Monday, February 23, 2015

MYO Creamy White Sauce aka Bechamel Sauce

Revised: 2/22/2015

My mouth waters when I think about mom's creamy white sauce that she uses as a base for cheese sauce and mustard sauce. She uses her versatile white sauce to blend with pasta, tuna, chicken, and best of all, a dish of new peas and potatoes. 

My mom cooks the way her Arkansas-born mom taught her to cook. Both of them made creamy white sauce with milk. Neither one  knew she was actually cooking a classic Bechamel sauce. I had no idea that Bechamel sauce and my mom's white sauce are the same thing until I started watching cooks like Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, and other television cooks, or chefs. 

White  sauce, or Bechamel sauce, can be used alone or transformed into a trifecta of sauces - mustard sauce, cheese sauce, or curry sauce. All three sauces are winners that will please your taste buds. Best of all, you only need four or five ingredients to produce cups of creamy, rich sauce.

Single serving amount, one cup, is given first. Two cup amount is given as an example. For a quart of white sauce, double the two cup amount that is given and follow the basic directions.

Thin White Sauce

Thin white sauce works well for creamed vegetables or scalloped potatoes and ham. My favorite creamed vegetables are peas with new potatoes, or peas and carrots combined.

  • Ingredients For One Cup

one tablespoon butter         one tablespoon flour       1/4 teaspoon salt         one cup milk

These ingredients are for each cup of sauce that you want to make. 

For two cups double  the amount of ingredients
Example: I want two cups of sauce so I will use

two tablespoons butter    two tablespoons flour    1/2 tsp salt     two cups of milk

Directions for Basic Thin White Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
  • Blend in the flour and salt. Let it cook until it is smooth and bubbly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the milk and stir gently.
  • Place pan back over low to medium heat
  • Cook, stirring constantly (a whisk is the best tool for this) until the sauce is thick.
  • Add herbs and spices as desired, optional

Note: I have never used margarine to make white sauce, so I cannot guarantee what the end product will be like if you use margarine. 

Scroll down for the three variations, or transformations; cheese sauce, curry sauce, and mustard sauce.

Medium White Sauce

This is the recipe I use the most. Medium white sauce is great for homemade chicken pot pie, creamed vegetables, or scalloped potatoes and ham. For a thinner sauce, just stir in little more milk until the consistency pleases you.

  • Ingredients For One Cup

three tablespoons butter       three tablespoons  flour     1/4 teaspoon salt     one cup milk

These ingredients are for each cup that you want to make. 

For two cups double the ingredients.
Example: I want two cups of sauce, I will use

six  tablespoons butter   six tablespoons flour   1/2 tsp. salt      two - three cups of milk

Directions for Basic Medium White Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
  • Blend in the flour and salt. Let it cook until it is smooth and bubbly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the milk and stir gently.
  • Place pan back over low to medium heat
  • Cook, stirring constantly (a whisk is the best tool for this) until the sauce is thick.
  • Add herbs and spices as desired, optional

Note: I have never used margarine to make white sauce, so I cannot guarantee what the end product will be like if you use margarine.

Transformation #1 

Cheese Sauce  = Add one half cup grated cheese to one cup hot white sauce. My favorite cheeses are American, Mild Cheddar, or Colby Jack. Great with broccoli or macaroni!

Transformation #2

Mustard Sauce = Add one level tablespoon prepared mustard to one cup hot white sauce. Use Dijon, Spicy Brown, Honey Mustard, or Regular. This is especially good with ham and fresh pork.

Transformation #3

Curry Sauce = Add one half teaspoon curry powder to the melted butter and salt.Then blend in the flour and salt. Follow the remaining directions.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

White Wedding Showcase

I was reading a post at Facebook Home for Bonham Business when I clicked on a link from Sweet Delights Cakery featuring the February Satin Ice Wedding Cakes. Oh my goodness! If you want to look at some beautiful wedding cakes, this is the place to go.

Am I weird to eat, sleep, and breathe homemade happiness on a plate?

