Creamed Cheese Frosting

Yes, it’s CREAMED cheese, not cream cheese.

This is amazingly good with the Chocolate Coconut Cake.

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2 lb confectioner’s/powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • A bit of milk if needed

Beat cream cheese in with butter, add almond extract, slowly add sugar. Should be soft but not runny. Use a bit of milk if it’s not soft enough. This will harden a bit as it sits.

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Chocolate Coconut Cake

I’ve been making this every year for our summer party for nearly thirty years…

  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 c shortening, softened
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 c shredded coconut
  • 1 c boiling water

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil, and butter it lightly.

Measure everything else into a large bowl in order and mix well. When you get to the dry ingredients in the list, mix them in slowly, stirring constantly. Once that’s all mixed, add the coconut, then mix in the boiling water.

Pour in baking pan, cook at 325 or til done. Cool 1 hour before frosting with Creamed Cheese Frosting.

Berbere Stew

A camping buddy cooked this and it was AMAZING. He gave me the recipe, and it’s one of our favorites now.

  • 1 onion
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic OR a heaping teaspoon of chopped jar garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice*
  • 1 1/4 c red lentils*
  • 1/2 c Teff grain*
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 32 oz box of chicken broth

Saute onions and garlic in oil, add spices and cook a bit, add everything else, simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add more liquid if it starts to dry out.

*All three of these things are available at Ethiopian markets. Berbere is a spice mix, like Garam Masala in India, and it’s delicious. I also got Teff grain and a jar of Berbere spice on Amazon very inexpensively.

You can easily add meat to this, after the spices. I like boneless skinless chicken thighs, but it’s good with sausage too.

 

Acorn Squash

I got this from a magazine…it’s extremely easy and amazingly delicious.

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Dried thyme leaves (fresh is good, I just never have it)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper

Cut the end off the squash, and cut it in half top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds, and slice each half into 1/4 inch slices; the more uniform the slices are, the better they cook.

Lay them on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme, then with parmesan cheese. Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or so. Amazing.

Tamale Pie

Oh, we love this Chez Otter. It’s very flexible, and it makes great leftovers.

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1-2 cloves chopped garlic OR a heaping half teaspoon of jar chopped garlic
  • 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 11 oz can corn (I like the kind without added sugar) drained
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Cornbread mix, whatever you like, and the ingredients to mix it

Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil.
Add the hamburger, brown it and break it up.
Add tomatoes and sauce
Add spices and stir it up.
Add all the veggies.

Let it cook for twenty minutes or so.
While it cooks, get out a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Turn the oven to whatever temperature the cornbread package says.
Mix up the cornbread mix according to the package directions.

When the meat mixture has cooked for the twenty minutes, put it in the casserole dish. Spoon the cornbread on top, and spread it out as much as possible. Put it in the oven, leave it til the cornbread browns. If the cornbread is not brown on top, it’ll be gooey underneath, so watch it to be sure it gets brown but doesn’t burn. I usually check every minute or two for the last five minutes.

This is one of those wonderful recipes that you can change depending on what you like, or what you have in the fridge. Any kind of vegetables are good, you can add cheese to the top at the last, you can use turkey or chicken, change the spices, whatever. Have fun.

Patti LaBelle’s Macaroni and Cheese

You can’t make a small amount of this. I usually buy a large foil lasagna pan at the store and take it to a potluck.

  • 1 tbsp vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 1 (seperate) tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly butter a 2 1/2 qt baking dish (or your foil pan)
Cook macaroni according to directions til it’s al dente – don’t overcook!
Melt 8 tbsp butter and stir it into warm macaroni
In a large bowl, combine all four shredded cheeses (NOT the Velveeta!)
Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixed shredded cheeses.
Mix the macaroni, the rest of the shredded cheeses, the Velveeta, the half-and-half, the salt and pepper, and the eggs, mix well.
Put it in your casserole dish/foil pan
Sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup cheese
Dot with the last tablespoon of butter
Bake 30-35 minutes or til the edges are golden brown and bubbly.

 

 

(Buffalo) Chili

This is my favorite chili recipe, although it takes about three hours. If you have access to buffalo meat, go for it, that’s the best.

  • 14 oz can chicken broth
  • 3 lbs buffalo stew meat, or flank steak, or a chuck roast, cut in bite size pieces
  • 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 7 oz can diced green chiles
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic OR 1 heaping tablespoon if it’s from a jar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 12 oz can corn (I like the kinds with no sugar added)
  • Shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1-2 limes

Mix all ingredients from chicken broth to brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer one hour. Add onions, green pepper and corn. Simmer 2-4 hours.

Add lime juice and cheese to taste, stir til cheese melts, serve.