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Our Businesses: Special Affairs Catering ( Wedding Cakes and Other Goodies ! ) and Dolly's Seasonings Inc., the home of "Dolly's Seasoned Salt "

Monday, February 28, 2011

Best Wishes and a Recipe ..... For You !

Happy "National Chocolate Soufflé Day !"  Yum !

I can not tell you how much I love a good Chocolate  Soufflé ! And despite their reputation the are easy to make. Some tips: 

Make sure your oven is hot - Gently fold in the egg whites as to not deflate them - Individual Soufflés area better choice for a larger dinner party and make a few extra for fun! One large soufflé is great for an intimate gathering of four friends around the table.

Chocolate Soufflé

                   softened butter for the soufflé dish
3        Tbl     all purpose flour
3        Tbl     unsalted butter
1 ½    cup     milk
12      oz       bittersweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
½       cup     brewed strong coffee
1        tsp     vanilla
½       cup    granulated sugar
5        ea      egg yolks
7        ea      egg whites
                   powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 375. Butter a 2-1/2 quart soufflé or baking dish. You can also use 4 individual sized ramekins, just use deep ones.

Melt 3 Tbl of the butter in a saucepan over low heat, whisk in the flour and milk and cook until it thickens. Stir in the chocolate and stir constantly until it is melted. 

Remove this mixture from the heat; add the coffee, vanilla, and half the sugar. One at a time, add the egg yolks while whisking constantly then set this wonderful, gleaming goo  aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks and gradually beat in the remaining sugar, continuing to whisk until the peaks stiffen.

Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture then pour into the prepared dish.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes until the soufflé rises 2 inches above the soufflé dish. 

Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011



A Recipe ..... For You !

It took me a minute to understand that the "Cado" part of the cake's title was due to the Avacado and not the lake in Texas. However this unusual mixture makes a great cake! Try it !

Cocoa - Cado Cake with Toffee Pieces

1 small, over-ripe banana, mashed shopping list
1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed, about 1 medium avocado shopping list
2 tsp vanilla shopping list        
1/2 cup toffee bits, divided shopping list

Preheat oven to 350F, grease a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat together sugar, banana and avocado. Add vanilla and beat well. Add half the dry mixture, followed by the water and coffee, then stir in the remaining dry ingredients and 1/3 cup of the toffee bits, blending gently but thoroughly. Scrape into the prepared pan and top with remaining toffee pieces. Bake for 55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Event !

Don't look now but ...... the BIG BAD BUG BARBECUE is going on today in Johannesburg, South Africa !  Grilled worms anyone !?!

Quote !

I am not a gluttonI am an explorer of food.

Erma Bombeck

Best Wishes !

Happy Flag Day !

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Recipe ..... For you !

Happy Margharita Day ! 

OKAY - not the drink, ..... but THE PIZZA !!!!

Margharita Pizza

1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (90° to 105°)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

One 14-ounce can peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
32 large basil leaves, torn into pieces

In a large bowl, mix the yeast with 1/2 cup of the warm water and the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of warm water, the 4 cups of flour and the kosher salt and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead, adding flour as necessary until a silky, but soft dough forms. Use a pastry scraper to help knead the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and brush all over with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface; punch down and divide into 4 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Rub each ball with oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Cover the balls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place for 1 hour. Meanwhile, set a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°, allowing at least 45 minutes for the stone to heat. Pass the tomatoes through a food mill set over a medium bowl or pulse them in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Stir in the oregano and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

On a lightly floured surface, stretch one ball of dough into a 13-inch round; transfer to a floured pizza peel, adding flour where the dough sticks. Spread 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over the dough to within 1 inch of the edge. Spread one-fourth of the cheese over the pizza and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with sea salt and pepper and slide the pizza onto the stone. Bake until the bottom is charred and the cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. Scatter fresh basil on top and let stand for 3 minutes before serving. 


Best Wishes !

Happy "National Margarita Day !"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cook's Tip !

With today being President's Day many folks have a three day weekend, thus party party party !  But remember that tomorrow is a work day so ..... hold off on too much partying today as ..... tomorrow, February 22 is "National Margarita Day !"

Best Wishes and A Recipe ..... For You !

Happy President's Day !

Although Harry Truman is not one of the presidents honored on this late February holiday I offer this fun recipe for a coffee cake like pie, Bess Truman's Ozark Pie !  Not caring much for many of our presidents I have always been enamoured with their wives, many of whome were the true ruler of our nation ! Bess Truman was one of my favorites as she was a pie lover ! Here is one of her favorites !

Ozark Pie

1          lg      egg

1          lg      egg yolk

1/2      cup   sugar

1/4      cup   firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2      tsp   vanilla extract

1/2      cup   all-purpose flour plus

1          Tbl   all-purpose flour

1 1/2   Tbl   baking powder

1/2      tsp   ground cinnamon

1/4      tsp   ground nutmeg

1          lg    apple peeled, cored, and cut into chunks

1/2      cup chopped pecans 

            fresh whipped cream or applesauce for garnish
 Butter a 9 1/2 inch deep dish pie pan; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine egg, egg yolk, sugar, and brown sugar; beat, using an electric mixer, for 2 minutes or until light and airy; blend in vanilla. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir into the batter along with the apple and nuts. Transfer mixture into prepared pie pan; smoothing the top to even out. Place pie on the center rack of a 350 oven; bake about 30 minutes or until the top is a dark golden brown and crusted over; the apples will most likely be visible through the crust. Place pie on a wire rack and let cool. Serve barely warm or at room temperature, garnished with whipped cream or applesauce. Yum !

