cups (200g) Rice Krispies

1. Spray or lightly-oil a 13 x 9-inch (approx 30 x 22cm) rectangular pan.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the white chocolate and stir until melted.

3. Add the marshmallows and stir constantly over the heat until completely melted. (If they start to scorch on the bottom, remove from heat and continue to stir, placing the pan back on the heat occasionally, stirring until smooth.

4. Remove from heat and add the candied peanuts and Rick Krispies until well combined. A rubber spatula or flexible pastry scraper works best.

5. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Let cool.

Serving and storage: Cut into neat bars or squares with a sharp knife. These are best enjoyed the day they're made, although they can be covered snugly with a sheet of aluminum foil and stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Source :David Lebovitz

Peach Crumble from Cooks Illustrated

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 07, 2008

Add the lemon juice to taste in step 2 according to the sweetness of your peaches. If ripe peaches are unavailable, you can substitute five 10-ounce bags of frozen peaches, thawed overnight in the refrigerator. The topping can be baked ahead of time, as directed in step 3, then cooled and stored in an airtight container. As directed in step 4, sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and continue to bake.
3 1/2 pounds ripe but firm peaches (6 to 7 medium), peeled and pitted; each peach halved and cut into 3/4-inch wedges (about 6 1/2 cups prepared peaches)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 1/3 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
3-5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (see note above)
Pinch table salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (1 3/4 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark), 1 3/4 ounces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 6 pieces and very soft
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1. Adjust oven racks to lower and middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. FOR THE FILLING: Gently toss peaches and sugar together in large bowl; let stand for 30 minutes, tossing several times. Drain peaches in colander set over large bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup drained peach juice, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in small bowl; discard excess peach juice. Toss juice mixture with peaches and transfer to 8-inch-square glass baking dish.
3. FOR THE TOPPING: While peaches are macerating, combine flour, sugars (reserving 1 tablespoon granulated sugar), and salt in workbowl of food processor; drizzle vanilla over top. Pulse to combine mixture, about five 1-second pulses. Add butter and half of nuts; process until mixture clumps together into large, crumbly balls, about 30 seconds, pausing halfway through to scrape down sides of workbowl. Sprinkle remaining nuts over mixture and combine with two quick pulses. Transfer mixture to parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into even layer (mixture should break up into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with some smaller, loose bits). Bake on middle rack until chunks are lightly browned and firm, 18 to 22 minutes.
4. TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Grasping edges of parchment paper (following "Transferring the Baked Crumble" illustrations 1 and 2 below), slide topping over peaches and spread into even layer with spatula, packing down lightly and breaking up any very large pieces. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon sugar over top and place on lower oven rack. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake until well browned and fruit is bubbling around edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes; serve.
1. After crumble is baked, lift short sides of parchment paper. (Crumble will break apart into uneven 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces.)
2. Carefully slide broken crumble pieces onto peaches or apples, spreading into even layer with spatula.
STEP BY STEP: Overhauling Ho-Hum Peach Crumble
Problem: Bland peaches
Solution: Macerating the fruit in sugar and draining off excess juices helps to concentrate the peach flavor.
Problem: Soggy topping
Solution: Baking the topping separately before sliding it onto the fruit filling keeps it crumbly and crisp.

Here is a lighter version of this recipe -

1 cup rolled oats
1/4 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 T unsalted butter, melted
pinch of cinnamon

Mix the above together, toast in the oven as called for in the CI recipe and follow the CI recipe for the filling and combining the filling and topping.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

Peanut Butter Cupcake Cookies

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, August 31, 2008



Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

    * 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    * 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    * 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    * 1 1/3 cups sugar
    * 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
    * 3 large eggs
    * 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    * 1/2 cup sour cream
    * 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    * 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for decorating
    * 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    * 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter


   1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 3 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
   2. Make the cupcakes: Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Mix in peanut butter. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Mix in sour cream.
   3. Spoon scant 3 tablespoons batter into each muffin cup. Bake until pale golden and a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 13 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely.
   4. Make the frosting: Put cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and butter into the clean bowl of a mixer fitted with the clean paddle attachment; mix on medium- high speed until pale and fluffy. Stir in peanut butter with a rubber spatula.
   5. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons frosting onto each cupcake. Refrigerate until frosting is firm, about 10 minutes. Using tines of a fork dipped in confectioners' sugar, score each top in a crosshatch pattern. Cupcakes can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 2 days.

Source:  Martha Stewart Living

WOW, What a recipe!!!

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, August 27, 2008

This was in my inbox today, from Lynne Rossetto Casper at Splendid Table, does this look amazing or what???

~ jan

Prime tomatoes green and red, a great old fashioned dressing and a slick trick with, of all things, cream cheese gives this old time dish new panache. Tomatoes were made for this treatment, but know the dressing is fine on green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, steamed butternut, fish, meat, chicken and anything else you can pair with it.

Okay, so this is a tad over the top, but you could eat this as a one dish supper, then serve it as a side at the Labor Day feast.No meat, great taste -- can't ask for more than this.

Old Time Sweet-Sour Tomato Salad with Fresh Dill Cheese
Copyright 2008 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Serves 4 to 6
10 minutes prep time; 5 minutes stove time.

Straight from 19th-century American cookbooks, these big chunks of green tomatoes and ripe beefsteaks bathed in a warm, garlicky sweet-sour dressing can stand on their own, top greens or make a potato-tomato salad you can't stop eating. Bacon fat was favored in this recipe 150 years ago; olive oil works today.

My pet theory of sweet-and-sour being a universal panacea for any dish proved true when we tested this recipe with so-so red winter tomatoes.

From the same era is the idea of rolling cream cheese (homemade back then) in fresh herbs. Dropped on top of the salad, the bright green little balls are a great accent.

Cook to Cook: The dressing can be prepared up to a week ahead up to the point of adding the vinegar and refrigerated. The oil should be warm, but not hot, when the vinegar goes in; that way you won't get spattered, nor will you burn your tongue when you taste it for seasoning.

Serve the salad immediately after dressing.


  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, but preferably use bacon fat
  • 1 medium red onion, thin sliced lengthwise into long strips
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper as needed
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thin sliced
  • 2 tight-packed tablespoons brown sugar

Dill Cheese:

  • 1/4 cup tight-packed fresh dill leaves
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • 2 to 3 large, delicious, ripe tomatoes (1-1/2 to 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 medium green tomatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 light-packed cup coarse-chopped fresh dill leaves

Make the dressing by pouring the cider into a small saucepan and boiling down to about 1/2 cup - 5 minutes more or less. Set aside.

In a 10-inch skillet set over medium heat, warm the olive oil or bacon fat. Stir in the onions, sprinkling them with a little salt and a generous amount of pepper. Saute for a minute or until the onion is softened, but not browned. Stir in garlic and cook another 30 seconds to a minute. You want to soften the garlic, but not brown it. Pull the pan off the heat and blend in the sugar to melt it. (You can set the dressing aside at this point for several hours, or refrigerate it up to a week.) Make the dill cheese by chopping the 1/4 cup dill, blending the cream cheese with the onion and salt and pepper, then creating small balls with 2 teaspoons.Roll the balls in the dill. Chill until ready to serve.

To serve, put the tomatoes into a large serving bowl. When you are ready to serve, warm up the onion mixture if needed - it should be warm, not hot. Pull the pan off the heat, stir in the boiled-down vinegar and any liquid from the tomatoes. Carefully (dressing could be quite hot) taste for seasoning and sweet-tart balance.

Pour it over the tomatoes, folding in the dill. If you made the salad with olive oil dressing, serve it warm or at room temperature. If bacon fat was used in the dressing, it's best to eat it warm. Then dot the salad with the dill cheese.


Make extra dressing; you will use it up for homemade coleslaw, cooked yams, broccoli, shrimp or salmon salads.

