Thursday, February 7, 2008

Recipe Box Swap Day!

Remember what today is?
Before I answer that question, I'd like to point out an unexpected perk I've discovered about blogging. Blogging helps me stay on track. It's my personal organizer of sorts. Since hitting middle age, I find my short term memory's not quite as good as it used to be. I always prided myself on my ability to remember details with vivid clarity. Well, you know what they say about pride. You do know, don't you? Because I can't remember. Really.

Anyway, my blog is helping me keep track of my knitting projects, the ones I've finished...or it would if I'd finished any, but it helps me keep track of them, nonetheless. I can also refer to it to see what was on my mind and going on in my life on a certain day or week, as I surely blogged about it if it was important, right?

Remember me telling you about Randi and her terrific idea for a blog recipe box swap? Well, today is the day, and we are sharing recipes! I know that because I can look back here and see. Like I was saying, perks.
I wish I'd had time this week to prepare these recipes and take pictures. I just love watching Pioneer Woman cook over at the Pioneer Woman Cooks!. I'm a visual learner and whether it's knitting or cooking, I learn best by watching.
Randi also has beautiful, colorful photos of her dishes being prepared. Her pictures always make me so hungry!
I have no glamorous cooking photos to offer you. Photography isn't a skill I've yet mastered, though I am working on it. Just as with my knitting, I do anticipate getting better. Today, all I have is recipes.
This first recipe is a cake I've been baking since I was about 16 years old. Trust me, it's been alot of years. I don't need a recipe to bake it. I could practically do it with my eyes closed. The thing I love about this cake is that it always gets rave reviews. Seriously, I get majorly bragged on when I bake this cake. A young man from our church recently dubbed me as "making the best cakes in all the land". Pretty impressive, huh? It is especially so for someone who's never really thought of herself as much of a cook. I promise you that this cake will garner you instant popularity.
Oh, and lest any of you think I stole this recipe from Pioneer woman, I can assure you, I was baking my cake before Ree popped out of her mother's womb. If you compare my recipe to her's, you'll see she leans a bit more heavily toward the Paula "Butter" Deen's style of cooking.
I promise you, you will not miss the extra butter in my recipe; and no, mine isn't a diet or low-calorie cake. Mine has two whopping sticks of butter in it (one whole cup of butter, folks). That's 1 3/4 sticks less than Ree's recipe.
1 3/4 sticks butter=1417.50 calories
Yep, read it and weep. Your thighs may miss it, but your tastebuds surely won't! So, without further ado.....
Renna's Chocolate Sheet Cake
In large bowl, mix together:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt

In saucepan, bring to a boil:
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
4 TBSP cocoa

In small bowl, mix together:
1/2 to 1 cup buttermilk
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients together.
Bake in a greased jelly-roll pan at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until center springs back when touched. I spray my pan with nonstick cooking spray.

During last 5 minutes of cooking, in a saucepan, bring to a boil:

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
4TBSP cocoa
5 TBSP milk

After removing from heat, stir in :
1 tsp vanilla
1 box confectioners (powdered) sugar (16oz)
1 cup chopped pecans
Spread on warm cake.
By the time you've finished frosting the cake, the leftover frosting in the pan will taste exactly like chocolate fudge. Be sure to scrape every last bite from the pan before washing it. This is an essential part of the cake-making process. Trust me. Would the "best cake maker in all the land" lie about such a thing? I think not.
This second recipe is also for a cake. Yes, we have a theme going here. I do love cake, and it shows. I've only been baking this cake for a few years, having gotten the recipe from a friend. I've not taken it to as many functions as my chocolate sheet cake, simply because I seem to always have the ingredients already on hand for the chocolate sheet cake.
I only make this cake when I'm having company or attending a pot luck function. It's big and it's rich. The few times I have taken it anywhere, or served it at home for company it got equally rave reviews as the chocolate sheetcake. Trust me, these cakes are both winners!

Sopapilla Cheesecake
32oz cream cheese
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 sticks butter
3 cans Crescent Rolls
Ground Cinnamon
13” x 9” x 2½” Baking pan
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Let cream cheese and butter warm to room temperature.
Lightly spray pan, then cover bottom of pan with crescent rolls.

In large mixing bowl, mix:
2 cups sugar
all the cream cheese
½ stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
blend with mixer until creamy.

(If cheese is too stiff, microwave for a few seconds before blending.)
Spread this mixture evenly over rolls in pan.
Use more rolls to cover that mixture. (You’ll have a few leftover rolls for dinner!)

In a mixing bowl, add:
1½ cups sugar
¾ stick butter
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
Microwave this until the butter is melted and then mix on high speed.
Spread this mixture on top of the crescent rolls, making sure that all roll surfaces are coated.
Sprinkle cinnamon over topping.
Bake uncovered for about 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Wonderful served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream,
but it’s also delicious after being refrigerated!!


Junie Moon said...

Both cakes sound delicious. I have been experimenting with different cake recipes, testing them on my husband and neighbors. Now I can try yours; thank you!

Wool Winder said...

I also have similar recipes for both of those cakes. The chocolate one we call Fudge Nut Cake. Both are rich and delicious and loved by everyone. Yum!

