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Monday, July 15, 2019

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake

2 sticks (226g) butter, melted
1 package chocolate cake mix
3 eggs, one egg for bottom cake layer THEN two eggs for filling layer
1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (31g) cocoa powder
16 ounces confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection) and prepare and 9-inch by 3-inch round cake pan OR 9-inch x13-inch dish. (I have heard bundt pans work as well!)
    2. Combine the cake mix, 1 egg (you will use the other two eggs elsewhere), and 1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup or 113g), and stir until well blended.
    3. Pat the mixture into prepared pan and set aside.
    4. In a stand mixer on medium speed (or using a hand-held mixer), beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs and the cocoa powder.
    5. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Slowly add the remaining 1 stick (1/2 cup) of melted butter. Add vanilla and continue to beat the mixture until smooth.
    6. Pour filling over cake mixture in pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. (check at 30 minutes with 9x13) Be careful not to overcook the cake; the center should still be a little gooey when finished baking. Let cake partially cool on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.
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Are You A Geek or a Nerd??

A few of my memories of summer when I was a kid was that of going to camp. Each year I at least went away for one week and several times I went for a few weeks. Camp was very much like school to me a place to be around individuals and have a bit of fun. Like school mates those individuals I met at camp all had their own personalities

There were the popular kids, the jocks who liked to participate in sports, the nerds and of course the geeks. Yes I said that right there is a difference between nerds and geeks in my opinion. In fact, from time to time I could be considered to fit into either of the groups. While some may consider the terms to be insulting I take them with a stride of life. 

The terms nerd and geek have been in existence for 50 + years. In fact the first time that the word "nerd" was shown in print was in the Dr. Seuss's book If I Ran A Zoo The term nerd often helps to describe someone  that is a bit bookishness, fashion blindness, and social ineptitude. However, the word Geek came about much earlier in time. 

The word "Geek" arrives from the middle English, German and Dutch and means "freak" When the word traveled to the United States the term took on a slightly different meaning. Many times carnival performers would be known as "geeks" For a bit the words "nerd" and "geek" were closely related and could be associated. 

Today, the term "nerd" normally refers to a person obsessed by academic or other esoteric social norms. Often they do not pay much attention to their hygiene, manner of speech, their courtesy On the other hand the term "geek" refers to an individual who extensively studies a single subject Nerds concentrate often on technology or sci-fi subjects and geeks may study a number of subjects including computers, music, film , videogames with much interest. While both nerds and geeks are more than likely very intelligent it has been movies to help satisfy the definition of these categories. 

Think about the 1980's movie and T.V. shows that featured both nerds and geeks. Movies such as Revenge of the nerds and family matters helped to define an outlook appearance for the nerd in all of us. Geek attire has an even wider appearance with clothing lines defining their geekiness. In addition many that consider their selves "geeks" enjoy wearing sporty framed glasses, cardigans and elbow patches or at least that is how many geeks are thought of. 

Today why not sport a bit of your nerdiness and geekiness and have a good time. 

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Picnic Salad Recipe : Dill Pickle Salad

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Dill Pickle Pasta Salad...

1 box (16 oz) rotini pasta
1/3 cup dill pickle juice (from the pickle jar)
2 cups chopped baby dill pickles
1 block (8 oz) Colby Jack cheese, cubed small
1 small white onion, finely chopped
Creamy Dill Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup dill pickle juice (from the pickle jar)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 tablespoon dried dill)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cook pasta according to package directions. Don't forget to add some salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. I add about 1 teaspoon, give or take.
Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Add 1/3 cup of the pickle juice to the drained and rinsed pasta and let it sit while you prepare the rest.
(Move the pasta from the colander into a mixing bowl and then add the pickle juice)
Chop the dill pickles, and cheese into small cubes/pieces. Finely chop the white onion.
Drain the pasta again that was sitting in the pickle juice. Add it to a large bowl along with the chopped pickles, cheese, and white onion.
In small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and pour over the pasta salad. Stir everything together to combine well. Salad can be eaten right away but I prefer it cold, and if you do too, then cover it and refrigerate it for 1-2 hours.
I would recommend not making this too far ahead of time. For best results serve this salad within a few hours of making it. Either right away or after the refrigeration time. Leftovers do keep well in the fridge (are still delicious) but the dressing thickens up and it's not as "creamy" as when you first make it.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Enjoy a Hotdog

With summer time is here and the kitchens will be heating up. One way to solve this is to cook on the grill outside where a breeze may blow by. Many will enjoy grilled hotdogs. Not only are they easy to prepare but delicious as well. However, have you ever thought about where the idea of eating hotdogs came about.

 It was more than 3,000 years ago that a hotdog like food was ate. The Babylonians would stuff animal intestines with spiced meats. While they may have been the first many other civilizations would follow their lead. In addition the Greeks and Romans would enjoy the stuffed sausage like dish as well.

The Roman Empire would see a downfall of the hotdog like dish. While the pagans often included sausages in their festivals the Catholic church would begin to outlaw the consumption of sausage. The stuffed sausage would not disappear entirely and during the middle ages a slender sausage known as "Vienna sausage" or "Weiner wurst" Moreover the Germans would begin to make a much desired slender stuffed sausage known as a frank

The Germans would leave their own mark on the hotdog. The slight curve would come about at this time. This was where the frankfurter was born in 1850. The term hotdog would be offered in America. The history of the hotdog in America must include the famous Coney Island Dog. Nathans hotdogs

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Happy Bastille Day Celebrate With this Recipe

Each year on July 14th the French celebrate Bastille Day. Bastille Day, or French National Day,  Many will prepare delicious French food and have a feast. What a wonderful reason to celebrate and enjoy good food. One of my favorite traditional French foods is the Crepe. Perhaps it was the day in high school speech class that helped me fall in love with those delicious crepes.

Yes, crepes are so easy to make that using an electric skillet a classmate of mine prepared crepes during her demonstration speech. They were delicious and you can make crepes this easy as well. Using a skillet and spatula to make up crepes using a handful of ingredients like flour, sugar, salt, milk and eggs. In case you are wondering yes fluffy crepes do have all those ingredients packed inside the secret is give it time
Crepes dsc07085.jpg
Crepe Basic Recipe
1  cup flour..... 2 large eggs … 1 T sugar … 1/4 tsp kosher salt …. 1 1/2 cup milk …. 1 T butter 
  1. In a large mixing bowl, create a well with flour then add eggs, slowly whisking them into flour. Add sugar and salt and stir until combined. Gradually add the milk, whisking to combine. Let batter stand at room temperature until bubbly on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. About 1/4 cup at a time, drop batter evenly onto pan, swirling it to evenly coat.
  3. Cook 2 minutes, then flip and cook 1 minute more; repeat with remaining batter. Serve crêpes warm with fresh fruit and powdered sugar.
Similar to making pancakes crepes are easy to make, flip and prepare. After preparing these thin little crepes it is time to fill them with your choice of savory or sweet fillings. The fun of deciding is up to you 
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