When delicious, ripe heirloom tomatoes are at farm markets, snap them up for this salad. It's a great chance to try different varieties.

If you can find fresh cream cheese without gums or stabilizers buy it.You'll taste the difference.

Nisha's Peach Cobbler

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, August 19, 2008
Peel and slice four cups of peaches, mix with 3/4 cup sugar and let stand on counter for two hours, so that peaches can absorb sugar and make juice.

Then whisk together:

1 cup flour
pinch salt
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Then add to the flour/salt and baking powder:

1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Stir to combine and make batter.

In bottom of 9x13 pan melt 1 stick butter. Then using a large spoon place large dollops of batter over the butter in the pan. Then pour your peach/sugar mixture on top of the batter.


Bake 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until browned and bubbly.

Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves This is a tried and true recipe, girlfriends, I think it sounds amazing… ~ jan

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, August 06, 2008

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mild cheddar cheese

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp. salt

1 # lean ground beef

2/3 cup ketchup

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2  tsp. mustard

In bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion, and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 8 loaves; place in a greased 9x13 pan or baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink or 160.

Source:  Judy C.

Nashville Fruit Tea

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 28, 2008
Fruit Tea is quite a hit in Nashville especially during the "tea season" of honoring brides to be, graduates, etc.

I'm posting a couple of recipes for it, let me know which one works for you.  ~ jan

4 tea bags
1 cup sugar
12 ounces pineapple frozen concentrate
1//4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 ounces orange juice, from frozen concentrate
9 cups water

Steep 4 family size tea bags in 1 qt water (get to boiling point). Let stand 5 minutes. Remove bags. Add sugar, lemonade, orange juice, and water. Makes 1 gal.

Note:  I made this and it tastes EXACTLY like HRH Dumplin Fruit Tea.  - be sure and steep the tea bags in 1 quart of water - Then ADD AN ADDITIONAL 9 CUPS OF WATER when you mix it all together.  It keeps several days in the fridge - it's a great recipe!  I'm going to make it with Splenda next time to cut down the calories.

~ jan



3 cups boiling water

3 family-size tea bags

1 cup sugar (less if you do not like it as sweet)

4 cups cold water

1 cup orange juice

1 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

Pour 3 cups of boiling water over tea bags. Cover and steep five minutes. Remove and discard tea bags.

Stir in sugar until dissolved. Stir in four cups cold water and juices. Serve over ice.

Makes 2 quarts, about 10 servings.


by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 12, 2008

You would be hard-pressed to find something more refreshing than watermelon. This cooler is easy to make, beautiful to behold, and not too sweet. You'll want a pitcher of it in the refrigerator all summer.

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 30 min

Servings: Makes 1 gallon (serves 16)



1 (12-lb) watermelon (preferably seedless)
1/4 cup sugar, divided
4 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided
16 cups ice cubes, divided

Garnish: lemon slices; mint sprigs

Cut watermelon flesh into 2-inch chunks and discard rind. Purée one fourth of watermelon in a blender with 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 4 cups ice, and a pinch of salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. Make 3 more batches. Add sugar to taste if desired and serve over ice.

Cooks' note: Watermelonade can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Drink will separate; re-blend before serving.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 11, 2008


For each cookie, use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to scoop out and level dough before dropping
onto baking sheet.


Makes 16

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined; mix in vanilla.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just incorporated. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop 1/4-cup mounds of dough onto ungreased baking sheets, at least 4 inches apart and away from edges of pan. (You will fit about 4 cookies to a sheet; bake in two batches, using two baking sheets per batch.) Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets front to back and from top to bottom of oven halfway through.
  5. Cool 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Source:  Martha Stewart

