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!!!  

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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.

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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)

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whipped up altogether 🙂

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frosting!!

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Done 🙂

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now Enjoy!!!

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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!!

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Red Velvet Cheesecake!!! “Fiesta Friday #63”

25 Comments

“Red Velvet, Red Velvet, send “Cheesecake” right over” LOL

Anyone remember playing “Red Rover, Red Rover” as a kid 😉 if not just google it LOL 😛

Anyway I was trying to start my blog out in a silly kind of way, but there is no silliness when “Red Velvet” is involved 😉

Of course Red Velvet everything starts to come out around Valentine’s Day, and this is around that time I made this delicious cheesecake.

Of course I did share with several friends and I must say I had “zero” complaints 🙂 LOL

So I thought this would be perfect for this week’s “Fiesta Friday #63”, of course our host is Angie@The Novice Gardener her new blog for Fiesta Friday’s is here and her co-host this week are Julianna@Food On Board and Hilda@Along The Grapevine.

So I’d like to thank them for letting me share this recipe 🙂

So without further ado here you go!!

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Ingredients

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Crust –

place biscuits in food processor

 

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Pulse until it becomes fine crumbs

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this is the 1 1/2 cup of the tea biscuits

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Add melted butter and crumbs together

 

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butter & crumb mixture

 

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spray your spring-form pan

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Pour crumb mixture into pan

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with your fingers firmly press crumb mixture into pan
and up the sides about 1 inch

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Filling – cream cheese softened

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blend the cream cheese until smooth

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add eggs one at a time, blending well after each one

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add the sugar

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add sour cream

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add salt & cornstarch

 

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add vanilla

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scrap your bowl

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put about 2 1/2 cup of the filling in another bowl

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add red food coloring and cocoa

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whisk together

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Pour red mixture on top of cream mixture
and give it a swirl and bake

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once its done turn oven off, crack the oven door open
and let cake sit inside for 1 hour

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remove from oven and let cool for 3 hours

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Chill overnight or for at least 3 hours before
cutting and serving

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Its came out just delicious!!!

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Enjoy!!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust:
2 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (graham or flavored)
(I used 1 1/2 cups Cappuccino tea biscuits and 1 cup graham cracker crumbs)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all together in a bowl, in a 9 inch spring-form pan press mixture down on the bottom and up the sides about 1 inch, set aside.

Filling:

2 8oz. bricks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
3 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. red food coloring
1/4 cup cocoa powder

In a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, add one egg at a time, making sure each is mixed in before adding the next.  Then add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, salt and then cornstarch, scraping the bowl as needed.

Take 2 1/2 cups of the mixture and add it to a small bowl then mix in food coloring  and cocoa until fully combined.

Pour white mixture into the pan and spread around, then add red mixture and just swirl the 2 mixtures together.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, edges will be puffed up and slightly brown, turn off oven, leave the door cracked with cheesecake inside for 1 hour.  Then cool at room temp. for about 3 hours, place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2-3 before serving.

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Brown Bread!!

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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!!  

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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

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Ingredients

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Raisins and water in a small sauce pan

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

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Mix together
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cream butter and sugar

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stir in egg and vanilla

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add dry mixture and stir a little

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add raisin mixture

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Fold to combine

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pour batter into your containers

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bake

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this is the can

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this looks so good

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this is store on left and mine on right

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You can see that mine has so many more raisins

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Both buttered and ready to eat

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

Mine oh it looks so good!!!!

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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

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Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Comments

Well summer is here and the gardens are producing some awesome vegetables!!  Every year we always make zucchini bread with the zucchini.  

This time I decided to make a Cake instead….now I’m sure someone out there has made a zucchini cake…but I have have, this really is no different then the bread just in cake form, so this is what I came up with 🙂

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along with the things I would change next time 🙂

Did I say change…yes I did 🙂  No one is perfect!!!!!!!!!!  

Ever watch Top Chef or I like Top Chef Masters myself, (in case you don’t, it is a cooking competition show with mostly well know chefs)  I like this show better since I do admire some of the chefs that have been on the show and am amazed at the talent they have  that have made them famous.

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This new season just started last Wednesday night on Bravo, this season does not have many chefs that are TV known except Chef David Burke he has multiple Awards, Restaurants, and few products.  They have many talented Chefs this season and I am excited to watch.

