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I'm covered in flour!
Ok, so I found this recipe online and while as it was it was pretty good, I changed a few things that I thought would make it better. LIQUOR and REAL RASPBERRIES.


3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
1 c. butter at room temperature
4 eggs at room temperature
1 T. orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice

1 c. Orange Liquor (after cake is cooled)


1 c. butter at room temperature
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest


1 box fresh raspberries
2 T. sugar
1/3 c. orange liquor

Grease 2 9" round pans and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt together. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added. Combine orange zest, vanilla, milk and O.J. in a measuring cup. Add flour/liquids alternately a little at a time, mixing well after each addition with an electric mixer, until all ingredients are incorporated. This will be a very DENSE batter, and not pourable.

Scoop batter into cake rounds and even out tops with a rubber spatula. Pick up the rounds about 6 inches and drop them on the counter several times to get all the air out and to help smooth out the tops. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes in the rounds, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cooled, poke small holes in the tops with a knife and pour the liquor over them and allow it to soak. Don't pour too much!


Cream butter. Add half the box of powdered sugar, all the vanilla, OJ and zest. Mix well and add the remaining box of sugar.


In a small bowl, pour your raspberries, sugar and liquor and let sit for about 15 minutes or until the raspberries make a lovely juice. Mash completely with a fork and set aside.


On the bottom layer, with a long serrated knife, slice off a VERY THIN part of the top off, as if you're taking the crust off, leaving a 1" edge of crust along the sides. This will help keep your raspberry filling in place and not spilling everywhere. Pour your filling on carefully, making sure it doesn't reach the sides. I'd let this sit for a minute. Add your second layer gently, and begin frosting the sides and top. Enjoy!

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This is the BEST snickerdoodle recipe ever. I can't stand sugar cookies that have that bitter aftertaste of terror. These are fluffy and delicious! NO BAD AFTERTASTE.

1 c. shortening (butter flavor or regular)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract* optional (also good: almond extract! LOVE YOUR EXTRACTS, PEOPLE. IT'S HOW WE MAKE OUR OWN SPECIAL RECIPES!)

Place in a small bowl and set aside:
1 T. cinnamon
4 T. sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream your shortening. That means, mix with an electric mixer until fluffy. Continue creaming and add sugar, add eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Add vanilla* and fold into mixture.

Sift your dry ingredients together and slowly add to the wet ingredients with a wire whisk. Do not use the electric mixer here! Over mixing is what makes a tough cookie. Good in quotes, not in the mouth.

With a large tablespoon, scoop out dough and roll into a smooth ball. Roll into the sugar/cinnamon mix and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

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There is nothing better than home-made tortillas, and nothing as cheap to make! You'll never buy tortillas ready made from the store again, I guarantee it. Traditional flour tortillas are made with lard or pork fat. It's pretty darn good, but you can sub out the lard and fat for regular ol' Crisco shortening. Recipes that call for vegetable oil are gross and should be looked at sternly and made fun of.

This recipe can be doubled!

Time saver: Make dough balls in advance and freeze overnight. They will last 2 weeks in the freezer. Just take out of the ice box, thaw, roll and grill!

Yields: 14-16 tortillas
Cook/Prep time: 30 minutes (20 if you're a pro)

3 c. All Purpose Flour
4-6 T. Pork Fat (I save my fat from frying bacon, straining it into an air-tight container. Should be good for 3 weeks. Here's where you'd sub for shortening if you don't have pork fat.)
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/4 cup warm water

Combine flour, fat, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl with a fork. Make sure the fat or shortening is incorporated well with the dry ingredients. Add one cup of warm water and mix in with your hands. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of water if it's too dry.

On a floured surface, knead dough for a couple of minutes until elastic. Pull sections of dough about the size of a golf ball and roll or pat into small balls. Place balls of dough in a casserole dish, making sure they don't touch each other. Cover with a damp paper towel and let rest for about 10 minutes.

On a heavily floured surface, take a ball of dough and with a floured rolling pin, start rolling from the center up, then the center down. Flip over and roll from the center left to the center right. Continue this until desired thickness. Tip: Roll all of the balls of dough first and stack on a plate like pancakes. If you're rolling on a floured surface, they won't stick together and it makes your cooking time faster!

Get a non-stick frying pan or a griddle on super high heat. Toss in a tortilla and cook until bubbles appear. Flip over and cook for another minute or two. Keep cooked tortillas covered with a plate while you cook the next one so they stay hot and delicious! Don't resist eating while cooking them. It's the best part!

Over time, you will make these faster and faster and have a new found appreciation for Mexican dishes made at home. Talk about fantastic quesadillas!

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Servings: 4
Cook/Prep Time: 1 hour 15 min

4 Chicken Breasts
12oz Monterrey Jack cheese; shredded
8oz. Sour Cream
8oz. Verde Salsa
1 can Refried Black Beans* optional
2 c. Chicken Broth -from poaching, recipe follows
2 T. Margarine
2 T. Flour
10-12 Flour torillas
1/4 c. Vegetable Oil for frying

Place chicken in a pot, just covering them with water and poach until cooked through. Save water (broth). Remove from heat and shred, setting aside.

