Vivan’s Texas Sheet Cake

IMG_2300

I’ve never been a gambler.  Well, at least not a good one.  I rarely win anything, be it a stuffed toy at the county fair, or a pair of tickets via the local radio station.  This fact does not bode well for me since I have a group of friends that likes to meet occasionally for a “friendly” game of Texas Hold ‘Em poker.

We have some really, really good players in the group and I am so bad that I only play when I know I have decent cards – I’m giving away all my secrets here!  In all seriousness, the game is always fun.  I see it as a way to connect to friends on a human level rather than via Facebook, and hey, when we host, I always make some sort of sweet or savory snack!  So, even though my friends walk away with my buy-in (all $10 of it!), at least I can say I provided something good to eat while they do it.

This time, we welcomed two newcomers into the fold.  My friend from Norway, Thomas, was here visiting and he brought his friend, Anders.  To mark the occasion, I felt that something chocolatey would suffice.  I instantly thought about my mother’s Texas Sheet Cake.  It’s quick and simple, and totally divine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Peach and Bourbon Bars

vsco_0

The farmers market is in full force here in Omaha and I absolutely could not pass up the opportunity to bring home a few lovely peaches.  As they sat on my counter, I thought about what I might do with them besides just slice and eat (which is perfectly fine).  I ran across a few inspirations online and decided to sort of mash them all together and add a few of my own ingredients.

Read the rest of this entry »


Brownies Via Dorie and Katharine

I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but Sunday evening is most often reserved for dinner with our friends, Pat and Holly.  We head over to their house with the pretense of watching whichever HBO show we’re following at the moment – right now it’s the beautifully violent Boardwalk Empire – but we always share a meal prior to plopping ourselves down on the couch.

Most of the time, Pat and Holly provide the meal and I’ll bring dessert, but lately, I’ve been feeling like they do way too much, so I’ve volunteered to bring dinner once in a while.  I think a few weeks ago I brought over chicken to fry and this last Sunday I felt like spaghetti and meatballs – so I did that.  I love cooking for our Sunday get-togethers for a number of reasons.  I like giving the hosts the night off, I get to stretch my culinary muscles, and I get to test out my recipes on my friends.

There are some things I want to change with the spaghetti and meatballs, so I’ll reserve that for another post.  But I’ll tell you this: you really can’t go wrong with a rich tomato sauce left to simmer for an hour and meatballs taste their most delicious when seared first in a blazing hot cast-iron skillet and left to simmer along with the sauce.  YUM!

I don’t know about you all, but whenever we had spaghetti and meatballs at home, my mom would always follow up with a tasty pan of chocolaty brownies.  There must be something about Italian food – or tomatoes or something – that makes me crave chocolate within minutes of cleaning my plate of all the evidence.  Am I alone in this or do you all understand what I’m saying?

Read the rest of this entry »