Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tapas for September

Another month, another Tapas and this time round I'm not the one washing the wine glasses the next morning.  
This month it's my friend Jill who's doing the heavy lifting, as it were.   She and her husband hosted Tapas last night, as a combo Tapas and housewarming.  They just moved to my neighborhood and wanted to have an open house and as it just so happens, Tapas is a great way to do so.   BTW, they have a lovely home, and it was a great evening. 
I had fun at least. 

Here's the food...
And since there's always that 'one dish', I'm going to tell you about it first.  And I'm so getting the recipe.  Even my bacon loving DH liked it.  And he's usually a purist when it comes to Bacon.
It was this, Caramelized Bacon. I snagged a piece just after I took this picture and then got a second one later on.  
Caramelized Bacon
Bacon with maple syrup and brown sugar.  So good. 
Now for the rest of the dishes.   A couple of Cheese Plates
Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate
A lovely Salmon Mousse molded Salad.  I haven't had one of these in years.  I think my mother had a copper mold like this or it could have been one of my sisters who had one.   I think I need a mold like this, it would be fun to make one of them again. 
Salmon Mold
And then there were these...
In no particular order - Pulled Pork in rolls
 Mexican Soup with meatballs, similar to the Albondigas Soup I make.
 Seafood Mac and Cheese.  I didn't get another shot of it, but did taste it.  You know I did, I do love my pasta.
Corn Salsa 
And some Pineapple, you knew that was coming, didn't you.
and...a GF free  Broccoli Casserole
as well as a Potato Salad
And a Caesar Salad
Along with this Broccoli Salad
And there was even a Waldorf Salad
Some Baked Brie
As well as Deviled Eggs
 And some Potstickers
And yet more Pasta, a Rotelli with Sauce
Some Sausage Bites 

And this Casserole, which I barely got a taste of, but it had PASTA in it, as well as Bacon on top.

I did make a couple of things.  Some Stuffed Jalapeno's, since it had been a long time since I'd made some.
 And I played with some Potatoes, I'll share that recipe later on.   Kind of a cross between twice stuffed potatoes and the Loaded Potato Bowl I made recently.
 Now for the Desserts...
And Brownies

As well as some Grapes, so pretty.
And these Oatmeal bites alongside a trifle
Last but not least this Banana Bundt Cake.

I think I got it all, this time.
 I'm going to go walk an extra mile or three this week, cause I've got another potluck coming up tomorrow to attend.
Heck with it, I'll just walk an extra mile each day this week, that way I can taste everything. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Over the top, Chocolicious Chocolate Crockpot Cake

I admit it.

I was lazy and didn't feel like running to the store to get stuff to make for a potluck we were attending.    I just didn't feel like driving 7 miles and then going into a grocery store.

Shocking, right?  Me, not wanting to go into a grocery store, me, who loves wandering the aisles getting ideas on stuff to make.  
But there you have it.  I just wasn't feeling the love.  
Then I looked in the pantry and got an idea and googled a little to find out a little more. 

And here it is.  My version of the ever popular Crockpot Chocolate Cake.

Crockpot Chocolate Cake

I didn't have a couple of the ingredients that most of the recipes I googled called for, but that didn't stop me.  Nope.
I made my own chocolate custard/pudding and then chopped up some dark chocolate and white chocolate bars I had in my baking cupboard and I soldiered on.

Recipe:    Over the top, Chocolicious Chocolate Crockpot Cake

1 box Devils Food Cake Mix, mixed according to directions
mine called for 3 eggs, 1 cup water and 1/3 cup oil
2 cups prepared Chocolate Custard Pudding
4 oz. Bar Dark Chocolate, chopped
4 oz. Bar White Chocolate, chopped
1 cup boiling water

Mix the cake according to directions, then fold in the chopped chocolate and the chocolate custard pudding.
  And why use just one bowl, when you can get three or more dirty? So happy for my dishwasher. 
Pour into a greased crockpot.
I had lined mine with parchment paper and then changed my mind and took it out again, and just poured the cake mixture into the greased crockpot.  Next time I will leave the parchment paper in there and take the cake out to serve it rather than leaving it in the crockpot. 
Cook on high for half an hour, then pour the 1 cup of boiling water over it, using a spoon to disperse the water evenly over the top.  You don't pour the water directly into the cake mix, basically you want to float it on top.  Put the lid back on, cook an additional 2 hours then turn it to low and cook another 1/2 hour. **  For a total of 3 to 3 1/2 hours.   Let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
 Chocolate Crockpot Cake
** Your crockpot may differ, but if you do the toothpick test, it will give you an idea of how done the cake is.  I got a little nervous at the 3 hour mark, and turned my crockpot down to Low.  
The cake was moist, chocolatey, rich and totally delicious.  I served it with some Cool Whip, but it would have been better with either some Whipped Cream or Ice Cream or a nice Custard Sauce.   I will make this again, and again.

Recipe: Chocolate Custard Pudding   serves 4 or one chocolate cake

3 tablespoons Birds Custard Powder
3 tablespoons good processed Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoons Sugar
2 cups milk

Whisk the dry ingredients together, then add a 1/4 cup of the milk to the mixture and make it into a smooth paste.   Whisk it into the milk and heat on high in the microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then heat again for an additional 2 minutes, stir and continue to cook in 1 minute increments until the mixture thickens.  Set aside to cool, placing a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to keep a skin from forming.  Let cool and add to the cake mix before cooking the cake.  

 I had a nice meal and in the interests of life, made sure I got some dessert first.

 And then enjoyed the rest of the meal.

And honestly, I'm not that fond of Chocolate Cake, but this one, well, I'll be making it again and soon.
Served warm it was nourishing and comforting and a little gooey and totally wonderful.