Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cake

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Back in college, my friend’s mom would send us care packages of cake.  We were 20 at the time, we didn’t bake(or cook much) and free food was always appreciated, especially to eat at 2am.  Here is the recipe she gave us when we graduated, something that I can now serve at parties rather than in the middle of the night!

Chocolate Chip Cake

chocchipcakeIngredients

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 small package instant vanilla pudding
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • mixture of cinnamon and sugar
  • 6 oz package of chocolate chips

Directions

  • Pre-heat over to 350 degrees.
  • Combine cake mix, pudding, sour cream, oil and eggs and mix until well-blended.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture and chocolate chips in a greased pan.
  • Spread batter into pan and layer with cinnamon/sugar mixture and chips.
  • Sprinkle mixture and chips onto top layer.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

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The Basic Recipe: Coleslaw 

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I love coleslaw and the wonderful thing about coleslaw is that you can make it as simple or creative as you want.  I started making coleslaw at home after adding pulled pork sandwiches and fish tacos to the weekly rotation.  I could not find a coleslaw I liked in the cold case at the food store so it was time to make my own.

The Basics for me – mayo, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and a sprinkle of sugar.  Since there are just 3 of us, I don’t measure anything.  I take two good spoonfuls of mayo, a splash of red wine vinegar, a sprinkle of sugar and a generous squeeze of dijon.  Mix it and taste.  Based on your preference, keep adjusting it till you think it is perfect.

Now that you have the base, you can add to it.

  • I use the angel hair cabbage slaw but you could use a bag of coleslaw mix.  I have friends that cut the cabbage by hand if they want it thicker or chopped.
  • If we are eating BBQ, I leave it as is.  I use this on the top of the bun and add the BBQ sauce to the bottom of the bun.
  • If we are eating fish tacos, I add chopped cashews to the slaw.  It is great on tilapia or shrimp tacos!
  • For chicken that I pull from the slow cooker, I add green onion for a little kick!
  • Other options:  add bacon or black sesame seeds….get creative!!

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My Date Night Drink

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IMG_5288I’m not a big drinker.  Those that know me well call me a lightweight and frankly, I’m good with that.  I can sit with my one drink and slowly enjoy it while someone else has two and my bar tab is always the one people envy most. Couple that with no headache or hangover the next day and it really works for me.

So when I am out on a date night with my hubby or a night out with the girls, I needed the perfect drink.  I love champagne, enjoy vodka over other spirits and lemon is one of my favorite flavors.  So when I saw a French 76 on the menu at Houston’s, I was sold.

So how do you make it?  I have been served this drink up in a martini glass and in a champagne flute. Mix the below ingredients and you are ready for this very refreshing cocktail!

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 4 ounces of Champagne

Enjoy!!

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Recipe: Homemade Apple Tart

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I can bake for one reason and one reason only….I can follow a recipe.  But I have no idea how to make a pie crust, cookie dough or any kind of special baked goods if no recipe is available.  For Thanksgiving this year I wanted a homemade apple pie.  So I searched Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Food TV, Pinterest and then realized I was in way over my head.  So I looked up apple tarts and found something a bit more, shall I say, manageable. I printed out three Pinterest recipes, took part of each and made my own Apple Tart.  And I must say, I was pretty impressed.  So was my husband.

imageHomemade Apple Tart

Ingredients:

  • Frozen Puff Pastry
  • Two apples(I used Gala and Granny Smith)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon

Directions:

  • Peel and core the apples
  • Cut them in half, and then cut them into thin slices(half circles)
  • After slicing them thin, put them in a bowl of water with lemon juice just enough so they do not brown.
  • Microwave them for 1 minute so they are partially cooked, drain them if water remains and add brown sugar and cinnamon(use enough so they will have a nice flavor)
  • Unfold the puff pastry once thawed and cut into either two or three sections.
  • Leave a border around the edges and start layering the apples(as seen above) covered with all the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Add extra brown sugar and cinnamon after layered, before you put in the oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are puffed.
  • Serve with vanilla bean or salted caramel ice cream.

You can add more flavors with dried fruit at the end or drizzle it with caramel!  Its super easy and perfect for a quick dessert.

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