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Friday, March 27, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Cabbage Wedges!

This is a really great way to cook cabbage.  It has so much flavor and the cabbage comes out tender, but not cooked to death.  I do not like my cabbage over cooked.  You can do these on the grill or place the bundles on a cookie sheet and do them in the oven.  Here is what you will need:
1 large green head of cabbage, cut in 6 wedges
1 large sweet onion, cut in 6 slices (Vidalia is great for this)
6 slices thick cut bacon
black pepper
garlic powder
soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
6 Tbs. brown sugar
Cut the cabbage in six equal wedges.  Cut around the core in the center so that it's not included.   Place each wedge of cabbage on  a double thickness of aluminum foil large enough to close it up in.  If you are doing these on the grill, the heavy duty foil works best.  Spread butter on one side of the cabbage.   Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and garlic powder to taste.   
Place a slice of onion on top of the cabbage wedge.
Wrap the slice of thick cut bacon around the cabbage wedge and onion slice.  It sort of holds it together.  This is best if you use the thick cut bacon and not the paper thin type, because if you use the thin cut it doesn't cook up as well.   Drizzle each wedge with a little soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Don't drench them, just a little drizzle.  Then sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar on top.   Sort of press it into the bacon.   This give the cabbage such a good flavor.
Close your little bundles up good and tight.  If you are cooking them in the oven, place them on a baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes.  If you are grilling them on the grill, you can place them directly on the grates or even better, if you have one of those grilling sheets with the holes in it, use that.  It will be much easier to move them off the grill.  Place over medium heat for about 30-35 minutes with the cover closed.  Turn them over several times during grilling with tongs so they don't burn on one side.  Mine usually take less time on the actual grill than in the oven, but it depends on how hot your grill is.
Be careful when you remove and open these little pouches, because they are really hot and full of steam.   The best way I have found to open them is to cut them open with my kitchen shears or you could use a sharp knife.  Remove to a serving plate with a spatula!  Serve while good and hot!  These are so yummy! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Black Forest Cake!


The "Black Forest Cake" is a dessert that originated in Germany as so many great desserts and baked confections did.  Black Forest is the English name for the German dessert called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, which literally means Black Forest Cherry Torte.  
This is a really elegant looking cake it's perfect for the holidays or for a special occasion.  Here is what you will need to make it:
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1  1/4 cups water
4 (1 oz. each) squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tsp. vanilla
1  3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate Filling
6 oz. German Chocolate
3/4 cup butter
Cream Filling
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. almond flavoring
1 cup cherry pie filling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat in the water just until blended.
Microwave the 4 ounces of chocolate just until melted and stir until smooth.  Stir in vanilla until blended.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the melted chocolate.   Beat after each addition.
Line four 9 inch round cake pans with parchment or wax paper and spray them liberally with nonstick baking spray, even the paper.   Divide the batter evenly between the pans.  Place in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Cool in the pans for ten minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.
To make the chocolate filling, melt the German Chocolate in a the microwave until melted.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in the butter until melted and smooth.
For the cream filling, place the cream in a glass bowl and beat with a mixer until it starts to thicken.  Add sugar and almond flavoring and beat until peaks form. 
To put this together, place on cake layer on a cake plate.  Spread with 1/4 of the chocolate filling and 1/4 of the cream filling on top.  Repeat the same layers two more times with the filling.  Top with the remaining cake and top it with the chocolate filling. 
Place the rest of the cream filling in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.  Pipe a border around the top edge of the cake.  This sort of serves to hold the cherry filling on top and it looks pretty!  Carefully spoon the cherry pie filling on top.  Spread the remaining cream filling on the sides of the cake and smooth with a cake spatula.  Store in the refrigerator until time to serve!
Slice and serve!  Doesn't this make a pretty presentation? Your guests will be so impressed!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Holy Cow Cake!

I guess this cake got it's name, because when you taste it, you will say "HOLY COW" that is good!  It's similar to another cake they used to call by various names.....Robert Redford cake was one of them.  However, this cake kicks that recipe up a notch or two and it is to die for!  This also keeps for up to a week in the fridge, if it lasts that long.   Here is what you will need for this cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix, plus the ingredients called for on the box to prepare it (eggs, oil, water)
8 oz. caramel topping
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand Milk)
1 cup Butterfinger Candy Bar or Heath Bars, crushed
12 oz. frozen whipped topping
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box and bake for the time recommended for a 9"x13" baking pan.  Remove from oven and while warm poke holes evenly over the top of the cake with a wooden skewer or the end of a wooden spoon.  I have even used a meat fork.
In a bowl, mix the caramel topping and the sweetened condensed milk and pour evenly over the top of the cake while it is still warm!
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the crushed candy bar pieces evenly over the top.  Allow the cake to cool for about an hour on the counter.
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, whipped cream and 1 tsp. vanilla until fluffy.  Drop by spoonful on the top of the cake!
With a cake spatula, spread over the top.  This frosting is fairly thick and stiff so it works best to do it this way! 
Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of the candy bar pieces evenly over the top!  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour!
Cut in squares and serve!  Holy Cow this is good!!!  This cake just gets better each day also.  It can be kept up to a week in the refrigerator, if it last that long!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Apricot White Chocolate Fudge!

This is a really easy fudge to make and the addition of the apricots makes it something just a bit different.  This one turns out great every time!  Here is what you will need:
1/2 cup butter, plus 2 tsp., divided
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups sour cream
12 squares of baking chocolate (1 ounce each), chopped
1 (7 oz.) jar of marshmallow cream
1 (6 oz.) pkg. of dried apricots, chopped
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Line a 9" square pan with foil and butter it with 2 tsp. butter.   Place the sugar, sour cream and remaining butter in a heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees or soft-ball stage.  If you drop a little of it in cold water it will form a ball.  This takes about 5 1/2 minutes of cooking time.  Be sure to stir it the whole time.
Remove from the heat.  Stir in the chocolate until it's melted.   Stir in the marshmallow cream until blended.   Fold in the apricots and nuts.   Pour into a prepared pan. 
Cover and refrigerate overnight.   Using the foil, lift the fudge out. 
Discard the foil and cut in 1 inch squares.
Place the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate to maintain freshness!

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes!

This is a really simple recipe, but the combination of ingredients makes it so tasty!  These are good with almost any main course...pork, chicken, or beef!   I grow most of my own herbs and I usually always have tons of rosemary so I like to incorporate it in as many dishes as I can.  I think it just adds the best flavor!   If you don't have fresh rosemary available, you can use dried, just use less.  Here is what you will need for this recipe:
5 cups of quartered or halved small red or Yukon yellow potatoes, skins left on
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Parsley
Wash the potatoes and depending on how big they are, quarter them or halve them. Leave the skins on.  Place them in a zip lock bag with 1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil, 1 package onion soup mix and the chopped rosemary.  Make sure the bag is zipped and shake the mixture with the potatoes.  Place in a baking dish in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, turning them over once at 20 minutes. 
 When they come out of the oven sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Parsley!