Saturday, May 19, 2012

And Let The Parties Begin

Do not go where the path may lead;
go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first graduation party invite of the season recently graced my mailbox.  Having hosted a few graduation parties myself over the years I know how much work is involved planning the perfect event.  
Figuring out what to feed a crowd for some can be a dilemma. I am posting some recipes you might find helpful for your planning if you are on the hosting end. All the following recipes can be made days ahead. Some have been previously posted but work well with large numbers.
 Texas Sheet Cake
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2-cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup oil
  • optional- 1/8 cup Kahlua


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 TB. unsweetened cocoa
  • 9 TB. milk
  • 2-1/2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Melt butter in saucepan then add cocoa and coffee
  • Bring mixture to a boil and set aside
  • In a bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, soda and pour into hot cocoa mixture stirring with a wooden spoon to mix well
  • In another bowl beat eggs and add in buttermilk, oil, cinnamon, vanilla and Kahlua
  • Beat well and pour into chocolate/flour mixture
  • Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan or a jellyroll pan with sides
  • Bake 375 for 25 minutes for a 13 x 9 pan or bake 400 for 20 minutes if using a jellyroll pan
  • Cool cake 15 minutes before pouring on the icing
  • Melt butter in saucepan @ medium low heat then add cocoa and milk whisking to blend well
  • Bring to a boil
  • Place powdered sugar in mixing bowl and add hot chocolate mixture to it and beat well to remove any lumps
  • Optional add 2 TB. Kahula may have to add some milk to get right icing consistency
  • Sir in nuts and pour over cake or pour icing on cake then sprinkle nuts
  • Note: the frosting amount is generous so you might think about not using all of it- any left over icing tastes great right out of bowl J
 Three Bean Casserole
Serves 10-12
  • 1 lb. pork sausage or 1 lb. hamburger
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large can baked beans
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 can light kidney beans-rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans chunky diced tomatoes with basil/oregano
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 1 TB. mustard
  • 2 TB. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • optional crumbled bacon on top
  • Cook sausage/hamburger till crumbly, celery, onion over medium heat
  • Add rest of ingredients except bacon
  • Pour into an ungreased 3 quart casserole
  • Bake uncovered about 45 minutes at 350 or slow cooker on low for a few hours
 Sloppy Joes-serves 45-50
 Notes- use a Cuisinart to finely grind meat, celery, onions to get the maximum amount of servings

  • 8 lbs.  ground beef
  • 6 cups chopped onion
  • 5-7 cups finely chopped celery
  • 8 cans of chicken gumbo soup
  • 2 cups of catsup
  • 1 TB. salt
  • 3 TB. chili powder
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB. prepared mustard
  • 1/3cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1cup chili sauce
  • 4 cans chunky tomatoes (basil/garlic/oregano)

·        Brown meat and drain

·        Sauté onions and celery till limp

·        Combine both a few cups at a time in Cuisinart

  • In a large pot add all ingredients to hamburger mixture
  • Simmer for 1-1/2 hour stirring frequently
Taste the best making it a day or two before it is needed 

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches
·                            2 tablespoons barbecue seasoning, divided
·                            1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
·                            1 (5-lb.) bone-in pork loin center rib roast
·                            1 (15-oz.) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
·                            1/3 cup cider vinegar
·                            1/4 cup tomato paste
·                            1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
·                            1/4 cup brown sugar
·                            2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
·                            1 teaspoon black pepper
·                            2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
·                            12 multigrain buns
·                           Directions:
·                            1. Combine 1 Tbsp. barbecue seasoning and 1 tsp. salt; rub evenly over pork roast.
·                            2. Stir together tomatoes, next 7 ingredients, remaining 1 Tbsp. barbecue seasoning, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a 6.5-quart slow cooker. Add roast; cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until meat shreds easily.
·                            3. Remove roast; remove and discard bone. Shred meat using the tines of 2 forks. Return to slow cooker, and stir together with sauce; spoon over multigrain buns. Serve with pickles, if desired.


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