Friday, August 28, 2009

Dinner with the Neighbors

When we were young, we would spend almost all day every day with our next-door neighbors. We would ride bikes in their cul-de-sac and have lemonade sales on hot afternoons. We would jump on the trampoline and choreograph dances to Wilson Phillips' "Hold On." When it was getting close to dusk, our mother would ring a bell and we would come home for dinner. Occasionally, however, we would eat dinner with our neighbors. I don't much remember what we would have to eat at their house, but I do remember having what we thought then was a fabulous treat: Kraft macaroni and cheese.

It was not that our mother didn't make macaroni and cheese. She just didn't make Kraft macaroni and cheese, with all of it's fake-cheesy-ness. She would make what she called "Macaroni Casseroni," with real cheese and real wholesome goodness. To our unrefined pallets, it was just wasn't the same (and, unfortunately, we let her know it). Thankfully, I have grown out of that phase of life.

I tell you this story because, thanks to my mom's love for good food, we very rarely ate any pre-packaged or box-mix fare. I don't mean to be a snob about it, but aside from the fact that home-prepared foods are generally much healthier, they are also usually much, much better tasting!

All of that said, I have to apologize for this recipe. It contains a box mix. Actually, it contains two. Please don't disown me. You know that I wouldn't put it on here if it wasn't wonderful.

I made this (and some of those wonderful molasses cookies) for my little brother's birthday, which is today. He still enjoys Kraft macaroni and cheese. Happy Birthday, little brother!

Black Russian Cake

Cake:
1 Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
1 3.9 ounce Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
1/4 Cup Vodka
1/4 Cup Coffee Liqueur, such as Kahlua

Glaze:
1/4 Cup Coffee Liqueur, such as Kahlua
1/2 Stick Butter (4 tablespoons)
1/2 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute; increase speed to medium, and beat 4 more minutes. Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan.

Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining liqueur, powdered sugar and melted butter, stirring until smooth. Prick warm cake at 1-inch intervals with a long skewer. Brush a third of the liqueur mixture over the bottom of the cake. Wait 10 minutes, and invert the cake onto a serving cake. Prick the top of the cake with a skewer, and brush the rest of the liqueur mixture over the top and sides of the cake. Cool completely. Sift additional powdered sugar over the cake before serving.

Serve with coffee ice cream for a special treat!

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1 comment :

Sarah Barry Spooner said...

we never ate box mac and cheese either and frankly i never liked it.

i have to make this cake sometime.