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Cooking With Sugar

Spicy Crab Salad Canapes

Just in time for the holidays, this easy to prepare spicy crab salad canape is sure to be a crowd-pleaser 

  • 2 cups cooked cooled crab meat, flaked
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small tomato, dice
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • Crackers (I use Keebler butter crisps)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large medium/large mixing bowl.
  2. Place crackers on a platter and heap each one with the crab salad mixture.
  3. Serve and enjoy.

Oven-Fried Chops

This is one of my go-to meals when I want dinner ready in an hour or less; not to mention, my family absolutely loves it. These pork chops were gone shortly after I removed them from the oven. Feel free to use the seasonings of your choice.


  • 8 - 10 small/medium center-cut pork chops
  • Salt
  • Cayenne/black pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Vegetable Oil


  1. Season pork chops and refrigerate for about four to six hours to allow  seasonings to set in.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Brush a bit of vegetable oil on the bottom of a large baking pan.
  4. Place pork chops in the baking pan and brush with each pork chop with vegetable oil.
  5. Bake for approximately half an hour or until golden brown (some ovens cook faster than others).
  6. Remove from oven and cover with foil for at least five minutes before eating.

Tip: For moist chops, brine for several hours before seasoning and baking.

Moist Red Velvet Cake

OMG!!! I did it!! I finally did it!! For years I have been dreaming of making a red velvet cake, but I never could seem to find the time. Well, as they say, there is no time like the present.

I must say this being my first attempt, the cake didn’t turn out half bad, yay me :)

  • 2½ cups flour (sifted)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small packet or 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp coffee (dissolved in half cup hot water)
  • 1oz red food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine and set aside flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the sugar and vegetable oil.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.
  5. Stir in evaporated milk, vinegar and coffee.
  6. Mix in the vanilla and red food coloring.
  7. Now gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
  8. Grease and flour two round cake pans (9 inches)
  9. Pour batter evenly into the pans.
  10. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Please be sure to keep an eye on your cakes as some ovens tend to cook faster than others).
  11. Remove cakes from oven and allow to fully cool.
  12. Loosen cakes from pan and flip on to cake dish.
  13. Level cakes by slicing off the tops of each cake.
  14. Sandwich the cakes with cream cheese frosting before frosting the entire cake.
  15. Refrigerate uneaten portion.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 – 8 oz box cream cheese
  • 1 12 oz container vanilla frosting
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 Combine all ingredients until smooth.

Irresistible Fried Chicken Wings

These wings are rightfully labelled "irresistible". I simply couldn't eat just one, I dare you to try :)

  • 5 lbs chicken wings (or as many as you want)
  • Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Black or Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 or 2 cups vegetable oil (or as needed)

  1. Season chicken with above seasonings and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight to allow seasonings to set in.
  2. Add vegetable oil to a frying pan or pot, heat to 350 degrees.
  3. Whisk egg and milk in a dish and set aside.
  4. Combine seasonings and flour to a shallow dish and combine.
  5. Dip wings in egg and milk, allowing excess to fall off.
  6. Dredge wings in flour until fully coated; shake off excess flour.
  7. Fry no more than three wings at a time for approximately five minutes or until golden brown and the juices from the chicken run clear.
  8. Drain on paper towels or in a colander.
  9. Go ahead and dive in.

Panko-Coated Onion Rings

This is a very simple onion rings recipe that requires very few ingredients and very little time.

Here's what you will need for a small batch:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2-4 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups cooking oil

  1. Heat oil to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut onions into ¼ inch slices
  3. Make batter by combining egg, cream and gradually add flour. Beat until smooth.
  4. Pour panko crumbs into a shallow dish
  5. Place a few onion rings in the batter.
  6. Allow excess batter to drain off.
  7. Coat with the panko bread crumbs.
  8. Fry onion rings for about two minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Drain on paper towels.
  10. Repeat with remaining onion rings
  11. Enjoy

Conch Fritters

Conch fritters are highly-favored down home delicacies enjoyed by natives and visitors alike. These hard to resist, bite-sized treats are usually served as appetizers along with a cocktail dipping sauce. As a variation, lobster/crawfish could be used instead of conch.

