Looking for a more normal year in 2014
by Elane Jones
Dec 29, 2013 | 1430 views | 0 0 comments | 108 108 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Elane Jones
Elane Jones
slideshow
Whew!!!! The holidays are finally over and 2013 is almost at an end, and I am so hoping things will return to some sort of normalcy for the Jones family in 2014.

Oh wait, I forgot! That’s not going to happen anytime soon! In one of my short memory lapses, I forgot my oldest son and his wife are expecting a new addition to their family in late spring of 2014, so we will all be busy the first part of the year getting ready and anxiously awaiting for the arrival of the new wee one.

But I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and got what you asked for from Santa. I got several wonderful gifts, boxes of candy, movies, and more, including a brand new, shiny, stainless steel, 1.0 cubic feet, 1,100 watt microwave oven.

My youngest son, Cory, got the microwave for me, but he had an ulterior motive and even made a comment to that fact on Christmas Eve.

Which sort of gave away what was in that big blue box covered with snowmen that was sitting next to my sew machine cabinet in the living room.

Cory spent the night with me on Christmas Eve and was trying to warm up some homemade vegetable soup that I had cooked for us on Monday night and my old microwave was having one of its spells and wasn’t heating properly.

“You know Mom you really do need a new microwave!” Cory said. “This thing has seen its better days!”

“Why do you think I asked Santa to bring me one for Christmas?” I said.

“Well, maybe he will,” Cory said. “You never know.”

The boys were quick to remove the old microwave from the shelf where it sat, and put the new one in its place.

“Now you can pop popcorn, Nana,” my grandson Caden said.

Bless his heart, I could tell he was as proud of that new microwave as I was, because we tried to pop some popcorn the other night that didn’t turn out to well, because the old microwave wouldn’t get hot enough.

So we will be cooking in style at the Jones house in the new year.

During this holiday season, I also discovered some new recipes that have now made their way into my recipe book, which I will be using all year round.

One of the recipes was the Slow Cooker Chicken Dressing discovered at Thanksgiving, and the other is a cake recipe discovered simply by reading the back of a Hershey’s Cocoa box.

I also discovered during the holidays that cakes made from scratch are far more delicious than cakes made from a box of cake mix you buy in the grocery store! So from now on I will be making all my cakes from scratch and I now have plans to try my hand at baking my own bread during the up and coming in the new year.

 So I thought what better way to end my last column of Bubblin’ Over in 2013 than by sharing with you the recipe for Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake and “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting. Happy New Year! Everybody!

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

2 c. sugar

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. Hershey’s Cocoa

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 c. milk

1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. boiling water

“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed 2 min. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Pour into pans.

3. Bake 30-35 min. or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 min.; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost with “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting (recipe below). 10 to 12 servings.

“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting

1 stick (1/2 c.) butter or margarine (I personally use Land of Lakes Butter)

2/3 c. Hershey’s Cocoa

3 c. powdered sugar

1/3 c. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Melt butter. Stir in cocoa.

2. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

Makes about 2 cups of frosting.