Texas Sheet Cake

I briefly looked into why this is called Texas sheet cake but there was no evidence to where or when this originally got it’s name that I could find. I did share this recipe a few years ago but I thought it needed to make another appearance. 
IMG_2673.JPGI honestly do not care what it is called or where it came from but thank you to whoever started it. It is very moist, tangy, chocolaty, easy to make and just plain delicious! I strongly suggest you make this cake at least once in your life, though if you do, you will be making it again!
IMG_2656.JPGThe only ingredient that I needed to grab from the store was buttermilk. I do wish I could find a pint of buttermilk but all I have ever seen is it by a quart. Since I don’t love wasting food I will find some other uses for it, like buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk biscuits or buttermilk fried chicken. I was actually thinking of trying to make an Irish Soda Bread since this weekend it St Patrick’s Day and I have never made it before.




I usually make this cake in one sheet pan and add nuts but I was invited to friends for dinner and wasn’t sure how the nuts would go over and I wanted to make it a little festive so I added green and white sprinkles. I used two sheet pans just cuz no reasoning. I hope everyone likes it!

Preheat oven to 400’F

In a Saucepan add the next 4 ingredients and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes
1 Stick of Butter
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
4 TBS Cocoa
1 Cup Water

Sift together and pour the chocolate sauce over and mix well
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar

Add to the above
½ Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
Mix well and pour into greased jelly roll pan
IMG_2664Bake for 20 minutes

While baking make the frosting as it needs to be poured onto the cake while it is still hot.
In a saucepan – you can use the same one just clean it while the cake is in the oven
1 Stick Butter
1/3 Cup Buttermilk
4 TBS Cocoa

Bring to a boil for a minute or two
IMG_2665.JPGAdd the following
1 Box of Confectioner’s Sugar (roughly 2¾ Cup)
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
¾ Cup Chopped Walnuts or pecans or sprinkles be creative
IMG_2669.JPGOnce cooled – slice and store in airtight container

Cabbage Soup – EASY

I don’t know about you but I have already been thinking about the plants I am going to put in my garden this year.  It might have had something to do with the warm February we had but them mother nature had a different plan and decided we really needed another foot of snow. If nothing else it was absolutely beautiful around here.



I added the Edamame as I had a small bag in the freezer – cleaning out the fridge kind of soup

I literally made this soup because I had a hunk of cabbage left in my fridge since harvesting it in from my garden sometime in the Fall or Autumn whatever you call it. I needed the space but I would never throw away perfectly good food. It’s not in my nature to waste but we don’t really eat a lot of cabbage but I grow enormous ones and they last once wrapped in plastic wrap for a VERY long time.

IMG_2592Believe it or not I still have some red and yellow onions, shallots and garlic that we are still using from my garden. If you have never grown any vegetables or herbs you should try; at least grow some herbs in a pot, or a patio tomato. It doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming a little soil, sun and water and you are good to go.
IMG_2629Cabbage Soup with ingredients on hand

2 stalks Celery – diced
2 Carrots – peeled and diced
2-3 Tomatoes – chopped
1 large Onion – diced
Head of Cabbage – chopped
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 cup Edamame
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
Kosher Salt & freshly cracked black Pepper – to taste
Sriracha – to taste
Chicken Stock – enough to cover veggies


I added a little sweet Italian Sausage that I browned and added at the end – Just a little more love

In a slow cooker I chopped and added it to the pot, set it on high and left it for about 4 hours.
You can make it on top of the stove as well using the same method.

Honey Oatmeal Cookies – Healthy?

The recipe I found said Healthy Honey Oatmeal Cookies and while the recipe uses whole wheat flour and more oatmeal than anything else. I have become a bit of a skeptic and here is my reasoning. There are SO many diet trends out there, healthy in a recipe all depends on what you are counting. Calories, Carbs, Fat, Protein or whatever else you might be watching. img_5768.jpg

