Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hand Breaded Pork Tenderloin How To - And You Will Want To

 Remember, I am from the "old school", better known as "the good old days".    I graduated high school in 1966 - a year most of you won't even remember.  As a matter of fact, most of you weren't even born then.  But let me tell you, we had a lot of fun back then.

We used to get in our cars (in my case, my parent's car), whether with friends or a date, and tool around town from one drive-in restaurant to another, visiting with our friends, eating, laughing, talking, cruising to see who was there, and then riding around some more.  Round and round from the Farmer's Daughter to Hamilton's Drive-In, out to the Double R, across town to Frisch's Drive-In and then back across town to the Parkway.  Then it was time to start the circuit all over.  Gasoline was $.24.9 cents a gallon.  Dan and I have cashed in many a coke bottle to go out on dates and buy gasoline.  Do you even know what it means to cash in coke bottles?  I know I'm old.  Sheesh.

Those were the days of carhops and window trays.  There were no drive through windows.  You pulled in to a parking place, placed your order on the speaker next to the car (each car had a speaker) and then a car hop - that was an employee of the restaurant - would bring your order out on a tray that attached to your car door.  You had to roll your window down for the tray to be attached.  Then, everyone ate in the car while all kinds of hilarity went on.  Yes, hilarity.  Those were some good times for sure.

Last week, a group of people I graduated high school with (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) were on Facebook talking about who had the best breaded tenderloin sandwich in town.  I am from Evansville, Indiana, in case you wondered.  That was a major discussion and made me start thinking about those delicious sandwiches that all the restaurants had.  If you have never had a breaded tenderloin sandwich, you have NO idea what you are missing.  I'll take one over a hamburger any day of the week.

I had tenderloin sandwiches on my mind, so I decided to make some for dinner last night.  I have made them through the years and thought I would share how to make them, because you really, really want to make these.  They are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and SOOOOOOOO delicious.  Our youngest son is 25 and he declared them fabulous.  Our houseguest Ken also LOVED them.  Tyler's friend Craig, who may be one of the pickiest eaters on the planet devoured his in about 3.4 seconds.  They all ate two HUGE sandwiches along with parmesan potato wedges and oven roasted Brussels sprouts that are to die for.  (I will tell you how to make those in another post.)

Here is how you make these fabulous sandwiches.  First you need a pork tenderloin.  I buy mine at Aldi's.  They are only $3.99 for a plain tenderloin and you can make 5 or 6 sandwiches from one tenderloin.  (I cooked two whole tenderloins for dinner.  Yeah.  That looks like a lot until you have a lot of guys eating.)  You also need a meat mallet or a heavy cast iron skillet to flatten the individual portions out.

This is a pork tenderloin.
It will have what is called silver skin on some of it like pork ribs do.  Remove it with a sharp knife.  Cut the tenderloin into medallions about 1.5 inches thick,   I got 6 portions out of each tenderloin.
If you are having a bad day or feeling frustrated, here is where you can have some fun!  It's time to pound away until each medallion has been flattened and is really thin.  It's really cheap therapy!  Make sure you have something under them like a cutting board so you don't damage your counter tops.
Wow, I felt so relaxed after all that pounding.

Now, it's time to  make your "breading".  I use flour, egg mixed with milk, and crushed saltine crackers.  To crush the crackers, you can do it in a blender or food processor if you have one, but I do it this way.  I place an entire sleeve of crackers in a gallon sized zip lock back and use my wooden rolling pin to crush the crackers until they are a really fine consistency like bread crumbs.  It only takes a few minutes and you don't have to wash a food processor or blender.

Next, you need a breading station.  Did I take pictures?  Of course not.  Remember, we eat this food, it is not for a magazine display (I wish), so I get engrossed in what I'm doing and forget to take pictures.  Life can be difficult sometimes, hey?  Anyway, I use 3 of my antique Corning ware bowls that are square and flat on the bottom.  In one, I place all purpose flour.  In the second one, I crack two eggs and add about 1/3 cup milk and whisk it until well mixed.  In the third bowl, I put my cracker crumbs.

