Category Archives: cooking

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. 

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.

 

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.

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.

Whili (white chili)

Whili  (White Chili)

2 large cans of Chicken Breast or 2 large chicken breasts

2  small cans of Rotel (Tomato and Chili peppers) I have used plain green chili peppers 2 cans

1/2 tsp Garlic powder, slightly heaping or to taste

4 small cans of white kidney beans (Cannellini beans)

1 bag frozen Cauliflower.

1 onion

2 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste. The canned food already has salt in them, so use sparingly, we do not use extra salt so it is up to you.

slightly heaping capful of Cumin What do you think… 2 Tablespoon?

In a 2 quart sauce pan or medium sauce pan heat the oil and caramelize the onion over medium heat. Add Chicken and break up the larger pieces, Add the Rotel , do not drain, add 2 cans of drained beans and 2 cans of beans with the juice. Add the dry spices and bring to a boil.  Add the frozen cauliflower and break or cut the larger pieces into dice sized pieces.  Ssshh don’t tell anyone it has cauliflower in it. They will will think it is potatoes,  you won’t be able to taste it . bring back to a boil, cover and cook on low for about an hour. Add water if needed. The cauliflower should be soft and mushy. You don’t want it to be identifiable!

They will go on and on about how good it is, and you will just smile, knowing that you got them to eat vegetables!