"It Tastes Like Christmas" cake

This recipe takes a few days, but it's WONDERFUL

It got it's name because when my sister took her first bite, she declared that it, indeed, tasted like Christmas.

2 boxes chocolate fudge cake mix, perpared per box directions (you have
to, scratch recipes don't come out right)
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
5-6 drops cinnamon oil
1 bag redhots, crushed
Red food coloring
1 bottle Magic Shell fudge
Special equipment:
Ice cream maker
Betty Crocker Bake n Fill pans
Pour prepared cake batter into Bake-n-Fill top and bottom and add
matching "insert" to create cavity in the top and bake per directions in
the pan booklet. (the dome and tall cake are cooked at different
When the cake has come out of the pans, clean the pans (being sure to
dry them completely) and line them with cling film. Then put the cooled
cake halves back in and place them in the freezer. Freeze till frozen
Normally, at this time I place the container to my icecream maker in the
freezer too and just leave them overnight.
Then make the icecream, combining all the ingreadiants in the ice cream
freezer till done. Scoop the still runny icecream into the frozen cake
cavity. While still inverted, place the bottom on, cover with
clingfilm, and freeze for several more hours till icecream has set and
top and bottom have joined (I usually do another overnight).
Now it's ready for serving. Remove from pan top and place on serving
platter. Drizzle Magic Shell over top, cut, and plate.
Serves 12

Fish Cakes

3 cooked fish filets

2 jars of peas

rice cereal

2 egg yolks

Mix with a fork. When it was a moist paste roll little balls in
crushed zweiback, cracker crumbs, or whatever is similar, flatten them a bit and
baked them at 375 till they were done. It makes 25, each about the size
of a chicken mcnugget.

Appliscious Chewie

1 apple
1/4 cup canned dogfood or ground meat

Core and wash 1 apple. Place wrap in foil and place in oven at 350F. Wait 35 minutes. Remove apple. It should be soft. Pack meat or canned food in hole. Re-wrap in foil. Freeze overnight.

Acts like a Kong, but completely edible. Dogs love it.

Rustic AppleTart

Yet another in my "uses for apples" series.

1 apple, sliced
3 sheets phyllo, thawed
1 tbsp chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)
3 tbsp butter, melted

On cookie sheet, one at a time messily form the phyllo slices into a "nest", layering one sheet upon another and painting lightly with butter between the sheets.
lightly coat the apple slices with the remainder and place ontop of your "crust". Sprinkle liberally with sugar, cinnamon, and chopped nuts. Drizzle with honey.
In 350F preheated oven, place your tart and cook for 15-20 minutes or until phyllo has turned golden brown.

Serves 1-2

Apple Pie Ice Cream

Yet another in my "uses for apples" series.
4 apples, peeled and diced.
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 pie crust
Ice cream
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 400F. Place refrigerated piecrust flat on cookie sheet and heat for 12-15 min till toasted golden. Cool and break up. Set aside.
In ceramic dish, place remaining mix-in increadiants. Cover and bake for 15-20 min. Cool and set aside.
On medium heat, in saucepan combine the "ice cream" ingrediants untill the sugar has completely melted and been assimilated. Cool in fridge for an hour.
In electric ice cream freezer (after the containers been allowed to freeze overnight), add the "ice cream" and turn on. In 10-15 minutes the ice cream should begin setting up. While still mixing, add the "mix-ins" (both apple cinnamon slurry and broken pie crust). Allow to blend.

Either freeze further in freezer or serve soft.

Harvest Pie

Yet another in my "uses for apples" series.

3 pie crusts
2 stick butter, diced
1 cup flour
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
6 large apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1 cup raisins (rehydrated)
1/2 cup cranberries, chopped
1 tbsp orange peel
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In large bowl, mix fuit, nuts, cinnamon, sugar, and flour till evenly coated/distributed. This will be your filling.

