I love parties, especially birthday parties, and I love celebrating when I have a book birthday. This fun recipe is one I came up with in honor of A LITTLE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, my 2021 Christmas book. Whatever your celebration, this might do the trick for you! I've paired a light chocolate cake with caramel frosting and it's been a hit! So, here you go.
Ingredients for cake:
2 1/4 cup cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cocoa powder (You can add more or less, depending on how chocolatey you want your cake.)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp (don't use that icky unsalted stuff!)
2 whole eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Directions: Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, then add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until mixed. Pour into muffin tins lined with paper cupcake holders.
Theoretically, this should make two dozen cupcakes, but I always end up overfilling
so I usually wind up with less.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the old toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack. When cool, frost with a caramel frosting.
I don't want to take credit for something I didn't create myself. I got the recipe for the caramel buttercream frosting I used on my cupcakes from this site, where they have lots of yummy recipes. If you hop on over there you will get detailed instructions on how to make a fabulous caramel frosting
Oh, how we love the humble zucchini. So much you can do with it. Including combining it with chocolate to make a yummy moist cake. I got it years ago from my old high school bestie,and I'm still making it. (Thank you, Donna!) I think you'll enjoy it.
1 cup oil
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a handful of chocolate chips
Sift dry ingredients together. Mix zucchini, oil, eggs, sugar and sour cream, then add dry ingredients and mix. Add chocolate chips until blended, then pour into a greased 9X13 pan and bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
We can't always get to the beach for a beach party, but we can bring the beach to us with this yummy shrimp dip.
1 eight oz brick of cream cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped black olives
1 cup (or a little more if you like) chopped cooked shrimp
dash of Worcestershire sauce
dill to taste.
Directions: Let cheese stand at room temp until soft, then beat together with sour cream. Mix in remaining ingredients and chill. Serve with crackers.
Here's a great salad to enjoy this summer - fast to make and always a hit, this tuna salad can be expanded or shrunk, depending on how many you want to feed. Ingredients listed here, you can easily feed four.
2 large carrots, grated
2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
1/2 cup green or red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
scant 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 7 oz can tuna fish, drained
a dash of salt, if you like
crunchy Chinese noodles (however many you want to add)
Mix all the above ingredients but the noodles and refrigerate. Add the noodles right before serving. If you think you're going to have leftovers, instead of mixing in the noodles, simply sprinkle them over the bowl or over individual servings. They lose their crunchy texture when left in the fridge.
I met Pete and Betty Addicks on an Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary II. (Back when we all could travel!) They were our dinner companions every night and we never ran out of things to talk about with this interesting couple. One of the topics of discussion was food. When Pete mentioned his Irish Coffee Jello creation I begged him to share it with me so I could share it with you. So, here it is, just in time for St. Patty's Day. Thanks Pete!
Irish Coffee Jello
1. Make Coffee Jello:
5 oz cold strong coffee
3 oz cold Jameson
2 Tablespoons of Stevia, Splenda (or sugar)
4 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 cup very hot strong coffee
Whipped Cream or Whipped topping.
Note: If using sugar instead of artificial sweetener, put the sugar in the hot coffee so that it will dissolve.
Combine the cold coffee, cold whiskey and sweetener in a bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on the surface.
Let the bowl and contents soak for 1 to five minutes. The Jello may look wrinkly on the surface.
Add the hot coffee to the bowl'
Stir the bowl until the gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into an 8” x 8” cake pan. Glass is best.
Refrigerate until the gelatin is set, around one hour.
Cut the gelatin int 1” squares.
2. Serve in a tall glass, alternate layers of Whipped Cream and gelatin, starting and ending with the whipped cream.
3. Optionally top with some form of small symbolic chocolate or a few fresh, frozen or freeze dried berries.
Do not exceed 16 oz of fluid, coffee and liquor combined. Too much booze and the Jello will not gel.
This dish contains the four Irish food groups: Caffeine, Sugar, Fat and Alcohol!
Here's the perfect quick treat to make for Galentine's Day or Valentine's Day. Or any day! All you need is mini pretzels and a bag of Rolo chocolate caramel candies. Preheat your oven to 250. While it's heating set out whatever number of pretzels you wish on an ungreased baking sheet. Unwrap the candies and set in the middle. Once your oven is ready, pop in and let them melt for 5 or 6 minutes. Remove from oven and press flat with a small spoon. Stick 'em in the fridge to set up for about half an hour and you're good to go. Instant party!
r'TIS THE SEASON...
For Festive goodies. And your gang might enjoy these peppermint cupcakes. This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.
Ingredients (for cake)
2 &1/4 cup sifted flour
2&1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 &1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp cooking oil (for extra moistness)
1 tsp vanilla extract
red food coloring
3 ounces white chocolate chips (so about a quarter of a package)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
peppermint extract (to taste)
crushed peppermint candy for topping
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl, add eggs, butter, sugar, and half the milk and mix slowly. Add the rest of the milk and food coloring (I used 1/2 tsp for a lighter color but you might want to put in more), then beat until well mixed. Pour into muffin tins lined with festive cupcake liners and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack.
Pour white chocolate chips into a metal bowl. Heat cream in microwave until just before boiling. Pour over the chips, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 - 7 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and mix until smooth. Add butter and mix some more. Add your powdered sugar and peppermint extract. (Start with a small amount, like a quarter tsp and then add more as you go. This is a potent extract and it's better to go slowly. You can always add more. You can't take it out once it's mixed in there.) Note: you might want to add a dribble more cream if your frosting feels too stiff.
Frost your cupcakes and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy
It's that time of year when we want stews and soups - and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch! (Remember Mom making that for you? I do.)
Here's little twist on the traditional grilled cheese. You'll want two slices of sourdough bread, Gouda cheese, thinly sliced and unpeeled apple, also thinly sliced. Stuff the cheese and apple slices inside the bread, butter both sides and grill until golden brown. A tasty treat to accompany that bowl of tomato soup!
Here's a fun breakfast treat your family will enjoy! Easy to throw together, and what's not to like about raspberries and white chocolate!
generous 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cups flour
4 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup fresh raspberries (if using frozen, thaw and drain)
3/4 cup milk
powdered sugar glaze
Cream together sugar and butter, then mix in egg. Sift together dry ingredients and add, alternating with the milk. (Note: you may need to add a tablespoon more milk depending on how juicy your berries are. You just don't want your batter to get runny.) Add chocolate chips, then gently fold in raspberries. Drop by large spoonfuls into greased muffin tin, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake at 350 for twenty minutes.
Take from oven and allow to cool slightly, then add glaze (1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp milk) Remove to a baking rack when further cooled.
Makes about 14.