Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Marinade

Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Marinade


Hey ya'll, Angie here!!  I am really honored to be bringing you a guest post from my sweet friend, Heather over at Basilmomma.  She is always coming up with fantastic recipes and I couldn't think of a better person to have for my very first ever, guest post.  So, without further a-do, I would like to introduce to you, Heather.... 

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Hi, everyone, Heather here, I have been married for 15 years this year and I have to say my husband has really been holding out on me. It's like he had this 15 year secret locked away and I finally have the password to enter. 

Anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, is aware of my extreme lack of sharing skills in the kitchen. Simply, I am not good at sharing my space. It doesn't matter how much I have on my plate or how I feel I will drag my butt in the kitchen when I have to. On the flip side that area of our home is like my sanctuary. The female equivalent of a man-cave.


For me cooking is a release. The kneading, whisking, pounding, ripping...try it. You will see what I mean. I love to take out my frustrations, anxieties and insecurities on an unsuspecting lump of dough or a tough piece of meat. For that moment it is just about me and the meal I am preparing. I block out the world and focus on that one task at hand. I feel the same way about vacuuming but that is a story for another time.


So when I came home from work and saw what was laid out for me in the kitchen I was literally brought to tears. How could he have known that at that moment all I needed was for someone to see that I needed a few minutes of calm. That I, the one who needs no "caring for", needed someone to pluck me out of that day and say "you need to sit" He handed me a glass of wine, took my purse and led me to the table. Tended to my Boys after-school needs and he made me a plate.

I just stared. I had a suspicion that something was up when that morning he sent me a text saying he was going to have a food surprise for me after school. I thought maybe he was going to stop by The Flying Cupcake or bring me home some olive oil like he sometimes does.

Now at this point you may wonder why this was all such a big deal to me. You would have to know about how he just never cooks for me. That is always my place in the home and I am the one who bestowed that crown. Maybe I like to be in control...maybe I just like to eat what I want to eat. I choose to believe the latter :)

But for me, to know that he knew me so well that I didn't even have to tell him that what I needed at that moment on that day was to be forced to be still and quiet was an overwhelming feeling. He allowed me the peaceful silence that my soul needed. To be a better mother, wife and person.

My husband made one of my favorite summer grilling marinades. You can grill skinless split breasts or boneless depending on what you prefer. Sometimes when we are short on time we just brush the reduced sauce on at the end and skip the marination step. He used chicken from a local producer. There is something to be said for knowing where your food comes from and what is in it. Obviously that is up to you and what your finances dictate.

Who would have known he was such a good and organized cook. I kind of felt bad that all of these years when he was watching me that he really wanted to join in. I guess I need to accept that there can actually be 2 cooks in the kitchen!


Ingredients:
5 pounds of bone-in split breast chicken (skin removed) about 6 large pieces
1 small seedless watermelon
12 oz jar of apple jelly
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt/fresh pepper to taste


Add about 4 cups of watermelon chunks to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl to separate the bits of white seed and remaining pulp. Discard that and save the "water".

In a saucepan add the entire jar of apple jelly and heat on medium-low. This just needs to heat and liquefy. Remove from heat and add the watermelon liquid, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper and lime juice/zest.

Allow this mixture to completely cool. Add 3/4 of the marinade to a shallow dish along with the chicken. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for 2 or 3 hours. Reserve the remaining mixture in the saucepan for later.

Cook the chicken as you prefer (ours was grilled) and discard the marinade the chicken was in. Return the saucepan of reserved marinade to low heat and simmer until thickened, 5 or so minutes. Use this to brush over cooked chicken just before you remove from the grill.

Big southern hugs, 
Angie & Heather


Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Recipes

Hi ya'll & Happy Memorial Day to each of you!!  These are just some of the dishes you might find spread out on our table for Monday's big celebration.  We hope your day is filled with family, friends & tons of delicious eats.  And as you celebrate, remember and pray for those who have and are fighting for our freedom.  We love you, dearly and are truly grateful for what you do for us.  Many many thanks!!

