Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Salted Caramel Spiked Chocolate Cake

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This cake recipe is one of those oldies but a goody. 
So easy to make and so much to love about it.

First off, it is so chocolaty and super moist.
It doesn't use eggs, milk or butter.
You don't need a mixer, you just stir it together in one bowl.
And, it's the perfect size when you don't want sweets hanging around for long.

See how the caramel soaks down in the cake. 


Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

Salted Caramel Spiked Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
4 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp  pure vanilla extract
5 tbsp vegetable oil 
1 cup water
1/2 cup salted caramel topping (I used Smuckers)
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 8" square baking pan.  

Mix together first 5 ingredients. Add vinegar, vanilla, oil and water; stir together until smooth.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 30 minutes.  Check with a toothpick or knife to make sure it comes out clean.

While cake is still hot, use a knife or fork to poke holes all over top of the cake. Heat caramel slightly for easy pouring and drizzle over the cake, spreading out to cover the entire top. Let cool completely. Frost with your favorite buttercream frosting.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Spicy Ranch Mini Crackers

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What a tasty snack these Spicy Ranch Mini Crackers are, and so easy.

The first time I had them was on Christmas Eve at my sister's house.

Who knew something so simple could be such a huge hit.

My hubby likes to eat something crunchy and a little salty with his sandwiches 
and these are a great alternative to chips.

I actually halved the recipe using just over half of the ranch packet. Tasty good!

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

Spicy Ranch Mini Crackers

2 boxes Premium mini crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1 package Spicy Ranch dressing mix (dry)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 250*.

Place butter, ranch mix and pepper flakes in a gallon size plastic bag, squeezing around to mix well. Pour in crackers, seal bag and gently toss around until crackers are coated. I let mine sit for about 5 minutes, rotating/lightly tossing crackers in bag several times to mix.

Spread crackers out on a sheet pan and cook 15 minutes. Stir; finely grate Parmesan cheese over the top of crackers and bake for another 5 minutes.

Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cauliflower Cheese

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Anyone looking for a low-carb alternative to mac & cheese needs to try this. 
Even if your not looking for low-carb, you'll want to try it anyway.

It was AWESOME! So good it was hard to stop eating it. 
3 of us finished off the entire thing.

Not the best photo because I snapped it as an afterthought with my phone, but it turned out so good that I knew it needed to be posted.

I used 2 types of cheese in the sauce, then added fresh grated Parmesan 
on the top to give it a nice crust. Add some shredded chicken for a scrumptious main dish.

Tasted just like the real thing.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

Cauliflower Cheese

1 head of cauliflower, medium
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Dash of red pepper
2 oz cream cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper 

Cut/break cauliflower into florets. Par-boil in boiling salted water 5-8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon onto dish towel or paper towel to drain and dry some.

Heat oven to 400*

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flower and cook 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk in a steady stream until incorporated; cook whisking often, 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Stir in mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder and red pepper.

Add cream cheese, stirring until melted; add cheddar cheese 1/4 cup at a time making sure it is melted before adding the next one. 

Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if desired.

Place cauliflower in a 2 qt casserole dish and pour on the cheese sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly and golden brown on top. 

Adapted from recipe by Smitten Kitchen.