Saturday, May 31, 2014

BEST chocolate cake

All glory to These Peas are Hollow. Great recipe blog!

Devils Food Chocolate Cake
Prepare cake pan - two 9'' pans or 1 9x13

3 cups sugar
2 3/4 cup flour (all purpose)
1 1/8 cups cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup hot chocolate
1/4 amaretto liqueur (optional)

In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil.  Add eggs one at at time, whisking after each egg.  Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk till combined thoroughly.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in your mixing bowl.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix or whisk to combine.  Add the hot liquid and optional amaretto till incorporated.

Fill pans and bake till toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean and springs back to the touch.  About 30 minutes on round pans - 40 on larger cake.  Let cool completely.

The originator of the recipe has extra tips for decorating with ganache and strawberries.  We topped with whipped cream and berries while still yummy. Incredibly moist.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grilled Ham and Brie Sandwiches

3 TBSP butter, softened
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
6 slices Italian bread
12 slices country ham
8 ounces Brie cheese

Grill and At Home

In a small bowl, blend butter and Dijon mustard and spread on both sides of the bread. Place bread on hot grill. When browned, turn over and top each slice with 2 slices of ham and 1 1/2 ounces of Brie cheese. Grill until cheese melts. Serve open faced or sliced in triangles for an appetizer. Serves 6.

Cowboy Potatoes (Dutch Oven)

8 slices bacon, diced
2 medium onions, diced
8 medium potatoes, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Dutch Oven or at home.

Heat a 12 inch Dutch Oven over 12 - 15 coals. Saute the bacon; remove bacon and set aside. Pour off all but 1 TBSP of the drippings. Saute onions until soft and add potatoes, salt and pepper. Cook, covered 35 - 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon and sprinklw with shredded cheese. Let it rest, covered, until cheese is melted. Serves 6 to 8.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Potato Salad

5-6 Large potatoes, cut into chunks
2 C. Mayonnaise
3 TBSP milk
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP mustard
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste
3 celery stalks, cleaned and chopped
3 medium green onions or 2 medium white onions, diced
7 hard boiled eggs, diced

Boil potatoes until tender but not mush. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl combine mayo, milk, sugar, mustard, peppers and salt. Adjust each of these ingredients to your taste; In a large bowl, mix potatoes, celery, onion, egg and dressing. Chill until ready to serve.

**Tiny cubes of cheddar cheese (6 oz) and crumbled bacon (1/4 cup) are some pretty tasty additions.

Walking Taco

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
10 bags (2.75 oz) Doritos cheese tortilla chips (snack/single serving size)
2 C. Lettuce, shredded
1 C. Tomatoes, chopped
1 C. Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 C. Sour Cream
Taco Sauce to taste

In skillet, brown ground beef with onion, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Cut 1/4 inch off the top of chip bags. Crush chips slightly. Divide cooked hamburger mixture among the bags, and fill each one. Top with desired toppings. Stick fork in bag and serve. 10 servings.

Lemon Chicken

I was sent this recipe from a friend who loves it.  I made it and found the lemon to brown sugar ration off.  I guess it needs more tweeking...try at will!

4 lb chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
2 C. fresh lemon juice
2 C. flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. corn oil
2 TBSP lemon zest
1/4 C. brown sugar (very important or the chicken will be too sour)
1/4 C. chicken stock
1 tsp. lemon extract

Combine chicken and lemon juice in zip lock bag. marinate in refrigerator overnight. Drain chicken. In a plastic bag, combine flour, salt, paprika and pepper; shake well to mix. Put a few pieces of chicken in bag at a time; shake to coat well. Preheat oven to 350'F. Heat corn oil in frying pan. Fry chicken pieces, a few at a time, for 5 minutes on each side until browned. Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in a large shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon zest and brown sugar. Mix chicken stock and lemon extract; pour around chicken. Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until tender - Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
From the Sono Baking Company

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 TBSP pure vanilla extract
12 oz best quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like mini)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup old fashioned or wild rolled oats (NOT instant)

Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 350'F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats if desired (I used an ungreased cookie sheet). Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, beating until the flour is absorbed. gently fold in the chocolate chips and shredded coconut with a rubber scraper. Gently fold in the oats.

