Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The house is trashed, I’ve gotten too little sleep (thanks to thunderstorms and terrified two yr olds, not to mention baby’s who will remain nameless who have suddenly decided that they need to eat TWICE A NIGHT when they HAD been sleeping straight through) and the last thing I wanted to do today was get out of bed - let alone clean and cook. But does that stop Monday Food Fest? No! Dinner marches on... to be fair, everyone in the family would totally understand if I needed to postpone, even cancel (gasp), but I do our weekly meals more for myself than them, I think. No matter how I feel early on, once I’m cooking I really enjoy it. I like having something new to make each week and I’m beginning to be more comfortable in the kitchen - which makes me try new things and branch out on my own and THAT makes me feel like I’ve learned a useful skill. But enough blabbering. The whole point is that even though I didn’t really feel like it at first, this food fest was definitely worth it!
It was dad’s turn to pick, and since he hadn’t dropped off the recipe I once again had to break into my parents house (i.e. use my clandestine key) and hunt for the right kraft magazine. Just a little fun fact, this magazine was from 2007. My dad saves things - he passed his packrat disease on to me. Anyway, although the magazine was so old, I was still able to find the recipes online on the Kraft site. I made Favorite Meatloaf and Sweet and White Potato Spears from this mag. It was my mom’s turn to pick dessert and in true mom fashion, she wanted to pick something that was “easy on me” so she said all she wanted was Bryer’s ice cream and homemade hot fudge. I looked around online for some recipes and after reading through a few came up with my own plan. Then, while I was shopping for ingredients, I had this inspiration - like revelation from Heaven - for a cake that I should make. So I made that too. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have done the same thing.
So, the meatloaf. It was huge. It would have fed about 10 of us. If you’ve got a big family, this recipe’s for you! I followed the directions without waivering, except I used a different brand of italian dressing and locally made sharp cheddar - because I’m sorry, it’s just better than Kraft. It was really good. The stuffing mix you use to make it definitely keeps the loaf moist, which was good because I don’t really like dense meatloaf (unlike my father, who makes meatbrick) and it also gave it a really nice flavor. mr prefers his mom’s recipe (and I don’t blame him, it’s good, we make it a lot), but he conceded that this loaf was “pretty good.” If you like meatloaf, this one’s a good version to try.
I didn’t change up the potato wedges at all either and they were alright - not spectacular. When we lived in UT there was this restaurant called Guru’s that I loved. They had the most phenomenal sweet potato fries I have ever eaten. So I my mouth was watering for sweet potato fires as I made these wedges, and, unfortunately, they just couldn’t measure up to Guru’s. I wish that I had broiled them for just a teeny little bit after they were baked so they would have been extra crispy.
Here is my recipe for hot fudge that, according to my parents, was pretty scrumptious.
A note - never ask your husband what you should “name” a certain recipe because you will end up with:
Cornelius Fudge (Hot)
1/2 C. butter
4 oz. semisweet baker’s chocolate
3 Tblsp. cocoa
6 Tblsp. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 C. cream (or milk)
Dash of vanilla
Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan, whisking nearly constantly. When it’s smooth, add the cocoa, flour and sugar. Mix well. Add the evaporated milk and cream and whisk. Add a dash of vanilla and continue whisking. Bring it to a boil, whisking constantly, then continue to cook while stirring for about 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.
I wish it had been a little hotter when I served it, but it was still good. I think it may have been a bit on the thick side. Mom said it was perfect, but you know how mom’s are. Maybe tone down the flour and/or cocoa?
And now, for the piece de resistance:
it was inspired by one of my favorite candy bars - Almond Joy. I call it:
(if it were up to mr, it would be called “Augustus Gloop”)
1 Chocolate cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can frosting
1/3 C. coconut
1/4 C. almonds - chopped
1/2 small bag of Almond Joy Pieces
1 mini almond joy bar
Make the cake onto two round cakes according to the directions on the box. Let them cool. Invert one on a plate. With the handle of a spoon, poke holes all over the top. Pour 1/2 the can of sweetened condensed milk into the holes. Spread a little frosting over the top. Sprinkle a little coconut on. Layer the second cake on top. Poke holes and pour the rest of the condensed milk in them. Spread the rest of the frosting all over the cake, covering the sides as well. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut on. Sprinkle on the almonds and the almond joy pieces. Ring the base of the cake with almond joy pieces. Garnish with a mini almond joy in the center.
What I liked about it:
It was chocolatey. How can you go wrong with that? I also liked that since the cake was just a smidge warm as I was working on it, the almond joy pieces (which are like m&m’s) were melty on the inside when we ate it. The sweetened condensed milk made it extra moist. Plus, I love the coconut/chocolate combo.
What I wish was different:
I should have made frosting instead of using store bought. Frosting isn’t that difficult to make and I prefer it to almost any store bought kind. Maybe a little whipped cream on top instead of chocolate frosting? With chocolate in the center still? Not sure, but worth playing with.
We all tried just a tiny bit of both the hot fudge - er, I mean CORNELIUS fudge and the cake, and it’s safe to say we got our chocolate fix taken care of for the rest of the month.
And even though the cake caused bug’s second bath of the evening (dirt was the first culprit), I’m glad I made it. There’s nothing like indulging in a hobby to make a slightly deplorable day less deplorable. Edible joy doesn’t hurt either.