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    Sarah Simpson-Weiss

      Post recipes or links to recipes here to share with the community.


        I love that we have a recipe section! LOL! How about that coffee in Caroline Bellefleur’s cake mix? Thanks, Dawn! This is so fun!


          Back in the day, we had a very active recipe thread. I should go back and copy/paste some favorites to start.


            Hi Rebecca, I believe this is the recipe you are referring to:

            Caroline Holliday Bellefluer’s Blue Ribbon Chocolate Cake

            2 cups flour (sifted, then measured)
            2 cups sugar (I prefer ultra fine baker’s sugar)
            1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use a premium brand)
            1/2 teaspoon baking soda
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            1 cup whole milk
            1/2 cup cold black coffee
            1/2 cup shortening
            1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
            2 large eggs
            Frosting – see recipe below and prepare before cake
            2/3 cup chopped pecans plus pecan halfs for garnish


            Prepare icing first. See recipe below.

            Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour two 9″ x 2″ cake pans. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat in milk, coffee, shortening and vanilla with an electric mixer at a low speed until combined. Then, beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat 2 more minutes.

            Pour the batter into prepared pans and smooth with spatula. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

            Let cake layers cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and place on racks to cool completely.

            Place one layer top side down on plate. Spread with 1/2 of prepared frosting; sprinkle with chopped pecans. Top with the other layer, top side up. Frost the top and sides with remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with pecan halfs with a star design.

            Chocolate Icing:

            1 1/8 cups of whipping cream
            1 stick of unsalted butter (use premium brand)
            4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (use a premium brand)
            3 tablespoons light corn syrup
            9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (1/2 & 1/2 is the best and use Ghirardelli or other premium brand)
            1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


            Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove saucepan from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla extract and whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Refrigerate frosting until slightly thickened but still spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

            Tip: When icing cake, run the icing knife or spatula under hot water every few minutes to ensure a glossy finish. Also, a tablespoon of mayo can be added to cake mix for moistness in cold, dry weather.

            This recipe was adapted from one of my Mom’s. The original was for a 3 layer cake. She wasn’t a coffee drinker and thought this was a great way to use what was left in the pot after my Dad left for work…


              crossfox, I hear you on that – I really should go through the recipe thread and pick out my favorites. I’ve just always relied on the message board being there to look them up when I need them.

              Rebecca, That chocolate cake recipe actually made it into The Sookie Stackhouse Companion Book but was renamed. Only Charlaine knew the original Caroline Bellefluer recipe which you’ll only find in the Companion book.


                Here’s one that FCD posted that seems seasonally appropriate, especially this year:


                Version 1, for when someone else is making it:

                Squeeze two key limes into a 12-oz or 14-oz mug
                Mostly fill the mug with water
                Microwave until hot
                Stir in a scant quarter-teaspoon of grated ginger
                Then stir in as much local honey as you need to make it drinkable.
                Sip slowly, inhaling the steam.

                (This got me through Martian Death Flu one January. The hospital was turning people away left and right, and still had patients being kept on gurneys in the hallway. My doctor said I was sick enough to be admitted, but my hubby looked around and decided he could take better care of me at home.)

                * * *

                Version 2, for when the sick person makes it:

                Microwave a mug of good lemonade or limeade, like Newman’s Own, until very hot. Stir in a pinch of ground ginger if you can lay hands on it without having to climb or knock anything over. If you do knock something over, say a few words that nobody has any business listening to anyway, sit down on the floor, and drink your hot lemonade. Hold mug in both hands and sip slowly, breathing as much of the steam as you can. Then go back to bed where you belong.


                  I just spent an enormous amount of time reading through that rabbit hole. This recipe from originalhulijing seems like another one that should be preserved for posterity, so to speak:

                  Gracious Plenty Parmesan Breadsticks:
                  Cooking time: 36 minutes
                  Prep time: 25 minutes plus standing

                  You Will Need
                  3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
                  1 cup Parmesan cheese
                  2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
                  2 teaspoons salt
                  1 teaspoon pepper
                  2 teaspoon rapid-rise dry yeast
                  1 1/4 cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
                  1/4 cup semolina flour or cornmeal
                  1 teaspoon olive oil

                  What to Do
                  1. Mix 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, Parmesan, rosemary, salt, pepper, and yeast in a large bowl. Blend in water. Add 1 1/2 cups more flour to form a soft dough. Dust work surface with flour. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, working in remaining flour to keep dough from sticking. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest 10 minutes.

                  2. Sprinkle two 16 x 12-inch sheets of wax paper with 1 tablespoon semolina each and pat dough pieces into 10 x 6-inch rectangles. Brush with oil and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate 1 piece of dough.

