Tag Archives: cooking

Easy Lovin’ Chocolate Lava Cake for Your Valentine

"All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt".  Charles M. Schultz.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”. Charles M. Schultz.

 

Make these individual chocolate “molten lava” cakes and get laid lots of compliments from your loved one for Valentine’s Day.  Trust me.  Nothing says love like burning the roof of your mouth on the melty chocolate center of these little gems.

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Serves 4   (or maybe only 2 – one for your sweetie, 3 for you)

1/2 cup butter

4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, divided

2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks

6 Tablespoons cake flour, sifted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Fresh berries for garnish (optional)

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In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, melt butter (cut into chunks) and chocolate (broken into pieces) for about 1 minute.  Stir.  If butter is not melted, microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each.

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When butter is completely melted, add 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar and stir until smooth.

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Add egg and yolks and stir until batter is smooth.  Add vanilla extract and sifted flour.  Stir until smooth.  Do not over-mix.

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Pour batter into 4 ramekins sprayed generously with non-stick baking spray.  Bake cakes for 12 minutes.  The sides will be set but the top will still be soft, but should not be runny.   Let cool 3-5 minutes.  Place inverted serving dish over ramekin, and turn over to release cake onto plate.

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Lightly sift confectioner’s sugar over cake.

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Decorate with berries, if desired.  Serve warm.

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Enjoy…but seriously – don’t burn your mouth on the hot, gooey chocolate center.  It’s very hard to make out with burned lips and tongue.  Or so I’m told.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day all you crazy lovers!

 

Photo credits:  All photos property of k8edid.

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Filed under General Mumblings, K8e's Kitchen

A Post in Which I Answer the Age Old Question – What Has She Been Smokin?

Warning – this post is rated MLO (Meat Lovers Only). This post may contain images that are disturbing to vegetarians.

(Inhaling and holding my breath) Here, you want some of this? It’s good shit stuff…

Don’t you think it is funny when people inhale and try to talk while holding the smoke in their lungs? I do. Think it’s funny, I mean. I don’t actually inhale anything, but I have friends who do.

Over the years (or months if that’s how long you’ve known me) you have undoubtedly asked yourself this very question “What has that girl been smokin’?” Well, today I intend to answer that question because (cough, cough, cough – exhale) inquiring minds want to know.  This, dear ones, is what I am smoking today.

"Rubbed and Resting"

Yep, that’s right.  Pork butt.  Whole chicken.  Beef roast.  Sausages (as in Jimmy Dean pork sausage rolls).  And it smells heavenly.  As does my hair from tending the little square smoker out on the patio.

Shelby watches over the smoker - drooling at the lovely smell.

Every time I smoke something (food – I mean FOOD, people), my husband asks me if I wrote down the recipe for the rub I used.  So I ask him, “When you make love to a beautiful woman do you need a recipe?”  I see him struggle to come up with the best possible answer for that one, (What would the best answer for that question be, anyway?) So I answer the question for him. “Of course, you do”. 

Then I realize that is not a good analogy, since I don’t have a recipe.  So I try again to answer the question for him.  “No, you go to the store and buy something you know will do the trick!”  Again the analogy is not quite right. 

I’m just kidding, folks.  I don’t send him to the store for a dry rub for my meat, I make my own.  Uh, oh, I can see where your minds are going with that one.

Okay, okay.  So smoking stuff does not make me funnier (or even funny, for that matter).  But my rub recipe goes something like this.  Stand in front of the pantry door that is covered with little racks of spices.  Get a bowl and toss in some brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, dry mustard, salt, freshly ground black pepper, a dash of cayenne, some allspice and a little cumin.  Don’t measure and don’t even guess how much of each ingredient is added, just add according to your own preference for each.

Flatten out (butterfly) a whole chicken.  What?  You don’t know how to flatten out a whole chicken? Watch this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjWtodUmHgw&feature=related

Or, if that link isn’t working (I couldn’t get Word Press to embed the video) – Get your kitchen scissors and cut down both sides of the backbone, pull it out and save it, with the giblets, for making stock.  Then open up the chicken, rinse it off, and dry with a paper towel.  Then rub your special rub all over it,  and all over the pork and beef roasts, as well.  Roll your sausage rolls in the spice rub.  Let them set for an hour or so, basking in their lovely rub, to bring them to room temperature.

Slap everything on the preheated little smoker.  Chicken takes about an hour per pound – keeping the temperature in the smoker between 225 and 250.  So my 5+ pound chicken will be done in about 5 hours.   The roasts will cook a bit longer. The sausages about 3 hours.  I’ll check with a meat thermometer to ensure things are done before I start pulling them off.

Keeping a little fire burning

Sometimes, I have been known to sit on the patio with liquid refreshments because I need to keep track of the smoker, and let’s face it – we all need fluids.  This is work, people.  Serious, hot, smoky work done from my Zero Gravity reclining lawn chair with a drink in my hand.

Margarita cocktail

Image via Wikipedia

Mine is a charcoal smoker, so I add charcoal briquets (without the nasty lighter fuel on it – gack!!), natural charcoal (which is already burned wood – who knew you could buy already burned wood!!), and chunks of hardwood (hickory) throughout the day. 

Supplies needed, in addition to lime juice, tequila, and salt

I check the coals every 1/2 hour or so, and add water to the water bowl as needed.  The water keeps things from drying out.  I keep a pan of water on top of the smoker so it is pretty well heated up when I add it (otherwise, adding cold water lowers the temperature in the smoker box).  There are little vents on the sides of the smoker and every once in awhile I’ll twist one open or closed, depending on how the temperature is holding.  I told you, this is very demanding work…I have to set down my book AND my drink to accomplish all this.

