EMN Blogroll …

The other day I noticed that all the wonderful little links that had once filled the right margin had disappeared. So much for “network.”

I’ve now added a dedicated PAGE that you can click on to find what you need. If you’re having trouble, here’s the link.

Also, as long as I’m telling you where to go and what to do, I have a post at “Mommy Monsters” you may find helpful if you have a child that struggles with insomnia. We had Christopher at a specialist yesterday, and she suggested we check his iron levels — apparently ADHD is sometimes treated when in fact the kid is just sleep deprived.

So … “Sleep-Deprived, or ADHD?”

Wee Cook Wednesday: Rose Sunday Tea Cake

In just a few  more days — right after Thanksgiving — we will be entering the season of Advent. These four weeks before Christmas are about more than buying presents and baking cookies … They are about getting our hearts soft and warm with thanksgiving, ready to receive the Newborn King!

Every year on the third Sunday of Advent, I host a special tea party at my house for a group of truly extraordinary friends. We met when we were all still single … a dozen years later, three of us are married, and three have become adoptive parents. One hosts an exchange student every year.

Each of us makes a signature dish. Mine is a rich chocolate pound cake I make just once a year, especially for the tea (unless my husband is able to wheedle it out of me for his birthday). This year the cake is going to be a show stopper! Over the summer I was at a craft fair, and found these beautiful hand-painted cake plates. Here’s a picture of the one I got!

Rose Sunday Tea Cake

1/2 C shortening
1 C butter, softened
3 C sugar
5 eggs, separated
3 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/4 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or sugar) a 10 inch tube pan.  Cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy, gradually adding sugar. Beating well on medium speed, add egg yolks one at a time. Beat well after each addition.

Sift dry ingredients. Pour extracts into milk. Add flour and milk mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with flour, mixing just until blended after each addition.

In a clean glass bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold carefully, just until no white streaks remain, into the chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, remove from pan, and let cool comploetely on a wire rack. Serve with chocolate sauce.

Devastating Fudge Sauce

2/3 C cocoa
2 C sugar
1/4 C Karo syrup
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 C butter

Bring cocoa, sugar, syrup, and milk to a boil. Add remaining ingredients, and boil 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.

Wee Cook Wednesday: Best-Ever Brownies

This recipe seemed particularly apt today … Those of us (myself among them) who are feeling down about last night, well the chocolate will boost that endorphin level! 

And Governor Palin, if you’re reading this, know that this is one mother who still thinks you’re extraordinary, and if I had to do it all again I’d STILL vote for you!  I have a hard time finding the right words — it’s just too sad — so I’ll turn you to this lovely tribe I found, courtesy of Sarah Reinhard, by Carter Clews at GetLiberty.com.

This morning at “Aussie Coffee Shop,” Therese also offers some consoling perspective … as well as the notice that she is gathering information about “Type 1 diabetes” in children. Please drop me a note or comment if you have found any particularly useful resources. Thanks!

As the weather turns, some cards are released from the big black recipe box and seem to take up permanent residence on my window sill for the season. This is one of them. The recipes are rich and cakey … and because the shortening is melted, it only takes a minute to whip up! Which is a good thing … that 9×13 pan is empty in no time.

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Tips in the Kitchen: Kid-friendly chicken recipes

Today on YouTube I came across this video about the best way to cut up a chicken. This is a truly useful skill that will save you mucho dinero at the store. Even the parts that don’t normally get eaten whole (such as the back) make great soup stock.

My favorite ways to make chicken include:

Chicken Mexicali: Mix 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken with 1 can of cream of chicken soup with 1 cup sour cream. Pour 1/2 jar of salsa in the bottom of a 13 x 9 casserole. Place spoonful of chicken mix in tortilla (I use wheat) and wrap like burrito. Place on top of salsa, and repeat until the pan is full. Top with remaining salsa, fresh cilantro (chopped) and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with salad.

Chicken Divan: Boil and debone 2 chicken breasts; cut meat in strips. Thaw one large bag of broccoli florets, or steam 2 crowns of fresh broccoli and chop. Set aside; mix 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup mayo, 2 tsp curry powder, 1 Tbls lemon juice, and dash pepper. Butter 13×9 casserole, put drained broccoli on bottom, chicken on top, and soup mix over all. Top with shredded cheddar and bread crumbs (if desired). Bake 350 for 30 minutes. Serve over rice with fruit salad.

Deadline Chicken: Put chicken parts in crock pot along with 3 cut-up sweet potatoes, 1 chopped onion, can of corn, and can of black beans. Poor large jar of salsa over all. Turn on “low” and cook all day. Wa-la!~ Serve with tortillas and salad.

Hope this inspires you!