For the crust, combine 2 crusts into 1 large crust and place in bottom of deep-dish pan. Pile filling high (will probably overflow) and add additional crust for the top, cutting slits for steam. Cover crust edges with foil (to prevent burning).

In 400F oven back for about 45 min.


Another part of my "uses for apples" series. Nothing is better than homemade applesauce!

1 lb of apples (Macintosh taste best for this), peeled and quartered
1/2 stick of butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar

On stovetop in skillet, melt butter. Add appleslices and turn to low and cover. Allow the fruit to reduce and become very soft, stirring occasionally. Add in sugar and cinnamon and stir. The fruit juices will thicken slightly. Serve warm.

ETA: I found that it actually tastes just as good, if not better, without the butter and with half the sugar and triple the apples. I also add a dash of nutmeg, allspice, and clove.

Plum Pork Ribs

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 peeled, sliced, black plums
7 whole allspice
2/3 bottle of Japanese Plum Wine
2 lbs of pork ribs

in slow cooker on high, melt butter and sugar together. Add allspice, plums, and just enough wine to cover the fruit. Stir, cover, and turn to low for 1 hr. Used stick blender to break up the fruit and marry all the ingrediants together into a sauce.

Turn back on high and add the pork. Stir it around a bit, coating the meat with the fruit sauce and lightly browning the pork. Then add the remaining wine and, once simmering, turn back to low and cook for 3 more hours, uncovered (to allow the alcohol to evaporate).

Makes an extremely soft, lightly spiced, fruity meat.

Serves 6-7

Spanish Rice

1 cup uncooked white rice
1 small jar salsa--any flavor
2 cups water

Boil water on hi on stove. Add rice and turn to Med. Cook for 10 min. Rice should be mostly cooked, but still have some water in the pot. Add salsa and evenly coat rice. Cook another 10 min on med-low (to keep from burning tomatos).

Serves a whole lot.

Chicken Enchiladas

4 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 large red onion, minced
1 package Goya Sazon
2 cans enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar
10 large flour tortillas
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup lime juice

Preheat oven to 375F

In skillet on stove, heat oil to med-hi. Add onion. Cook till
transluscent. Add chicken, lime juice & sazon and brown chicken, evenly
coating it and the onions with the seasoning.

In large glass baking dish, roll tortillas filled with chicken mix and
lay side by side in dish. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with

You can top further with jalapenos, olives, whatever suits your fancy

Cook in oven for 15 minutes and serve.

Serves 5.

Exotic Ingrediants

I realize that I often have game meats, strange vegetables, and other ingrediants you might not be able to find in your normal, local supermarket.

The best place to find things, in my experiance, is to seek out the grocery stores where the sign is not in english.

For seafood, odd cuts of meat, and produce my favorite place is the Korean market. I can regularly find blood oranges, key limes, donut peaches, and every other type of produce any foodie could hope to find for his or her exotic recipes. And it's actually cheaper for me to find blood oranges there, than to go to the HighlySuburbanizedWhitePeople Store and by boring navel oranges.


Plus, the seafood section has fish I've never even heard of and is the only place I've ever been able to buy live blue crabs for under $2/lb. And they aren't even gravid females.

And the meat department....there is an in-house butcher who will sell you ANY part cut any way. I mean any. I've gone in to see a package marked "PORK BUNGS". No joke.

I won't even get into the spices, the noodles, the various flours, or the alcohol section. It's worth a peek if you can find yours. You may just need to search inside random storefronts with Asian characters in the signage.

Wheat Flour Substitutions

For those with gluten issues or food allergies, Here is a list of substitutions. I plan to use them to get some mileage out of a dog treat cookbook that Hubby bought me. Our kerry blue terrier is severely allergic to wheat, as well as several other grains making the book, as is, completely useless.

