22 June 2010

Slow Cooker Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

It has cooled down here just a bit; the heat index isn't in the 100's, but it's still hot.  So, here is another slow cooker recipe!  I was very excited about trying to bake a cake in my crock pot and the results were amazing. Absolutely delicious!  Goose and Tink told me to never make my banana chocolate chip cake in the oven again.  Now that I can successfully make a cake in the slow cooker I want to try making bread...and maybe even cookies, cupcakes, and everything else!! :)

You will need:
my recipe for banana chocolate chip cake
aluminum foil
deep-sided 8-inch round pan
butter and flour to grease the pan
2 paper towels
large slow cooker

Fold a large piece of foil in half and half again and place in the bottom of your cooker.  Take another large piece of foil and wad it up.  Place it on top of the folded foil and use your pan to squash it a bit, making sure that your pan will be able to sit on it without tipping to one side.  The point of this is to raise your pan off the bottom of the slow cooker.  Don't skip this step.

After you have made the cake batter, butter and grease your cake pan...

and pour in your batter.

Place the pan into your slow cooker and make sure that the pan sits flat on the foil.

Turn your slow cooker to HIGH, place two paper towels across the top to catch the moisture that will collect and then place on the lid.

Cook for exactly two hours, without removing the lid.  Now it's done perfectly!!

I took a picture of my cake stand.  It was my  mom's, but she gave it to me when they moved down here to Florida.  Every cake I ever had or made growing up was served on this cake stand.  I love it!!  (I thought it was interesting that it is smaller than the cake stands you see in stores today. So, Americans dinner plate size and cake stand size has increased.)

Let the cake sit for 10 minutes in the baking pan, then run a knife along the sides and invert it onto your cake plate.

The top of my cake was prettier than the bottom, so next time I will invert it onto a plate and then flip it again onto the cake stand, pretty side up.  But I fixed its looks with a bit of powdered sugar. :)

I let it cool for about an hour, but only because we were having dinner.  Even then I had to fight off the cake jackals!   So, feel free to dig in right away.

The slow cooker keeps this cake so moist.  I asked Bubba and the girls what they thought, but all I got was a bunch of mmmm's and ahhhh's.  Definitely a big hit!

Not only was it crazy delicious, but I didn't heat up my house by using the oven.  Always a plus for me this time of year.  If you have any leftovers, this cake is just as beautiful the next day.  In fact, I think the flavors are deeper the next day--just like how banana bread is better if you can wait a day to eat it.  I didn't refrigerate the cake, just wrapped it in plastic wrap overnight.  You can freeze it, too.  Wrap it tightly in foil and seal it up in a freezer bag.  You'll love this cake!!



Slow Cooker Banana Chocolate Chip Cake



        See Slow Cooker Banana Chocolate Chip Cake on Key Ingredient.     


16 June 2010

Deviled Eggs

When Tink was 5 she picked up a deviled egg and it squirted right out of her little paw.  She just stared at it laying on the ground and then said, "so that's why they call them deviled eggs!"  I think about that moment every time we have deviled eggs. :)  These are pretty easy to make, but I thought I would post the recipe anyway in case any of you had never thought to try making them before. 

You will need:

eggs  (I used 7)

pepper (optional)
smallish pot

The trickiest part of making deviled eggs is boiling the egg properly. (Use eggs that are at least 3 days old. The fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel.) Seven fit perfectly in my pot.  You want your eggs to be close together and not have a lot of room to move around and bash against each other--that will help prevent the shells from cracking while cooking.  Leave the eggs in the pot with no heat for about 20 minutes to help take off the chill and bring them close to room temperature.  Cold eggs crack in boiling water.

Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the eggs by one inch.  DO NOT ADD SALT to the water.  Adding salt makes the whites rubbery.  Trust me on this one. :)

Turn your burner on high and bring the eggs to a boil.  You definitely want lots of bubble action going on.  Then put the top on your pot and turn off the burner.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and leave the eggs alone.  Do not remove the pot from the burner.