Time to start the ritual - the breading process.  Put a large saute skillet on the stove and put about an inch of vegetable oil in it and let it start getting good and hot.  Unlike Paula Deen, sadly I do not have a deep fryer built into my kitchen, so a skillet it is.  You want the oil to ripple, that's when you are ready to fry.

While the oil is heating, lightly salt a cutlet, dredge each side in flour, egg wash, and cracker crumbs.  Put them in a container (like a plate), until you are ready to fry.  When the oil is ready - go!
You will cook the cutlets approximately 3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown.  Turn the cutlets when you can see the edges turning brown on the side that is in the hot oil.  It's really easy.  This is how they look when finished.
Just look at the beautiful golden color.  They are not only good to look at, they are crispy, crunchy on the outside and super tender on the inside.  Now, you want to dress them "old school".  I like them with lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, mayonnaise and just a little dijon mustard.  That's my way.  I put all the condiments out and everyone fixed theirs the way they like it.
Put these on a nice fresh bun, decorate it to your liking and dig in.  Yes, they are twice as big as the bun.  That's the way they were back in the day.  I wish you could have been here to enjoy these with us, they were fabulous if I do say so myself.

We didn't have to get in the car and drive around for hours just to get one although that was most of the fun.  You can do these at home in your own kitchen and eat as many as you want for the price of one sandwich at most restaurants.  I know you are drooling just looking at this.  I know you want one.  Do it.  Make these.  You are going to love them!  Try on some "old school", you're gonna like it.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Everyone will have their "good old days."  You know, like when we walked to school up hill both ways in a foot of snow?  Oh, you don't remember those days?  You will.  Trust me.  Just wait.  donna

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Enchilada Casserole With Home Made Red Sauce

Last night I wanted Mexican for dinner.  I was cooking, so it was my choice right?  Right!  If you follow this blog, you know my love for Mexican food and flavors.  They are my favorite, hands down anytime.

I had all the ingredients to make enchiladas which are also my favorite next to tamales.  I have never had the gumption to make tamales as they are quite a process, but one of these days I'ma gonna do it.  Really I am.  You will be the first to know if and when I do.

Enchiladas are also a process.  Have you ever tried to fill and roll corn tortillas?  They split unless you heat them in hot oil or you can dip them in the warm red sauce before you roll them.  It is messy and I am not very proficient at this technique or very patient. (Uh oh, cat's out of the bag).   If you don't do one of these two, then your enchiladas are cracked and all the filling is spilling out and they don't look very pretty.  Remember, I am not a chef nor have I ever worked in a Mexican restaurant, so I go for the easy way - better known as my way.  Hey, it works!  If you love enchiladas too, you are going to be SO happy I showed you my fake enchilada recipe.

I do make my red sauce from scratch.  It is a recipe from and it is easy, takes 10 minutes and is fabulous!  Doesn't take much longer than opening a can of prepared sauce and heating it up.

Here is what you need for the sauce:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 TBSP flour
1/4 cup chili powder (I use Mexene which is my personal favorite)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced super fine
salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet or deep saucepan over medium high heat.  Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce the heat to medium.  Cook until lightly browned, stirring constantly so the flour doesn't burn.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, and garlic until smooth.  Cook over medium heat approximately 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.  Season with salt to taste.

This sauce is as good as any you will get in a restaurant.  We LOVE it.  Now, to make the enchilada casserole, here is what you need.

12 corn tortillas (use flour if that is your preference, but enchiladas are made with corn tortillas)
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced.
2 packages taco seasoning
1 8 oz block cheddar cheese, grated

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet.  Add taco seasoning and garlic. Mix thoroughly.   Drain ground beef if necessary.  (I use grass fed local beef and there is nothing to drain.)