How To Substitute For Wheat Flour

To make a standard recipe free of white flour, substitute one of the follow:
for 1 cup white flour
1 cup corn flour
1- 3/8 cups barley flour
7/8 cup corn meal
5/8 cup potato flour
7/8 cup rice flour
1 cup rye meal
1-1/2 cups ground rolled oats
1 cup oat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour.

1 cup of wheat flour equals...
7/8 cup amaranth
7/8 cup garbanzo bean/chickpea
3/4 cup corn flour
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup millet flour
3/4 cup oat flour
5/8 cup potato flour
3/4 cup potato starch
7/8 cup rice flour
3/4 cup soy flour

Fido's Peanut Butter Balls

1 Egg
1 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

Mix together roll into balls squish with fork, bake at 350 on a parchment covered cookie sheet for 12-14 mins

TO Make Palatable to Humans: Add 1 cup sugar to the dough. Follow everything else the same

K9 Omlette

1/2 cup kibble
1 egg

break egg over kibble in microwave safe dog dish. Whisk briskly with fork. Microwave for 1 min.

Cool and serve to pups!

Conejo con Cebolla (rabbit with onion)

I've had something by this same name in a tapas restaurant and this is my effort to copy it. I'm really really close tastewise. I think it may be wine, rather than beer, but I tried this before I found bottles of wine on sale for ten cents (I bought several dollars worth...looked like a whino, but I use it for cooking. Not drinking.) Meanwhile, we seem to always have beer, despite never actually buying any. And since neither my husband nor myself are beer drinkers...I use it to cook!

1 rabbit
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 beer
1 6oz can tomato paste
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put crockpot on high with olive oil. When ready to be sizzling, add garlic and onion. When translucent, add beer and tomato paste. When boiling, add rabbit. after a few min, turn to low. Cook till meat is falling off the bone.

Savory Turkey legs

1 pack turkey drumsticks (usually holds 3)
1 beer (Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale from bought 2 years ago)
1 habanero, minced
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp chili powder
2 cloves minced garlic

Marinate defrosted turkey legs in the mixture above overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F
Wrap the bony section in aluminum foil to keep from getting way too dry and place in glass baking dish.
Cook legs for till skin begins to brown. Then re-add the marinade to the dish and flip legs over. Cook till smells good...I really have zero idea how long these were in.

Hubby's Favorite Nut Candy

This is a tweaked version of a candy recipe I've found in a Hershey's cookbook. I've made some improvements.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
16 oz mixed nuts (the Planters Macademia nut/walnut/etc works best and comes in 8oz cans)
1/2 "tube" marzipan
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper (sides as well as bottom). Spread out marzipan paste to evenly coat bottom of pan. Then pour chocolate chips on top.

In saucepan, melt together butter, corn syrup, and sugar on low; stirring constantly. Add nuts. Stir to coat. Increase heat to medium. Continue stirring mixture till sugar syrup begins to turn to a foamy light brown color and nuts are sticking together in clumps.

Take off heat and pour/spread into pan on top of chocolate chips. Cool and then refrigerate for about 3 hours to allow candy to set up completely.

Cut/break into smaller peices and enjoy!

Stuffed Meatloaf

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb pork sausage
1 large eggs
1/4 cup chili sauce
3 Tbsp Worstecheshire sauce
1 cup oatmeal
1 lb frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed out)
1 small onion diced
5 strong flavored mushrooms chopped shitake, cremini, etc.)
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese shredded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Adobo (con pimiento)

Preheat oven to 450F
In frying pan, heat oil to med. Saute spinach, onion, and mushrooms. Set aside to cool
In large bowl mix beef, sausage, eggs, chili & Wors. sauces, oatmeal, and adobo. In large pan, place foil (preferrably Reynolds Release). Smear out meat mixture to a flat sheet. Then place spinach mixture on 2/3 and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up the meat, spinach end first, like a jelly roll (this is why the type of foil is very helpful!). Cook in oven covered for 45 min.
Uncover and increase heat to 475F. Cook for 15 min.
Remove and let rest before slicing and serving.