Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Do you ever just get it in your head you want to do something? Please tell me I’m not alone on that! Friday I spent the day decorating some cookies for a birthday party. I asked my friend Jody if she had a cake for her son’s birthday and she said that her kids don’t really like cake. Not like cake? What a sin. haha! Nah, not really.

I can’t always say I’m a huge fan of cake, but sometimes I just want cake. That day I just so happened to get it in my head I wanted cake. Earlier int he week I found a recipe for a cake I thought I might want to try but the “icing” has white wine in it and it isn’t cooked down. When you cook with alcohol, if you actually cook it, you’ll get rid of the alcohol. If you cook a cake such as a rum cake, the icing on it doesn’t get cooked either.

The other cake that really stood out to me was one of my grandma’s recipes for a Deep dark chocolate cake. This cake is friggin awesome! Now truth be told I’m not a huge chocolate anything fan. This cake though makes me want to eat every last bite. I found the recipe a few years ago in some of my grandma’s recipes. After she passed away I got all of her recipes/recipe books. I just stumbled across this and have loved it ever since. In fact, this is the best chocolate cake I’ve had I think!

The real kicker about the recipe is it said milk but there wasn’t a given amount. Later in the instructions it said it was supposed to be a thin batter. Mark and I set out to figure out how much milk was needed. We played around with it and decided the amount of milk is 3/4 of a cup. It works and we get a thin batter. When you bake it… Oh. My. Gosh!

Prepare your pan. I always use Bakers Joy. Like I’ve stated before, Food Network did a study to find the best and I swear it’s only like around $3 for the can. It’s not the most expensive. That makes it even better, right? Yeah, I thought so too!

The icing in grandma’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon milk. When I was making my icing the other day the humidity was really wonky. If you didn’t know, we’re kind of floating away here in the midwest. Hey, come dead of summer we’ll be asking for rain. Unfortunately a bunch of people have a lot of flood damage so I’m not writing it off or anything, just simply saying. One last thought, I saw on Wednesday we’re supposed to get more rain.

Anyway, back to the icing. Play with the icing. Sometimes you need a few more tablespoons of milk to make it thin out and other times you don’t. Weather has a HUGE factor on baking sometimes. Just make iced sugar cookies! You’ll quickly learn!

I have to say I couldn’t wait to dive in to this cake. Holy yum! It has a nice soft silky taste to it while the icing sets up and almost has a fudgy type consistency to it. And the chocolate isn’t overbearing. One factor when you are someone like me who isn’t a HUGE chocolate fan. I’m okay not having chocolate for months at a time, but every once in a while you just need chocolate and on top of that cake. So why not combine the two and have this Deep Dark Chocolate Cake. It’s dreamy! LOL

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 1 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water

Combine dry ingredients.
Add: eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, water
Pour into a 9×13 greased & floured cake pan. Batter will be thin.
Bake at 350 degrees. 35 to 40 minutes.

Fudge Icing

  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1-3 tbsp milk
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

Melt butter. Add cocoa. Mix in milk and powdered sugar.

Frost Cake

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

Cherry Pie

What is the best Pie Crust recipe without a good pie to go in it? Earlier this month I shared with you a recipe for PW’s Flat Apple Pie (also known as a Galette as we found out) and that was the pie crust I used for that. Really though, my favorite Pie when it comes to fruit pies is a Cherry Pie. YUM!

While you can buy cherry pie filling in the can, it’s almost just as easy to make your own. Now once upon a time I had a cherry tree in my yard. Boy I miss that cherry tree. The thing with Cherry trees is really the only time of year they give off cherries is late May early June depending on the weather. You also have to be especially quick so the dumb birds don’t eat all your fruit! The off time of year, where in the world do you find the tart cherries (or sour cherries as I like to call them)? 

When I went to Walmart, because as you may or may not know I live in one of those small towns in a flyover state where all we really have is Walmart, all they had were the big sweet cherries. They are okay to make a Cherry pie with, except you just cut down on the sugar added. But truthfully the tart cherries are the better tasting cherries in a cherry pie.

Finally I went to Reasor’s in Tulsa one one of my trips there and they had the tart cherries in bags. I may or may not have stocked up on them. Then once I came back home, I went to Food for Less and they have them too. <insert Happy Dance 💃> With that being said, all you need to make your own cherry pie filling is the cherries, water, sugar, and cornstarch. Yes, it is easy to open up a can, but it tastes so much better when it is homemade! And it is truthfully just as easy!

