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Hi Todd,
Here is a birthday cake from Saturday and some V-Day cupcakes.

Pinky Tuscadero cupcakes. Pink cupcakes with lemon filling and lemon frosting.
For the cupcakes:  Use whatever white cake recipe you have and add 1tbsp of pink food coloring.
Your mix will look like Pepto Bismol.  After the cupcakes are baked and cooled, scoop out a section of the middle with a knife.
Pipe some lemon curd into the hole.  You can buy lemon curd in the baking aisle or make your own  (home made tastes better).
For the frosting: 
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1/2 cup of butter
(you can use all shortening if you don't have any butter)
4 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 tbsp. of milk (maybe more)
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add lemon extract. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. If you want it thinner add a little more milk and beat again.  I used a stand mixer.
Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Store in the fridge for two weeks.  Re-whip before using.


Prairie Fire

I have worked on this recipe for over 25 years, and have fine tuned it to a religious experience. They are great for tailgating and Super Bowl parties.

I have experienced much debate from my friends as how to serve this. Weather I should serve it either as a dip with chips, or to roll it up in tortillas, or just spoon it into a bowl. So to keep the peace when we serve this dish now we set it up for whatever may be desired.  My favorite is to roll it up into burritos, Patti prefers a bowl and spoon. These are creamy, tender beans with a thick, rich cheddar cheese sauce. I never have any complaints and very little leftovers. So grab the Tabasco and set to…

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

A Dusting of Tabasco


1 lb. pinto beans

1 lb. pork sausage

1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded

2 large ham hocks

2 large sweet onions

2 small cans diced green chilies

3 beef bouillon cubes                        

1 lb. butter

2 Tbs. ground garlic

2 Tbs. ground cumin

3 Tbs. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook beans in a large pot as you would do any beans. Add ham hock/hocks, bouillon, red pepper and cumin. Simmer about 2 hours adding water as needed.

Fry sausage and drain the grease. Add to beans along with the garlic.

Continue cooking until the beans are tender and the soup is reduced and thick. You don’t want a lot of soup here; you may need to drain some off near the end. Pull the hocks out, bone and string them, then returning them to pot.

When beans are tender with just enough sauce that the beans are not dry, cube your cheese and butter. Dice the onions and add to pot with the green chilies.

Keeping low heat, melt cheese and butter into a nice, thick sauce.

Serve in bowls with chips and tortillas on the side along with lots of cold beer (Patti likes a well chilled Chablis, I guess you can take the girl out of the city, but…) and Tabasco sauce.

Remember that a recipe is simply an outline; it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste.

Take it and run with it….


Ken & Patti




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