To share or not to share…that is the question.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Do you have a “top secret” family recipe you would be willing to share with the blogging world? One that if you didn’t make or bring it for the family feast, something would clearly be missing. Traditions at times may be as if not more important than the celebratory event itself!

A few blogs ago, I mentioned “Aunt Lisa’s Creamed Spinach”…Our family has went from a single 8X8 square baking dish to two 9X13 baking dishes. If I didn’t make it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, I would probably be asked to stay at home. Yes, I think this delectable dish has surpassed my presence at the festive table. My nephews have said it’s the discussion in the car every holiday. “We can’t wait for “Aunt Lisa’s Spinach.”

I’m going to repost it below as well as the Chocolate Cake with Buttercream icing I have continued to use for years. I don’t do “Layered cakes”…I simplify and resort to a 9X13.

EASY CREAMED SPINACH CASSEROLE 
4 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 Package bacon cooked and crumbled
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (not grated)- save 2 tbsp for topping

Mix all in greased 9×13 casserole dish, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons shredded cheese on top, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare 9X13 pan by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

For the chocolate cake:

  • Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  • Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
  • Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

Notes

The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted! xoFreezer FriendlyLet the baked cake cool completely. Wrap well with plastic wrap and then with foil. Put into a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight with wrapping intact. The next day, the cake will be ready to frost.

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups butter 3 sticks, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

Instructions

  • Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  • Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
  • Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  • Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
  • If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Thoughts for today…

  1. Hoping you all will comment/share some of your favorite family recipes with me!
  2. Remember and respond as the need arises concerning the homeless community and people who might be struggling financially over the Holidays as we feast and celebrate over the turkey, sides, and desserts.
  3. CHOOSE JOY everyday!!!!

Lancaster County PA born and bred. I'm a wife, mother of three sons, friend, and real estate agent. Roles which have taught me how to live one day at a time. Most importantly, JOY IS A CHOICE!

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