Triple Chocolate Cake Balls

I made up the triple part, but read on and you will see why.  I made these last night for the first time and love love loved them.  So Chocolate Lovers listen up... It's not my fault if you become addicted to these things.  Make at your own risk.  I am not a chocolate person and these are excellent.

1 box Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix
1-1/3 c whole milk
1/2 c sour cream
1 (4oz) pkg chocolate pudding
2 large eggs

1/2 to 1 c Nutella
Dipping Chocolate

Mix on low one minute.  Scrap sides.  Mix on med high 2 min.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and Bake @ 325 degrees for 35 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Once cake has cooled remove from pan into a large bowl and crumble.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of Nutella or another binder (Chocolate syrup or anything gooey) until you can form into a ball without it falling apart.  Place cake ball on a fork.  Melt dipping chocolate and spoon over cake ball.  Let dry (I put mine in the freezer) or harden.  Eat and enjoy.
Courtesy of Janell Smith @ Janellscakes.com

I begged her for this recipe which she briefly told me how easy it was and was like just use my chocolate cake recipe (above) and use a binder with dipping chocolate, it's that easy.  Hope you find it just as easy as the professional cake decorator.


Mexican Layered Dip

In honor of football season starting up this weekend I thought I would post a favorite of mine to eat at my football parties.

3 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
Pinch of garlic
Pinch of black pepper
Dash of hot sauce
1 c sour cream
1 c mayo (I sometimes use less)
1 pkg taco seasoning
4 (90z) cans of Frito-Lay bean dip (a can of refried beans is cheaper)
1 (16oz) jar of salsa, drained
1 c chopped onion or green onion
3 tomatoes, chopped (sometimes omit if I don't have)
1 (60z) can pitted olives (optional is Markus is eating)
Sliced Jalapenos peppers (optional)
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

In a bowl, stir together the avocado, lemon juice, garlic salt, black pepper, and hot sauce; set aside. In another bowl mix, sour cream, mayo, and taco seasoning; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl layer the bean dip, avocado mixture, sour-cream mixture, salsa, onions, tomatoes, olives, and jalapeno peppers to taste, and top wit both cheeses. Serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 20 (depending on who's eating it of course)

This recipe is from the great Lady & Sons Too! from Paula Deen.

*substitutes: taco seasoning can be substituted for Chili Powder and Cumin (you hardly notice the difference), Frito-Lay bean dip is practically the same as a can of refried beans (which is cheaper anyways), the cheeses I usually use whatever I have on hand.


Aunt Linda's Mac N Cheese

I had been thinking about this for a while and I was so excited when I saw my Aunt Linda yesterday to get her recipe.  I bought elbows to make it and everything I just wanted her recipe, not anyone else's.  So here goes...

1 lb elbows
1 (2lb) pkg of velveeta, cubed
1 stick butter
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
Salt & pepper

boil noodles according to direcions on pkg.  Drain noodles.  In the same pot melt stick of butter.  In a bowl, mix milk, use same can to for 1 can of water, 2 eggs,  salt & pepper.  Mix together the pot of butter.  Layer in a 9 x 13 pan starting with liquid mixture, then noodles, next cubed cheese, continuing until ingredients are finished.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Chicken Tortilla Casserole

We made this at my Pampered Chef Party a few months ago.  It was surprisingly pretty good.  Just wanted to share what's on our plate tonight.

1  poblano pepper
1 1/2  lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2  tbsp Southwestern Seasoning Mix (Taco Seasoning)
1/4  tsp salt
1  can (15 oz)  black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2  cups thick and chunky salsa
4  cups broken tortilla chips
1  cup (4 oz)  shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

Remove stem and seeds from poblano pepper; slice into thin strips. Arrange poblano strips. Combine chicken, seasoning mix and salt in a bowl. Arrange chicken over poblano strips.  Cover baker (stone) with 15-in. square of Parchment Paper,tucking corners of paper under baker. Microwave on HIGH 4 minutes; stir to separate chicken strips. Cover; microwave an additional 4-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Drain and rinse black beans. Stir beans and salsa into chicken mixture.  Gently stir in tortilla chips. Grate cheese over baker using. Microwave,uncovered, on HIGH 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. If desired, snip cilantro and sprinkle over casserole.

Yield 6 servings

I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and it's yummy.


Chocolate Chip-Pecan Cookies

This one is for you Suzette, cause you couldn't believe they were from scratch.  

1-1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick), room temp
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 eggs
1-1/2 c chocolate chips
1-1/2 c pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  (i always do 350 haha)

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt.  set aside.  In large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and vanilla.  Using mixer on high beat until light and fluffy.  beat in the egg.  Reduce to low and add flour mixture, mix until just incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans until evenly distributed.

Spoon rounded tablespoons of batter onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 2 in apart.  bake until just firm to the touch and beginning to brown. (about 15 min)
Makes about 2 dozen, Williams-Sonoma The Best of the Kitchen Library: Desserts

P.S. I never let the butter get to room temperature, I find it just works better that way.  Oh and I use whatever chips and nuts I have on hand.  It's good with anything


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