Thursday, January 27, 2011


Crazy Chocolate Cake

It's National Chocolate Cake Day so whip up this wonderfully moist chocolate cake that's so rich it doesn't need frosting. Grab the kids and make it tonight. It's fun and easy to assemble with a unique no-bowl mixing technique. And it gets even wackier because the recipe calls for vinegar and no eggs. It's crazy delicious!

Crazy Chocolate Cake
No bowl required. Mix ingredients together in a 9”x 13” baking pan. No need to grease the pan. Preheat oven to 350°.

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
Sift flour, cocoa, granulated sugar and baking soda into baking pan.

Make 3 wells in flour and add:
2 tablespoons vanilla
2/3 cup salad oil
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 cups water

Mix well with a fork. Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar or frost as desired. Cake stays moist and fresh for several days. NO EGGS REQUIRED.
Quick Fluffy Frosting
1 cup white granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or flavoring of choice
1 egg white

Dump all ingredients into glass or stainless mixing bowl. Add ½ cup boiling water. Start mixer and mix until the frosting will stand in peaks.

Both of these recipes can be successfully cut in half, although a half-size baking pan for the cake might be a challenge to find.

Valentine's Day
Sweet Apple Temptations and Pork Chops & Applesauce make thoughtful "You're Special To Me" gifts for moms, daughters, sisters and aunts.
Send a heart-filled cookbook today and I'll enclose a complimentary greeting card with your personal sentiment. Valentine's Day is my second highest sales day of the year, so don't delay.
Love puts the fun in together, the sad in apart, and the joy in a heart. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Susan's Sensational Fudge Pie

A while back I ran across an old “food for thought” verse that was circulating the internet back in 2001. It seemed apropos at the time so I used it in my Carlsbad Current-Argus cooking column. In reviewing this delightful verse, yet again, I thought its message was well-worth repeating in 2011. I guess there are some things that never change, as well they shouldn't. Happy New Year!

I Want What She's Having

I have a new delightful friend; I am most in awe of her. When we first met I was impressed, by her bizarre behavior.

That day I had a date with friends, we met to have some lunch. Mae had come along with them, all in all a pleasant bunch.

When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups. Except for Mae who circumvented, and said, ice cream please, two scoops.

I was not sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. Along with heated apple pie, Mae added, completely unabashed.

I could not take my eyes off Mae, as her pie a-la-mode went down. The other ladies showed dismay; they ate their lunches silently, and frowned.

Well, the next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Mae. My lunch contained white tuna meat; she ordered a parfait.

How come you order rich desserts, when I feel I must be sensible? She laughed and said, with wanton mirth, I taste all that's possible.

This year I realized how old I was, she grinned, I've not been this old before. So, before I die, I've got to try those things for years I had ignored.

I've not smelled all the flowers yet; there are too many books I have not read. There's more fudge sundaes to wolf down, and kites to be flown overhead.

I want to wade again in water, and feel ocean spray upon my face. Sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.

I want peanut butter every day, spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long-distance calls; to the folks I love the most.

I've not cried at all the movies yet, nor walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind in my hair; I want to fall in love again.

So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner. Then should I die before nightfall, I'd say I died a winner.

Because I missed out on nothing, I filled my heart's desire. I had that final chocolate mousse, before my life expired.

With that, I called the waitress over, I've changed my mind, and it seems, I said, I want what she is having, only add some more whipped-cream!

This year I’m loosening up the reins to adopt Mae’s light-hearted philosophy. Instead of narrowing my path with restrictions, rules and resolutions, I’m going to take pleasure in new found freedom. I’ll broaden my life and enrich it with delectable foods, enjoyed with friends and family because entertaining and cooking keeps my heart light, kindles my creativity and enhances my well being. Happy cooking adventures throughout the New Year!

Susan's Sensational Fudge Pie is nothing less than mm, mm, delicious. It’s fudge and nuts inside a not-so-sweet crust, which makes for an intriguing dessert that results in an "I'll have more" chocolate pie. Susan Garrison of Mesa, Arizona used to make this pie for me "by request" as my birthday dessert.

Susan's Sensational Fudge Pie
¼ cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 375˚. Cream butter with brown sugar; add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Melt chocolate chips over hot (not boiling) water; add to creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla, flour, nuts and coffee. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 25 minutes. Decorate with candy hearts, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, fresh fruit or flowers.

Yield: 6-8 servings