Cheri’s Spiced Rum Cake

 spiced-rum-cake

 This cake brought back so many feel good memories.  My daddy loved them and could not wait for the holidays to have one. Of course, being under aged, we could not eat any of his cake so we had one without the alcohol in it.  

 I did not know until I got older and made one,  how dag-on expensive it was.  But so so so worth it.

 Momma originally  found the recipe on the back of the Barcardi Rum bottles, but I have not seen one with the recipe on it for years.  I was so happy to find my recipe!  A few tweaks made an awesome difference. 

  My Daddy is gone now, but just baking them brings back that familiar warm feeling.  Oh wait that is the rum!  

Ingredients:

Batter:

1  cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

1  (18 ounces) packaged yellow cake mix

1  3.4oz box (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix

4  large eggs

1/2 cup cold Vanilla Silk *

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup spiced rum

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cake spice*  

Glaze:

½ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup spiced rum 

Directions:

  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare one 9 or 10 inch fluted tube pan; 

generously grease the pan with shortening and dust with a hand full of cake mix, putting the extra back into mixing bowl.   Sprinkle the nuts over the bottom of the prepared  tube pan. 

  In a large bowl using an electric mixer, combine cake mix, cake spice, eggs, Silk, vegetable oil, and rum; beat until mixed. Beat for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Spoon the batter over the nuts and level with spoon. 

  Bake for 1 hour or until a long toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 or 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Glaze: 

  In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in water and sugar; bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly so mixture does not burn. 

Remove from heat. Let it sit until bubbling stops , stir in the rum. 

Poke several small holes in the top of the cake.  Spoon the still warm glaze over the top of the cake and allow to soak in. Repeat until the glaze is used up.

 

* Milk with vanilla added can be substituted.

* If you can’t find the cake spice, use 1/4 tsp allspice and 1/4 nutmeg

The longer this cakes sits, the better it tastes. This cake can also be frozen. 

100_2976

Cubic Cross, Original Design

I thoroughly LOVE making anything in beads!

I enjoy a good challenge, and I had to  challenge myself to make something very special for my 17 year old grandson Darren.

I used the Miyuki Delica Duracoat silver since I knew he would be wearing it. Then used the Black Delicas as an embellishment on the top. He loves anything in black as do most teenagers. This child is the heart of my heart and I could not make enough for him, because he treasures everything I make him.

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I showed my piece to my cousin Tammy , she said that she loved it. She wanted one in Amethyst to lay on  her mother’s Bible that she has on display ,to honor her mother that has passed on. So I made one for her.  To say myself, it came out beautiful.  I added a spiral rope and silver and Amethyst tassel to it with the Miyuki Light Amethyst delica beads that I used to embellish the cross, because my cousin can not just have a Cross lying on the Bible by itself , Right?  This is how it came out!

Much love and Many prayers went into this piece.

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Since then others have expressed desire to have one of my Crosses, so I must get busy!

I post pieces that I had been working on to the Bead weaving group on Facebook, which  I enjoy being a part of.  It was a hit! They all wanted a pattern for it.  Another Challenge!!  I have never made a pattern before, for my original works.  So now I must endeavour to make a pattern for my original piece.

Beading has become one of my simple pleasures in life. It is a form of meditation for me, and sometimes some blood from the sharp needles!  (Does that make the piece a bio hazard? 🙂 )  Gives a new meaning of ” I put a piece of myself into each piece”

 

Update!  I have the pattern finished. It is a complete instruction manual for 4 different stitches, A pattern for the Cubic Cross and A pattern for the Bookmark. If you would like a copy let me know!  It is 35 pages long in PDF or Word form.

garfield-in-soup-pot

Chicken Enchilada Dump Soup for the Crockpot

mexican old el paso

This is an extremely easy , amazingly delicious and quick fix dinner for the Crockpot. Nothing like opening up a bunch cans and dumping them in the pot, turn on the crock pot and set the timer then walking away for hours!  AND it tastes as close to homemade as you can get

.happy cinco de mayo

 

Great for the weekend or the busy night of  running the kids around. This is one of our staple soups. Quick and easy and hard to mess up.

ATT00037Being a retired couple, we are constantly looking for a quick and easy meal. Our Crockpot gets quite a workout! We will fill it up and eat on it until it is gone! Or we will Eat for dinner one night, lunch the next day ,then freeze the rest for another day.

