Chocolate Cake “The Best Ever”

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Chocolate Cake “The Best Ever”

 

Ingredients

2 cups Sugar                                      1 ½ tsp Baking Soda         1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour             1 tsp Salt                             2 tsp Vanilla Extract

¾ cup Hershey Cocoa                       3 Eggs                                   1 cup Boiling Water

1 ½ tsp Baking Powder                     1 cup Milk

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Pour into pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes and remove cakes from pans to wire racks.

Cool completely.  Frost with Chocolate Frosting .

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients    

½ cup (1 stick butter)               3 cups Powdered Sugar    1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup Hershey Cocoa             1/3 cup Milk

Directions

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk.  Beat on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add more milk if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  Makes about 2 cups of frosting.  Top with chopped walnuts, pecans or shaved semi sweet Bakers Chocolate or candy bar.

 

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Tasty Tomato Recipes

Tasty tomato recipes

Juicy, ripe and colorful, fresh tomatoes are one of the season’s greatest pleasures. Turn them into something special to enjoy any time of day with these easy, delicious recipes.

 

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Ingredients

4 Medium Tomatoes, sliced

¼ cup fresh Basil leaves

½ pound fresh Mozzarella Cheese sliced

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp Ground Mustard

1/8 tsp Salt

1/8 tsp Pepper

Directions

Arrange the tomatoes, cheese and basil on a serving platter.  Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients; drizzle over salad.

Makes 4 servings

 

 

homemade-salsa

Easy Salsa

Chop up 4 large tomatoes, one-fourth of an onion, 6 sprigs cilantro, 2 garlic cloves and 1 jalapeno chili. Place all chopped ingredients in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice and one-half teaspoon salt. Mix everything together thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate the salsa until it is ready to serve.

 

pasta-tomato-sauce-xl

Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce 

Ingredients

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

10 ounce penne or rigatoni

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, optional

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil, basil, oregano, garlic and salt. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes or as package label directs. Drain pasta and place in bowl with tomatoes. Add Parmesan, if desired, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

Waxed Paper

2 Large Eggs

2Tbsp Water

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal

Salt to Taste

Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

2 lbs. Green Tomatoes, Sliced

1 Cup Canola Oil for frying, or as needed

Directions

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

Beat eggs and water in a shallow bowl.  Place flour and cornmeal in 2 separate shallow bowls.  Season the cornmeal with salt and pepper.

Dip each tomato slice into flour, then, dip into the egg mixture.  Press the tomato into cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.  Transfer tomato to prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tomato slices, arranging tomatoes in a single layer.

Heat about ¼ inch canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat until oil begins to shimmer.  Fry tomatoes in batches until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towel-lined plates.  Repeat with remaining tomatoes.  Serve with Remoulade Sauce.

 

Remoulade Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup of chopped green onion

1/2 cup of finely minced celery

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons of ketchup

1/8 cup of mustard

1 tablespoon of horseradish

1 cup of mayonnaise

2 yolks from hard boiled eggs, chopped

1/8 to 1/2 cup of white or apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of paprika

Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Couple dashes of hot pepper sauce

Pinch of thyme

Pinch of tarragon

Couple pinches of chopped parsley

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Directions
Combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Drizzle in the olive oil, a little at a time, while whisking briskly until mixture is well blended and reaches a nice creamy consistency. Can also process in a food processor for a smoother consistency, if desired. Taste, adjust seasonings, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to thoroughly chill.

Bruschetta Tomato and Basil

Bruschetta Tomato and Basil

Ingredients

6 Tomatoes, diced

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped

2 Cloves Garlic, peeled

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 ¼ tsp Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tbsp chopped fresh Basil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

8 slices Italian Bread, cut about 1 inch thick

2 Tbsp grated Parmingiano-Reggiano Cheese

Directions

Whisk together chopped garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and basil.

When combined slowly drizzle in oil.

Add tomatoes and let sit for 20 minutes at room temp.

Meanwhile, toast the bread.

This can be done either in the toaster (if it’s got really wide slots) or under the broiler.

When the bread is toasted rub each piece, on one side, with the whole garlic pieces.

Place the bread on a cookie sheet and top with tomato mixture.

Sprinkle on a little cheese and broil till the cheese melts (you can skip that last broiling bit and it’s equally as wonderful).

Serve immediately.

 

Biggest Softest Ginger Cookies

Biggest Softest Ginger Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup margarine, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons white sugar

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

40 mini chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Pumpkin Magic Bars

Pumpkin Magic Bars 

Ingredients

1 Package (11 ounces) vanilla wafers

1/2 Cup butter, melted

3 Ounces cream cheese, softened

1 Can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 Can solid-pack pumpkin

1-1/2 cups flake coconut

1 Cup white baking chips

1 Cup dried cranberries

1 Cup chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Place wafers in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Drizzle with melted butter; pulse until blended. Press into bottom of a greased 13×9-in. baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, milk and pie spice until smooth; beat in pumpkin. Pour over crust. Layer with coconut, baking chips, cranberries and pecans

Bake 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.