If you’ve noticed, usually a cherry pie has the lattice work on top. In the past, Mark and I have placed each piece right there on top of the pie, but the other day we decided to do the lattice work on a piece of parchment paper, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and then transfer it over to the pie. Do you hear those angels singing? OMG, that made all the difference in the world and it was super simple! Yey!

This particular pie was made for a Bake Sale for Trails for Kids. Trails for Kids is a trail ride used to raise money for our local CP Center.

Last year I made a giant chocolate chip cookie in a cast iron pan that went for $130. I felt the pressure to try again to outdo myself. This year it didn’t just rain but it poured! We had flooding and almost had to emergency evac due to rivers flooding and everything else. I’m pleased to announce that we were all okay and even with the horrible weather we had a great turn out. Numbers were down but you always have good and bad years.

Anyway back to this Cherry pie… I placed it in a Cast Iron Pie Plate that my friend Tracy introduced me to last fall. This particular pie brought $50. Okay okay, so not as good as last year but I’ll definitely take it! 

Here was my finished pie that went into the auction. Really, the real winners are the kids who benefit at the CP Center from the Trails for Kids trail ride and all the other fundraisers and activities throughout the year.

So my Cherry pie………

Cherry pie

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups pitted cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • approximately 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 Cup cornstarch matched with just enough water to make a slurry
Instructions:

1. Combine fruit and sugar in a pan and stir together. If cherries are soft and mushy, you won’t need additional water, but if cherries are firm, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil.
2. Mix cornstarch with some cold water (about 3 tablespoons of cold water with 1/4 c cornstarch making a slurry), whisking to remove lumps.
3. When cherries are boiling, add cornstarch slurry mixture while stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add enough thickening agent to make the consistency you desire. We like our pies fairly thick.  Stir until the juices are clear.  When the filling looks clear, it’s fully cooked. Over-cooking will start to break down the filling. If you want your pie to be more of a red color, add a couple drops of food coloring (optional; I never do this.)
4. Pour into pie crusts and bake pies at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until browned.

Additional Notes:

*You can use sour or sweet cherries for this recipe, but you will need to adjust the sugar if using sweet cherries. I would use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar for sweet cherries.
**Cornstarch thickens, and will continue to become thicker as your mixture cools. Do not make it as thick when hot as you would like it to be when it has cooled, or it will be too thick.

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

Carrot-Walnut Cupcakes minus the Walnuts!

Here it is Monday after Easter and I think I’m still in a food induced comma. I sure hope you ate well, I know I did! By now I’m sure you’re aware I challenged myself to bake all 12 cupcakes in the Food Network Magazine January/February 2017 edition. The editor says there doesn’t need to be a reason to have a cupcake, therefore one for every month. This month happens to be the Carrot-Walnut Cupcakes. Those would be perfect for Easter, right? We didn’t eat them on Easter though… nope, but the week of, you bet!

I should immediately point out, I didn’t put in the walnuts, that’s why the title says minus the walnuts. Mark doesn’t handle nuts real well (we’ll leave it at that.. haha) and I’m not crazy about Walnuts. If I had used any nuts, they would have been Pecans. I prefer the milder taste of a pecan over a walnut any day.I wasn’t sure about these cupcakes when I initially started mixing up the batter. The smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg seemed to overpower the small amount of flour. Truthfully, how they know how to mix up to get exactly 12 cupcakes is amazing. Now If I could just learn to measure out exactly 12 cupcakes. I tried the ice cream scoop method and came up shy. If nothing else, I hope to learn how to make perfect cupcakes by this challenge!

Read more

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Cookies

There are a lot of people who have jumped on the Gluten Free bandwagon for different reasons. I personally don’t know much about it other than what little research I did once upon a time when a friend’s daughter had issues. They thought she needed to be gluten free so I did a little research but not much and after they realized that wasn’t her problem and she could eat gluten, my research days on it went out the window.

One of Mark’s co-workers though, he and his family have gone gluten free for heath reasons. Mason shared this recipe with Mark and he sent it to me in an email. I wasn’t sure why and emailed him back asking if he’d tasted them. He told me no. Friday night we changed that answer to yes. I was interested in trying them and of course they’re cookies, so I must try them, right? My dad and I joke that he’s the cookie monster and I’m pretty sure I get that from him.