Now to assemble the casserole.  You need a 9x13 baking dish.  Line the bottom of the dish with 6 corn tortillas.
Cover the tortillas with the browned ground beef mix.
Cover the ground beef with 2/3s of the grated cheese.
Drizzle with some of the red sauce.  Now, cover this with 6 more corn tortillas.  (Forgot to take a picture, oops).

Pur the remaining red sauce over the corn tortillas.
Look how beautiful that red sauce is and it tastes absolutely divine!

Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the red sauce.  If you want more cheese, go for it!
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.  Remove from oven and serve!

We had 4 grown men here for dinner last night and me.  This casserole got RAVE reviews.  Get that?  RAVE reviews!  Dan declared it better than our favorite Mexican restaurant's enchiladas which is quite a compliment.  We had this with black beans and Mexican rice.  Delicious.

Give this recipe a try the next time you are hungry for South of the border/Tex Mex flavors.  It will hit the spot.  You could easily halve this if you wanted, just use half the red sauce and refrigerate the rest for another meal.  Yum.  Yum.  Yum.  All I can say.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

When cooking, sometimes it is okay to do things a little differently, especially if the end result is basically the same, takes less time and is easier to accomplish.  That's my philosophy.   donna

Monday, February 25, 2013

DeeDee's Banana Nutella Muffins

Happy Monday, one and all.  How was your weekend?  Ours was super busy as usual.  One of our grandsons turned 3 on Saturday and Grandma made his "wheels on the bus" birthday cake.  We had a good time at his party!

We have a house guest right now who is looking for a job in Nashville, so there has been lots of cooking going on for the past week.  The one benefit is that Ken is a harpist and plays lovely, lovely music while I cook.  It is so peaceful and beautiful.  Everyone should have  a live harpist accompany them while they cook at least once in their lifetime.  It is amazing!

This morning, our 2.5 year old grandson came over for a visit while his mother went to go work on her writing.  He stops by a couple mornings a week and he is such a sweetheart.  His name is Adrian but we all call him DeeDee.  DeeDee really likes to help grandma in the kitchen!  He likes to pour and stir and taste.  He asks about a million questions at a time, is extremely observant and makes us laugh a lot. He loves - I mean LOVES - The Music Man and listens to the CD over and over and watches the original movie again and again.  This morning while baking he said "YE GODS, Grandma".  Oh how it made me laugh.  If you haven't seen the movie or the play in a while, that is a line from Mayor Shinn's daughter Zaneta.  His mother played that part when she was going to be a sophomore in high school.  Amazing how things repeat isn't it?

Well, this morning I had 4 sad bananas on the counter that no one had eaten and they were ready to be deep sixed, except that I really didn't want to waste them.  I asked DeeDee if he wanted to help grandma bake and he was in like Flynn.  I mean, you get to mix and measure and pour and stir and - taste!
DeeDee pulled up the little step stool I keep in the kitchen and we went to work!

 I used a recipe from Giada de Laurentis, but I added my own little twist.  Her muffin recipe is for banana muffins iced with mascarpone icing.  I don't like icing on muffins, but I had just a little Nutella in the bottom of a jar and I decided to add some and see what happened.  What happened?  Yum is what happened!  Ken, our houseguest, and Dan declared these muffins fantastic!  So, this recipe is a keeper and we will be making it again.  Here is what you need:

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla to blend.  (I used a wooden spoon instead of a mixer, worked just fine).  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to blend.  Add the bananas and stir until well blended.

Put paper liners in each cup of a muffin tin and using a 1/4 cup measure, fill each muffin paper about 1/2 to 2/3 full.  (I got 20 muffins out of this recipe).

Now, for the special twist!  I added 1/2 tsp of Nutella to the top of each filled muffin cup and kind of swirled it around with a toothpick.  Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I had to bake mine about 30 minutes, maybe because of the Nutella.

Remove from the oven and try to keep from eating them all at one time.  Holy Moly these are good!  I sent some home with DeeDee and his mom for his brothers to share and Dan and Ken ate 2 each immediately.  Yes, I also had one and it was hard - very hard - not to eat another one.  Yummmmmmo! Nothing like a bite of that delicious chocolate/hazelnut spread in the middle of a banana muffin.  Wowee!

