Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler

When the good folks at Ozarka Water contacted me to see if I'd write a little bit about what I love about Texas, it took me about a nanosecond to say yes.

Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler
We love Texas. Neither Mr. E or I were born here, but I've lived most of my life in Texas...and we've spent 18 of our almost 20 years of married life here. (Wow. I can't believe I just typed that sentence.)

Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler
Mr. E's job took us out-of-state for a few years and while it was beautiful, it was not our beloved Texas. I would go to the grocery store and think...they don't have tortilla chips and crackers and hamburger patties shaped like their state? What does the state flag here look like anyway? (You can't go far in Texas without seeing a Texas flag.)

Here's a short list of what I love about Texas:
  • Tex-Mex: this includes a long list of tacos, queso, salsa, and life (and my tummy) would be empty without it. 
  • BBQ: this is NOT a backyard cookout. BBQ is beef (do you hear that, Carolina?) slow cooked over low heat and served with a spicy tomato-based sauce. And pickles. And a slice of white bread. 
  • The Texas flag: When you're out-of-state and you see a Texas flag, it brings you right back home. 
  • Bluebonnets: If you've never seen a field of Texas bluebonnets, well, check out social media in the springtime. It's in our contract at Texans that we must plop our children in a field of them and take pictures...even if it's on the side of the highway. 
  • Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett: Texas boys with a purely Texas sound.
  • Boots and Beer: I don't care where you are in Texas...a wedding, a 5-star restaurant, the symphony, a's never too fancy for boots and beer. 
  • Whataburger, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Chuy's, Torchy's, Pappasitos: and a thousand other Texas food establishments and companies that know that it doesn't have to be fancy to be delicious. 
  • The people. We've lived in Dallas and Houston, and a few months in Amarillo for me. Texas people are friendly people. 
Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler
Two other things I love? Texas peaches and pecans. Be still my heart. 

Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler ... a must try even if you don't live in Texas!
This Texas Peach and Pecan Cobbler is easily the best cobbler I've ever made. Pecans are not typically found in cobbler, but I think they should be...they add texture, crunch, and flavor. The cobbler batter, sweetened with brown sugar so it's rich and caramel-y, bakes up a bit like a cake. The Texas peaches are coated in a warm almond syrup before adding them to the batter. Divine.

Serve it warm, topped with vanilla ice cream, preferably Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. 

Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler
I don't know about you, but I am constantly drinking water. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and all the hours in between. It's always water for me. Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water comes from three Texas springs and has a uniquely Texan taste.

Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler
Can't find it? Check out Ozarka delivery.

As part of Ozarka's #FromHereForHere campaign, they sent me a box of Texas goodies:
basket of Texas foods
Paqui tortilla chips, Snow's BBQ sauce, Yellowbird serrano sauce, The Jelly Queens BBQ sauce and rub, Taste Elevated mustard seeds, and Cookwell & Company queso.

print recipe photo printrecipe.jpg
Texas Peach and Pecan Cobbler

1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 TBSP salted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
3 TBSP milk
3/4 cup chopped Texas pecans
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
juice of half lemon
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups peeled and chopped Texas peaches
vanilla ice cream

Grease an 8 x 8" pan. Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

Beat the brown sugar and butter together until combined, then beat in the eggs. Mix in the milk. On low speed, add the flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in the pecans.

Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Heat the water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, lower the heat and keep at a simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the lemon juice and almond extract. Turn off the heat and stir in the peaches.

Spoon the warm peaches and syrup over the batter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, tenting with foil after 30 minutes.

Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.

Texas Peach Pecan Cobbler
Do you live in Texas? Have you visited Texas? 
What do you love about it?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cookies and Cream Cake

Jack started off his summer at camp with our parish youth group. This was his first time on an airplane without one of us and the longest I'd ever gone without seeing him. Jack was more than ready to was his mother who'd been dragging her feet about letting him fly off to this camp for years now.
Jack's mother needs help.

cookies and cream cake
*This post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar.

Guess what? He had a FANTASTIC time. And I'm pretty sure he wasn't counting down the days until his return like someone else I know.

cookies and cream cake
Mr. E and I managed to survive! Empty nesters...for a week. Good practice for next year when Jack will be heading off to college.
*Let's not talk about that right now. Please pass the tissues.*

cookies and cream cake
I wanted to welcome Jack home with something a little special. A cake! There's really nothing more special than a layer cake, right?

cookies and cream cake
cookies cream cake batter photo cookies and cream cake 1 of 12.jpg
This one is a cookies and cream layer cake with Oreos in both the cake...

cookies and cream cake
...and the frosting.

cookies and cream cake
(Even pressed into the sides of the frosting.)

It's a beauty. The cake is light and moist with a fine crumb. The frosting is creamy and luscious. *sigh*

cookies and cream cake
Cookies and Cream Layer Cake. You're going to love it.

Don't wait until your kids comes back from camp to make it. Maybe make it while they're at camp and eat it all yourself. ;) Hey...why didn't I think of that?

I'm sharing my recipe over at Imperial Sugar
Go grab the recipe!

cookies and cream cake with Oreos in the cake and frosting!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturday : Mango Coconut Caramel Corn

There was no choice other than to review another one of Trader Joe's mango offerings this week. If you haven't been to Trader Joe's lately, the store is in all-mango-all-the-time-mode. Mango is EVERYWHERE.

trader joe's mango coconut caramel corn review : part of a weekly #traderjoes review series
When we bought the Mango Joe Joe's to review, the cashier told us that the popcorn was his favorite mango offering. Yesterday when I bought a bag of popcorn, a (different) cashier's eyes lit up when she saw the bag, "this is back in stock??!?!?" I have a feeling she bought a few bags on her lunch break. She also encouraged me to break open the bag for the ride home. I like enablers.

A 9.5 ounce bag of Trader Joe's Mango Coconut Caramel Corn costs $2.99.

trader joe's mango coconut caramel corn review : part of a weekly #traderjoes review series
A mom's (my) take: I'll be frank. I'm not a fan of caramel corn. Cracker Jacks are one treat that I will pass up every time. This caramel corn, though, this is awesome. It all starts with big, fluffy's so fluffy!!! The caramel coating provides a crisp, crackly crunch. Lightly sweetened, the caramel has subtle mango and coconut flavors. With coconut flakes listed as an ingredient, I thought these might be a mess...they're not. The flakes are incorporated into the caramel coating. It is COMPLETELY addicting. I think these would be a perfect bar snack at a tropical resort. Or, just in my backyard with one of these.
Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

A teenager's (Jack's) take: I never would have expected mango and popcorn to be associated... well, Trader Joe's has done it again! I love this stuff - the mango leads off during the first few seconds of biting into a piece, followed by a fairly strong coconut flavor which goes nicely with the caramel corn base itself. My only wish is that the mango would be more evident and last a bit longer--but other than that, it's great!
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

trader joe's mango coconut caramel corn review
Trader Joe's Mango Coconut Caramel Corn: grab a bag while you can! 

[note: We have no affiliation with Trader Joe's. I'm sure they have never read this blog and have no idea who we are. Hey, we like being incognito, although we never wear sunglasses indoors. ;)]

Read all of our Trader Joe's sweet treats and dessert reviews

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