German Chocolate Velvet Cake for a Celebration

German Chocolate Velvet Cake
This German Chocolate Velvet Cake really is the ultimate chocolate cake. It has the velvety texture of Red Velvet cake, deep dark chocolate flavor, mocha frosting, and coconut-pecan filling and topping. Even people who don’t like chocolate cake, or who don’t like coconut love this cake.

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Blue Cheese Risotto with Roast Beef

Blue Cheese Risotto with Roast Beef
Blue Cheese Risotto with Roast Beef

I made this a few years ago and forgot about it.  It languished in my recipe box for many years, until as I was going through it to see what I could remove, I came across it and thought I should try it again.

It’s delicious.  But be warned – if you don’t like blue cheese, you won’t like this.  If you don’t like red wine, you won’t like this either.  This is not a traditional risotto, it is very assertive and needs to be served with well-marinated beef. I think broccoli goes very well with this and steams quite quickly while the roast rests.  Serve with a nice red wine and Sour Cherry Jellies for dessert.

You all have to forgive my surfer platter.  Under the roast, it says “Seas & Greetings” – I just couldn’t resist it for the holidays a few years ago, and it has served me well.

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Sour Cherry Jellies for Valentines Day

Sour Cherry Jellies for Valentines
Sour Cherry Jellies for Valentines Day

You know, sometimes you’re a day late and a dollar shy. I found silicon heart-shaped molds at a resale shop back in November and saved them to make something for Valentine’s day. Spane came home from school on Valentines Day with a box of chocolate he was selling as a school fundraiser. After dinner, we went to the market to buy milk, and sell candy to the store owner. While we were there I got a bottle of sour cherry syrup to put in my coffee. Spane did very nicely selling candy on the home to people who were getting last minute Valentine gifts.

It wasn’t until the next morning when I was sipping my sour cherry flavored coffee, which was excellent by the way, and happened to look up and see the valentine molds, that I remembered I hadn’t done anything for Valentines Day, but I could be a day late and a dollar shy if I made Sour Cherry Jellies.

If you’re trying to find sour cherry syrup, look in Mediterranean markets. Zergut makes the one I use. If you can’t find it at your local store, visit Indo-European, and order directly from them. They make all kinds of really good, minimally processed foods.

Did you know that sour cherries are really good for you? Medicinally, sour cherries may be useful in alleviating sleep problems due to its high melatonin content, a compound critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle in humans. These jellies have intense flavor, and a low in sugar and calories, so they make a healthy treat.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Salad Ring

Cranberry Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Salad Ring

I don’t know why people insist on buying the cranberry sauce in the can. Making cranberry sauce from scratch is almost as easy as opening the can. In some cases, when your can opener refuses to play well with the can, it’s even easier! Sugar, cranberries and water, how simple is that? In addition, you get the fun of listening to the berries as they pop like popcorn. How cool is that?

Ah, but I can’t leave well enough alone. I have to make something special for Thanksgiving, so I’m going to doll my cranberry sauce up, put it into a ring mold, and have a lovely presentation.

When I was a little girl, going to my Uncle Bob’s house for Thanksgiving, he made the most wonderful cranberry ring with cream cheese. I loved it but never got the recipe. When I asked him about it, he said he hadn’t made it in so many years he had forgotten how to make it and never wrote it down. I’ve looked all over the Internet, but, alas no joy. So, today, I’m going to attempt to make a similar side dish. Wish me luck!

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No Bake Mocha Fudge Pie for Halloween

Recipes in this PostNo Bake Mocha Fudge Pie

A few weeks ago, I got a few boxes of chocolate on sale at the local supermarket. I discovered that Spane and his friend, Noelle, had gotten into the chocolate one night when she spent the night. Apparently, neither one of them liked the unsweetened chocolate, but it was perfect for my Mocha Fudge Pie I made as a treat for my friend, Joanna Alexander of Strawberry Creek Crochet.

This has got to be one of simplest pies I have ever made, and it didn’t require any baking because I used a chocolate crumb crust I had in my pantry. It was just a matter of melting the fudge. I folded in whipped cream to make the pie silky, otherwise, it would have just been fudge.

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Strawberry Torpedoes – Balsamic Infused Mocha Stuffed Strawberries

I recently joined a great MeetUp, Entrepreneurs Professionals Glendale, and wanted to bring something nice for everyone to share. One of the members, Aron Ganz of Ganz Media gave the berries their name, Strawberry Torpedoes, a much shorter name, and I am grateful for that!

This is a group of entrepreneurs and professionals, who own small to medium businesses. We are not drones of the corporate world, and realize that even though being self-employed has its difficulties, it has huge rewards. Our group, led by Lynn Sarkany of MarketFinders, meets to exchange ideas to help our businesses, share stories, and network with each other. If you are a like-minded individual, you might consider joining us. Please visit Entrepreneurs and Professionals to find out more.

I had recently found a whole bunch of baking chocolate on sale, had some strawberries and a package of cream cheese. But, instead of making the Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries that I made last time, I thought I would add a little more adult flavor to the dish.

I added cocoa, coffee, vanilla, almond and cinnamon to the cream cheese filling, and I injected the berries with balsamic vinegar. When you bite into these berries, they explode flavor into your mouth.

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Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

The other day, when I was perusing Pinterest, I came across something that looked fabulous. It was strawberries stuffed with cream cheese, and it was called Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries. I pinned it and decided it would make a nice treat for the kids in Spane’s class going to the Planetarium field trip. Last year, I made White Chocolate Rum Raisin Cookies for Mrs. Mary’s class when we went to The Natural Science Museum.

I lucked out, and strawberries were Buy One box, Get One Free. There are 24 kids in Spane’s class, plus the teacher, and possibly one or two more parents who, like me, volunteered to go on the trip to help with the children. There were enough strawberries, with a few extra for the house.

I decided to change the original recipe a little and dip the strawberries in chocolate. All the recipes on the Internet tell you to add shortening to the chocolate to temper it. I don’t like shortening, and I knew that I had dipped strawberries before without it. Of course, looking in The Joy of Cooking, I found that I didn’t need shortening at all, just a candy thermometer, that I have a nice glass one with a clip. There are instructions later in this post about how to do this.

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Lobster Rose Petal Salad with Lemon Butter Dressing – Great Grandmother’s Recipe

Lobster and rose petal salad
Dressed Lobster and Rose Petal Salad

When I was a little girl, my mother used to go on about how she loved going to her grandmother’s house when she would serve Lobster and Rose salad. I was always hoping that my mother would recreate the recipe, but she never did.

When my great-grandmother was making this salad, lobster was a lot less expensive. I decided that for my birthday, despite to cost, I would recreate Christina Jacobsen’s recipe myself.

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Rose Fudge and Black Forest Fudge – Happy Birthday to Me!

Rose Fudge Truffles and Black Forest Fudge
Recipes in this Post

It’s my birthday, and I can make anything I want to! It’s also Founder’s Night at my son Spane’s school, so I thought I should bring something to liven up the festivities. I got up early this morning and make two kinds of fudge, Rose Fudge and Black Forest Fudge. As of this writing, there are no pictures, but there will be as soon as it sets.

I love the flavor of roses, there is nothing like it. I have some rose syrup that I often put in lemonade, and love roses with peaches. What could be better in fudge?

One of my favorite cakes is a Sour Cherry Fudge cake, and I’m making that for my birthday cake (more later), so I decided to take that to the candy level as well.

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