Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sweet Turkey Cake - My First Effort

What do you think? With the help of a vintage 1979 Wilton cake pan and a Wilton #21 star tip, I created this sweet turkey cake.

To line, fill, and define the different areas of the turkey, I decided to use white, orange, and red frosting The star tip, held at different angles, created the various shapes and textures.The pupil of the eye is half of a raisin.

The Pumpkin Cake


1/2 cup canola oil                   1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg                                      1-15 oz. can pumpkin
2 tsp. baking soda                 1 tsp. cinnamon   
1/4 tsp. cloves                       1/8 tsp. allspice
                                                                2 cups of flour                       1/4 tsp. salt


  • Coat turkey cake pan with a thin layer of shortening (not cooking spray).
  • Flour the pan.
  • Pour excess flour out and set cake pan aside.
  • Cream oil and sugar
  • add egg and beat well
  • add the pumpkin and mix just until blended
  • Add baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, flour, and salt. Mix until blended.
  • Pour batter into floured cake pan.
  • Spread batter with a spoon until it is level.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes
  • Place a cooling rack or foil covered square of card board over the cake pan
  • Flip the rack and pan upside down. Cake should release from pan and drop onto the cooling rack or foil covered card board.
  • Let cake cool completely before frosting. 

This cake does not need extra liquid. I thought the liquid ingredient had been left out of the recipe, but I followed it as written. The cake was fine. Everyone loved it.

The Cream Cheese Frosting


4 Tbsp. butter             1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tsp. milk                   3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla


Blend the butter and cream cheese with a hand-held mixer or stand mixer, at low speed, until well blended. Add all of the remaining ingredients and beat at low speed until thick and glossy. Separate into separate bowls and tint as desired.

I did not "dirty ice" or put a base layer of frosting on the cake before I started piping on frosting stars, etc. I felt the turkey looked more realistic with a little "skin" peeking out here and there. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ramen Pork Chop Suey


Tan isn't Bland

Yes, it needs some color. However, I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma rising up out of the pan. Onion soup mix, soy sauce, garlic powder and celery seed meld to create a flavor masterpiece that will make your taste buds sing. Water chestnuts add a crisp, crunchy texture note that contrasts nicely with the chewiness of the pork and ramen noodles. 

My husband doesn't like veggies, especially green veggies.

Adding a half cup of frozen peas or using the top half of your celery stalk will add a nice pop of color to this casserole. My celery stalk was down to the pale green bottom half, so it didn't add any color, which was fine with Bill, my husband.

1-2 Tbsp. canola oil                
 1 lb. lean pork loin                 
 1/8 to 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp. fresh ground rainbow peppercorn                               
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1 cup of celery, thinly sliced      
1/2 cup sliced onion               
1 envelope onion soup mix     
1 1/4 cup water                        
1/4 cup soy sauce                  
2 - 4 oz. cans Bamboo shoots and water chestnuts 
2 - 3 oz. packs of ramen noodles (You are not using the flavor packets, only the noodles)

Directions - Meat and Veggies
  • Season the pork loin with the garlic powder and ground peppercorns. 
  • Place 1 Tbsp. oil  in a large skillet over medium heat;  brown pork well. 
  • Remove pork from the pan and set aside
  • Place the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet, saute the celery and onion until tender crisp; Add the celery seed about 1 minute before the celery and onion are done.
  • Add the soup mix, water, and soy sauce to the vegetables in the skillet.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, Add pork and remaining ingredients; simmer until heated, stirring constantly. 
  • Turn off heat and place pan on a cold burner. 
  • Prepare the ramen noodles according to the package directions.  
Do not use the flavor packets. Save them for flavoring rice at some other time.
  • Serve noodles mixed with your chop suey or serve the chop suey over the ramen noodles.
Yield: 4-5 servings

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Amped Up California Rancho Casserole

Tired of Beef Nachos

Nachos have been on the Bonham menu alot. We are tired of them. So, I pulled out my 1969 Beta Sigma Phi Casserole cookbook to look for a recipe in the "Ground Beef - Rice Casseroles" section. (I collect cookbooks.) The "Ground Beef-Rice Casseroles" section has almost twenty recipes, but the one that caught my eye was the California Rancho Casserole recipe.

 Amp it Up!

I scanned the ingredients list: ground beef, onions, garlic, uncooked rice, ripe olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, grated cheese. Happily, the recipe contains most of the ingredients I keep on hand for nachos. However, I decided to amp up the recipe with mild green chili sauce, baby Portobello mushrooms (criminis), Colby Jack cheese, fresh ground rainbow peppercorns, and shrimp.