 White Wedding Showcase

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Red Velvet N Oreo Filling Cupcakes

A birthday tradition in our family is:
The birthday guy,or gal, gets to pick the cake flavor and frosting. My birthday choice was red velvet cake, oreo cookie filling, and vanilla butter cream frosting. 

My pantry style baking means I use items from the store and basic pantry staples to create some homemade happiness on a plate. My birthday, red velvet cupcakes started with a red velvet cake mix from the store.

After following the package directions to make and bake twenty-four cupcakes. It was time to gather items from the 'frig and pantry to make the oreo cookie filling and vanilla butter cream frosting.

"Oreo" Cookie Filling

If you like to eat sandwich cookies by pulling them apart and eating the filling first, then you are going to LOVE the oreo cookie filling the fills the center of my cupcakes.


1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract*
1 tsp. granulated, white sugar
3 1//2 cups confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp. hot water

* brown vanilla extract will yield an ivory colored filling, while clear vanilla extract keeps the filling a snowy white.
  • Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  • Beat with an electric mixer for two minutes.
  • Using a spatula, spoon the oreo cookie filling into a pastry bag with a #8 or larger piping tip.
  • The filling is ready to be piped into the completely cooled, cupcakes.
Any left over filling can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. Try using it as a dip for cookies, graham crackers, all purpose crackers, or pretzels. Yum!


A close up look at the oreo cookie filling and the steps I used to filling the cupcakes.
  • First, I used an apple coring tool to remove the center of each cupcake, but a knife will work, too. The apple corer makes this job very quick and gives a uniform amount of filling in each cupcake. I stopped about a quarter of an inch from the bottom of each cupcake.                                                  
    The above  picture is from March of last year when I made some yummy devil's food chocolate filled cupcakes.
  • Then, I set the top of the removed center aside for later.
  • Next, I piped a generous amount of oreo cookie filling into the center of the cupcake with a pastry bag and large piping tip. 
  • The last step was to replace the top of the removed cupcake center on top of the filling, like a lid.
  • The cupcakes were ready to be frosted.
Silky Smooth, Vanilla Butter cream Frosting

Yield: frosting to decorate about 2 dozen cupcakes.


1 stick of salted butter
1 stick of margarine
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract*
6 Tbsp. water
2 lb. bag of confectioners sugar

 brown vanilla extract will yield an ivory colored frosting, while clear vanilla extract keeps the frosting a brighter white.

  • Place butter, margarine, and vegetable shortening into a mixing bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer on low speed, cream the butter, margarine, and vegetable shortening together for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add about 1/4 of the confectioners sugar and the vanilla extract.
  • Beat with the mixer on low speed until well blended.
  • Add about 1/3 of the remaining confectioners sugar and continue to mix at low speed until the frosting is well blended.
  • Add 6 Tbsp. of water and half of the remaining confectioners sugar.
  • Beat until well blended.
  • Add remaining confectioners sugar.
  • Continue to mix with the electric mixer on low speed.
  • Put a 1M tip into a pastry bag, fill with frosting, and pipe onto cupcakes. 
Now this is homemade happiness on a plate!
Piping a Vanilla Butter cream Rose
Using a 1M decorating tip, I hold the piping bag perpendicular to the cupcake while piping the vanilla butter cream from the center of the cupcake to the outside edge in a smooth, slightly overlapping, spiral. On the outside edge, gently release pressure on the pastry bag and try to taper the frosting into and under the last row. This method creates a blooming rose. 

February birthday cupcakes: Twelve, white butter cream roses sprinkled with purple sanding sugar.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

No Bake Valentine's Day Treats

Ingredients for No Baking Valentine's Day Treats
My calendar for work, home, and church activities is full!

This morning I drove to the local dollar store to pick up treats for the Grade 1 to Youth Sunday School students because activities and appointments prevented me from baking.

At the dollar store, I bought two bags of SIXLETS, a container of candy corn, and a container of heart-shaped sugar cookies in Valentine's Day colors. Another item that I brought home was a container of white frosting.

