So I guess I should just call it 'Chocolate Cake'.  I've been making this cake for years and it is simply delicious.  When I made it this past week, I thought the dough seemed a little thick but I went with it anyway.   Once I had put the cake in the oven I realized why it was so thick - I totally forgot to put the Kahlua in!  Aughh...oh well, too late now.  (That's what happens when I talk on the phone and bake at the same time!)
The Kahlua didn't really make THAT much of a difference.  The cake was still WONDERFUL without the Kahlua.  It was just as moist and will give any chocoholic their fix.   Plus for those of you that would rather not cook with alcohol or don't have Kahlua on hand you now know you can still make this yumm-o cake!

Now be warned, this cake is not made from "SCRATCH" as Boy 2 likes to point out - although it does not stop him from eating more than his fair share!

1 box devil's food  cake mix, with pudding in the mix
1 small box instant  fudge chocolate pudding
2 cups sour cream
1 package milk  chocolate chips
4 eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil

**Feel free to add 1/3 cup  Kahlua**

Preheat oven to 350  degrees F.
Coat a Bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients  together by hand.
Bake for 45-50  minutes.
Stupid easy.
Stupid good.

I've been making this cake for years.  Sometimes I forget about it and I will go years without making it or even thinking about it, but EVERY time I make it (typically when I don't have much time or energy to cook) I wonder WHY I don't make it more often.  And then I remember.  2. STICKS. OF. BUTTER.

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks of butter cut into squares

Preheat oven to 350. Dump cherries & pineapple into a 9x13 pan.  Spread evenly.  Dump cake mix on top, spread evenly.  Place butter pats on top of cake mix.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Eat warm, cold, either way.  You won't be disappointed.

Paula Deen would be proud. 
It's not pretty, and the picture was taken with my camera after several had already dug in, but it is SO GOOD...
We had an amazing weekend, but truth be told, I am WAY TOO tired to write about it tonight.  Instead I'm going to leave you with this awesome Mixed Berry Spoon Cake recipe.  Enjoy!  I promise to write a little more tomorrow.  

4 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 pints blackberries
2 pints raspberries
1 ½  TBL crystallized ginger (
 ¾ plus 2 TBL sugar
2 TBL cornstarch
Mix all ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes.

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 ½ TSP baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ sticks salted butter - melted 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium bowl mix together all dry ingredients.  In a small bowl mix together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredient and mix together until evenly moistened (I can’t help but think of a friend ‘Nickie’ when I say the word moist! Hehehe) – then add the melted butter and mix till smooth.  

Spread the filling a 13x9 inch baking dish (or into three 8 inch rounds like I did – I was giving 2 away and keeping one).  Spoon the batter over the top leaving small gaps. Bake for 1 hour – the fruit should be bubbling. Let cool for as long as you can stand it, and then serve – it is yummy by itself or served with vanilla ice cream or homemade whip cream!  (Fine, buy Cool Whip – I won’t judge ;o)
This recipe is very can change up the berries to your liking. If you fancy blueberries, throw them in....don't like raspberries, leave 'em out.  The choices are endless.....

***Recipe adapted from Food & Wine "Our Best New Classics"

Good night all....
A couple of weeks ago I went to an FRG (Family Readiness Group) ice cream social.  I'm not a HUGE lover of ice cream (although every other person in my house is), but these little guys caught my eye.  Before I knew it I had eaten 4 of them.  Seriously.  FOUR!  After asking around I found the person that made them and begged her for the recipe (OK, not much begging going on, I simply ask and received) and now I am going to share this insanely easy recipe it with you...

40 saltine crackers
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups or 1 package semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (pick your favorite!)

Preheat oven to 350. 
Spread almonds on baking sheet and toast in oven for 3-5 minutes.  (Keep an eye on them!)
Line a cookie sheet with foil
In a saucepan melt butter on stovetop. Once the butter is melted add sugars and stir till smooth.
Pour butter mixture over crackers, making sure to cover EVERY cracker!
Top with almonds...make sure you have almonds on every cracker!
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until toffee (sugars and butter) bubbles!
This picture was taken after 6 minutes, just starting to bubble....
Remove from oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Let sit for 2 minutes while the chocolate chips start to melt... once chocolate chips are nice and shiny (after 2 minutes) spread the chocolate to cover all crackers!
Let sit for hours and hours until chocolate hardens, unless you are like me and can't wait, then stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes to speed up the process.  Break or cut apart and devour!!
Yes, I said BROWNED BUTTER.  There isn't much in the cooking world that is better than browned butter except maybe bacon.  When you brown the butter just right with little tidbits of brown....ahhh, you have created a whole new succulent nutty taste.

"Brown butter, also known as beurre noisette, is made by cooking butter long enough to turn the milk solids and salt particles brown while cooking out any water present. It has a more complex flavor than melted or clarified butter. Brown butter is traditionally served with fish, but makes a delicious topping for vegetables such as brussels sprout and broccoli. It adds a deep, nutty flavor to sweet items like butterscotch pudding or cream cheese frosting."

Let's just clear up one thing first, I'm a brownie LOVER!  The perfect brownie for me is a brownie with a fudgy middle, chewy edges and a shiny top.  I've been looking for the perfect brownie for years. I've made lots of brownie recipes and none of them have ever stuck around.  I've been in need of a "go to" brownie recipe and thought it would never happen.  Betty Crocker in the box has been my 'go to' brownie recipe for years.  Sad huh?  Well not anymore baby!!  When I was waiting in line at the grocery store the other day the Bon Appetit magazine caught my eye.  There were brownies on the cover and the caption read, "BEST-EVER BROWNIES Warning: You will eat the entire tray!".  Really?  Really? I didn't believe, but I bought the magazine anyway and thought I would give them a try.  I am so glad I did!!!  These are the BEST-EVER brownies and if I had made these when no one was around, I would have eaten the entire tray!!

Go grab some butter and let's get cookin'!

Recipe from Feb 2011 Bon Appetit Magazine

Nonstick cooking spray
10 TBL butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
¾ natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 TBL flour
1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 8x8x2 inch pan with foil pressing foil firmly against  pan sides and leaving a 2 inches overhang on both sides. Coat foil with cooking spray. 

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and brown bits form at the bottom of the pan stirring often, about 5 minutes
Just before the browing starts.....(I didn't actually get a pictures once it was 'brown'...sorry!)
Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 tsp water & vanilla.   Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition.  When the mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended.  Beat vigoroously 60 strokes.  Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. 

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean (with few moist crumbs attached), about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.  Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.  Cut and serve....or just eat them all.