Big southern hugs, 
Angie

Creamy Parmesan Pasta Salad

CJ & A's Chicken Salad

Ham & Swiss Poppyseed Sandwiches

Sweet Potato Chili Cheese Fries


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Easy Cheesy Souffle'



Good Morning, ya'll! The term souffle' scares the heck out of me, as I am sure it does many of you.  The thought of separating the eggs, then re-incorporating them carefully and hoping the dish doesn't collapse on ya, are just some of the aspects that make me want to go run and hide.  But all that changed when I stumbled upon this recipe.  All the quality of a souffle' but none of fuss.  As you can see, this dish is light and cheesy, perfect for a brunch!!  And it can be prepped and ready to go in the oven, in less than about 20 mins.  This is the 2nd time we have made this dish in 2 weeks so we REALLY love it!  This time, I added some garlic and reduced the cream cheese, I did not use all 4oz that it called for and it was still fantastic!!  So, next time you wanna make something that looks fancy,  but is so easy, this is your go to dish.  

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp white pepper
1 cup whole milk
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup (8oz) cottage cheese
4 oz cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (if you don't have enough, use what you got)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
2 Green Onions

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 8x8 square baking dish.  
In the bowl of a stand/hand mixer, beat eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and milk until foam begins to form.  Then gently stir in the cottage cheese, sharp cheddar and the garlic.  Don't forget to add pepper.  Pour into prepared baking dish, then drop in little dollops of cream cheese and top with green onions.  Bake for approximately 1 hr minute or until eggs are set.  Allow dish to cool for about 5-10 minutes to ease the slicing process.  

Makes 4-6 servings

Big southern hugs,
Angie


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Great Food Truck Race filming

Season 2: The Great Food Truck Race is set to premiere on 
Sunday, August 14th at 9pm Central


We headed to midtown on Sunday, in the rain, to have some fun and check out the food trucks that rolled into Memphis to compete in Season 2 of The Great Food Truck Race!!!
There are a total of 8 trucks competing but there's always a favorite team and here's who we picked, I would like to introduce you to...Hodge Podge from Cleveland, Ohio.  
Their specialty is Midwestern comfort food, oh YUM, just wait til you see the pics below!!! 


We were so impressed with how fantastic their food was that we just had to get a sneak peak behind the scenes.  Look at how much fun, Chef Hodgson & Catie are having, while working hard to create culinary masterpieces for all us, who were standing out in the rain.  These contestants are truly at the top of their game.  And we wish them all the best luck in this seasons race.  We have a feeling they are going to be the ones that all the other teams are going to be watching out for.  Go, HODGE PODGE!!!!  

Contestants, Chef Chris Hodgson & Catie Hodgson (not pictured Jacquelyn Romanin)



Hush Puppies

Fried Avocado Tacos

PB & J French Toast - we are totally recreating this ;)
Wanna know the latest?  
Come check em' out, Hodge Podge Truck on Facebook!!



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

When we crave comfort food, noodles and cheese hit the spot every time. We took the original Buffalo Sauce recipe, revamped it a bit and made a nice creamy sauce that would go great with pasta and cheese. We are already thinking that next time, we add some Velveeta to it, as well. Just to be clear, this dish does not contain a spicy heat. My tummy does not allow me to eat spicy things anymore so we had to come up with our own version of what spicy means. And here spicy means flavor, without the heat. This is a great alternative for those of us who love the flavor of buffalo sauce but can't have the heat!!! It's frees us to still enjoy things that we did when we were younger but without the negative side effects, know what I mean ;)

My hubby took one bite of this and feel in love. He went back for seconds and he took it for lunch today, hehe. I LOVE it when he takes dinner from the night before, as his lunch the next day. It's his way of saying, great job honey!!! Not that he doesn't tell me exactly what he thinks but sometimes, actions speak louder than words. And that's what makes me sooo happy!!!!

