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Devil’s Food Layer Cake

Yields A 10-inch cake; 12 to 16 servings

Cake Layers
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
• 2 3/4 cups sugar
• 5 large eggs
• 1 1/4 cups full-fat buttermilk


Chocolate Ganache
• 24 or 32 ounces bittersweet chocolate
• 3 or 4 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon caramel

Valentine’s Day Indulgence Done Devilishly Right

If asked to describe the favored foods of Valentine’s Day in a single word, “decadent” might prove the most apt descriptor. Foodies and non-foodies alike recognize that Valentine’s Day
and chocolate are intertwined, making the day an ideal time to indulge in something decadent. This Valentine’s Day, couples can share their love for decadent delights by working alongside one another to whip up this recipe for “Devil’s Food Layer Cake” from Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson’s “Tartine” (Chronicle Books).

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and lightly flour the sides of two 9-inch cake pans, knocking out the excess flour. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper cut to fit exactly.

To make the cake layers, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat on the same speed light in color and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until incorporated before adding the next egg. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 equal batches alternately with the buttermilk in 2 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix again for another few seconds.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched or a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.




When the cakes are cool, turn them out by inverting the pans, and then turn the cakes upright. Using a serrated knife, slice off the domed portion from the top of each cake to make the tops flat. If you want to decorate the cake with crumbs as described in the headnote, reserve the slices for making the crumbs.

To make the crumbs, preheat the oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner. Break up the cake slices and spread on the lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast until completely dry, about 1 hour. Let cool completely, then transfer to a food processor or blender and process until finely ground. Sift the crumbs through a medium-mesh sieve. (Don’t use a sieve with fine mesh or the crumbs won’t pass through.) Set aside.

To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, using the smaller amount of each ingredient if you will be decorating the cake with crumbs and the larger amount if you will not. Bring the cream to just under a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes without stirring until the chocolate is partially melted, and then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and shiny.

To assemble the cake, split each cake into 2 layers to make 4 layers in all. Transfer 1 layer to a serving plate. Using an offset spatula, spread 3 tablespoons of the caramel evenly over the cake layer. Spread a thin layer of ganache (about 1/4-inch thick) over the caramel. Top with a second cake layer, and again spread with 3 tablespoons caramel and then a thin layer of ganache. Top with the fourth cake layer. Refrigerate the cake until the center seems firm, 1 to 2 hours. Cover the remaining ganache with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for finishing the cake.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Using the rest of the ganache, frost the top and sides of the cake with the offset spatula. If you are going to coat the cake with the toasted cake crumbs, the cake must be evenly frosted and the ganache must be soft enough for the crumbs to adhere. If the ganache has hardened, use a kitchen torch to soften it slightly, or put the whole cake into a 400 F oven for 10 seconds or so, just until the chocolate looks shiny. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top of the cake, then tilt and turn the cake so that they spill over the sides, adhering to them as they fall. If you are using only the ganache and not the crumbs, the ganache will be thicker on both the top and sides.

Serve the cake at room temperature. To store, cover tightly and keep in a cool place for up to 4 days. It is not necessary to keep this cake in the refrigerator.

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Gnocchi with Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4 (as a main course)

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1/4 cup fresh sage leaves

3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 pound gnocchi (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 400 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower and sage with the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until the cauliflower is golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Certain items are staples of the Thanksgiving dinner table. For example, mashed potatoes, candied yams and stuffing are Thanksgiving stalwarts. Pumpkin and apple pies help wrap up the festivities.

Thanksgiving hosts and hostesses interested in injecting more variety into their Thanksgiving offerings may want to consider a few unique side dishes to complement their turkey dinners. Sides that borrow from familiar flavors may fit seamlessly into the holiday feast and add spark to the meal.

This recipe for “Gnocchi with Roasted Cauliflower” from “Real Simple Dinner Tonight: Done!” (Time Home Entertainment) from the editors of Real Simple is rooted in popular ingredients synonymous with Thanksgiving. Gnocchi is a chewy and filling pasta made from potato – a holiday standard, while cauliflower is a mild, versatile vegetable that absorbs the spices and flavors of other ingredients. Putting these two ingredients together allows holiday hosts to provide a new side with some familiar flavors at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

Fifteen minutes before the cauliflower is finished, cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. Divide the gnocchi among bowls and top with the cauliflower and Parmesan.

