Saturday, September 26, 2015

German Chocolate Cake
























When I was little I would get so excited watching my Mom make my Dad's birthday cake. I couldn't wait to put the candles on and carry it out to him, singing happy birthday. He would laugh and be so delighted with his favorite cake. She made it every year for as long as I can remember. When she moved to Heaven I carried on that tradition. When I light the candles and carry it out to him, it bows his head and cries.

German Chocolate Cake

4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla 



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 9 -inch cake pans with non-stick spray and then line with parchment paper.

In a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the hot water and buttermilk and set aside.


With a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. in a large bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. Next, add the buttermilk mixture and the dry ingredients in three additions. Beat only until the ingredients are incorporated...do not over-beat. Fold in the melted chocolate.

























Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared pans and drop your pans on counter to break air bubbles and flatten tops.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting. 

For the Chocolate Icing

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream


Place the chopped chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. 

Coconut Pecan Frosting

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, and when the mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from heat. Stir in the chopped pecans, coconut, and vanilla extract. Let cool until spreadable.


Assembly

Place a dab of coconut pecan filling on a serving plate. This will hold the cake in place so that it does not move around. Then, place one layer of cake, on your serving plate, and cover with one third of the frosting. Add the next layer and another third of the filling.  Do the same for the third layer. Make sure you spread your filling all the way out to the edges of the cake.


Once you have all three layers stacked and filled, you want to frost the sides of the cake with the chocolate icing. Then pipe a decorative border around the outside top edge of your cake.

























Photographs are copyrighted and the property of Welcome Home.

Friday, September 25, 2015

My Moms Yellow Cake

























Sometimes I want to just make a simple dessert...nothing fancy...no sprinkles or rosebuds or swirls or extra toppings. Just a delicious moist cake with butter cream frosting like my Mom used to make. This is her recipe for one of my favorite cakes. I like to put it in the fridge and eat it cold!

My Moms Yellow Cake
Cake:

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups plus 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup butter
6 tablespoons of canned evaporated milk or cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
4-5 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt

Put butter and water in a large bowl. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir until butter is melted. Add sugar, flour, salt, and soda. Stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Stir in sour cream until all is blended. 

























Pour into a 11 x 17 baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and then sprayed with non stick spray. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched or toothpick inserted in center comes clean.
Remove from the oven and cool on cooling rack. 


Melt butter and evaporated milk or cream for 3-4 minutes in microwave. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and a dash of salt. Beat until smooth. Spread on cooled cake. 
























Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fried Pickles
























Hey I'll try anything once.  Even if sounds quite peculiar, I'm game.  So when I heard these two ladies talking about how incredible fried pickles were and how they each made them differently, I kind of leaned in closer to catch the gist of what they were saying.   "Incredible!  Said one lady to the other. "Awesome", said the other, "just like my Granny used to make."  
Crispy, tangy, spicy, delicious were the other word that made me want to walk up and ask them for the recipe. I bought the ingredients to make them that day.  Why not I thought. What's there to lose.  I just might like them.... And I did.  No I love them!  And you will too!  Don't ever be afraid to try new things....you might end up finding one of your favorites.

Fried Pickles

12 dill pickle
1-2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dill

Heat oil on medium high in a large skillet until sizzling.

Combine flour, milk, baking power, 1 egg, pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl. Stir until smooth, let sit for about 10 minutes.




















Dry the pickle slices on paper towels until most of the moisture is gone. Pour some of the panko in a pan or shallow bowl and dredge the pickles until they are coated.  The pickles can get your breadcrumbs wet so work only in small batches, pouring more as you need them.
























After dredging in panko, dip each pickle slice in the wet batter. Then dredge once more in the breadcrumbs.  Place them on a sheet of parchment paper and allow them to sit until you have finished with all the slices.

Fry the battered pickle slices in small batches for 3-4 minutes or until brown and crispy.  Serve with ranch dip or ranch dressing.
























Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

The Perfect Olive Bread

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      My Dad loves olives....any kind of olives. He loves to snack on them with  cheese and salami and add them to pizza and to his favorite sandwiches.  So, I decided to make him a nice loaf of  Olive Bread to have with his  favorite soup.  I experimented with different nuts  and seeds and olives  but I found the winning combination when I  combined Star Fine Foods  Queens Stuffed Pimento olives and their  Spanish Ripe pitted olives with  some pumpkin seeds and almonds.  He loved it!  He says he loves to toast  it lightly and then spread cream cheese on top. So today I surprised him  with more!  He is now the proud owner of 3 frozen loaves of  ready to  thaw and bake Olive Bread!  Perfect for this fall and winter to serve warm  out of the oven with his soups and stews! 

    The Perfect Olive Bread

         1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
·        ½ cup almonds, finely chopped
·        3 cups whole wheat bread flour
·        3 cups white bread flour
·        2 teaspoons salt
·        1 teaspoon quick-rising (instant) dry yeast
·        2-1/2 cups lukewarm water
·        1/3 cup finely chopped StarFine Foods Spanish Ripe Med Pitted Olives
·        1/3 cup finely chopped Star Fine Foods Queens Stuffed Spanish olives

In large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, 2 cups of the white flour, almonds, salt and yeast. Stir in lukewarm water until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until bubbly and doubled in bulk, about 12 hours.

Sprinkle work surface with 1/3 cup of the remaining flour. Scrape dough onto work surface; sprinkle 1/4 cup of the remaining flour over top. Cover with tea towel; let stand for 15 minutes.
























Using floured hands, gently press out dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle, sprinkling with up to 1/4 cup of the remaining flour if dough is too sticky. 