Ingredients:
8 oz large elbow noodles, cooked according to package directly (2 tsp salt in water)
1/2 cup green onions
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 roasted chicken breasts, shredded

Sauce: (only need to use about half this sauce but I make up a big batch & save the rest for later)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 T sweet Hungarian paprika (use Cayenne for a spicier version)
1/4 cup flour + 2 T
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup milk (3/4 cup whole & 1/4 cup half & half)
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Dijon
1 clove garlic, grated
salt & pepper to taste (1 tsp salt & 1 tsp white pepper)

In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add paprika and simmer in butter for about 1 minute. Then add all the flour, cook for an additional 1 minute, to remove that raw flour taste. Then add the sour cream, milk (slowly) til it begins to thicken. Then add your vinegar, Worcestershire, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a stock pot, over med high heat cook noodles according to package directions and season water with 2 tsp salt. Cook & drain.

Add noodles back to pot, add half the sauce and the chicken, stir together til coated. Add in 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese and stir til melted. Add the green onions in and stir. Garnish with extra cheese, serve & enjoy!!

Makes 3-4 servings


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Creamer


Like many, we have been purchasing store bought flavored creamer for years.  And at Christmas, we stock up on all the flavors that come out, my favorite is the Gingerbread Latte.  But every time we look at the ingredients on the back, we shutter to think what some of those words really mean.  How the use of chemicals was ever approved, in the foods we eat, is still beyond my comprehension.

The first batch didn't turn out too great, we used whole milk and not even close to enough sugar.  With batch #2, we knew had to step things up a notch.  We opted for half and half and more sugar, now it's much sweeter and creamier than batch #1.  Still not quite as sweet as the grocery store brands but then again their use of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup is not something we don't have access to, so we consider that a good thing.  Our coffee actually tastes much creamier and has much more flavor than it did.  Maybe the chemicals were masking the true essence of the coffee.  So, Batch #2 YOU are a definite keeper!!!  

Think of all the fun flavors you could do with this, almond, cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, etc..You could even infuse this with fresh mint to create a peppermint flavored creamer, really your options are endless.  Maybe I will work on that Gingerbread Latte for you, who says we have to wait til Christmas to enjoy gingerbread.  Besides Christmas was meant to be 365 days a year ;)


Ingredients:
1 qt half & half
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Place everything into a sauce pot and bring to a simmer (not boiling).  Turn it off and let cool to so that the flavors infuse.  If you infuse with herbs, just strain them out then place in refrigerator overnight, this will allow the flavors to really come together.  ENJOY!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creamy Parmesan Pasta Salad


WINNER of the Gooseberry Patch 
Meatless Monday contest!!!!

It's that time of year again, time for BBQ's, picnics and being surrounded by family and friends.  Next time you have a gathering to attend and want to take something that will have folks beggin' for the recipe, this is it!!  We have a local deli here in Memphis that is much loved for their incredible pasta salad.  In fact, I have spent many years attempting to copy it and failed miserably...until NOW!!!  We have eaten this for every meal (except breakfast, not that I didn't consider it) since I made it, on Saturday.  Now, if that doesn't tell you how fantastic it is, nothing will.  This dish is going to be at every BBQ/picnic, we attend this summer!!!


Ingredients:
4 oz medium shells
4 oz large elbow
3/4 cup cucumber, diced
3/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup pimentos, diced
garnish with 1 T cilantro
season to taste (1/4 tsp salt)

Creamy Parmesan sauce: 
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp grated garlic
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
season to taste (doesn't need much extra salt because of the parm & probably added 1/4 tsp white pepper)

Prepare the sauce, set aside to allow the flavors to marinate.  Prepare your noodles according to package directions (don't forget to salt your water), drain and rinse in cold water.  In a large bowl, add everything and toss in dressing.  Garnish with cilantro.  You could refrigerate this, if you want, allowing the flavors to really come together.  But with something this good, you won't want to wait.




