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

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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!

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

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

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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

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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.

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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!

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Tea Sandwiches

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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.

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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!

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Mom’s Broccoli Casserole

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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.

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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.

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Happy Cooking!

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My Mom’s Mac & Cheese

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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
milk

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!

Happy Birthday Cake ~ My Mom’s Chocolate Cake

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Today is my DH’s birthday! Happy Birthday!

This recipe is my standard birthday cake.  Everyone gets one.  It’s the same recipe my Mom used when she would make birthday cakes for us kids when we were young.  It’s an old fashioned cake and it’s best made in the morning, frosted, and let sit in the fridge until serving time.  You can frost it with any kind of frosting but we always used whipped heavy cream.  I don’t sweeten the cream since the cake is sweet and I like the combination of the sweet cake the cream.

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.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

My Mom’s Apple Crisp

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I love my Mom’s apple crisp.  It’s different from most recipes since it doesn’t call for oats in the topping.  The topping gets so nice and crunchy.  Yummy!  Whenever we got sick and started to feel better, my Mom would make us an apple crisp.  I always use McIntosh apples because I like the apples to really cook down ~ almost like applesauce.  I like whipped cream on mine but it’s good with vanilla ice cream, too.

My Mom’s Apple Crisp

4 cups apples, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened

Place apples in buttered 10×6 baking dish (I use a 9×9 glass dish). Sprinkle with cinnamon and water.

Rub together flour, sugar and butter. Drop mixture over apples.

Bake at 350º for 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

View Printable Recipe Here!

Happy Cooking!

An All-American Menu!

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Happy Birthday, America!

We will be taking it easy today and having some of our favorites for dinner. I’ll be adding photos during the day as I get things made if I don’t have a photo already on my computer.

First up ~ one of my DH’s favorites:

Beer Burgers with Beer Braised Onions

Onions:
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 cup beer
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Burgers:
1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
2 tbsps beer
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
4 burger buns
4 cheese slices (your choice)

Onions: Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute, frequently stirring, until the onions are tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add 3/4 cup beer, sugar and salt. Cook until the beer has been absorbed by the onions and the onions are beginning to brown, about 18 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup beer and bring to a simmer. Keep onions warm

Burgers: In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the ground chuck, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Gently form into 4 patties. Do not handle the meat too much or the burgers will be tough.

Grill burgers to your desired degree of doneness. Top with cheese right at the end.

Toast buns on grill and serve burgers topped with the cheese, beer braised onions and your favorite condiments.

Serves 4

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I use vegetarian baked beans in this dish but you can use your favorite. I found this recipe on the Southern Living website some time ago.

Root Beer Baked Beans

3 slices of bacon
1 small onion, diced
2 (16 ounce) cans of vegetarian baked beans (I use Bush’s)
1/2 cup root beer, NOT diet
1/4 cup hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp hot sauce

Fry bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is crisp; drain on paper towels, reserve 2 tbsps. drippings in skillet. Crumble the bacon when it has cooled enough to handle and set aside.

Saute onion in bacon drippings over high heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir together the onion, crumbled bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients in a ligthly greased 1-qt baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, at 400º for 1 hour or until sauce has thickened.

Serves 4

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Next up is my Mom’s potato salad. I don’t measure anything in this salad so it’s not going to be precise. Add however much of each ingredient you like.

My Mom’s Potato Salad

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled, washed, cubed
celery, chopped
green pepper, chopped
onion, chopped
cucumber, chopped
3 or 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
mayonnaise

Peel, wash, and cube the potatoes. Place in large pan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil over high heat, boil for 10 minutes. Do not boil longer or you will have mashed potato salad (been there, done that!)

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients except mayonnaise and mix gently. Add mayonnaise ~ I generally start with 2 big spoonfuls and add more from there. I don’t add any salt and pepper to the salad since we salt and pepper at the table. Feel free to add it at this point if you want.

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For dessert:

Fourth of July Cupcakes

18 1/4 ounces white cake mix
1 cup water (or as indicated on cake mix directions)
1/3 cup oil (or as indicated on cake mix directions)
3 eggs (or as indicated on cake mix directions)
1/2 teaspoon blue food coloring
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1 (16 ounce) can vanilla frosting
red white and blue candy sprinkle

Prepare cake mix according to package directions.

In a small bowl, combine 1 1/3 cups batter with blue food coloring. In another small bowl, combine red food coloring with 1 1/3 cups batter. Leave the remaining batter plain.

Fill paper-lined muffin tins with 2 tablespoons red batter, 2 tablespoons plain batter, and 2 tablespoons blue batter. Do not swirl batter, leave it layered.

Bake at 350º for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan and then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost with vanilla frosting and decorate with sprinkles.

Makes about 18 cupcakes

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We’ll also be having blue cocktails which I haven’t decided on yet 🙂

Have a happy, safe, delicious Fourth of July!