Friday, December 28, 2007

Ho Ho (Ho) Cake

Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone had a great holiday and enjoyed lots of good food. One of the desserts that I made and tend to make most years for Christmas is "Ho Ho Cake". It's really very simple and tastes remarkably like a Ho Ho, which I always thought was a cupcake but at one point was convinced otherwise. All that to say, I'm not sure what a Ho Ho is exactly. I received this recipe from a friend a few years ago in a recipe exchange. This is the only recipe I received in the exchange that I have made consistently and was worth the postage spent sending out all those letters that were supposed to return something like 36 recipes, but in reality only 5 or so arrived.

Here's the recipe-

Note: You will need a stand mixer to make this cake. Or the desire to spend lots of time with your hand mixer.


1 chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake
1 can chocolate frosting
3/4 c. evaporated milk
2/3 c. solid shortening
1/2 c. (1 stick) margarine
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Bake cake according to package directions in a 9 by 13 inch pan. Let cool completely. Combine evaporated milk, shortening, margarine, sugar and vanilla in bowl of stand mixer. Mix on medium-medium high speed for 20 minutes. Spread filling over cooled cake. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until set. Microwave frosting for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Pour over the cake and spread evenly. Return to refrigerator until set, approximately 3o minutes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Soup and Spouses

Last night our small group celebrated Christmas with "Soup & Spouses". After studying a book on marriage throughout the fall, it was fun to meet the husbands and watch the couples interact. We had three delicious soups, which all ended up being the same color: white chicken chili, cheesy potato soup and cheeseburger soup. Yum. Below is the recipe for the white chicken chili. One comment about the recipe: it calls for both sour cream and heavy cream to be added at the end, but when I doubled it, I just could not bear to add that much cream. So, if you were making this recipe, I would suggest adding the sour cream first and then determining how much cream you would like to add on top of that, depending on how much more liquid you think it needs. Hope that helps!

White Chicken Chili
(This recipe is courtesy of a friend who got it from another friend. I do not claim it as my own...yet.)

1 lb. chicken, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 TB oil
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilies
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/3 tsp. cayenne (more if you like it extra spicy)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 oz sour cream
2 c. heavy cream

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion and garlic powder. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add chicken mixture to a large soup pot along with beans, green chilies, chicken broth, salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne and black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add sour cream and heavy cream and heat through (do not boil).

Yield: 4-6 servings

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Beef and Potato Bake

Here's a good "meat 'n potato" casserole that's pretty much a one dish meal. I like to serve it with some flaky biscuits.

Beef and Potato Bake

4-5 Cups Shredded frozen hash browns
3-4 Tbs Oil
1/8 tsp pepper

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey
1 cup water
1 pkg brown gravy mix
1/2 tsp garlic salt
10-12 oz frozen peas and carrots (the bag that is a mix of the two, the carrots are diced small)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can Durkee Onion rings

In a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish, combine potatoes, oil and pepper. Firmly press mixture on bottom and sides of pan to form shell. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Meanwhile, brown the meat in a deep frying pan and drain. In a Pyrex measuring cup, whisk together water and gravy mix until dissolved and pour over the meat in the pan. Add garlic salt and stir together. Bring to a boil, add vegetables and reduce heat. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the onion rings. Pour filling into the potato shell. Put back in the oven and bake uncovered at 350 for 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese and onion rings over top and bake 5 minutes longer.