an Ode to Velveeta

This one has been waiting in the wings for awhile now.

Oh Velveeta, cheesy goodness.

I finally introduced your brick form to my home.

Melted in with shoestring fries
Cream of chicken soup and sour cream
Topped here with saltines…
Buttered cornflakes are even better.
Oh how I love the French Fry Casserole.
Next winter we shall meet again.

Goddess of Cocoa and Chocolate

Aunt Mary has decided that I should be called the Goddess of Cocoa. Probably because every other sentence out of my mouth was “You know, chocolate / cocoa / sugar _______ would go really great with this. I made candy, pudding, hot cocoa, and cake. We had a bit of chocolate with almost every meal. This won’t surprise anyone who knows me and my sweet tooth, but I kind of like the new moniker, Goddess of Cocoa – it suits me. In honor of this title here’s my Mom-Mom’s candy recipe, which is what started this whole thing. We used to have this always at Christmas – but I’m sure it’s delicious anytime of year. This recipe takes patience, and doesn’t always turn out right (it didn’t set completely in New Mexico) but even the mistakes are delicious.

Mom-Mom’s Candy
3 cups sugar
3 heaping teaspoons cocoa
1/8 teaspooons salt
1 1/2 cups milk

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium pot
Stir in milk – heat on low and stir continuously
Let mixture boil (about 20 minutes)
When the mixture begins to thicken (approximately another 15 minutes) Add 1/2 stick a butter

Test every minute with the cold water test:
Use a spoon to drop a drop of the candy mixture into a cup of cold water
When the mixture forms a ball in the water take the mixture off of heat

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter

Pour onto a buttered platter (13 – 18 inch oval or round) one with a vertical lip works best. Let platter sit until candy is hard. (several hours)

If the candy sets correctly it can be cut into squares of a hard sugar like consistency. If it does not set correctly it will be more like taffy and should be eaten with a spoon.


Favor Recipes

I’ve had a couple of requests for the recipe of what was IN the favor jars from our wedding. So I’m going to post how to make the jar mixes here. I found all of the recipes on this website.

For our favors I chose two muffin mixes and two pancake mixes, which are posted below. The website has many more options for pancakes and muffins and a whole host of food items to choose from. They make really nice hostess or Christmas gifts too.


Cappuccino Chocolate Chunk Muffin Mix
2 cups flour
1 cup BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Grease or line muffin pan with papers. Beat 1 egg in large bowl; stir in 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted. Empty contents of bag into bowl. Stir just until moistened.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 1 dozen.


Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins
Because this mixture doesn’t quite fill up the quart jar, it isn’t necessary to pack the layers down as tightly as usual.

Layer in a clean 1 quart jar the following:
2 c. flour, mixed with 2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts (OR macadamia, pecans)

To make Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins:

Spoon out walnuts & chocolate chips into small bowl. In a large bowl, empty remaining contents of jar and stir together until well blended. In a third bowl, stir together:

2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, melted (allow to cool before mixing)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Make a well in center of the dry ingredients. Add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Fold in chocolate chips & walnuts. Spoon batter into either greased or lined muffin cups (about 2/3 full).

Bake 15-20 minutes. Test for
doneness with toothpick. Cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin cups.

Makes 12 muffins.


Gingerbread Pancake Mix

1 C. cake flour
1 C. all purpose flour
7 T. buttermilk powder
4 T. sugar
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 C. white chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients. Transfer to a decorative jar.

Attach a recipe card with these directions to the Gingerbread Pancake Mix:

Place mix in a large bowl. Add:
1 3/4 C. water
6 T. melted butter
1/4 C. molasses
2 eggs

Blend until just combined. Pour batter 1/4 C. at a time, in a hot skillet, to make the pancakes. Cook pancakes, turning once, about 2 minutes.

Yield: 20 pancakes

Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Pancake Mix

3 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Sift all the ingredients together into a container and continue mixing until well blended. Pour into a jar.

Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Pancakes:
Beat one egg in a medium bowl and add 3/4 cup milk and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add 1-1/4 cup of mix until moistened. The batter will still be lumpy — do not over mix. Cook on a hot, lightly greased pancake griddle over medium heat.