Read more

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

PW’s Flat Apple Pie

Back in December I was in Texas. One of our favorite places to visit while down there is World Market. While we were walking around looking at this and that, really eying the silverware that I’ve wanted for years but still won’t buy, I stumbled across a book called Pie School | Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter. I made mention that I wanted it and low and behold I got it for Christmas! I started reading through it right away and the author, Kate Lebo, discusses things called a Galette. I’m sorry, a what? Basically it is a pie that is free form, as in you don’t bake it in a pie plate, but roll it out, place your filling in the middle, and roll the sides up over the edge of the filling. The more rustic you make it, obviously the better.

Why do I mention all of that? Well back in 2010/2011/2012 I embarked on an adventure of 101 items to complete in 1001 days. I didn’t get them all complete, but it was a good attempt. One of my items was at the time Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond released her first cookbook and I planned on trying to cook/bake my way through the entire book. Again, not something I was able to complete. This Flat Apple Pie happened to be one of the items in the book that I didn’t accomplish.

Last night was dive club meeting. I made some sugar cookies to take but I also wanted to make something else. For some reason this flat apple pie jumped out to me so I gathered up the ingredients and went to baking. By the way, I kind of love to bake… I’m learning this. As I was piecing this together, I started wondering, is this a Galette? Based off the description Lebo gives, I believe it is. You’re welcome.

Read more

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

Rainbow Cupcakes

I’m sure you were worried, but no need to. Just because I took a few weeks off to move over to WordPress with this blog, I am still keeping up with my Monthly Cupcake from Food Network Magazine, January/February 2017 issue.

When I woke up the morning I made these, I was worried about having 2 ingredients. Lemons, which I was fairly certain I had and Cake Flour, which I was pretty sure I didn’t have. I did go to the pantry to see if I had cake flour and surprisingly I did. WHAT?!?! I guess I bought it for something else one day and had some left over. So… if you don’t have cake flour, not to fear! Make your own! Wait, what? Make your own cake flour. Yup! You read that right!

Cake flour:

1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tbsp (that is subtract 2tbsp of the ap flour). Then add in 2 tbsp corn starch. Use your handy dandy sifter and sift 5-6 times to incorporate the corn starch. Bam, your own homemade cake flour.

Read more

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Yesterday was the 1st Thursday of March. That means that it was Dive Club meeting. It was also National Banana Cream Pie Day. Here recently I was reading through the March 2017 Southern Living Magazine and ran across this Banana Pudding Poke Cake recipe. It looked phenomenal. I decided that Banana Pudding and Banana Cream Pie are similar enough, it counts so I decided to make the cake for Dive Club. Can I just say, I’m glad I did…. WOW!

They also had a little information about Poke Cakes which I found really interesting and want to condense down and share with you. I loved the opening 2 sentences: “Most cake names don’t include the punch line. But yes, true to its name, a poke cake is a cake that is punctured with holes–on purpose.” Hey that’s pretty cool right?

Usually once the cake is punctured, then the baker adds something sweet over the top that will seep into those holes and add to the richness of the cake. The intent is to infuse a lot of flavor into the cake to add that extra punch of flavor.

Read more

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie {National Peanut Butter Lovers Day – March 1}

Today is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. I have a bunch of peanut butter lovers in my life… me… well I like it on toast and I like it in a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (I prefer grape jelly), but otherwise, it’s just kind of a hit or miss thing with me…. Of course truth be told, I’m a savory over sweet kind of person anyway….

But this recipe… this was my grandpa’s favorite recipe and it’s so simple. 4 ingredients plus a pie crust and something for a topping if you want… That’s it….

Make the filling, pour into a pie shell, stick it in the freezer for like 4 hours (if you can wait that long), and bam, you have a frozen peanut butter pie.

Read more

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png

National Tortilla Chip Day {February 24}

Today is National Tortilla Chip day. How much fun is that? Tortilla chips are made from corn (or flour but predominately corn) tortillas, cut into triangles or circles or any other shape you want, then deep fried (or baked) and wallah… you have a snack. Typically they are either eaten plain or served with dips, but they are also great for making nachos or a taco salad.

Typically corn tortillas are made from corn, vegetable oil, salt, and water, but obviously each recipe maker has their own unique recipe that makes them taste just like they want. Variations include yellow corn, white corn, blue corn, and even red corn. Each of those corns give the tortilla chips their own unique flavor.

Usually Tortilla chips are associated with Mexican food, but the mass production of them is credited back to the 1940s and Los Angeles California.

These snacks have become so popular that they are usually a complimentary appetizer at Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants.

So with that said, and the knowledge that it is National Tortilla Chip Day… Go out and grab a tortilla chip! Top it with topping of your choice and you’ll be set!

png photo name_zps86dee27d.png