You can also tweak a recipe results just by the portion size. Say you make a recipe that tells you it make 30 cookies but when you go to make them your lucky to get 15 maybe 20 out of it and I am not saying you make yours gigantic just a regular 1 inch ball sized cookie. Is that too much to ask for a regular size cookie. I use the same small ice cream scoop for pretty much everything I make that needs to be in a ball.  I literally just used my scoop to make Arancini aka fried risotto balls.
IMG_5758The point I am trying to make is don’t get hung up on the title of a recipe, I feel confident if you are following a food blog, you already have an idea what works for you. So you do you and be happy!
IMG_5759I do have a little funny to share. I have made this recipe a few times now and I realized that the first time I made them I forgot to add 1 tablespoon of water. I totally understand that baking is based on science – I get it!  So I had to laugh at myself that the next time I made them I added 1 little ole tablespoon of water and my cookies ended up spreading out more on the flat side than the chunky ones I had before.  It didn’t change the taste just the look and I for a split second was baffled, well maybe that’s a strong word it was more like hmmm? Yes Donna the water will react with the butter and even the egg to make a flatter cookie.
IMG_5760I hope you try these or some form of them, use your own imagination add nuts, currants, dates, chocolate chips, raisins. Replace the sugar with another sweetener, use an egg beater instead. Replace the butter with apple sauce. 


3 tablespoon butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 egg
1 tablespoon water – or omit for a chunky cookie
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups rolled oats

By hand or a mixer, mix the butter, sugar, honey, egg and water thoroughly.
Sift flour, soda and salt then add the oatmeal. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. If you are adding anything else do that now.

Drop by scoop or teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


sorry for the blurry picture


Approx Macros = 2 Cookie – roughly 20 cookies
166 Calories – 5.56 g Fat – 31.54 g Carbs – 4.2 g Protein

Recipe adapted from geniuskitchen

Quick and Easy Turkey Chili

There is nothing really too exciting about ground turkey; It doesn’t have a lot of flavor, once cooked it isn’t pleasing to the eye but the health benefits mean it has become a staple in my home and I need to figure out how to use it.


I traded the red kidney beans for a can of black soybeans to lower the carbs a little in mine

I recall my mother trying to pass off ground turkey in her “ground beef“ shepherd’s pie when I was a either a picky teenager or young adult I can’t remember how old I was – I’m sure she’ll chime in here if she reads this.  I remember it NOT tasting or looking like her “normal pie”. I am fairly certain I didn’t finish my plate that night.


My husband was a little take a back by the look of the kale at first but really liked the chili 

While I am not AS picky as I used to be, I have come to appreciate that there are ways to cook and eat a little more healthy and NOT lose flavor or eye appeal. I don’t know about you but I know I get excited to eat when my plate looks and smells delicious!


The spices helped liven up the color of the turkey

In this recipe towards the end of the browning of the turkey I added the spices to the pot so to help “color” the ground turkey it changed it from drab to fab.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons chipotle powder – I used 1 leftover chipotle pepper from my fridge chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 cups water
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed – I used black soybeans instead
2 cups kale, ribs removed, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and Freshly cracked black pepper


In a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and the turkey to the pot breaking up the turkey into small pieces. Season with salt, cook till browned, push turkey to the side of the pan and add the chili powder, cumin and chipotle into a little of the olive oil, add another tablespoon if needed. Finish cooking the turkey while working in the spices.

Add the onions and pepper season with salt and pepper. Cooking till they are soft and the onions translucent.  Deglaze the pan with the water scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chili thickens a bit.

Stir in the kale and season with salt and pepper, cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Approx Macros = 2 cups per serving – recipe feeds 4
717 Calories – 39g Fat – 41g Carbs – 57g Protein
Recipe: Clinton Kelly on the Chew

Portuguese Paella

I know I’ve mentioned a few times in the last three years of writing this blog that I google my blog when I want to make one of my recipes. While this is not how I started out saving recipes, it really is faster than looking through the hundreds of printed pieces of papers or trying to decipher my terrible handwriting. Even though I do try to keep the papers organized, it truly is organized chaos.


My daughter said Anne Burrell would be proud of my Misen en Place!!!

Last week New Orleans celebrated Fat Tuesday aka Mardi Gras – here in NH it was going to be just another day or so I thought! We had dinner with some friends who had a master plan to throw a Fat Tuesday party right here in the North. Well of course we are always up for a party – even on a school night.

It’s funny how plans can change super quickly. We held ours on Monday night, it was supposed to be at our friends house but was changed last minute to mine and the number of people kept growing. In the end it all worked out beautifully. Fun was had by all, the food was excellent and the wine was flowing the only thing we didn’t have was mardi gras beads.
img_5783.jpgThe initial menu was a case of oysters and my daughter was going to Beignets – I contributed by making a Paella; it is a Portuguese Paella and I really love making and eating it. So back to my initial statement I googled me for the recipe and it didnt pull up, how could I have not shared this with you yet? I hope you enjoy it!

