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Texas Sheet Cake and Kale and Farro Salad with Avocado


Texas Sheet Cake
Adapted from Carolyn Herbert
Yields: 32 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 cups white sugar 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup sour cream 
2 eggs 
1 cup butter 
1 cup water 
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 

6 tablespoons milk 
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 cup butter 
4 cups confectioner’s sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 

Preheat oven to 350?F.  Grease and flour a 10x15 inch pan.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat in the sour cream and eggs. Set aside. 

Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, add the water and 5 tablespoons cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly, then stir cocoa mixture into the egg mixture, mixing until blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.

For the icing: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 5 tablespoons cocoa and 1/2 cup butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla, then fold in the nuts, mixing until blended. Spread frosting over warm cake.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Cut and serve.

Kale and Farro Salad with Avocado
Adapted from Epicurious
Serves: 6-8

2 cloves garlic, chopped 
Leaves from 1/2 bunch tarragon 
Leaves from 1/2 bunch Italian parsley 
3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
2/3 cup farro 
2 bunches Tuscan kale 
1 to 2 avocados, cut into large dice 
2 spring carrots, peeled or scrubbed and sliced into thin rounds 
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 

To make the dressing, place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, or use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients in a bowl.

To make the salad, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and cook until tender, 16 to 18 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water until cool, then drain well.

Remove the stems from the kale. Cut away any tough ends, then finely slice the stems and tear the kale leaves into small bite-size pieces. Place both the stems and leaves in a large salad bowl. Add the avocados, carrots, and farro. Add half of the dressing and toss to combine. Add more dressing if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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