February 23, 2014

Angel Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache

We recently went to Destin, Florida, for a week's vacation.  While we were there, we found Smallcakes, a Cupcakery.

These are the cupcakes we bought on one of three days that we bought cupcakes there.  The one on the left is a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate butter cream filling and chocolate butter cream frosting.  The one on the right is a  German Chocolate cupcake.  We tried these two flavors as well as the chocolate with peanut butter frosting, chocoholic, and cookies and cream.  They were amazing.
So . . . when we got back, after three days of cupcakes and eating out every night, I decided I better scale back on fat and calories for dessert.

I used an angle food cake mix and made a chocolate ganache to drizzle on top.

To make this cake, follow the directions on the cake mix, any brand will do.  To make the chocolate ganache, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and add half-and-half.  Stir until smooth and glossy and drizzle over the baked cake.  Serve to family and friends!


February 7, 2014

I Like Chili, Yes, I Do. I Like Chili, How 'Bout You?

I really like chili, and I like mine best. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of good chili out there, but this one time (well, there are many other times) where I prefer my own.
It is very easy; and without further delay:
Chili (inspired by and adapted from a recipe passed down to me by my mother):
  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground chuck
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chili ready tomatoes
  • 1/2 package of mild chili seasoning, any brand will do. I used Kroger this time.
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • Water
  • Tomato juice
Brown ground chuck with onions and minced garlic, salt and pepper. Drain grease. Add black beans, tomatoes, tomato soup, chili seasoning, a soup can of water and tomato juice. (I don't meaure the tomato juice. I just "eyeball it").
Serve to family and friends!




February 6, 2014

X's and O's

Not the tic tac toe X's and O's but the kisses and hugs kind. How about these Parmesan cheese crisps for a cute little Valentine Day Salad? Even Cudjoe was impressed!

I used my Pampered Chef cheese shredder to shred the cheese and then made them into X and O shapes.

Or you could totally do a heart. The sky's the limit.

I baked them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with canola oil at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

And did I mention they taste delicious? They are also great to serve with chili or soup.

Perfect for a cold, snowy winter day.


February 1, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and a Birthday Dinner

My son's birthday is February 5th, and we celebrated a week early this year. He and his wife came to our house for supper.

We started with kale salad.

This is a bag salad I bought at Schunck's. It is kale with shredded carrots and shredded red cabbage. I added in clementines, grape tomatoes, sundried tomato and basil feta cheese, walnuts, and bacon. The salad dressing was a Fat-free Balsamic Vinegerette from Trader Joe's. I think Kale is a little bitter, and the clementines added just the right amount of sweetness. The entree was Peach Bourbon Barbecued Chicken Breasts. My inspirations for this entree was The Pioneer Woman's Peach Whiskey Barbecue Chicken. The sides were baked potato and roasted baby carrots.
One of my son's favorite desserts is chocolate chip cheesecake. I got this recipe many years ago from a friend, and it is a great cheesecake.
You can see I've used this recipe many times!
I served each slice with hot fudge sauce drizzled over the top.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake:

For graham cracker crust:

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cups cocoa
1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

For cheesecake:

3 pkgs (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini chips semi-sweet chocolate, divided
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, sugar, and butter; press evenly on bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth. Toss 1/2 mini chips with flour to coat; stir into cheese mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining chips evenly over top. Turn oven off; allow to cool in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate. Serve to family and friends!

Oh, and don't forget the wine!