Miss Daisy's State Fair Prize Winning Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 07, 2008
Miss Daisy's Tea Room was a fixture in Franklin, Tennessee for years. This is one of her recipes. It was a state fair prize winning recipe, and is the best peach cobbler, EVER. It has a top lattice crust, and you poke strips of dough down into the peaches to making dumplings. We've made it for years. ~ jan Filling: 8 or 9 peaches, peeled and slices 1/2 cup water 1-1/2 cups sugar 2 tablespoons self-rising flour pinch of salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted Cook peaches briefly in water until bubbly and tender. In separate bowl, mix flour salt and sugar, whisk to combine. Add to cooked peaches and tir. Then add melted butter. Pastry for Cobbler: 1 cup self-rising flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup shortening 4 tablespoons sweet milk or enough to make a stiff dough (I use fat free half and half) Blend flour, salt and shortening to coarse meal texture. Add milk. Roll thinl into oblong shape on floured surface. (I pulse this on and off to blend in the cuisinart, then add milk and stir, works great and it's eay). Using a pizza cutter, and a ruler to guide you, cut the dough into long strips. Take almost half the strips, and cut them into small pieces, about 1-2 inches long. Pour half the peaches in a 8x12 pan, push the cut dough pieces into the peach liquid, then add the rest of the peaches, and make a lattice top with the remaining dough. If you have leftover dough, you can poke more of it between the lattice top into the cobbler. Sprinkle with sugar, and bake in 350 oven 45-55 minutes or until top is golden brown and peaches are bubbly.

Miracle Whip Cake with Caramel Frosting

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, June 14, 2008

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa
dash salt
1 cup cold water
1 cup Miracle Whip.

Combine dry ingredients, whisk together water and Miracle whip and stir by hand into the dry ingredients.

Bake at 350 degrees in 9x11 inch pan, approximately 25-28 minutes. I undercook it just a bit so it isn't dry.

Note: Don't make this in a 9x13 pan, cake will be too thin, you need to do it in a 8.5x11 or a 9x11.

Caramel Frosting

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar - you can use either light or dark brown, i prefer the dark brown as it gives it a richer flavor, but either light or dark work great.

Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes

Stir in 1/4 cup half and half, bring to boil.

Pour into KitchenAid bowl if you have a stand mixer, put in the whisk attachment, add 2 cups powdered sugar and whisk until it is lukewarm and smooth.

Frost the cooled cake.

It's better the next day - totally moist after it sits, covered overnight.

Expresso Biscuits

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, May 15, 2008

from Martha Stewart...


Makes 16

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees with two racks spaced evenly apart. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together flour, cocoa, and espresso beans; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, scraping down sides of bowl twice.
  3. Roll 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough between the palms of your hand to form a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining batter, spacing cookies two inches apart. Using a dinner fork, press tines into dough, and gently press into biscuit shape. Bake biscuits just until firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve these dessert biscuits with coffee ice cream.

Sweet Potato Salad

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, March 28, 2008
I recently had a to-die-for sweet potato salad at Maxine's a local lunch girl place in Heavensville. Their version had roasted sweet potatoes, walnuts, dried cranberries, in a sweet vinagrette, perhaps with honey and/or balsalmic vinegar. I couldn't find a similar recipe, but the chef's at Finer Kitchen's steered me on this one - it got great reviews. It's from Sara's Kitchen on Food TV.

Sweet Potato Salad:
4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup raw green pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped scallions (green and white)
1 cup julienned roasted red pepper

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup mango chutney
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil

Make the Salad: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a roasting pan, combine the potatoes, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper, cumin and ginger. Stir to combine and bake until the potatoes are fork-tender and golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring, until toasted. Transfer the seeds to a plate and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, scallions, and red pepper and set aside.

Make the Dressing: Prepare the dressing by combining all the ingredients (except for the olive oil) in a small saucepan and heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the olive oil.
Assemble salad by gently tossing the roasted potatoes with the red pepper mixture. Add enough of the dressing to coat and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with extra dressing on the side.


by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, March 16, 2008
4 irish potatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
chopped green onion
1 c milk
4 T butter
salt & pepper

In a medium pot, boil the potatoes. Meanwhile, combine milk, cabbage, onion, half the butter, salt and pepper into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cabbage is soft, about 15 minutes. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain well and add to the cabbage mixture. Mash with a potato masher, adding in remaining butter and more salt & pepper to taste.

