Food for Thought

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia Child

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

I found this delightful recipe at Favorite Family Recipes ( one of my favorite places to look at recipes. It is her version of Nothing Bundt Cakes Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake. I love the picture... makes me kinda want to try to dip my finger in that fluffy frosting!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake
1 pkg. devils food cake, German chocolate cake, or chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 c. sour cream
4 large eggs
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
2 (8 ounce) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
3-4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix first six ingredients together with a beater. Add chocolate chips. Pour into a greased bunt cake pan (cooking spray works best). Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 mins. Remove from oven. Let cool for 20 mins. Remove from pan. (I think it tastes best if you put it on a serving plate, wrap it well in Saran Wrap, and let it sit overnight in the fridge before frosting and serving..) In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar (start with 2 cups then keep adding more until it is nice and
thick). That's it!

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

I've been handed down this recipe from my Mom, but I think it originally came from my Great Aunt Karen. I like it with a little bit of powdered sugar dusted on top, but I really love it with a big dollop of fluffy cream cheese frosting (recipe for this is with the Carrot Cake recipe). Today (1/27) is National Chocolate Cake Day so I think it is very fitting to make this for dessert.

By the way, weird side note, chocolate cake makes me think of the Trunchbull from my favorite book/movie "Matilda." That cakes looked so creamy and delicious- but definitely couldn't eat the WHOLE thing! :)

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant pudding
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cup water
1 pkg. chocolate chips
Mix cake mix, dry pudding, eggs, oil and water until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into greased bundt cake pan. Bake 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then tip out onto cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Apple Raspberry Spiced Cider

This was printed in the newspaper before Christmas. I clipped it out and was going to try it but haven't quite yet. (It is in my "pile" of things to make... someday. I have many of these piles in my life!)

Apple Raspberry Spiced Cider
2 quarts sweet apple cider
1 can (12 oz) frozen raspberry cocktail concentrate, thawed
1 or 2 whole cinnamon sticks, broken in 1/2
2 cups frozen raspberries

In a saucepan, stir together apple cider, raspberry cocktail concentrate and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in raspberries and serve directly from the saucepan or transfer to a crock pot to keep warm.  Serve with additional cinnamon sticks for stirring. Serves 8 to 10

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ranch Cheese Ball

My Addy loves anything Ranch and I think that she ate half a cheese ball herself! She just loves this on crackers as a snack. I didn't use exact measurements, just tried to get the right consistency, so here are the basic instructions.

Ranch Cheese Ball
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dip seasoning packet
1/2 cup mayo
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
5 oz. sliced almonds or green onions
Stir together seasoning packet, mayo, cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Add a little bit more mayo or a couple tablespoons of milk if it is too thick but DO NOT water down. After you mix everything together, pat together into a ball form. Roll in almonds. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Serve with crackers, toasted bread, or tortilla chips.

Amish Breakfast Casserole

This was the main dish at my Christmas Brunch. I found the recipe while browsing at It can be easily altered to fit different (picky) tastes. I made one with just the basic ingredients and added tons of veggies to the other. I did all the prep work ahead of time and just tossed it together in the morning. It sounds heavy and filling, but was just right. Lemon Pull-Aparts and fresh fruit were the perfect side dish to this bacon-cheesy goodness. Enjoy!

Amish Breakfast Casserole
1 lb. sliced bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped (Can be omitted)
6 eggs, (I added 2 more)
4 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed and dried
(Or boil and shred your own potatoes)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (I only used 3/4 cup)
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Cook onion and bacon until bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towel. Combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir in onions and bacon. Transfer to a greased 9 by 13 pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

For the Veggie Casserole I sauteed onion, green peppers and mushrooms until tender and added them into the mixture. Green onions and red peppers would be good too. You could also use sausage or ham, but the bacon was so good that I don't think I'd change it.

Lemon Pull~Aparts

I love the zippy flavor of lemon! I made these for my Christmas Brunch this year and they were a hit! I definitely am going to add these to my "Keeper" pile. This is an EASY recipe that looks and tastes like you slaved over a hot oven for hours. For other recipes

Lemon Pull~Aparts
12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold
zest from 2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
Citrus Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 TB butter, melted
2 TB fresh lemon juice

Mix lemon zest with sugar. Cut rolls in half and place in a 9 by 13 dish sprayed baking pan. Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over rolls. (I dipped the rolls in butter and placed in pan and drizzled the remaining butter over top.) Sprinkle with zest/sugar mixture, reserving 1/2 of the mixture to sprinkle on just before baking. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until double in size. Remove wrap. Sprinkle with remaining mixture. Bake at 35o degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove immediately from pan and place on cooling rack (with baking sheet underneath) Combine glaze ingredients and mix well. Drizzle over pull-aparts.

Christmas Eggs

My Aunt Karen shared this recipe and it quickly became tradition to have them on Christmas morning. These can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to warm them up. You can use spicy or sage sausage for a little kick or maple sausage if you like things sweeter. Enjoy!

Christmas Eggs
1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 lb. sausage, brown and drain
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
sage, salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for basic white sauce: butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Remove yolks from eggs. Stir together yolks, sausage, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, cheese and seasonings. After you mix this well, return it by spoonful to egg whites (like deviled eggs). Place all eggs in a 9 by 13 pan. Make a white sauce and stir in cheese. Top eggs with sauce. Bake at 325 for 25-30 min or until warmed through and bubbly.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Cheesy, gooey, yummy! (It has veggies, do you get to count this as a vegetable dip?) Serve warm with tortilla chips, crackers, or bread cubes.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB basil
2 TB paprika
3 (14 oz.) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups spinach (if using frozen, thaw and squeeze out extra moisture)

Put everything in a crock pot on low for one hour.

Baked French Toast Casserole

My Mom brought this for my Annual Christmas Brunch. It was sinful! Since this is a Paula Deen recipe it isn't quite healthy, unless 1/2 pound of butter is healthy. The Praline Topping was my favorite part, but it can be done without the nuts for the picky eaters too. Also, it is an overnight-in-the-fridge recipe so it was easy for Christmas morning. Enjoy!

Baked French Toast Casserole
1 loaf French bread
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
2 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of salt
Slice French bread into 20 slices (1" each). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13 flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat until well blended. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Praline Topping
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 TB corn syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Combine in a medium bowl and blend well.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and slightly golden Serve with maple syrup.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

I found this picture on (AKA: my new way to waste time!) and the recipe is from thepickyapple.comThe picture looked marvelous and it is so easy to make. I have not yet tried this, but it's on my list of things to make SOON. If you try it first, let me know if it is as good as it looks! Yumm!

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (I think I'd double this)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (Original recipe calls for 1/2 cup, so add to your liking)
1 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 350. Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour into greased 9 by 13 pan. Sprinkle with dry cake mix. Top with pecans. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick tests clean.