Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's that wonderful smell coming from the oven?? It's...

Autumn Spice Cake with Carmel Frosting
12 servings*

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups warm water
2/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
for frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar

Combine flour, cornstarch, spices, and brown sugar; set aside.  Combine water, oil, and vinegar.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour into greased cake pans.  Bake 25-30 minutes at 325.  Let cool in pans 5 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.  Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan.  Add brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add vanilla an continue to stir.  Add milk slowly and bring to a boil.  Set aside and let cool.  Beat powdered sugar into carmel until desired frosting consistency is reached.  When cakes are completely cool, spread with frosting and enjoy!

*This cake is really like 24 servings - the frosting is so rich and sweet that just a few bites are almost all you can eat. :-)

Love at first read...

I am not much of a cookbook "cooker". 
Don't get me wrong, I do love cookbooks and have lots of them.
But when it comes to cooking tried and true,
I usually turn to one of just a few sources -
cooking blogs, and good 'ol hand me down recipes.

I love to thumb through fancy, glossy library cookbooks,
and do so often for inspiration and ideas.
But I've found that lots of the fancy cookbook recipes
just seem to fall short of tried and true down home favorites.
At least for me and my family, and the way we eat. :-)

That is until I brought THIS cookbook home from the library.
I couldn't believe it as a flipped the pages...
there were recipes in this book that had been in my family for years!
Right down to each ingredient.  
And any recipe that wasn't familiar, 
I wanted to try -
right that very minute! :-)

The author was born and raised in Alabama,
but I have found out after reading this cookbook
that southern Alabama cooking is very similar to Texas cooking.

From the day I brought it home, my son kept begging me to make the
 meal pictured in the bottom right hand corner of the cover.

One evening I did.
The fried chicken tenders and come back sauce??
HUGE hit.
The chicken recipe was so easy you wouldn't believe it.
Other than the chicken, it has two ingredients!!

I'm not telling what the ingredients are -
you'll have to get the cookbook to find out. :-)

I also have tried the corn chowder.
I think the author loves corn as much as I do. ;-)

And, this??
This is a chocolate cobbler.
I promise the ingredients are always in your pantry.

I plan to cook my way through this entire book. 
Stayed tuned.  :-)

Weekend at the Lease

As you probably know, Mr. H. is a hunter.  It's what he does. :-)

In years past I've always stayed home with babies when he heads off
on hunting trips or for weekends at the deer lease.
But, these days...the babies go, too!

So, I decided to tag along to the lease with the rest of the family 
for the first weekend of deer season this year!

Mr. H. is on a lease by himself this year out in west Texas.
The property has a little, hundred year old farm house on it.

Mr. H., my daughter, and my son all hunt.

But not me. :-)
I joke that I spend my days tending and nurturing animals
and they stalk them! ;-)

The lease has a lovely pecan grove on it.

Mr. H. has put several feeders and deer blinds on the lease.

Some close friends of ours are on the adjoining lease.

Bubba and Daisy came along for the ride 
and kept me company when the family was off hunting.

I enjoyed walking around the yard of the house 
during the early mornings and evenings when everyone was gone.

Just thinking about who might have lived out here long ago.
Who might have used the well, the old root cellar, and the corrals.

I might, or might not, have pretended I was a pioneer woman. ;-)