May 31, 2006

Rather Sweet with Splenda

I've written here before about my fondness of the small Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, Texas. Unfortunately, there will be no lovely Fredericksburg peaches this year. Ninety-five percent of this year's area peach crop was zapped out by Mother Nature. Visitors will still find peaches, but they'll be from other parts of Texas and states farther east.

So, no homemade Fredericksburg peach ice cream for us this year.

All is not lost, however, as there are still plenty of other good things to eat. Long before you could find a Grand Slam anywhere in the vicinity, my favorite things to have for breakfast were fresh cinnamon rolls and German pancakes.

The owner/chef of one of the local eateries, Rebecca Rather, has a cookbook called The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country's Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe that I'm also quite fond of. It's a beautiful cookbook that has not only delicious recipes but wonderful photography of the food and the bakery. Reading through the text you can get a sense of what it's like there even if you're a million miles away.

There are recipes for breakfast foods, pies, desserts, cakes, cookies and some for lunch and dinner. Many of them are served in the bakery and cafe. Some have names as big as Texas: Jailhouse Potato Cinnamon Rolls, Texas Big Hairs Lemon-Lime Meringue Tarts, Mexican Chocolate-Fudge Pecan Cake, Turbo-Charged Brownies with Praline Topping and All-Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pies. You can get hungry just looking at the pictures: Kolaches, Fourth of JulyFried Pies, Hill Country Peach Cobbler, Texas Pralines, Rather Rich Corn Muffins and Texas Tortilla Soup.

I prepared one of the recipes, Apple-Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones, to show you here, then promptly forgot to take the picture. Oh well, they're gone now. But, trust me, they were good.

It's just a great regional cookbook.

I must warn you that these recipes are for real food with real ingredients--nothing low-fat or low-sugar here.

So despite the fact that Rebecca wrote this wonderful cookbook full of recipes for dishes that dieters only dream about, she still managed to snag a spot in SPLENDA'S Great Chefs, Great Cities recipe series.

She created a collection of kid-friendly, reduced-sugar party recipes using SPLENDA Sugar Blend for Baking and SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener. The four recipes: Splendid in Pink Birthday Cake, Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Icing, Watermelon Lemon Sorbet and Peach Frozen Yogurt can be found on the Splenda website.


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