Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Mish Mash & the Double Chocolate Bundt Cake

As you can see, we have had a whole lot of snow around here. The chinook that started the big melt at the end of last week didn't hang around for more than a couple of days and then it snowed all day yesterday again.  So the roads are super slick from the melted mush underneath covered by a new layer of snow on top.  And tomorrow it again is supposed to be above freezing.  I have never seen so much snow in November, this is more what February might look like.  And I don't recall the weather ever being so bizarrely back and forth from one extreme to the next constantly.  Weird times.

With all the cold and snow and with December approaching this came out of hiding:

It's the file.  The RED file.  The file that contains all the holiday recipes that I use or want to try.  Every year I pull it out around this time and go through and choose what I, in theory, would like to bake or cook.  I have my traditional favorites like Almond Roca Bars, Scotch Shortbread and Spiced Nuts, and Crustless Quiche but I also like to try something new too. Then I make the Christmas grocery list so that I don't make myself crazy by not having the ingredients I need on hand when the mood strikes to bake something.  Wonderfully low cal stuff like butter, lots and lots of butter.  Nuts, lots and lots of nuts.  I usually end up making 3 or 4 batches of the spiced nuts by the time we eat them and I give them as gifts. Cheese, lots and lots of differend kinds of cheese.  And of course what is the Christmas season without a little antipasto and some kind of dip. Who needs a turkey, we can just graze all day all month long?!

Friday night my youngest had some friends over to celebrate her 16th birthday coming up.  Having a Christmas Day birthday is hard.  We've found that celebrating with her friends in November seems to work best before the Christmas  over busyness starts.  Mind you now that she is older, it is so much less stressful for me.  The girls just want to hang out, so as long as I keep the food and pop flowing, they amuse themselves with the Wii and watching movies and basically being silly.  Way less pressure than the parties of their younger days where I had to provide the amusement too.

And the cake requested actually turned out very well.  My Youngest Girl had requested a chocolate cake from, *gasp*, the box mix.  Okay, fine by me, nice and easy.  But that was just too everyday for a birthday cake for me.  So when I came across a recipe for Double Chocolate Bundt Cake in my travels through Food Gawker, and saw that even I could handle this one, I talked Younger Girl into it.  And then kept my fingers crossed that I didn't mess it up.   Everybody said how good it was and even hubby and son really, really liked it.  It wasn't anything fancy, but yet elevated the humble box of chocolate cake mix.   And maybe that is why it worked so well for me.  But it was moist and delicious.  I am so not a great baker.  So for those of you who struggle with ye olde birthday cake too, here's the recipe. I highly recommend it.  You can dress it up as you like.  My girl wouldn't even let me put a candle on it, much less sprinkles.  Oh how they change when they get "cool".

So, I'm off to start the week.  Lots going on this week, Parent-Teacher interviews, Ladies Christmas Party, my sister's birthday, Christmas decorating on the weekend.  All added to the regularly scheduled program around here so I better hop to it.  How was your weekend?


Thena said...

The cake looks wonderful. I made Pioneer Womans Texas Sheet Cake this weekend. My step-daughter said it was too rich. I asked her how could anything chocolate be too rich?

ellen b. said...

Weather has been crazy! I know what you mean about trying to celebrate December birthdays around the holidays. Glad you found a cake recipe that everyone liked. I never make cake from scratch...I like the enhanced cake mix ones :0)
Have a great week. We still have our Thanksgiving company here till this afternoon...

nikkipolani said...

Isn't it wonderful when a recipe works out well? Glad everyone agreed (sprinkles or no!).

I'm thinking about Christmas cookie recipes, too. There are three or four standbys but which new ones to try?

Barbara H. said...

Wow, that's a lot of snow!

My step-father had a late December birthday, and I always felt sorry for him that everyone brought combo Christmas/birthday gifts. I was always glad mine was in August when nothing else was going on -- though these days schools start right around my birthday. Used to start after Labor Day in September.

That file is a good idea. I know I've tucked stray recipes I want to try into a folder, but they're all together -- I'd have to dig through to find the Christmas ones.