Sunday, July 23, 2017

Diane's Almond Joy Cake


  • 1 box duncan hines coconut supreme cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 c milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla flavor

  • 2 c toasted flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 c toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 stick soft butter
  • 2/3 c cocoa, unsweetened
  • 3 c powdered sugar, plus additional if needed
  • 1/3 c milk, plus additional if needed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla flavor

How to Make It

  • FOR CAKE: Mix all cake ingredients in large bowl and beat 2-3 min.
  • NOTE: if you can't find the duncan hines coconut cake mix try this; use a white or yellow cake and add a coconut pudding mix and 2-3 teaspoons of coconut extract. That has worked for several bakers posted in the comments. Good luck to all.
  • Pour into 2 9 inch layer pans and bake in 350* preheated oven for 28 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool 10 min. Turn out onto wire racks and cool completely.
  • FOR FROSTING: Beat soft butter and cocoa till soft and well combined, add milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat 2 min until light and fluffy. (Add additional sugar 1 tablespoon at a time - if needed - until it reached spreding consistency. Do the same with milk if it's too thick.)
  • In two small pans spread your coconut and nuts and, stirring often, toast to a pretty light brown color. They will need watching as they will burn quickly.
  • I do this as soon as I take my layers from the oven.
  • Place one layer on a pretty plate and spread a cup (more or less) of your frosting. Sprinkle coconut and almonds generously. Use most of the coconut and half the almonds.
  • Put on next layer and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Sprinkle coconut around the top edge and along bottom. Sprinkle remaining nuts inside coconut circle on top. Whatever is pleasing to you.

    • 2 cup dry elbow macaroni
    • 4 cup shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese blend, divided [*see cook's note]
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 [10¾ oz] can cheddar cheese soup
    • ⅔ cup soft easy melting cheese [such as Velveeta or Cheez Whiz]
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • 4 Tbsp melted butter
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp ground mustard
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp white pepper

    How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a medium size pot, boil the elbow macaroni in salted water until al dente Drain well.
  • In a blender, blend together the milk, sour cream, cheddar cheese soup, cheez whiz, eggs, melted butter, white pepper, ground mustard, and salt. You can also do this by hand with a whisk.
  • Layer one half of the cooked macaroni in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with 2½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Spread the last of the cooked elbow macaroni over the cheese layer.
  • Pour the creamy sauce evenly over the macaroni. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  • Dot the top with butter just before baking.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve hot.
  • The cheese I used is a blend of mild, medium and sharp cheddar cheese. Any combination of cheese will work in the same amount.
  • stuffed-cabbages

    • 2 heads of cabbage
    • 2 lbs ground beef (or veal/beef/pork mix)
    • 3 cups cooked rice
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp garlic
    • 1 tbsp parsley
    • 2 slices diced onion
    • 1 -15 oz. can tomato sauce
    • 1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (in meat)
    • Salt & Pepper to taste

    How to Make It

  • Put a head of cabbage in a pot of boiling water, and peel off the cabbage leaves one at a time.
  • Cut off the rough part on the end of the cabbage leaf with a sharp knife.
  • Mix all ingredients together except the 15 oz can of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes and put a small amount (size of a sausage) on a cabbage leaf, and roll up like a fajita and place seam side down in a casserole dish. I put tomato sauce and a cabbage leaf or 2 on the bottom of the casserole dish so the Halupky won't burn.
  • Pour crushed tomatoes over Halupkys.
  • Cover and bake approximately 75 minutes at 375º.
  • Turn oven down to 325º and bake for approximately 90 more minutes until cabbage is tender. Baste every hour.
  • Serve with tomato sauce.
  • Saturday, July 22, 2017

    Old Fashioned Salmon Patties

    • 6 oz. can skinless/boneless pink salmon, drained
    • 2 T. diced onion
    • good pinch each of salt and pepper
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 T. buttermilk
    • 2 T. cornmeal
    • 4 T. all purpose flour
    • Veg. oil for frying

    How to Make It

  • In a bowl, combine the salmon, onion, salt and pepper. Stir in the egg, buttermilk, cornmeal and flour. Combine well. Heat about 1/4" oil in the bottom of a med. size iron skillet over med. high heat. Drop spoonfuls of the salmon mixture into the hot oil and flatten out just a tad. Fry, in batches, about a minute per side or until golden brown. Drain on a paper sack or paper towel lined plate. Makes 10 patties.
  • creamy-lemon-chicken-piccata

    • 2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally to make 4
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Cracked pepper
    • Light spray of cooking oil
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons butter (or oil)
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 1¼ cup chicken broth
    • ½ cup milk (full fat, or 2% or use reduced fat cream or heavy cream)
    • ⅓ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice — juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons capers, plus 2 tablespoons extra to garnish
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley

    How to Make It

  • Lightly spray your skillet with cooking oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and parmesan cheese. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; dredge in the flour mixture; shake off excess and set aside.
  • Heat the 3 tablespoon of oil and 2 teaspoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter has melted and pan is hot. Fry the chicken until golden on each side and cooked through and no longer pink, 3-4 minutes per side (chicken should register 165 degrees in center). Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.
  • Add garlic to the pan ( you may need to add a little oil to the pan) saute just until slightly golden. Pour in 1 1/4 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil, while scrapping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Allow broth to simmer until reduced by half, about 4 – 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together 1 Tbsp of water with cornstarch, then pour mixture into the broth in the skillet. Allow to simmer until thickened slightly then reduce heat to low and stir in butter and pour in milk or cream. Bring the sauce to a boil; season with salt and pepper to your taste; add in the parmesan cheese and capers and allow sauce to simmer for about 2 minutes until just a bit thicker.
  • Add lemon juice, allow to simmer for a minute or so to combine.
  • Serve over steamed asparagus or angel hair pasta drizzled with that sauce. To garnish top with extra capers, lemon slices and parsley.
  •


    • 1 box brownie mix
    • 1 extra large egg
    • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 (8 oz.) containers whipped topping
    • 1 (3 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding
    • 1 (3 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
    • 3 1/2 cups milk
    • 1 Hershey candy bar or chocolate syrup

    How to Make It

  • Mix brownie mixes according to directions. Add egg. Bake in brownie pan. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 container whipped topping. Put this mix on top of the cooled brownies. Blend puddings and milk together and put on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with another layer of whipped topping. Put chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  •


    • 1 package 8 oz cream cheese
    • 1 package shredded pepper jack cheese
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
    • 8 flour tortillas
    • 1 package shredded cheddar cheese
    • salsa

    How to Make It

  • Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.
  • Fold in chicken.
  • Divide among flour tortillas.
  • Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.
  • Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9x13" baking dish.
  • Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  • Turn chimi's over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  • Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.
  •
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