Use a Tbsp to scoop out the dough onto the prepared bans, placing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake one sheet at a time - 11 - 12 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunset Wedges & Sour Cream

3 sweet potatoes, skins on
2 large baking potatoes, skins on
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cajun spices
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2/3 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cut the sweet potatoes in half, then cut each half into 4 wedges and place in a large mixing bowl. Cut the baking potatoes in half, then cut each half into 6 thick wedges and place in the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then toss well to coat all the potato wedges.

Transfer the potatoes to a large baking sheet or oven tray in a single layer. Sprinkle on the cajun spices. Roast in a preheated 400'F oven for 30 - 35 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Turn onto a large serving platter and sprinkle with parsley.

Mix yogurt, sour cream, chives and Parmesan in a small mixing bowl. Serve the dip with the warm potato wedges.

Toffee - Apple Porridge

1 lb apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
5 tbsp brown sugar, divided
8 tbsp water
2 1/3 cups milk
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
Maple syrup, to serve

Place the apples in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan with the spices, 3 tbsp of the sugar and the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft yet still retain some of their shape. Set aside with a lid to keep warm while making the porridge.

Bring the milk and remaining sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the rolled oats. Stir well, then return to low heat, stirring continuously, for 4 to 5 minutes, until the porridge has thickened.

Stir half the apple mixture through the porridge until well mixed, then ladle into 4 warmed serving bowls. Spoon the remaining apple mixture and drizzle with maple syrup to serve.

Breakfast Crumble

1 lb apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
8 oz pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup liquid honey
1/2 tsp ginger (or cinnamon)
6 oz strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp)
1/4 cup demerara sugar (or brown sugar)

Place the apples and pears in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan with the orange zest and juice, honey and ginger. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until soft and slightly pulpy. Add the strawberries and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, until soft yet still retaining their shape. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to an ovenproof gratin dish. Set aside while making the crumble.

Put the flour in a bowl and stir in the flaxseed. Add the butter and rub into the mixture until it resembles chunky breadcrumbs. Add the oats and again rub the butter into the mixture, using your fingertips to distribute it well. Stir in the seeds and sugar, then sprinkle over the fruit.

Bake the crumble in a preheated 400'F over for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping is golden. Serve the crumble warm. * I think a dollop of vanilla yogurt would be just the topping.

Maple Pork with Roasted Roots

12 baby onions or shallots, peeled but left whole
1 lb small yukon gold or red potatoes, cubed
10 oz (300g) baby carrots
10 oz (300g) small parsnips, cut into wedges
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 zucchini, cut into chunky pieces
Several fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tbsp grainy mustard
3 tbsp maple syrup
4 large pork chops, trimmed of fat

Scatter the onions or shallots, potatoes, carrots and parsnips in a large sturdy roasting pan. Drizzle with the oil and shake the pan so that the vegetables are coated in oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated 375'F oven for 30 minutes, until beginning to color.

Add the zucchini and rosemary sprigs to the pan and toss the vegetables together. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Mix together the mustard, maple syrup with a little salt. Tuck the pork chips among the vegetables and brush with about half the maple glaze. Return to the oven for 20 minutes.

Turn the pork chops over and brush with remaining maple glaze. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the chops are cooked through.

Chicken with Peanut Sauce

4 boneless chicken breasts (4 oz each)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water

To garnish:
fresh coriander leaves
peanuts, fried, chopped

Heat a pan. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes each side.

Meanwhile, place the soy sauce, peanut butter, lemon juice, water and a little pepper in a small saucepan. Mix well and heat gently, adjusting the consistency of the sauce with a little more water, if necessary, so that it is slightly runny but coats the back of a spoon.

When the chicken is cooked, serve with the peanut sauce drizzled over the top, garnished with coriander and chopped peanuts. Serve with noodles or rice.

Teriyaki Salmon with Noodles

Serves 4
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cooking Time 15 minutes

4 skinless salmon fillets (5 oz each)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 green onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups hot vegetable stock
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp miso paste
1 tsp brown sugar
10 oz ready cooked udon noodles
4 heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise

Teriyaki Sauce
3 tbsp sake or vegetable stock
1 tsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brown sugar

Make the teriyaki sauce. Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat a little and simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened. Set aside to cool.

Rub the teriyaki sauce over the salmon fillets and arrange them in an ovenproof dish. Cook under a preheated broiler for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally. Remove and set aside.

Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the green onions for 2 minutes. Add the stock, soy sauce, miso paste and sugar, stirring to dissolve. Simmer gently and add the noodles and bok choy and cook for 2 minutes, until the leaves have wilted.