Next time you have some bananas that no one will eat because they are mushy or overripe, give this fabulous recipe a try!  No use wasting a banana when they can be used for something this delicious!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

On a traffic light, green means go and yellow means yield, but on a banana it's just the opposite.  Green means hold on, yellow means go ahead and red means where did you get that banana?  Mitch Hedberg

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crocheted Zebra Hat for Baby Benjamin

It's cold and cloudy and yucky today.  How is it where you are?  I am so ready for sunshine and warm weather, aren't you?  I'm ready for flowers, and green grass and leaves on the trees.   I am over winter and cold and sickness and gray, cloudy days.  Bring on the sunshine is what I say.

The only good thing about cold weather is it has forced me to stay in and work on projects which is a good thing.  There are so many new babies who are in need of gifts and I have been working away.  I have a couple of quilts in the process and have been doing some crochet work.

I recently wrote about those adorable crocheted high top Converse-type booties that I crocheted for a friend's baby.  Before I sent them off, I decided to make this adorable zebra hat to keep his little head warm when he arrives at the end of this month.  There are so many cute and fashionable hats for babies these days, it was hard to narrow the choices down to one.   It will be cold in Indiana for a while longer, and this will be just the thing to keep his head warm.  The black and white look goes well with the booties, don't you think?

Isn't this hat just adorable?  I found the pattern on  It is a free pattern that she was so very kind to share with all of her readers.  I found the original picture on - where else - Pinterest and I thought it was so cute that I just had to make one to go along with little Benjamin's shoes.
He is going to be one cool dude in those shoes and wearing his little zebra hat.  I hope his mom and dad like them as much as I do.  Can't wait to see pictures of him all decked out!

The hat is a newborn size and is made from acrylic yarn with an H hook.  There are adaptations for larger hats in the directions also.  It is very easy to make.  If you want to give it a try, just head on over to Adorably Hooked for the directions and a very special thanks for sharing your pattern!

You can find the shoes on my post of February 4, 2013,  titled "Kate, This Is For You".  If you have babies in your future, make them a beautiful handmade gift.  They are so meaningful and make wonderful keepsakes.  Their mother's will love you for it and it will give you so much pleasure to create a one of a kind gift for those precious little people.  Have fun!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

A great hat speaks for itself!  Author, unknown.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Potatoes Au Gratin With Harp Accompaniment

Hello everyone!  Sorry to have been absent for a while.  Dan and I had the totally creepy crud, the kind that lasts for a week and then takes another week to recover.  Whew.  I hope we don't ever have that again.  It was NOT fun, but we are on the mend.

In the meantime, I have undergone two laser procedures for my glaucoma.  Last week I had the left eye done and today the right eye.  I have had glaucoma for 30 years and am on maximum medications and my pressures won't stay down where they would like them to be.  So, they zapped each eyeball with a fancy little laser (the procedure is called an SLT).  The purpose is to create new drainage pathways.  It took about 5 minutes for each eye.  My eye felt a little irritated for a couple of days, and then it cleared up.  Today, the pressure in my left eye (first eye done) had dropped 7  points in one week.  The pressure usually runs about 23/24 with 4 medications twice a day which is way higher than they would like it to be.  Today, after just one week, the pressure was down to 16!!  Hip, hip, hooray!!  My pressures have not been in the teens for 20 years.  So grateful for the miracles of science and Dr. Bergman.  : )  I will return in six weeks for pressure checks and then my medications will be adjusted, hopefully eliminating  a couple of them!

Now that we are on the mend from our bout of creepy crudiness and our appetites are beginning to return, I had the in town family over for dinner last night.  Do you every get a craving for something and you just have to make it?  Mine was potatoes au gratin. Had to have them.  Cheese, potatoes, onions, creamy goodness.  Yum.  I made a 9x13 pan and there were absolutely none left.  Not.  One.  Bite.  Soooooo good and not hard to make at all.  Here is what you need.

