Grandma S’s Chocolate Cake

So a few weeks ago when I found my Grandma’s handwritten cookbook of recipes she either liked or wanted to try, I ran across this chocolate cake. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, but at the same time your taste buds change every 7 years and I’m growing to like it more and more.  So jump forward a couple weeks and my other Grandma’s family reunion hit and we were looking for something to make to take and I saw that I had all the ingredients for this cake.  Therefore I wanted to make it!

Now one thing about it, she didn’t write down how much milk was actually needed.  It said to add milk but an amount wasn’t listed  I told hubby it said it was supposed to be a thin batter so he started measuring milk out until he got a consistency he was comfortable with, so we came up with 3/4 of a cup of milk.  Hey I thought this cake was to die for, so try it for yourself and let me know what you think :).

1 3/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cup Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Cup Boiling Water

Combine dry ingredients.

Add eggs
milk
oil
vanilla
water

Pour into a 9×13 greased & floured cake pan. Batter will be thin.

Bake at 350 degrees.  35 to 40 minutes.

Fudge Icing

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 pound powdered sugar

Melt butter in Microwave. Add Cocoa. Mix in milk and powdered sugar.

Frost Cake

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cup Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Cup Boiling Water

Combine dry ingredients.
Add eggs
milk
oil
vanilla
water

Pour into a 9×13 greased & floured cake pan. Batter will be thin.

Bake at 350 degrees. 35 to 40 minutes.

Fudge Icing

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 pound powdered sugar

Melt butter in Microwave. Add Cocoa. Mix in milk and powdered sugar.

Frost Cake

Sweet & Salty

For Mother’s Day this year, my {step}daughter & husband gave me both of Trisha Yearwood’s cookbooks.

Lately I’ve been watching her on her Food Network show, in fact since she started, this was the first weekend she was re-runs.  Ok so I can’t lie, my favorite between her and Pioneer Woman is still Ree Drummond, but I like Trisha’s show none-the-less!  It is set to record on my DVR at home.  Sorry I don’t like commercials!

My Mother-in-law watches her show too!  And on a recent episode she created Sweet & Saltines.  It just so happens to be in her Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood cookbook as well.

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Popsicles

Do you remember being a little kid and eating fruity Popsicles?

They were great weren’t they?

Mmmmm!

Well with summer coming upon us, we were at the store a few weekends ago and found the little kits to make your own Popsicles. You know the ones where you add your juice, stick the lid on (ie the handle) and freeze. Then when they are frozen you have popsicles.

Hubby really likes Cherry, black cherry, etc so we bought some Black Cherry Koolaid. Mixed it up as package directions said and viola, you have the juice.

Now that the juice is ready, pour into the cups.

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Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.  Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. (Southern ladies organizations and southern schoolchildren had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond and other cities during the Civil War, but each region had its own date. Most dates were in May.) By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visited the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.  (~Found here)

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I want to send a special Thank you out to all the Men & Women who have served our country proudly!  Thank you so very much!  I believe this Day is also about honoring those who are currently serving or who are retired (but still living!).  Thank you all so much for your serving our country to make us free!

Trisha Yearwood’s Deviled Eggs

When we threw my Father-in-law a surprise retirement party, I knew we had to make him deviled eggs.  He makes them anytime the family gets together.  Well it just so happened that that weekend on Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show, she made…. Deviled Eggs.  I told hubby I wanted to make his dad some of those and he was like, you’ll try her recipe right?!?!  So here ya go folks 🙂

Ingredients
6 large eggs

Filling: 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Salt and pepper
Paprika, for garnish

Directions Place the eggs in a medium saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover the pan, and let stand for 20 minutes. Pour off the hot water and refill the saucepan with cold water.

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Canning/Freezing Cherries

It is the time of year that Cherry trees are blossoming and bearing their fruit!

Oh yum. My favorite thing to do is just eat the cherries straight off the tree, but come January when I want cherries that isn’t an option.

The next best thing? Freezing them!

1. You have to pit the cherries. Here I’m cutting the seeds out with a knife, but later we decided it was easier to squeeze the pit out in your hand over the bowl you’ll put the cherries in, that way that bowl collects the cherry juice also!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

Isn’t it strange how some people don’t think they’ll like something, and then when you have them try it, what do you know, they do….

Don’t worry, I’m that way at times. Although I’m still not crazy about fish, but I still keep trying it every time someone has some. Maybe someday.

One that hubby thought he didn’t like was Spinach Artichoke Dip. But at our house, our rule for the daughter is, try everything 12 times. Do I keep track, obviously not, although I have my bluff in on her! :). But hubs and I try to at least try things even if we think we don’t like them. This, was one of those, he “didn’t like” but he tried and he actually LOVED!

So I present you with the recipe my grandma gave me for Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 can Artichokes – chopped
1/2 Cup 5-Blend white Italian Cheeses
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 10 oz. pkg frozen spincah – Chop, thaw and drain WELL\
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBSP garlic powder or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic

Stir all together and bake at 350* for 20 to 30 minutes until
kind of browned at outer edge of pyrex baking pan and
bubbly at center.

Serve hot with Tostidos, the Garlic and Black Bean type.

A Glossary of Bold Seasonings

So earlier this week I ran across a notebook of my grandma’s where she kept recipes.  As I flipped through the book, I ran across this page she’d torn out from the Redbook May 1995 issue on page 144.  I liked it so I had to share:

The basics for a well-seasoned dish are in everyone’s kitchen and nearest market.  Here’s how to buy, use, and store some of the easy-to-find herbs, spices, and vegetables that give any meal a special taste to boost.