Are you ready to see how I created some cute and quick, no-bake Valentine's Day treats?

1.      Valentine's Day Mini-Love Cups 

·         SIXLETS
·         Tricolor Candy Corn
·         1 ¼ inch white mini-cupcake liners
To assemble your love cups: 
·         Place six pieces of candy corn into a cupcake liner.
·         Open a tube of SIXLETS and pour the candy pieces on top of the candy corn pieces.
·         Repeat until you have the quantity that you need.

Note: Two bags of SIXLETS and one 24 oz. container of candy corn will yield about 40-50 mini-love cups.

2.      Pretty Pink n Red Heart Cookies

·         One container of 24 heart-shaped sugar cookies, decorated with pink and red sanding sugar.
·         1 container of white frosting
·         1 zip top bag, or pastry bag

To decorate your cookies:
Place about half of the frosting into a zip top bag, or a pastry bag. Lay the cookies out flat on top of a sheet of waxed paper. Snip the tip of one, bottom corner off the zip top bag, or pastry bag tip. Decorate cookies in one of the following ways:
A.      Gently squeeze the frosting out in a thin line as you move your hand diagonally across a cookie from top to bottom. Repeat until all of the cookies are frosted.

B.      Squeeze a small dot of frosting below the top "V" and above the point. Next, squeeze small dots of frosting around the outside edge of the cookie to form a border of frosting dots.

C.      Using frosting as "glue" Place two candy corn pieces, long sides together, in the center of each cookie to form a "heart" shape.

D.     Using frosting as "glue," Place SIXLETS candy balls in a pattern on each cookie. Look at the pictures below.

 #Valentine's Day #nobaketreats #easyrecipe

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Southwest Seasoning Blend

Make your own Southwest Seasoning Blend! 

Sprinkle it on steaks, sprinkle it in your scrambled eggs,use it for tacos, add a teaspoon or two to mac and cheese, or add it to Greek yogurt. 

The possibilities are endless! I love to mix it with leftover, shredded roast beef to make shredded beef tacos! Yum!


  • 1 Tablespoon of your favorite chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or rainbow peppercorn mix (my fave)
A spicy option - add 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Measure spices into a small bowl
  • mix with a small whisk, or spoon, until blended. 
  • At this point, I put the blend into a labeled, zip top snack bag for storage.

Using the Southwest Spice Blend

I add two to three teaspoons of seasoning per pound of meat. 

However, the first time I used the seasoning blend I started with one teaspoon, stirred the seasoning in, and tasted the meat. I repeated these steps until I was happy with the flavor.

You might like less seasoning, or more seasoning. Just customize the amount for your family.

After using my homemade Southwest Seasoning Blend, I became bolder and started adding it to cheese quesadillas, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, cream cheese, and Greek yogurt. I love the cumin chili flavor! 

Yield: about 3 Tablespoons
You could easily double or triple this recipe if you want to make a larger batch.

Homemade Soft Tortillas

A pancake meets a tortilla and they get married. From this union is born, a tortilla that is as quick and easy to make as a pancake.

 No dough here, just whip together a batter and you are ready to make your own tortillas!

I love putting a teaspoon of mild taco sauce  and shredded Colby Jack cheese on a tortilla, folding it in half, and grilling it until the cheese just begins to melt and get gooey.

Seriously good food that is simple to make. One taste of a homemade tortilla and you will never grab a bag of prepackaged ones again


  • 1 ½ cups cold water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg


  • Combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt.
  • Stir briefly to blend
  • Add water and egg.
  • Beat until smooth.
  • Heat an eight-inch skillet over medium low heat until hot.
  • Grease lightly with canola oil, or spray with pan coat.
  • Pour not quite ½ cup of batter into the skillet and immediately tilt the skillet until the batter forms a thin tortilla.

  • Cook the tortilla until dry around the edge, about two minutes.
  • Turn the tortilla over and cook the other side until it bubbles and browns.
Yield: five eight-inch tortillas