Mud Cake


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup marshmallow creme
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans


1. Coat a 6-in. springform pan with cooking spray and dust with flour; set aside. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended. Stir in pecans.

2. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

3. For frosting, in a small saucepan, combine the butter, milk, and cocoa; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

4. Place springform pan on a wire rack. Immediately spread marshmallow creme over hot cake. Drop 2 tablespoons of frosting over creme; cut through with a knife to swirl. Cool completely.

5. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; remove sides of pan. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Yield: 6 servings.

Orange Cinnamon Chicken


  • 3-4 lb. chicken cut into serving pieces
  • 1 C. chicken broth, homemade or canned
  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 2 C. orange juice
  • 1 C. raisins
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. flour


Heat butter in large skillet, and brown chicken. Remove chicken pieces to slow cooker as they brown. Combine all other ingredients, except flour, mix well and pour over chicken. Cover pot, turn on LOW and cook 4-6 hrs, or until chicken is tender. Remove 1 C. of sauce from the pot and combine with flour, mixing well. Return sauce-flour mixture to the pot. Turn pot on HIGH, and cook an additional half hour.

Spicy Sour Cream Chicken


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 C. salsa
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 C. fat-free sour cream


Spray the crockpot with cooking spray. Put in the chicken. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Top with salsa. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the pot. Place about 2 Tbs. cornstarch in a little water. Stir well. Stir the cornstarch into the liquid. Stir in 1/4 C. fat-free sour cream. Stir well.

Crockpot Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken


  • 4-6 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 C packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 C lemon-lime soda
  • 2-3 Tbs minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 Tbs water
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)


Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken (frozen, thawed or fresh) inside crockpot . Mix together brown sugar, vinegar, soda, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper together. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Take chicken pieces out of the crockpot and pour remaining sauce into a saucepan. Place saucepan over high heat. Mix together cornstarch and water, pour into saucepan, and mix well. Let sauce come to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to thicken and turns into a glaze. Remove from heat and let sit for a minute or two (it will continue to thicken as it cools down). Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top if desired.

Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops


  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.

Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.

Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).

When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream (


  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (you can reserve a few for garnish if so desired)

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans. Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until most of the liquid comes out. You will want to have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream

Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined. Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minute or until creamy. Fold in zest (If you are piping this buttercream, I recommend leaving out the zest).

Zucchini Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (Betty Crocker)


  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat cake mix, milk, 1/2 cup melted butter, the eggs, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, the ginger and nutmeg with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and walnuts. Pour batter into pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the vanilla. On low speed, beat in powdered sugar until frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread frosting on cake. Cut into 4 rows by 3 rows. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cake.