4 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups whole milk
1 small onion, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon corn starch
8 ounce block of cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt
lots of fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Peel potatoes and slice about 1/4 inch thick.  Mince small onion and add to potatoes.  Mince clove of garlic.  Add butter to deep saucepan and melt at medium temp.  Add 2 cups of milk, heaping tablespoon of corn starch, minced garlic, salt, and lots of black pepper.   Stir until milk begins to simmer.  Add all of the grated cheese.  Mix until cheese is melted.  Remove pan from stove.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Add potatoes and onions.  Pour sauce over potatoes, should just barely cover potatoes.  Cover with aluminum foil and put in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 35/40 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender and the cheese has started to brown.  Remove from oven.  Serve.

These are SOOOOOOOOOOO delicious, you really need to make some as soon as you can.  They are good with any meat.  We had them with grilled barbecued pork chops and grilled asparagus.  Yum.  Yum.  Yum.  

If you know me at all, you know I never met a potato I didn't like and these are one of my most favorite ways to enjoy them.  What's not to like?  Seriously?  Cheese, potatoes, onions, deliciousness.  Is your mouth watering?  Mine is and there are no left overs.  (Insert sad face here).  Guess you know what that means.  Will have to make some more sometime soon.  Give them a try.  You can cut the recipe in half if you don't want to make such a huge pan of them, but you will be sorry later.  They are worth the effort.  Enjoy.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

My friend Ken is staying with us for a bit while he gets settled in Nashville.  He is a harpist and he is practicing while I type this.  He plays so beautifully.  What a treat, our own personal harpist.  Wish you were here to enjoy.  Haven't felt this peaceful in a while.  Thanks Ken.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mas Taco Por Favor's Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe - Did I Say Fabulous?

We've both been a bit under the weather.  Hacky cough, headache, scratchy throat.  Not feeling terrible, just not great.  The sneezing and runny nose can stop anytime.  Hopefully it will resolve itself soon, and I do hope SOON.  Dan and I have been really healthy for years, but since the grandsons are in school, we seem to come down with a lot of little colds which they bring home from school.  They are all hacking and coughing too.  Springtime can't come fast enough.

Science has found that chicken soup is good for colds and congestion.  This soup I am writing about today is just good for the soul!  Our daughter kept raving about the chicken tortilla soup from a local restaurant called Mas Tacos Por Favor.  This is not your average Tex-Mex place.  It is a little hole in the wall decorated with mis-matched chairs and wobbly tables.  You have to place your order at a window and pray that you find a seat because the place is always packed.

Mas Tacos Por Favor has been written about in many culinary magazines and in the New York Times on June 18, 2012.  Their menu is written on a chalk board and changes every day.  Their tacos are things like braised pork and red mole in la manana, or fried avocado, pulled pork, cast iron chicken and quinoa.  Merciful heavens their food is good.  But, the chicken tortilla soup is divine, their shining star.  Simply heavenly.

I took my chances and googled Mas Tacos chicken tortilla soup and miracle of miracles there was an online recipe in Bon Appetit magazine.  The tortilla soup gods smiled on me with great favor!  Full, rich flavor tasting of lime juice and clear, tasty chicken broth is the base for this soup.  It is topped off with grilled corn, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, queso fresco and more lime juice.  It has a spicy taste from chipotle chiles and just a bit of jalapeno.  Not too spicy, but just right in my estimation.

Here is what you need to make 8 servings:

1 4 pound chicken
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 dried chipotle chiles
1 jalapeno (with seeds), halved lengthwise
7 cilantro sprigs
3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice
vegetable oil
5 corn tortillas, cut in 1/2 inch strips
2 ears of husked corn, or 2 cups frozen, thawed corn kernels  (I had to use frozen corn)
Chopped fresh cilantro, halved cherry tomatoes, avocado wedges, queso fresco or mild feta, lime wedges.