Herbs

Herbs: Fresh, leafy green herbs are available all summer and, in some areas, throughout the year.  Buy in unwilted bunches with no bruised leaves, and preferably with roots attached.  Store in a container of water in the refrigerator, covering the container with a plastic bag secured by a rubber band.  Use dried herbs only in cooked dishes, and use half the amount of the fresh herb called for.

Basil: This big-leaved herb has a delicate mint and licorice flavor.  Rinse well before using, as basil leaves hold soil; gently pat dry with paper towels.  Dried basil is not recommended; it is better to use chopped parsley flavored with dried mint and a little anise seed.

Dill: Fine-leaved, frondy dill has a distinctive fragrant smell.  To use, snip with scissors rather than chop with a knife, as chopping releases to much juice from the leaves.  Dried dill weed is a good out-of-season substitute.

Cilantro: Sometimes called coriander or Chinese parsley, this small, delicate, parsley-shaped leaf has a distinctive orange and sage flavor.  While dried cilantro is sometimes available, it is not recommended.  Best substitute: chopped fresh parsley flavored with grated orange peel.

Mint: The pointed, oval leaves are pleasantly pungent and refreshing.  Fresh mint is best used in a salad or as a condiment.  Dried mint is, at best, only satisfactory.  Quick fix: a 1:1 ratio of fresh parsley and dried mint chopped together.

Oregano: This aromatic, thick-leaved herb, often called “The pizza herb,” can be used instead of salt in meat dishes.  Oregano is one of the few herbs that are just as good dried.

Spices

Spices: Spices are dried seeds, pods, barks or roots of plants; they are available in every market and very often found in ground or powdered form.  Buy spices in airtight and preferably lightproof containers, and store away from heat.  Use within 12-18 months for best flavor.
Black Pepper: This pungent, dried-berry spice is always best if freshly ground from a pepper mill, but it is most commonly found preground in textures from fine to coarsely cracked.
Cayenne Pepper: A finely ground, fiercely hot red pepper.  A little gives a lot of flavor.  Use with caution.
Crushed Red Pepper: Larger pieces of red pepper described above.
Cumin: Found both in seed and powder forms, this distinctive spice, related to caraway, has a pungent, slightly musky flavor.  It is an essential component of commercial chili powder, and is popular in many ethnic cuisines.
Curry Powder: A blend of many spices, including cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, curry powder is a purely Western concoction.  In India, “curry” is a dish, not a spice blend.
Ginger: One of the few spices that is best fresh.  Often called gingerroot, it is actually a rhizome, or underground stem – bulbous and crooked, with a shiny beige skin.  Buy only when smooth and hard, not wrinkled and withered; when peeled, the interior should be firm not juicy.  Ginger is also available powdered, dried, crystallized, and preserved in syrup.
Jalapeno Pepper: A fresh, dark green oval pepper with an extremely hot taste.  Remove seeds and interior ribs before using.  Caution: Always prepare wearing rubber gloves and avoid touching eyes.

Flavor-Packed Vegetables

Flavor-Packed Vegetables: Some commonly used vegetables, either because of their variety or preparation, can be used as seasonings.  Always available and easy to store, these vegetables are used to enhance a dish’s flavor and character.
The onion family includes garlic (used mainly as a seasoning, not as a vegetable), a cluster of curved, oval cloves that make up a head and whose pungent flavor and aroma are unmistakeable; onions, both yellow and red, large and small, ranging in flavor from sweet to sharp and perhaps the most versatile vegetable of all; shallots, purple-tinged miniature onions that grow in clusters of cloves, like garlic, and whose flavor is more subtle than onion; scallions, long, thin, delicate-flavored onions whose white bulbs and slender green leaves can be used in a variety of ways.  All members of the onion family have a stronger flavor if used raw; sauteing, broiling, or roasting mellows their taste.  Store onions, garlic and shallots in a cool, dry place; refrigerate scallions.
Red bell peppers are a mainstream ingredient both cooked and raw.  But if broiled until softened and charred, then peeled and seeded, these peppers add a rich and complex flavor note to many dishes.  Quick fix: Look for roasted red peppers in jars.

Sour Cream Banana Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes     Servings: 12-15

Ingredients:
1/4 Cup Butter
1 1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Soda
3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Med – Ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 Cup Chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions:
Combine first 4 ingredients, beat together until thick & fluffy.  Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt.  Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternate with 1 cup sour cream.  Add bananas & nuts.  Pour batter into buttered 9×13 baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, sticking a toothpick in for doneness.

<Toothpick test: if you stick it in and pull back out, it comes out clean, the cake is done>

Frost with Caramel Frosting
Prep time: 10 mins     Servings: 1 Cake

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Cream or Evaporated Milk
2 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Directions:
Bring to boil – butter, brown sugar & cream or evaporated milk.
When mixture comes to a boil (you will need to stir constantly), remove from heat and cool.
When mixture is warm to touch, add: powdered sugar & vanilla.
Beat until smooth.
Spread on cake

Caramel Frosting

Prep time: 10 mins     Servings: 1 Cake
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Cream or Evaporated Milk
2 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

Directions:
Bring to boil – butter, brown sugar & cream or evaporated milk.
When mixture comes to a boil (you will need to stir constantly), remove from heat and cool.
When mixture is warm to touch, add: powdered sugar & vanilla.
Beat until smooth.
Spread on cake.