Chocolate Cake Day!

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I’ve been told that today is Chocolate Cake Day ~ I figure any day is chocolate cake day so I will take this opportunity to repost my Mom’s chocolate cake recipe.  This is the recipe that EVERYBODY in my family requests for their birthday.  I think I could make it with my eyes closed.  It’s not as sweet as cakes go and it’s dense but we love it.

Happy Chocolate Cake Day!

My Mom’s Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 (1 oz) unsweetened baking chocolate squares, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup ice water

Stir butter to soften gradually, add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.

Blend in cooled chocolate and vanilla.

Sift together flour, soda and salt, add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beating after each addition.

Bake in 2 (8-inch) round, greased cake pans at 350º for 30-35 minutes.

Frost with 1 pint heavy or whipping cream, whipped or your favorite frosting.

Makes 8-12 servings depending on size of the slices.

Happy Cooking!


My Mom’s Easy Meatballs


My family has been using this recipe for as long as I can remember.  It’s not spicy at all but it is flavorful and holds it’s shape well in sauce.

I’ve also used this recipe and made *very* small meatballs for appetizers.  After cooking, I put them in a crockpot and mixed in the sauce.  These are also very easy to bake up and freeze for later use.

I’m sorry this picture is a little blurry :/

My Mom’s Easy Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together and shape into balls ~ about the size of a golfball.

Brown the meatballs by placing in a shallow baking dish and baking at 350º for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Place hot meatballs into sauce and let simmer while your pasta cooks.

Here’s how I freeze the meatballs ~ I make them up and cook them as above. I let them cool a bit, place on a cookie sheet in the freezer and when they are frozen, transfer to a ziplock. I take out the amount I need for dinner and put them in a pan with a jar of sauce (or more depending on the number of meatballs I am cooking) and let them simmer for 30 minutes at least ~ no need to defrost them first ~ until they are heated through! Very simple!


Happy Cooking!

Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Ham and My Mom’s Ham Salad


I told you I was on a Barefoot Contessa jag!  This ham was fabulous!  I can get a quarter of a spiral ham at my store so that’s what I used.  The glaze is delicious and although I am NOT a fan of chutney, this just worked with the ham. I mixed the glaze ingredients differently than Ina ~ she calls for mixing it in a food processor but I was too lazy to drag it out so I just mixed it all by hand and it worked great.

Since it’s just DH and I here at home, we had our baked ham dinner and then I froze the rest.  Last night I stuck the frozen ham in the fridge to defrost and this morning I made my Mom’s ham salad.  There really is no recipe for this so here is how she (and the rest of the family) make it:    I slice some ham into small pieces and throw it in my mini chopper (you could use a food processor or a meat grinder) with a small piece of onion and grind it up, put it in a bowl, add a spoonful of pickle relish and some mayo and mix it up.  That’s all there is to it.  Just add the mayo a little at a time until you get the consistency you want.  Easy peasy!  Use as much ham as you want and just increase the onion and relish accordingly.  Just eyeball it and it’ll be great!

Baked Ham
Barefoot Contessa

1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham, on the bone
6 garlic cloves
8 1/2 ozs mango chutney
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup brown sugar, packed
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350º. Put the ham in your roasting pan.

Mince the garlic and add the chutney, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice in a bowl and stir until well mixed.

Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 25-35 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Green Onion Potato Casserole


This is one of my favorite potato recipes.  The original recipe says to grate the cooked potatoes but I just run them through a potato ricer and I don’t see why you couldn’t just give them a rough mash.  Grating hot, cooked potatoes is not fun.  I think the recipe came from the cookbook Applehood and Motherpie via my Mom.


Green Onion Potato Casserole

6 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
6-8 green onions, chopped with some greens
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup butter, melted (you can use less)

Peel, quarter, and boil potatoes until barely tender. Drain, cool and grate on large side of grater or run through a potato ricer. Place in a large bowl.

Gently mix in all other ingredients, except butter. Place mixture into a greased shallow 9×9 pan. Top with melted butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden.

Makes about 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!


Tea Sandwiches


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I’ll post my St. Patrick’s Day recipes tomorrow so I can take pictures ~ we are having Guinness and Beef Pot Pie, Irish Soda bread and Mint Cheesecake

I made three different kinds for the bridal shower ~ ham salad, dill chicken salad, and cucumber chicken salad.  All three worked well.  Yes, I should have cut the crusts off the bread but I was pressed for time.


I have already posted the dill chicken salad recipe here. I cut up the chicken a little smaller but otherwise made it the same way.

The cucmber-chicken salad recipe is from Recipezaar and can be found here. I made up half the mixture the day before the shower.

The ham salad is not really a recipe but a way to use up leftover baked ham.  My Mom made it for years and I have been known just to bake a ham so that we can have  the leftovers for ham salad sandwiches.  Here is what I do:  I slice some ham into small pieces and throw it in my mini chopper (you could use a food processor or a meat grinder) with a small piece of onion and grind it up, put it in a bowl, add a spoonful of pickle relish and some mayo and mix it up.  That’s all there is to it.  Just add the mayo a little at a time until you get the consistency you want.  Easy peasy!

Happy Cooking!


Mom’s Broccoli Casserole


My Mom started making this dish back when I was a teenager, I think, so it’s been around quite awhile.  I like it because it’s easy and doesn’t use any cream of soup like so many broccoli casseroles do.  It does use Velveeta but it melts so nice that I think I’d be hard-pressed to use any other kind of cheese instead.


Mom’s Broccoli Casserole

3 (10 ounce) boxes of frozen chopped broccoli
1 pound Velveeta cheese, diced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed

Cook broccoli according to the package. Drain and return to the pan along with the diced Velveeta. Place in a lightly greased 9×9 dish.

Mix crushed Ritz crackers with the melted butter and pour the cracker topping over the broccoli, covering it.

Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until cheese has melted and broccoli is hot.

Makes 6-8 servings.


Happy Cooking!


My Mom’s Mac & Cheese


I love mac & cheese.  I especially like this recipe because it’s easy and I don’t have to make any white sauce or anything like that.  It may not be your typical mac & cheese but it’s cheesey and delicious.

There really is no recipe for this so I’ll explain how I do it using approximate amounts.  You really can make this recipe your own by adding meat to it or veggies.  I can make this any day of the week because I always have the ingredients in the house.  You can also make any size pan ~ 8×8, 9×9, 13×9 ~ just by adjusting your ingredient amounts.

My Mom’s Mac & Cheese

elbow macaroni, cooked
1 pkg. Kraft American cheese slices

To make enough for a 13×9 pan:

Cook the whole box of elbow macaroni, drain. Place in a greased 13×9 pan.

Cut up 24 slice package of American cheese slices and mix the pieces in with the cooked macaroni.

Pour milk over the the mac/cheese mixture just until you can see the milk in between the macaroni. Do not cover the macaroni with milk.

Bake at 375º for about 45 minutes or until done to your liking. I like mine to be creamy but not runny so keep checking at 45 minutes and stir until done.

Serves 4-6.

To make a smaller amount, just use half a box of elbows, half the cheese, and half the milk.

Happy Cooking!