This has been a family favorite for years. I like it with porkchops, but then I like anything with porkchops.

~ jan

Auntie Em's Coconut Cupcakes from the L.A. Times Food Section

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, March 09, 2008
Dear SOS: Whenever I get out to L.A., I have to stop at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock for a cupcake fix -- specifically, for a coconut cupcake with coconut cream cheese frosting. It's a miracle of a baked good. Do you think you could get the recipe for a Bostonite who's stuck on the East Coast dreaming of this confection?

-- Jenny Sawyer, Boston
Cupcake recipe: A recipe for Auntie Em's coconut cupcakes in Wednesday's Food section indicated that 1 3/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut should be divided. Instead, all of it should be used for the batter. —

Dear Jenny: This billowy coconut cupcake is pretty irresistible. The cake has a hint of almond and a light buttermilk tang. There's tender, shredded coconut baked into the cake too. And the frosting -- it's a cream cheese frosting with butter mixed in, airy and creamy both, finished with a sprinkling of more shredded coconut on top. This one's for you, Bostonites.

Auntie Em's coconut cupcakes

Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time for the cupcakes

Servings: Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes

Note: Adapted from Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock.

2 1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut, plus extra for decorating the frosted cupcakes

1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, at room temperature

3 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Separately, in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, the almond extract and sugar. Using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, on low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until smooth, careful not to overmix. Gently fold in the coconut.

2. Place 18 paper muffin cups into muffin tins. Fill each cup with a generous one-fourth cup of batter, so that it comes three-fourths up the side of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a rack and allow to cool completely.

3. For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the butter and continue mixing on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the bowl again. Add the powdered sugar in three additions at low speed, mixing each addition until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again. Add the remaining teaspoon vanilla and mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. Frost each cupcake with 3 tablespoons frosting and sprinkle with extra shredded coconut. The cupcakes will keep for 2 days.

Each serving: 475 calories; 4 grams protein; 55 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 27 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 66 mg. cholesterol; 288 mg. sodium.

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 19, 2008

Lemon-Poppyseed Pancakes

These pancakes are a nice change from the standard pancake. They are the perfect treat for a lazy Sunday morning.

Serves 4

1 cup buttermilk
4 eggs separated
1 cup flour
dash salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds

Beat together buttermilk and egg yolks until well-blended. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda into the milk-yolk mixture. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, along with the lemon zest and juice, and the poppyseeds. The egg whites should be blended, but somewhat distinct from the rest of the batter.

On a nonstick griddle, or large pan, lightly greased with butter or oil if necessary and heated to medium, add the batter by 1/2 cup ladlefuls. Cook until lightly brown on the bottom, and bubbles begin to rise to the top, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook until brown on the second side.

Pancakes can remain in a warm oven until ready to serve, but then should be eaten immediately. Sprinkle pancakes with additional poppyseeds if you like, and serve with pure maple syrup.

Jicama Slaw

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 17, 2008

I've never eaten a Jicama, but Nisha is a big fan of them, and she was really interested in this recipe I saw Sandra Lee making on FoodTV.

I must admit, I'm really intrigued with it, also, so I'm going to give it a try. Mandarin oranges, mayo, sounds good to me -

If you, too, are unfamiliar with Jicama, it supposedly has a flavor similar to some varieties of apples.

~ jan

1 medium jicama, shredded on your box grater
2 cups (1 bag) prepackaged angel hair cole slaw
1 (11-ounce) can Mandarin orange segments, drained, 1/4 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 red onion, minced into small dice

Add cole slaw, onion and Mandarin orange segments to grated Jicama; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together reserved Mandarin juice, mayonnaise, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Pour dressing over jicama mixture. Toss to mix thoroughly.

