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Easy BeignetsWe Southerners love beignets!  If you have ever been to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans and had their famous chicory coffee and beignets you know what I am talking about.   A beignet is a pastry made from dough and deep-fried then rolled in confectioners sugar. (A doughnut without the hole)   This is an easy way to make these little treats and you won’t be able to stop eating them!  A great family activity because children love them as well as adults. I am posting two recipes here.  One is made with canned biscuits and the other is made from “scratch” with flour. They are both good and great with coffee, y’all!

Chocolate Beignets 
1 regular can of biscuits
chocolate chips
 oil for frying (enough to make about 2 inches of oil in skillet or deep fryer)
powdered sugar
chocolate syrup

Spread each biscuit into a circle and add 4 chocolate chips and fold the biscuit in half, pressing edges together. Drop each biscuit into oil around 350 degrees.  They will come to the top as soon as you drop them in oil.  Turn to brown both sides and remove from oil with slotted spoon.  Have a bowl of powdered sugar ready and roll hot beignets in sugar.  Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Makes 10 beignets.  Enjoy!

We like these with and without the chocolate syrup.  You can also make these leaving out the chocolate chips for just plain biscuit beignets.

Easy Beignets

Regular Beignets 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey, Syrup, Molasses or Powdered Sugar (Optional) 
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix well in a bowl with a wire whisk.  Beat milk, egg, oil and vanilla together and add to dry mixture.  Beat batter with whisk until smooth.  Drop by tablespoon full into hot oil either in skillet or deep fryer. Cook to golden brown on each side being careful not to burn.  Drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey, syrup or molasses.  Makes about 24 beignets.
Easy Beignets

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Mixed Veggie Sweet & Sour SaladThis salad is so easy to “fix” and it keeps well in the fridge. I make it and keep it in the refrigerator for my lunch. Would be great to take to work, too.

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables of your choice, cooked (I used Kroger Recipe Beginnings Vegetable Soup Mix. Could use fresh veggies, too.)
1 1/2 cups macaroni, cooked or pasta of your choice
1/2 cup onion, chopped  (could use green onions, too)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Toss above ingredients in large salad bowl.  Add dressing recipe below.
Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (could use regular yellow mustard)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine.
Combine ingredients and heat on stove top until just comes to boil.  Let cool. Pour over vegetable salad.  Makes about 10 servings.  Enjoy!
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Beer Cheese Spread - TSLCBeer cheese has been around a long time in Kentucky starting with Johnnie Allman’s snappy beer cheese and Allman’s Restaurant on the River back in the thirties!  Just about everyone in Kentucky knows about his beer cheese.  This is the way I make my beer cheese.  It is more like a spread than a dip.

2 cups or 16 ounces cheddar cheese, finely shredded (I used the already shredded cheese in the package for both the cheddar and Swiss cheese)
1 cup or 8 ounces Swiss cheese, finely shredded
1/8 to 1/4 spoonful of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 to 5 drops hot sauce (can use more)
1/2 to 1 cup stale beer (Best to use regular beer and not light beer)
This is best made using a food processor but you can use a mixer as well.  Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse a few times; turn on and process until cheese is kind of creamy and will spread easily.  If using a mixer, you can put cheese mixture in microwave for about a minute to make it easier to mix.  This will keep for at least a week or longer in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 cups. Serve on crackers of your choice. Enjoy!
Note:  If you don’t use alcohol, you might try using one of the near beers that doesn’t have alcohol but I have never tried it.
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Old-Fashioned Prune Cake

Old-Fashioned Prune CakeThis cake is wonderful. The spices and moistness will make it one of your favorites. Even if you don’t like prunes, you will love this cake.

1 cup pitted prunes, chopped (I used 25 prunes cut in about six pieces each)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup oil (I used Canola)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
I do not use a mixer with this cake. You will need 3 bowls, 1 large mixing bowl and 2 smaller bowls.  Put your chopped prunes in one of the small bowls, cover with the cup of buttermilk and set aside.  In the large bowl add together the oil, sugar, and eggs mixing well with a spoon.  In the other bowl combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg and use a wire whisk to mix well.  Pour the prunes and milk into the large bowl with the sugar, eggs, and oil.  Add the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon. (I use a wooden spoon).  Add vanilla extract and mix. Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan and add the batter.  Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center of the cake is done.  Add the topping recipe below while still warm.
Topping for Prune Cake
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil.  Poke holes in the cake and pour over the cake while it is still warm. (I have just heated this in the microwave instead of doing it on top of the stove).
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake.
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