Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chocolate Cake

1 c. unsalted butter
2 c. water
1 c. canola oil
4 cups sugar
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups flour
4 large eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 T. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 T. vanilla

Preheat to 350°.  Put parchment on bottom of pans.  Grease with butter.  Dust with flour (or cocoa powder).

Combine butter, water, oil over med. heat
Stir together sugar, cocoa, flour
Pour butter mixture into sugar & whisk until smooth.  Whisk in eggs 1 at a time.  Add buttermilk.  Whisk in soda, salt & vanilla all at once.  Transfer to pans.

Bake 35-40 mins.
Cool on racks 15 min. before inverting.

Whipped cream frosting:
4 c. chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1.4 c. powdered sugar

Whip cream until soft peaks form.  Add powdered sugar & whip thoroughly.

Choc. Glaze:
4 oxs. Bittersweet, chopped small chocolate (or use chips)
1.2 c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. pure cane sugar syrup
2 T. vanilla

Place choc. In bowl.  Heat cream until steaming in separate bowl over med. heat.  Pour over choc. Until melted.  Stir in syrup & vanilla.  Let cool 10 min.  Slowly pour over top of cake in a drizzle.  Refrigerate 1 hr.

Post by W. Seanz

Book List from the Share a Book and a Salad

Book List from Buda Ward women who attended the Share a Book and a Salad.  Book, Author, type of book, short description.  Most books can be found using the Buda Library inter-library loan system, which is free.  Email Melinda Hodges at and ask for the book and author you want. She usually gets it within a week.  Free!!!  To get library card, you must show proof of address, such as electricity bill or drivers license.  If you are new, the Austin Library system has Book Bhare which allows Buda residents or users to get books free of charge from Austin libraries, and check them at the libraries in Austin.  Nice service!

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise  and the Brain  John Ratey, M.D.   Non-Fiction/Ed. Psychology; Gives insight about how exercise changes physical characteristics in the body and brain—for good.  Encourages us with evidence!
God Wants a Powerful People  Sheri Dew.  Religious Self-help; Encourages us to listen to the Holy Ghost, chapter by chapter gives us different ideas on how to change our lives to be more in harmony with God.
Outliers: The Story of Success  Malcolm Gladwell.  (author of Tipping Point)  Non-fiction; Tells about individual characteristics of very successful people, and what makes them successful.  Helps us see things in a different light.
4 Laws of Financial Prosperity  Blaine Harris and Charles Coonradt.  Self-Help; Recommended for young adults learning how to be financially sound.  Also good for adults of all ages!
Gideon The Cutpurse  Linda Buckley-Archer.  YA Fiction; First of a trilogy, story about two modern young people who are sent back in time 300 years and how they try to fit in while striving to return to modern era again.
Life of Pi Yann Martel. Novel;  Boy and a man eating tiger survive a shipwreck and float on a raft together…
Pride and Prejudice  Jane Austen.  Fiction; Classic love story set in 19th century England, written also in 19th century England!
Jack Reacher Novels (so far there are 11)—author Lee Childs.  (To find them just type in Jack Reacher)
The Willoughbys  Lois Lowry. Juvenile novel; Interesting story about children and atypical parenting style.
Rebecca  Daphne DuMaurier.  Classic novel; set in 1930’s.  Character development of Rebecca is incredible.
The Middle of Everywhere  Mary Pipher.  Social Science; Book about immigrants coming to America and how they attempt to fit into American way of life.
Amethysts and Arson Lynn Gardner. Mystery; apparently Sister Gardner used to live in Austin and attended church with several of the local Buda members!  She has several books available, each with a gem and a type of mystery in the title.
Children of the Promise series  Book 1-- Rumors of War  Dean Hughes. historical fiction; concerning WWII
Laura Bush: Spoken from the Heart   Laura Bush.  Autobiography
The Dollmaker Harriet Arnow. Fiction; set in rural Appalachia during WWII ear, a woman heroine tries to keep her family intact despite poverty and ignorance.
Bleakhouse Charles Dickens.  Fiction; (known as his greatest masterpiece) also made into a mini-series by BBC
Matched Ally Condie. Fantasy; post-apocalyptic life where children are told who to marry… (also wrote Crossed, third book comes out Nov 2011)
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels  Ree Drummond.  Romance/Autobiography;  clean love story between woman and the cowboy at the bar she meets.
At First They Killed my Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers   Loung Ung. Non-Fiction; Khmer Rouge treatment of Cambodians.
Mao: The Unknown Story  (Author of Wild Swans) Jung Chang and Jon Halliday.  Documentary/History; How Chairman Mao came to power. 
Night  Elie Wiesel.  Historical Fiction; WWII Jewish prisoner of war story
Les Miserables  Victor Hugo.  Period Fiction; Unabridged Version tells story of many parts of French life and how individuals did incredible things for society without becoming famous for their part.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  Laura Hillenbrand.
Dear Great American Writers School  Sherry Bunin. Fiction;  A young girls answers an ad for writing lessons.  She book is a series of letters she has written describing her small town in Kentucky, and the mysteries of WWII civilian life.  Easy read, light-hearted and comical.

