Wino Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

Hey ya’ll. If you read my earlier post, you know for the past 6 weeks I’ve been prepping for and then making my debut as a Baby Lawyer. Well. I’m officially a Debutante.

When the hearing started, the (40+) lawyers and expert witnesses in the hearing room didn’t know my name. And anyone in their twenties who has put on a suit that costs a month’s rent knows what its like for a suit to wear you, rather than the other way around.? Then, I put the tiniest of hurtings on a few expert witnesses on cross-examination, successfully argued against opposing counsel’s objections, and managed to protect my (amazing) witness during her cross-examination with some coaching and objections of my own. And all of the sudden I’m the Homecoming Queen of the trial.? During every break, seasoned attorneys and experts who I very much respect wanted to chat with me about a.) the case b.) NOLA c.) how old they are and how many trials they’ve been in or d.) “my cross-examination style.”? Everyone knows my name, and says things like “we were just talking about you” when I walk into the room, and now, I wear the suit.
It’s been pretty amazing.? And all that positive recognition has gone a long way to fortify me against the challenges that have come with the victories. (The security of govt. employment + a strict personnel policy of “avoidance”=the worst co-workers get rewarded, not punished. Yay! Put them on my cases! Give them a sense of entitlement, so they think they have a “right” to under-perform, and an abusive personality while you’re at it, whee!)

Last week, after a particularly rough day, I spent the evening with a bottle of wine, the Hershey’s website, and my kitchen. I guess you could say that on that particular day, the positive recognition and my general feeling of “badass lawyerness” wasn’t getting me through.? So after a few hours, I had a tasty, moist chocolate cake with a chocolately, not-too-sweet rich and smooth icing, and a good buzz.? And all of the sudden, nothing else really mattered.? To that I say, thank you for small miracles and I think I’ll have another piece.?

Hershey’s Kitchens Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe:

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa or HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK 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

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. (I used one 9 inch springform pan and just let it bake a little longer.)

Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour the batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan 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” frosting, recipe below.

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
2 1/2 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.

Originally posted 2010-06-09 23:31:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Giant Homemade Girl Scout Cookies II: Do-Si-Do’s, Woot!

I’m sorry, but who doesn’t need a giant, dense peanut-butter cookie cake in their baking repertoire? (Peanut-allergy sufferers aside) I know I?sure as hell do.

Which is why I came up with one! The cookie is salty, and the perfect blend of chewy and crumbly (and not too sweet).? The filling makes everything moist, and adds a sweetness that would be too cloying if it was present throughout the whole cookie, but is perfect in little bites as you eat each slice.

And so I present to you, darling hedonistic?readers,?my recipe for a Giant Homemade Do-Si-Do Girl Scout Cookie, with tips and tricks at the bottom.

For the cookie:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1?1/4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
2 large eggs? and 1 egg yolk
1?tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered?sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.? Coat a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment, and coat the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with a mixer on medium-high, until combined and fluffy.? Beat in the peanut butter, then the eggs and vanilla. On low, mix in flour mixture until combined.? The?batter will be slightly pasty and thick, but pourable.

Spread 1/3?of the batter into the pan, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until browned on the edges and barely set up in the middle.? Remove from oven and cool for 15?minutes before removing from the pan to continue cooling on a rack. Prepare the pan once again with the cooking spray and parchment paper, and pour the remaining 2/3 of the batter into the pan.? Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until browned and barely set.? Remove from the oven and use a small water glass to cut a circular hole in the top of the cookie, Girl Scout Cookie styles. Let cool.

To construct:

First, run a knife around the edge of the cookies to smooth and round them and remove any extra crispy bits.

Beat all of your filling ingredients until blended, and place in a piping bag with a large star tip.

Take the thinner cookie (the one you made with 1/3 of the batter) and put it on your display plate. Using the piping bag, run a thick bead of filling around the edge, and then “stack” another bead of filling on top of that. Use the piping bag to add a single layer of filling to the rest of the top of the cookie, reserving approximately 1 cup of the filling in the piping bag. Place the thicker cookie on the top of the filling on the thinner cookie, “sandwich” style. Pipe a decorative swirl into the whole you cut out of the top, and serve.

Tips and Tricks:
Don’t over-bake the cookie.? It will firm up as it cools and sets.You could also probably use two cake pans to do this, and make both cookies at the same time, but then put parchment paper around the rim as well as on the bottom.Try to get the top cookie in the oven as soon as you can…if you dawdle, the baking powder will eventually lose its potency.

Originally posted 2010-01-14 11:58:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Cheddar Bacon Drop Biscuits

bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuitsI will admit it…I love bread, probably a little too much. The problem is I don’t have the patience to actually make bread. Or the patience for most baking, really. So I’m constantly looking for quick breads and biscuits that I can make with pretty standard items. This has lead me to a love of drop biscuits. Tasty, airy, quick and addictive.

