Necessities and Temptations

The cookbook, “Necessities and Temptations” is a cookbook published by the Junior League of Austin in the late 1980’s.  This is one of my favorite books.  My mother purchased a copy for herself and told me about  how many wonderful recipes were in it and told me she would buy me a copy if she ever came across another.  Well, about a year later, she found another copy and bought one for me.  If you ever come across this cookbook, I highly suggest you buy a copy for yourself.  Besides all the wonderful recipes inside, there is also some very helpful information, such as: measurements and equivalents, measurement conversion formulas, average yields, quantity servings for 50, ingredient substitutions, can sizes, herbs and spices, oven temperature chart, storing and freezing food, and cooking terms.  There is even a whole section on entertaining and it gives information such as: selecting wine and spirits, storage of wine, serving wine, table placement of wine glasses, wine bottle sizes and servings, wine selection guide, suggestions for a basic home bar, different glassware, party times, staff requirements, rental equipment lists, decorations, table linens, how to fold fancy napkins, silverware, and table setting, and buffet tables.  In a word, this cookbook is “awesome”!

So, as you can imagine, with the number of wonderful recipes inside, it was a little hard to make a decision.  I decided to see what I had in the refrigerator and pantry and make something from the book, in which I had all the ingredients.  I chose two recipes, Italian Chicken and Pound Cake.  Both were delicious and I would make both again for my family.  Below are the recipes that reflect slight changes made by me.

Italian Chicken

Italian Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut in half

4 – 6 tomatoes, quartered (I used tomatoes fresh out of out garden)

8 ounces fresh button mushrooms

8 ounces prepared Italian dressing (I used Good Seasons Zesty Italian made with olive oil)

1 tablespoon dried onions

2 teaspoons beef bullion granules

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves


Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Place chicken in baking pan.  Add tomatoes and mushrooms.  In a medium-sized bowl, combine Italian dressing, onions, and remaining seasonings.  Stir with a spoon and pour over chicken.  Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours, or until done.



Pound Cake

Pound Cake

1 1/2 cup butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese

3 cups granulated sugar

6 eggs

3 cups cake flour, sifted

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan and set aside.  In a large mixing bow, combine butter, cream cheese, and sugar.  Cream together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Slowly add flour and beat well.  Add flavorings and salt and beat until combined.  Pour into prepared tube pan.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until cake tests done.





1 Comment

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One response to “Necessities and Temptations

  1. Amy

    I loved this cookbook but it didn’t make it to my house. I love the Mexican lasagna recipe and the Mexican rice. I have found a comparable lasagna recipe but not the rice. Can you share the rice recipe. It’s the recipe with vinegar and cheese on top.

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