I didn't have any chipotle chiles on hand, so I used a can of green chiles.  Just a little different, but not the end of the world.

Bring the whole chicken, onion, carrot, garlic, chipotles, jalapeno, and 16 cups water to a boil in a large pot; skim foam from surface.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer, skimming the surface frequently until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.

Transfer chicken to a plate.  Strain broth into another large pot.  Return chiles to broth if a spicier broth is desired.  Discard remaining solids.  Shred Chicken meat; discard skin and bones.  Transfer chicken meat to a medium bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, set pot with strained broth over medium heat and add cilantro springs.  Bring broth to a simmer; cook until reduced to 8 cups, about 1 hour.  Discard cilantro sprigs and chiles if using.  Stir in 3 TBSP fresh lime juice.  Season with salt, pepper, and more lime juice if desired.  Add chicken to broth.

DO AHEAD:  can be made 2 days ahead.  Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled.

Attach deep fry thermometer to the side of a large cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet.  Pour oil into skillet to a depth of 1 inch.  Heat over medium heat until thermometer registers 350-360 degrees.  Working in batches, fry tortilla strips, turning occasionally until crisp and golden brown, 2-3 minutes per batch.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.  Season with salt.

(I baked my tortilla strips.  Drizzle with oil, toss until coated and put on a baking sheet at 400 degrees.  Stir on occasion to make sure they brown on all sides).
Cook the corn over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning occasionally until charred in spots.  (You can use your outdoor grill too).  Let stand until cool enough to handle  Cut kernels from cobs in strips.   Discard cobs.  (Alternatively, cook kernels in a large skillet over high heat until charred in spots).

Rewarm broth with chicken.  Divide soup among bowls.  I put the corn and tortilla strips in the bowl and then put out plates with toppings because not everyone likes all of them.  (You know who I'm talking about, right?)  We had cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, queso fresco, cilantro and lime wedges. YUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

This soup is heavenly.  Divine.  Amazing.  Fabulous.  Incredible.  Awesome.  Flavorful.  Tasty.  Scrumptious.  Is that enough adjectives?

I had never thought of eating avocados in a hot soup broth, but boy oh boy, are they good!  It's all good and will do wonders for a stuffy head.  It's not really hard to make either.  You don't even have to wait until you have a stuffy head to enjoy this fabulous concoction.

If you are ever in Nashville and want some spectacular food, head straight to Mas Tacos Por Favor at 732 McFerrin Avenue in east Nashville.  They are open 11-4 Tuesday through Saturday and I don't know about evenings.  They also have a food truck that makes appearances from time to time around town.  Mas Tacos is owned by Teresa Mason and she certainly knows her stuff when it comes to delicious food.

Give this soup a try.  No, it's not like the chicken tortilla soup you get other places - it's so much better!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

A Jewish woman had two chickens. One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup out of the other one to help the sick one get well.   Henny Youngman

Monday, February 4, 2013

Kate, This Is For You

Hi all!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the Superbowl - if that is your thing.  Dan spent his Superbowl down for the count with a rather nasty stomach bug.  We usually enjoy all the fun, food, and festivities, but this year's menu consisted of jello and sprite and not too much enthusiasm.  There's always next year.

What I did this weekend was finish these crocheted high top sneaker booties for a friend who is expecting a baby at the end of February.   Seriously, what could be cuter than a baby wearing these adorable high tops?  I tried two different patterns I found on Pinterest with no success.  I started one pair four different times and I could not make the count work out.  The writer of the pattern actually said "I think I did this" in a couple of places.  I should have given up right then because that is obviously not what she did, but she was nice enough to share so I say thank you.  I am not one to admit defeat.  Needless to say, I finally hollered Uncle and tried another pattern.  No dice on that one either.  My frustration level was really high at this point and I was about ready to throw in the towel until I found this pattern from    If you would like to make some of these, please go to her site for the instructions.   Her pattern is super easy to follow.

