From the Kitchen of Alicia Swain
(from the latest Book: Cries of Innocence)
Girls, I opened the vault of recipes just a tad. Ya’ll enjoy!
P.S. I don’t remember where I got these recipes, but I’ve tweaked them. I imagine one of those
Raleigh debutantes got it going. You know how they are!
Tomato Soup Cake
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 can Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup
½ cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup water
Frost with your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting, then shave a little chocolate on top! You know
you will feel special when you hear those moans of delight!!
1. Heat oven to 350 . Grease 13X9-inch baking pan.
2. Stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves in a large
bowl. Add the soup, shortening, eggs and water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until
blended. Increase speed to high and beat for 4 minutes. Pour the batter into the pan.
3. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in
the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Frost, eat and lick those fingers!!!!
Krispy Kreme Cake
(This delicacy will cause your Honey to kiss the back of your neck till you sigh!)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup applesauce ( I make mine a little chunky. Just use what you’ve made or if you’re pressed
for time you can buy it.)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely ground mocha flavored coffee beans (Best thing to do is to take those regular coffee beans and add a little sprinkle of mocha flavoring over them. You won’t need many beans or mocha flavoring. Cover them up tight and let them set in that delectable aroma before you grind them. Yummy! You can use the rest of the coffee beans to grind for coffee to serve with the cake.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Don’t be chintzy, girls. Buy the very best vanilla!)
16 ounces of fine chocolate (You can use those little squares or a candy bar!)
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
6-12 Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts, torn into 4 chunks (Let them air dry several hours
before use. Might better get extra. Those precious delicacies will never make set out on the
1. Preheat oven to 325 . Grease a Bundt cake pan with shortening, dust with a little flour.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together
buttermilk with applesauce, oil, coffee flavored granules and vanilla.
3. Melt chocolate in microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Cool
4. Beat two whole eggs and two egg whites with mixer on low speed. Gradually add sugar.
Increase speed of mixer to high, and continue beating until mixture is thick and pale, about 5
5. Pour in chocolate and mix on low until incorporated.
6. With spatula, alternately fold dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture into egg mixture,
beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
Assembly: This is marvelous! Lick those fingers!!
1. Spoon a layer of batter into pan to cover bottom. This will become the top when inverting the
cake later. Arrange pieces of torn doughnuts over the batter. Spoon batter over the doughnuts
pieces and repeat batter/doughnut layers until pan is full.
2. Bake 45-60 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
3. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack. Cool completely.
4. Just before serving, dust cake with confectionary sugar.
Oh, girls, I almost didn’t do this, but I couldn’t resist. This is a special bonus for you. It’s one of
the signature cakes I take to my Aunt Myrtle’s monthly bingo party. Those girls go nutty!
1 ¼ sticks butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 ¾ ounces French Vanilla instant pudding mix
1 ¾ cup milk
¼ cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Remember, the best!)
3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 ½ cups of hoop cheese, grated
6 packs of Nabs (Lance Toastchee crackers, for those of you less fortunate to know.)
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
¼ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Peanut Butter, see recipe (You can make it, like I do, or you can get that grocery store stuff!)
2 cups lightly roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
NAB crumb garnish:
12 packs Nabs
1. Preheat oven to 350 . Grease 3 8-inch square baking pans with shortening, dust with flour.
1. In a mixing bowl cream butter on medium speed until fluffy. In separate bowl, combine sugar
and pudding mix, slowly add butter. Continue to cream on medium speed for 6-8 minutes.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Combine milk, oil and vanilla extract. Alternating, on low speed, add flour to butter mixture,
beginning and ending with flour. Stop occasionally to scrape down bowl and taste.
4. Gently fold in cheese with a spatula, not a mixer.
5. Divide batter equally between baking pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until done.
6. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooking racks to cool completely.
Grind the peanuts in a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle. For those of you who have
money, get one of those fancy food processors.
Add oil and salt to the ground peanuts. Continue to blend together until you have creamy peanut
1. In a mixer bowl cream the shortening and butter on medium speed.
2. Add almond extract
3. Gradually mix in sugar, one cup at a time, scraping sides and bottom of bowl several times.
4. Add milk and syrup, and continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
5. Blend in peanut butter.
NAB CRUMB GARNISH:
Open crackers and remove peanut-butter filling. (Don’t worry, you can use it later mixed with
apple, a little mayo and raisins as a filler for celery sticks.)