Tip: Cauliflower florets are easier to separate if you remove the core first. Place the head stem-side up. Using a paring knife, cut around the core at an angle, creating a cone-shaped piece, then lift it out. If the head is very large, halve it first through the core. 

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Spaghetti Sandwich


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Chicken Pot Pie 



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Aunt Mildred’s Chicken Pot Pie

View Recipe


Stew a chicken in a large pot with 4qts water adding large chopped Onion and 3 stalks celery chopped. Remove Chicken and debone.

While Chicken is cooling to debone in a large bowl mix…

  • 8 cups flour
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 6 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Mix well with your hands, it will be sticky. Turn out onto a very well floured surface, kneed until no longer sticky adding flour as needed. Roll out to 1/8 inch in thickness, cut into 1×2 squares.

Add Potatoes to  boiling broth, dropping dough into the broth, return chicken to the soup and let it simmer till potatoes and pot pie squares are done. Enjoy!


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Danielle’s Delightful Apple Pie








Chicken Fajita Tacos









Spaghetti and Meatballs








Spaghetti and Meatball Sandwich









Flourless Walnut Cake with Fresh Figs

View Recipe


  • 8 ounces or 228 grams ground walnuts, about 2 cups
  • 9 ounces or 255 grams granulated sugar, about 1-1/4 cups
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, optional


  • fresh figs, cut into wedges
  • crushed walnuts
  • powdered sugar
  • edible flowers (optional)
  • whipped sweetened cream


    1. Preheat oven to 350F Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan or spring form pan. If you use a cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
    2. Separate the eggs, and beat the yolks with the sugar for about 7 minutes, or until pale yellow and fluffy.
    3. Fold the ground walnuts into the mixture.
    4. Whip the egg whites to medium peaks. Add cream of tartar to help stabilize my egg whites (optional).
    5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter: Fold one scoop of whites into the batter, and then pour the batter into the bowl with the egg whites…it seems to blend up easier that way.
    6. Once your batter is smooth without large streaks or lumps of egg white remaining, turn into your pan and smooth out.
    7. Bake, on a baking sheet, for about 35-40 minutes or until risen and set in the middle. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out without wet batter on it.
    8. Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes, and then gently remove the outer ring. If the cake hasn’t separated from the edge of the pan naturally, run a blunt spreading knife along the edge to loosen it first.
    9. Let cool before decorating with the figs, walnuts, flowers and powdered sugar.




















Air Fryer Chicken Parmigiana w/Potatoes
Au Gratin
& Mixed Vegetables






Homemade Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage








Entertaining is a big part of the holiday season. Calendars are packed this time of year with gatherings with friends, family and professional colleagues.

Entertaining requires keeping plenty of refreshments on hand to ensure guests maintain their holiday spirit. Dessert is no stranger to the season, with office break rooms, dining tables and buffet stations brimming with sweet treats to tempt celebrants’ palates. Everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring along to a holiday party or to offer guests when hosting their own fêtes. Cookies are a standard due to their versatility and portability.

Festive “Sour Cream Cookies” provide all of the holiday feels and can be customized in color to reflect celebrations of Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or New Year’s. Bake up a batch, courtesy of “Live Well Bake Cookies” (Rock Point) by Danielle Rye.

Sour Cream Cookies

Makes 22 cookies

11/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

11/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream or milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Gel food coloring (optional)


1. To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well combined.

4. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until fully combined, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

5. Mix in the dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with the sour cream. Make sure to mix in each addition until just combined, and be careful not to overmix the batter.

6. Using a 11/2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave a little room between each one.

7. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are set and spring back when touched lightly. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. To make the vanilla buttercream frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing in each addition until well combined.

9. Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and gel food coloring (if using), and continue mixing until fully combined.

10. Once the cookies have cooled completely, spread the frosting on top of the cookies.

11. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.





Brussels with Maple and Bacon Candied Pecans




Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

View Recipe

1 Rotisserie Chicken, chopped
1 Cup of Carrots
1 Cup of Broccoli
1 Cup of Cauliflower
2 cups of chicken broth thickened with flour and butter
Pillsbury pie dough
Took me 20 mins to put together and 45 mins to cook.




Mac & Cheese

View Recipe

In a pan, put elbow macaroni down. Then add Mozzarella Cheese, Colby Jack Cheese and Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Add ham pieces and bread crumbs, then another layer of macaroni, cheese and ham. Add butter and milk. Put shredded cheese overtop. Put in the oven at 400° for a half hour.




