National Chocolate Cake Day!!!

17 Comments

So yesterday was National Chocolate Cake Day, and I got the itch to make a
Chocolate Cake and I brought it in for the office today!!!  

IMG_4105

I know they will happy, since this is the second thing I made this week, on Monday
I made a Cinnamon and Walnut Coffee Cake and they all loved that!! 🙂

So I didn’t have my usual ingredients at the house that I have used in my Chocolate cakes before, like
buttermilk or sour cream those things make my cakes moist and I like using them.

So I just followed the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder can.

IMG_4078

The only thing I did differently was two things:
1. I used 1 cup of cocoa powder, instead of what it said, (I can’t remember LOL)
2. I used Hot Strong Coffee instead of Hot Water.

I also made it in a bundt pan 🙂 Bake for about 40-50 mins, just until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

The I made Cream Cheese Frosting and that recipe is below 🙂

Adding the chocolate to the cream cheese, butter and sugar (sorry i didn’t take better pictures)

IMG_4096

whipped up altogether 🙂

IMG_4097

frosting!!

IMG_4098

Done 🙂

IMG_4104

now Enjoy!!!

IMG_4110

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

2 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
2 stick of butter, softened
1 3/4 – 2 cups powdered sugar
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup half and half

In a double boiler add chocolate and half and half, stir until chocolate has melted and mixture has before like a thick paste.  Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl mix cream cheese until fluffy, then add butter and mix until combined and fluffy.
Then add powdered sugar, I only used 1 3/4 cup but if you like it sweeter add more, mix until combined.

The mix in chocolate and continue to mix until all in combined and fluffy.

This recipe covered the bundt cake and I had about 2 cups left over.

Store cake in the refrigerator, let set at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

YUMMY!!! Enjoy!!

IMG_4111

Advertisements

Brown Bread!!

12 Comments

No I don’t mean like Whole Wheat bread…I mean Brown Bread, this is a sweet or quick bread and bake in a CAN!!  

IMG_20130726_142609

Yes I said a can…you know a can that veggies come in or soup 

I grew up having brown bread in our house my Mom would make this as well as my Grandma…I don’t think I ever thought it was odd baking it in a can…I was a kid it was a cool thing 🙂

Wikipedia says – 

New England or Boston brown bread is a type of dark, slightly sweet steamed bread (usually a quick bread) popular in New England. It is cooked by steam in a can, or cylindrical pan.
Brown bread’s color comes from a mixture of flours, usually a mix of several of the following: cornmeal, wheat, whole wheat, graham flour, or rye, and from the addition of sweeteners like molasses and maple syrup. Leavening most often comes from baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) though a few recipes use yeast. Raisins are often added. The batter is poured into a can, and steamed in a kettle. While most variations are quick breads, and can be made in less than an hour, several commercial brands are available. Brown bread is somewhat seasonal, being served mostly in fall and winter, and is frequently served with baked beans.

I really had forgotten about this Brown Bread until I read this blog “A Small Insight” http://asmallinsight.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/mammas-fruit-loaf/
Lucy call it “Mamma’s Fruit Loaf and when I read this post and saw what it was, I immediately thought of Brown Bread 🙂 

So go to her blog and check her out and her recipe for her Mamma’s Fruit Loaf 🙂

All  know is that I really was not a big fan growing up, but now this stuff if great and I like mine with butter, now my Mom likes her’s with cream cheese.  So its up to you on which way you eat it, its also good heated in the microwave 🙂

My recipe here is is made with a couple of can, I also used small paper loaf pan, easy to give as gifts and I made some today for our office and I used a Bundt pan and it just came out so nice…perfect with you were having people over for coffee or tea, it’s perfect.

