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Oh How I've Missed You!

Hi guys!

It seems like it has been forever since I've written to you! Am I saying that a lot these days? I feel like I am. I just wanted to let you know that I am still here! I've been out of town 3 of the past 4 weeks! It's been a lot of relaxation (finally). I needed it! You never realize how much you need to relax until you get the opportunity to do so.

I have a recipe to share with you today. Actually two. As the holiday season is here, I've been trying to find easy things to cook so that I can spend as much time with Boogie as possible. With it getting dark so early, my body wants to go to bed as soon as the streetlights come on! Some nights I do!

We went to visit my sister and brother in law for a week for Thanksgiving. Bless my sister's heart, she prepared the entire Thanksgiving meal! I was beyond grateful for her because I really didn't have it in me this year. My contributions were a cake (recipe below) and cranberry sauce. While I'm accustomed to buying the whole berry canned stuff, this year we decided to make our own. I didn't know how easy it was to make it! I'm never buying canned again (if I can help it)!

The second recipe I would like to share with you is for a crock pot tortellini. Although I didn't make it in the crock pot, it was a very easy and delicious meal!

I didn't "sign" these pictures, so please give me credit if you use them :-)

Crock Pot Cheese Tortellini
Recipe adapted from Katie Deitrich

1 19 ounce bag of frozen cheese tortellini
1 small bunch (or bag) of fresh spinach
2 14.5 ounce cans of  Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 pound of chicken sausage (I used sun-dried tomato from Trader Joe's- a little less than a pound)
3-4 cups of chicken broth

You can click the link above to get the crock pot version. I will tell you how I cooked mine just on the stove top.

Slice the chicken sausage into rounds.
Brown the sausage over medium-high heat (I used a little olive oil)
Reduce to medium heat
Add tomatoes, cream cheese and chicken broth
Once the cream cheese is melted, add tortellini and cook for about 15 minutes
**I only used 3 cups of chicken broth. If it is too thick for you, add another cup, in 1/2 cup increments
Add the spinach. Once spinach is wilted, serve!
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan

**Ro's note...the next time I make this I will add onions and garlic while the chicken sausage is sauteing for extra flavor.

And now for the next recipe...I found this cake recipe a while back, but only made it for the first time last month. Since then, I have made it 5 additional times. It has become my go-to cake recipe. It is easy and delicious. I've shared this recipe with many people and none have complained! The original recipe is called "Mama Trish's Wine Cake," but when I found it, it was affectionately labeled "Crack Cake." I use the latter. The recipe comes from Madaket Home and I would not advise anyone with diabetes to eat this cake. This cake is truly addictive! I made it for Thanksgiving and here is the conversation between my brother in law and I regarding it:

KL: What kind of cake is that?
Me: Crack Cake
KL: Crack Cake? I can't eat that. I don't do drugs and I get random tests at work.
Me: It's not actually any crack in it.
KL: Then why on Earth would you call it that?
Me: Taste it and see.
KL: I don't do drugs.
I then got up and sliced the cake. I offered him a little piece. We proceed to watch football.
10 Seconds later he got up and cut a slice.
10 minutes later he got up and cut another slice.
KL: That cake is alright with me.
Me: Just smiles.

This cake is a winner. It's beyond easy being that it uses a box cake mix and mostly ingredients already in your kitchen. Try it and let me know how you like it!

Crack Cake
Recipe from Madaket Home

1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 box of instant vanilla pudding (I use sugar free, fat free)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil (I use vegetable oil)
1/2 cup white wine (any kind will do)

Preheat oven to 350
Mix all of the ingredients using a hand or stand mixer
Grease a bundt pan (I use baking spray with flour)
Pour mixture into pan
Bake for 1 hour

When the cake comes out of the oven:

Melt 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of white wine (again, any kind)
Pour mixture over the hot cake
Let cake cool completely
Turn it out of the pan and serve

This is right after the glazed is poured. It shrinks a bit as it cools, but that is OK

**Ro's note-the most important step is to LET THE CAKE COOL COMPLETELY. You may have to give a little help by loosening the sides after it cools, but please let it cool all the way down before trying to remove it! It will fall apart if you don't! I also place newspaper under my cooling rack to catch any of the glaze that spills over.


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