This is not the pattern my friend originally chose and I am sad that I could not make the original choice for her.  On the other hand, these are really, really cute and I hope she will like them.  Little BDS will look super hip in these stylin' high top sneakers!  Why are baby booties so darn cute?

All that is needed to make these booties is worsted weight yarn, an F crochet hook, and I used some crewel embroidery thread to make the stars on the sides.  Once I got my rhythm going, it didn't take long to complete them.  I was getting really anxious about my lack of progress, but now they are done.  Hip, hip, hooray!

They will be shipped to her this week and I really hope she likes them!  It's such a pleasure to make things mother's want for their babies as gifts.  I hope she sends me a picture of him wearing them.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

The "blue" you see inside the shoes is tissue paper placed there so the shoes will keep their shape in shipping.  Not anything necessary in making the booties.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake - A Superbowl Must

If you don't love coconut, read no further.  This recipe is not for you.  If you do love coconut, come on in  - this recipe has your name ALL over it.  If you like Almond Joy's, coconut bonbons, macaroons, or anything that has coconut in it you are going to love this cake.

By the way, you probably want to make this cake for Superbowl Sunday.  Why?  Because it is so good.  It's somewhat like "chocolate heaven on a fork" good.  It's like "where has this been all my life" good.  It's "why haven't I made this before" good?!   Did I say it was good?  Not.  Kidding.

I don't usually post on Friday night, but the last two days have been super busy helping Daughter #2 and her family move.  Whew.  What a job.  Grandma is T. I. R. E. D. today.    On top of that, it is cold here in middle Tennessee and it was a day for comfort food.  We have been grabbing things here and there between cleaning and unpacking.  Time for some home cooking.

Tonight, I made one of our favorites - Shepherd's Pie - and for dessert Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake.  Is it comforting?  In every conceivable way.  Is it easy?  Yes.  Is it fabulously delicious?  Oh my heaven's yes.   Here is what you need to make this treat:

1 Devils Food cake mix - make according to directions on the box


2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
2 TBSP flour
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all together and put aside.  I used a whisk.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP milk
1 cup chocolate chips

slivered or sliced Almonds, optional

Put a sauce pan on the stove and melt the butter at medium low.  Add the chocolate chips, powdered sugar and 1 TBSP of milk at a time until the chips are melted the the glaze is thin enough to pour.  If you need a little more milk, add sparingly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the cake mix according to directions on the box.  Pour half the batter into a lightly greased non-stick Bundt pan.

Use a tablespoon and drop mounds of the coconut filling all around the center of the cake batter, spreading it out evenly by lightly tapping with the spoon, making sure it does not touch the sides of the cake pan.  

Pour the rest of the cake batter over the coconut filling.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes and turn onto a plate to cool completely.  Drizzle with the chocolate glaze.  Decorate with slivered or sliced almonds if you wish.  (I wished).

This is a view from the top.
Look at all that icing puddling in the center of the cake.  Yum.  Yum.

Now, a cross section of the interior of the cake.
Look at that super tunnel of coconut that is sweet, and chewy, and fantabulous.

Isn't it pretty?  Don't you want a piece?  If you were here, I would gladly share.  Since you aren't here, looks like you need to make one for yourself, your family, and all your friends.  They are going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.  Don't you want to run your finger through those big puddles of chocolate at the base of the cake?  Come on, I know you do.  That's what icing is for.  MMMMMMMMMMMM.

In order to enjoy the food, er game, on Sunday, it would be nice to have a fabulous dessert to go along with all the other scrumptious food that will most likely be available.  Maybe you have to take a dish to a party, perhaps you are the host.   Either way, this is a wonderful cake that will make you happy no matter who wins.  Gooooooooo team!  Can't you tell I'm a major football fan?  I try, really I do.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

I'm old enough to remember the first Superbowl and this year is #47.  I was 17 (do the math).   It was not the big deal it is today, with parties and food and celebration.  It really has developed into a phenomenon that is lots of fun.  Hope your team wins!  Enjoy the halftime show!  Eat some cake.