Big southern hugs, 
Angie

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry BBQ Sauce



As this classic southern staple goes, everyone has their own version, which is special to them.  We know that there are regional differences, but I also think it's important to make versions that suit our families tastes, as well.  Just because tomatoes and I are not on speaking terms (which many of you know), doesn't mean I have to give up enjoying this traditional southern treat.  My challenge was to create a traditional sauce with a non traditional ingredient, strawberries!!!!  Here's what we found, with this being a fruit based sauce, you taste the fruit the moment you dip into it.  It's sweet and tangy, almost like an Asian BBQ sauce.  And it paired well with chicken, red onions and cheese to make a BBQ Chicken Quesadilla (see pic below).  The sauce had a nice balance of savory and sweet, which southerns are quite addicted to.  My hubby suggested adding chili powder to it, which I didn't mean to leave out...oops, but overall, we loved how it turned out!!  And we are very excited about making up a batch of chicken tenders and using it as the dipping sauce.  Please feel free to double this, depending on how many folks you are trying to feed, my batch was small for testing purposes.   

Ingredients (makes 1/2 cup sauce):
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp allspice
season to taste (3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper)
1 T olive oil

In a small saucepan, over med heat bring above ingredients (except olive oil) to a simmer.  Then reduce to low and simmer for about 30 mins.  Add olive oil at end.


BBQ Chicken Quesadilla






Sunday, May 15, 2011

Strawberry Puree



Welcome to strawberry season!!  This week is all about inspiring ideas on what can be done with a simple pint of strawberries. We get ours from Jones Orchard, a local, well known establishment. They even let you out into their strawberry fields and pick your own, what a treat!! Not only do I know where they come from but they were hand picked by me, it just doesn't get any better than that.  Today, we whip up a batch of puree, let it refrigerate overnight and tomorrow we will move on to making that BBQ sauce I mentioned, YUM...can't wait!!

Ingredients:
1 pint strawberries
1/4 cup honey

Toss into a food processor or blender for 1 minute. Then strain in a fine mesh strainer, this will get out all the seeds and leave you with a much smoother consistency.

Makes approximately 1 3/4 cup puree

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tzatziki Sauce


This sauce is amazing and perfect on Lamb sliders, which is what we are having tonight for dinner!!  The ingredients used to make this sauce are very similar to an Indian sauce, called Raita.  I just substitute dill for the mint because that's what I usually have on hand.  It's one of our favorite sauces.  There was in fact, a traditional Raita in our refrigerator, thanks to the generosity of the owners at the hotel my hubby works at.  He brought it home earlier this week and we have been eating it ever since.  Had to make more for the sliders tonight!!  This sauce is so easy to prep, even if you don't own a food processor, you could grate it or stick in a blender..it's perfect either way. ENJOY!!!

Ingredients:
1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into chunks & placed in food processor
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste (1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp white pepper)

Mix all ingredients well, cover and store in refrigerator overnight before serving.
Serve with pita, pita chips, as a relish, on burgers, or use as a vegetable dip.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chicken & Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups


In my opinion, this was much easier to put together than a traditional lasagna dish.  And the more you can do ahead of time, the quicker it goes.  Rolling up the noodles gives you the same layers you would get with a traditional lasagna.  But without all the hassle of trying to figure out which layer comes next, it's done for you.  Plus, there's no trying to calculate out, how to properly third everything so it comes out just right at the end.  We used the leftover roasted chicken from Shiloh Farm TN and it was just as juicy and tender.  Also, it paired perfectly with the Creamy Paprika sauce.  This will definitely be how we make lasagna from now on.  What a great outlet for any leftovers you have in your fridge!!  Feel free to experiment and make it your own.  Served this, along side a salad with homemade ranch dressing and can't wait to have it leftover, it's going to be even better!!  

Ingredients: 

6 lasagna noodles
2 cups roasted chicken, shredded
5 oz spinach, cooked 
1 (big) clove garlic, grated (or use 2 small)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 green onions, sliced 
1/2 cup cheese (Italian mix)
season to taste (3/4 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp white pepper)
1 tsp Sunny Paris seasoning (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a small mixing bowl, mix above ingredients (except noodles), set aside.  

Meanwhile prepare your noodles according to package directions but take off about 2 mins of boiling time.  This will ensure they don't overcook once you place them in the oven.    

Place noodles on a surface and allow them to cool just a bit so you can handle them.  As you can see I used a pastry mat, they did stick slightly but came right off.  

Meanwhile prepare your sauce (see below).  

Spread chicken mixture evenly on the noodles, don't be afraid to use your hands, then roll them up.  

