Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting and Strawberry Ice Cream Recipes

I've been in the process of going through my blog posts and rounding up all my recipes so I can make a recipe section for the blog. I've realized that I really haven't posted a lot of recipes! This is for several reasons, 1) A lot of the things I make don't actually have recipes- it is me throwing a bunch of stuff into a pan and calling it dinner (this is especially true with pasta) 2) I use lots of recipes from other blogs or allrecipes 3) now that I'm living at home again and my mom is off school for the summer she has retaken over her kitchen and is doing more of the cooking than I am and 3) by the time I get around to blogging about it I'm too lazy to look up my recipe or in more recent cases my mom's recipe. Well I'm going to try to change that and I have 3 recipes for you today! My mom's birthday was last week and my grandma's birthday is next week so we had a combined celebration for them today so I have a cake, icing, and ice cream recipe (a birthday is not a birthday in my family without home made ice cream!).

But before we get to that let's back up some! As I mentioned before we brought home an apple pie from Costco. I was very disappointed in it! The slices of apples were way too big and not even close to being cooked enough, even after we cooked the pie even longer in our oven. I think my dad is right in the idea that there will never be a store bought apple pie that comes even close to my mom's homemade apple pie.
Another fun thing that we got at Costco that I didn't write about in my last post was Larabars! I was so excited because I have never seen a huge box of Larabars at Costco before, especially with 3 awesome flavors in it.
Saturday I really wanted a Green Monster for breakfast but everyone else in my house was sleeping, so I didn't want to turn on the blender and wake everyone else up. So instead I settled for a piece of Cinnamon Raisin Toast with PB&Co Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
Then a little later I snacked on some Strawberry Banana Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps (also from Costco). The Fruit Crisps are essentially freeze dried fruit and I love love love the freeze dried pears and apples, and was so excited to try the new strawberry banana ones. The bananas were really really good, but the strawberries were not at all. They were really tart and just overall not very appetizing. I also saw on the box that they have freeze dried pineapples? I have never seen these things anywhere except Costco in mass bags of apples and pears (and now strawberry banana), but I am going to have to find these pineapples ones because I love all things pineapple.I don't know why this picture is so blurry but this is what the freeze dried strawberries and bananas look like.
Then a disaster happened- our cable and internet went out! Ahhhhh! My dad got on 2 phones calling the Comcast internet people on one line and the cable on the other. The cable people answered first and said they didn't know what was going on and then the internet people came on and said it was "scheduled maintenance that would last for 3 hours." Who schedules maintenance that leaves everyone without cable and internet on a Saturday afternoon?

Anyways the lack of tv and internet certainly helped motivate all of us to get showered and ready unlike we usually do on a Saturday morning/ afternoon! I then went in search of a quick lunch so my dad and I could go shopping for my mom and grandma's birthday presents. I decided on an Amy's Spinach and Feta Pockt
Amy's never fails me!
I actually got called for a last minute babysitting job for parents that ended up getting free Rascall Flatts concert tickets for that night. So after shopping I ended up eating a quick dinner at 5 so I could head over to babysit. I made an egg sandwich with cheddar cheese on oatmeal bread.
I ended up babysitting until midnight and then came straight home and crashed so I could wake up early for church today. I ate an Odwalla Berries GoMega bar on the way to church.
Then after church my grandparents came over for crab legs! Charlotte patiently waited under the table for us to come eat, and hopefully drop some for her.
We like to fill ourselves up with crab so we only had a small salad to go with them.
My first of several bunches of crab!
You should notice that we eat crabs enough to change into 'crab shirts' after ruining many shirts by butter dripping on them.
And for dessert I made a chocolate cake, but ran out of time before babysitting last night to frost it. So my mom frosted it, she said the ice cream was for her and the cake was for grandma. She made my grandma's chocolate fudge frosting, which essentially tastes and is thick like chocolate fudge. It works really well on one layer 9x13 cakes, and we used it on the layered cake but you have to put it on at the right time because it comes out of the pan melty and really spreadable, so it can slide off the cake, but as it sits it starts to 'harden' and gets to be a more fudge like texture.

Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 9 inch pans.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully combined.
4. Add the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix well.
5. Add the flour and water a little at a time, alternating between the two until everything is combined well together.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

3/4 cup or butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar (most boxes are 1 pound)
1 tablespoon vanilla

1. In a saucepan combine the butter, cocoa powder, and milk and bring to a boil.
2. Boil for about a minute (it might look separated but that's okay)
3. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
4. If you are frosting a 9x13 cake in the pan just pour it on and spread it out and you are done! It will cool and 'harden.' If you are doing a layered cake you might let it sit a little before you start trying to do the middle and sides of the cake so it doesn't just ooze off as soon as you put it on.

Of course what is a birthday cake with out ice cream to go along side! My dad made the strawberry ice cream last night! We make ice cream for every birthday, my grandpa has the best vanilla ice cream recipe that is delicious all by itself but also is a great base for any kind of ice cream! I'll go ahead and give you guys the vanilla recipe and then you can make just about anything from that!
Papa's Country Vanilla Ice Cream
4 eggs beaten
2 ¼ cups sugar
3 cups whipping cream
6 cups half and half
4 ½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt

1.Gradually add and beat sugar to the eggs
2.Beat until mixture is very stiff
3.Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly
4.Pour into gallon freezer and freeze as directed

For Fresh Fruit Ice Cream
-Substitute 4 cups puree sweetened fresh fruit or 3-12 oz packages frozen fruit, thawed and mashed for 4 cups of half and half in recipe. Reduce sugar in the recipe to 1 ¾ cups and use only one tsp vanilla.

I am babysitting tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday so it will be a kind of busy next couple of days, I hope everyone has had a great weekend and has a great upcoming week!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lots of Pork!

I hope everyone is having a good start to their weekend! Instead of blogging I've been looking at updating my blog format. I was thinking about changing my blog over to WordPress but then I realized you have to have a paid account to edit the html and everything, so back to blogspot I am! With the help of my dad I hope to have a new and improved blog soon, including an about me and recipe section! yay!

So Wednesday night dinner was pork tenderloin in another one of those awesome Kona Coast Marinades, this time it was Sweet and Sour Plum! It was just as delicious as the Island Teryaki! Along with the tenderloin was some watermelon and corn.
Thursday I woke up nice and late and skipped breakfast and went straight to lunch. I made the most delicious salad ever with an assortment of greens, campari tomatoes, green onions, the most delicious salmon ever left over from tuesday, goat cheese, and a little raspberry vinaigrette dressing. This was the best possible way to use this leftover salmon- it was so delicious!!!
After lunch I laid out by the pool for a little with a book. Then I showered and scarfed down a Green Monster before heading out to babysit. I made this Green Monster with watermelon instead of banana. It was pretty delicious but I think would have been good if maybe I did half a banana with the watermelon.
I got home from babysitting just in time for dinner. My mom pulled out some leftover meatballs and made her awesome mashed potato salad, and watermelon.
Mashed Potato Salad
About 6 baking potatoes
1 tbl Butter
1/3 cup Milk
salt and pepper to taste
4 Hard Boiled Eggs
1/3 Mayo or Miracle Whip (add more if needed)
1/2 Small Onion-chopped or 2 bunches of green onions
1 tsp Mustard

Alright these are very generalized measurements. My mom said the real recipe from her mom called for leftover mashed potatoes and she just based everything else on how many mashed potatoes she had. So that being said peel the potatoes and boil them until they are soft. Then mash them with the butter, milk, and add salt and pepper to taste. Then mash in the hardboiled eggs, mayo, onion, and mustard! You can garnish it with slices of hardboiled eggs if you want!

For breakfast this morning I had some cranberry coconut granola with the very last of my 0% Fage. I'm all out of greek yogurt- ahhhh!
In between breakfast and lunch I mostly messed around trying to figure out things for my blog! Then for lunch I made a pizza! I loaded up garlic, green onions, campari tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, and a little asiago, romano, parmesan mix! Yummm it was so delicious!
Then my mom and I went and shopped around Manassas for most of the day! We decided to stop and pick up some bbq on the way home from Old Carolina. We got both the Texas and Carolina style. I ate some of the Carolina kind with a little of the extra Texas sauce on top.

And for dessert later we have an apple pie from Costco that looks delicious!

