Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Orleans Double-Chocolate Praline-fudge Cake

"This cake was the best cake I have ever eaten", that's what my mother in-law said after eating this yummy cake for her Birthday. And I must say it was up there on my top 10 best cakes I have ever eaten as well. Super moist Chocolate cake with Chocolate Ganache in between each layer mmmmm.....and Praline frosting dumped on top, you cant get much better than that! A little rich but soooo good. Making this cake is a little time consuming, so be prepared to spend a little extra time in the kitchen on this one ladies but the end result is timeless....

Cake Ingredients

1 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt


Grease bottoms of 3 (8") round cakepans; line with wax paper.Grease and flour wax paper and sides of pans.

Cook first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and mixture is smooth; remove from heat.Cool.

Beat buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.Add butter mixture to buttermilk mixture, beating until blended.Combine sugar, flour, and salt; gradually add to buttermilk mixture, beating until blended.(Batter will be thin.)Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake at 350ยบ for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.Remove from pans; immediately remove wax paper.Cool completely on wire racks.(Layers will appear thin.)

Chocolate Ganache

2 cups (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Microwave chocolate morsels and cream in a glass bowl (50% power) 2-3 minutes or until morsels are melted, stirring after 1 1/2 minutes; whisk until smooth.Gradually add butter, whisking until smooth.Cool, whisking often, about 25 minutes or until spreading consistency.Yield: about 2 cups.

Praline Frosting - Do not prepare this candylike frosting ahead because it will harden very quickly.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring often; boil 1 minute.Remove from heat, and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.Add toasted pecans, stirring gently 3 to 5 minutes or until frosting begins to cool and thicken slightly.Pour frosting immediately over cake.Yield: about 2 cups.  

Spread about 1/2 cup ganache between cake layers; spread remainder on sides of cake (do not frost top of cake).Chill cake 30 minutes.Pour Praline Frosting slowly over top of cake, spreading to edges, and allowing some frosting to run over sides of cake. 
I love hearing your comments and would love to hear if anyone try's my recipes! Please feel free to email me with any questions/comments you might have. :)

Sourthern Style Pumpkin Crisp

This Pumpkin Crisp is amazing! I first tried this at my sister in-laws house on Thanksgiving, and immediately I  fell in love! It is so easy to make and travels very well if you are in need of a last minute dish to take somewhere or even a last minute dessert for those dinner plans your hubby forgot to tell you about. The best thing about this dessert is that most of the ingredients are in your pantry so there is no stress in making it. I recently took the Crisp to a Christmas party and had no leftovers to take home with me, I love it when that happens :).

  • 1  (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1  cup  evaporated milk
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  (18.25-ounce) package butter-flavored yellow cake mix
  • 1  cup  chopped pecans
  • 1  cup  butter, melted


Stir together first 5 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture; sprinkle evenly with pecans. Drizzle butter evenly over pecans.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with Whipped Cream, if desired.

Heading into the oven.....

Above is a picture of the Crisp when it was done. It got a little browner than I wanted it to on the top and a few of the pecans got burned. I picked them off before taking to the party. My oven for some reason cooks a little hotter than I would like it to so about half way through the cooking time I put a piece of foil on top to protect it.

Hope everyone is enjoying this Holiday season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bummed :(

I have 2 really great recipes to share with everyone that I just made, the bad news is my computer has been getting fixed since the Wed before Thanksgiving and the computer guy called tonight saying he dropped my computer and broke another part! Thank goodness I dont have to pay for it or I would be soo angry. So keep checking back! Here are my next two recipes to share with pics! They are great for Christmas parties or for special occisions.

New Orleans Double-Chocolate Christmas Praline-Fudge Cake (I made this cake for my mother in-law for her Birthday recently, she said it was the best cake she had ever eaten!)

Sourthern Style Pumpkin Crisp, I took this to a Christmas party on Saturday everyone loved it and its a super easy last min dessert to make with some simple things in that are in the pantry.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Who's getting ready for Christmas?

How was every one's Thanksgiving? Mine was great as always, I love spending time with family and friends and enjoying good food!

Sooo I am already decorated for Christmas and I am ready to start my annual baking for the holidays. I have a few new recipes to try this year and I am pretty excited about it. I also have some fun homemade gifts that are really great to give during the holiday season that a super cheap to make. One of the items I made so far this year is a Hot Cinnamon Milk mix, its really yummy and its nice to switch it up from the normal hot chocolate. I will list the recipe for it at the bottom of my post. I am also going to be making a few of my family's favs this year for the first time. They are my great grandmothers recipes so I am excited to try them out I am sure I have a big bar to live up to but that's what makes it fun. So stay tuned for all of my up coming baking Holiday adventures and for some great recipes to start in your family.

Hot Cinnamon Milk Mix Recipe

2 Cups powdered Milk
1 Cup French Vanilla Powdered Creamer
1 Cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon Cinnamon
Mix together and put into a container