Taste Response

Slowly savoring the meaty,olive - tomato - cheesy richness and mushroomyness with just a hint of heat from the mild green chili sauce was an intensely sensuous moment. Then, I ate one of the perfectly cooked, juicy and tender shrimp. I seriously wanted to just grasp that precious pan in my hands, shield it from anyone else's eyes, and find a secret place to adoringly eat the whole thing. I was amazed at the rich, unctuous flavor meld that had transformed the simple casserole ingredients while they baked in the oven. Bill's response? "Oh baby, please make this again." It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Amped Up California Rancho Casserole


Large skillet or Dutch oven                   2-quart casserole dish                     spatula
fork                                                        dry measuring cup set                     liquid 1-cup measuring cup
measuring spoon set                               sharp knife


  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered garlic, or 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 c. uncooked rice (when measuring the rice, completely level the rice in the cup)
  • 1 c. sliced ripe olives
  • 4 oz. baby Portobello mushrooms, diced (about half of an 8 ounce container)
  • 1/2 cup mild green chile sauce (I used Old El Paso brand)
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground, rainbow peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 20 frozen, cooked and  cleaned, medium shrimp


  • Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven; saute beef, chopped onion, and chopped garlic or sprinkle    garlic powder over the beef and mix it in with a spatula.
  • Saute until beef is no longer red, stirring with a fork or spatula.
  • Place beef mixture in a colander and drain the oil and fat off of it.
  • Return the beef mixture to the skillet or Dutch oven.
  • Mix in water, rice, olives, mushrooms, green chili sauce, undrained can of diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour into a 2-quart casserole; cover tightly with aluminum foil
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and carefully remove foil.
  • Sprinkle cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese onto casserole and gently stir it into the casserole.
  • Place the 20 frozen shrimp on top of the casserole. Replace the foil. Bake for 15 minutes longer.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the aluminum foil.
Yield: 6 generous servings

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This is how I'm doing a turkey this year - Imgur

For the bacon lover in your family: Dress-up your turkey with a woven, bacon strip robe.

This is how I'm doing a turkey this year - Imgur

We Wish You A Merry, Merry Turkey Day! Published on Yahoo Voices

Christmas in July is now an annual reality, instead of an occasional party event.

 Enjoy a chuckle or two as you read, "We Wish You A Merry, Merry Turkey Day!"I took the classic "Christmas Carol" ghosts and wrote about the Ghost of Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Past, and Thanksgiving Present.

Note: Your page view will be counted by Yahoo Contributor Network toward a future payment for myself, Sallee Bonham

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weird and Edible Food Event.

On November 8-9, weird, edible food art and experimental foods went on display in London, UK. The Yahoo news article that I read said:

"a breathable tearoom, a wild flower meadow made entirely from sugar, a camera made from edible materials that when cooked form a meal and bitters infused with moisture scientifically extracted from the walls of the Churchill War Rooms are just some of the remarkable items being served up across over 3800 square feet at this years Experimental Food Society Spectacular exhibition."

The twelve pictures that accompany the article are worth looking at. Click on the "article" link to view them.

This is the fourth year that this remarkable event has been held in London. The Experimental Food Society began hosting the event in 2009.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MYO Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Bean Casserole - My Family's Thanksgiving Favorites

The holidays are about to commence and I am so excited! Yesterday, my shopping list contained the following items to buy:
  • 12-15 pound turkey
  • cranberries
  • orange juice
  • sweet potatoes
  • crushed pineapple
  • green beans, canned
  • french fried onions
  • mushroom soup
  • soy sauce

Ruby red, whole berry cranberry sauce with orange juice is a family favorite. I found the recipe on a bag of cranberries in 1989 and have been making this amazingly simple dish ever since.

Another side dish is candied sweet potatoes with pineapple. I simmer the sweet potatoes until they are just fork tender. The hot sweet potatoes are placed into a colander to cool until I can peel and then slice them. Seriously, you need to try adding crushed pineapple to your favorite recipe. My daughter, Ashley always wants to make this dish.

Our traditional family feast will also include green bean casserole with french fried onions. The recipe is on the french-fried onion can or in any women's magazine. The addition of soy sauce is a fairly new ingredient to the recipe, but it did add another layer of flavor to this wonderful casserole dish.

These traditional favorites are being made by four generations of women in my family. My granddaughters are learning to make them now. When the lone grandson is older, he will begin to learn to make these dishes too.