Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kate's Chocolate Bundt Cake

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Here's the recipe for an excellent chocolate bundt cake made by Kate Matull of San Francisco.  She brought the cake to a family gathering, and it was so moist and decadent -- the hit of the party.  Besides baking, Kate enjoys playing soccer, golf, tennis and volleyball.  She also sews and made the totebag pictured below in just a few hours using an old pair of jeans that belonged to her brother, Jack.  Just look at all she has accomplished for being 9 years old!  She is pictured above with her Grandma Sharon.

1 package Duncan Hines Butter Fudge Cake Mix
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 package Jello Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding Mix
12 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup salad oil
1/3 cup water

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup bundt pan.  Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stephen's Pumpkin Gnocci with Sage Alfredo Sauce

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Sinfully delicious!  My son, Stephen, made these for Sunday dinner and they were a big hit.  There is nothing like homemade fresh pasta.  It takes a little time to prepare, but is well worth the effort.

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1 cup flour
1 egg
Dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 T butter
1 medium onion, sliced
6-7 fresh sage leaves

Set a large pot of salted water on the stove and turn heat to high boil  In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, ricotta, flour, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir gently to form a very soft dough.  Dust a clean plate with flour and set it next to your work area. Turn the dough out on the plate and divide into 6 sections.  Roll each into a ball, then into a long "snake" about 3/4" thick.  Cut the snake into 1" football-shaped pillows.  Using a fork, make indentations on one side of the pillow pieces.  Set aside.  Lower the temperature on the boiling water to a light bowl.  Cook the gnocci for 2-3 minutes until they float to the surface of the pot. Remove with a slotted spoon.

4 oz. chopped pancetta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cup milk
2-1/2 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
2 T fresh sage, chopped
Pinch nutmeg
Salt, pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the pancetta until crispy.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Wipe the pan clean.  Melt butter over medium heat in the same skillet.  Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk into the butter.  Cook for 1-2 min.  Gradually add the milk into the butter/flour mixture and continue whisking until bubbly.  Cook until mixture is thick, whisking constantly.  Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Turn off the heat and add the cheese, sage and pancetta. (If sauce is too thick, add more milk.) 

Add cooked gnocci to the skillet and stir to coat the sauce.  Serve immediately.