Place some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 square baking dish, place roll ups on top of sauce.  Top with more sauce (don't worry if you don't use it all, trust me you will find something to pour it over ;) sprinkle with cheese and garnish with parsley.  

Place in oven, uncovered and bake for approximately 30 mins or until bubbly.  




Creamy Paprika Sauce
4 T butter
4 T flour, lightly 
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1 clove garlic, grated
season to taste (1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper)
a couple grates of nutmeg
1 tsp paprika 
1/2 tsp onion powder

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and stir for about a minute. Then add warmed milk and still to it begins to thicken. It will take several minutes for it to thicken. Remember, you can always add more milk at the end to get desired consistency. Add nutmeg, garlic, paprika, onion powder and finally season with salt & pepper to taste.

Entire dish makes 6 servings


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Roasted Chicken from Shiloh Farm



I stopped by our Farmers Market, right around the corner from where we live, to pick up some fresh veggies for this week.  As I was leaving, a special booth caught my eye.  There were 3 little girls sitting behind a table, one of them was sowing and this cheery voice can from behind them, saying Hi, how are you?  That voice was their mother, Angela and owner (along with her husband) of Shiloh Farm TN.  Angela and I immediately started chatting about their small farm just east of Memphis about 40 mins.  She showed me pictures of their animals and the land on which they roam.  I can not put into words what's its like to see with my own eyes, the land that our meat is being raised on.  It's like proudly waving an American flag in front of our home, saying we love the USA!!  It just doesn't get any better than that.  After we chatted, I promised them I would return on Sat with my husband to pick up a chicken and that's just what we did.  When I walked up to the booth, Angela knew exactly who I was and greeted me, just like family.  That's all we really want, isn't it?  Good food, raised by good folks, surrounded by family and friends.  Well, that's exactly what Shiloh Farms is all about and I so thrilled to have met them!!


Ingredients:
3.8 lbs frozen whole chicken
1 lemon, zested and sliced
1/2 onion, quartered
1 T rosemary, chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
Seasoned with olive oil, salt, white pepper and paprika

Approximate cooking time: 20 mins per LB

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a 5 qt dutch oven, lay lemon slices on bottom, place chicken (still frozen) on top of lemons, then add in onions.  Wait to season it til it's cooked a bit.  Cook covered for 1 hour, then remove and add rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika.  Place back in oven and cook for an additional 30 mins.    Then remove lid and continue cooking about 20 mins to brown the skin.  Remove and let rest for 10 mins.  Serve and ENJOY!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sausage Artichoke Ravioli



This recipe came to me after we had some left over ground pork and I wanted to do something special with it.    Top of the World Farm is owned by a friend of mine that I went to high school with and I wanted to showcase what amazing meat they produce.  This dish is super easy and according to my hubby, tastes fantastic!!  I assume at this point he wouldn't lie to me.  Plus, he specifically requested that I pair this sauce with it, which was from a lasagna dish that I haven't posted yet.  This creamy paprika sauce is quickly becoming our go to sauce for all thing pasta related, you really have to try it!!! 

Ground pork verses sausage, what's the difference?  Well, sausage that you find in the grocery store usually comes already seasoned, plus it has a lot of extra preservatives and additives that aren't really necessary.  Think of ground pork as the purest form by which you get to season according to your own taste preferences.  And for me, it's easier to digest than sausage.  Overall, you are getting a better product where you have more control of the flavors and that's really what we are all about.  Hope you enjoy! 



Filling (makes approximately 12-16 ravioli) 
1 cup cooked sausage/ground pork (we used fresh ground pork from Top of the World Farm)
1 garlic clove, grated
3 T artichoke hearts, finely chopped 
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 package round wonton wrappers  

In a small bowl, mix the everything together until it makes a dense ball, I was able to get a spoon to stick straight up out of the middle of it (how's that for directions, sounds so country ;)

Portion about 2 tsp in each wrapper, brush each with water around the outside of wrapper and carefully close them up, being sure to get all the air bubbles out.  Also make several more than you need so that just in case any of them do break while boiling, then you will still have plenty to serve.  Place them in simmering water (almost boiling but not quite), they cook up in a matter of a few minutes.  Served with Creamy Paprika sauce (see recipe below).

