Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sugar High Friday coming Jan. 28th!

I recently stumbled on Sugar High Friday, a huge food blog event started by The Domestic Goddess. What a great excuse to try something sweet. This month's theme is Baking with Candy. I may submit Holy Cow cake. I adapted this recipe from the Cake Doctor. Please note: my daughter insisted on a Wheel of Wow cake (ala Webkinz), so I only used one layer for my Holy Cow cake. The recipe is written for two layers. The Holy Cow cake is the one on the right.

Below is the recipe. If you want to make an easier, faster version, omit the evaporated milk and cream cheese. It won't taste as decadent but will still make everyone happy.

Holy Cow Cake from The Cake Doctor

Serves: 20
Preparation Time: 5 to 7 minutes
Baking Time: 35 to 38 minutes
Assembly Time: 10 minutes


Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil's food cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or sunflower
3 large eggs


1 jar (8 ounces) caramel topping
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 ounces each), crushed
1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 38 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Immediately poke holes in the top of the cake with a drinking straw or chopstick.

4. Prepare the topping. Place the caramel topping and sweetened condensed milk in a small bowl and stir to combine. Spoon this mixture over the warm cake so that it can seep down into the holes. Measure out half of the crushed candy bars and sprinkle the pieces over the cake.

5. Place the whipped topping and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth and combined, 1 minute. Spread the mixture over the top of the candy. Sprinkle the remaining candy pieces on top.

6. Place the pan, uncovered, in the refrigerator to chill the cake for about 20 minutes before cutting it into squares and serving.

Store this cake, covered in waxed paper, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tailgate Chili

Elise at Simply Recipes has posted some great sounding chili recipes. I can't wait to try one this weekend. Here's my favorite chili recipe that I make for Daytona 500 (my husband's Super Bowl :-)). The original version was from a Emeril Live recipe. He recommends opening individual bags of fritos and putting a scoop right into the bag. I tried this before and people got a kick out of it. Usually I serve in the more traditional bowl.

I like to make it the day before in the crockpot. Then I just reheat it the day of the party, either in a crockpot or stockpot. I either add the masa slurry the day I make it or the day I heat it up.

My Version of Emeril's Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 pounds beef bottom round, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 cups crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 cups canned dark red kidney beans
3 tablespoons masa
1 bag Frito Chips or any tortilla chip
grated Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream
1 small jar of jalapenos

n a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start to wilt. Season with salt and cayenne. Stir in the beef , chili powder, cumin, crushed red pepper, and oregano. Brown the meat for 5 to 6 minutes. Place meat and vegetables into crockpot. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, and beans. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. During the last 30 minutes turn crockpot to high and add the masa slurry. To make the masa slurry, stir the masa with a little liquid from the stockpot to make a paste. Slowly stir in the masa slurry and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Reseason with salt and cayenne. Place a handful of the chips in each shallow bowl. Spoon the chili over the chips. Garnish with the grated cheese, sour cream and jalapenos.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Foreman Grill and Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough

Last fall my daughter's school sold Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough. It has 3 dozen delicious individual frozen cookies in each tub. The cookies are great to have on hand for last minute play dates, visitors, etc. You can take out as many as you want and bake them. The problem is I hate heating the oven up for just a few cookies. So today I experimented with my George Foreman Grill. And, it worked! The grill is the Next Generation model with removable plates. I put the baking plate on the bottom and the the steak plate on top.

I tried baking both cranberry oatmeal and double chocolate chunk and both turned it fine. The top was a little browner than when cooked in the oven but the taste was still great. Plus, it only took 10 minutes to bake, versus 18 minutes in the oven.

Grilled Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies

Preheat grill to medium.
Place frozen cookies on baking tray
Close top gently
Bake for 10 minutes
Remove cookies and let cool for 5 minutes.
Note: Cookies will be soft but will firm up when cooled.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Every Day with Rachel Ray -EVEN BETTER DEAL

This Monday, Jan. 14, Bestdealmagazines.com has Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine subscription for only $4.29! That's only 43 cents an issue. Plus if you go through ebates.com, you will get a 10% rebate. It's only 42 cents but those rebates add up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sierra Mist Ham

Sometimes the easiest recipes turn out the most delicious. I found this smoked ham for only 99 cents a pound. Since this was the cheapest ham at Safeway, I was nervous about how moist it would turn out. Sierra Mist to the rescue! I adapted a 7-Up recipe that I had on hand. Luckily ham turned out wonderfully!


1 - 8-10 lb ham
1 - liter of Sierra Mist
1/2 box of brown sugar
1 can of sliced pineapples (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in roasting pan. Pat brown sugar all over ham. Use toothpicks to place pineapple on top. Pour Sierra Mist into roasting pan. Place in oven. Cook for 20 minutes per pound. Baste every 1/2 hour or so.

Remove and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Slice and enjoy. Don't forget to save the ham bone for soup or beans!

Friday, January 4, 2008