Now I did compare my brown bread to the ‘Can” kind you find in the store and let me say, I thought the store bought one was very dense, dry, very little raisins compared to mine.  And the flavor well I am sorry to say it was just plan awful…sorry if you like it, I just didn’t care for it 🙂

Store bought

IMG_20130726_114939IMG_20130726_115243IMG_20130726_115347IMG_20130726_115442

 

Ingredients

IMG_20130726_120106

 

Raisins and water in a small sauce pan

IMG_20130726_120508

IMG_20130726_120540IMG_20130726_120624

 

add flour, salt, baking soda and bran/bran buds to bowl 

IMG_20130726_121509

 

Mix together
IMG_20130726_121614

cream butter and sugar

IMG_20130726_122932

 

IMG_20130726_123109

 

stir in egg and vanilla

IMG_20130726_123241

 

IMG_20130726_123311

 

add dry mixture and stir a little

IMG_20130726_123357

IMG_20130726_123436

 

add raisin mixture

IMG_20130726_123543

 

Fold to combine

IMG_20130726_123613

 

pour batter into your containers

IMG_20130726_124005

 

bake

IMG_20130726_132140

 

this is the can

IMG_20130726_134203

 

this looks so good

IMG_20130726_142506

 

this is store on left and mine on right

IMG_20130726_142732

 

You can see that mine has so many more raisins

IMG_20130726_142852

 

Both buttered and ready to eat

IMG_20130726_143006

 

Out come, like I said did not care for the store bought, took one bite 😦

Mine oh it looks so good!!!!

IMG_20130726_143229

Brown Bread Recipe

1 1/2 -2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1 cup Bran or Bran Buds Cereal
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

4 – 16oz. cans (fill 2/3 full)- bake for 35-55 minutes, small loaf pans (fill half full) – bake 30 minutes, large loaf pan (fill half full to 2/3’s) – bake 40 – 50 minutes, bundt pan (whole recipe) – bake 45 minutes.  With any of these just keep an eye on it, when you stick a toothpick or skewer in bread it should come out clean, it then is done.   Cool upside down on a cooling rack.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

In a small to med sauce pan add water and raisins, bring to a boil over med-high heat, once it boils, remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl add flour, bran/bran buds, salt and baking soda, stir to mix…set aside
In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar for 1 minute, then stir in egg and vanilla, then add dry mixture, stir it a little and raisin mixture, fold to fully combine.

Pour into your WELL greased or spray baking container, and bake.  Let cool enough to handle and then you can dig in 🙂

The Bundt pictures

IMG_20130821_172431

 

IMG_20130821_172537

Mammoth Cafe…Newport, Ky

2 Comments

I moved back to Ky (where I am from) nine months ago, I am getting use to new places to hang out and to go and I must say that Newport, Ky has a lot of good places to do just that 🙂

plus one of our Grocery Stores is in Newport 🙂

As I am friends with the Mayor of  the City of Newport, he recently told me about a few more places that would be opening and I am looking forward to trying those places.

But in the mean time, the main strip down the center of town has a “Wide” variety of places, from diners (that have good diner food to home style cooking),  burger places, pizza places that are so GOOD, a bakery to coffee shops.

That’s just to name a few, there are all kinds of small shops along the way too, and lots of stuff off the side streets too like Sweet Tooth Candy Shop…not only do they have all kinds of candy and they make all kinds of candy and fudge, but they have Ice Cream with freshly made waffle cones and ice balls…that post will be coming on up 🙂

There is a lot to choose from!!!

IMG_20130521_153751

But today I want to feature the Mommoth Cafe, I stumbled upon this place one day and loved it.  They are open only till 3pm, but don’t let that stop you, get your butt up and get in there 🙂

I am now known to girl that works their as “It’s my Saturday”, when I first went in to the shop I was talking to them and they commented about the weekend and I told them that today was my weekend “It’s my Saturday” I said (see my off day’s are on Tues & Weds)…so now when I walk in she always says “Hey it’s my saturday” it’s like I’m Norm from “Cheers” when he would walk into the Bar everyone would say his name 🙂

This is what you can expect when you come to Newport, good friendly people that make you feel welcome

On my last trip there a friend of mine and I went for lunch and again this place has plenty to choose from 😛

Check out the menu

IMG_20130521_145159

As I started off with a Coke Zero (my fav)

IMG_20130521_142309

I got the “Cured Bootlegger”
IMG_20130521_142728

Roasted Turkey, bacon, gouda cheese, with jalapeno jam on a grilled ciabatta roll

