Friday, August 17, 2012

Chocolate Southern Style & Real Men

Let them Real Men, eat Chocolate Cake....y'all

This is my hubster aka hubby aka Montana Red aka the father of our 4 children....

OOPS that's Yosemite Sam

Here is my husband.....R.

 A few great and interesting things about him:
He is a really good Daddy.
He has a great sense of humor.
He has a wicked sense of humor. (SIDE STORY- he once painted a faint red line on a pregnancy test. Yep he is lucky to be alive!)
He is a very hard worker.
As our provider he is great, we don't go without.
He is hilarious once he gets warmed up.
You might think at first he is shy, but WOW once he gets to know ya..... he can YAKKKKITY, YAK, YAK with the best of them.
He is a man of deep faith.
He loves Soduku (which I think is for lunatics!)
He is married to someone who cannot understand his addiction to Soduku.
He is super handy. Great out remodeling the house, fixing a truck, well he fixes just about everything that is broken.
He likes oreo's,  to work with his hands, woodworking, manual labor, packing around a sweet, sleepy baby.
Did I mention he changed our babies diapers? Well he did!
With one of our children he would wake up at 3am to feed the baby a bottle as I was working.
He not only watches the kids, he cares for them. He will wrestle with them, run around the house, play hide n seek, have Nerf gun wars.
He is an excellent cook.
He takes the time to take care of his aging Grandparents and is very kind to mine.
He knows a man is his wife's partner not master or owner.
He is not a chauvinist, he does like to tease by coming in after work and yelling, "Woman, make me something to eat!"  Remember that grin I mentioned , uh huh he is wearing that when saying it.
Kids love him. 
He knows how to clean, although I try very hard to be sure he doesn't have to do any of it.
He has a mischievous grin that totally melts me.

His birthday is in July and to mark the occasion I made him a Chocolate Mayo Cake.    


Chocolate Mayo Cake is a Southern tradition that has been adapted in even the Yankee-est of neighborhood. Why you might say? Well honey, I tell you, it is that good! The Chocolate Mayo cake was a southern solution to hard times. Mayo was substituted when eggs and oleo, oil or butter were in short supply or not on hand.  Mayo is after all just a super saturated emulsification of oil and eggs. That's fancy, schmancy talk for eggs whipped with oil till they get all thick and don't separate after you stop whippin' 'em.

Cake recipe is Nancie McDermott's.
1/2 cup cocoa ( I prefer Hershey's Special Dark for a deep chocolate flavor)
1 cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mayo
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 or 9 inch round pans generously. Then line with parchment paper on the bottom. The parchment paper is a step you really shouldn't skip here. If you don't have parchment, wax paper works great too. 

Put the cocoa in a medium bowl add water and stir with a fork or whisk to dissolve all the lumps. Allow to cool.
Combine well the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
When coca is cool all the mayo and vanilla mixing with whisk until combined.
Then add a little of the dry ingredients to the cocoa/mayo mix and whisk well, repeat until all dry ingredients are added.
Quickly divide the batter between the two pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes and begin to pull away from the sides of pan.
Your house will smell wonderful and you will be so tempted but DON'T EAT IT YET! Let that chocolate yumminess cool completely on a wire rack. Remove from pans when cool.

Now I am partial to my Nanny's Chocolate frosting but it is her recipe to share not mine so I am not posting that here. What I can tell ya is a Divinity Icing is yummy on here and so is a great homemade chocolate buttercream or a cream cheese icing. Really you could grate an old tire on this cake and it would be delicious!!!  WARNING: The tire idea is not a suggestions nor should it be tried.

Now that you have a wonderful piece of cake to dive headlong into, all you need is a wonderful real man to share it with. Which brings me back to real men. Not the men depicted in books or movies or TV but real life, living breathing GOOD GUYS!

Ladies, if you have one treasure them, guys if you are one and are single I have a few ladies I want you to meet : )
These fellas are few and far between and I want to be sure mine knows how much I appreciate him, in his entirety. I love him not for just his exterior but for his soul and his spirit.

Not long ago a friend of mine shared a lovely blog post on Facebook. I read it and it summed up my hubby to a T,  the author shared her feelings about what a TRUE MAN is.
I am very pleased to share a bit of her blog with you here.