                  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with half of remaining semolina. Cut unrefrigerated dough crosswise into 20 equal strips, each about 8 inches long. Hold dough strips by the ends, twisting and stretching until about 12 inches long. Place twists 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Let rise, uncovered, 10 minutes.

                  4. Lightly coat breadsticks with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes. Remove breadsticks from oven and lightly coat again with cooking spray. Bake until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

                  Makes: 40 breadsticks

                  Per serving (1 breadstick): Calories 56, saturated fat 0.5 g, total fat 1 g, protein 2 g, carbohydrate 9 g, fiber 0 g, sodium 163 mg, cholesterol 2 mg, calcium 40 mg.


                    This one, originally posted by Ms. Harris, seems like comfort food right now:

                    HOT FRUIT SALAD

                    1 medium can apricot halves
                    1 medium can pear halves
                    1 medium can pineapple chunks
                    3 large bananas, sliced
                    1 medium can wild blueberries
                    1 medium can applesauce
                    1 medium can cranberry sauce
                    brown sugar

                    Place apricots, pears, pineapple, bananas, and blueberries in colander to drain. Pour blueberries in last to allow juice to go through other fruit. Mix cranberry and applesauces well. Put half this mixture into the bottom of baking dish, saving remaining half to go on top. Put well-drained fruit over bottom layer of cranberry and applesauce. Pour rest of the sauce on top. Dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 until fruit is bubbly, about 45 minutes.

                    *I sometimes use blueberries that I’ve picked myself and frozen. This will affect the color of the completed dish. As you can see, this is easy to make, though the canned fruit can be expensive. This recipe originally came from CANE RIVER, a wonderful cookbook that was a wedding present many, many years ago.


                      And this pork roast from robwri, because another board had a discussion of pork roast yesterday, and it’s a popular subject:

                      PORK ROAST

                      This stuff is pretty good. I got it from my dad who copied it out of a magazine.

                      4 pounds of pork roast
                      2 tablespoons of sea or kosher salt
                      2 tablespoons of liquid smoke
                      1 tablespoon of grated ginger
                      2 gloves of crushed garlic
                      2 tablespoons of soy sauce

                      Preheat oven to 350
                      Rub ingredients over roast
                      Wrap securely in aluminum foil
                      Cook for ~ 3 hours or until tender
                      Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes

                      You can either shred it or eat it in slabs.
                      Serves 8

                      350 kcals, 16gm of fat, o carbs 50gm protein and a 2180mg of sodium.


                        Another winter comfort food recipe from BigMama:

                        It is in this thread! Back around #322 in Oct. 2006. I remembered it having cabbage in it, but it doesn’t. You could add it as a layer before you put the final tomatoe layer on. Here it is again:

                        8 LAYER DINNER

                        Put the following as layers in a dutch oven or large pot which can go in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
                        4 medium potatoes, sliced
                        1 cup sliced carrots (I use more cause I LOVE carrots)
                        1 large onion, sliced
                        1 pound uncooked ground sausage–I buy Jimmy Dean mild patties cause I don’t like to handle meat-if you get it in the tube, make it into a large flat patty that covers the veggies underneath–if you do like me and use patties, single layer them over the veggies
                        2 cups cooked rice
                        1 can field or blackeye peas
                        1 pound sausage (done as above)
                        1 large can diced tomatoes (pour over top)
                        Bake for two hours.


                          And this is our traditional Christmas gift to my siblings and their families. We get real presents for the small fry, but the adults mainly stick to homemade goodies like my SIL’s granola, maple syrup from my brother, and this fudge:

                          This is our standard Christmas fudge. We call it Idiot Fudge because it has two main ingredients, plus whatever options you decide to add. The recipe was adapted from one which had a lot of extraneous ingredients like sugar (both the main ingredients already have that) and vanilla (hello? it’s FUDGE!). This is chocolatey enough for the most serious addict.

                          IDIOT FUDGE

                          18 oz. (1 1/2 bags) chocolate chips (We use a mix of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate [edit – now marketed as 60% Cocoa Bittersweet] and Semisweet; double chocolate [bittersweet] by itself will screw up the texture.)

                          1 can sweetened condensed milk (e.g. Eagle brand or Carnation)

                          optional powdered candy canes – pound on a cutting board with a hammer while still in the wrapper, then pour out of wrapper

                          [edit – this year I added 1 tsp peppermint extract to the milk as it simmered for the mint batch and it worked well]

                          Heat sweetened condensed milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat until just barely simmering, stirring occasionally to heat evenly. When hot, add the chocolate chips, shake pan to distribute evenly, and watch until they all turn shiny.

                          Stir immediately to mix evenly until the fudge appears silky – don’t stir longer than necessary, or the texture will turn grainy. Turn out immediately onto waxed paper in a 13x9pan, spread immediately with knife or large spoon, and allow to cool to room temp before cutting.

