Sunday, November 13, 2011

Easy Chocolate Cake

This is a family favorite from my husband's family. He used to request this cake every year.

Easy Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. cold water
1/2 c. liquid shortening (vegetable oil)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. vinegar

Mix all ingredients. Pour into small ungreased cake pan (double for 9 x 13 pan). (I think if I use an 11 x 7 pan it fits, but the frosting runs over.) Bake @ 325 for 25-30 minutes


1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
2 tbsp. cocoa

Stir together. Bring to rolling boil. Cook 2 min. Remove from heat. Beat until spreadable. (I think doing this now I would add the vanilla after removing from heat. I seem to remember beating it with a wooden spoon and then pouring over the cake while it is still hot. A fair amount of frosting soaks into the cake.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Honey Walnut Cookies

So I came across a recipe for Honey Walnut Cookies over on Baking Bites the other day. They looked really good so I just had to try them out. They are good with a rich honey flavor. The only complaint I may have is they have an oily taste to me. I'm thinking I would make them again with butter instead of with vegetable oil (I used canola oil so maybe that's my problem). I made a double batch so the boys didn't revolt when we ran out right away. I think they will be a hit. The real test will be from our niece who believes she doesn't like nuts, although I just keep feeding them to her anyway. I used a #60 portion scoop and got 43 cookies. Other than doubling the recipe, I followed the original directions. This is what I think I'll do next time:

Honey Walnut Cookies

2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add honey and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in walnuts. Roll into 1 inch balls or use a portion scoop. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool on sheet for 2-3 minutes then remove to wire rack.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shrimp Dip

Shrimp Dip

1 small pkg. salad shrimp (or use small shrimp lightly chopped)
2-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 bottle Heinz cocktail sauce
3 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce

Mix shrimp, onion, Worchestershire sauce, and 3 tbsp. cocktail sauce. Fold in cream cheese.

Layer bottom a glass dish with cocktail sauce (I use an 8"x8" Pyrex dish). Spoon in cream cheese mixture, spread out. Top with a small amount of cocktail sauce. Refrigerate 6 hrs. or overnight. Serve with crackers.

Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip

1 12 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
1 pkg. vegetable soup mix
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

Chop all ingredients finely and mix. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.

My sister-in-law likes to serves this inside a hollowed out round loaf of bread. Then serve with the chunks of bread and raw veggies.

Bean Dip

We hosted an open house yesterday and made lots of munchie food. After requests for some of the recipes I figured I ought to post them to share. Here's an old favorite.

Bean Dip

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 can green chilies (optional)
1 can refried beans
1 can Armour No Bean Chili (the Walmart store brand works, but we don't like Hormel)
1 lb. Velveeta
1 lb. Mexican Velveeta (I often just use a 2 lb. pkg. of Mexican Velveeta)

Brown the ground beef with the onion. Add green chilies if using. Mix in taco seasoning according to pkg. directions. (This can be done ahead.)

In a 3 qt. Crock Pot, mix together the taco meat, refried beans, and chili. Cook on high for an hour. Add Velveeta (if in a time crunch skip the hour of cooking and just add the cheese). Stir occasionally. Once the cheese has melted, turn down to low and serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

Wow it's been a long time since I've posted. I know I've cooked, but nothing has been noteworthy. I'm surprised I've never posted this pasta dish before. I've kind of been perfecting the sauce though and my technique varies. Here's what I did the other night:

Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

1/2 lb. pasta (can use whole wheat), we prefer small shapes that hold the sauce

florets from 1 bunch broccoli (may use half cauliflower)

1 lb. chicken breast, cubed

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups milk
4 ozs. shredded parmesan

Put on water to cook the pasta, cook until nearly done.

Get chicken started in a skillet with some olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

For the broccoli, there are options. Usually I throw the broccoli in for the last 4 minutes with the pasta. The other night I put it in the skillet with the chicken after the chicken had browned a bit but was still pink in the middle. The chicken and broccoli were all cooked through at nearly the same time. I added a bit of water to add a little steam to help the broccoli along at the end.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until you start smelling it. Add the flour and salt and pepper to taste. After about a minute stir in the milk. Cook until it starts to thicken. Add the cheese. At this point you can probably turn off the sauce and let the cheese melt, stirring once in a while. Add a little nutmeg at the end to round out the flavor.

Once everything is cooked, add the pasta to the skillet with the chicken and broccoli reserving some of the pasta liquid. Add the sauce to the skillet. Stir and let come together for a couple minutes. If it gets too thick, add some of the reserved pasta liquid.

Serve with a salad and you've got a meal. If there are leftovers, add some of the reserved pasta water to the dish when you put it away. The extra liquid with help keep it from getting too dry when reheating.