Thursday, June 27, 2013

PREACHER'S CHOCOLATE CAKE

I admit it. I did it. Will it help if I say I am truly sorry? 

Janice and I went to an estate sale and I saw this cookbook of contributed recipes. Those are my favorite ones.  

Anyway, I was looking through it and saw this recipe for Nan Wiley's Preacher's Chocolate Cake. The person had written on the side of the page "4/29/86 Bible Study - Excellent". I think she had made the cake as a two-layer cake instead of in the 9 x 13  - inch pan because she had also written by the baking instructions " 2 layers 20 - 25 minutes".

I have seen another recipe for "Preacher's Cake" but not a chocolate one. I really wanted to be able to make the cake and the cake book was only a dollar. The thing was I didn't really see any other recipes that interested me.

So.......Itookapictureofthetwopageswithmyphone. (I said that real fast....could you tell?) I feel so cheap! But I wanted to make the cake but didn't want the cookbook.

Turns out that it just might be the best chocolate cake I have ever made from scratch. I used Hershey's Cocoa  100% cacao Special Dark. 

The recipe says a fudge icing, maple icing, or boiled white icing was good. She had underlined the latter. I looked for a recipe for boiled white icing, but couldn't find anything described by that title. I saw this recipe using instant pudding, milk, and whipped topping and decided to give it a try. See recipe below.



PREACHER'S CHOCOLATE CAKE


1       cup brown sugar 
1       cup sugar ( I used 1/2 cup truvia baking blend)
1/2   cup shortening
2       beaten eggs
2       cups flour
2       teaspoons baking soda
1/2    cup cocoa ( I used Special Dark 100% cacao)
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/2    cup sour milk  ( 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar + milk)
1       cup boiling water
1       teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray a 9 x 13 - inch pan with cooking spray.

Cream sugars with the shortening.

Add the eggs.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa, and salt.

Add to creamed mixture alternately with the sour milk beating well after each addition.

Stir in boiling water and vanilla.








Pour thin batter into prepared pan.









Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.










Cool cake before frosting.

PUDDING WHIP FROSTING

1       small package sugar-free/fat-free instant chocolate fudge pudding
1       cup skim milk
1       carton whipped topping


Mix pudding with the milk with a whisk until thick.  Doesn't take long since you are using only half the milk called for with the pudding mix.




Fold in the whipped topping til completely mixed.












Spread over cake.  Store in the refrigerator.





I grated two dark chocolate kisses and sprinkled them on top.

You could use any flavor of instant pudding that you wanted to on cupcakes, cakes, or as a filling in crepes, etc.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WHAT'S FOR DINNER?

I'm trying to clean out my freezer before I go and buy other than perishables at the grocery store.  I saw some pork chops the other day so I thought I would cook them for dinner last night instead of chicken....I have gobs of chicken.

I bought a cookbook at Hillcrest Thrift Shop a few weeks ago, but hadn't gotten around to looking at it closely.  It's one of those good ones....The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook.  I picked it up during a slow spell at the thrift store.  I cashier and recently it has been so busy I haven't had time to hardly think between sales.  But that day, I did.  I saw one or two recipes that looked interesting, so decided to just buy it.  Can't beat $3.00.

Yesterday afternoon I got it out and checked the index for pork chops.  Six pages into the pork section, I saw the recipe Oven-Fried Pork Chops.  "Oven-Fried" caught my attention immediately since we are trying to cut back on fried foods.

The only ingredient I didn't have was the pineapple juice.  I considered using orange juice, but remembered I had crushed pineapple and most recipes call for the pineapple to be drained.  I knew I would have to make something with the crushed pineapple by the end of the week, but I knew that shouldn't be a problem.  

Then like a flash, I remembered my baked pineapple casserole.  Recipe HERE.  That would go great with the pork chops....so deciding to cook some frozen vegetable.....and dinner was planned.



Since I would have both the pork chops and the pineapple casserole in the oven at the same time, I decided to use my smaller cookie sheet with a wire rack for the roasting pan with rack.  It worked perfectly.  I could turn it around in the oven half way through when I had to turn the pork chops over and the 1 quart casserole dish would fit perfectly in beside it.

My husband really liked the pork chops.  He said they tasted as good as any restaurant could prepare.  Wasn't that nice?  I told him I didn't think about it until I was preparing the dish, but it might be good to prepare the egg mixture and let the pork chops soak in it for 30 minutes or so before dipping them in the breading mix.  He said he liked it just the way they were.  (I still think it might be a good idea)




OVEN-FRIED PORK CHOPS

4     pork chops (boneless or bone-in) 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
1     large egg (I used 1/4 cup Egg Beaters)
3     tablespoons pineapple juice
1     tablespoon soy sauce
1/2  cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (I used my garlic/herb loaf breadcrumbs I made  + 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning)
1/2  teaspoon ground ginger
1/4  teaspoon paprika
1/4  teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Trim fat from pork chops, if necessary.  


