Friday, May 28, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cake Recipe

Triple Chocolate Cake
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday Heidi's Full Plate!
Happy Birthday to me!

One year ago I acted on my wild idea to start a blog. With the encouragement and technical support of my husband and the inspiration of my friends over at LoveFeastTable, I sat down with my laptop and began to write. Writing is actually my favorite part of blogging. I love being inspired by a recipe, searching my thoughts for it's history, and then converting my random experiences into a story. Not only am I sharing recipes for things that we really eat, but I am also recording parts of our life that we really live.
Next to the writing portion of blogging, I also enjoy the actual cooking. I cook to feed my family, I cook to relax, and I cook to have fun. Sometimes I prepare dishes with my kids, occasionally I fix food alongside my husband, and once in a while I venture on a solo cooking excursion in the cover of night.

My least favorite part of blogging, is taking pictures of the food. For me the photography portion of Heidi's Full Plate involves remembering to actually take a picture of the dish before it gets eaten, attempting to utilize any natural light available, fending off hungry family members during the photo taking process, and avoiding the trash can/dog bowl/homework pile/dirty dishes in the shot. Embracing progress and rebuking perfection has allowed me to capture a few photos of food that are surprisingly beautiful while taking lots of others that are quite mediocre. This area of blogging does give me lots of opportunities to embrace my goal of being a life-long learner.

An unexpected benefit of blogging is the connections it provides me. I love reading and commenting on other blogs, receiving comments on my blog, getting emails from cooks in other countries that have tried one of my recipes, and having strangers and acquaintances come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed one of my posts.

The recipe that I am sharing in honor of my bloggy birthday is for Triple Chocolate Cake. It comes from my grandmother and is what my father always requests on his birthday. It starts with a cake mix so it isn't labor intensive, it is full of chocolate so it is any chocolate lovers dream, and it has been passed down for three generations so it is my favorite type of recipe.

Thank you for reading Heidi's Full Plate this past year. I am grateful for all of the over 8,000 visitors from over 100 countries that have come to my blog. This next year be on the look out for more recipes and more adventures that will continue to fill my already full plate.

Triple Chocolate Cake Recipe

1 chocolate cake mix (without pudding in the mix, if possible)
1 package chocolate instant pudding mix (3.9 ounce)
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by greasing and flouring or by spraying with Pam for baking. (This cake can also be bake in a bundt pan or three 8-inch round pans.)
  3. In a very large bowl, whisk together cake mix and instant pudding mix.
  4. Add water, oil, and sour cream. Mix slightly. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each.
  5. Mix all ingredients for 2 minutes or until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed in batter.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks for at least one hour.
  10. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.
  11. Serve with a tall glass of ice cold milk or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Old Bay Roasted Red Potatoes Recipe

Old Bay Potatoes
Jamie Oliver is my new foodie hero! In the past, he entertained me as the Naked Chef, educated me at home, and entertained me on Oprah. Now he is inspiring me with his food revolution. I recorded his latest show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" and recently started watching it with my children. In this reality series Jamie goes to Huntington, West Virginia which has been named the most unhealthy city in America. This British chef attempts to change the way the citizens of Huntington eat, cook, and view food. He tries to convert them from processed, unhealthy, fast food to fresh, tasty, healthy food. My family and I were especially impacted by his work in the school cafeterias (sign his petition if you agree school food needs to change). After each episode my sons ask me questions like "How can being fat really kill you?" or "Does pink milk seriously have more sugar than soda?" and "Hey, can we make a stir-fry for dinner?" I love a good dialog and am passionate about serving my family the best food possible.

One food item that Jamie addresses in depth in his show is French fries. I remember when I was a little girl Saturday night was a big deal in my grandmother's house because she cooked french fries from scratch. She peeled and sliced potatoes, fried them in hot oil, drained them on paper towels, sprinkled them with salt, and served them with homemade ketchup. French fries were a treat not an everyday occurrence. Currently in our country French fries are way too unhealthy and way to easily accessible, but I do agree they are good. Although my family and I rarely have fast food French fries I often serve the frozen ones which are full of additives, preservatives, and fat. They are quick and convenient, but, thanks to Jamie Oliver, I realized that I needed a healthier alternative.

My remedy to the French fry dilemma was to do some cooking Jamie-style and prepare a big batch of hot roasted red potatoes. I flavored them with my family's favorite seasoning, Old Bay and served them up on a Tuesday night. They were so delicious! My youngest son said "Mama, you made us some good tator tots! Can I have some more?" I replied, "Yes, these are Mommy Tator Tots!" My son and my husband were scrambling for second helpings, and my daughter enjoyed the roasted red potatoes so much that she hopped up from the table and asked to take a bowl of them over to her friend's house to share.

I was very fortunate to have a box of freshly dug, locally grown potatoes that my neighbor brought us after visiting his family ranch on Mother's Day. I scrubbed them, diced them, tossed them with olive olive oil, Old Bay, and other seasonings. Then I spread them on a cookie sheet and roasted them in a hot oven. The aroma was amazing and the taste was even better. It would be tough to find a frozen or fast food French fry that was as tasty and as healthy as these. My family and I were pleased and I know Jamie Oliver would be proud too!

Old Bay Roasted Red Potatoes Recipe
Mommy’s Kitchen