Monday, July 13, 2015

German Chocolate Cake

Boy oh boy does this cake bring back memories from when I was a child. When my Mom was alive she always asked me what kind of cake I would like for my birthday. My steadfast choice was German Chocolate Cake.  I would only get it once a year on my birthday so it was always a special treat for me when she made it. That my Feasty Fans is what spurred me to make one for myself. July 12th,  Happy Birthday to me! You may now reap the rewards of my craving.

Now to tell you where this recipe came from because sadly I never found my Mom's recipe. This scrumptious recipe came from my friend Susan Alexander, she is a foodie friend of mine and that is exactly what brought us together. Mind you now this gal is a hoot and entertains me daily with her crazy antics. A big thank you to Susan for sharing her scrumptious recipe with us.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz German sweet chocolate squares, break into sections
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, Pillsbury Soft as Silk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 egg whites, room temp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans, set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside

In a small saucepan on low heat water and chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract at this time, whisk together well and allow mixture to cool.

With your mixer in a large bowl whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, transfer to another large bowl and set aside.

Now add to your large mixer bowl the butter and sugar, cream until light and fluffy. Then beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture to mixer bowl, then beat in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk, mixing until just incorporated.

Pour into three 9 inch cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before inverting onto wire racks.

Two important tips~~~Egg whites whip up best if room temp and make sure no oil residue is in the mixer nor any of the yolk. Also if you do not have buttermilk you may make your own by adding 1 Tbsp. of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk, stir and wait 10 minutes. Ta da!
German Chocolate Frosting
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 2/3 cups flaked coconut

In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Cook over med/low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Let cool completely before spreading between layers of cake and on top, do not spread on the side of the cake. Ii is important that the icing and cake are cool to the touch.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Rye, Turkey & Cheese Melt

A cool rainy Summer day inspired this twist on an old classic, it's like a grilled cheese on steroids. Normally we would feast on a cold sandwich on a hot Summer day. You know the old saying~~~~necessity is the mother of all inventions.

It's very important that you get yourself a good quality rye bread from a bakery. It grills up nicely to a golden brown and when you bite into it there is a nice crispy crunch on the outside, but soft and moist on the inside. I also use low fat & low sodium turkey lunch meat along with a low fat cheese. I chose Dusseldorf style mustard, but use your favorite mustard or cheese of your choice if you do not want to try my suggestions. *Be brave and experiment.*I became hooked on Dusseldorf mustard when I spotted it in the international section of my grocery store. The little mug it is in initially caught my attention, but I must admit that I am addicted to it once I tried it.

  • Dusseldorf style mustard
  • 3 Jarlsburg lite reduced fat cheese slices
  • Deitz & Watson lite turkey slices, 40% less sodium & 99% fat free, 6 slices
  • Russian or Jewish Rye bread, 4 slices
  • Butter or Margarine
 I made two sandwiches at a time, one for me and one for my Stud Muffin. He raved about how good it was. He can be a little picky because he is so spoiled. The bonus to that is that he is my toughest critic and will always be honest with me. So my Feasty Fans you all know that it is Stud Muffin approved and you get to reap the rewards of his critiquing .

You will need a 12 inch nonstick skillet and two 8 inch nonstick skillets. Preheat all 3 skillets over medium heat, meanwhile butter the 4 slices of rye bread just as you would for a grilled cheese, only on one side of the bread. I fold 3 slices of the lunch meat on top of each other and place it in the 8 inch skillet (I fold it to fit the size of the rye bread), repeat with second 8 inch skillet. I do this so the the meat will be hot in the center and the cheese will melt better as well. Flipping only once to heat up both sides of the lunch meat.