Combine egg, pineapple juice, and soy sauce in a shallow bowl and whisk gently. (I just used a spoon since I was using the egg substitute.)




Combine the breadcrumbs and the seasonings using a whisk.











Spray a roasting pan or you can use a cookie sheet and a wire cooling rack with cooking spray.  It is important to spray the rack so the meat won't stick to it.


Dip the chops in the egg mixture, turning over to coat both sides.







Then dredge the chops in the breadcrumbs getting a good coating on the chops.  (See how I make my own breadcrumbs Here.)






Place the chops on the wire rack (I only had 3)








and then spray each side with cooking spray. (This step is very important.  The recipe said to drizzle melted butter over the top, but I know spraying well works better.)



Bake 20 - 25 minutes.









and then turn them over and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes....







or til done.









Monday, June 24, 2013

BANANA-BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK MUFFINS

I am always on the look-out for sweet breads/muffins that are multi-grained and have less sugar and oil.  This recipe for Banana-Blueberry Buttermilk Bread came from the July/August 2010 issue of Eating Well.  I love this magazine because the recipes in it are always so good and better for you.

A note with the recipe says, " The slight acidity of buttermilk tenderizes and moistens baked goods while allowing you to cut way back on butter or oils.  Here is also lends a slight tanginess to the winning combination of bananas and blueberries..."  I couldn't have said it better.

Another note that I found informative (since I use whole wheat pastry flour all the time for whole wheat flour) was "Whole-wheat pastry flour, lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods.  You can find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores.  Store in the freezer."

The recipe was intended to be made as a loaf, but they gave directions for muffins and that is what I made.  I had to make one emergency substitution and the other ones were common substitutions I make.  I didn't notice until I started typing this post that the recipe only called for 1/4 cup oil.  I did use a whole individual serving cup of the applesauce which is 4 oz or 1/2 cup.  Sometimes I use the unsweetened applesauce.  The last time I bought it, they had the sweetened with Splenda instead. The muffins taste great so I will continue to use the 1/2 cup.  I will include the original recipe in parenthesis.  

If you want to make a loaf instead of muffins, set oven for 375 degrees F and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.




BANANA-BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK MUFFINS


3/4     cup nonfat or low-fat buttermilk
1/4     cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar blend or (3/4 cup brown sugar)
1/2     cup applesauce sweetened with Splenda or (1/4 cup canola oil)
1        large egg + 1/4 cup Egg Beaters or (2 large eggs)
1        cup mashed ripe bananas -- about 3 medium
1-1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1        cup soft wheat flour or (all-purpose flour)
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2    teaspoon baking soda
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray a 12 (1/2 cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.







Whisk buttermilk, brown sugar, applesauce (oil), and eggs in a large bowl.  








Stir in the mashed bananas.










Sift (or whisk) the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.







Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.







Fold in the blueberries. (I always use blueberries that I have frozen. They don't tear apart when you fold them in the batter and they don't "bleed" as much when they bake.)




Divide the batter among the muffin cups (they will be full).









Bake until the tops are golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a middle muffin, 20 to 25 minutes.





Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack.








Remove and finish cooling or cool 5 minutes and serve.







These have to be the prettiest muffins I have made in quite a while. They rose so nicely and were all uniform in size.  Here is a picture so you can see how much they rose when they baked.



And when I cut into one...








Friday, June 21, 2013

BRER RABBIT MOLASSES COOKIES

Due to members being out of town and/or taking care of loved ones, our quilting group was only 4 yesterday.  So Kay asked if we wanted to sew or play canasta.  Since we haven't played canasta in a while (haven't sewed in a while either), the canasta sounded like fun.

When Janice and I got to Kay's, Ellen was already there and showing off pictures of her newest grandson.  After Janice and I looked, I noticed some thin, crispy looking cookies or Kay's bar.  I asked her if they were gingersnaps or molasses cookies.

When I showed my disappointment when she said molasses, Kay asked me could I not have molasses.  I laughed and told her I had just been trying to find a crispy gingersnap.  She shared a recipe she had for gingersnaps that I will be trying to see if they are crispy....she didn't remember.

Here is her recipe for the molasses cookies.  They came from her 1993 Mrs. Field's Cookbook.  They were delicious!




BRER RABBIT MOLASSES COOKIES

3/4     cup shortening
1        cup sugar
1/4     cup molasses
1        egg
2        teaspoon baking soda
2        cups flour
1/2     teaspoon ground cloves
1/2     teaspoon ginger
1        teaspoon cinnamon
1/2     teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt shortening over low heat.  Cool

Add sugar, molasses, and egg.  Beat well.

