Tag Archives: comfort

Chocolate Stuff (from the Sweet Potato Queens)

chocolate-stuffChocolate Stuff

I got this recipe from a book called ‘Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love’ which I read many years ago.  I loved the book and I love this recipe.  If you want to know more about the Sweet Potato Queens, start here: http://www.sweetpotatoqueens.com/

I made some adjustments to the recipe, which calls for loaf pans.  I didn’t have enough loaf pans, so I made it in round cake pans, set into bigger round pie pans for the hot water bath, and I think it’s very good that way. The main thing is to make sure it’s cooked enough to not be runny, but not cooked too long so it just becomes a dried-out boring cake.

Chocolate Stuff is really hard to photograph.  If you look at the picture above it looks like a ‘hot mess’. But this is the kind of recipe you don’t serve at a fancy dinner party.  You should probably make this in PJs with really close friends, or maybe your family, and eat it together on a couch or recliners.

Chocolate Stuff
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick butter, melted in a small bowl
1/4 t. salt
1 t. (running over) vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa
Optional: A large handful of pecans (you can scatter these on just half of the recipe if you have purists in the house that do not eat nuts with their chocolate.)

Beat the ingredients together and use the part of the butter that sticks to the small bowl to butter a round cake pan. Set the cake pan in another pan which is larger (I use a 10″ pie plate) and pour some water into the bottom pan so you have a
water bath.
Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. The top should have a crust much like a brownie. But the bottom should be mushy, like a thick sauce. In the morning the sauce will have hardened to a mooshy consistency. Do not overbake or you will lose the gooey bottom so crucial to the whole texture experience.

If you want to double this recipe, you will be most successful using two cake pans in water baths.

The recipe serves four generously, and six reasonably. Serves one if you’re having PMS or postpartum depression, or if you just broke up with your boyfriend.

Recipes using sourdough starter

Sourdough Bread is one of our favorite family recipes…but…

Wondering what else to make from sourdough starter?

Well, these are a couple of our favorites.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread
1/2 c. sourdough starter (after feeding) (use other 1/2 cup for regular sourdough bread, or make a double batch of pita.)
2/3 c. warm water
1/2 t. salt
2 c. whole wheat flour
Mix ingredients to form dough. Let rise 8 hours. Divide dough into 6 balls. Roll out each ball into a flat oval or circle. (1/4 “ thick) Place on greased baking sheets or stones. Let rise 8 hours. Bake at 400 degrees about 10 minutes. Cut in half; separate with a sharp knife to form two pockets from each pita. Fill with chicken salad; mushrooms, cheese and sprouts; pizza toppings, or any sandwich filling.

Another idea:

Brown ‘n’ Serve Rolls
Prepare dough as directed; roll into three circles about 12 inches in diameter. Brush with melted butter. Cut each circle into 8 wedges and roll each wedge into a crescent, starting at large end. Let rise on greased baking sheets as directed. When time to bake, use a 250 degree oven and bake about 20 minutes, just until the dough is set but not browned. Let cool on racks; place into large Ziploc bags and freeze firm. When time to serve, bake frozen rolls on stones or baking sheets at 400 degrees about 8-10 minutes, until browned nicely. These rolls just about the same as freshly risen and baked rolls and are SO nice to have in your freezer! (This technique will work with any yeast bread.)

*Loaves also freeze very well. If you prefer, slice the completely cooled loaves with an electric knife (they slice better upside down) before freezing in large plastic bags. Then remove just the pieces you want to serve. If it’s difficult to separate the slices, microwave just a little (at a low power) until they come apart. Serve the bread with butter and jam, or toast it for breakfast. It’s also delicious with honey, cinnamon, or Nutella. Try making a cream cheese sandwich, French-toasting it, and sprinkling with powdered sugar or drizzling with blueberry syrup. Small loaves make wonderful gifts with a jar of homemade jelly.

Knock You Nakeds

food images
Knock You Nakeds

Knock You Nakeds

These are so good, they don’t just knock your socks off—they knock you naked! If you like nuts, by all means add them.

Combine:
1 box German Chocolate or milk chocolate cake mix
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 stick melted butter

Spread half the above batter in a greased and floured 13 X 9 pan. (It may work better to just drop it by spoonfuls. The batter doesn’t have to be solid across the bottom; it will grow together as it bakes.) Bake in 350 degree oven 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt together:
14 oz. package caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk

Pour caramel mixture over cake. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer.

6 oz. chocolate chips

Sprinkle over the top. Continue baking about 18 minutes more, until browned around the edges. They will cut more cleanly if completely cooled. These freeze well.

12-16 squares

Baked Oatmeal

baked oatmeal in individual ramekins
baked oatmeal in individual ramekins

Baked Oatmeal with cranberries, apricots, apples and pecans…LOVE IT!!

Convenient, nutritious, comforting and so delicious! Feel free to substitute other dried fruits, nuts and spices (dates and orange juice/peel…raisins and walnuts…blueberries and almonds). This can be refrigerated and baked the next morning. It also reheats nicely in the microwave.

Baked Oatmeal

1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry steel-cut oats
2 T. butter
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup diced Granny Smith apple
1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
2 T. minced crystallized ginger
1/2 t. salt
1 pinch baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cardamom
1/4 t. fresh grated nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans
extra milk or cream, for serving, if desired

In a medium saucepan, bring juice and water to a boil, then stir in steel-cut oats and butter. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add rolled oats, brown sugar, apple, dried cranberries and apricots, ginger, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg into the pan with steeped steel-cut oats.

Stir in egg, milk and vanilla. Pour mixture into a 9” baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray, smoothing the top. (Or use 6-8 individual ramekins.) Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake until the center is set, about 30-35 minutes. (If baking cold, allow at least 45 min. for a large cake.) Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Turn out onto a plate or serve in individual dishes. Serve with additional milk or cream, if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Waffles

Pumpkin pecan waffles

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Waffles

4 cups flour
2 t. baking soda
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
½ c. brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 c. butter, melted
3 c. buttermilk
6 eggs
2 t. vanilla
chopped Pecans

In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix, but don’t overbeat.
Spray preheated waffle iron with nonstick butter-flavor spray, sprinkle with pecans, pour batter over, and close the lid. When steam stops rising from the waffle iron, waffles are done. Serve warm with butter, syrup, powdered sugar or cream cheese icing (recipe follows).

Cream Cheese icing:
5 Tbs. butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tsp. milk
Beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the vanilla and blend till smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the milk a bit at a time until you get it to a spreadable consistency.

This makes a LOT of batter, but the batter can be refrigerated for several days, and the finished waffles freeze nicely.

Cheese Grits

Cheese grits in peppers
Cheese grits in peppers

Comfort food at its finest!  Good old Southern Grits, jazzed up with some cheese!  This dish is great for breakfast, and it lasts in the refrigerator for a week and heats up in the microwave or oven so easily.  It also freezes well! I like making cheese grits baked in pepper halves for a different kind of side dish than rice or potatoes. 

Cheese Grits

3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup quick-cooking grits
4 T. butter
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed
12 oz. Cheddar, grated
1 T. Worcestershire
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
Paprika

In a large saucepan, bring the broth, milk and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low; cook, uncovered, about 5-10 minutes or until grits become thick, stirring frequently. Stir in butter, cheeses, Worcestershire, cayenne and garlic powder. Pour into a buttered casserole or 9X13 baking pan. Sprinkle top with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 min. Serve hot. Yield: 8-12 servings.

Variation: spoon grits into peppers and bake about 30 minutes .

They are even better the next day.