Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hot fudge, anyone?

This hot fudge cake is fabulous. It's a great recipe to have on hand if you're craving chocolate. I got it from the Hershey's website. It is a pudding cake, so you pour hot water over the top before baking, and it soaks through and makes its own sauce. The result is chocolate cake floating in a sea of hot fudge sauce -- all in one pan. You might accidentally eat the whole thing. Oh, and by the way, it's a great dessert option when you're out of eggs, because the recipe doesn't call for any.

THE RECIPE:

1 1/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
1 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/4 c. hot water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spread batter into ungreased 9-inch square baking dish.

Stir together remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top. Do not stir.

Bake about 35 minutes. The top will look like the top of a cake, but it will seem wobbly and jiggly because it is floating in sauce. This is the way you want it. If you overcook it, the cake will absorb the sauce and be dry. Let stand 15 minutes before eating.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fluff 'n stuff

This honey butter is so delicious, I kind of wanted to eat it with a spoon. I refrained, though, and instead spread it on corn bread. I can't get over how fluffy and creamy it is. The original recipe came from My Kitchen Cafe, but I adjusted the honey-to-butter ratio to suit my taste.

THE RECIPE:

3/4 c. butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. marshmallow cream

Beat ingredients until fluffy and creamy. Use as desired.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Award winner

I won third place at our church's chili cook-off with this cilantro-lime chili. Person after person told me how much they loved it, which made me feel so good! I also love that it is a vegetarian dish, but no one notices. It tastes best after it has been refrigerated and then reheated. I used bell peppers and tomatoes from my garden, which you may not have, so feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking.

THE RECIPE:

Splash of olive oil
1 large bell pepper, cleaned out and chopped
5 c. chopped fresh tomato*
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can fat-free refried beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
2 packages taco seasoning
1 package dry Italian dressing
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 c. beef broth
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 bunch cilantro (stems removed), finely chopped
Avocado, if desired
Chips, if desired

Over medium-high heat, cook peppers in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, beans, corn, seasonings, vinegar, broth and brown sugar. Mix well, then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Cook 10 minutes more. Cool and refrigerate for a few hours. Reheat and serve with sliced avocado and crushed tortilla chips.

*Note: I have made this twice. The first time, I added an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce. The second time I did not, because my tomatoes were very ripe and meaty and juicy. So, basically, do whatever you want.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fajita fiesta

We made some really yummy chicken fajitas the other night. One of the best parts was a big old helping of fresh fried bell peppers from our garden. They added a light crunch and a nice punch of flavor. The other tasty part was the creamy sauce for the chicken. We just mixed salsa with cream cheese, and it tasted great.

THE RECIPE:

Sliced bell peppers
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
2 chicken breasts, sliced into inch-wide strips
1/4 c. cream cheese, softened*
1 c. salsa*
Tortillas
Desired toppings (chopped tomato, avocado)

In frying pan, toss peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. Fry over medium heat until crisp-tender. It takes about ten minutes. Meanwhile, in a different pan, cook chicken, then toss with cream cheese and salsa until well coated. Layer chicken and sauce, then peppers and additional toppings on a tortilla. Wrap it up, and enjoy!

*Note: I'm not sure about the amounts I used for my sauce, so this is just a guess. The consistency of your salsa will make a difference. It should be pink when it's ready.