Monthly Archives: April 2011

Amanda’s Great Grandmother’s Carmel Cake


Amanda Costello Reves made her Great Grandmother’s Carmel Cake for Easter – continuing a family tradition. 

The recipe is on an old notecard, so directions are a little confusing.  My Great Grandma used a boxed yellow cake and it was always delicious!!  Amanda

Caramel cake is a Southern favorite, one of those cakes that if you saw one at a school carnival cake walk, you would  embarrass your children trying to win the cake.  The first Carmel cake recipe was published in 1883.  

Caramelize Sugar – Add 1/2 cup white sugar to a heavy saucepan and heat until caramelized. 

(HFH notes:  If you are new to caramelizing sugar, you can add 2 tablespoons water to the 1/2 cup sugar to slow the caramelizing down.  Do not let your sugar get above 375 degrees or it will scorch.  Once it starts boiling, do not stir or you could create crystals.  Once the mixture turns carmel color, place pot in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.)

Bring the following ingredients to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, add  caramelized sugar and boil for 3 1/2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat until smooth.  Amanda used a whisk.
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 stick butter
2 cups sugar

The icing will be runny, but will also cool fast.  So don’t worry if it looks messy, especially on the sides of the cake-just get it on the cake fast.  Also, you don’t need a lot of icing between the layers, because the icing gets thicker and hardens as it cools.

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Filed under Cakes, Celebration, Louisiana / Cajun

Crawfish and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Fried Okra and Buttermilk Dressing

This salad has the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, and the savory of the crawfish and dressing.  Had this in New Orleans a long time ago and it was delicious and so easy to make.  If you aren’t a crawfish person, you can leave out the crawfish, but I LOVE CRAWFISH!

Arrange the lettuce on 4 large salad plates. Place the crawfish salad in the center of the lettuce and arrange the roasted sweet potatoes around the crawfish. Garnish with the fried orka and drizzle to taste with the remaining buttermilk dressing. Serve immediately. 

1 lb, sweet potatoes

1 pound crawfish tails

6 ounces mixed lettuce or other salad greens, washed and spun dry

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

Cavender’s Seasoning


Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.   This recipe makes 4 servings.

In a bowl, toss the sweet potato cubes with the oil and 1 teaspoon of the garlic. Season lightly with ‘ seasoning, salt and pepper, tossing to coat evenly. Arrange in a baking dish and roast, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool. 

Dressing – makes 2/3 cup

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, optional

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

To make the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce, if desired. Add the green onions, parsley, and remaining 2 teaspoons garlic. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, with salt and pepper. 

In a large bowl, toss the rinsed crawfish with enough dressing to lightly coat, about 1/2 cup.  You can choose to just rinse your crawfish or you may rinse and then saute in a little butter – let cool.  Adjust the seasoning, to taste. 

Fried Okra

1 pound fresh small okra, or large okra cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces, stem ends trimmed 

Vegetable oil, for frying 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon Cavender’s Seasoning, plus more for dusting 

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 

2 large eggs 

1 tablespoon water 

1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce, optional 

In a heavy medium pot, preheat enough oil to come halfway up the sides to 360 degrees F. 

In a shallow dish, combine the flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Cavender’s Seasoning. In another shallow dish, combine the cornmeal and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons Cavender’s. In a third bowl, beat together the eggs, water, and the pepper sauce, if desired, to make the egg wash. 

In batches, lightly dredge the okra first in the flour, then dip into the egg wash to coat. Dredge in the cornmeal, shaking to remove the excess. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

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Filed under Fish / Seafood, Louisiana / Cajun, Salad, Uncategorized

Emily’s Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

My friend Emily makes this cake for our book club and blogging gatherings – a special request by all. This cake is very moist and keeps well….if there’s any left. Check out Emily’s blog –

1 cup oil
1 box instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 Golden Butter Cake Mix
8 ounces sour cream
chocolate chips – as many as you wish!

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

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Filed under Cakes