Archive for November, 2012

November 30th, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cherry Cake

Seriously, is tomorrow really December 1st?  I know that is what the calendar says, but what happened to the rest of the year?  Where did it all go?  I still have to get out my Christmas decorations.  Hopefully everyone else is better prepared than I am.  Of course, I am in the full swing of holiday eating; there is no shortage of delicious food laying around my house….

Who doesn’t love a little dark chocolate every now and then. This cake is rich and moist, it is great because it is so simple. It uses a cake mix, and can be made a couple of days in advance.  Just don’t add the ganache and chopped chocolate until the day you are ready to serve it.)

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cherry Cake

Ingredients:

Unsweetened cocoa
1 package yellow cake mix with pudding
1/2 cup sugar
1 small box chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup container sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 (3-ounce) dark chocolate bars, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan, and dust with cocoa; set aside.  Preheat oven to 350.

Combine cake mix, sugar, and pudding mix, eggs, oil, water, sour cream and vanilla  in a large mixing bowl.  Beat for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.

Coarsely chop 3 chocolate bars; fold cherries and chopped chocolate into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Coarsely chop 1 chocolate bar. Place chopped chocolate and butter in a small bowl; set aside.

Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and immediately pour over chocolate and butter. Whisk gently until smooth. Cool glaze in the fridge 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Drizzle glaze over cake. Coarsely chop remaining chocolate bar; sprinkle chopped chocolate over cake.

*Recipe adapted from Christmas With Southern Living 2006.

November 29th, 2012

Blue Cheese-Apricot Bites

It is definitely that time of year when our schedules fill up with Holiday Parties. Whether or not you are hosting or just contributing to the menu, we need food that is dressed to impress. These bite size appetizers are sweet and savory; creamy and crunchy.  These little gems will be a hit where ever they are served.

Blue Cheese-Apricot Bites

Ingredients:

2 tsp. butter
2 Tbls. finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, finely crushed
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola, Roquefort, or other blue cheese (1 ounce)
1 ounce cream cheese
16 dried apricots
Snipped fresh rosemary (optional)

Directions:

In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add walnuts and sugar; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until walnuts are lightly toasted. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary; cook and stir for 30 seconds more. Transfer nuts to a foil-lined baking sheet; cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine Gorgonzola cheese and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Spoon about 3/4 teaspoon of the cheese mixture on top of each dried apricot. Sprinkle with nuts. If desired, garnish with additional fresh rosemary.

*Recipe from bhg.com

November 28th, 2012

Hot Vanilla with Chocolate Whipped Cream

Chocolate and Vanilla are two classic flavors.  So many desserts are chocolate or vanilla.  Ice cream can be chocolate or vanilla, same with cake.  But why is it we always drink hot chocolate?  Have you ever had hot vanilla?  It tastes so warm and comforting just like the chocolate version. 

Chocolate whipped cream is just as easy to make as the original.  Topping off the Hot Vanilla with a little whipped chocolate never hurts, so next time you need something to warm you up, give the Hot Vanilla a try.

Hot Vanilla

Ingredients:

1 cup milk
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a mug. Warm in the microwave for about 90 seconds or until desired temperature is reached. Serve with a dollop of chocolate whipped cream.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whipping cream
4 Tbls. chocolate syrup
1-2 Tbls. powdered sugar

Directions:

Whip cream until frothy. Add chocolate syrup and 1 Tbls. powdered sugar; whip until soft peaks form.  Give it a taste, if it is not sweet enough for your liking add a little more powdered sugar.

November 26th, 2012

Christmas Blessings Mix with Printable Tags


Let the Christmas Season begin!   Some of you may remember or have used our Thanksgiving Blessings Mix.  Because it has been so popular and because we had a request from one of our followers, we decided to create a Christmas Blessings Mix.  We hope that it provides you a simple and easy way to share the love and blessings of Christmas.

Just mix the ingredients below {amounts will vary according to the number and size of your containers} and attach the printable gift tags or snack bag toppers to make a beautiful and meaningful Christmas gift!

{Note:  For the snack-size bags you’ll need to find the mini, individually-wrapped candy canes -We just added one to each bag.}

 

Christmas Blessings Mix

Bugles:  Shaped as a trumpet proclaiming peace on earth, good will to men.

Pretzels:  Symbol of a mother’s loving arms.  Mary wrapped her Son in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger.

Red and Green (M&Ms):  Red symbolizes the love of God who sent His son so we can have eternal life which is represented by the Green of the evergreens.

Candy Canes:  The shepherd’s crook brings back sheep strayed from the fold, it reminds us to reach out and help others.

Peanuts:  The promise of joy is planted in our hearts.

Hershey Kisses:  The love of family and friends that sweetens our lives.

 

Download the Christmas Blessing Mix Tag Here:

Dropbox link to Download here {added 12.6.2013}

 


 

Download the Christmas Blessing Mix Snack Bag Topper Here:

Dropbox link to download here {added 12.6.2013}

 

 

November 21st, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!   We’ll be back Monday to with more delicious ideas for the holidays.

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