Heidi said...

I have a sheet cake recipe (need to dig that one out!) but that sopapilla cheesecake sounds incredible. Yum! Thanks for sharing.

Renna said...

Thank you, ladies, for your comments.

So soon after Christmas and holidays is probably not the best time to be sharing high calorie dessert recipes, but I couldn't resist! ;-Þ

Sharon said...

Well Renna, these look Yum.
I've not make cake from scratch in quite some time, but I think that these are worthy of my time, and high calorie or not, who makes desserts every day anyway, eh? LOL

I suppose some may...but they are for special occassions around here.

Thanks for sharing these.

trishia said...

Both sound delicious! The first sounds a bit like my great-aunts. The whole issue of cooking some of the ingredients on the stove and all- I think that may be what makes them so great!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I added the info on how to reheat it because the first time I tried to reheat frozen soup I had burnt and scorched soup at the bottom of a stock pan with still frozen soup at the top! Glad my insider info helped someone. :) Trust me, like your cake, that recipe can't be wrong for any situation. People rave about both.

Renna said...

Trishia, burning the soup sounds just like something I'd do, too, so the extra added instructions were especially appreciated by me! ;-)

I can hardly wait to make your soup!

Michelle - living life said...

Hi Renna,
Thanks for your comment about the meatball soup- Yes you put the meatballs right into the soup raw - they cook with the soup and become really tender.
Your recipes look yummy too. I'll be sure to try them. I am trying to start knitting, also, so I'll be sure to check back at your blog and get some hints.

Marilyn@Mixed Bouquet said...

I keep forgetting to make the cheesecake and I really want to! Yep, chocolate sheet cakes are wonderful!

Renna said...

Thanks, Michelle. Your recipe was clear, but I'd never heard of doing it that way, so I wanted to be sure. :-)

Marilyn, go bake those guys a cake! ;-Þ

Amber M. said...

Yummy to BOTH! I'll be trying both of these. let me know how you like the ribs!

Renna said...

Thanks, Amber, I will! :-)

islandsparrow said...

Hi Renna

Your recipes sound delicious! I'm trying to lose weight but I still like to try some great desserts especially for company. A splurge every now and then is fun!

I have a question - I'm Canadian and our butter doesn't come in "sticks" - is a stick of butter 1/4 cup? or 1/2 cup? I'm thinking 1/2 but I'm not sure.

Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog. I'm looking forward to getting to know you.


A dessert is a splurge so I don't mind the extra butter -

islandsparrow said...

I love the Pioneer Woman Cooks too! She's a riot.

Renna said...

Kathie, I'm sorry, I never even thought about the measurements being different in other places. Silly me!

Yes, 1 stick of butter is 1/2 cup. I appreciate you asking. I'll edit my post to reflect that.

Thank you for stopping by! :-)

Renna said...

Kathie (Island Sparrow), I totally agree. Hers is one of the first blogs I read each day to get my laughter fix. She cracks me up! ;-Þ

Amy, a redeemed Sheep said...

I made the first cake, which I have always called a Texas Sheet cake, last week. Yummy!!

I really want to try the cheese cake one. It sounds sinfully good!! Yummm.....

Kimmie said...

Hi Renna;

They both look wonderful, but I am awful at seems to be against my very being. ;-( I do own the 'tools' but I can never quite take them out and make them behave as they should.

Randi is one of my favorite people, what a true blessing she is to this world.

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Renna said...

Amy, the cheesecake {b]is{/b] sinfully good! ;-)

Kimmie, my mom is not a measuring kind of cook. She made things by adding a little of this and a little of that. I'm a detail oriented person and it drove me crazy trying to figure out what she was doing! ;-Þ

I completely agree about Randi. I love her blog. She's a bright spot in the blog world. ;-)

Halfmoon Girl said...

My mouth is already watering. I will be trying your sheet cake for sure!

Jessica said...

Those recipes sound really tempting!

Thanks for stopping by my the way, I sometimes leave out the almonds so don't let not having any stop you. The almond flavor makes up for it.

Randi said...

I clicked over to your blog and found your profile page first. I noticed that your favorite movie is What About Bob! Mine too! I just think Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus play their roles so perfectly. "I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful"!

Your recipes sound great. Chocolate cake is one of my faves.

Renna said...

Jessica, I hadn't thought of that. For that matter, I do have fresh pecans on hand. I think I will wait until tomorrow, though. ;-)

Randi, to this day, whenever my dh and I lose each other in a store, we start walking up and down the aisles calling "Dr. Marvin, Dr. Leo Marvin!". ;-Þ

Dana said...

Now, RennaG. how am I supposed to stay on WW with you apostin' recipes like these? Huh?

I'm just kiddin' they look luscious. I've made the sheet cake, but I'll have to remember that Sopapilla cheesecake for company.

Thanks for your insightful comment on my blog this week. You're a sweet friend, and not only a sister in Christ, but I'm sure somewhere in Oklahoma in the late fifties or early sixties, our paths must have crossed. Maybe we're long-lost cousins?

Love ya~Dana