The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6D

High-watt microwave peanut brittle

Christmas will be here before we know it and several ladies are looking for a peanut brittle recipe that is simple and made in the microwave only. We used to have an easy one but it doesn't work too well in the newer microwaves with higher wattage. Can someone please help us? Thank you.

– The Rocklin Ladies

Korean-style beef

The Bee featured a recipe for Korean beef some time ago. I made it once, then lost the recipe. Did someone else save this recipe?

– Dolores L. Perez, West Sacramento

Oh, that cheese soup

The Modesto Bee recently featured a recipe for Golden Gate coleslaw in response to a reader's request for the now-closed El Faro restaurant's coleslaw recipe. Thank you for printing that recipe as I too am a big fan of El Faro's authentic Mexican food. I'm sorry they closed. Is it possible that someone has the recipe for their incredible cheese soup? I can't find any Mexican restaurant in the valley that serves anything like it. Thank you.

– Bill Scheuber, Turlock

Lavender lemon shortbread cookies

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes

Makes about 4 dozen

Shirley Lee of Roseville was recovering from knee replacement surgery and received lavender cookies as a gift. She was hoping for a recipe.

The lavender and lemon flavors in this cookie pair well with tea.

Note: The prep time includes the 20-minute chill time for the dough.


For cookie:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


For the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth.

In another bowl, sift together the cornstarch, flour and salt; add to butter mixture. Mix until flour mixture coats the butter mixture, but is not completely combined. Add lavender, lemon peel and lemon juice. Using your hands, lightly rub the ingredients together forming a ball. Do not overwork mixture.

Flatten dough out into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into a log on a lightly floured surface. Slice rounds of dough, about 1/4-inch thick. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 11 to 14 minutes.

For the icing: In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, lavender and lemon peel. Add lemon juice, a little at a time, until icing reaches desired consistency. Spread on cooled lavender cookies.

Per cookie: 68 cal.; 0 g pro.; 8 g carb.; 3 g fat (2 sat., 1 monounsat., 0 polyunsat.); 10 mg chol.; 7 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 51 percent calories from fat.

3, 2, 1 cake

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Makes about 25 individual cakes

Joan Ousley of Diamond Springs recently read a Bee article featuring easy recipes for college-bound students. She wanted to share her very simple recipe for little individual cakes.

This recipe is called 3, 2, 1 cake because all you need to remember is 3 tablespoons dry cake mix, 2 tablespoons water and 1 minute in the microwave.

One of the cake mixes must be angel food for this recipe to turn out. The other cake mix can be any flavor you like: red velvet, lemon, orange, chocolate, carrot, etc.

You can place both dry cake mixes in a gallon zip-lock plastic bag, zip it shut and shake well to mix. You don't need to refrigerate the dry mix.

Note: Angel food cake mix contains dry egg whites, so anyone who is allergic to egg whites should not eat these cakes.


1 box angel food cake mix

1 box any flavor cake mix


Combine both dry cake mixes in a zip-lock bag, zip shut and shake well. For each individual cake serving, take out 3 tablespoons of the cake mix combination and mix it with 2 tablespoons of water in a small microwave-safe container. Microwave on high for 1 minute. You may top each cake with a dollop of fat-free whipped topping and/or fruit.

Per individual cake: 151 cal.; 3 g pro.; 29 g carb.; 3 g fat (1 sat., 1 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 0 mg chol.; 254 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 19 percent calories from fat.


If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916) 556-5625. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

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