 It is hosted by Chef Curtis Stone images and recently he posted a picture of dish he was trying make and it just flopped, and he said “see not even Chefs are perfect”  I love him for that 😉

Which brings me back to telling you as I made this cake and it did not turn exactly as I wanted it too, so next time I know the things I’ll change (which I will let you know in the recipe what that is) 🙂

So I’ll tell you a secret, not everything I make turns out just right, including “my new idea for a cookie” that I tried to make this week 🙂
I was trying to make it with no flour, butter, oil…okay health and using things I already had around the house…well I am going to admit, the garbage had its share of treats 🙂  

Oh my goodness I can’t describe the texture…closest word I can think of is “RUBBER”LOL  Hey at least I tried 😛  

UPDATE on this post – I brought this cake into the office today and everyone loved just as I made it, so I’ll leave it up to you on the changes, that are below 🙂

Alright, alright lets move on to the cake 🙂

Ingredients

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add dry indgredients to a bowl

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whisk together to combine

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add eggs, oil and vanilla to large bowl

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whisk to combine

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Grate zucchini over the wet mixture bowl
or just add the grated zucchini to the wet mixture

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fold in to combine

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then add dry to wet

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just mix until everything is moist

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Pour into a 9×13 pan
(this is what I would change, if I use a 9×13 again I will double the recipe or I’d use a 9×9 baking dish)

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Bake and let cool completely

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Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients

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add softened cream cheese and butter to bowl

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with hand mixer or stand mixer, just mix to combine

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then add confectioners sugar a little at a time

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add as much sugar as you like for taste of sweetness and consistency

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I use only 3/4 of a 1 pound bag

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frost your cake

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done, you can dig in right now, but keep in the refrigerator

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Zucchini Cake Recipe

 (exactly as I made, with what I would change)

1 large zucchini, grated (about 3 cups or so)
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. cinnamon (I would have put in a least 1 more tablespoon, I also would have added 1/2 tsp. nutmeg)

Nuts are optional I did not use any

In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk to fully combine.

In a large bowl add oil, eggs and vanilla, whisk to fully combine, add grated zucchini and stir to combine.
Then add dry to zucchini mixture, fold just until everything is moist.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pour mixture into a greased or non-stick sprayed baking dish*** see Note below

(In the pictures I used a 9×13, for this recipe  would change that to a 9×9 baking dish.  I felt that the cake was too thin, I would have liked it to be thicker.  Therefore if using the recipe above and  you want a thicker cake use a 9×9 baking dish, if you like it thin (about 1 1/2 inch) then use a 9×13 baking dish.  Now you can also double this recipe and use a 9×13, resulting in a thicker cake)

Bake time using above recipe in a 9×13 done in 30-35 minutes,  using a 9×9 pan check at 35 to 40, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Cool completely 

Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz. cream cheese, very softened
4 tbsp. butter, very softened
1 box confectioners sugar (1 pound box)

in a medium mixing bowl add cream cheese and butter, beat on med-high speed just until combined, then on low speed add sugar a little at time until you have the sweetness and desired consistency.

Frost cake, slice and serve, or this can kept in the refrigerator until you serve. 

This cake is Super Moist!!

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and Cream Cheese Frosting is so creamy 🙂

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I hope you try it!!! Enjoy!! 

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Shrimp Po’ Boy & Shrimp with Creamy Polenta

2 Comments

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I made Shrimp Po’ Boy’s for a recent get together with friends, and it was a HUGE hit!!  I must admit I’ve never had a Po’ Boy, shrimp, seafood, beef or otherwise, but this one turned out down right delicious.

I had gotten a couple extra piece’s of shrimp for my dinner the next day and I made the shrimp the same way, but served it with creamy polenta.  
So you get both recipes in one blog 🙂

You can also I serve this shrimp with just the Remoulade sauce at party, I just love the light crispy coating on the shrimp.  Also would be great on a salad too, summer is coming and this would be a quick addition to a great refreshing summer salad.

Now I used large 16/20 shrimp 4-5 per person, I also used ciabatta rolls, you can use any fluffy crusted bread or roll.

Or you could also serve these as sliders on slider buns, one piece of shrimp is diffidently a nice size for this different party appetizer

First you need a Remoulade sauce/slaw, this usually starts with mayonnaise, then after that its your own taste buds that will take you to the end.  Just Wikipedia it, it will tell you were to begin and give you ideas on what to add…here’s mine

Shrimp Ingredients

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Add spices, flour and cornstarch together whisk,
then whisk egg & milk together

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Divide flour mixture into 2 dishes

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dredge shrimp in first flour dish, then into egg,

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then into 2nd flour dish

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get  your oil hot, about 350 degrees            to know your oil is hot and ready
                                                                            take the end of a wooden spoon
                                                                            press to bottom of skillet if it
                                                                  sizzles then you know it hot and ready

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add shrimp and cook for about 30 seconds each side

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Place them on a paper towel

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Remoulade Sauce/slaw  ingredients

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Slice cabbage or lettuce thinly       in a small bowl add Remoulade 
You can use pre cut as well                sauce ingredients, mix to combine

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add in cabbage/lettuce                    mix together

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Slice roll add some of the slaw

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top with the shrimp and top of roll

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Recipes

Remoulade Sauce

1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
3 tbsp. horseradish
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. each kosher salt and white pepper
3 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 1/4 tsp. paprika

Mix all together and refrigerate until ready.

I take 1 bag of shredded lettuce,  or if you like more of a “crunch” then use a bag of angel hair cabbage, or thinly slice it off the heads, place it in a large bowl and add about half to 3/4 of the remoulade sauce, toss to fully combine.   Keep the rest of the sauce if you like more on your sandwich. 