Anyway, if I haven’t passed out from the “refreshments” or managed to give myself a heatstroke from lounging in close proximity to the smoker in the bright Florida sun, I will end up with a delicious array of yumminess like this:

The dark outside is called the "bark" and the pink coloration is the "smoke ring"

Some of which I will serve today with strawberry shortcake for dessert (strawberries I picked yesterday at a friend’s farm).  My beloved husband will do all the clean-up.  And I will not cook for the rest of the week.

So, what have you been smokin’?

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Filed under K8e's Kitchen, Uncategorized

Tidings of Comfort (Southern) and Joy (Almond) – Or Let Them Eat Cakes

I know you are looking for a few more gooey, yummy recipes for those holiday get-togethers.  Here are a couple of swell offerings.  Or you could just let everyone else fend for themselves, get yourself a bottle of SoCo and a bag of Almond Joy Bites, and call it a day.
English: Red Southern Comfort logo
Image via Wikipedia

Southern Comfort Cake

CAKE:

1 pkg yellow cake mix

1  pkg (3.5 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup Soutern Comfort liquer

1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 9 inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Combime the cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, milk, oil, and Southern Comfort.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Add chopped pecans and stir well.

Pour batter into pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cake plate.  Pierce with wooden skewer over top and sides.

GLAZE

1/4 cup butter

1/8 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Southern Comfort

Melt butter in small saucepan. Stir in water and sugar.  Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in Southern Comfort.  Brush 1/2 of glaze evenly over top and sides of cake.  Let cake cool again.  Brush or drizzle remaining half of glaze over top and sides of cake.  Dust with sifted confectioners sugar before serving.

English: An Almond Joy bar, broken in half.

Image via Wikipedia

ALMOND JOY CAKE

1 (18.5 oz.) pkg. devil’s food cake mix
1 (12 fluid oz.) can evaporated milk
2 1/2 c. white sugar
25 large marshmallows
14 oz. flaked coconut
1/2 c. butter
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 oz. toasted almonds

Mix cake mix and bake as directed for one 9 x 13-inch cake.In a saucepan, combine 1/2 of the evaporated milk and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar. Bring mixture to a rapid boil. Quickly remove from the heat and add marshmallows. Stir until melted. Stir in coconut. Pour mixture over the top of the baked cake.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and the remaining evaporated milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add butter and chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Mix in toasted almonds. Pour mixture over the top of the coconut topped cake. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Cake tastes best if baked the day before.

(Recipe courtesty of Cooks.com) http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,186,152181-226201,00.html

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Carsyn’s Cheesy Confetti Chowder

This little beauty is my youngest granddaughter, Carsyn.  She will be 5 in a couple of weeks.  She is a little spitfire with a quick laugh and equally quick temper.  She loves this soup.  The colorful diced veggies look like confetti and it is cheesy and tasty.  It is a lot of chopping and peeling, cooking and stirring, but she is worth it!!!

CARSYN’S CONFETTI CHOWDER

1 pound smoked sausage, diced (I’ve used turkey, but regular works well, too)

1 med onion, diced

1/2 each red, green, and yellow pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 cup frozen sweet corn

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 14-oz cans chicken broth

1 can evaporated skim milk

1/4 cup all purpose flour

8 oz Velveeta cheese cut into small cubes (or use “real” cheese, shredded, but Velveta melts better)

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine diced sausage, peppers, celery, carrots, corn, potatoes, and onion in soup pot with broth.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until all vegetables are soft.  Combine flour and evaporated milk, and stir (or shake in covered container) until all lumps are gone.  With heat on med-low, add milk mixture, stirring until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in Velvetta (or shredded cheese).  Continue to stir until cheese is melted.

I’m not sure how many servings this makes – probably 6-8 1 cup servings (or 4 servings if Carsyn is coming over).

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Filed under General Mumblings, Soup Nazi

Katy’s Kick Ass Chili –

I’m not really interested in discussing whether true chili has beans or not, or whether it’s spelled chili or chile or chilly.  I’m not a purist – I just know what I like.

Okay, this is probably not for the kiddies or those with weak stomachs.  It is not blazing, kill-your-gut-hot, but you definitely will be aware you are eating chili and your sinuses will be cleaned out.  You are warned.

KATY’S KICK-ASS CHILI

1 pound HOT Italian sausage (I use turkey, usually, but regular will work)

1 diced onion

3-4 cloves chopped garlic

2 16-oz cans chili beans in hot sauce

2 14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes

1 14 oz can beef broth (you can use beer, but I usually drink that and use broth instead)

3 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 -3 Tbsp chopped hot jalapeno peppers (pickled), with 1-2 tsp of the juice

Shredded cheese for garnish (optional)

Brown sausage (if using links, remove from casing).  Add diced onion and sautee until onions are soft.  Add garlic and sautee 1-2 minutes longer, taking care not to scorch garlic, because that tastes bad.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for about an hour, stirring frequently, again taking care not to scorch – it just tastes bad (can you tell I’ve scorched it a couple of times?).  Garnish with shredded cheese, if desired.

You’re welcome.

If you’d like to share your chili recipe, I’d love that, too.  just put it in the comments or post a link.  If I make it and like it better than mine, I’ll declare you the winner.

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Filed under General Mumblings, Soup Nazi