Serve immediately with grilled salmon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Loaded Potato Bake

Overstuffed baked potato meets creamy scalloped potato.

6 slices bacon, diced
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 cups sour cream (14% - low fat won't work)
salt and pepper
3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible.
1 cup chopped green onion
2 cups grated medium cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350'F and grease a 11 x 7 inch (2L) baking dish.

In medium, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and reserve. Increase the heat to medium high and saute the onion in the bacon drippings until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add milk and bring to simmer. Remove from heat, whisk in the sour cream and season lightly.

To assemble spoon a little of the milk mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish and arrange a single layer of of sliced potatoes on top. Spoon another layer of milk mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle with a bit of reserved bacon, green onion and cheddar cheese. Top with another layer of potatoes and continue layering with the milk mixture, bacon, green onion, cheddar and potatoes. finishing with a final sprinkling of cheddar. Place a piece of parchment directly on top of the cheese and then cover dish with foil or lid. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove foil and parchment and bake for another 20 - 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the dish yields easily. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 - 10.

Traditional Fried Fish Coating

2 lb (1 kg) halibut, haddock, cod
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 cup cold water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt and freshly ground pepper

The trick is to use the batter as soon as the baking powder is added to ensure that yummy crispiness.
  • Cut fish into 2 x 3 inch pieces
  • Heat about 2 inches of oil in wok or deep skillet to 350'F, or until a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds.
  • Combine cold water, 2 tbsp oil and salt in a bowl. Gradually whisk in 1 cup flour. Stir in baking powder just before using, make sure it is evenly blended.
  • Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour with salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge fish in seasoned flour and then dip one at a time in batter.
  • Drop fish into hot oil, cooking for 4 - 6 minutes, or until coating is puffed and brown and fish is cooked. Fry in small batches to keep the oil at a constant temperature. Drain on paper towels.
Serves 4.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Oh so good.

Before you begin, choose a small bowl with a round bottom and line the bowl with plastic/saran wrap.

1 pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP brown sugar
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup mini choco chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or skor bits
chocolate graham crackers

Beat softened cream chees, butter, vanilla until creamy. Slowly add sugars until blended. Stir in choco chips. Place mixture into plastic lined bowl. Refridgerate for 1 hour or more. Remove bowl and plastic wrap. Roll ball in skor bits or pecans. Serve with chocolate wafers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gingerbread Recipe

Found at Everyday Art

1 spice cake mix
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup flour

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with cooke cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool and decorate.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

From dinner with Julie

Nanaimo Bars

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbsp. cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups graham crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut

Middle Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp. cream or milk (plus a bit extra if needed)
2 Tbsp. custard powder (Such as Bird’s – available in the pudding section)
2 cups icing sugar

Top Layer:
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter

Bottom Layer: Melt the butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. (Or if you promise to be gentle, you can do it on the stovetop in a regular pot over low heat.) Whisk in the egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ pan.

Middle Layer: Cream the butter, cream and custard powder in a large bowl with an electric mixer; gradually add the icing sugar and beat until smooth and spreadable, adding a little extra sugar or cream if needed to achieve a frostinglike consistency.

Top Layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer, spread evenly, and chill. Cut into squares.

Makes about 20 bars.

Homemade Oreo's


1 devil's food cake mix
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs

Mix the above ingredients together. Roll the dough into dime-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool cookies.


8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 square butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 4 c. powdered sugar

Mix all of frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost BACKS of cookies and place together to make sandwich cookie.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cornflake Wreaths

  • I had a friend in school whose Mom would make these every Christmas and I adored them, so she'd always pack a second for me in her lunch. Yum! Cut and Paste from here.
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 (10-ounce) package (about 40) regular marshmallows OR 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon green food coloring
  • 6 cups Kellogg's® Corn Flakes
  • Red cinnamon candies (I prefer red candy coated chocolate candies like Smarties or M&M's)
  • Prepared vanilla frosting (I don't think you really need this to make the candies stick)
    • 1. Melt margrine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring.
    • 2. Add Kellogg's® Corn Flakes® cereal. Stir until well coated.
    • 3. Portion warm cereal mixture evenly by using a 1/4 cup dry measure coated with cooking spray. Using sprayed fingers, quickly shape into individual wreaths. Dot with cinnamon candies, using prepared frosting to hold candies in place. Store in single layer in airtight container.