Serve immediately.

Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake + Variations

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 17, 2008

I was watching Paula Deen on QVC this evening, and she was selling her Ooey Gooey Butter Cake for $29 - it's the original cake that she started baking when she started her restaurant. So I Googled it for all of you, found it right away - here it is, with all variations - a great Easter dessert.

~ jan

Note:  A lot of you find this this page thru Google.  If you click here, it will take you to my home page, lots and lots of yummy recipes to browse.  Pinky swear, it's worth the click. ~ jan

Butter Gooey Cakes. Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes. Ooey Booey Gooey Cakes. These are just a few of
the names I've heard our guests at The Lady & Sons call 'em. But to quote Shakespeare:

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

This is exactly how I feel about our Gooey Butter Cakes. No matter what you call them, they're like that sweet rose that Shakespeare wrote about. These delectable cakes were an instant hit the first day they showed up in The Bag Lady basket and they immediately became one of my most requested items. These little sweeties actually resemble a bar-type dessert instead of what we know as a traditional cake. Over the years, I have made every flavor imaginable, using this basic recipe. I'll give you some of my recommendations but by all means experiment and have fun creating your very own version of our signature Gooey Butter Cakes.

  • Cake
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • Filling
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside.
  3. Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump in confectioners' sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time, because oven temperatures can vary. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't bake it past that point!
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Just remember that these wonderful little cakes are very, very rich, and a little will go a long way-even for piggies like me!

Pumpkin Gooey: This variation has to be at the top of my list, especially around Thanksgiving. For the cake part, I sometimes use a spice cake mix. I have even used a chocolate cake mix, but I think my favorite is the basic yellow cake mix. Follow the original recipe, adding a 15-ounce can of pumpkin pie filling and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Bake as usual, remove from oven, and allow to cool. Cut into squares and top each square with a pecan half. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. I promise you'll never want pumpkin pie again!

Pineapple Gooey: Add a 20-ounce can of drained crushed pineapple and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

Lemon Gooey: Use a lemon cake mix in place of the yellow cake. Add the juice (approximately 1/4 cup) and zest of 2 lemons to the cream cheese filling. Proceed: as directed above.

Carrot Cake Gooey: Use a spice cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 1/2 cup finely grated carrots to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

Peanut Butter Gooey: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and an extra egg to cream cheese filling. You can sprinkle the top of batter with 1 cup chopped peanuts if you like. Proceed as directed above.

Chocolate Chip Gooey: Use either yellow or chocolate cake mix. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of filling. Proceed as directed above.

Banana Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix. Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas and an extra egg. Proceed as directed above.

Nutty Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts to the cake mixture. Proceed as directed above.

Chippy Gooey: Stir 1 cup white chocolate chips, peanut butter chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, Heath Almond Toffee Bits or Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits into filling. Proceed as directed above.


I sell wonderful aprons, I especially like the cobbler style shown below.  It covers a multitude of sins, and comes in great colors, too.  I also have bistro aprons, bar and bib aprons, Chef’s clothes and accessories.  You can view the entire collection by clicking here.

~ jan


Lemon upside-down cake

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 04, 2008
This recipe was one of L.A. Food Times 10 Best Recipes for 2007 - sounds good to me, I'm a lemon FREAK.... I love anything lemon.

AND, since I'm pretty lazy these days when it comes to cooking and take all the shortcuts I can, I probably would just use a lemon cake mix and add a teaspoon of lemon extract to the batter, then proceed with the topping.

That's what I do with pineapple-upside-down cake - I use a pineapple cake mix, the juice from the can of pineapple and add the teaspoon of pineapple extract - then all I have to do is add the butter/brown sugar and pineapple to the bottom of the pan. It works great, just ask Hooterville. She just ADORES it, especially when "Leddy" makes it for her.

