Try Texas sheet cake, buttermilk pie, baked potatoes and lasagna

Try Texas sheet cake, buttermilk pie, baked potatoes and lasagna

October 10th, 2012 Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

To reach us:

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

• Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.

• Email: janehenegar @gmail.com

• Fax: 423-668-5092

Good morning, readers.

Our old friend Tena Wexler, now a resident of Winston-Salem, N.C., came home to Chattanooga with a passel of requests for Fare Exchange. Here they are: the here-aforementioned kid-friendly, freezable spaghetti casserole; double chocolate-chip cookies made with cocoa and chocolate chips; unforgettable soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls, and several varieties of breads that begin with canned biscuits.

Joan Sass wrote this week: "I'm not sure if this is the recipe for the Texas sheet cake someone is looking for, but I'm submitting it anyway, just in case. I got it from a cook in Louisville, Ky."

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups flour

2 cups white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup water

4 tablespoons cocoa

2 sticks margarine or butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 F. Mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

In a saucepan, bring to boil water, cocoa and butter. Mix this liquid into dry ingredients.

Beat in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract.

Pour into 10- by 16- by 1-inch sheet pan, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Frosting

1 stick margarine

4 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound powdered sugar

1 cup chopped nuts

Boil margarine, cocoa, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and nuts. Pour on cake while still warm.

Cindy Tahler can recommend this buttermilk pie recipe because it is "my mom's recipe and my sister's favorite treat for her birthday. It tastes like a lemon pie; you'd never know one of the ingredients is buttermilk."

Buttermilk Pie

11/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 chilled 9-inch pie crust

Heat oven to 425 F. Combine sugar and flour. Beat 2 eggs, and add to sugar mixture. Using an electric mixer, blend in melted butter and buttermilk. Mix well, then fold in vanilla and lemon juice. Pour into pie crust and bake at 425 F for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 F and bake for an additional 35 minutes. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR. Cool on a wire rack. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

The next two recipes are from our last-nameless Barbara, in answer to requests.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

4 baking potatoes

Filling:

2 eggs, separated

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons whipping cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oven to 375 F. Rinse and scrub potatoes; pat dry. Prick a few times with fork. Bake in oven for about 1 hour or until soft. Cut a thin slice off the top of each potato. Carefully scoop out the pulp, and put in bowl.

Separate eggs. Add egg yolks to potato pulp, and blend until smooth. Add butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into potato mixture. Fill potato shells with mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until heated through.

Variation: Add chopped, sautéed onion, chopped chives or parsley, thinly sliced sautéed peppers or mushrooms.

Barbara's second response is for an easy variation on lasagna, made with ravioli.

Ravioli Lasagna

1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce

1 package (25 ounces) frozen or fresh ravioli, flavor of your choice, cooked and drained

16 ounces cottage cheese

16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in an ungreased 13- by 9-inch dish. Layer with half the ravioli, 11/4 cups sauce, 1 cup cottage cheese and 2 cups mozzarella. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings.

At our house, the main cook is firmly entrenched in her simple cooking phase -- it's all about taste, not about fanciness. At our house also, the other cook, who hitherto has specialized only in Mahatma red beans and rice, is studying Cook's Illustrated magazine and a many-layered dessert called dacquoise that he is contemplating making. Long ago, my wise friend Sally praised her husband's fried rice, noting that the more she praised, the more he would cook. So I say to the man of my house, bring on the dacquoise. I will praise it, and you, for sure.

Come back next week, you hear?