Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling
I am learning to bake. Part of my process is starting with boxed cake mixes and then adding ingredients. Eventually. I will bake from scratch, but until then….

This is DELICIOUS. Trust me about the coffee. Even if you don’t like coffee, use it. You cannot taste the coffee, but it does enhance the flavor of the cake. You will have leftover frosting if you follow these directions. I dressed up the frosting, so that it would taste homemade.

A problem many people have when baking a cake is that they do not allow the cake to cool completely. I make my cakes the night before, cool them, wrap them in plastic wrap and then freeze them. I frost them frozen. It keeps them moist and stops the crumbs from smearing into the frosting.

Serves: This makes 2 -eight-inch cake layers
Time:   Active time for cake 10 minutes; Cook: 30-35 Minutes: Cooling time: varies
Active time for making frosting 5 minutes; frosting cake 20 minutes-cake in a few hours
Hardware: Measuring spoons and cups, 2 mixing bowls, a small bowl, hand mixer, rubber spatulas, a large spoon, 2- 8-inch cake pans, 1 small sauce pan, 2 plastic storage bags (Ziploc), a cake round or plate, a cooling rack, an offset spatula


  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix (15.25 ounces) I used Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate
  • 1 package INSTANT pudding (3.6 ounces) I used Godiva Dark Chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons freeze dried coffee
  • 1 stick melted butter (½ cup)
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • Flour/butter for the pans

  • 1 cup no seed, all fruit raspberry preserves -I used Bonne Maman
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup very cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 sticks softened butter (1 cup)
  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 16 ounces of your favorite chocolate frosting
  • Fresh raspberries (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour the cake pans. Set aside. Put 2 sticks of butter into one of the mixing bowls to soften. Set that aside. Place the other stick of butter into the second mixing bowl and melt in the microwave.
  2. Mix the milk, sour cream, and eggs into the melted butter until combined.
  3. Mix in the pudding and coffee. Beat on medium for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl.
  4. Mix in the cake mix on low speed for about 30 second and high speed for about 2 minutes, pausing to scrape down the bowl.
  5. Pour the batter the into prepared pans and bake it, on the middle rack, for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cakes in the pans for about 10 minutes then cool them completely on the rack before frosting.
  7. Mix the preserves and sugar together in the sauce pan over low heat. Allow it to come to a low boil. Mix the very cold water and cornstarch together and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Stir the cornstarch-y water into the preserves. Stir. Boil for a minute or two remove from the heat and allow to cool. Set aside.
  8. Mix the frosting, softened butter, vanilla and milk together. Mix on low until blended. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Chocolate Fence
9.   To frost the cake, place the raspberry filling into one of the plastic bags. Place about ⅓ cup of the frosting into the other. Snip a small corner from the chocolate filled bag. Place one of the cake layers onto the cake round. Then use the plastic bag to make a ½ inch tall ‘fence’ around the edge of the cake (see the picture.)   Then snip the edge of one corner of the bag holding the preserves. Fill in the ‘fenced in area.’ This holds in the filling and stops the top layer from sliding around. Spread around evenly, without going over the ‘fence.’ Carefully place the other layer on top. Then use the offset spatula to frost as usual. Garnish each slice with raspberries before serving.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Chile Rellenos

My husband loves chile rellenos (rey Eh-nos). A chile relleno is a Mexican version of a stuffed green pepper. Chile relleno literally translates into filled pepper. I decided to teach myself to make them. They are a little complicated and the first time I tried my chiles fell apart. I persisted.

You should always read a recipe through completely before attempting it. However, in this case you should DEFINITELY read this recipe through completely before attempting it. Visit all the hyperlinks. Make sure you have everything on had before starting.

Once you master this, you can stuff the peppers with cooked, seasoned ground beef or shredded pork. If you wanted to keep the dish vegetarian, you could stuff it with beans and rice.

Servings: 4 chile peppers
Time:  Active time 1 hour; Cook: 10 minutes, rellenos in about an hour
Hardware: To fire roast the peppers: A cutting board and knife, a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet, tongs, a large plastic container, paper towels
For the peppers: Measuring spoons and cups, 2 mixing bowls, two small bowls for the eggs, a hand mixer with very clean, beaters, a bowl for dredging, a deep, heavy skillet, tongs, a knife, a small spoon, a silicone spatula, kitchen gloves, a paper towel covered plate

Chile Rellenos

  • 4 large poblano chile peppers
  • 8 ounces shredded asadero (queso quesadilla) or Colby Jack (more/less)
  • ½ + ⅛ cup flour
  • 4 larges, separated eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cumin or chili powder for seasoning
  • Oil for frying

  1. Separate the eggs. This is easiest to do if they are cold. However, egg whites whip up better warm, so leave everything out until needed. Make sure the bowl you will be using and your beaters are SPOTLESSLY CLEAN.
  2. Wash the peppers. Dry them thoroughly. Place the whole peppers into the skillet or roasting pan. Then place the pan into the oven on the top shelf under the broiler and roast until the pepper skin is blackened and blistered. You may need to turn them once or twice. Cover the peppers with the plastic container and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Wearing the gloves and using a paper towel, rub the blistered skin from the peppers. Be very careful not to tear the peppers while removing the skins. In my how-to for fire roasting peppers, I rinse the skins off, but don’t do that here (also don’t cut up the peppers). You want to retain that smoky char. You might want to look at those instructions though to get some idea of what you are doing.
  3. Very carefully, as the peppers are soft, make a very small slice into the side to remove the seeds. If the pepper has torn, just use that tear. Carefully remove the seed and white membrane. You can use the spoon or your gloved finger. But be careful not to tear the pepper!
  4. Season the peppers inside and out with salt, pepper and cumin or chili powder.
  5. Place some shredded cheese into each pepper. Be careful.  Don’t force or overstuff.  The chile should still be able to close back up.
  6. Place ½ cup of flour into the dredging bowl. Lay each chile into the bowl, gently. Flip. You want a very LIGHT coating of flour. Set them aside. But lay them so that the cut is closed.
  7. Next, whip the egg whites in the clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. That means that when you remove the beater, the eggs will retain their shape and not collapse. In the second mixing bowl, beat the yolks, a pinch of salt, and the ⅛ cup flour. Then GENTLY, using the silicone spatula, fold the yolks into the white. You want to add the yolks to the whites and not the other way around. You don’t want the egg whites to collapse.
  8. Fill the skillet half way up with oil. Heat it over medium high. You will know that the oil is hot enough if a drop of batter placed into the skillet sizzles and floats to the top immediately. If it sinks or doesn’t fry up, the oil isn’t hot enough.
  9. When the oil is hot enough, dip the stuffed pepper into the batter, then carefully place it into the hot oil. Make sure that the cheese doesn’t fall out. I like to put the cut side down first to seal it closed. Fry until the chile is a crispy golden brown. Then carefully turn the chile to fry the other side. This takes about 2 minutes per side. Don’t crowd them, you may need to fry them in batches.
  10. Remove the cooked chiles to the paper towel covered plate and keep them warm in the oven on the lowest setting.
  11. Serve the chile rellenos immediately. Some people serve them with sauce, but I do not. If you want a sauce, use enchilada sauce warmed up. Lay the chile on the sauce, don’t pour sauce over the chile. You will get it soggy. Two rellenos with a veggie is a meal. I served one relleno as a side dish with black beans and rice and crispy fried beef tips with hot sauce.