Sprinkle rectangle with olives and knead until well combined, adding up to 1/4 cup more white bread flour if dough is too sticky. Reshape into rectangle.

Cut in half crosswise. Roll each half into scant 8- x 4-inch cylinder; place, seam side down, in greased nonstick 8- x 4-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle loaves with pumpkin seeds. Cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until almost doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. 

Bake in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. Decrease heat to 375 degrees and bake until light golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to racks; serve warm or let cool.











Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.



The STAR Farmer’s Market Olive pouches are available at Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, Albertsons (Southern California), Safeway (Northern California) and Savemart stores and online at http://bit.ly/STAROlivePouches.







STAR Queen olives are available at select grocery stores nationwide and online at http://bit.ly/STARQueenOlives.






Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout!

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!  

Friday, September 11, 2015

Double Chocolate Mousse




























Mousse is such an easy and elegant dessert to make and everyone loves it. I decided to combine two of my favorites together to make a striking presentation. My friends loved it!

Double Chocolate Mousse

For the milk chocolate mousse

 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites (see note below)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
Chopped nuts, to serve
Freshly whipped cream

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat, stirring until no lumps remain. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time until well combined. Set aside.

In a second large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and set aside to further cool.

In a medium bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Once chocolate mixture is cool, fold in whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

NOTE...  For those of you who are worried about using raw egg whites in your mousse:   You can whip a cup of heavy cream and fold that in your chocolate instead. But the secret is to FOLD it and not STIR it in


White Chocolate Mousse

1 cup of good quality white chocolate
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream (full cream)
1 egg white
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
4 tablespoons boiling water

Break the white chocolate into pieces and place into the blender but do not start the blender yet. In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream until it just begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Pour it into the blender over the chopped chocolate and blend on medium high speed until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy...about 2-3 minutes. Add the pure vanilla and blend for another 20 seconds. Turn off the blender and let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes.

In a small bow, sprinkle gelatin over 4 tablespoons of cold water and mix well. Add the 4 tablespoons of boiling water and stir constantly until dissolved. Set gelatin mixture aside. Next, beat the egg white for 2-3 minutes. Add the slightly cooled chocolate cream mixture and dissolved gelatin to the beaten egg white and mix well. Chill mousse in the refrigerator until set and ready to serve.

When ready to serve, spoon dark chocolate mousse into a bowl and then lightly fold in white chocolate. Sprinkle with chocolate chips or curls.
























  Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

























There’s something about Spinach Artichoke Dip that makes you feel like you’re eating healthy.  Never mind about the cream cheese, sour cream and mayo, we won’t think about that!  Let’s just think about the healthy spinach and artichokes and how creamy and savory it is on some crackers, chips or these little baguette rounds.  Spread it on your bagel in the morning for a real treat.  I like mine a little on the chunky side…sort of a cross between a spread and a dip. Why? Because I like to taste those delicious artichokes.  Especially when they are Cara Mia brand Artichokes. They just taste better! 

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

9 oz package fresh baby spinach
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts in Water, coarsely chopped
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup good mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s or Dukes)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt






In a large skillet, saute the garlic and spinach until wilted. Remove the spinach from the pan, and when it's cool enough, squeeze out all the water from the spinach, so your dip isn’t too wet or watery. 














NOTE: You can use a cup of thawed, chopped frozen spinach that has been squeezed out, but I prefer fresh. 











Coarsely chop artichokes and put them in a medium bowl.


Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about one minute or until warm and soft.





Add the cooked spinach with the chopped artichokes. Next, add mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  




Serve hot with baguettes, chips, or crackers. Enjoy!





Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts in Water can be found at select grocery stores nationwide either in the produce section or the canned vegetable aisle and online at

http://shop.starfinefoods.com/Cara-Mia-Artichokes/c/Star@Artichokes.

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout!

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Did you know that there is a Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine?

























Did you know that there is a Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine?

For as little as $2 a month, you can find over 400 of my recipes that have never been seen before? Not on Facebook or the blog or any place else except my online magazine.  Did you know that if you subscribe now, you will get those 400+ recipes plus another 350 exclusive recipes over the next 12 months!

Recipes and photography like the ones you see here. As a matter of fact the brand new September issue just came out this morning and when you sign up for a new subscription, you can have access to all those recipes in minutes.

It's not a paper magazine. No need to wait for it to come to you. It's an Internet or online magazine and you can simply click on a link and see it anytime you want. Nope...it doesn't come in your mailbox. You view it on your computer, laptop, iPhone, iPad, Smart Phone, tablet, Kindle or any other device you get the Internet on.

The Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine is the perfect choice for those true followers of Welcome Home. If you love my home style cooking then you'll definitely want to subscribe to my Online Cooking Magazine.

When you subscribe you will have instant access to over 400 exclusive recipes for members only. Recipes you won't find anywhere else. Page after page of big beautiful color photos.... many with photographed step by step instructions.

























And each month, for the next 12 months, you get to see another 25-30 more. And you get a free membership to the private Welcome Home Magazine Fan club....where you'll find even more recipes, and cooking tips and contests and lots of fun.

The best part is that by subscribing you help me feed and clothe the hungry and those less fortunate that have no place to go. You help me save the lives of dogs and cats that are killed in shelters.
Over 6 millions dogs and cats are killed every year because no one gets there in time. My goal is to get them out of kill shelters and into temporary homes that can take care of them until someone comes along to give them a forever home. I personally buy them food, vitamins, toys, and bedding. I prepay for veterinary services and do whatever I can to help them while they wait.

The value is there my friends. So what are you waiting for? Click here to subscribe to the Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine. I promise you won't regret that decision. You'll love it!

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