Melt margarine in saucepan. Add flour and whisk to death, cooking about 1 minute. Do not burn! Add broth and stir until thickened.

Add sour cream and verde salsa. Mix well and bring to a rolling boil. Take off heat and set aside.

Fry tortillas in oil until limp. This should only take a few seconds per side.


Have cheese, chicken, black beans* and tortillas ready in an assembly line. Fill each tortilla with cheese and chicken and roll up, placing in a long casserole dish. Make as many as you have meat for. Cover all the enchiladas with the sour cream sauce and remaining cheese.

Bake 350d. for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. These are great in the microwave the next day!

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16 oz Large Elbow Macaroni
1 pkg Skinless Polska Kielbasa Sausage, sliced thin
2 T. Olive Oil
4 - 4 1/2 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Or 1 lb)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 c. Heavy Cream
1/3 c. Brown Mustard
1 tsp. Dill
1/3 c. Roughly Chopped Basil Leaves (about a handful before chopping)
1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 tsp. Good Black Pepper
1/2 pkg. Saltine Crackers

1. Start your macaroni noodles according to manufacturer's directions in a large pot. While the water is boiling, put olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add sausage and cook until edges are browned. Drain sausage on paper towels and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Drain noodles when cooked, and immediately put back into the pot. Do not rinse the noodles! Starch is your friend! Add the cream of chicken, heavy cream, cooked sausage, spices, herbs and mustard, and only one cup of the grated cheese. Mix well.

4. Place saltine crackers in a ziplock bag and crush into crumbs. I like to put a pinch of pepper in with the crackers before hand, but that's up to you. I like every bite to taste good!

5. Pour casserole mix into a large casserole dish and cover with the remaining cheese and top with the cracker crumbs. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly and browned. Another trick if you like a crispy crust:

6. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes under your broiler on medium heat. Delicious!

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This recipe is slightly altered from an online recipe site. I think I got it from allrecipes.com

2 packages Active Dry Yeast (1/4 oz each packet)
2/3 c warm water
2 tsp sugar

6 egg yolks
3 eggs room temperature
1/2 c vegetable or canola oil
1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp honey* optional
4 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 egg
1 pinch salt

1. Dissolve yeast in 2/3 c warm water along with 2 tsp sugar. Whisk until foamy and dissolved and let proof for 10 minutes. If doubled in size, the yeast is active. Add 6 egg yolks, 3 whole eggs, oil, sugar, honey* and 3 1/2 cups of flour. Mix well until sticky dough is formed. I added a bit more flour, as this is really sticky. Just add a little at a time until sticky yet kneadable.

2. Turn out dough on a heavily floured surface. Knead well for 7 minutes until dough is elastic. Place in a well oiled bowl and turn dough over to coat all of it with the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place for about an hour, or until dough has doubled in size. (It took mine about an hour and 20 minutes). Do not rush the rising process!

3. Punch down dough (with a floured hand, this bitch is sticky) and put on a floured surface. Cut into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into 12" logs (like making French bread). Braid pieces together and seal the ends. Place on a greased cookie sheet. (Be sure to grease the edges of the cookie sheet, as this bread will take up the entire sheet when done). Beat remaining one egg with a pinch of salt and brush half of the egg onto the bread, covering it well. Let it rise again. It will take about 35-40 minutes to rise a second time, and DO NOT RUSH IT.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (recipe called for 375 but it will burn at this temperature. 350 is perfect for Texas weather.) BRUSH WITH REMAINING EGG AGAIN.

5. Cover bread with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes or longer, depending on your oven. In total, it only took 20 minutes for my bread to be done, but I forgot to cover it with foil, so it browned quicker than it should have.

6. Remove and let cool on a wire wrack.

This can recipe can be halved and put into two bread loaf pans, or made into the best damn rolls you've ever eaten. This is a very light, fluffy bread and is FANTASTIC as French Toast the next day. Enjoy!

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Now, I like my cookies chewy and puffy. Some people like them crispy and thin (which is evil.) This recipe will make the puffiest, chewiest cookies you've ever tasted. What's the secret? Brown Sugar to White Sugar ratio. Now, most recipes call for brown sugar, but usually not enough. The more brown sugar you have, the chewier they will be. Thanks, Alton Brown! *doffs hat* Second trick: Creaming your butter. Doing this ensures the cookie to be puffy, lighter, and airy. Third trick: Getting all your cold ingredients to be room temperature. This stops the dough from getting 'stiff' when you add a bunch of cold items to room temperature items. So, get your eggs and butter out a good 20 minutes before baking and you will not be sorry. Stiff in the end is one thing, but stiff in the beginning is yuck. You can alter just about any cookie recipe to make them your own, and I have done the same. I've made 3 batches in the last month, just to get them right where I want them, and I have succeeded.

Ladies...get your pens.