IMG_20130521_142756

It also came with a side, I got the homemade chips & salsa

IMG_20130521_142826

IMG_20130521_143130

My friend got “The Elliot Ness”
Roasted Turkey, smoked gouda, Mammoth red onion-cranberry marmalade, lettuce on whole grain bread with a side of horseradish mayo

IMG_20130521_142856

Theses sandwiches were to die for, we shared a little with each other

IMG_20130521_143642

I just loved adding the horseradish mayo to my sandwich

IMG_20130521_143445

Then I added it to my chip with both salsas 🙂

IMG_20130521_143913

It was a 3 napkin meal 🙂

IMG_20130521_144639

Not only is this such a cute place to visit or hang out, they have plenty of seating inside

IMG_20130521_145246

and they have a few table outside too.  My friend and I love to hang out there on a nice day, sit watch the people and traffic go by, I give this place “two thumbs up” for sure.

So if you ever make to Newport, Ky this place is a great stop for breakfast or lunch and they have great coffee too!! 🙂

And tell them that “It’s My Saturday” sent you 🙂

What to do with leftover…Easter Peeps!!!

13 Comments

EASTER!!!IMG_20130331_104825

PEEPS!!!!!!IMG_20130326_151040

Okay this post today is just a fun and silly…so please bare with me 🙂

They have peeps now for every holiday, hearts, pumpkins, snowmen, Christmas trees, reindeer’s, I’m sure I’m missing others…LOL

But I only remember peeps in my Easter Basket, that was my most favorite item in my basket when I was little, I still like peeps now…I just like them on the stale side…ha ha ha…I know I’m going to have haters and lovers of this, but I like the chewiness of that sugary covered bunny!!  Yes I said Bunny I do prefer the Bunny over the Chick, I like that the Bunny is thinner, this way I get more chewiness…okay this is way too much information, I’m sorry LOL!! 🙂

Anyway the the idea for this post came from my friend Joe, I had asked my friends to give me some ideas for my blog, recipes they would like to see.  And Joe said ‘Cooking with Peeps”  I thought awesome idea!!

So I’ve come up with 4 recipes ideas buy adding peeps to it or in place of where you may have used marshmallows, and of course there are many more, but these are fun and easy!!
*** Note – you can click on the pictures to make the image bigger

1. Easter Fudge, 2. Sweet Potatoes, 3. Fudge Brownies, 4. Heavenly Hash/Ambrosia Salad

 

1.  Easter Fudge    

IMG_20130331_110544

 

So this recipe is one that use at Christmas time to make for family and friends, its very close to the foolproof Eagle Brand fudge recipe.  For Christmas I added marshmallows and walnuts, and call it my Rocky Road Fudge.  

For Easter Fudge, I will add Bunny peeps and Reese’s Mini peanut butter eggs too….this one will be good!!!

Ingredients

IMG_20130330_165058

Chop peeps in half then in to 4’s

IMG_20130330_165330     IMG_20130330_165723

in a large pot add chips, vanilla and sweet condensed milk – once melted, off the heat fold in peeps

IMG_20130330_172445                                                    IMG_20130330_173343

line dish with plastic wrap                   add half of mixture, spread out

IMG_20130330_172100                               IMG_20130330_173445

add peanut butter eggs

IMG_20130330_173256   IMG_20130330_173534

then add rest of fudge mixture,         spread over eggs, chill over night

IMG_20130330_173638

then slice fudge into slices   –  then pieces

IMG_20130331_105819      IMG_20130331_110507

 

Recipe

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag 18 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
2 tsp. vanilla
peeps 3 bunnies of each color 12 total
1 bag Reese’s mini peanut butter eggs (used 15)

Cut peeps in half then into 4’s, set aside.
In a large pot add, milk, chips and vanilla, over med high heat, stirring constantly until almost melted, remove from heat and keep stirring until all the chips have melted.
Fold in chopped peeps, pour half into line dish, then top with mini peanut butter eggs, then top with the remaining fudge mixture, spreading to cover eggs.
Fold plastic wrap over top and refrigerate over night.
Let side out for an hour before slicing fudge then cutting into pieces.
This can be store in an airtight container in a cool place or refrigerator for up to two weeks…that’s if it lasts that long.