 

Chicken Enchilada  Dump Soup for the Crockpot

2 12oz cans of Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in water
1 28oz can Mild El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce
1 28oz can Old El Paso Refried beans
1 Can Whole Kernal Corn
1 Can Black beans
1 Can White Hominy
1 10oz Can Original Rotel You can add 2 if you like it spicier.
3 heaping Tbs Taco Seasoning or 2 packages of Old El Paso
1 Tsp Garlic Powder or more to taste.
In a large Crock pot

Dump into the pot the canned Chicken with juice, Take a
fork and mash the chicken apart and into smaller pieces.
Dump the large can enchilata sauce, Fill can with water,
dump that into the pot.
Dump the refried beans in the pot and stir until well
mixed into the water and sauce.
Rinse the hominy until the water is clear, then add to
pot.
Dump in the can of corn with the water.
Drain most of the water off the black beans and dump that
into the pot. Refill the can and dump that in.
Dump the can of Rotel, do not drain. Refill the can and dump that in.
Add the 3 slightly rounded Tablespoons of Taco seasoning OR 2 packages of Taco seasoning.
No extra salt is needed, but can be added if desired.

Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for a longer period of
time.

Serve with Crushed Tortilla chips, Shredded Mexican Cheese blend and Sour Cream if desired.

 

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The Gift of Giving

This year at Christmas time was one for the books at my house.   Our finances are tightly budgeted, so I was on the side of the boo boo lip for not having money to buy gifts for my children and grandchildren.. oh and great grandchildren.  Hubby is  a little on the tight lipped side during the holidays.  He states that everyone expects gifts, and if they do not meet the popularity, quality and price list, it is not appreciated.

I have made my gifts for christmas for years, and he became even tighter lipped at that , “They are not appreciated, they probably will throw them in the corner when they get home.” He threw such a Hissy fit after our last Christmas eve get together that I immediately took down the tree, and have not set it up again. We moved to Tennessee and our new house did not have room to even set it up.

My sisters did not care that  we did not send gifts, they  (identical twins) would send goodies anyway.   They would argue with me.. it was no the getting of presents that made the Christmas Spirit happen, it is the giving.

This year was one of those years that I dreaded the holiday season coming, My husband was not showing his normal hatred for the season, he was even watching Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel!!  My sisters had sent a HUGE box of goodies, Candy, A tabletop Christmas Tree, (They knew I missed the glitz and glitter of the season), it had little bitty LED lights, They handmade little snowmen Christmas balls for it. For me it was the best ever, she was upset that the  box was almost a week late and that the box was destroyed and a lot of the goodies were missing.  She paid for one of my orders of beads, and then a surprise box came from Amazon.

She had ordered me a brand new Singer sewing machine, mine is literally being held together with bright pink Duck tape. I cried, and cried, I was so surprised.  I have not made my granddaughter her night gowns or dresses or any mending since my machine had broken during our move south.  I told her I was wanting the very same machine that she sent me!  I never told her she just knew my sewing habits and thought it would  be the best.  I do not like all the bells and whistles, no computer machine for me!   I told her now I can make her boys their blankets that they have been asking for for the last few years. My husband was touched that I would cry over a gift like that, and commented that if he knew it would make me that happy, he would have bought me one years before, when it was broken.

I told him that I had to make something special for them.. and I was shocked when he agreed. I was so happy he did not brow beat me but actually said YES YOU DO!   Almost immediately I got the Christmas Spirit.

Now comes the hard part, what to make them.  Hummmm  what would  bet the best gift I could make them.  I have been beading, making nursing lanyards for them for gifts, so it has to be something bigger and better than that.  No matter what I made them , they would cherish it, so I had to come up with something on my own.  I have been eyeing the decorated balls that are like miniature chandeliers, not only for Christmas but made to cover a shiny, glittery and Christmas ball .  I searched and searched and could not find the one that I wanted to make.  So I just sat down and started making it.

I looked online for ideas, and grouped an inspiration from this one, and a color from that one, until I came up with a design that I thought would match them. I turned on my christmas music, sat down to the table with my little White Christmas tree they sent me, and went to work.

It was already 2 weeks before Christmas and knew it would take at least a week to put in the mail and it get there.  So I had to hurry! I worked 3 solid days.. I mean every min I was not sleeping!   Taking only 15 to 20 min breaks to rest my back and neck. Pulled 2 all nighters too. Just to get them done and in the mail.

The funny part was, I did not dread that first minute of it, I could not wait to get to beading. My only desire was to get it done.  I finally finished it, at 4:05. Post office closed at 4.  Heart sank.  I was not watching the clock but it did not matter, I could go the next morning.

So that gave me more time to make more pretties! I had already spent an all nighter on the ball, and started something new.  They are nurses, and I had made them Hair barrettes before,.. Soooo  I made them more.  Before I was done and my box packed to send to them.. There were he blankets for the boys, Hair barrettes, 2 ornaments for their tree, and a chandelier ball for their house.  Got the box ready, loaded in the car, headed to the post office and had to turn around and come back. I forgot to pack the store bought sparkly Santa Hats that I bought months before at dollar store.  Cut the tape, which I had used a half a roll of packing tape, I did not want to happen what Happened to the box I received. SO I cut the tape , put in the hats and used the other half of tape to reclose it.