                          The powdered candy canes can be added before the chocolate chips and shaken to mix with the milk, or sprinkled over the top of the hot fudge once it’s spread.

                          This fudge is very fast to make, but you have to be on top of the timing if texture is important to you. It tastes just as good if it gets grainy, but the mouth feel is not as sublime.


                            This is a variation on the Hot Fruit Salad above. Apparently you can only edit posts while you’re still on the page. This one was posted by arotre:

                            I am sure this is the Curried Hot Fruit that Charlaine was referring to in her GS series as it is served at every special occasion in the Mississippi Delta, probably because it is so simple and it tastes so good:

                            CURRIED HOT FRUIT

                            1 can each: pears, apricots, peaches, pineapple chunks
                            1 can seedless Bing cherries
                            1 cup brown sugar
                            2 t. curry powder (or to taste – some people use 1)
                            3/4 stick butter
                            1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
                            1/2 cup dry sherry

                            All cans of fruit are approx. 14-16 ozs. Drain fruit well and cut in large pieces. Grease a 3 quart baking dish with butter. Melt and cook together for several minutes the sugar, curry powder, butter and ginger. Put layer of fruit in greased dish and pour half the sauce over. Repeat with remaining fruit and sauce. Pour sherry over all. Cook in 325 oven for 1 hour. Serve hot. You can serve as a hot side dish, in place of a salad or as dessert with a dollop of sour cream or ice cream. And if you don’t have sherry bourbon will work, or brandy.

                            My daughter doesn’t think its Thanksgiving or Xmas without this and spiced apple rings.


                              Last one, because it’s about time for barn chores. Posting this because ihearteric made it for a class, and she said it was a hit. She used ground turkey, and said she wouldn’t prebake again because they had to throw away the first pumpkin. OTOH she didn’t know whether the second one cooked through, because everyone gobbled up the filling and no one ate any of the pumpkin. So there’s that:

                              This looks like a fun Halloween recipe, from the Staff Favorites column in the Food section, from Washington Post Book World contributing editor Evelyn Small.

                              DINNER IN A PUMPKIN

                              Much of this meal can be made a day in advance: Complete the first baking of the pumpkin and the beef-and-rice mixture, then cover and refrigerate. The baked pumpkin can accompany the beef and rice as a side dish.

                              1 sm-med pumpkin, reg. soccer ball size
                              1-2 TBP olive or canola oil
                              1 med onion, finely chopped, about 1 C.
                              1 C. finely chopped button mushrooms, stems OK
                              1.5-2 lb lean ground beef
                              freshly ground black pepper
                              2 TBP low sodium soy sauce
                              2 TBP brown sugar
                              1 10 3/4 oz. can lowfat cream of mushroom soup
                              (sub. cream of chicken OK)
                              1 8 oz. can water chestnut slices, drained and sliced
                              1 1/2 C. cooked wild rice

                              Preheat oven to 350F. Have ready a sturdy rimmed baking sheet.

                              Cut off the top of the pumpkin as if carving a jack o’lantern, set aside for a lid. Discard pulp and seeds, leaving a clean hollow space. Place on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Set aside.

                              Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over med. heat until it shimmers. Add onion and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook several minutes, stirring to break up clumps of beef, until no pink remains. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and soup, stirring to combine. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add water chestnuts and cooked rice.

                              Transfer mixture to pumpkin; cover top with aluminum foil and bake about 30 minutes or until mixture inside has heated through and pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter; decorate with a jack o’lantern face and serve warm.

                              Note from me: there is a sinfully good Afghan dish made from stewed or baked sweetened pumpkin with a yoghurt-ground beef sauce. In restaurants it’s called kadu, which I suspect just means pumpkin.


                                I love that y’all are stocking up the recipe box! THANK YOU! And how fun is the dinner in a pumpkin?! Thanks for the chocolate cake, sonofnorway!

                                Sarah Simpson-Weiss

                                  These are amazing! I’m doing that 8-layer dinner soon!

                                  Meanwhile the mention of the long-ago thread made me panic a little. I backed up the Master.com board, but it’s nearly impossible to do anything with the back-up. (Sigh). It’s only going to be there until the 31st! I tried to access the Archived thread, but my Master.com access “broke” awhile ago, and they never fixed it. I can’t get into those posts. Can anyone else? Because now is the time to grab those recipes while you can. http://charlaineharris.master.com/texis/master/search/msgboard.html?Catid=52cf2dae3

                                  Also, I remember – was it 2002 or so? You all made an actual cookbook of your recipes! I think I scanned it, years ago, when I needed to downsize. I will try to find that file too.

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