~ jan

Note: A marmalade-like top (or is it bottom?) with overlapping slices of lemons make this upside-down cake recipe from Donna Deane a standout. It's from a March 14 article about baking with lemons by Deane and Susan LaTempa. It may be served with a lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

4 small lemons (about 4 ounces each)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (1 1/4 sticks), divided
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1. Cut 3 of the lemons into one-eighth-inch thick slices. Remove seeds and set aside. You will have about 30 lemon slices. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon peel from the remaining lemon. Set aside the grated peel; save the lemon for another use.

2. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an ovenproof 10-inch saute pan until melted. Brush the sides of the skillet with a little of the melted butter. Add the brown sugar, stir until it is moistened with the butter and spread it into an even layer. Arrange the lemon slices, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom of the skillet. Set aside.

3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

4. Cut the remaining 6 tablespoons butter into a mixing bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the point of a knife onto the butter. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until creamy. Add the sugar and grated lemon peel and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

5. Add half the flour mixture and beat until blended. Add milk and beat until combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until blended.

6. Spread the batter over the lemons in the skillet to cover evenly. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the center tests done. Let the cake stand 5 minutes, then invert the skillet onto a platter. To serve, slice into wedges with a sharp knife.

Each serving: 498 calories; 5 grams protein; 62 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 28 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 122 mg. cholesterol; 274 mg. sodium.

Coconut Banana Cream Pie with Coconut Crust

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 03, 2008
I've made this pie, and it is SO good, and SO different, with the coconut crust. Give it a try, ladies, it's a winner...

~ jan

Crust Ingredients:
(7-ounce) package (2 2/3 cups) sweetened flaked coconut
cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:

cup sugar
cup all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt
cups milk
eggs, separated
teaspoon vanilla
medium banana, sliced

Meringue Ingredients:

reserved egg whites
tablespoons sugar

Heat oven to 325°F. Reserve 1/4 cup coconut; set aside.

Combine remaining coconut and butter in medium bowl; press onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in 2-quart saucepan; stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil (7 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir small amount of milk mixture into egg yolks; return to pan. Reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until slightly thickened (1 to 2 minutes). (DO NOT BOIL.) Stir in vanilla. Pour half of hot filling into baked crust; cover with banana slices. Top with remaining filling.

Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Beat egg whites in small bowl at high speed until foamy. Continue beating, gradually adding 6 tablespoons sugar, until glossy and stiff peaks form. Spread onto warm filling, sealing to edge of crust. Sprinkle with reserved coconut.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 30 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Store refrigerated.

Ingredient Substitution Index

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): Calories: 340, Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 240mg, Carbohydrates: 43g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 6g

Andrea's Garlic Salad

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 15, 2008
This stuff is AWESOME - we've made it for years, it's a great recipe... ~ jan

Andrea's Garlic Salad

Mix together and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving:
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
3-5 cloves of garlic crushed
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

1 head of Romaine
1/2-1 lb. of bacon, cooked crisp and diced
2/3 cup of toasted almonds
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup julienned Swiss cheese
2 cups of sliced plum tomatoes, or cherry
tomatoes quartered
1 cup of croutons

Serves (about) 6

CranApple Pie

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 05, 2008

1 bag of fresh cranberries, washed and rinsed
3 cups sliced apples (I used Golden Delicious)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmet
3 tablespoons butter

Mix pie ingredients together and let sit for about fifteen minutes while you prepare crust.

Bake at 375 for fifteen minutes in 9" pie crust, then turn over to 350 and bake until golden brown and bubbly, approximately another 45 minutes.

This is a great pie. ~ jan

Moist Devil's Food Cake with Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 05, 2008

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment. Dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess. Set aside. Sift cocoa powder into a medium bowl; whisk in boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until creamy. Gradually mix in sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, a bit at a time, mixing well between each addition; mix until well blended. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture.
  4. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks; remove parchment and re-invert. Let cool completely.
  5. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread the top of the first layer with 1 1/2 cups of frosting. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another 1 1/2 cups of frosting. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer, bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining 3 cups frosting.
Source: Martha Stewart Living