We have a basic drop biscuit recipe that’s a great breakfast side, but not too long ago I wanted a dinner biscuit and couldn’t get the Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits out of my head. So I began searching recipes and playing around and eventually came up with these savory cheesy delights. This recipe is adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.

bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-garlic bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-baconWhat makes these for me is the thick bacon and chunks of garlic. Each bite tastes like the ultimate comfort food. Salty, savory goodness.

bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-butter bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-cheese bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-panOne of the big keys to getting these biscuits right is the cold butter. The butter will melt while cooking and leave buttery pockets throughout each biscuit.  NOMMMMMM! Add in the gooeyness of the cheese… all …that …cheese. For the best result, used shredded and cubed cheese. It’ll be cheesy throughout, but you’ll also get nice chunks of cheddar as well, which makes them even better the next day.

These drop biscuits are so simple and wildly delicious that they’ll become a staple at the dinner table after the first batch.

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Cheddar Bacon Drop BiscuotsCheddar Bacon Drop Biscuots by Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 7-8

Ingredients:1 1/2 cup flour1 tsp baking powder1 tsp sugar1/4 tsp baking soda6 cloves garlic, chopped3 strips extra thick bacon4 tbsp cold butter, cubed3/4 cup sour cream1/2 cup cheese, cubed and/or shredded2 tbsp water2 tbsp olive oilpinch of salt
Instructions:
Preaheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook bacon strips till crispy and crumbly, being careful not to burn them. When done, remove to paper towel to dry. Reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl. Add cold butter cubes and using fingertips combine with dry mixture until clumpy. Chop bacon and garlic into large chunks and add to mixture, then add cheese. Add sour cream and mix well. Slowly add water until mix becomes sticky ball. The ball should stick to its self and be a tad hard to separate. Using your hands coat baking sheet with olive oil. Now use oily fingers to separate your dough into 7-8 biscuits and place on sheet. Drizzle each with reserved bacon fat. Cook for 12-15 minutes. When done, remove from sheet and serve hot.

The post Cheddar Bacon Drop Biscuits appeared first on Whiskey Bacon.

Originally posted 2014-02-24 18:38:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Guinness Braised Corned Beef & Cabbage with Garlic Mustard Glaze and Parsnips

Now this here meal is for the meat eatin’, beer swigging best of you.? I’m serious.

Even though my favorite vegetarian says she used to love corned beef back when she was a carnivore, I don’t entirely trust her opinion-she’s from the Midwest like me, and we’ll eat anything.? Let’s face it, no matter what the vegetarian says-corned beef, in all it’s brined, hot-pink glory, is not something that everyone’s going to be excited about.

In an attempt to make Mr. Luz love corned beef as much as I do (see: my Midwestern heritage) I douse mine in Guinness for a long braise in the oven.? After it’s fork-tender, I mash the braised garlic in with some mustard for flavor and apple butter (see, supra, Midwestern), slather that over the top, and broil it for a second for a deep, not-too sweet, garlicy caramel glaze.? And though it still looks rather curious, Mr. Luz has happily eaten it for 3 days straight now (I like to indulge myself over St. Pat’s day and make two briskets) and all I heard at dinner were?happy noises.

As for the side dishes, I like to make a mash with the root vegetables that go into the braising liquid.? That way you can mix them with some non-braised veggies to even out the saltiness of the veggies cooked in the briny corned beef braising liquid, and you’re not eating squishy potatoes.? I also simmer the cabbage separately so it’s lighter in flavor and acts as more of a foil to all the earthy, salty goodness in your braising pot.
Note: March being the month after the Birthmonth and all, I have never succeeded in brining my own corned beef. Next year?

Guinness Braised Corned Beef & Cabbage with Garlic Mustard Glaze and Parsnips
(serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
1 3-4 lb. Corned Beef Brisket
1 head of garlic (trust me)
3 medium carrots, coarse chopped
1 small onion, coarse chopped
3 potatoes, halved
4 large parsnips, peeled and coarse chopped
2 stalks celery, if you have any-coarse chopped
1 bay leaf
3 bottles of Guinness or another Stout beer
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. fresh Thyme, chopped
2 Tbs. butter
5 cups of coarse chopped green cabbage
3 Tbs. apple butter
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.? Add the carrots, onion,? celery, potatoes, and bay leaf to your roasting pan.? Remove the skins from each clove of garlic, and add all but two large cloves to the roasting pan. (Give the large cloves going into the roasting pan a good whack with the flat side of a knife to flatten/crush them a little).