Now on on bare side of the last two slices of the rye bread spread the mustard and place into the 12 inch skillet mustard side up and add about 1 1/2 cheese slices to the top, repeat for second sandwich. Now top the cheese with the hot turkey lunch meat, then spread mustard on the bare side of the last two slices of rye bread and place mustard side down on top of the turkey. Grilling until golden brown and flipping only once.
Yum, Yum, Yum!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Garlic Infused Olive Oil

Garlic is one of the loves of my life and when you add it to Olive Oil I'm in heaven. If you have not tried this it is a must try. It's expensive to buy, but I finally mastered a easy recipe that tastes great and will save you money as well. So get yourself some nice crusty bread and some grated Italian cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. Did you know that this hard cheese is a high calcium lower fat cheese and packed with protein? They are very healthy cheeses to eat, I just love that. Warning this could turn you into a bread, cheese & oil eating machine. It's a bit touchy to make stove top but I mastered this baby in the crockpot. WARNING! The garlic has to simmer to make sure that you do not risk botulism poisoning. So simmer away and enjoy the aroma of garlic in your home while it cooks.
  •  1 1/2 cups Olive Oil
  •  9 cloves of garlic

You will need to smash out the garlic cloves and crush them with a flat knife, this will now make the skin peel easily off of the clove. Slice off the little root end of the cloves and them throw away. after peeling all of the cloves smash one more time with the knife to help release the garlic goodness. I must confess that at this time I stop and smell my sticky garlic fingers, oh how I love the smell of garlic.

Now place the garlic cloves single layer in a crockpot and cover with the Olive Oil. This is where you need to know how high a heat your crockpot truly cooks at. I have 4 of them and they all seem to vary in the amount of heat that they put out. The one I used is older and cooked mine perfectly on low for 2 hours. Look at the oil and it should be hot enough to see light bubbles coming up, but you do not want to simmer long enough to turn the garlic cloves brown. The first time you make this I would start checking it after 30 minutes.

Once the oil has simmered I pour it into my little oil canister while straining it through a little wire strainer and funnel into my oil container.

Let cool on counter and then put on stopper and store in cabinet. To think that I almost donated my old oil canister to a second hand place. I always loved this little canister and never wanted to part with it. I am so glad that I saved this and have a use for it once again.

By the way I made this oil one week ago and we have already almost made all gone. Mangia!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Diabetic Friendly Dessert~~~Mini Tarts

This dessert is not only low sugar and low fat, it is quick and easy to make as well. You can still
satisfy your sweet tooth without a lot of fat or sugar and this baby rocks in that department. I love the versatility of this recipe. The pic shows Chocolate Fudge but I also made it with the White Chocolate flavor and put in some sliced strawberries. You have the option of picking the flavor you want and adding some fruit if you wish. The possibilities are almost endless. A spritz of whipping cream on the top and you are good to go.

  • 1 box of Jello sugar free fat free instant pudding
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 1 pkg. Keebler mini graham cracker pie crusts
  • Reddi Whip fat free whipped topping in can

Make pudding according to package instructions. I like to chill mine for several hours or overnight. Once chilled divide pudding into the 6 mini pie crusts, of course you may add some fruit at this time if you want. Top with whipping cream and serve immediately. You may fill pies in advance and cover until ready to serve with plastic wrap and keep it cold in the fridge. Save the whipped cream til just before serving. The only difference I noticed in filling pies in advance vs filling just before serving is that the graham crust softens up some. I prefer it softer but my Stud Muffin prefers it more crispy. Decisions, decisions. Either way you can't go wrong on this one. I rate this recipe super easy, tasty, quick, and easy on the waistline. It's perfect for the hot weather ahead. Enjoy!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Kentucky Butter Cake

This scrumptious cake is so easy to make. I just love how you just throw everything into the mixer and mix well, then bake. There is a hot glaze that you pour over the hot cake and it reminds me of a glazed donut, only so much better. Simply tasty!

You can serve this cake naked, or with strawberries in a glaze or with ice cream. Heck throw it all on there and add some whipped cream too if you wish. Either way you can't go wrong and will love this simple buttery glazed cake.

It travels well and stands up on a hot Summer day for a Bar B Q or a picnic. I could not begin to count how many times that I have made this treasure. I found this recipe in the Valley Elementary cookbook that I was in charge of publishing many years ago. It was not until years later that I found out that it was a Pillsbury Bake -Off winner. I have made this for numerous cake raffles and bake sales throughout the years. As an added treat I always gave the printed recipe with it. Passing on the recipe adds a nice sweet unexpected touch.

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened *
  • 2 tsp. vanilla or rum extract*
  • 4 eggs, beaten

You will need a tube pan for this cake or you may use two 9 x 5 x 3 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease and flour pan or use Pam cooking spray. Blend all ingredients together on a low speed with your mixer until moistened. Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Pour into greased pan and bake for 55 to 70 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Immediately pour hot glaze over the top and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

  • 3/4 cup extra fine sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter*
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract or rum extract*

In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and water.  Heat until butter melts. You want to make sure that the sugar crystals are melted so that it will not feel gritty on your teeth when you eat it. This is where the extra fine sugar comes in handy because it melts so easily. Whisk it occasionally until sugar is melted. Pour immediately over hot cake fresh out of the oven. After cake has cooled for 30 minutes I like to invert it onto a plate from the pan and then invert it again onto my cake plate. That way it looks so much prettier seeing the top of the cake instead of the bottom.

* Please only use butter for this recipe if you want the best flavor and results.
* I have only used vanilla extract on my cake but that is only because I do not like rum flavor. Please by all means use rum extract if you like that flavor. You can't go wrong.
* You may make your own buttermilk by adding 1 Tbsp of white vinegar, stir well and wait 5 - 10 minutes at room temp.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Weed Killer~~~~Non-Toxic

I know this is not a food post, but it is a recipe post. I had to share this with you because it works great!  Also this is a triple goodness post because it kills weeds, is non-toxic and it will save you money. I just love when that happens.

I used it on some Poison Ivy climbing up our big trees and it killed the Poison Ivy ( on new growth), in a few days and that stuff is tough to kill. Three ingredients is all that you need, just get yourself a good spray bottle and a funnel. Since there is table salt in this recipe do not spray on or near concrete. Salt ruins and especially TABLE SALT since the grains are finer. Also I would not spray on a day that is calling for rain either. I don't know about you but I worry about using Round-Up around my family and pets. Be kind to your loved ones, but show those nasty weeds who is boss.
  • 2 Qts of White Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 1 tsp, Dawn dish detergent
Mix above ingredients together in a large 8 cup measuring cup if you have one or a large bowl with a lip for pouring. I like to use a whisk to mix well until salt is dissolved. Using a funnel pour into the spray bottle and use immediately. Left over keeps well, just shake bottle before using if it as sat for a while to remix any separation. I have found that this works better than Round-Up and it kills on the first application.

I purchased a 64 oz. jug of White vinegar and stored my unused portion of the mixture back into the bottle. Don't forget to label it well with a sharpie pen.

I noticed that the established Poison Ivy vines get thicker and the vine starts to look hairy looking. Those are roots that sprout out as it climbs the tree or whatever it climbs. If you find an established vine cut it off at the top as far as you can reach, then spray the whole vine down all the way to the ground. You need to not only kill the leaves but also the roots. Whatever you do never touch the vines nor the leaves bare handed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crockpot style Pulled Bar B Q Chicken

I must admit that I am busting at the seams to share this treasure with my Feasty Fans. This baby only has two ingredients, yes count them only  two. Not only that it has to be one of the easiest recipes ever to make. Also it is a low fat version of traditional Bar B Q and I promise you that will will not miss the fat. I used Stubb's spicy Bar B Q sauce and the sweetness from the Pepper Slaw with the spiciness of the sauce will have your taste buds doing  the Tango.

Feel free use your favorite brand but mine is Stubb's. The great thing about this is that you can make any amount that you want. The ratio for this recipe is 1 cup sauce to 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast.
Ta Da!!!

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup Stubb's spicy flavor Bar B Q sauce

You will need a crock pot for this recipe. Trim any fat or cartilage from the chicken breast, I like to use my kitchen scissors. Once chicken has been trimmed place into crock pot with 1 cup of the sauce.

I have 2 variations on the cook time.
#1 Cook on high for 3-4 hours
#2 Cook on low for 6-8 hours

Do not add any water! Also no peeking!!! Keep the lid closed because no nose bags are allowed to peek in. Seriously for a crock pot to be efficient you need to leave the lid on to keep in the heat and moisture. You will know the chicken is done because it will shred easily by pulling apart with two large meat forks. Once you have shredded all of the chicken stir mixture well and make sure that all meat is coated evenly with sauce.

Another helpful hint here with the hot season coming up. If you do not want the added heat in your house you may plug it in your garage or covered area outside. You don't have to worry about a dog or cat getting into it because it is too hot to touch. Your main concern is that you do not want it to get rained on. If it is cold you will want to keep it inside because once it gets cooking it smells so delicious.