January 16, 2012

Rum Cake

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Yesterday we celebrated a birthday in our family, and I was called upon to bake the requisite cake. In my family, you don't buy one. You bake it, and preferably it should be something beyond just a mix and frosting. The birthday gal requested rum cake, and I couldn't wait to try and bake one. It turned out nicely, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. If you want to give it a whirl, here's the recipe:


1 Cup Toasted Pecans (to toast them, spread them on a cookie sheet that's been sprayed with a vegetable coating, like Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for about five minutes. The toasting brings out the flavor, or so I read.)
1 yellow cake mix
1 1.75 ounce instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 cup butter (Don't use margerine!)
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan. Sprinkle the toasted pecans into the bottom of the Bundt pan. Combine all the cake ingredients and beat on high for 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Pour into prepared pan, and bake for one hour. (Mine was done after 55 minutes, test with a toothpick.)

Towards the end of the baking (after it's baked about 50 minutes), prepare the glaze. (see below) After the cake has been removed from the oven and cooled for five minutes, pour 1/3 of the prepared glaze on top of the cake. This way the cake gets very moist and flavorful. Let the cake cool five MORE minutes, and then invert it onto your cake plate. Pour the remainder of the glaze on top of the cake. This cake gets better with each passing day. Enjoy!

Glaze Preparation

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in water and sugar, and bring to boil while stirring. Boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum. There will be a lot of steaming, so be careful to not burn yourself!

January 7, 2012

January 5, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

Today I decided to try a new recipe, and I'm happy to say it turned out quite well. Our guests enjoyed it, as did everyone else here at the house. Even the picky eaters enjoyed it, and that's saying something. The sour cream added right at the end of baking seemed to make the dish fluffier and smoother.

Mexican Lasagna
2 pounds ground beef
1 16 oz. can of refried beans
1 4 oz. can chopped mild green chiles
1/2 envelope taco seasoning
4 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
12 ozs. lasagna noodles - cooked, cooled (and laid out on wax paper so they don't stick together)
1 jar mild salsa
1 cup water
2 cups sour cream
1 small can sliced ripe olives, drained
4 green onions, chopped

Cook ground beef in large skillet, drain fat. Stir in the beans, chiles, taco seasoning. In a greased 9 X 13 pan, layer a third of the noodles and meat mixture. Sprinkle with one cup of cheese. Repeat layers two times. Combine salsa and one cup of water, pour over the top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Top with 2 cups of sour cream, olives, onions, and the remaining cup of cheese. I put olives on only half of the dish, since some in our house don't like olives. Bake five minutes more, uncovered this time. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

If you want more spice, add more taco seasoning and also include a few tablespoons of hot salsa (some like Cholula brand) when you throw in the beans. I skipped that part as we are wimpy about spicy food.

I hope you enjoy this fun lasagna!

January 3, 2012

A Gorgeous Sampler

Happy Day sampler done by Gina2424
Happy Day sampler done, a photo by Gina2424 on Flickr.
I found this sampler by Gina2424 on Flickr recently. Don't you just love the colors and free form feeling of it? Fun, fun, fun!