Thoroughly rinse the corned beef and reserve the spice packet for the cabbage.? Put the corned beef on top of the veggies in the roasting pan, and pour the two bottles of Guinness over the corned beef.? Cover the roasting pan, and braise for 2.5 hours in the oven.? After 2.5 hours, if the brisket isn’t fork tender, recover and increase heat to 350 degrees for an additional 30-45 minutes.
When the brisket has 30 minutes left, put the parsnips in boiling water and cook until soft.? Remove from heat, drain, and return to the pan to mash with a potato masher or a fork.

Add the cabbage to a pot with the remaining Guinness, and the reserved 2 cloves of garlic, chopped.? Add water to almost cover the cabbage with the cooking liquid.? Simmer, partially covered for 15-20 minutes-until the stalks of the cabbage are soft but the leaves still hold their shape. At this point you can remove the cabbage and reduce the braising liquid by boiling it, or you can leave your cabbage more “soupy.” Add the Worcestershire sauce, and taste. If still doesn’t have enough “zip” add 1 tsp. of the Balsamic vinegar at a time.?

Take the corned beef brisket out of the oven.? (Important: always let braised dishes cool in liquid or they’ll dry out).? Remove the potatoes and carrots from the braising liquid, mash, and add to the mashed parsnips.? Add thyme and butter, and cook over very low heat until the butter is melted and the thyme is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the garlic from the braising liquid, mash, and mix with the mustard and apple butter. Place the brisket on a broiler pan, spread the garlic mixture over the top, and broil-checking often-until browned.
Slice the brisket and serve with the reserved braising liquid, the parsnip mash, and cabbage.

Originally posted 2010-03-17 03:02:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

It’s Soup (and Alliteration?) Season: Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup Recipe

?Hey guess what.? It’s winter again.? And with winter comes many guilty pleasures to pass the time and make the frigid temperatures? more bearable.? These guilty pleasures include Ugg boots (atrocious, but so cozy), Grey’s Anatomy on the T.V., snuggies, and booze-spiked beverages that are otherwise completely innocent, like coffee, hot chocolate, and cider.? Hell, in winter, they even add stronger booze to already-boozy drinks! (see: port wine, mulled wine, and tequila-ed wine.? Ok, I made that last one up.)

Amidst all this decadence, it can be hard to eat healthy UNLESS you have a good stash of broth in your freezer for soups (which you should.? Shrimp shells, crawfish shells, crab shells, steak bones, chicken bones, lamb bones, turkey bones–they all make excellent stock with a little water and a long simmer. DO IT.)? Soups can take a not so fantastic out-of-season tomato and turn it into a dark, complex dish.? They can also take anything in your fridge and turn it into a meal with the right care and a stash of dried lentils nearby.

This soup recipe seems so simple and straightforward, it’s hard to imagine that something sweet, spicy, fresh, and satisfying can result, but it does.? The sweet potatoes add body, color, and sweet earthiness to broth that’s made richer with the sausage while brighter with the spinach.? All of this comes together in a satisfying, healthy soup.? This recipe is courtesy of Bon Appetite magazine, with some edits and notes of my own.

Satisfying Sweet Potato & Sausage Soup Recipe:

2 Tbs. olive oil?
10 oz. cooked linguiça sausage or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see note below re: uncooked sausage, which I prefer here)?
2 medium onions, chopped?
2 large garlic cloves, minced?
2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled, cut into 1/2 inch thick semi circles
1 pound baking (I use yukon gold) potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch thick semi circles
6 cups low-salt chicken broth?
1 9 oz. bag fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cooked (see note below re: uncooked sausage) sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to a bowl.?Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes, reduce heat, and cook until potatoes begin to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. (When things start burning on the bottom of the pot, I move onto the next step)? Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.?Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage and any collected juices to the soup. Turn off heat. Stir in spinach just before serving.? Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.NOTE:? I made this soup with a buffalo and pork chipotle chorizo sausage that a friend gifted me and Mr. Luz. It was AWESOME and I’d recommend buffalo chorizo if you can find it.? The flavor’s just amazing.???Uncooked sausage is less compact than cooked sausages and therefore will absorb the broth for a more satisfying experience, though it adds one more step to the process.?To make this recipe with buffalo chorizo or some other uncooked chorizo, use vegetable oil instead of olive oil, and brown the whole chorizo in the oil.? If it still isn’t cooked, add 1 inch of water to the pot, cover, and simmer until the sausages are firm but not hard. Remove the sausages to a bowl and slice upon cooling, being careful to retain any juices to add to the soup later. Boil off as much water as you can from the vegetable oil and sausage flavoring before adding the vegetables to the pot and commencing with the above recipe. ??

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2007/10/sweet_potato_and_sausage_soup#ixzz15rI8RF1b

Originally posted 2010-11-27 02:38:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Giant Homemade Girl Scout Cookies II: Do-Si-Do’s, Woot!

I’m sorry, but who doesn’t need a giant, dense peanut-butter cookie cake in their baking repertoire? (Peanut-allergy sufferers aside) I know I?sure as hell do.