On my way home from the post office, My heart was filled with so much love, and I was so happy.  It felt wonderful.  I had missed that feeling for so many years.  The true meaning of the “Gift is in the Giving” really shining thru! 100_2844100_2779100_2782

california blend casserole

Cheri’s Requested Veggie Casserole

When the holidays roll around, I am requested to bring my California Blend or Broccoli casseroles.  I always get rave reviews for it, from the family. ( My Cousin calls every year for the recipe).  The two are basically the same casserole, only exchanging the kind of frozen vegetables. I usually make the huge bag (60 oz) of vegetables and take a huge disposable foil cake pan full.   I have tried to break it down to a smaller batch for everyday dinners.

The trick is the vegetables being partially cooked before making the dish. According if you like a tender crisp and cook longer if you want the fully cooked vegetable.   I cheat and use the microwave, with the veggies  still in the bag, which steams them perfectly.

This recipe breakdown was difficult, because I use the dab and smidgen method in my cooking, hopefully this has it!

 

Cheri’s California Blend Casserole

2 bags California blend frozen vegetables
1 cup Miracle Whip
Approx 1/2 a block Velveeta cheese sliced
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1  1/2  stick butter  (not margarine)
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 roll Ritz crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place frozen vegetables in microwave for 5 mins on high heat , Turn bag over and microwave for 5 more mins. Let set for 5 mins, open bag and drain water, being careful of steam. You do not want any  frozen veggies, repeat if necessary.

Place vegetables in casserole dish. Salt and Pepper, place pats of half stick of butter on top of vegetables,

Mix Miracle Whip , sugar and flour together until smooth, add milk  approximately 1/4 cup, to make a thick but smooth paste to add to the  top of veggies. Fold into veggies.

Place approx half of box of velveeta (sliced)  on top, covering all of the vegetables.

Melt stick of butter in a pan on stove, remove from heat.. crush a roll of Ritz crackers and add to melted butter and quickly stir until well coated.
Put the Cracker crumbs on top of the cheese.

Cook on 350 for about 40 mins until the cheese bubbly and cracker browned.

If you need a double batch, I use the huge bag of veggies at walmart, and double recipe.

Pozole from remezcla dot com

Hominy Soup Cheri’s Style (Pozole)

We love Hominy soup or  Pozole , but since I don’t use recipes, I have refined this to our tastes.  I have used the recipes on the web, and in the books, but found a way to cut some time, and it tastes great.  This takes a while to make so I start it at lunch time, a crock pot can be used too. This is pretty much a monthly meal now.

Hominy Soup or Pozole  is one of those meals that you can garnish with what ever you really want.  I don’t like hot hot hot foods, but can handle some sting This has a slight sting. My husband hasn’t found a limit to the heat  yet, (hence the Habanero growing in the garden!)

The following is how I made the soup tonight. I used the Ham Hocks we had bought for beans instead of the pork that I usually use. And it turned out awesome!

3 Ham Hocks (usually I use lean pork or Chicken with Wright’s Smoked Flavoring)

2 qt water

2 large cans of Mexican Hominy drained and rinsed well.

1 can (or jar) Enchilada sauce

1.5  cup frozen peppers and onions (pepper stir fry)

2 cans chili beans not drained

1 can Rotel (green chilies and tomatoes)

1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder

1 tsp Sea Salt if smoked meat is not used. Or salt to taste.

If using pork Or chicken sere in 6 qt pan over high heat until lightly browned. Add 2 qt water,

Rinse the Hominy very well, add to pot, add the rest of the ingredients except the enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil, and boil for about one hour.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 2 more hours. Add Enchilada sauce and cook on low for another hour or until desired consistency is reached. I prefer a ‘stoup’  like consistency. (stew and soup , slightly thick)

Note, since I used the Ham Hocks, I boiled for about half an hour and skimmed a lot of the fat off the top.

Some of the garnishes we have used is

Lettuce

Mexican Cheese

Corn chips

Tortilla chips

Sour Cream

Green onions

Cabbage shreds

radish

jalapeno

Jalapeno Topping- Recipe following

Jalapeno Topping  

This stuff is good enough to eat by itself! 

1/4 cup Sliced Pickled Jalapeno or small can drained

1/2 cup Sour Cream

Thoroughly drain Pickled peppers add sour cream and stir until well mixed.

That’s it!  Enjoy!  Use as a dip for tortilla chips , or as a topping for your favorite dishes.