Also in other news I just won an auction for a Breville Juice Fountain Plus on ebay!!!!! I'm so excited! The auction just ended like a minute ago so I'm going to go pay for it so they can ship it out soon! Feel free to leave your fav fruit/veggie juice combos for me to try out with my new juicer!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kona Coast Marinade

I've had a rollercoaster past couple of days, I've been back and forth between being happy and then something happens to put me in an awful mood! My parents decided to grill hot dogs Monday night so I pulled out a Lean Cuisine from the freezer.
I was pleasantly surprised to find way more veggies then the picture on the box showed, usually it is the opposite! However they were pretty tasteless and not exciting. The butternut squash raviolis were amazing but the sauce they were drowning in was not very good. All in all I was not really impressed but it has given me inspiration! Maybe I can find some butternut squash ravioli and make my own sauce and throw in some snow peas and maybe some asparagus. Yumm!
Breakfast yesterday was the last Kashi waffle, the second to last bit of the Fage, and the last of the raspberry sauce from my mom's chocolate birthday tart. It was delicious, that raspberry sauce could make anything taste delicious!
The night before I printed out a bunch of pictures so after breakfast I spent some time taking old pictures out of frames and putting some new ones in. I need a few more frames because I have a couple other pictures I want to put up. I'm glad I've finally gotten my picture frames out and some pictures up in my room because it makes it a little more happy, but it also makes me really miss all my friends in Richmond :(

Lunch was a delicious wrap! It had a Morningstar Mushroom Lovers burger, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, spinach, and campari tomatoes. Yummmmm!
Then my mom and I went to the grocery store because we were almost out of everything (as you can tell from my breakfast where I used the last of everything!) I've been looking at all the grocery stores up here trying to find the Peanut Butter & Co maple peanut butter but with no luck. I'm going to have to pick up some next time I'm in Richmond. So I finally broke down today to try the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl which is at every store up here and I've heard is good as well. When I got home I put it on some Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread. It was delicious, but I like the maple one better! However this is a good substitute until someone up in the Gainesville/ Haymarket area starts selling it!
To go with my snack I made some delicious iced tea! I made some Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger tea and then mixed it with some Minute Maid pomegranate juice blend. It was delicious!
The other day FoodBuzz's featured ingredient was lavender. Well we have an overabundance of lavender in our garden by our pool so I looked through a bunch of recipes. I decided to try out the Lavender Lemon Soda. It was okay, it wasn't awesome but it wasn't awful and I probably wouldn't make it again.
For dinner my dad grilled some salmon and my mom made her awesome Mandarin Orange Salad. The salad has an assortment of greens, mandarin oranges, sugared almonds, celery, green onions and a homemade dressing. It is so delicious! If I can get the recipe from her I might post it later.
And the salmon was marinated in the best marinade that I have ever tasted that has come out of a can. Kona Coast Paradise Pineapple Teriyaki. This was so delicious and everyone should go out and buy it immediately. It is sweet and tangy and citrusy and amazing.
After dinner my sister and I headed to Manassas to see The Proposal. Ahh it was so cute! I highly recommend it. We came out of the theater to a mass crowd of people waiting to see Transformers at midnight. We fought our way through the crowd to the exit and promptly headed to Wendy's for a Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty!!!!!!! I was pretty excited because I love frosties, I love almost anything with toffee and I love frapachinos and other frozen coffee things! It was everything I could have wanted and more, but now I think I need to try one with the vanilla frosty instead of the chocolate one!
Breakfast this morning was a slice of cinnamon raisin toast with cinnamon raisin swirl PB Company peanut butter! I thought I took a picture but I guess I didn't, however it looked identical to the one I ate for a snack yesterday so you can just scroll up and look! After breakfast my sister and I watched Confessions of a Shopaholic. The Shopaholic series are my all time favorite books, and even though the movie was not a great representation of the book (hello it is suppose to take place in London and everyone should be British that should have been enough of a warning to me!) I still loved it and it has helped me rediscover my love for those books. I plan on rereading them all now and I'm glad this movie just came out just around the time I was beginning to become all about Twilight and Stephanie Meyer and forgetting about the Shopaholic books and Sophie Kinsella!

Anyways for lunch was more of my cinnamon raisin bread. I made an apple and brie sandwich and it was delicious!
And I had a peach on the side- which was not so delicious, it had like no flavor!
For dinner we are having a pork tenderloin in another Kona Coast marinade which tasted good on my finger so I'm excited to see how it tastes on the pork!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wasting Time on Ebay

Well I'm not going to lie, instead of blogging I've been spending all my online time on ebay. I've been bidding on juicers. I thought I was going to win one, but I always get outbid by people bidding way more than I can at the last minute! It is so frustrating, I want a juicer so bad but I really don't have enough money for one right now.

