Thursday, June 29, 2023

My Mom's Coconut Cake


Every year before my Mom moved to heaven I made her favorite Coconut cake. In total I probably made 67 of these cakes and each and every time I lit the candles and presented it to her, she would go on and on about how her daughter could make the best coconut cake in the whole world. She was the one who taught me how to make it when I was young and yet she insisted I made it better. I would light up as bright as she did over that cake. To know my Mom thought I was the best cook was quite an accomplishment in my life. I miss making this cake for her each year... and I cry each time I make it.

Mom's Coconut Cake

1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups cake flour
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
Buttercream Frosting:

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 box confectioners’ sugar, (16 oz.), sifted 
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut for topping

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line each with parchment paper. Grease paper and dust with flour.



Mix butter and sugar on medium-high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add extracts and mix. The mixture will look a bit lumpy.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed and add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, in three parts. Mix just until combined. Fold in coconut.

Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops of each. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until tops are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 30 minutes. Then, remove from pans to finish cooling on wire racks.








Using an electric mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese, butter, and extracts. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix just until smooth.

Spread frosting on first layer. Place the second layer on top and frost the top and sides. Sprinkle top and sides with coconut.


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Thursday, June 22, 2023

Beer Battered Fish

This beer battered fish has that tender, crispy, light crunch and the inside is so moist and flaky!  I could eat an entire plate of these! You can use any meaty fresh white fish such as cod fillets, Halibut, Haddock, Pollock, or Whiting. I’ve even used frozen Cod and you couldn’t taste the difference.  So good!

Beer Battered Fish

6 cups vegetable oil
1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 pounds of meaty white fish, skinned with bones removed. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

In a 5 quart pot or Dutch oven, heat oil to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, pour in 1 bottle of beer. Sift 1 1/2 cups flour into the bowl, whisking in gently until just combined, stir in salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

Pat fish dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper and coat the fish in the beer batter. Dredge the pieces of fish in 1/2 cup of remaining flour and slide into oil as coated. 


Fry fish, turning over frequently, until deep golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven. 


Fry remaining fish in batches, returning oil to 375 degrees between batches.  Serve fish with French fries, and if desired, tartar sauce and/or ketchup, and lemon wedges.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Blackened Chicken Alfredo










Absolutely delicious.  I am not a fan of Cajun food and I’m not crazy about any dish that is too spicy.  But this is not at all like that.  This is restaurant quality dish with tender bites of chicken in a creamy incredible thick sauce with just a touch of seasoning to give it the right blend.  You will love this recipe!


Blackened Chicken Alfredo


1 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon Zatarain’s blackened seasoning

2 cups heavy whipping cream

4 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained well

1 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

¼ cup fresh parsley


Lay out chicken breasts on a plate and brush with melted butter.  Then season to taste with salt, pepper, and blackened seasoning. 























Melt butter and olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add seasoned chicken to skillet and fry 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes and set aside.  You can also grill chicken if desired.



























In the same skillet, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly until it just starts to brown. Watch it as garlic burns easily.  Add the cream, and stir until it begins to thicken. 



















Add the cooked pasta, stirring until evenly mixed.  Add in the cubed chicken and Parmesan cheese stirring until cheese melts and pasta is coated with the sauce.  Pour entire mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish.


















Sprinkle mozzarella cheese all over the top and bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. 







Sprinkle on parsley and serve. 


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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
















You know you have a winner pasta salad when you can’t decide if it’s better hot or cold.  When you decide it’s a full dinner meal and not just a side salad.  You know it’s a winner when you put on the pot luck buffet table and it’s gone within a few minutes.  This is definitely a winner.



















Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad


16 oz box of elbow macaroni

3 chicken breasts chopped into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3/4 cup of mayonnaise

3/4 cup of your Hidden Valley Ranch dressing

3-4 green onions chopped (white and green)

8 strips of cooked bacon, chopped

2 cups of Colby Jack shredded cheese

1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes



















Cook the pasta per package directions, remove, drain, and set aside.  Be sure and add plenty of salt to your boiling water before adding pasta.



















In a large skillet over medium heat add your olive oil, chicken, and garlic. Saut√© chicken until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and then add to your cooked noodles. 




















In a medium bowl, mix together your ranch dressing and mayonnaise.  Pour your dressing over your pasta and chicken.  Add in the shredded cheese and mix well.




















Next add in your cooked bacon, green onions, tomatoes and cheese and stir until mixed through. If you want it creamier, just add a tablespoon of mayo and stir well.  





















Sprinkle some green onions on top for color.  Serve warm or refrigerate for an hour or two and then serve.



















Want a bite?












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