Aunt Suzy says

For some reason we decided to grill on the July 5th “holiday” rather than on the 4th this year.  We made turkey burgers and three salads.  I was inspired by two recipes in the food section in our paper on Thursday – one of the salads was Moroccan.  It reminded me that many Moroccan meals consist of a grilled or roasted meat and several side salads.  Another salad recipe was for a bean salad with the suggestion of serving it as bruschetta.  I thought this could work as just a salad or bruschetta as recommended.   My plan was to make the these two salads to go with the turkey burgers.  Then, my upstairs neighbors called and asked if I wanted part of a watermelon.  I said yes, and I was off and running to make a watermelon salad that my friend Karen had told me was a “must make” a while back.  So here is our July 5th cookout menu – Whole Foods Santa Fe turkey burgers, White Bean- Asparagus-Mushroom Salad, Moroccan Grilled Pepper Salad, and Watermelon-Cucumber Salad wtih Feta.  (Just click on the salad name to go to the recipe.)  I recommend iced tea with mint and lemon or a dry French rose with this meal.

Texas Cake

July 2, 2010

Margaux says

This is everyone’s favorite cake in my family, even those who aren’t huge fans of cake.  We typically have it in the summer, for the 4th of July and my Granny’s birthday.  We also randomly have it for birthdays and other special occasions throughout the year.  It’s rich, chocolaty and buttery, which is probably due to the three sticks of butter in it.  As my Granny says, “with three sticks of butter, what’s not to like?”  I made it for Father’s Day…I gave Jason two choices: Texas cake or strawberry pie.  Despite being more of a pie lover, he chose this cake.

Aunt Suzy Says

My Mom (aka Granny) learned about this recipe sometime in the 1970’s and it has become a staple, as Margaux says, at family birthdays and other events ever since.  I will add to the quote . . . “with 3 sticks of butter and a cup of sour cream, what’s not to like?”  🙂  Some in our family have started making this without the nuts, although I think the nuts add a great texture contrast to the rich, gooeyness of the cake.  And Margaux’s Dad has made this into cupcakes that he calls TDF’s (to die fors), which I think are a fun alternative way to make this recipe.  A few years ago, Randy and I visited his best friend’s Mom, Susie Sutton, and she served this cake but called it Mississippi Mud cake.  This tickled me since she lived in Texas!  So, Margaux . . . . serve with ice cream or not?  What do you think?

Margaux says

ICE CREAM!  And a cup of coffee. When I was a kid, I was a purist and would only eat my 3 (or more) pieces of Texas cake without ice cream.   But now I need it to cut the richness of the cake.

The Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 10×15 jelly roll sheet.

2 sticks butter

1 cup water

4 tablespoons cocoa

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

½ cup sour cream (Susie Sutton used buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan.  Do not boil.  Cool.

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and sour cream and mix well.

Slowly add the cocoa mixture.  Pour all into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Frost while warm with pecan frosting.

Pecan Frosting

Place 1 stick butter, 4 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add 1 box of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans and beat till smooth.  You will want the frosting to be a little runny so it doesn’t tear the cake.  Pour over the cake while still warm.