1 box Duncan Hines Golden Recipe cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/4 heaping cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 heaping tablespoons self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sugar, divided
1 cup milk
Dash of salt
1 stick margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cake, combine the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, sugar, oil, flour and vanilla. Mix well and pour into 4 greased and floured layer pans. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.
For the icing, place 1/2 cup sugar in a cast iron skillet.
Mix together remaining 21/2 cups sugar, milk and salt in a large saucepan.
Turn the skillet and the saucepan on high heat at the same time. Before the sugar in the skillet melts completely – be careful not to let it burn – turn the burner off and continue stirring until the sugar is golden brown.
The milk mixture should be at a rolling boil by this time. Turn the heat down to medium and pour the melted browned sugar into the boiling mixture. Stir until blended. Cook to a firm soft ball stage. (You can test it in cold water. When the ball holds together, it’s ready.)
Put margarine and vanilla in a mixing bowl and pour the cooked icing over it. Mix until the margarine is blended well. Ice between cake layers while the icing is hot. Then continue to stir icing until it loses its gloss, stirring about every 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure it holds its shape before spreading on sides and top of cake.
Note: This cake freezes well.
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breasts
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped white grapes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Chopped onion to taste
Blue plate mayonnaise thinned with milk
Combine all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cinnamon Pepper Chicken
11/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 whole chicken
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine spices and sprinkle on chicken. Bake chicken uncovered 21/2 to 3 hours.
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sour cream and onion dip
1 stick margarine, melted
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
Combine chicken, soup, sour cream and dip and pour into a greased baking dish. Combine margarine and crackers and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
4 cups whole figs
2 cups sugar
2 lemon slices, seeds removed
1 cup water
1 pinch salt
Wash figs in baking soda and water. Rinse well and drain. Remove the stems. Leave whole or cut in half.
In a large heavy pot, combine all ingredients. Cook on low for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally so mixture doesn’t stick or burn. Cook until thick. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, using a canning funnel. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes 4 pint jars.
Almond Brickle Fruit Dip
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) package almond brickle (toffee bits)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir together all ingredients until well blended. Serve with slices apples, pears or any fruit of your choosing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Iron Skillet Steak
New York Strip steak or fillet mignon
McCormick’s Montreal Steak Salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Salt the meat and heat an iron skillet over a burner turned up high; let it get scary hot. Pour in a thin film of oil. When the oil is so hot it’s shimmering and sort of waving a little, maybe even giving off the first whiff of smoke, place steak in skillet. Not before. It will sear fast like this, in a minute or two, tops. Flip it over and brown the other side.
Put the skillet into the preheated oven for 5 to 6 minutes, depending on the steak’s thickness. Use an instant-read thermometer so you’ll know exactly when the meat is ready. The very rare end of rare is 115 degrees.
Once you remove the steak from the skillet, tent a piece of aluminum foil over it and let it rest at least 5 minutes to the juices will redistribute.
NEMS Daily Journal