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Month: December 2020

Light appetizer before Holiday Meal

From the Texas Gulf coast comes an appetizer that can be prepared several days ahead and pulled out to quench hunger before that time that all dishes come out of the oven (for me always a little later than planned).  Enjoy Billy Meek’s Ceviche family recipe from her time in Rockport and her excitement about “catching the BIG ONE”.


Gulf Coast Red Fish Ceviche

Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10 Appetizers


Day One

  • 1 lb Red Fish or other firm white fish (chopped finely)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Tabasco to taste

Day Two

  • 1 medium diced white onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and diced)
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp powdered oregano
  • ½ tsp diced parsley
  • Lemon juice to cover and keep moist


  • Mix Day One ingredients together and let stand overnight
  • Pour off some of the juice and mix with Day Two items
  • Refrigerate and let stand overnight
  • Serve with crackers

Bourbon-Infused Pecan Pie

The pecan tree was declared the state tree of Texas in 1919. It is native to Texas and produces the state’s only commercially-grown nut. Infuse these pecans with a late-comer Texas bourbon whiskey and you have a delectable dessert.

I chose Rebecca Creek Bourbon Whiskey for this bourbon-infused pecan pie, but there are several options to keep it “all Texan.”

Firestone and Robertson (their yeast is actually made from locally-sourced Texas pecans), Ranger Creek, Treaty Oak, Ben Milam, and Garrison Brothers are but a few Texas-born-and-brewed bourbons.

Warning: this pie may not be legal in a “dry county.”

Bourbon Infused Pecan Pie

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 HEB refrigerated pie crust
  • ¼ cup plust 2 tbsp butter (divided)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup Rebecca Creek Bourbon Whiskey (divided)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • cups pecan halves
  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  • If possible the day before: Toast the 1/2 cup chopped pecans in 2 TBSP Butter. Pour 1/4 cup Bourbon in a glass bowl and add the toasted pecans. Let sit for 8 - 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly silpat or lightly floured surface, unroll pie crust dough. Carefully transfer to a buttered pie plate.
  • In a large saucepan, combine butter, sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved: Cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, 1/4 cup bourbon, vanilla and salt; slowly whisk in sugar mixture.
  • Stir in pecan halves and pour into crust.
  • Evenly spread bourbon infused chopped pecans across the top.
  • Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake 55-60 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

German Dark Chocolate Cake

“Absolutely best chocolate cake you have ever made” resonated around the birthday celebration table for my son.  For his birthday every year, I have the pleasure of making my youngest Son’s favorite desert – German Chocolate Cake.  This year, he has gone gluten-free, so I was forced to experiment with a different recipe.  The whole family said it was their favorite chocolate cake – Hands down – that I’ve ever made – woohoo!  Perhaps it helps that it is a German “Dark” Chocolate cake 🙂 

Dark German Chocolate Cake (Gluten-free)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Servings 16



  • cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups GF flour (includes xanthan)
  • cups cocoa powder
  • tsp baking powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • cups half and half
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1⅛ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • cups intensely hot water

Coconut Pecan Filling and Topping

  • cups sugar
  • cup water
  • 1⅓ cups water
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted



  • Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Grease and flour 3- 9” round cake pans.
  • Blend together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (I use a whisk)
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients an mix at low speed for 5 minutes.
  • Slowly pour the hot water into the batter, continuing to mix.
  • Divide batter between the 3 pans and bake until the center feels firm to the touch (I use a spoon), about 30 - 35 minutes.
  • Layers can cool in pans, be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Filling and Topping

  • Pour sugar into the middle of a deep heavy pan. Pour the water around the edge of the pan. Gently stir to moisten the sugar.
  • Bring to a full boil (using high heat), and cook with out stirring, swirling the pan occasionally to even out the color, until it reaches a medium caramel color - 5 - 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and use a long-handled spoon to slowly and carefully stir in the cream - being cautious of splattering. Stir in the nuts and coconut. Keep warm.
  • Place one layer - rounded side down on cake platter, top with 1/3 filling. Repeat with layer #2, Place top layer - rounded side up and top with remainder filling. Sides of cake will remain uncovered.