Macaroni Salad

I prefer small shell macaroni.
Cook  12 oz. macaroni according to directions
Run under cold water to cool and remove excess starch for quick cooling, let soak 3 minutes in ice water, then drain.
Chop: 3 ribs of celery,
3 large or 6 smaller pickles like Kosher dill,
1-2 Tbsp onion, (the flavor will get stronger as the salad cools)
3 or 4 hard boiled eggs (diced)
Place these in a salad bowl.
Add 1 or 2  5.5 oz. cans of well drained tuna or chicken
Mix in 1/4 - 1/3 c mayonnaise, according to your tastes
Placed drained pasta into bowl and mix
salt and pepper to taste.

Optional additions to salad:
Chopped cucumber, bell pepper, or tomato  These can be added to a portion of the salad for a change.
K. Wood

Honey Lime Basil Dressing

light and refreshing!  Good on a mixed spring green salad with fresh blueberries, feta cheese and sugared pecans
use old dark honey for this recipe (If your honey has crystallized, heat for 25 sec. on high in microwave or heat water in a pan and place jar of honey into boiling water. Turn off heat. Leave the jar in water until water cools. While this method takes longer, it won't make honey super hot and turn darker)
1/2 c honey
juice of 2 limes
2 T apple vinegar
3 - 4 oz basil leaves
salt and pepper
in blender, blend the following to make a smooth dressing, about 2  minutes.  Make sure to scrape down all the basil leaves. 
You can add up to 1/4 c salad oil to this dressing for stability.  Dress salad just prior to serving.
To make sugared pecans, in microwave proof bowl, place 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1- 2 tsp cinnamon. Microwave these together 2 minutes.  Add 8 oz pecan pieces, stir
Microwave 3 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread out on waxed paper to cool.  Be careful, they are very hot.

Oriental Chicken Salad

In large salad bowl, add the following ingredients:
Finely chop 1/2 head of green cabbage in thin strips or in chunks
2 green onions sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced
14/ - 1/3 c chopped Italian parsley
2 breast cooked and sliced chicken
2 - 3 Tbs. sesame seeds
1 pkg. Ramen noodles, uncooked, crushed (without the seasoning mix)
1/2 c oil
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
six grinds of pepper (about 1/2 t)
3 T rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
blend these ingredients together until they turn whitish color, dress salad
Marinate the cabbage mixture in the dressing about 1 - 2 hours prior to serving.  Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days
Just before serving, add a sprinkle of almond slices or slivers (about 3 - 4 oz)
S. Patty

Summer Fruit Salad

mix cut up summer fruit in large bowl
Good mixture:
watermelon, blueberry, strawberry, banana, red or green grapes, fresh lime juice
green or red grape salad  serves 8 ready in 15 minutes 
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 8 oz container sour cream
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla extract
4 oz. chopped pecans
2 T brown sugar
Wash and dry 4 lbs seedless grapes.  In large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
Add grapes and mix until evenly incorporated.
Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans, mix again
Refrigerate until serving.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chicken Enchalada Casserole

2-3 lbs chicken (you can do breasts,  leg quarters, or even a whole chicken. whatever you prefer)
2 Tbs fresh cilantro  (I really love the pre chopped stuff in the tube at HEB)
Flour or Corn tortillas
1 can black beans
2 cans green chilli enchalada sauce
1 can diced green chili's
1 C sour cream
1 C Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 C Monterey Jack shredded cheese

Bring large pot of water to rolling boil. Add chicken, and cook until done, about 20 minutes. If you feel so inclined you can reserve the broth to make soup tomorrow.
Set chicken aside to cool. Shred when cool enough to handle.

Mix shredded chicken with green chili's and fresh cilantro. (you can used dried, but fresh is so so much better!)

In a 9 x 13 pan pour about half of one can of enchalada sauce in the bottom. Layer tortillas, making sure they overlap. Layer the follow ingredients like a lasagna:
black beans
cover with tortillas smothered in sour cream and repeat the layering. End with sour cream tortillas. Pour remaining enchalada sauce over entire pan, making sure that no dry tortillas remain or else they will get dried out and yucky durring baking. Cover with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until hot and bubbley and all cheese is melted!

Post by Ashlee T.