Sift flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.  Add to the first ingredients.  Mix well.

Chill (1 hour).

Form in 1" balls.  Roll in sugar and place on greased cookie sheet 2 - inches apart. (They do spread)

Bake 8 - 10 minutes. (slightly underbaked)

Cool on wire rack.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

CHOCOLATE LOVER'S CHEESECAKE

This recipe was shared with me when a group of us played cards at friend Dorothy's house.  Dorothy has shared  previously with me her recipe for Ice Cream Krispie Delight.  If you missed it, you can check it out HERE..

Anyway back to Dorothy's most recent dessert.  She said she got the recipe from a friend back in Newton, Iowa.  It is perfectly named.  It was very good and enjoyed by all of us.



CHOCOLATE LOVER'S CHEESECAKE


2   -   8 oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2    cup sugar
1/2    teaspoon vanilla
2       eggs
4      squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, melted, & slightly cooled
1      Oreo pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.

Stir in melted chocolate.

Pour into crust and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until center is almost set.

Cool.

Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

GOOD OLD FASHIONED PEACH COBBLER

I love peach cobbler....the old fashioned kind that my mother made.  

Seems like nowadays when you see a recipe for cobbler, it is made by mixing a thin batter, pouring it in a baking dish, and then spooning the fruit on top.  It makes a good cobbler, but when I think of cobbler, I think of the kind my mother made.

I had these peaches that I bought on our trip in Mississippi from Alabama.  They looked ripe, but of course they aren't.  They have to pick them early so they can ship them to sell all over the country.  The best way to ripen them is by putting them in a single layer in a brown paper sack, turning down the top, and forgetting about them.  

Well, almost.  After a couple of days, I will open the sack and smell.  When they smell like peaches, they are ripe.

This evening I decided to make a cobbler like my mother would have made from the peaches.  The recipe I used actually isn't my mother's recipe, but one I found in a cookbook once when visiting my Auntie Gert.  

The date I have written on the bottom of the card is 1985.  I knew it had been a while because I also wrote on the card that I had gotten the recipe from a cookbook of Auntie Gert's.  I haven't called her Auntie Gert for a long time.  It started that way, but then I dropped the Gert and just called her Auntie.

I have read the recipe card so many times and I am not sure I made it the way I was supposed to.  I really don't think I did, but it turned out great the way I did it.  The next time I make it though, I plan to make the one thing my mother did differently....pour half the peaches in the dish, lay half of the dough strips on top crisscrossing, top with rest of peaches and end with the other half of dough strips crisscrossing on top.  See NOTE below.

I did make a few changes, but what else is new.  The card says it also works with berries also.  Will have to try it with blackberries......I love blackberry cobbler, too.




PEACH COBBLER


4     cups sliced peaches
3/4  cup truvia baking blend or 1-1/2 cups sugar
3     cups of water, or just enough to cover fruit
2     teaspoon vanilla
2     tablespoons flour
1/4  cup water
1     stick of margarine

Blend the flour and 1/4 cup water in a bowl with a whisk til smooth.







Place peaches, sugar, water vanilla, flour mixture, and margarine in a metal pan or boiler and 





bring to a boil.










Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes while mixing the dough.
(I covered the pot....the recipe didn't say to.)





Dough:

1-1/2     cups flour
1/4         teaspoon baking powder
2/3         cup shortening
2 - 3       tablespoons cold water

Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.  Add the shortening and combine.







Add the cold water. Stir to a thick mixture. (I just used my fingers.)  Form a ball.

Cut the ball in half.





Spread a little flour on a surface (I use my tempered glass board)








Kneed a little of the flour in the dough so you can roll it out fairly thin.  Cut with a knife into strips.







Place  the strips over the peaches.  Dip peaches and juice over the dough.  Let cook a few minutes.

















Roll out remaining dough (spread a little more flour on the surface) and cut into strips.

In a deep baking dish, pour the peaches.  (This was the part I didn't like and will do differently next time...making sure the slightly cooked dough was spread out. Mother's way is much easier.)

Lay the strips across the top of the peaches.








Dot with a little margarine.









Bake in a preheated oven (425 degrees F.) for 30 minutes.








Can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but it taste great just by itself, too.







NOTE:  My mother made her peach cobbler by pouring about half of the peaches in the dish and then layering the strips over the top.  Then she carefully poured the rest of the peaches on top of that.  She finished it off with the rest of the strips of dough on top.  After making this by the recipe, I think Mother's method is better.  You have to be careful that you have the slightly cooked strips spread out in the dish so you don't have too much dough in one place as I explained above.