Wednesday, June 23, 2010

White Chocolate Cake

This was an amazing cake...when it is baking it smells like those candy shops you walk into while on vacation...and the best part. tastes like you are eating everything in the store when you take the first bite....make this cake you won't be sorry!!!

White chocolate cake

1/3 cup white chocolate (the white baking chocolate)

1 cup of butter, softened

1 ½ cup of sugar

4 large eggs separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 ½ cups of sifted cake flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup buttermilk


White Chocolate Frosting

¾ cup sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

6 Tbsp butter

3 Cups white chocolate chips

2 ¼ tsp vanilla extract

For Cake

Microwave chocolate in a glass bowl 30 seconds at a time until melted.

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted white chocolate and vanilla.

Sift flour and baking soda together; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Pour batter into 13 x9 greased and floured sheet pan- (you can do three layers – but the cake is so moist – it can fall apart easily)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick is inserted in center and comes out clean. Cool in pan.

For Frosting

Bring sugar, milk, and butter to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan. Boil for 1 minute- pour over chocolate and vanilla. Stir until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes and beat frosting at high speed with mixture 7 minutes, or until completely cool – then spread over cake.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, I decided to cook a large meal for the Daddy’s in my life instead of looking for one more flashlight, shirt, or gimmick of some sort. A good meal together with family can be a long lasting memory and more special than something purchased. The three daddy’s I have in my life are my husband Gregg, my Father-in-Law: Jimmy and my own Daddy: Paul. I would like to say something about each of them. First there is my husband Gregg, he is one extraordinary man. When we first met 10 years ago, I was attracted to him but feared there would never be a relationship develop because I was almost nine years older than him and was already the mother of two children, one with Down syndrome. He soon proved me wrong, he fell in love with me and the kids and has been by my side along with OUR three kids ever since. He is a great role model and truly the best daddy I have ever known.

My Father-in-Law, Jimmy has truly been like a second daddy to me. I feel I could tell him anything. He is always there for us no matter what time of day or night. There have been many nights when one of the kids needed to go to the ER with some sickness and all I had to do was call him and he came and stayed with the other kids until we got back home. One recent memory was when Shade was in the hospital for 4 days with RSV. Gregg and I were so tired after being awake with Shade night after night because his oxygen would drop and alarms would go off and we would have to wake him up and get him to cough. The first night home we were so scared because there were no alarms to wake us if his oxygen dropped so needless to say we were basket cases and again so very tired. Jimmy volunteered to come and stay with us all night and he did- we were able to sleep while he checked on Shade all night. What a special man and I will not ever forget all he has done for his family.

My own Daddy, Paul Hoxit My daddy and I have battled since I can remember. We could not be more different in our views, nature, or opinions and to be honest he has been a hard man to love on many occasions. He drake really bad when I was little and I can remember my mom having to leave with my brother, sister and me until he would sleep off a drunk. He was a very violent man when he would drink-not to us kids but to my mom and that was hard to watch and very scary. A child does not bond with a parent when those things are witnessed. He finally did stop drinking but the damage was done to our relationship sadly. That is just how it is sometimes. He had reasons for drinking and they were bad reasons, things he has seen and done in Vietnam. There are good memories and I choose to remember those these days. I will share a few: We always had food on the table and clothes to wear, our house was always warm and he always made sure we were covered up on those cold nights. There were also fun times. We grew up on about 70 acres of property and most of that was fields or woods. Many Sunday’s we would go for a family walk complete with the dogs. We would hike up to the top of the mountain. Me and my brother and sister would gather sticks, leaves, rocks, or anything else we thought was magical. There was also a small valley that was filled with fallen leaves. We would slide down that valley in the leaves with our dogs laughing all the way. Sometimes we would find a grapevine and swing on it. What fun that was. There were also the stories he would tell us, like the ones where he fought with Blackbeard the pirate and how we were really related to him. He still laughs about that- and how we believed him. There were rides on his back- while he was on all fours – and Sunday drives. That is the daddy I want to remember and I hope as time passes I will remember more of those magical hikes, stories and Sunday drives. I feel sad about my feelings and know that I mourn what could have been.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Old Dogs and Barbeque Sauce

When thinking about a story to write this week – I wanted to talk about old friends that add so much to our families- our pets- and in my case or my memory I should say ….an old dog named Bullet. I also came across a marvelous barbeque sauce that I wanted to share because it is barbequing time, so I have decided to combine both. I hope you enjoy!

As long as I could remember when I was little Bullet was our family dog. He was a beautiful collie (just like Lassie). We rescued him from an uncle who was going to shoot him. He did not understand a dog like Bullet because he had nothing but hunting dogs. Boy oh boy did he underestimate Bullet (more about that in a minute). I was probably about five years old when we got him. It was love at first sight with this dog and our family. We loved him and he loved us. There are not many photographs of us during those years that Bullet was present. Always sitting in the middle of the crew- our sun kissed arms wrapped all around him.

He was also very protective of us kids – mom or daddy could not spank us outside in his presence- he would growl- and saved us from a hickory switch for a few more hours. Every summer the copperheads were plentiful and he would find them long before we had a chance to happen upon one. I remember one time, daddy was going to the spring to check on our water in the reservoir, Bullet ran ahead of him sniffing the ground and all of the sudden Bullet started barking and growling and then…..he grabbed a copperhead and started slinging it back and forth with a force that tore that snake to bits. One of which went flying into my daddy’s face…now you know some went into his mouth. He started spitting and throwing up and cussing the dog. That story offered much entertainment through out the years. There were many other times when he would protect us from stray dogs that came onto the property, to strangers who took our road by mistake and would find us kids out playing in the yard.

Through the years this faithful dog was there sharing his love and gentle spirit. I was 17 the day he died. He had been going down hill, he was old and in the latest winter of his life. My daddy could not bear to see him suffer anymore and decided to put him down. He did it himself and to this day I don’t know how he had the strength. I know it still haunts him. I could not be there to see him buried either. Daddy had to do that too- he buried him beneath a beautiful dogwood tree and he left a legacy much richer and sweeter than any hunting my uncle ever owned.

I still think of him often and truly have never gotten attached to a dog like him since. When I heard the Miranda Lambert song, “The House that Built Me” and the line that says “ My best dog is buried under that old oak” I thought of Bullet once again, and could feel his soft fur that I so many times snuggled into. The pain in my heart was still there in the missing part- but the rest of me smiled- remembering my old friend.

2nd Part
Sweet Maple Barbecue Sauce
2 tablespoons of butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of ketchup
1 cup vinegar
1 cup real maple syrup
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ground mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoons paprika

Melt butter in sauce pan and cook onions and garlic until tender- then combine all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.