Creamy Paprika Sauce 
2 T butter
2 T flour, lightly 
1 cups milk, warmed
a couple grates of nutmeg
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 tsp paprika 
1/4 tsp onion powder
season to taste (1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp white pepper)

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Add flour and stir for about a minute.  Then add warmed milk and still to it begins to thicken.  It will take several minutes for it to thicken.  Remember, you can always add more milk at the end to get desired consistency.  Add nutmeg, garlic, paprika, onion powder and finally season with salt & pepper to taste.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweet Potato Chili Cheese Fries



Looking for a NEW twist on a classic southern favorite, this is it.  This easy side dish is soooo good, we wanted to run through our flooded streets here in Memphis, proclaiming the deliciousness!!  With everything we have been dealing with, it was sooo comforting to enjoy something so simple.  We definitely needed this comfort food.  And these little guys are prefect served along side some creamy honey mustard dressing.  I think I will make up another batch tonight!!!  Wanna take it to the next level?  Well, next I am thinking about making up a batch of my chili sauce to pour down on top of these and serve them at our next sporting event party...oh YUM!!

Ingredients:
1 (20 oz bag) frozen sweet potato fries
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
your favorite melting cheese (used Monterey Jack)
salt & pepper to taste
Served with Honey Mustard dressing

Love:
1.  Preheat over according to package directions.  

2  Place frozen sweet potatoes (unseasoned, you will season them halfway through the cooking process) on a baking sheet.  Cook them half as long as the directions say, take them out and season them accordingly, you can add more or less depending on tastes.  Ours were seasoned pretty liberally but you can use what's above as a guideline.  

3.  Return them to the oven to complete the baking.  

4.  Remove them, sprinkle with your favorite melting cheese.  I tossed them back in the oven on broil to melt it off and it worked great!!!  




Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Royal Chocolate Cake for The Prince of Yates




This cake was inspired by the Royal Wedding, I made it on Friday April 29 in honor of the festivities and for my hubby as a thank you for being my Prince for the last 10+ years.  This is the recipe he asks my mom to make for him for every birthday.  I have never been allowed to make his birthday cake because he knows I will alter the ingredients.  So my mom is the only person allowed to make this for him.  My hope is that if he would allow me to alter a few of the ingredients, then my cake would become his favorite and we could live happily ever after.  But he's not having it, so I had to take matters into my own hands.

My biggest complaint about the original recipe for this cake is that there was no salt in it, (wait WHAT did she say??) that's right, no salt!!  Secondly, it calls for Oleo/Margarine (my hubby didn't even know what that was until we got married and he saw an old recipe my mom left sitting out one day ~snickers~).  Well I am a BUTTER girl and everything is better with BUTTER, plain and simple.  Finally the frosting, I am not a fan of frosting, I am always trying to come up with NEW frosting recipes that don't involve powered sugar, I feel like it's a bit grainy for my taste...so I fixed that as well, now we have this...a buttery, chocolate-y cake with a very creamy frosting.  I would like to think it's perfect, like my love for my Prince ;)

Melt together (over med heat):
1 stick butter
1/2 cup crisco
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt

Mix together (once this is mixed together pour in the melted chocolate mixture and whisk til incorporated):
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup regular white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (can sub 1/4 cup sour cream plus 1/4 cup milk & whisk..this is what I did and it worked great!)
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp almond/vanilla extract (of course I used almond)

Icing (cream together):
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 stick butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Chocolate Ganache (melt together over med heat):
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 2 (8 inch) round pans and pour half the batter into each pan.  Bake for about 20 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes then remove them from the pan and allow them to cool for up to 1 hr.  You can prepare the icing and Ganache while they are cooling.  Place 1 round cake upside down on cake pedestal then add your Ganache, reserving a few tablespoons.  Place 2 cake top side up on the first cake.  Then add your icing and top with remaining Ganache as decoration.  Place in fridge and allow it to set for up to 1 hour or you can just enjoy it!!  It's going to be very creamy ;)
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