Anyways Saturday some of my relatives that I had just visited in Ohio were at my grandparents house, which is about an hour and a half from us. So we ate some lunch and then headed up to see them! I had some Amy's Soup
This is the first time I tried the Chunky Vegetable and it was delicious as expected, however the Chunky Tomato Bisque is still my favorite (and I think always will be!)
And some egg salad on a slice of soft oatmeal toast!
Once we got up to my grandparents house we decided to head to downtown Martinsburg to check out the local chocolate store, DeFluris. My grandparents buy us chocolate crosses from here every Easter and they are delicious, but we have never actually been in the store. They had lots and lots of delicious looking truffles

I got a Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Peach Brandy, Vermont Maple, Fisher Ridge Wine, a Cape Cod ("white chocolate, tart cranberries and a hint of orange create a wonderful refreshing truffle") to bring home with me! We then walked around downtown Martinsburg for a little, they were having a car show and the streets were blocked off and they had live music and vendors set up everywhere. We walked down to the train station so Braden could look at the old roundhouse because he loves trains! Eventually we made our way back to the cars so we could head back where my grandma had dinner waiting for us! I was planning on saving all my chocolate for later but once we were in the car everyone else decided to try one of their truffles so I pulled out one too. It was the dark chocolate raspberry one.

DELICIOUS! Nothing can compare to a good truffle! While we were in the store you can look through a window into the back where they make the chocolate and I was thinking how fun it would be to work somewhere like that. Can someone please find me a chocolate making job?

When we got back my grandma had a huge dinner for us. I didn't take a picture because we were crammed in, in the dining room and once I sat down I wasn't able to get back up to get the camera! But we had a pot roast cooked with carrots and potatoes (I love carrots cooked with pot roasts, yummm!), tons of fresh fruit and veggies, homemade applesauce (my grandma makes the best!), mac and cheese, and rolls. For dessert she made an angel food cake that is topped with a mixture of coolwhip, cream cheese, and pineapple (she also sometimes makes it with mandarin oranges instead.) Its the perfect light summery cake and was great to finish off that heavy meal with.

For fathers day we headed to Red Lobster after church for my mom's b-day/ fathers day/ my mom got $100 in Red Lobster gift cards from her students on the last day of school lunch. I couldn't decided what I wanted, I knew I wanted coconut shrimp but wasn't really feeling any of the other things they paired it with for the combo things. Then I realized I could order the appetizer version and get another appetizer for the same price as the combos and get the same or possibly more food out of the deal! So I ordered some crab and lobster stuffed mushrooms and my coconut shrimp that comes with the best pina colada type sauce ever!

I ate half of both the mushrooms and the shrimp and ate the other half for dinner! When we got home from lunch I had another truffle, the peach brandy one! Just as good as the others

And my dad got this like homemade twinkie type of thing that had been dipped in chocolate, so of course I tried a piece of that.

It was so nice outside yesterday I grabbed my dog and went for a run. I am so sick of this hot weather, if it would stay in the 70s all summer I would be much happier! I guess I need to move to Maine! I also got my dad to hang up my last shelf in my room and put up my headboard, so then I spent most of the rest of the day cleaning my room some more! It is getting there, I think maybe it will be clean by the time I start student teaching in the fall hahaha.

Today I woke up around 11:30 and skipped breakfast and went straight to lunch at around 12:30 ( I seem to be doing that a lot lately, I am clearly not a morning person like many other food bloggers out there!) I made a grilled cheese quesadilla, with garlic and herb cheddar, goat cheese, campari tomatoes, and spinach on a spinach wrap. It was delicious and the only thing that could have made it better was basil.
I am growing basil, but its not quite ready to eat yet. I planted my basil and parsley a couple weeks ago and its coming along nicely. I've never grown anything from seeds before so I'm pretty excited (I've planted the basil that you buy at the grocery store with the roots and everything and it actually works about 50% of the time haha)

My mom said she was grilling hamburgers for dinner, however she is currently sleeping on the couch so I'm not so sure about that. Either way I'm not having hamburgers so I guess I should go figure out what I'm going to eat for dinner, hope everyone has a great day!
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