This was a HUGE hit with my family, it really didn’t hit the table before they were eating it.

2. Sweet Potatoes topped with peeps 

IMG_20130331_135302

 

Who hasn’t had sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows, this one was a no brainier, add a little sprinkling of brown sugar, some pecans and top with a rainbow of bunny peeps.  How fun!!!

Ingredients – Simple

IMG_20130331_093025

toast pecans                           give a rough chop

IMG_20130331_093559  IMG_20130331_100149

Drain potatoes     –                           then with a potato masher, mash potatoes

IMG_20130331_095221                     IMG_20130331_095708

add pecans and brown sugar, mix to combine

IMG_20130331_100252    IMG_20130331_100442

pour into a baking dish and bake 20 mins

IMG_20130331_133445

then top with peeps and bake another 20 mins

IMG_20130331_133754

done

IMG_20130331_135100

serve it up    IMG_20130331_135141    IMG_20130331_135302

Recipe

2 large cans sweet potatoes, drained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 good cup of pecans
1/2 tsp salt

peeps

In a large bowl add potatoes, mash, add brown sugar, pecans and salt, mix to combine.  Pour into baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then add peeps to the top and bake another 20 minutes.

Serve it up!!  This was good, the peeps give a little bit of a vanilla flavoring to the potatoes which adds nicely, and I like the sugary shell of the peep…Two Thumbs Up!!!

3. Fudge Brownies   

IMG_20130330_173917

Okay I know its close to the fudge, but indulge me on this one…I’ll made these with some coffee and made them Mocha Fudge Brownies…yes you know I love coffee and this will be quick with a brownie mix…oh and if you love coffee and chocolate go back and check out my Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies…these were heavenly!!!

Ingredients – just used a box mix

IMG_20130328_173652

added the coffee & whisk                                           then  add oil & eggs

IMG_20130328_180947                                              IMG_20130328_181200

mix, then put in baking dish and bake

IMG_20130328_181305

about 3/4 of the way done, top with your peeps and bake the rest of the way

IMG_20130330_172619                               IMG_20130330_172829

let cool

IMG_20130330_173917

slice and serve   IMG_20130331_100904

IMG_20130331_100843 I trimmed the edges to square them off

IMG_20130331_101508

Recipe

Box brownie mix, following directions on the box
1 instant coffee stick (next time I would use 2)
peeps
Pour mix into baking dish, bake as directed, but when about 3/4 of the way done, add peeps, just push done a little to nestle the peeps in the mix.

Bake the rest of the way, let cool then slice and serve.
These were a BIG hit for sure…Gooey and Sinful but Heavenly!!

Oh and speaking of Heavenly!!

4. Heavenly Hash or some call it Ambrosia Salad

IMG_20130331_131812

I can’t believe I thought of this last, I love “Heavenly Hash” which is what we called it, my Grandmas (my Dad’s Mom) would make this for every holiday.
Growing up it really wasn’t a holiday dinner without it, whether it was Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, there is was on the table in a big bowl, this white fluffy goodness with fruit, marshmallows and cherries!!!
Oh the memories for sure!!!
My Grandma has pasted since then, but boy I sure do miss those times that we would go to her house, me and my cousins would love to play all the way up on the 3rd floor.
Of course they were older and would tease us young ones about house being haunted (which is was not)…but it was always great times and wonderful memories that I will never forget!!!

