If you grew up in churches like mine, potluck suppers were a staple of life. And one thing that was guaranteed is that every few years is that the church women would come together to put out a cookbook. Each recipe in the cookbook was submitted by someone in the church. Even though no one signed messages in it, it was basically the equivalent of a yearbook for adults.
And let me tell you, these women brought their “A” game. These books contain slam-dunk recipes (usually laden with butter, ’cause it just makes everything so tasty) that were the envy of all their friends.
In the spirit of those days and in memory of the best cookbooks ever, I thought I’d compile just a few recipes that have been real winners for me this year. There’s no pressure but if you are the designated “bringer” for a dinner or activity of some sort, here are some go-to recipes to have in your arsenal.
Ree Drummond uses blackberries in this cobbler, but I don’t like all the little seeds that get stuck in my teeth. So, I’ve used blueberries, mostly, and added strawberries when I took this dessert to a 4th of July dinner with friends. I’ve tried fresh fruit and frozen (thawed) and both worked swimmingly. What I love about this recipe is that with the exception of self-rising flour, there aren’t any unusual ingredients…or very many of them. I can whip it up quickly and without a trip to the grocery store now that I have some self-rising flour in stock in my pantry. So, if you have milk, self-rising flour, sugar, and fruit you are good to go! You’re welcome.
I personally hate buffalo sauce/wings/anything related to it with a burning passion. Despite my feelings, it’s a big crowd pleaser. I made it for three friends that were driving across country to move to a different state. I also made it for last year’s Super Bowl party. All with great success! This is a fairly painless recipe and it makes a ton!
This dessert recipe is for someone that has a bit more time on their hands OR you can complete the baking and icing making in different stages.
I should tell you before we get too far that I attempted to make the homemade “fool-proof” salted caramel sauce for the icing and I failed miserably. Caramel sauce is seriously my Everest. I’ve shaken off the failure, but I haven’t jumped back on the horse yet. Why would I when Trader Joe’s has a perfectly lovely jarred salted caramel sauce that I can use instead? #winning
For those of you living in Colorado, I’ll tell you that I did pick up the more expensive Dutch-process cocoa powder at Whole Foods (there wasn’t any in any in stock at my local grocery stores or at Target or Walmart). It’s served me pretty well and I think it helped marginally with the high altitude element of the cupcakes. But not enough to invest in it again – good old Hershey’s or Nestle’s cocoa powder should be just fine.
Also, if I use salted butter in the icing, I don’t do a sprinkle on top of the frosting at the end. But these are pretty show-stopping and they are the most delicious morsels of deliciousness EVER. Definitely well worth the effort, IMHO.
If you don’t have time for any of these things, my only statement to you would be: WWAD? And the answer, of course, is GO TO TRADER JOE’S! And while you’re there, pick up some of the salted caramel sauce for me, would you? 🙂
[All photo credits from their respective sites.]