"So if you’ll indulge me, I would love to help remind my female sisters what “sexy” and “manly” really looks like…
A man who communes with his Creator daily and strives to live a life that glorifies God.
A man who works long hours and spends his hard-earned wages to care for his family and occasionally treat them to fun things like Cherry Limeades and Redbox rentals.
A man who reaches down to pick up his little girl when she trips and falls and holds her close until her tears are gone.
A man who gathers his children around him at night to tell them a story, no matter how late he got in from work.
A man who would never go see a movie about a group of female strippers, no matter how many people were saying it was okay.
A man who researches recipes on the internet and makes a huge and messy meal in the kitchen so his beloved doesn’t have to make supper one night.
A man who treats the elderly with respect and dignity by patiently listening to them tell stories about their glory days.
A man who tends to the azalea bushes by the front porch, clipping them down when they need it and watering them morning after morning after morning.
A man who hops up from his reading when he hears you doing the dishes and gives you a hand.
A man who thoughtfully answers every question his little boy has about “why?” and “how?” the world and everything in it works.
A man who leaves whatever he is doing to help you when your car breaks down.
A man who monitors his free time and plans his schedule wisely and fairly. If he gets a night out with his friends, you get one, too.
A man who gets up at night to fix the baby a bottle while you lay drooling on your pillow.
A man who gives up an unneeded PhD so he can spend more time with his family.
A man who comes home with the new book you’ve been wanting, and its not even your birthday.
A man who has trained his eyes to look away from other women, even when they look better than you do.
A man who is humble enough to grow, long after he has become an adult.
A man who wants you and finds his satisfaction in you, and you alone, after many years of marriage and fidelity.
A man with happy wrinkles around his eyes that prove how many times he has smiled at you.
A man who sets up controls on his computer to avoid even the temptation to look at pornography.
A man who has dignity and modesty and self-control.
A man who would give his life for you and the children, in a heartbeat.
A man who says “I do”…for better or for worse…for richer or poorer…in sickness and in health…forever.
Men like this don’t exist, you say?
Oh yes, they do..............."
To read more you can check out her great blog at Mrs. Gore's diary .

Thank you for stopping in and spending a few minutes with me. I hope that you can come back soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Buffalo Biscuits


We recently returned from a visit in Wyoming. Wyoming is my husband and children's home state. This week the kids are really missing their old home and friends. So in honor of Wyoming this morning I made Buffalo Biscuits for the kids. I know that sounds a lot like "Cow Chips" but trust me these are much more appealing. Why Buffalo you ask? The Wyoming state flag prominently displays a Bison/Buffalo (whichever it is ).

 Want to check it out for yourself?
Go here: Visit Junior


We used to visit the Bear River State park often sometimes daily to let the kids see the Elk, Moose, Canadian Geese, Rabbits, Prairie Dogs and Buffalo. After watching Disney's Home on the Range movie, the kids took to calling the largest bull Buffalo, Junior.
I think his name is actually King but Junior seemed to fit and our kid's loved every visit. So Junior it was!

In honor of the family heritage and our time with dear Junior I made Buffalo shaped biscuits.

Biscuit Recipe (adapted from Kitchenaid):

Makes  24 biscuits if cut with a 2 in round cutter
This recipe made 9 buffalo's and  14 2 inch round biscuits ; )

4 cups flour all purpose
2 Tblsp plus 2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp Coarse Salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 and a 1/3 cup milk
A 2 inch round METAL (more about this later)cookie or biscuit cutter
or a Metal Buffalo cutter 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix together with a fork. I once saw my Mother making biscuits with her stand mixer. I thought she was nuts! So of course I had to try it. And you guessed it, I have since taken to using my hand mixer as it makes it sooo much faster. Two Points for MOM!
Add the shortening. Use the hand mixer to cut in the shortening until it is crumbly and mealy in texture. Then  add the milk. Word of caution here. Do not over beat with the hand mixer or over knead if you choose to do this the hands-on way do not over do it. Over working the dough will make it really tough when cooked. Hard biscuits = hockey puck.

To bake,make certain you place your biscuits right next to each other. Don't worry about spacing them. The biscuits will be forced to grow upward as they bake instead of spread. Then lightly spray your pan. Place the biscuits on the pan and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until a light golden brown.

TIP!!!! Remember when I mentioned the METAL cutter? This is why. A plastic cutter has "softer' more rounded edges. A metal cutter makes a perfect sharp cut that allows the biscuits to rise. So go with metal!

Roll with it!

Time to turn your dough out and start cutting. For perfect exact same size biscuits roll out your rolling pin and cut. I like them to look rustic aka to have character, to be imperfect. I mean they still "eat just as good" ; ).
So I don't roll them out. I pat them down somewhat even thickness and cut. But in order to save some mess and flour I use wax paper as my surface.

Here is what I started keeping my cookie/ biscuit cutters in when I was first on my own. LOVE THIS BUCKET!
Have you had this Ice Cream? I was lucky enough to grow up on it. I love the vintage package design. It makes me happy just to see it. Don;t mind my huge mistake of writing on it. The ice cream bucket made today are not as sturdy, long lasting or cute in my opinion.
This little beauty was given to me by my Nanny. She is my grandmother on my Mother's side. We call her Nanny. It is my favorite cutter. 
Now get you very best Blues clues melamine plate, butter up a buffalo and enjoy : )
Once you try a homemade biscuit you will never want a canned or frozen biscuit ever again!
Plus no preservatives and you know what is in them.
Don't forget the real  (salted of course) butter and ENJOY!!!!

K. stood hers up and played soo long they got cold but she still ate every bite.

Our boys loved them!

 She just got out of bed, had a blanket wrapped around her, had brushed her hair with her pillow, had a mouth full of biscuit........ She is gonna hate me forever! LOL    
  Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again real soon.