Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Most Fabulous Fudge Frosting

Picture courtesy of  Sweetapolita

     This delicious chocolate cake has become a birthday staple at our house. The first time I made it, my family wholeheartedly agreed it was pretty much the best chocolate cake ever. The magical frosting is amazing too, but after a birthday request for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, the chocolate/chocolate combo has become my most requested cake.

     I was first drawn to this recipe because of  minimal ingredients,  the use of a food processor, and mostly because you don't need to sift the powdered sugar. Powered sugar and me have a love-hate relationship. Why does it have to be so messy? (Maybe because I'm using a 20 year old sifter that shoots powdered sugar out the sides.)
     It's really simple to make and dare I say fool proof? All the ingredients are added to the food processor and after a few pulses you're done! The most important step is to make sure you let your melted chocolate cool, or else you'll end up with really runny frosting.

     The result is a rich, silky smooth, chocolate frosting. After serving it to my teenage son's friends, they were all begging me to send their Mom's the recipe. Really? Teenage boys asking for recipes? Yeah, it's that good.
      **I like to frost the entire cake and then stick it in the fridge or freezer for 20-30 minutes before putting on the remaining frosting. It goes on smoother and looks much prettier.**

Instant Fudge Frosting

  • 6 oz. (180 g) quality unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 4-1/2 cups (563 g) confectioners' sugar (no need to sift)
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(340 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) half-and-half   (I've used milk in a pinch with good results)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Then process until the frosting is smooth.

Posted by: Sallie
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Southwestern Ranch Chicken Club Wraps

Wow! It's been so long, I've almost forgotten  how to post. This last year has thrown my family for a real loop. With my youngest starting first grade, I decided to take a part-time job at a local elementary school. As if that wasn't enough, a few weeks later I decided that I would go back to school myself.  After 13 years of staying at home with my kids, this was no easy task. I'm not in any way, shape, or form implying that staying at home with children is easy! (You stay-at-home Mom's know exactly what I'm talking about). It has been really hard, and I still question if I'm doing the right thing, but despite the struggles, I am enjoying being a student again. We've survived one year, only three more to go! On top of both of these developments, we are also building a new house. (I think I must be insane!) My sister Julia has added another adorable little daughter to her family, so this explains our lack of posting.

Although I still enjoy cooking, sadly I don't have the time to prepare (or post about) the kind of meals I used to prepare on a daily basis. We save our "fancy meals" for Sunday dinner, and the rest of the week is reserved for quick, whatever my husband and I can throw together meals. I've got 3 more years of school ahead of me, but I can't wait until I graduate and can get back in my kitchen.

These wraps are a great meal for summer I had photographed and forgotten all about. Originally a sandwich, I decided the ingredients would be delicious as a wrap. Boy was I right!

The base for these delicious wraps is a wonderfully flavored, Mexican seasoned chicken which is then layered with crisp bacon, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado. What really adds to these wraps is the sauce. If you ask me, everything's better with sauce, and these wraps are no exception.  The sauce consists of a few simple ingredients: ranch dressing, sour cream, some chopped cilantro, and a few squeezes of lime. My whole family loved these  wraps which means they'll be making another appearance on the menu soon.

Southwestern Ranch Chicken Club Wraps
heavily adapted from here

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
8 strips bacon, cooked to desired crispness and cut into bite sized pieces
approx. 1-2 cups shredded colby-jack cheese, to taste
1 tomato diced
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime, divided
lettuce, torn into  pieces (like you would put on a sandwich)
Flour tortillas (burrito or large taco size work best)

1. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Combine ranch mix, chili powder and cumin and sprinkle evenly over the chicken.

2. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil while you prepare the other  components. (Note: Something in the ranch dressing mix makes the chicken get pretty brown, so if that bothers you, you can easily bake the chicken instead. I'd do 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cutlets.) Let chicken rest for about 5 minutes and then cut or shred into chunks with a fork.

3. To make the sauce, mix together the ranch dressing, sour cream, cilantro, and juice of half a lime. Use the remaining lime juice to dress the avocado to prevent browning.

4. To make a wrap, layer shredded chicken, grated cheese, chopped bacon, chopped tomato, and a few slices of avocado on a tortilla Top with lettuce. Drizzle with sauce and roll tortilla up tightly.

Posted by: Sallie
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