  • 4 cups cooking oil
  • 2 medium conch
  • ½ small sweet pepper – finely chopped
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350 degrees
  2. Clean and skin conch and put through a meat grinder or food processor.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl to make a batter (not too thick and not too runny).
  4. Drop batter by tablespoon into hot oil and fry for approx. 10 min. or until golden brown.
  5. Allow fritters to drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve with dipping sauce

Dipping Sauce:
In a bowl mix:
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ tsp horseradish
  • Salt to taste

Note: Add more water if batter is too thick or more flour if it is too runny.

Pepper Steak

Happy Sunday everyone!! Enjoy this easy pepper steak recipe for your Sunday dinner :)

  • 2 lb beef steak,cut in strips   
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut in strips
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut in strips
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
  • ¼ cup water

  1. Heat oil in a skillet or wok.
  2. Add beef strips and sprinkle with garlic salt.
  3. Sauté beef, stirring occasionally until browned. 
  4. Remove meat from pan.
  5. Add onions and peppers, sauté for 2 minutes. 
  6. Return meat along with tomatoes or tomato sauce and bouillon. 
  7. Simmer for 30 - 40 minutes. 
  8. Blend cornstarch, water, soy sauce, sugar & salt, add to meat mixture to thicken, stirring constantly. 
  9. Cook 2 additional minutes. 
  10. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Thumb Print Cookies

Here's a simple recipe to help satisfy the little cookie monsters in your life :) Thumb Print Cookies in five easy steps:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup raspberry jam

  1. Beat together butter and sugar in a mixer bowl. Add vanilla and egg. Mix well.
  2. Mix flour and salt, add to butter mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Beat egg white lightly in a small bowl.
  4. Put balls 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Press thumb in the center of each to make an indentation.
  5. Bake until light golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Fill each indentation with a small amount of raspberry jam.

Serving Size: 24

Gumbo Shrimp

Here’s a nice little recipe I found for Crockpot Shrimp Gumbo that I would like to share with you. My kitchen is dreadfully hot this time of the year, so any crockpot recipe is a welcome change. Let me know how yours came out :)

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ½ pound smoked sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 2 cups frozen cut okra
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pack or 12 oz frozen shelled deveined cooked medium shrimp, rinsed
  • 3 cups water

  1. In small saucepan, combine flour and oil; mix well.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes or until mixture turns reddish brown.
  4. Place flour-oil mixture in 3½ to 4 quart crockpot (or slow cooker).
  5. Stir in all remaining ingredients except shrimp.
  6. Cover; cook on low setting for 7-9 hours.
  7. Add shrimp to gumbo mixture in crockpot; mix well.
  8. Cover and cook on low setting for additional 20 minutes.
  9. Serve gumbo over rice. See recipe here.

Serving Size: 6

Grilled Steak

Steak is considered a luxury for me; where I’m from they’re ridiculously expensive. Some persons prefer theirs rare or medium rare, but I only eat mine one way honey – well done. You could jazz up your grilled steak with green onions and steak sauce; or you could eat them just as they are.

  • 2 ribeye steaks
  • 2 Inside round steaks

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Any seasonings you like


  • Puree all marinade ingredients in a blender.
  • Lay steaks in a baking pan and cover with marinade.
  • Allow steaks to marinate for about 2 hours.
  • Set grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place steak on the grill.
  • Sear for 3 - 6 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Then, reduce heat to medium or low to finish cooking.
  • Baste steaks to keep them moist throughout the grilling process.
  • Remove steaks from grill with thongs, do not use a fork.
  • Allow steaks to rest for at least five minutes before serving.

Tip: Use salad dressing for quick and easy marinade.