Shrimp

Peel and devein shrimp, tails off, just as much shrimp as you want to make for each sandwich.

1/2 cup each all-purpose flour and cornstarch
4 tsp. each cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp. half and half
Oil for cooking

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, cayenne, onion/garlic powder, paprika and salt in a medium bowl, divide mixture into 2 shallow dishes, in another shallow dish whisk eggs and half n half together.  

In a medium/large skillet add enough oil so it will come up half way to the side of the shrimp.  Heat over medium high heat, (adjust heat as cooking so not to burn).
Once oil is hot, take shrimp and coat them in the first dish of flour mixture, then dip them into the egg wash, then into the  other dish of the flour mixture, coating evenly.
Carefully place them into the hot oil and cook on each side for maybe only 30 seconds each side.  Shrimp cooks quickly, so you want to work fast not too ever cook the shrimp.
Once cooked place on a platter lined with paper towels.

To make a Po’ Boy

Cut your roll or bun in half, on bottom piece layer some lettuce/cabbage mixture and top with the shrimp, if you want to add a little more remoulade sauce on top then do it, top with other half of the roll.

Grab a cold beer (if you like that) or some cold Iced Tea or Lemonade and dig your chops right in…yummmmmm

Now for the Shrimp with Polenta

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Ingredients for Polenta

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once the water/broth comes to a boil whisk in polenta

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add butter and let cook for 30 minutes it will look like this

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The stir in cream cheese

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until fully combined and creamy

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serve with shrimp

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Shrimp with Polenta

Use recipe above for shrimp 3 or 4 shrimp per person

Polenta

2 cups water or broth (chicken or veggie)
1/2 cup polenta
2 tbsp. butter
4 oz. cream cheese

In a medium sauce pan add water and bring to a boil medium high heat, then quickly whisk in polenta until it has been fully incorporated.  Reduce the heat to low simmer, add butter and allow potenta to cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then stir in cream cheese (marscarpone cheese can be used as well), season with salt, stir until cream cheese in fully incorporated and creamy.

You can serve with just like I did above or serve as a side with the shrimp and some delicious grilled or roasted asparagus, what a great summer dinner!!!

Enjoy!!!!

White Chocolate Cheesecake with White Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie Crust

4 Comments


Since I work for a grocery chain (Remke bigg’s, Northern Ky/Greater Cincinnati area), our merchandisers will get in new products before they hit our shelves.  I have been fortunate to be given some of these products and I will be sharing with you my results and different recipes I come up with by using the products.

Up first is Betty Crocker’s White Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie Mix, this is not yet in the stores, I decided to make the crust for my cheesecake out it….so this is what I did.

Crust :  New – Betty Crocker White Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie Mix
1 package of cookie mix
1/3 cup butter
1 tbsp. water
Mix all together

I used a 12 inch tart pan, also cut a piece of parchment paper to in the bottom of my pan, then spray it with non stick spray. 

Press mixture into a tart pan

bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes, the cookie dough will puff up, as soon as it comes out, take the back of measuring spoon and press the dough down and into the sides. You can see in the first picture at the top

White Chocolate Cheesecake batter:

16 oz. white chocolate, chopped (used 2 – 6 oz. packages Bakers plus 4 oz. white choc. chips)
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

In a double boiler or a place a metal or glass bowl over a pot of 1 inch simmering water, not letting the bowl touch the water, melt chocolate and butter together. 
Stirring occasionally to combine, set aside and let cool slightly.

Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, vanilla and sugar
beat until you reach firm peaks, beat in melted chocolate until combined.
 In another bowl add whipping cream

and beat until firm peaks
take a 1/3 of the whipped cream and fold it into the cream cheese mixture
Beat in the rest of the whipped cream

Pour over the crust  
(This does make a little extra, use a couple of ramekins to put the extra filling and top with some of the nuts for a late night snack.)
Top with candied macadamia nuts.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Candied  Macadamia Nuts:

4 oz. macadamia nuts, chopped
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
 1/2 tsp. vanilla
 pinch of salt

In a saucepan add butter, once melted add brown sugar, vanilla and salt
stirring and cooking for 1 minute, remove from heat, keep stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Toss with nuts
stir to coat, then pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet or silt pad. 
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring half way, remove from oven, place on waxed paper or parchment paper to let cool. 
These remind me of Burnt Sugar Nuts, they work well with the sweetness of the cheesecake.

This Cookie crust was a great addition to this recipe, keep a look out at your local store this new cookie mix!  I give it “Two Thumbs Up”     Enjoy!!!!

Beer Cheese Dip

1 Comment

  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 pk. 8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
.50 lb. Asiago cheese, shredded
1/2 cup light Beer
3/4 tsp. hot paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. onion powder

In a microwave safe dish, heat cream cheese 1 minute at a time stirring after each until smooth.  then add sour cream and Asiago cheese stir to combine.  Again heat in microwave until same as before until creamy and Asiago cheese has melted. Add beer a little at a time stirring until combined, then add spices mix to combine.  Serve warm or cold, good on crackers or with pretzels.