Monday, November 17, 2008

Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake!!

Oh My Goodness! This has got to be one of my favorite cakes ever! Thanks so much to my AL nestie bud...lilcrablegs...for posting this recipe in her blog. It is not too sweet....just enough richness from the dark chocolate..without being's just the perfect dark chocolate cake!

**note...even though the recipe says to cool your cakes on a wire rack...I always cool my cakes just slightly in their pans...then I always begin to ice them when they are still warm. My mom always made her cakes this way...and I think it turns out a much more moist cake!**
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

*Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch pan!
*Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into prepared pans.
*Bake 30-35 minutes for round pans. 35-40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (cake may be left in rectangular pan if desired) Frost with One-Bowl Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)!

One Bowl Buttercream Frosting!
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa or Hershey's Dutch Pressed Cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas Brunch Casserole

This week my hubby and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. I really wanted to make a special breakfast to surprise my I headed off to one of my fav! I found this recipe...and I made a few alterations....and the husband loved it! It was not my favorite...It tasted a little to "egg" for me...but he loved that's all that really matters :) Mission Accomplished!

1 pound bacon **I substituted 1lb. sausage**

1 tablespoon butter

2 onions, chopped **I only added 1 large onion**

2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms **omitted**

4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese **I added 2 cups**

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish.

Place bacon in large, deep skillet. Cook over med high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside. In skillet, melt butter and fry onions and mushrooms until tender.

Mix potatoes, onion, mushrooms, bacon, salts and pepper and place in prepared casserole dish.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with milk. Pour over casserole. Top with cheese. **if making the night before..cover and refrigerate**

Cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour or until set. If preparing and baking the same day, cook for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nicole's Cheese Ball!

One of my best gf's Nicole always makes the most wonderful cheese ball. There is never a bite left of this at the end of any party! After hunting for the recipe for months....I finally found it in an old cookbook my mom had passed down to me. Seriously..the most amazing cheese ball...ever!!

2 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 or 5 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup each finely chopped bell pepper and green onion
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 dash seasoned salt

Whip up cream cheese with fork until creamy. Put in all ingredients except 1 cup of pecans. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it set overnight. ***this is very important, so onion and bell pepper taste will not be so strong*** Roll cheese ball in leftover pecans to coat right before serving!

Magic Cookie Bars!

These are one of my favorite fall treats! I can remember my mom making these and packing them in my lunch when I was a kid. The butterscotch chips add a nice flavor :)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup semisweet chips

1 1/3 flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans (or your fav nut)

Melt the butter in a 9x13-inch pan in a 350-degree oven. After butter is melted...sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumbs. Sprinkle with the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts; press with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until light brown. Let stand until cool. Cut into bars. Store covered, at room temperature. Makes about one dozen!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh The Cuteness :)

On my trip to the beach~ shopping adventure I ran across the cutest thing ever!! I needed a new pair of oven mitts....but oven gloves trimmed in leopard fur....sign me up! My husband just laughs at me...and makes some obnoxious "redneck" jokes...but I love them. I think it adds some spice to my everyday! I contemplated buying the matching apron for a hot minute...but decided to pass on the fear that it might look a little ridiculous (or make my butt look even bigger)!

Greatest Grater!

My hubby and I took a trip to Myrtle Beach this week. It rained most of the day since we could not hang out on the beach...we decided to take in some shopping! I came across the cutest little kitchen store (I'm a sucker) and I found my new favorite gadget...the microplane zester/grater! It has a funkey little handle that comes in several colors...and has a neat little plastic case! I am in love with this little contraption. I now find myself wanting to add zest to everything just as a good excuse to us it! Oh...and I had to pick up a few extra as Christmas gifts...since they were only 12 bucks! Score :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Lady's Cheesy Mac

Keeping with my southern...Paula inspired cooking this weekend I decided to break down and finally cook The Lady's Cheesy Mac. I have never been a big fan of baked mac and cheese...but after trying it on our trip...I was sold! The sour cream and the milk just make it super creamy. It was sooo cheesy and and my hungry hubby just ate it up! As Mark's crazy grandmother says "it will make you think you're there when you're not" :)

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained (approx. 2 cups uncooked)

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk, or equivalent in evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After macaroni has been boiled and drained, add cheddar cheese while macaroni is still hot. Combine remaining ingredients and add to macaroni mixture. Pour into casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese!


One of many great southern recipes. Hoecakes remind you of a pancake...but with a sweet cornbread flavor. My sweet little granny used to call them cornmeal pancakes. I love them with a little butter and just a little bit of maple syrup! I have a special cast iron skillet just for making these...and cornbread. This recipe is from the Paula Deen's Lady and Son's cookbook!

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

2 eggs

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease

Oil or butter for frying

Mix all ingredients well except for the frying oil. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls into hot skillet. Use approximately 2 tablespoons batter per hoecake. Brown until crisp; turn and brown on other side. Drain on paper towels. Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days!

A trip to Paula's :)

My hubby and I made a recent trip to eat at the new Paula Deen's buffet! It reminded me of the reasons that I love watching her...and reading her cookbooks. It is the kind of food that my grandmother used to make...the kind of food that warms your heart and fills your tummy. It reminds me of sitting in the kitchen and watching my sweet little grandmother cook all of her masterpieces...and trying to take notes along the way. It stirred up all the memories of all of those sweet smells I miss so much! It also reminded me of what is so special about the south....our hospitality...and most of all our food :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Velveeta Chicken Spaghetti

I ran across this recipe from a Kraft Foods magazine. It looked pretty quick and easy so I thought I would try it out on my hubby. He loved it!!!! The velveeta cheese makes it super creamy :)

1-1/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 cups water

8 oz. spaghetti, uncooked, broken into 3 inch pieces

1 bag (1 lb.) frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot blend

1 can (10 oz.) RO*TEL diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained

1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Velveeta block cut into cubes

Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook on med/high heat until no longer pink. Stir in water. Bring to a boil. Add spaghetti; cook 8 min. or until tender. Add remaining ingredients; stir until well blended. Cook until velveeta is completely melted, stirring frequently!
*photo from Kraft foods website!