Which is why I came up with one! The cookie is salty, and the perfect blend of chewy and crumbly (and not too sweet).? The filling makes everything moist, and adds a sweetness that would be too cloying if it was present throughout the whole cookie, but is perfect in little bites as you eat each slice.

And so I present to you, darling hedonistic?readers,?my recipe for a Giant Homemade Do-Si-Do Girl Scout Cookie, with tips and tricks at the bottom.

For the cookie:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1?1/4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
2 large eggs? and 1 egg yolk
1?tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered?sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.? Coat a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment, and coat the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with a mixer on medium-high, until combined and fluffy.? Beat in the peanut butter, then the eggs and vanilla. On low, mix in flour mixture until combined.? The?batter will be slightly pasty and thick, but pourable.

Spread 1/3?of the batter into the pan, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until browned on the edges and barely set up in the middle.? Remove from oven and cool for 15?minutes before removing from the pan to continue cooling on a rack. Prepare the pan once again with the cooking spray and parchment paper, and pour the remaining 2/3 of the batter into the pan.? Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until browned and barely set.? Remove from the oven and use a small water glass to cut a circular hole in the top of the cookie, Girl Scout Cookie styles. Let cool.

To construct:

First, run a knife around the edge of the cookies to smooth and round them and remove any extra crispy bits.

Beat all of your filling ingredients until blended, and place in a piping bag with a large star tip.

Take the thinner cookie (the one you made with 1/3 of the batter) and put it on your display plate. Using the piping bag, run a thick bead of filling around the edge, and then “stack” another bead of filling on top of that. Use the piping bag to add a single layer of filling to the rest of the top of the cookie, reserving approximately 1 cup of the filling in the piping bag. Place the thicker cookie on the top of the filling on the thinner cookie, “sandwich” style. Pipe a decorative swirl into the whole you cut out of the top, and serve.

Tips and Tricks:
Don’t over-bake the cookie.? It will firm up as it cools and sets.You could also probably use two cake pans to do this, and make both cookies at the same time, but then put parchment paper around the rim as well as on the bottom.Try to get the top cookie in the oven as soon as you can…if you dawdle, the baking powder will eventually lose its potency.

Originally posted 2010-01-14 17:58:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Broccoli and Kale Soup

Broccoli-Kale-Soup2I’m a big fan of thick and creamy soups. In trying to eat a little healthier (have to do something to balance out the amounts of whiskey and bacon we consume!) I find that that combo leads to potatoes and/or cream being added to the soup. No ma gusta. Broccoli-Kale-Soup1Then the idea hit…beans. Loads of good stuff and nowhere near as heavy. Thanks to my CSA box from Fertile Grounds, I had tons of veggies to choose from when deciding what kind of soup to make. Given that my fridge and freezer were full of kale, it made the most sense. The broccoli though… that was a matter of ‘use it before it goes bad’. I admit, I’m a carnivore, most vegetables and I don’t see eye to eye. But I didn’t want the broccoli to go bad and I do want some green stuff in my body, so I figured why the hell not. Broccoli-Kale-Soup3

I was pleasantly surprised. It took a few batches to get the texture and flavor right…and I didn’t complain about eating those many batches. Seasoning is a big key. The salt, garlic and lemon combo give it a bright savory taste. The broccoli and beans make it nice and creamy, without the starch or cream. I like mine thicker, but you could add more water to thin the soup out. Also, the power of your blender/hand wand/liquefying device will determine the consistency. While mine isn’t the strongest, I’m actually ok with having a few bits of the kale and broccoli in there to help the texture. Regardless, as a king of the meats, I can tell you that anyone from vegans to your local T-Rex will enjoy this soup!
Broccoli and Kale Soupby WhiskeyBeard

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients:1 vidalia onion 7 garlic cloves1 can great northern beans5 cups kale6 cups broccoli1 cup vegetable broth2 cups water2 tbsp salt2 tbsp pepper1 tbsp olive oiljuice of 1 lemon
Instructions:
Roughly chop onion and garlic. In a medium to large pot on medium heat, add oil and heat until it shimmers. Then add onions, pepper and 1 tbsp salt. Cook until onions soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir often make sure garlic doesn't burn. Add stock and water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. While water comes to temperature, remove stem from kale and roughly chop it and the broccoli. Drain and rinse beans as well. Once pot comes to a boil, add beans and cook for 4 -5 minutes. Now, add broccoli first and then kale last so it's on top. This will allow it to steam, not boil. Cover with lid. Check pot every 2 minutes and cook no longer than 10 minutes. You want the kale to steam and brighten in color. Be careful not to cook too long, 8-10 minutes max. Overcooking will discolor kale and broccoli. When done, using either hand wand or blender, puree the mixture. If using a blender, do in batches and add back to pot when done. When fully pureed, add remaining salt (or more if you like) and lemon juice.

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