Sunday, March 29, 2015

More Birthdays

We celebrated these birthdays with more German Chocolate Cake, just like the one I made Michael.  Only this time, Michael made the cake.  It was awesome!

Our meal was a group effort!  Everyone chips in dollars and help!  Jeff and I rounded up most of the goodies, but Joyce and Nora brought several things too.  We really like the big, wild from Mexico shrimp they sell at Sam's club.

With our big group, 14 in all including our toddler, we use two big cook pots and put half the ingredients in each pot.  Here is our recipe.

2 cups salt
2 Zatarain's spice bags
8 whole garlic bulbs
18 - 24 potatoes
36 small ears of corn on cob
3 packages smoke sausage
2 packages hot links
4 lemon, cut in half
10 pounds shrimp

2 pounds butter
2 jars cocktail sauce

2 large boiling pots
2 cook bases with propane tanks

Fill boiling pots 2/3 full of water and bring to boil.  After each addition, make sure pot comes to a full boil before setting cooking timer.

Add garlic, Zatarain's spice bags and salt.  Boil for 15 minutes.

Add potatoes and boil for 7 - 8 minutes.

Add corn, boil for 5 minutes.

Add smoke sausage and hot sausages, boil 8 minutes.

Squeeze lemons into pot and throw them in to the pot with the onions and boil 3 minutes.

Add shrimp and boil for about 5 minutes or just until the shrimp turns pink, but don't overcook.

Remove pots from heat and drain using strainer basket.  Pour food onto jelly roll pans to serve.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Michael's Birthday
Everyone here at our "hotel" gets to choose their birthday meal and cake.  It's Mike's birthday and he says he wants German Chocolate Cake for his birthday and Chicken Enchiladas. 

After searching on Pinterest for German Chocolate Cake recipes, I decide on one that seems simple enough for me to bake up.  I like to bake, but new recipes befuddle me and I already knew I was going to make chicken enchiladas for the first time too.  This much hard work, I wasn't sure I really wanted to take on.  I had watched Mike make enchiladas before, but it's like driving somewhere new.  Sometimes, you really don't pay attention until you are behind the wheel! 

On the day of his birthday, I decided that the recipe I was going to use for the cake was a lot like our old family standby, Red Devil's Food Cake that Grandma used to make and Mom made many times, so I just used it.  After all it's absolutely yummy, and FAMILIAR!

Iva's Red Devil's Food Cake
For 3 - 8 or 9 inch round cakes.
3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup shortening (of course I use butter!)
3 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1 & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2 cup boiling water
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray your baking pans with non stick spray or grease and powder with cocoa.
Cream together sugar and shortening in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs and combine well.  Alternate adding cocoa and milk and mix well each time scraping the sides of the bowl well.  Stir in vanilla.  Boil 1 - 1/2 cups water in a large measuring cup or bowl.  Add baking soda and salt, slowly as it will bubble up out of the top.  Stir it well to dissolve soda and salt.  Now alternate adding boiling water and flour, stirring well and scraping the sides of the bowl each time. 


Next comes this coconuty/pecan filling thing.  I'm really not sure I like this stuff.  After all, the only time I remember eating something like it, it came from a "can."  There I have said wrote it.  I sound like someone I know and I'm not saying who.  There are many recipes for the carmel, coconut and pecan filling, but I used the one below that I found on the KRAFT website.   I have to say this stuff is MAJOR YUM and I have all three layers of Grandma's cake coated with this WONDERFUL YUM stuff!
Ok, by now, I'm feeling pretty good about this cake, so I take a few minutes to investigate the whole "German Chocolate Cake" thing, only to discover that it isn't that old of a recipe and it has nothing to do with the country Germany.  

Here is the link to click on for the Wikipedia information. 

Big Disappointment!  Of course I had already baked my cake, using Baker's Corner Cocoa, from Aldi, so Michael's birthday cake was not a true "German's Chocolate Cake."  I quickly got over it because it had this wonder topping. 

Carmel, Coconut and Pecan Frosting/Filling
egg yolks

1 can  (12 oz.) evaporated milk

1 & 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 & 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

2 & 2/3 cups flaked coconut

1 & 1/2 cups chopped pecans


Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended.
Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add coconut and nuts; mix well. Cool.     


Ivy comes to check out my progress.  Ok not really to check out my progress, I sent out an SOS for help making the enchiladas.  After all it was HER hubby's birthday!  She comes in and right away, "Aren't you making chocolate buttercream frosting for the cake?"  Are you kidding me?  It has this FANTABULOUS frosting/filling and you want more?  Ok, but first we have to tackle the enchiladas.   


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (or Heaven on a Spoon)

3 cups butter, softened

7 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar (2#)

1 & 1/2 cups cocoa powder

6-8 Tablespoons heavy cream or half 'n half

3 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, beat softened butter until very creamy.  Add 1/2 of the powdered sugar and mix well, scraping sides of the bowl.  Add cocoa powder and combine.  Add the remaining powdered sugar and the cream.  Beat well and scrape sides of the bowl often.  Stir in vanilla.  There you have it, Heaven on a spoon!
I have to say it made the cake way OVER-THE-TOP YUM!


Ivy's recipe for the chicken enchiladas is below.  They are awesome.  We sort of tripled the recipe, because we were feeding the "hotel" guests.  I had cooked up 9 lbs. of chicken tenders to make them. 


Cheesey Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas

1 Tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel), drained

1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 - 8 ounce box cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

2 - 3 cups chopped chicken

8 - 8 inch flour or wheat tortillas

  2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

1 pint whipping cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan by spraying with non-stick spray.  Cube chicken.  Melt butter in a skillet.  Sauté onions and then add chicken and cook 2 minutes.  (We used pre-cooked chicken, so we only had to sauté the onion.  Next add cumin, salt, pepper and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.  Add spinach and the cream cheese and sour cream and mix well.  Keep stirring on low heat until cream cheese is melted into mixture.  Roll cooked mixture into tortillas and arrange in a row in the pan, leaving the ends of the tortillas open.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Carefully pour whipping cream over entire contents of pan.  Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until golden brown, 10 - 15 minutes.


Try it for yourself.  YUM