To use: Fill mug 1/3 cup full of mix, fill with hot water.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I am getting super excited about Thanksgiving. I have already bought all the things I need to make for the dishes I am taking to both families.  I have to make Green Bean Casserole, 2 Pumpkin Pies and a Chocolate pudding Pie.My family is super traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving, we always have the same dishes every year but each year I think they get better and better. Here is the normal run down of the table. A Turkey and a Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Peas, Stuffing, Cranberry sauce, Gravy, pickle and olive tray, jello salad, Brussels Sprouts, and Homemade Rolls. Desserts consist of at least 2 Pumpkin Pies, Pecan Pie, Coconut Pit, Lemon Pie, Pound cake, and my famous Choc Pudding Pie. But I think my 3 favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving are my moms sweet potatoes, homemade rolls and Pumpkin Pie Yum! I hope that one day I can cook as good as my mom. She is the best or maybe I am just by est because she is my mom. Whatever it is I love her cooking, but I guess being a good cook in my family comes with time. My grandma was my favorite cook when I was younger...I hope that I can make fried chicken like her one day I have tried several times and it just never comes out right. I think its all the love that's in her frying pan. :) Anyway where I was going with that is my mom had a great teacher, and I have a great teacher. My mom never measures anything! It drives me nuts I always try to follow a recipe to the T because I want everything to come out right, she is a little bit of this a little bit of that and it comes out perfect. Hopefully I can do that one day. What are your family traditions? What are some of your favorite things to eat on Turkey Day? I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with there family and I hope that one day I can keep the family traditions going in my home when I have a family of my own!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Halloween

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but I have been busy making things for my next few posts! Halloween is one of my fav holidays I love being able to dress up and be whoever you want for one night and get away with it. I especially love handing out candy and seeing what all the kids dress up as. I had alot of cute ones this year but I think 2 of my favs were a Southern Bell and a Avatar. I'm so silly every time I would come back from the door I would tell Jimmy (my husband) what everyone was in that group. He thinks I'm still a kid at heart. Anyway I also love Halloween because of the fun foods and not to mention all the sweets you get to eat and not worry about a thing! So I made a couple of treats to eat for the night after dinner to enjoy while watching the football game and passing out candy. It just so happened that the Steelers played Halloween night, it was fun seeing how creative the costumes were at the game. Here are the treats I made (as well as having a couple pieces of candy) hehe.

Sinister Salsas Is that pebbly sludge, dredged up from a nearby swamp, or creamy guacamole studded with black beans and minced chiles?

Chocolate Fondue This is a must for Halloween night! I served it with bananas, apples, spiced pound cake cubes, vanilla wafers, and gram crackers YUM.

Here are pics of our pumpkins that we carved, see if you can guess which one is Jimmy's? The white pumpkin was the coolest pumpkin ever! When I first cut it open it smelled like a delicious cucumber melon. I saved a few seeds to see if I can grown one of my own or if where I got it from had to mix some seeds together to get it. Guess I will find out next fall. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

YAY for post one!

So I am finally making my first post after creating this blog about a month ago lol... I was thinking I needed to put alot of thought into it but then I realize why would I do that? Isn't that what blogging is all about? Just telling how you feel when your thinking it? Anyway I have been doing alot of cooking and baking in the last week and figured I needed to get on the ball writing in my blog. Actually last week I spent 3 out of the 7 days in the kitchen all day! At the end of the day I was exhausted, but it was really fun and it made me happy. I loved seeing a recipe on paper come to life in a beautiful dish. This time of year is my favorite, when it comes to cooking and baking. I am in LOVE with pumpkin and I enjoy the flavors of the fall/winter veggies that are in my local market. So I decided to have my husbands parents over for dinner and wanted to cook a delicious fall meal. Here is the menu:

Harvest Pumpkin Soup, first soup I ever made from scratch and I must say it turned out nicely. I was very pleased with the flavors and I look forward to making it again.


Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 small sugar pumpkin, halved, seeds and stringy fibers removed and reserved
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 small parsnip (about 4 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small Yukon gold potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small turnip (about 4 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 small shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pumpkin halves, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until soft, about 50 minutes. Scoop out flesh, and puree in a food processor (you should have 2 cups).
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add reserved seeds and fibers from pumpkin, and cook for 4 minutes. Add stock, water, and thyme, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 9 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin puree, parsnip, potato, and turnip, and cook for 5 minutes. Add shallots, and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add wine, and cook until liquid has reduced by half.
  4. Strain pumpkin-seed mixture, reserving broth and discarding solids. Add broth to pumpkin-wine mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook 20 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Pass soup through a food mill into a clean saucepan, or puree in a food processor in small batches until smooth. (If soup does not reach desired consistency using a food processor, press it through a fine sieve to remove any remaining lumps.) Heat soup in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in cream, sugar, salt, and pepper, and serve.

Rigatoni with Roasted Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe, This dish was awesome! I thought with having a soup for starters with pasta as the main dish would be super heavy but it was so light. It was a perfect fit!


3 pounds cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe cleaned and ends chopped off
6 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
3 sprigs of thyme
1 pound rigatoni
1 cup (3 ounces) finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 400. On a rimmed baking sheet, combine tomatoes, broccoli, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, red-pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the Thyme. Toss to coat completely. Roast until tomatoes and broccoli are softened and garlic is golden, tossing halfway through, 40 to 45 mins.

2. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain pasta and return to pot. Toss with the tomatoes/broccoli mixture, cheese, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and reserved pasta water; season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Molasses-Spice Cake, can I just say that I loved this cake! I think they liked it but it defiantly was different. It had a mix of spices with molasses and cream cheese icing with a brown sugar glaze.


Makes one 9-inch cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with parchment, and butter the parchment.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream, molasses, ginger, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  3. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack, remove parchment, and turn right side up. Let cool completely. (Cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
  5. Spread frosting over top of cake. Drizzle with glaze. Serve immediately.

Cream Cheese Frosting


Makes enough for one 9-inch cake
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Beat in sour cream, then sugar and salt. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature, and stir well before using.

Brown Sugar Glaze


Makes enough for one 9-inch cake
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Add cream, vanilla, and salt, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool until thickened. Use glaze immediately.
Brown-Sugar Glaze
Do any of these dishes make your mouth water? Yum they make me hungry just thinking about them again. I am trying to think of a fun menu for Halloween night for my hubby and I to enjoy while watching Halloween movies and passing out candy. Hopefully something ghoulishes!