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Event !

The National Butter Festival starts today in the country of China !

Best Wishes !

Happy "National Chocolate Mint Day !"

Friday, February 18, 2011




A Recipe ..... For You !

Lazy Man's Peach Cobbler

3             29 oz cans       sliced cling peaches - or one whopper size can
¼            lb                     melted butter
1             cup                  all purpose flour
1 & ½      cup                  sugar
2             tsp                   baking powder
¼            tsp                   salt
1             cup                  milk
1             tsp                   ground cinnamon
½            tsp                   ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X13 inch baking pan. Drain peaches and reserve the juice set aside. Melt butter and pour into bottom of 9x13 pan.  Mix flour, 1 cup of the sugar with the baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk and ½ cup of the reserved peach liquid. Pour into 9X13 pan on top of melted butter. Pour remaining sugar over the peaches and add cinnamon and nutmeg mixing together with your fingers. Pour peach mixture over the batter. Do not stir. Bake for 45 min to 1 hr until golden on top and bubbly. Hint: I double the batter mixture because I like a lot of crust. You might need a larger pan. Delish !



The Cheesemaker !



Dinner, a time when . . . one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely
 W. Somerset Maugham

A Recipe ..... For You !

Although I love Texas and Queso and especially recipes that make things so you do not have to buy the item I am shocked when folks feel that I am too much of a snob to enjoy a good block of Velveeta !  Velveeta, you goota love her !

Homemade Velveeta Cheese

1     1/2         lb          grated Cheddar cheese, divided into 3 equal parts
1     1/2        cup        almost boiling water, divided into 3 equal parts
1/2               cup        plus 1 tbls. instant dry milk, divided into 3 equal parts
1/2               ea          envelope unflavored gelatin (1 1/2 tsp.), divided into 3 equal parts

Line a 8x4x2 loaf pan with plastic wrap. Put 1/2 cup water, 3 tbls. milk, and 1/2 tsp. gelatin into your blender. Whir until the gelatin has dissolved. Add 1/2 lb of the Cheddar cheese and whir until blended. Pour this deluxe mixture into a Pate Terring or loaf pan. Repeat this procedure two more times. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight before unmolding. Makes 2 Lbs. Add a can of Rotel Tomatoes and you have a great and traditional Texas Queso !  Yum !

A Jar of Dolly's Seasoned Salt ..... For You !

$ 3.99 ea. !

Best Wishes !

Happy "National Bun Day ! "


Monday, February 14, 2011

Quote !

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.

Epicurus, ancient Greek philosopher

Cook's Tip !

Happy Valentine's Day !

My Tip on a day like today is that, unless you are an experienced Rose Grower and candy maker ....... Hit the stores for your loved one !


Sunday, February 13, 2011


Quote !

A gourmet who thinks of calories is like ..... a tart who looks at her watch !

James Beard

A Recipe ..... For You !

Carrot, Raddish Salad with Cashews

1 & 1/2      lb      carrots
1/2             cup   unsalted whole cashews
3                Tbl    unsalted butter
3/4             cup   finely chopped yellow onion
2                tsp    minced fresh ginger
1                Tbl    sugar
1/2             tsp     Dolly's Seasoned Salt
1/8             tsp     cinnamon
1                ea      cinnamon stick
1/4             tsp     cardamon
4                ea      cardamon pods
                            sliced raddishes, to taste

Using a peeler cut the carrots into ribbons.  Toast the cashews in a skillet or 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the nuts and set aside. Add the butter, onion, ginger, sugar and Dolly's Seasoned Salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Add the carrots, the remaining spices and 1 tablespoon water. Cook covered for 5 minutes. Remove the whole spices, toss the nuts back in, then garnish with the cool raddishes, to your taste. These are better when served hot as the combination of the hot carrots and cool raddishes can not be beat ! Yum !

Cook's Tip !

Don't keep your diet coke too close to your computer ........  ZAP !

Best Wishes !

Happy "National Clean Out Your Computer Day !"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Best Wishes and A Recipe For You !

Happy National Plum Pudding Day !

Fruit Mixture (To be made 4 days ahead)

1          lb      seedless raisins
1          lb      sultana raisins
1/2       lb      currants
1          cup    thinly sliced citron
1          cup    chopped candied peel
1          tsp     cinnamon
1/2       tsp     mace
1/2       tsp     nutmeg
1/4       tsp     ground cloves
1/4       tsp     allspice
1/4       tsp     freshly ground black pepper
1          lb       finely chopped suet - powdery fine
1 1/4    cup    cognac


1 ¼     lb    (approximately)    fresh bread crumbs
1         cup                               scalded milk
1         cup                               sherry or port
12                                            eggs, well beaten
1         cup                               sugar
1         tsp                                salt

Blend the fruits, citron, peel, spices and suet and place in a bowl or jar. Add 1/4 cup cognac, cover tightly and refrigerate for 4 days, adding 1/4 cup cognac each day.
Soak the bread crumbs in milk and sherry or port. Combine the well-beaten eggs and sugar. Blend with the fruit mixture. Add salt and mix thoroughly. Put the pudding in buttered bowls or tins, filling them about 2/3 full. Cover with foil and tie it firmly. Steam for 6-7 hours. Uncover and place in a 250°F. oven for 30 minutes. Add a dash of cognac to each pudding, cover with foil and keep in a cool place.
To use, steam again for 2-3 hours and unmold. Sprinkle with sugar; add heated cognac. Ignite and bring to the table. Serve with hard sauce or cognac sauce.