Monday, June 29, 2009

Seriously Moist Chocolate Cake

This is my go-t0, most favoritest chocolate cake recipe. I found it on the internet eons ago and can't find it again to give credit.

It was my sister's 26th birthday yesterday and mom was having us over for a really nice dinner so naturally I offered to make and bring the cake. I asked my sister what kind of cake she wanted - chocolate. I asked her what kind of icing she wanted - rainbow chip. You got it Sis!

I've never in my life had a slice of chocolate cake as moist as this. I urge you to try this recipe the next time you need a chocolate cake. Seriously, you cannot go wrong.

Source: the vast world wide web

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil (I use canola oil)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I only ever buy 1%)
1 cup HOT coffee
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups cocoa powder (I use Penzey's Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder)
2 cups cake flour (when I've substituted all-purpose flour, my cake always sank in the middle)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease and flour your cake pan(s) (2 round, or 1 sheet).
3. Add all dry ingredients (except sugar) to a bowl and whisk to combine.
4. In mixer, add sugar and oil and mix to combine.
5. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
6. Slowly add milk, coffee and vanilla extract.
7. Add dry ingredients in increments with mixer on low speed.
8. Add sour cream and stir to combine.
9. Pour into cake pans and transfer to oven.
10. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Again - try this recipe the next time you need a chocolate cake - you'll never try another!

Chicken Scampi

Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law is a pretty good cook. I've learned how to make a few dishes of hers and this has always been one of my favorites. Back in the day when the hubs and I were still dating, if we didn't have plans for us to hang out on a day where his mom was planning on making chicken scampi, he would always call me up and say "Mom's making chicken scampi, wanna come over?" It was just one of those dishes for me.

So she taught me how to make it, and it's relatively simple. The most daunting part about it is the chopping of practically an entire head of garlic. And one thing I'd never sacrifice in this dish is the use of fresh garlic. I was almost gonna this time - but just couldn't! I made a stop at the produce stand during my travels that day just to get fresh garlic because I knew I was making it for dinner and didn't have any on hand.

Another thing - if you haven't noticed by now - is that this is a red sauce scampi. People are usually surprised when I mention this dish and the fact that it's made with tomato puree, but it's just normal to me!

Source: my mother-in-law

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced finely
1 head of garlic, diced finely (I usually use about 9-10 cloves of the head)
1 can tomato puree (you can also add a can of diced tomatoes to add some texture/additional veggies)
long pasta, cooked according to package directions
1. Melt butter in skillet.
2. Add chicken and cook until browned.
3. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent.
4. Slowly add the tomato puree and stir.
5. Cover and simmer until pasta is done, stirring occasionally.
6. Season with salt and a few pinches of sugar to reduce the acidity (I personally don't think pepper has a place in this dish).

Serve this with a salad and some nice italian bread. I picked up a fresh loaf from Baker Street Bread, sliced it up, buttered one side and sprinkled some garlic salt from Penzey's.