Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

IMG_3257Ingredients: 

CAKE:

– 1 (15.25 ounce) box chocolate Devil’s Food Cake mix

– 1 box (appx. 6 ounces) of Jello brand instant chocolate pudding mix

– 4 eggs

– 1 cup vegetable oil

– 1/2 cup room temperature water

– 1 bag (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips (I prefer to use mini morsels, though anything will work)

– 1 cup sour cream (I like to use Daisy brand)

– 9 inch Bundt pan

– baking spray

GANACHE:

– 1 cup (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

– 3/4 cup (6 ounces) boiling heavy whipping cream

– 3 tablespoons sweet cream butter, melted

– 1 tablespoon powdered/confectioners sugar for dusting

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven 350′. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix eggs, oil, and water. Add pudding mix, then cake mix. Mix until smooth. Little by little, spoon in sour cream while mixer is on. Add chocolate chips.

2. Grease Bundt pan with baking spray, or as I was using this time, organic Olive Oil spray from Trader Joe’s (works really well). Pour batter into greased pan. The bowl will be heavy, so I asked someone to hold the bowl while I poured the batter in. Make sure to evenly spread the batter around the pan.

3. Bake 50-55 minutes in the oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool thoroughly before inverting onto a flat surface. I choose to level my cake the slightest bit (optional).

4. Make the ganache; Boil heavy cream and melt butter. This can be done over the stove or quickly in the microwave as I did. Add 1 cup semisweet chocolate to bowl and mix slowly until ganache forms and is smooth and creamy.

5. Transfer cake to a serving plate (I used a cake table turner). Slowly pour ganache over the top and sides of the cake. I used a squeezy-candy bottle for this step. Sift powdered sugar over the ganache as garnish. Serve while warm with vanilla ice cream (optional). Plastic ceram wrap will keep the cake good and moist for up to 8 days. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Cucumber Watermelon Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into cubes or small chunks
  • 8 cups of seedless (regular works too) watermelon, cubed
  • mint
  • salt and pepper
  • 6-7 tablespoons balsamic vinagrette, more or less

Directions:

  1. Peel, cut, and cube cucumbers. Cut seedless watermelon into cubes (or use a melon baller) and put both into a large bowl.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and vinagrette to bowl of cucumber and watermelon and stir so  that all seasonings are equally spread.
  3. Mince your mint and add to bowl. Toss complete salad and serve on a hot summer day. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can of pumpkin (15 oz.)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or cinnamon extract

Directions-

  1. Mix all ingredients together, cracking in the eggs in the bowl last.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  3. Grease a loaf pan with baking spray and pour in batter.
  4. Bake in oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes – 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into bread. Check about every 30 minutes, and don’t let the bread burn!
  5. When the bread is done cooking, take out the pan and let the bread cool thoroughly, about 10-15 minutes.

Plate and serve with vanilla or pumpkin ice cream and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Raspberry Chicken

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam (if you can’t find seedless, regular still works)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 chicken breasts, thawed and defrosted

Directions-

  1. In a pan, mix jam, red pepper, vinegar, and soy sauce. Heat on medium-low and stir constantly.
  2. Meanwhile, in another pan with oil, begin to cook your chicken until a meat thermometer reads 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Add chicken to raspberry sauce and turn heat on again. Coat chicken with sauce throughly.
  4. Plate chicken and serve with veggies and rice. Enjoy!

Egg/Cheese Melt

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INGREDIENTS:

– 1 egg

– 1 piece of bread

– grated colby jack or cheddar cheese

– thyme, for garnish (substitute dry dill or a little bit of rosemary)

– salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1) Grab a pan, and set over the stove on medium heat. 2) Lightly spray non-stick over the pan, and lightly toast the bread. If you have pre-grated cheese from a bag, you can use that, or you can hand grate the cheese as well, which is what I did.  Now, after a good minute or two, your bread should be done toasting. Take it off the pan, and sprinkle with the cheese. 3) With the pan still heated, crack the egg onto the pan and fry. When finished frying the egg, using a spatula carefully lift it onto the bread and cheese. 4) Now, sprinkle with thyme. 5) Cool slightly, and serve. Enjoy!