Crumble crumbs into fine pieces.
1. Place one of the layers on a cake plate. Spread frosting on top of layer.
2. Lay crackers (four rows of four whole crackers) across and press gently into frosting.
3. Lightly spread more frosting across top of crackers, and top with second cake layer.
4. Repeat frosting-cracker frosting layering. Top with 3rd layer.
5. Frost top and sides of cake.
6. Sprinkle cracker crumbs evenly over top and sides of cake. Press lightly into frosting.
My grandmother, GG, loved delectable foods prepared with herbs, lavender being her favorite. I
know she would have wanted you to have a few of her favorite recipes. I’ve also included her
favorites from the Remedy Room. Miriam and I hope you enjoy them all!
Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon dried lavender
6 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon coarse or rock sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small saucepan, heat milk and 1 tablespoon of the lavender over
medium heat until just simmering. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Strain; discard
2. Finely shred 1 tablespoon peel from lemons. Juice lemons (1/4 cup); set aside. Brush six 6-oz.
ramekins or custard cups with softened butter. Sprinkle with sugar, tapping out any excess; set
3. In a large bowl combine 2 tablespoon of the sugar and flour. Whisk in lemon peel, lemon
juice, and melted butter until smooth. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks and strained milk
mixture. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until smooth; set aside.
4. In a small bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks
form. Gradually add remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Stir a small amount of the egg whites into lemon mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg
5. Pour batter into prepared ramekins, filling each ¾ full; place in a shallow baking pan. Bake 20
minutes or until tops spring back with lightly touched. Remove from oven. Carefully transfer
cups to wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Place remaining dried lavender and rock sugar in a blender.
Cover; blend until fine. Sprinkle over cakes. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.
Orzo Tri Color
1 lb. orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus ¼ cup
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Prepare pasta according to package. When cooked al dente, drain completely. Spread orzo on
a baking sheet and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Mix together and cool completely.
2. When orzo is cool, put into a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
Garnish with fresh basil sprigs.
Chicken with Herbes de Provence
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, with wings attached, about 3 lbs. total
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 teaspoons Herbs de Provence, see recipe below
Herbs de Provence
Use blend sparingly as if is full of flavor. It is especially good with cheeses and eggs, and can be
used in sauces, with pizza and pasta, fish stews, marinades and with lamb and poultry.
1 tablespoon basil leaves
1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon savory leaves
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon lavender flowers
1 teaspoon cracked fennel seed
1. Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt
and pepper, then rub on both sides with Herbes de Provence.
2. In an ovenproof pan roaster or saute pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon
of olive oil. Working in batches, place the chicken in the pan skin side down and sear until
brown and crisp, about 6 minutes per batch. Return all the chicken, skin side up, to the pan and
transfer to the oven. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes or until temperature registers 160
3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5
minutes. Leave the chicken breasts whole or cut into pieces. Drizzle with olive oil before
Lavender Tea Cookies
1 tablespoon dried lavender
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. With a mortar and pestle, grind the lavender flowers.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together ground lavender flowers, butter, sugar, vanilla extract and
3. Add flour and salt. Mix until combined (dough should be soft, but not sticky). Refrigerate 1-2
hours or until dough is firm.
4. Preheat oven to 325 F.
5. Remove dough from refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough approximately ¼
inch thick using a rolling pin. Cut into desired shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Place
onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Cool on wire
(from the latest Book: Cries of Innocence)
French Lavender Body Oil
2 cups sweet almond oil
2 teaspoons lavender flavoring
1. Warm the oil and stir in the lavender flavoring; simmer 5 minutes.
2. Cool oil and pour into a capped bottle.
Massage into skin after a shower or bath.
Lavender Stress Relief Salts
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops sandalwood essential oil
5 drops rose essential oil
3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
2 cups sea salt
2 cups Epsom salts
1. Mix oils into salts in a nonmetal bowl. Transfer to glass jars with tight fitting lids.
2. To use, simply add a handful of the salts to your bathwater.