When the timer goes off, remove the top and immediately start running cold water over the eggs to stop them from cooking.  I empty the pot of water and then add a bunch of ice, a little water, and then leave them alone for 20 minutes.

When they have cooled down you can start to peel them.  Tap them on the countertop.  Start with the ends.  The flatter end has a bubble of air in it--tap that one first, then the other end, and then around the sides.  Roll the egg in your had to loosen the shell.

After you get the little buggers peeled, rinse and pat them dry.

Slice each egg in half and add the yolks to a bowl.  Break them up with a fork and then add two heaping spoonfuls of mayo and two small spoonfuls of mustard.  (In the South, Miracle Whip is referred to as mayo. It just is, I don't know why. Use your favorite brand of mayo!)  Sprinkle with salt.

The mixture should be very creamy, but not wet.  You'll have to taste it and see if you have enough salt and to decided whether you need more mayo or mustard.  I usually add more mustard because I like a stronger mustard flavor in my deviled eggs.

Then fill your eggs and sprinkle with paprika.  I put the paprika in my hand and use my fingers to sprinkle.  When I try to shake the paprika from the jar over the eggs I get it everywhere!

You can get pretty fancy with deviled eggs!  Try using a Dijon mustard or putting the yolk mixture in a pastry bag with a fancy tip.  But for just eating at home I don't bother with fancy.  They don't last long!  Tink would eat them all by herself if I let her. :)


(My recipe card site is having security issues this morning.  As soon as they are resolved I'll put up the recipe card!)

08 June 2010

Slow Cooker Potatoes Au Gratin

It has been feeling more like July than June lately, so I'm still cooking everything in my Crock Pot. The poor thing is starting to feel the wear, too. An hour after I turned these potatoes from high to low I went to check on them and the pot was cold. I panicked, of course, fiddled with the switch, and it came right back on and I had no more troubles. Maybe I just didn't get the knob turned all the way to low or something, but I think I may be in the market for a new pot soon. Two pots would be great anyway! There have been nights when dinner was slow cooking away and I thought, some slow cooker chocolate cake would be awesome right about now. :) These potatoes are easy and relatively quick for a slow cooker recipe. And I haven't even started to describe how freaking amazing they taste!

You will need:

6 medium potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
8oz cheese, shredded
3T butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (skim is fine)
chopped garlic (optional, but recommended)
salt (not optional)

Wash, peel, and slice your potatoes.  You want them about a medium thickness.  (I ran them through my food processor.)  Grease your slow cooker.  I used 2T of extra butter, but pan spray would work just fine as long as you really coat the pot.  Add one layer of potatoes and salt them.  You can use regular table salt, Kosher salt, or even garlic salt, but do not skimp on the salt or your potatoes will be bland, bland, bland. 

Continue layering and salting until you have used all the potato slices. (You could also add chopped onions to each layer, but my kids don't like them.  Don't add too many, though, because they can overpower the potato flavor.)

When all the potatoes are in the pot, melt the 3T of butter in a large saucepan.

Add the flour and whisk.

Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble up, then cook for 2 minutes whisking constantly.

Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until thickened.  (Add 2T chopped garlic now if you like. It's good!!)

Add the cheese...

and stir until melted. 

Pour over the top of the potatoes.  Don't stir the potatoes, but give them a jiggle to get some of the sauce down into the bottom of the pot. 

Place 2 paper towels across the top of the slow cooker and put on the top. 

Turn the pot on high and leave it for an hour.  You can leave it on high for two more hours or turn it to low for 3-4 hours. 

Time to feast!  These potatoes are sooooo good.  Creamy, cheesy, with a hint of garlic. 

Yummy! Scrumptious!  The perfect comfort food.  They are wonderful the next day, warmed in the microwave, too.  


Slow Cooker Potatoes Au Gratin

See Slow Cooker Potatoes Au Gratin on Key Ingredient.