Loosen sides from pan with a knife; cool completely. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Cast Iron Mac & Cheese

castironmacandcheese

Ingredients

12oz macaroni

3Tbs butter

3Tbs flour

2cups milk

4oz grated Emmental Cheese

4oz grated Gruyere Cheese

1Tbs Dijon Mustard

1Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/2tsp dried Thyme

Black Pepper to taste

3oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Directions

Boil pasta in a cast iron skillet. Melt the butter and whisk in flour until well combined. Whisk milk into the flour mixture. Whisk constantly until thickened 1 to 2 minutes.

Add Emmental Cheese, Gruyere, mustard, Worcestershire, and thyme. Whisk until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and broil until browned.

 

Queen Pudding

Queen Pudding

Meringue is the backbone of so many traditional British desserts, especially summer puddings. They are so quick, easy and cheap to make, plus they keep well in an airtight box so always make plenty.

Ingredients

Pudding

8 fl oz full cream milk

8 fl oz double heavy cream

½ tsp vanilla extract

3 ½ oz sugar

5 large egg yolks

5 oz fresh breadcrumbs

Zest of 2 lemons

8 oz of jam, fruit preserve, or fruit compote

Meringue

5 egg whites, at room temperature

3 ½ oz sugar

1 tbsp powder sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 310°F. Lightly butter a 3½ pint ovenproof dish.

Place the milk, cream and vanilla extract into a saucepan and slowly bring to a gentle boil.

In a roomy bowl whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until light and fluffy. Still whisking, slowly add the warmed milk and cream to the egg mixture taking care not to splash. Finally add the breadcrumbs and the lemon zest.

Place the jam or chosen fruit into the bottom of the greased pudding dish then pour in the egg and breadcrumb mixture; you can leave the jam out and use it later in the recipe if you choose.

Bake the pudding in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 mins or until the mixture is risen and almost set  – yet still slightly wobbly. Remove the pudding from the oven and leave on one side to cool.

Raise the oven to 375°F

Make the Meringue: in a large, clean roomy baking bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Whisk in the sugar one tbsp at a time. If you haven’t used your fruit filling in the base of the pudding, warm it gently in a microwave or warmed through in a pan and spread it carefully over the cooled base then cover with a thick layer of meringue.

Sprinkle liberally with the icing / powder sugar, place in the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the surface is crisp and lightly browned.

Serve immediately.

Italian Pasta Salad for Summer

Italian-Summer-Pasta-Salad-print

 

Ingredients

3 cups short pasta (uncooked, such as penne, rotini, or radiatore)

1 lb asparagus (tough ends removed, then cut into 1-inch pieces)

11/2 cups cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 stalks scallions (diced)

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (homemade or store bought)

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. 2 minutes before done, add the asparagus to boiling water and continue cooking. Drain the pasta and asparagus under cold water.

Transfer pasta and asparagus to a large bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, pine nuts, scallions, and Parmesan. Pour the dressing over the mixture and gently toss to combine.

Serve right away at room temperature or refrigerate for a few hours to meld the flavors. Serve with extra Parmesan, if desired.

American Flag Pie

American Flag Pie

Crust

Use the Crisco Double Pie Crust Recipe in this Blog

Strawberry Filling

1/2 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Corn Starch

1/8 teaspoon Salt

5 cups hulled, quartered Strawberries, fresh or frozen

Blueberry Filling

2 Tbsp Sugar

2 cups Blueberries, washed and drained

2 Tbsp Corn Starch

1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

Directions

To make the crust: Divide the pastry into two pieces — one about 2/3 of the total, the other 1/3. Roll the larger piece of pastry into a round, and place it in a 9″ pie pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

To make the strawberry filling: Whisk together the sugar, corn starch and salt, and toss with the strawberries. Set aside.

To make the blueberry filling: Toss the blueberries and corn starch with the sugar, stir in the lemon juice.

Fill a 90° wedge of the pie shell with blueberry filling and the remaining 270° wedge with strawberry filling.

Roll the remaining crust into a 10″ x 6″ rectangle about 3/8″ thick. Cut the dough, lengthwise, into five to six 3/4″-wide, 10″-long strips. Cut three to five 1 1/4″ stars from the remaining dough.

Place the strips parallel to one another over the strawberry section, cutting any excess off the ends and pinching them to the edge of the crust.

Place the stars atop the blueberry filling.

Brush stars, stripes, and outer crust with water, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if desired. Place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch the drips), and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust nicely browned.

Remove the pie from the oven, and let it cool for at least an hour before serving.

Banana Split Icebox Cake

banana-split-icebox cake

 

 

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 package (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding

2 cups milk

4 cups whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), divided

3-4 bananas

Graham crackers (approx. 50 crackers)

14 oz can crushed pineapple in juice

Chocolate syrup

Cherries

Chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

Beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, add in powdered sugar. Combine vanilla pudding and milk, mix well. Add to cream cheese mixture and stir. Gently fold in 2 cups of whipped topping.

Slice bananas and toss with a little bit of the pineapple juice (or lemon juice) to keep them from browning. Drain pineapple, squeezing to remove all of the juice.

Line the bottom of a 9×13 pan with graham crackers. Top with half of the cream cheese mixture and the bananas. Add a second layer of graham crackers. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture and pineapple. Add a third and final layer of graham crackers. Top with remaining 2 cups of whipped topping, cherries and nuts. Drizzle with chocolate.

Refrigerate overnight.