Portuguese Paella

8 Boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and Freshly cracked black pepper
Vegetable oil
1 link Portuguese chourico, sliced into rounds
1 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper chopped
2 cups arborio rice
2 plum tomatoes diced
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound large, peeled and deveined shrimp
Bunch of asparagus, cut diagonally
½ cup frozen peas, thawed

Pre-heat oven to 400’ F

Season chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary
Heat oil in a large oven proof pan over medium heat
Add chicken and cook on each side until lightly browned
Remove chicken from the pan

Add Chourico, brown on each side, add onion and the pepper cook stirring constantly for about 5-7 minutes. Add rice, tomato, paprika, saffron and garlic. Cook for a minute or so; return the chicken to the pan add broth, season with salt and pepper. Cover pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Stir in shrimp, asparagus and peas. Replace cover and make for an additional 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through.

Approx Macros = 1.5 cups per serving
336 Calories – 5g Fat – 47g Carbs – 23g Protein

recipe adapted from food.com


Chocolate stout chili

Just the name of the recipe intrigued me.  I have never cooked with chocolate; baked, eaten and eaten even more chocolate but never cooked with it. And to be perfectly honest I still really haven’t.
IMG_5711I didn’t want to run out to the store so I used a beer we had in the fridge that I thought most identified with what they were looking for in the recipe I was trying. This recipe also piqued my interest because I have never made a chili without beans. When I mentioned this to the fam they were all curious as well.
IMG_5713The taste of this chili is deep with flavors and to be perfectly honest a little too spicy for my taste buds but I loved how it went together and the flavors were excellent so I will be making this again, just going to lay off a little on the chipotle in adobo sauce. That little tiny can packs a wallop of heat let me tell you.
IMG_5701I’ll give you the recipe how I made it and you decide how hot you want it!


1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin
1 ½ tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 pounds beef chuck cut into ½ inch pieces
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes and their juice
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 chipotle plus 2 teaspoon adobo sauce from the can
2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon coffee extract – I just used coffee
Olive Oil as needed
1 large yellow onion diced
1 ½ tablespoon garlic chopped or minced
12 ounce chocolate stout

In a large bowl combined the cumin, salt, chili powder, oregano and cinnamon.
Add the beef and coat the meat with the spice mixture. Let the meat sit out for about 30 minutes.
IMG_5706In your blender combine the tomatoes, paste, chipotle in adobo, sugar, coffee and a teaspoon of salt. Puree scraping down the sides as needed.
In a dutch oven or heavy-duty oit heat the oil; once hot add the beef in batches. Brown the beef on all sides transfer the meat to a bowl or plate and continue the process until all the beef is browned.
IMG_5716Lower the heat to medium and add the onion cooking till soft and translucent scraping up any browned bits left in the pot. Add the garlic stirring for about 30 seconds and then add the beef to the pot. Stir in the blender mixture along with the beer. Bring to a boil and reduce to low and simmer with the cover slightly ajar for about 3 hours.

You can eat it right away or wait a day or two for the flavors to get even better.
Enjoy with grated cheese, sour cream, not hot enough add some pickled jalapenos.

Another wonderful recipe from Fine Cooking

Marinated tomato whipped feta crostini

So how do you Super Bowl?
This year we will be chilling at home even though we don’t have plans to have anyone over I will still be making a few super bowl staples like wings, guacamole and chili. I have also been craving 7 layer dip so I made sure to have those ingredients on hand. While not everything has to be heavy and well filling I also made some marinated tomatoes with some whipped feta that you smear on a crostini. Sounds like we will be enjoying some leftovers this week.

I find it pretty funny that being from New England of course there are a ridiculous amount of Patriot fans around and then there are people who become fans of whoever is playing against the Patriots. Not sure why there are so many haters out there but I sure do enjoy watching the entire game halftime show, commercials and all and even more so when we are in it. Go Pats!

Marinated tomato whipped feta crostini

6 ounces crumbled feta
2 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
2/3 cup olive oil – divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2-3 different type/color pints of cherry tomatoes (sliced in half or quartered)
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons pine nuts
French baguette (sliced and baked till lightly browned)

Add feta and cream cheese in bowl of a food processor, pulse until they are mixed. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.

Combine shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl, set aside for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasoning.

To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of toast with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Top with pine nuts and extra basil.