Red Velvet Sneezes

Hey all!  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas filled with family, love, and great food!  We had plans to go to a get together at our cousin’s house.  The morning of Christmas we both woke up with fevers and our son was hacking up a lung in his room.  There was no way we were making it anywhere.  Especially with four other kids attending the festivities, we’d feel horrible if we got them all sick.  All week we had anticipated going to this get together so we hadn’t even grocery shopped.  In order to avoid the Christmas rush we put off our grocery shopping till after the day.  Bad idea.  Now that we were stuck at home all we had was the Red Velvet Trifle I had made for the party and a 3 lb. chub of beef.  We decided to make chili for dinner and dig into the trifle for dessert.  Oh what?  You want my trifle recipe…well…alright.

 

Here’s what you need:

Red Velvet Cake

 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder, set that aside.  Then in another bowl mix together the cocoa powder and red food coloring, it will be a thin paste.  Set that aside too.

Next mix together the butter and sugar until it’s fluffy then add in one egg at a time, vanilla, and the red cocoa powder mixture.  Add in a third of the flour mixture and once it’s mixed in add half the buttermilk.  Keep alternating like that until everything is incorporated.  Don’t forget to scrape down the sides.  

In a small bowl mix the baking soda and vinegar together.  It will fizz so make sure the bowl accommodates for that.  Mix it into the batter.

I baked mine in a 9×13 rectangle pan because I just wanted to cube them, but you could easily divide these into cake rounds or whatever shape you want.  I baked at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Just check on it and when a toothpick in the center comes out clean, it’s done.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup half and half
1 cups milk chocolate chips

Just heat up the half and half to almost boiling and take it off the heat and add in the chocolate chips.  No need for the double boiler, this is ganache made simple.  I used the Ghirardeli milk chocolate chips…seriously…out of this world good.  You could use dark chocolate if you wanted.

Cream Cheese Marshmallow Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup melted marshmallows or marshmallow fluff
1-pound box confectioners’ sugar (2 cups)

Mix together the cream cheese and butter until it’s fluffy, then add in the marshmallows and sugar.  Mix until it’s smooth.  You could also add nuts or coconut if you wanted.  I think coconut is really good with this frosting!  A good tip for using the marshmallow fluff – heat up your spoon under hot water and you’ll have a much easier time dealing with it.  This stuff is STICKY.

Now to assemble the trifle.  I just layered the red velvet and then covered with ganache then added dollops of frosting.  We don’t like a whole ton of frosting, but if you wanted actual layers with complete coverage I would just double the frosting recipe.

Once assembled mine looked like this:

Red Velvet Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

 

The color is unreal and it tastes SO good.  Moist, chocolatey, DELICIOUS.  Try it out!  Let me know how yours turn out!

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Paying it forward

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The most incredible thing happened this morning. I decided to go to Starbucks to fuel myself and the woman in front if me paid for my drink. We were in the drive thru so I didn’t get a chance to thank her. She said to tell me happy holidays. I was in shock. I didn’t think such generosity existed. I felt so incredibly full of joy and I was compelled to make someone else feel that good. So I paid for the person behind me. I hope they paid it forward as well. What a wonderful start to my morning. What random act of kindness will you do today?

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

My phone DIED!  So I couldn’t take pictures of this fabulous dish.  Take my word – it looks, smells, tastes amazing.  The best part, it’s EASY!  Here’s what you need:

 

2ish pounds of boneless, skinless Chicken thighs or breasts (I used Thighs)

1 packet of Taco Seasoning (I used chipotle Taco Seasoning)

1 – 16 oz jar of Salsa (I used Old Dutch Restaurant Style Chipotle Salsa)

 

I used Chipotle stuff because my husband really likes that smoky flavor, but you can use pretty much anything you want.

Throw your chicken into the crock pot, coat it with taco seasoning, pour the salsa over it, and set it on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours depending on how cold or frozen your chicken is.

I cooked mine for 4 hours on high and it was fresh from the store.  It was SO good, nobody could guess there’s only 2 ingredients in it!  The even better part, with my crazy schedule I never have time to cook so this amount will last us all week.  We’ve had it as tacos and last night I made quesadilla’s.  Let me know what combinations you used and how it turns out!