Chocolate Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking sod
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 cups finely shredded carrots

Line two 9-inch round baking pans with wax paper; grease the paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, oil and carrots; beat until combined. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 2-tablespoon pieces
Two packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the cream cheese and beat until blended and smooth. Blend in the sugar and vanilla. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the frosting. Repeat layer. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate chips.

Yields: 12-16 servings

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by tablespoon fulls onto a large baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 13-15 min. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.


Author: The Caldwells // Category:
These were better than any Ribs that I have had at Chili's!

1 1/2 cup water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika

4 racks ribs

Make the BBQ sauce by combining all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer sauce, stirring often for 45-60 minutes or until sauce is thick. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Brush sauce over the entire surface of the ribs. Wrap each wrack tightly in aluminum foil and arrange the packets on a baking sheet with the seam of the foil facing up. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat on the ribs has pulled back from the cut ends of the bones by about 1/2 inch. When the rib are just about done, preheat your barbecue grill to medium heat.
Remove the ribs from the foil and grill them on the barbecue for 4-8 minutes per side or until the surface of the ribs is beginning to char. Brush sauce on both sides of the ribs a few minutes before you remove them from the grill (if you do it to early the bbq sauce will burn because of the sugar in it). Serve the ribs with extra sauce on the side.

Yields: 4 racks of ribs

Clam Chowder-Red Lobster

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
2 1/2 cups water
3 cans (6.5 ounces each) minced clams, reserve liquid
1/2 cup all purpose flour1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leafdash dried thyme
2 red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup diced celery
1 cup heavy cream

Combine water and liquid drained from all 3 cans of clams in a large saucepan. Stir in flour, parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and thyme. Turn to medium heat. When water begins to bubble, add the potatoes and continue to cook for 5 min. Stir ten to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pan. Add the clams and celery to the saucepan and cook for 10 min., stirring often. Add the cream and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Watch the pan carefully to be sure the chowder doesn't bubble over. Turn down the heat if the soup begins to erupt.
Yields: 5 servings

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
12 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
4 slices Swiss Cheese
8 ounces Sliced turkey
4 slices American Cheese
8 ounces Ham

4 egg yolks
2 cups ice water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Heat 8-12 cups of shortening in a large saucepan to 375 degrees (medium heat). You will need the hot shortening to be at least 4 inches deep. Make the sandwich by arranging a slice of bread, then Swiss, then turkey, then bread, then ham, then American, then bread. Make sure the meat is not hanging over the edge of the sandwich. Press down on the sandwich with the palm of your hand to flatten it.
Make the batter by beating the egg yolks. Stir in the ice water. Measure the flour and baking soda into a sifter, and sift the mixture into the ice water and egg yolk. Stir with a large spoon, but do not over mix. You will still have many visible lumps in the batter.
Slice the sandwich in 1/2 from corner to corner. Dip on half of the sandwich in the batter, while holding it together with your fingers (the batter will hold the sandwich together in the shortening). Coat the sandwich well and drop into the oil. Add other sandwiches until the pan if full. Fry the sandwich for 6-8 minutes, turning t over halfway through cooking time. It should be golden brown when done. Remove the sandwich halves to paper towels to drain. Dust the sandwich with powdered sugar and serve with raspberry preserves (optional).
Yields: 4 whole sandwiches

Ranch Salad Dressing

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
1 teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Cover bowl and chill for at least 30 min. before serving.
Yields: 1 1/2 cups