Ingredients

IMG_20130331_090308

Drain pineapple & oranges                                          cut grapes in half

IMG_20130331_092534                                                     IMG_20130331_091939

drain cherries                                                           cut cherries in half

IMG_20130331_093347                                             IMG_20130331_095105

Cut peeps                                                 set aside

IMG_20130331_090908                  IMG_20130331_091603

in a large bowl add whipped topping & 2 tbsp. instant vanilla pudding, combine well

IMG_20130331_112403

add oranges, pineapple and peeps to whipped topping, fold to combine

IMG_20130331_112452

fold in grapes                                                     then fold in cherries

IMG_20130331_112551                                           IMG_20130331_112649

pour into a serving dish

IMG_20130331_112804         IMG_20130331_112914

Now add a little fun touch, take coconut & green food coloring 

IMG_20130331_111339      IMG_20130331_111436

mix to make green and now you have green grass

IMG_20130331_111809

add a few extra bunnies sitting on grass

IMG_20130331_131812

Recipe

2 8 oz. whipped topping
1 8 oz. can Mandarin oranges, drained
1 can (12 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 16 oz.  jar maraschino cherries, drained, halved
2 cups halved red grapes
2 tbsp. instant vanilla pudding powder
6 bunny peeps of each color, total 24 peeps, plus 3 extra for decor
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
green food coloring gel

Drain all the fruit and set a side, cut cherries in half.
Cut peeps in half then cut again into 4’s, set aside

In a large mixing bowl add whipped topping and vanilla pudding powder and mix to combine

Fold into whipped topping the pineapple, oranges and peeps, then fold in grapes, then cherries making sure everything is well mixed.
Pour into serving dish, and smooth out.
 

For Decorations –  add coconut to bowl or ziploc bag, squeeze a little food coloring gel onto coconut and mix with your fingers to color coconut. (if you use a bowl like I did, put a sandwich size baggie over your hand and mixed the coconut up, so your fingers don’t turn green)
Add your extra peeps on top of the hash add the grass around them….Chill and serve!!!

This also was a big hit,  I love how  you can see the colored peeps mixed in, but both my parents say my Dad’s sister (Mae) always made it the best…she would whip heavy cream instead of pre made whipped topping to make hers…now that’s the good stuff.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my fun whimsical post today, it was fun to do, so thank you to my friend Joe 🙂 for giving the idea in using Peeps!!!

Chocolate and Coffee!! …cookies!!

3 Comments

Chocolate and Coffee what really could be better!!

I really don’t think I could live with out coffee, I just love it, give it to me hot, cold, over ice, in a cup or in can  ———>    pic 1

I just love any kind of coffee drink and will seek out them out even if its International, but I do usually hit my local Starbucks for an Iced Venti 3 splenda Americano.   I also like to spread myself out and give all coffee shops  a fair shot.
I particularly like visiting this one Caribou Coffee shop, these girls that work there are a lot fun.  So when I go there all I ask is for a Medium size with 4 shots, and then tell them to work there magic with whatever they want to make me.
Then once its done, comes the taste test as I try to guess what they made me, well it is really a lot of fun and I’ve never had a bad drink yet.
My last one was  Dark Chocolate syrup with hazelnut, so I thought why not try to make a cookie with the same flavors.

So here is what I came up with and I will call it!!

pic 2

Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies and it went like this…

Ingredients (plus the nuts, which I forgot in the picture)

pic 3

add butter and 1/2 cup chips to saucepan and melt

pic 4

whisk in espresso powder, set aside

pic 5

add flour, salt, baking powder & cocoa, whisk together, set aside

pic 6

In a large bowl add both sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisk together

pic 7

pour chocolate mixture into sugar/egg mixture, combine

pic 8pic 9

add flour mixture to wet mixture and combine

pic 10pic 11

I took a handful of walnuts, chopped them up and it was 3/4 cup (didn’t have any hazelnuts)

pic 12

add chips and nuts

pic 13

scoop out on baking sheets

pic 14

and here you have cookies…Yummy!!!   pic 15

Recipe

Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp. espresso powder or instant coffee (heaping)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1/2 cup) stick butter
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a small sauce pan add butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips, heat over medium heat whisking as they melt, once almost melted remove from heat.  Continue whisking until smooth, then add espresso powder mixing to combine and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa, set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl add sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisking to combine, then add chocolate mixture, whisking to fully combine.  Stir in Flour mixture all at once, stirring and folding until flour is fully incorporated.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and walnuts.  I used a medium scoop (1 1/2 tbsp.) for these, baked them at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, you want them to look a little crackled.

Have them with a nice ice cold glass of milk or like me with more COFFEE!!!!    Enjoy!!!!

pic 16