Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hot Fudge Cake

I LOVE my slow cooker. There have been weeks where I didn't even put it away, just left it on the counter so it would be there in the morning. I have only recently begun use it to make desserts. I started out by halving this recipe, but half way through, I forgot, so I had to go back and add in more ingredients. I do this more often than I would like to admit.

Let me just say, this is not really a work morning, put it together fast recipe. I decided this after I put it together (slowly) and was late to work this morning. This is more of a Saturday afternoon recipe, or maybe a snow day recipe.

This is definitely a keeper. It is very rich. The recipe says that whipped cream or ice cream is optional. It really is not. I am not terribly slowed down by rich desserts, but this one definitely found my speed bump. This cake reminded me of one my grandma used to make, only not as good. (Is ANYTHING ever as good as Grandma used to make??) I believe this recipe came from Taste of Home.

One note, my slow cooker seems to run a bit hotter than others. I cooked mine on high and the cake was done in about 3 hours.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Cake
1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons baking cocoa, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1-3/4 cups boiling water
Vanilla ice cream

In a bowl, combine 1 cup brown sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Spread evenly into a 3-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
In a bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar and cocoa; stir in boiling water. Pour over batter (do not stir). Cover and cook on high for 4 to 4-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

This week's Try-It Tuesday presented us with Baked Teriyaki Chicken that I found on www.allrecipes.com. I really like this site because it has new featured recipes every day, so I just click on the bookmark and scan around to see if there is anything I might like.

I halved this recipe (which I do with nearly every one I try) since my kids don't ever seem to eat more than a quarter cup of supper. Until dessert, of course, but that is covered in the next post :) This recipe is also VERY MESSY! All told today, I think DH did the dishes three times, bless him. Everyone seemed to like this version of teriyaki, even though I personally found it to be a little too sweet for my taste. I will definitely keep this one, but probably will not add in the full half cup of sugar next time. We had fried rice as a side along with stir fried veggies.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Baked Teriyaki Chicken
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 skinless chicken thighs

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.
P.S. I detest cookbooks that do not have pictures, so I have included some pics here. Not good ones mind you, and also not ones that could be taken with Jeff present....I am sure he would make fun.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Quest for the Perfect Hot Chocolate Part IV

I gotta say, gettin a bit discouraged here. But in a good way. I am still looking for my perfect hot chocolate. Digging around in my drawer, I have found one that seems promising.

This recipe actually uses chocolate chips - can't get much more chocolaty than that, can you? Even if it does use powdered milk.

The instructions for making the actual drink seem kind of complicated to me. 3 heaping tablespoons for each 3/4 cup water. Not something that is easily remembered from winter to winter....

So, let's see, shall we?

Instant Hot Chocolate Mix
3 C Instant nonfat dry milk powder
2 1/2 C Semisweet chocolate morsels or mint chocolate chips or butterscotch chips or milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 C Mini Marshmallows

1. Place half the milk and chips in a food processor and whirl until finely ground.
2. Repeat.
3. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
4. To make 1 cup, place 3 heaping tablespoons of mix into a mug, add 3/4 cup boiling water and stir.

Wow. And by that I mean son of a gun that is some chocolaty hot chocolate. It is like I just melted down the chocolate chips and drank that. I distinctly remember adding in the powdered milk, but it all must have leaked out. Maybe it evaporated.

I used semisweet chips for this. I would have liked to have used milk chocolate (I am NOT one of those people who claim to love dark chocolate), but I didn't have any on hand. I think that might have taken some of the edge off. The idea of mint chips intrigues me, I love mint (see my original post).

All in all, not too bad, but not what I was looking for. It's a bit too labor intensive for me, and really lacks the creaminess I am searching for.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Country Apple Dumplings

We had a lot of dumplings on this chilly winter evening. Didn't really plan it that way, but it worked out well. I found this in my desk drawer at school, apparently just waiting for me to find it and take it home.

As I was waiting for these to bake, I posted on my FB status that I was making apple dumplings. Not only did I get a huge number of responses about this, so did my husband. Apparently not many railroaders have apple dumplings for dessert on a weeknight.

I didn't have Mountain Dew, so I used 7Up instead. This version is also my halved recipe, and it is a darn good thing I cut it down, because I would have eaten the entire batch. These are heavenly. I don't know that I have ever had apple dumplings in my lifetime, so I'm not sure what possessed me to try them now. But boy am I glad I did.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Country Apple Dumplings
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated crescent roll dough
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Mountain Dew
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.
2. Cut apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Cook until thickened and add vanilla. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Mmmmmm......It cooled off quite a bit today. Actually, it got colder as the day went on. So this was the perfect supper to come home to.

The original recipe came from www.allrecipes.com. I tweaked it a little bit by adding in the frozen vegetables. I also added in about a cup of chicken broth that I had left over in the fridge. I am really glad I did, because even with that, this was still a pretty thick soup. I had leftovers for lunch the next day and our English teacher was making fun of my "chowder." I almost needed a knife to cut through the soup :) Next time, I will definitely add more broth. Now that I think about it, that was probably the result of the extra vegetables.

Click here for Printable Recipe.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon butter
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 onion, finely diced
10 oz package frozen vegetables
1 (10 ounce) package refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces
1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low. About 1 hour before serving, add frozen vegetables. These can be added at the beginning, but are more firm if added here. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Quest for the Perfect Hot Chocolate Part III

So I'm cleaning off my kitchen counter, my cabinet door is open, and the Hershey's cocoa box is at eye level. Guess what it says on the side?? Perfectly Chocolate Hershey's Hot Cocoa. How long has that been there? Surely, Hershey's knows what they are doing.

Perfectly Chocolate Hershey's Hot Cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or Splenda sugar substitute
  • 2-3 teaspoons hershey"s cocoa
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in large mug.
  2. Heat milk in microwave at HIGH(100%) for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until hot.
  3. Gradually add hot milk to cocoa mixture in mug, stirring until well blended.
  4. Stir in vanilla.

We're getting there. At first, I thought this was the one. Nice balance between chocolate and sugar and milk. But then the after taste remained. Not overpoweringly so, but I still felt the need to brush my teeth right away. Although this one moves up to the top of my list, I am still looking.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Quest for the Perfect Hot Chocolate Part II

I really wanted to like this one. Not because it is "fat free sugar free", but because it had pudding in it. What a good idea. Typically I steer clear of any recipe that advertises itself as fat free. To me, that simply means flavor free. The sugar free intrigued me. One of my New Year's resolutions was to cut back on sugar. (This is not going well, by the way)

So I tried it. I made it non sugar free, simply because I don't have Splenda in my pantry, so I was 'forced' to use real sugar.

Fat Free Sugar Free Hot Chocolate Mix


  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Store in airtight container.
  3. To make a cup of hot chocolate use 1/4 cup of mix and 1 cup hot water.

Nope, not it. There are rave review aplenty on the Recipezaar.com site this recipe came from, but I just am not getting it. It could be the nonfat dry milk powder. That in general I don't like. There really wasn't much in the way of a chocolate taste - it tasted more like...wait for it....pudding.

The search goes on.