Tree Cake




Barbecued Ribs





Tempura Shrimp with Texmati Rice, Peas and Cocktail Sauce





Halloween Deviled Eggs

View Recipe
Hard boil 1 dozen large eggs for 10-12 minutes.

Cool, peel, then 1/2 – put the yokes in a separate bowl.

Put the 1/2’s in a bowl with 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp. of vinegar and 10 drops of black food coloring.

Allow the egg 1/2’s to color in the fridge overnight – make sure to stir to ensure even coating.


Smash the yokes with a fork or potato masher

Add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, salt, pepper, dash of sour cream and whatever other favorite ingredients go into your

deviled egg filling…add 5 drops of yellow and 10 drops of red food coloring, mix with mixer until thoroughly incorporated.

Dump dye water off the whites and blot dry with paper towels.

Fill and enjoy!!!!

Tips:  If your family enjoys olives, sliced black or green olives to top adds a nice touch.



Bacon Cheese Burger



Tequila Lime Chicken with

Cilantro Rice & Mexican

Street Corn



Sausage Spaghetti Pie



Chicken Fajita Bowl




Stir Fry

View Ingredients


Steak-umm (whole box)

Half Onion

Mrs. Dash Seasoning

Sweet Peppers

Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese



Seafood Boil

View Ingredients







Andouille Sausage

Homemade White Wine Garlic Sauce with Crab Seasoning


The Great American Hamburger and Cheeseburger

View Recipe

(6 servings)


2 pounds ground beef chuck, 85 percent lean
5 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper Oil for coating grill grate
12 slices good quality American, provolone, or cheddar cheese (optional)
6 hamburger buns, split


1. Heat the grill to 425 F for gas or achieve light ash for charcoal or light ash for wood.

2. Using your hands, mix the beef, water, ketchup, and pepper in a bowl until well blended; do not overmix. Using a light touch, form into 6 patties no more than 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the burgers until the grill is ready.

3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the burgers on the grill, cover and cook for 7 minutes, flipping after about 4 minutes, for medium-done (150 F, slightly pink). Add a minute per side for well-done (160 F).

4. If you are making cheeseburgers, put 2 slices of cheese on each burger 1 minute before the burgers are going to be done.

5. To toast the buns, put them cut-sides down directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.

6. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, serve on the buns. If the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep the buns and the burgers separate until just before eating.


Poached Eggs, Asparagus and Chorizo Breakfast

View Recipe

(4 servings)


1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs

4 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (use the Spanish-style chorizo in casing, not loose Mexican-style chorizo)

1 1/4 pound medium asparagus

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 to 3 tablespoons white or cider vinegar

4 eggs Freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until hot in a medium, heavy frying pan set over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, tossing constantly, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the crumbs to a plate. (Crumbs can be prepared 1 hour ahead; cover and leave at room temperature.)

2. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in the same frying pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the chorizo and stir until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. (Chorizo can be prepared 1 hour ahead; leave at room temperature.)

3. Trim and discard 2 to 3 inches of the tough bases of the asparagus spears. Add the asparagus and 1 teaspoon salt to a large frying pan filled halfway with simmering water. Cook until the spears are just tender, 4 minutes. Drain and toss the asparagus in a large bowl with the butter and lemon juice. Season with salt and cover with foil.

4. Bring a large frying pan filled halfway with water to a boil. Add the vinegar and gently break each egg into a saucer and slide it into the water. Swirl the water with a wooden spoon while the eggs are cooking. Cook until the eggs are just set but the yolks are still soft, 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. (If you have an egg poacher, cook according to the manufacturer’s directions until the eggs are set.)

5. Mound some asparagus spears on each of four dinner plates. Top each serving with a poached egg and sprinkle with the chorizo and bread crumbs. Season the eggs with several grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt and serve. 


Fiery Corn Salsa

View Recipe

(2 cups)


1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 1/2 cups corn kernels

2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large bowl, combine oil, lime juice and cilantro. Add tomatoes, corn and jalapeno to taste. Mix well until corn mixture is well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or up to 2 days. Tip: In place of the corn kernels, you can used canned corn, drained; frozen corn, thawed; or corn from the cob, cooked on the stove top. For a smoky flavor, use corn grilled on the barbecue grill.


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