Cook/Prep time: 45 minutes
Yields: 2 dozen cookies

2 sticks of SALTED butter, room temperature (I use salted butter instead of adding a pinch of salt. It just...I don't know. It's better.)
3/4 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla (yes, TWO!)
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. Semi-Sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli. F'geh!)

Creaming butter:

In a mixing bowl, add the two sticks of butter and with a hand mixer, beat the butter for about 2 minutes or until it gets fluffy and raises. Add white and brown sugar, and cream again for another 2 minutes. RESIST EATING. Add one egg, and beat until mixed well. Add the second egg, repeat. Add vanilla and give it a quick beat on high. Here's where I hope you have a good hand mixer because this dough will do a number on it. Sift flour and soda in a separate bowl! Sifting IS important! Add the flour/soda, a little at a time until mixed well. Then add the chocolate chips, mix again until well incorporated but be careful not to over mix here.

Preheat oven to 350 and get 2 non greased cookie sheets ready.

Get a large spoon, and spray with cooking oil. THE DOUGH SLIDES RIGHT OFF ONTO THE SHEET. NO WASTE! Scoop large, keeping cookies a good inch or two apart, making 2 dozen.

12-13 minutes. Remove when the edges are brown but the center is still 'raw' looking. They will keep cooking after you take them out, this is the trick to chewy cookies! Take them out just before you think they're done and you will have the perfect, fluffy and chewy-gooey cookie! Put on wire racks to cool, RESIST EATING FOR AT LEAST 5 MINUTES. THE MAGIC HAS NOT HAPPENED YET.


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Traditional White Bread, with a few changes to the family recipe

I really like home made bread. And I really, REALLY like my aunt's recipe, but I made some changes that are so simple, yet delicious. Don't be afraid to make bread, it's easier than you think! This recipe is specifically for making bread by hand, and not for a lazy ass bread maker that you bought. Seriously...bread is easy. This does not require yeast proofing, so you can start right away.

Cook/prep time: 3 hours
Yields: 2 loaves or one large loaf

2 pkg. Dry Active Yeast
2 tsp. Salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. Canola oil or light olive oil (I use olive oil if I add herbs to this recipe, which is really good, too!)
2 c. HOT tap water
1/3 c. Non Fat Dry or Powdered Milk (trust me, is good!)
5 c. All Purpose Flour (or 2 c. All P Flour and 3 c. Bread Flour, doesn't matter.)

In a large bowl, combine yeast, salt, sugar, oil and HOT water with a hand mixer on low for 2 minutes. Add the powdered milk and 2 c. of flour for another 2 minutes on low, then to medium so you don't spray flour all over your kitchen. With a wooden spoon, combine remaining 3 c. flour until well mixed.

Turn out dough on a heavy floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is firm and elastic. I call this stage, "the perfect breast". HAHAHA. Grease a large bowl with shortening and put dough in, flipping it over so all sides of dough have been greased. LOOSELY cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for about one hour until dough has doubled in size. I put mine on top of the running dryer because it gets cold in my house. It would normally take 2 hours to rise and it only took 45 minutes this way!

Punch down dough and grease 2 bread pans with shortening. Form dough into loaves and put in pans. Cover again and let double in size. (About 30 minutes.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake bread for 30 - 40 minutes or until crust is brown and delicious. Immediately remove from pans and onto wire racks. Brush tops with melted butter and let cool. ENJOY!

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Cooking/Prep Time: 1 1/2 Hours
Serves: Four


1 pkg. Dry Active Yeast
2 T. Warm water
1 c. Warm water.
3 c. All Purpose Flour
2 T. Shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
*1 egg, beaten with 1 T. olive oil to make a wash

Combine yeast with 2 T. warm water and whisk until incorporated and foamy. Add remaining ingredients, except for the egg wash and knead well for about 5 minutes. Cover with a damp paper towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Divide into four sections, or two sections to make 2 very large calzones. (You can also use this recipe for pizza dough).


4 links good Italian sausage, removed from casing and chopped into bite size pieces
8 - 10 large pepperoni slices, cut in half (Deli thin slices)
1 1/3 c. Plain Ricotta cheese
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese.
1/2 c. roughly chopped basil
1 small jar of tomato sauce, or 2 1/2 c. tomato sauce
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt (don't use good garlic, it's Calzone, come on, people.)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
pinch of salt

Put olive oil in a large skillet and add the sausage, garlic salt, oregano, pepper and salt on medium high heat. When sausage turns brown on the outside (but still pink in the middle) add the tomato sauce. Turn heat to medium and simmer until all ingredients are hot and bubbly.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella and chopped basil until mixed well and forms a shmear.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Roll out one section of dough into a circle. Fill one side of the circle with the filling. From bottom to top, the ingredients are stacked as follows: Pepperoni slices, cheese schmear, sausage/sauce. Do it this way so the bottom has structure and isn't oozing all over the place, making sure you leave an inch of dough on the outsides, as you will fold it over. With the egg wash, brush the edges of the dough and fold over, pinching the edges together. Brush the tops of the calzone with the egg wash and pierce top with a fork. Place all calzones on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve with marinara or ranch for dipping! DELICIOUS!

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