Tag Archives: chocolate

Pools, Peaches and Banjos

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I celebrate life one crumb at a time. I may multitask the hell out of my day, but it’s the littlest things that make me so happy. Take for instance, the Walmart pool. I spent my summer in the smallest pool with the biggest smile on my face. But one swipe of Little Banjo’s bird slicing claw and the pool is now in the recycle bin. Summer is over. It’s time for new projects and time to think autumn. Fall is no doubt a beautiful time of year with plenty to look forward to, but am I ready to embrace it? There is still an abundance of chives & tomatoes in our garden and there is still a beautiful selection of peaches at the local market. Sometimes I find myself over filling my basket with beautiful ripe peaches. I think to myself, am I crazy? What will I do with all these peaches? I may be a chocolate girl, but peaches will always have my heart. Hmmmm….chocolate and peaches?

Fresh Peaches……

Slice the peaches and get them ready for roasting. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until they start to brown a bit…

Remove your caramelized roasted peaches, let them cool and store them in a container on layers of parchment paper. Include the sticky sweet syrup that resides on the sheet pan. The peaches will keep in the fridge for about a week or freeze them!

It’s nice to wake up in the morning and gather fresh berries with Little Banjo. We return to our sunny kitchen and prepare a bowl of oatmeal with yogurt, pecans, fresh black berries, fresh raspberries and a wonderful treat of roasted peaches. Good morning world!

Another favorite peach idea is to use them on a salad. Fresh garden greens, walnut crusted goat cheese, dried cranberries, and maple vinaigrette….so yummy.

You could always get out your blender…..puree the peaches, add 2 shots of tequila, 1 shot of grand marnier, pour in the peach simple syrup (that is residing in the bottom of the storage container), add a cup full of ice and blend away. Rim a glass with sugar, and pour a tasty “roasted peach margarita”. Sit back, relax and have no regrets about filling that market basket full of peaches!

Think about chocolate and peaches…..who has a fabulous idea for chocolate and peaches? Do share.

Chocolate Cake Sensation

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I bake a wonderful chocolate cake. My friends are always asking for the recipe and I am never willing to give it out. Why? I enjoy the praise for an incredible cake. I love watching them take a bite and I patiently wait for them to be pleasantly surprised. They settle deep into their seat, relax, and prepare for the next bite of chocolate sensation. But it’s time to share the secret with you. The secret is on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa can. Yup, that’s it, that’s the recipe I use for my base chocolate cake every time. 

Experiment with your frosting and filling flavors. Toasted almonds, Amaretto and coconut blend wonderfully with butter cream frosting…..

Or chocolate frosting blended with Kahlua and raspberry liquor. The center is filled with our homemade raspberry jam. I am in desperate need of a cake decorating class and so I cover the top of my poorly frosted cake with chocolate squiggles, chocolate  shavings and fresh raspberries….

So now that the secret is out, promise me you will come back and post how your cake baked up and what flavors you chose to make it sensational. Happy baking!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING (recipe follows)
 Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

    “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING

    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
    2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/3 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
    Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting