Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Morning; A Reason to Celebrate!

"Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day."
1 Corinthians 15:3-5
Happy Easter!
(song:  I Have a Hope)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Image from Google

Today we remember as the day Christ willingly bore our sins;
suffered anguish and a cruel death
so that we may know Him, His truth, and fulfill Scripture.
Christ agonized on the cross for six hours.
During his last 3 hours on the cross,
from noon to 3 p.m.,
darkness fell over the whole land.
With a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit.
There was an earthquake,
 tombs broke open,
and the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom.
The Centurion on guard at the site of crucifixion declared,
"Truly this was God's Son!"
Matthew 27:45-54

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Perfect Baked Potatoes

Image from google

It's Spring-y Winter right now.

Which makes it kind of hard to decide what to have for dinner.

Sometimes I like to cook "weather" food.

You know;
  • Soup in the Winter
  • Ice cream in the Summer
  • Fruit salad in the Spring
  • Pumpkin dip in the Fall
But when the weather is one season in the morning and another in the afternoon, I sometimes get confused on what to fix!

Because it's been on the cooler side of Spring the last few days, I decided to fix the family baked potatoes for dinner tonight.

I really do like potatoes.

My boy cherub does not find them so amazing.

But that's ok -- there will be something different for dinner tomorrow.

Maybe he'll like it better!

Potatoes, though, I'm kind of picky about.

I like yummy potatoes.

Potatoes where I can eat the entire vegetable; skin and all!

I like my potatoes baked in the oven.

Not the microwave.

I like my potatoes crispy on the outside and soft and steamy on the inside.

Not dry and chalky on the outside

I like my potatoes cooked in the "raw."

Not wrapped in foil.

Potatoes wrapped in foil are basically steam cooked.

I like mine baked.

There's a difference to me!

Here's my tried and true way of baking potatoes.

Perfect Baked Potatoes

1 large russet potato per person
vegetable oil
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take each potato and scrub it clean with a stiff brush and cold water.

Allow the potatoes to air dry.  Turn over to dry the underside too!  Not patted dry - really dry!  This way, they can hold the oil you're getting ready to rub all over them!

Once dry, take some oil in your hands (or vegetable shortening, which I use) and gently massage the oil all over the potato skin; careful not to miss any little spot.

Sprinkle each potato with the sea salt.

Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 60 minutes; adding at least 15 additional minutes for more than 4 potatoes.  (Obviously, cooking times depends on how large of potatoes you are cooking.)  If cooking more than 1 potato, try to purchase potatoes that are roughly the same size.  On that note, you are purchasing loose potatoes, by the pound, not a bag of potatoes -- those are for roasting, mashing, or scalloping!

Potatoes are done when they are crispy on the outside and have "give" when squeezed just a smidge.

Give a small cut down the middle and squeeze the ends together to crack the potato wide open to hold your soft butter, sour cream, grated cheese, and any other delicious topping!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hummingbird Cake

Image from Google

I've been eating this cake since I was a little girl.
Except I didn't call it "Hummingbird cake." 
My papa called it "Dr. Bird Cake."
His wife made it all the time and I really liked it.
One time, when I went to stay with them for a week, Hap made this cake.
There was one piece left and my papa said he would share it with me after dinner.
Except he didn't share it with me.
He hid it in the cabinet.
But I didn't know that he hid it.
I thought he ate it.
And I cried.
And cried.
And cried.
I wanted to go home.
Right then!
I had had enough.
I called my mom and dad.
I begged them to come get me.
They didn't come to get me.
But when my papa pulled the plate with the slice of cake out of the cabinet,
I was happy again.
Almost that quick.
When I got older, I found a recipe that sounded so yummy.
I made it for the Mr. and instantly we loved it.
Little did I know that Hummingbird cake and Dr. Bird cake were the same thing!
I now make it as our Easter dessert.
Every year; it's a tradition.
And I surely don't hide the last piece!
Hummingbird Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped ripe bananas
1- 8oz can of undrained crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs , beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped pecans
8 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter , room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar (about 4 1/2 cups sifted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter two 9" round cake pans, sprinkle evenly with flour and tap out the excess.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl.
In another bowl, stir the bananas, pineapple, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Do not use an electric mixer. Pour into the dry mixture and fold together with a large spatula just until smooth. Do not beat. Fold in the pecans. Spread evenly into the pans.

Bake until the cake springs back when pressed in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the cakes to wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks.  Turn right side up and cool completely.

To make the icing:
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until combined. On low speed, gradually beat in the sugar, then the vanilla, to make a smooth icing.

Place 1 cake layer, upside down on a serving platter. Spread with about 2/3 cup of the icing. Top with the second layer, right side up. Spread the reaming icing over the top and sides of the cake. The cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and stored, uncovered in the refrigerator.

***I like to make this cake as a 3 layer cake and I only frost between the layers and the top of the last layer; leaving the sides bare.  If you like this look, this makes enough to do such.  If you prefer more icing, the recipe easily doubles!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Resurrection Rolls

Image from the Internet
We've been making Resurrection Rolls for years now.  When my cherubs were itty-bitty, we began making these.

This has been around for many years; I didn't create it -- I simply duplicated it!
It's one of the ways we celebrate the Easter season and my cherubs still ask when we're going to make the Resurrection Rolls!
We read the Resurrection Story found in Scripture and then we make these treats.
This is usually an activity for us to do on Saturday before Easter, but any time you can carve out this week would be a fun experience for your family.
Prior to making the treats, read John 19 while the oven is pre-heating according to the package directions.  If you have time, or if your cherubs are older, you can actually read John 12-19, which will give you the entire story.
Resurrection Rolls
1 can of Crescent Rolls
1/3-1/2 cup melted butter
Bowl of Cinnamon/Sugar Mixture
8 Large Marshmallows

After the oven is preheated, begin making your treats, using the following as a "talking guide"with your family.

Unroll the crescent rolls. Explain that this symbolizes the cloth they wrapped Jesus in.

Each person then takes a marshmallow.  Explain that it represents Jesus… all white and pure because He was without sin.

Then, roll the marshmallows in the melted butter. This symbolizes the oils that were used to prepare His body.

Roll the marshmallows in the cinnamon sugar. This represents the spices used to prepare his body for burial.

Next, wrap the marshmallow in the crescent roll cloth, pinching the dough together securely. Don’t worry about the shape so much, they’ll taste the same no matter how you roll or bundle them. This represents how they would have wrapped Jesus’ body.

Put the rolls in the oven (symbolizing the tomb) and bake for the amount of time specified on the package.

While the rolls are baking, read John 20:1-18.

Open the oven (or the tomb) and remove the rolls. When they’re cool enough to handle, break one open and discover what happened to the marshmallow. Jesus is not there, He is Risen!  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lofthouse-ish Sugar Cookies

I admit it:  I like these junkie cookies! 

You know the ones; they're at the store and they have the bright frosting and colored sprinkles.

They're made by Lofthouse and they are available year round and they are always decorated with "holiday" colored frosting.

I don't know what it is about them that I like; I think it's how soft they are.

That's usually the problem with cookies:  they're too hard!

But these little gems are cakey and not dry and just yummy.

To me; they're yummy!

I hate that I like them!

This weekend, I have signed up to take cookies to a ballet event for my girl cherub.

Because it's been just a wee bit crazy around my house, I decided to try a new recipe.

Because that's what you do when your life feels like it's spinning faster than you can possibly control; you cook.

And you cook new recipes.

It's a weird sadistic trap I'm in!

There are several recipes out there for these Lofthouse-ish cookies.

I like this dough.  I will probably keep it around.

The only thing I didn't like is that the cookie didn't spread enough for my preference to make a "pretty canvas" for the bright frosting I'll be making.

Who cares; they taste good!

Lofthouse-ish Sugar Cookie

1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine sour cream, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla; mix well.

Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until everything is just incorporated.

With a cookie scoop, scoop out even amount of dough and slightly flatten on the cookie sheet with your hand so it's in a circular shape. Bake more than 8-10 minutes. They may seem under done but they aren't.  They may just be golden around the edge; but not more than that!

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.           

Buttercream Frosting

4 cups powdered sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
2 TBSP milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
frosting coloring
colored sprinkles

Cream the butter and shortening in mixer, with paddle attachment on medium for about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and beat until smooth, adding vanilla and milk as needed to create a smooth frosting.   Tint with coloring, if desired.  Mix the color in with the paddle attachment to distribute the color thoroughly. 
Spread with a spatula or pipe frosting onto cooled cookie and decorate with colored sprinkles.

**This frosting makes an ample amount so you do not have to be stingy with the colored goodness!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Salmon with Linguine and Lemon Sauce

Remember the salmon from the other night that the Mr. and Cherubs grilled?

I've been saving a bit of it.

Actually, about 1/2 of it.

I knew this week would be a bit crazy and having a quick meal would be helpful.

Tonight was the night for a quick meal.

I used the left-over grilled salmon and wanted to put pasta with it because that would be easy.

But for it to be really easy, I needed an easy sauce.

I quick decided that lemon would be the base of my sauce because lemon and salmon just go together.

Well, lemon wasn't really the "base;"  butter was the base -- but lemon would be the taste!

Here's the simple sauce.

This would be great with the pasta and grilled asparagus for a meatless dish, I do believe!

Pasta with Lemon Sauce

Linguine (or pasta of your choice)
1/4 cup butter (this was the only thing I measured; everything else was just thrown in)
1 TBSP chopped garlic (read note above)
lemon juice to taste (about 2 TBSP or so . . .read note above)
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, in a saute pan, add the 1/4 cup butter and melt over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, being careful not to burn.  Add the lemon juice and stir and heat until well blended and "saucy."

Taste and make adjustments as necessary.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Drain the cooked pasta and return the pasta to the pan.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.  Serve warm.

This amount of sauce seasoned about 1/2 box of linguine noodles, give or take.  If you're a saucy person, go ahead and double the recipe; you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Easy White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut-Orange-Craisin Cookie

Sometimes you just need a homemade cookie with the ease of store bought.
Tonight was one of those nights . .. .
and next week may be one of those nights too!
I needed a quick cookie but truthfully, didn't want to fool with getting out all of the ingredients to make cookies.
When these mixes are on sale, I usually pick up a couple to have on hand; just for times like these!
Today, I am using the white chocolate macadamia nut mix.
I'm going to make it fancy.
And yummy!
"How might you do that?"  you ask?
Well, just a few additional ingredients and you've got yourself a tasty dessert treat!
White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut-Orange-Craisin Cookie
1 Betty Crocker white chocolate cookie mix
ingredients required for mix (egg and 1/3 cup butter)
extra white chocolate chips
fiori di sicilia (or other "orange" flavoring)
1 small orange, peel grated; optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium size bowl, add the mix, the butter and the egg.  Mix as directed.  Dump in an extra good helping of white chocolate chips, about an equal amount of dried craisins, 1/4-1/2 fiori di sicilia flavoring (this is from King Arthur and I would highly recommend it!  It is my absolute favorite!  It's potent and doesn't taste fake.)  Finally, add in a tbsp. or so of grated orange peel, if you desire.
I didn't add the peel this time; I didn't "desire" it tonight.  You actually know all that means is that I didn't have an orange!  If I had one, I would have used it!  But I'm surely not going to the store for an orange!
Mix the additional ingredients together with the cookie batter.
Drop by cookie scoop.  Mine's about 2 TBSP size; which means I was able to get 1 dozen delish cookies from this mix.  But whatever size you make them determines your yield.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, but do NOT overbake; you're making cookies, not crackers!
Cool 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transfering to a cooling rack before cooling completely and enjoying!
If you really want to be fancy, after cooling the cookies, melt some additional white chips with a smidge of crisco in a baggie.  Smoosh to mix together and snip the end of the bag and drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cookies.  It looks even more homemade!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Grilled Salmon

Bottom line:  we love grilled salmon!

It is one of our very favorite things to make at home.

I adore the grilled salmon on top of our "go to salad," as our cherubs call it!  It's a spinach salad with dried cranberries, chopped purple onion, sliced strawberries, roasted almonds or pecans, slices of mandarin oranges, shaved Monterrey Jack cheese, and a lemon poppyseed dressing.

But truthfully, I'll eat grilled salmon with just about anything!

Remember the other night the Mr. and the cherubs made dinner for me when I returned home?

Besides the delish vanilla cupcakes and the roasted brussel sprouts, they made grilled salmon.

It was fantastic!

You can't mess up grilled salmon, unless, of course, you burn it.

But other than that, your imagination is your ticket to the flavor train!

This is our basic seasoning for the fish.

Grilled Salmon

1 large fresh salmon fillet
olive oil
lemon pepper (or any seasoning of your choice)

Preheat the grill.

On the fish, skin side down, rub a bit of olive oil.  Gently rub in fresh chopped garlic (just a little -- maybe a couple of teaspoons.)  Sprinkle generously with the lemon pepper and top off with the salt and pepper.

Throw the salmon on the grill, skin side down.  Cook 10-15 minutes, but it truly depends on how thick the fillet is.  Turn the salmon and cook 10-15 minutes longer.  You are wanting opaque-looking fish, but not dry.

Remove from the grill and enjoy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes

Cupcakes were devoure before a picture could be taken!

I was out of town with my mom as she had knee replacement surgery.

I came home to finish getting ready for her arrival at my house.

She's recouping with my family.

On my drive home, my family said, "We'll just go out when you get here.  It'll be easier."

I didn't want to go out.

I had been eating "out" since Tuesday  and I was kind of tired of it.

When I got close to home I called to see if I could meet them someplace; it was already late and I didn't want to waste much time.

My oldest cherub said, "No, just come on home."


I'm tired; I'm ready for bed; and I don't really want to go out to eat.

As soon as I pulled into the garage, I knew I had been tricked!  I could smell the grill!

They had cooked!

Yeah, them!!!

Grilled salmon, roasted brussel sprouts, and dessert.

My cherubs had  made homemade cupcakes.

My sweet girl cherub went to the internet, googled a recipe and set off to bake.

She's made her momma proud!

My boy cherub had the idea of filling them with a thick strawberry mixture.

It was a delicious combination!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time; beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  Add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk; ending with the last addition being the liquid.

Prepare muffin tins with liners.  Fill evenly (we use a cookie scoop).

Bake 18-24 minutes, or until done without over-baking.

Yields 12 cupcakes.

Vanilla Frosting

3 TBSP flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar (not powdered -- but granulated sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla

Whisk together the flour and the milk in a small sauce pan, over medium heat.  Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken.  Continue to stir until the mixture has the consistency of thick pudding. Pour into a bowl.  Place a piece of plastic wrap over the mixture to keep a skin from forming.  Put this mixture in the refrigerator and cool completely. 

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy; dissolving the sugar granules.  Take your time with this; you'll be glad you did because you'll end up with a smooth frosting!  Once creamed well, add the cooled milk mixture and the extra 1 tsp. of vanilla.  Beat until combined and stop to scrape the sides.  Continue beating until light and fluffy (about 7-8 minutes). 

Color the frosting, if desired and spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Zippy Meatballs

We've been eating this meal for 14 years.

Lisa brought it to us when the boy cherub was born.

We were living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time.

Since then, I have made it, shared it, frozen it, and sent it!

Many times I'll double the recipe and freeze half of it, uncooked, with the sauce poured over it, in a disposable pan which makes for an easy dinner for us or to give away.

When Lisa brought it to us, she brought it with cooked carrots and mashed potatoes.

We still eat it with carrots, only now I roast them, and we always have mashed potatoes too!

When you make this, you can put whatever side you want with it -- but I'm just saying, to make it "right" you'll want to make carrots and potatoes!

Zippy Meatballs

1 1/2 pounds ground beef*
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion, more or less depending on taste, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the beef and remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Scoop out into meatballs.  I use a cookie scoop because I'm persnickety about all the meatballs being the same size.  Also, it allows the meatballs to cook evenly without some being burnt and some under-cooked!  Place the meatballs into a 9X13 pan.

Zippy Sauce

1 cup ketchup
1 TBSP vinegar
4 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Place the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Pour the sauce over the raw meatballs.

Place the concoction into the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour or until done


*It is good to use a lean ground beef so that there isn't a ton of grease cooking out of the meatballs.  Then you are trying to remove the grease and it's mixed in with the sauce and it's not an easy task to do!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Berries with Cream Sauce

My cherubs are on minimester this week.

Minimester is a ministry or education opportunity that students participate in during the week before Spring Break.

This year, my boy Cherub went with his class to Washington, D.C.  It was both an education and a ministry trip.

My girl Cherub went with her class for an outdoor science camp. 

I went as a chaperon to the science camp.

It was fun.

But for 2 days I've been in the blowing wind, learning about all sorts of interesting "scienc-y" things and eating camp food.

To their credit, this camp did offer lots of options in the camp food experience and there was always a salad bar.

But after 3 days, I was ready for some variety.

And I was ready for something from my kitchen.

Me and my sweet girl cherub decided we wanted kabobs!

Off to the store we went when we got back from camp and we bought all sorts of veggies and some chicken and beef so that we could make grilled kabobs!

We also picked up a variety of berries:
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
My girl Cherub wanted to make fruit kabobs too!

But I kind of decided against that and wanted to make a pretty fruit dessert with a cream sauce.

I didn't have a cream sauce recipe..

So I googled a fruit cream recipe.

Here's what I settled on.  The only reason I decided to try this recipe was for no other reason than it is on the Ruth's Chris menu.

I've never been to Ruth's Chris.

The Mr. has.

But not me!

That's sad, don't you think?

But if I were to go to Ruth's Chris, I think I'd order this for dessert.

That's not true.

I would NOT order this, because now I can make it!

Not only can I make it, but I can make it for way cheaper than what I can order it for from Ruth's Chris!

So there!

I don't need to go anymore!

Berries with Cream Sauce

2 Cups Heavy Cream
3/4-1 cup of sugar
10 Large Egg Yolks**
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 baskets of Fresh berries washed

Heat cream and 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan on medium-low. Heat the cream and sugar through.  Bring to a strong simmer, but do not allow to boil.

In a medium glass bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar until sugar is well blended and dissolved.

In a medium saucepan, fill about half full with water and bring to a boil.  While water is coming to a boil, slowly incorporate cream mixture to egg mixture. Add about 1/4 cup of cream at a time to the egg mixture and whisk thoroughly. Add another 1/4 cup of the cream mixture to the egg mixture and whisk again. Then add the remainder of the cream mixture to the egg mixture and whisk again.  Add your hot cream very slowly and a bit at a time so you do not scramble the eggs.

Put the glass boil over the boiling water to create a double boiler (or use a double boiler).

Slowly cook the sauce for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken and coat the back of a spoon.

Once thickened to the consistency that you like (such as a pourable pudding) you can pass it through a fine mesh sieve into the container you will use to store the sauce. I did not strain the sauce.  I didn't feel like I needed to.  However, if you step away and do not stir constantly, then you might want to do this because your sauce may have cooked a bit faster than you realized, leaving it a bit lumpy.

Make a ice bath by putting ice in a large bowl and putting a smaller bowl on top of the ice so that the ice is around the smaller bowl.  Pour the sauce into the smaller bowl and begin to gently fold the sauce to cool it as you slowly spin the smaller bowl.  The sauce will thicken a bit as it cools.

If you are going to refrigerate overnight, put saran directly on the top of the sauce to avoid a “skin” developing. If you are going to serve quickly, you do not need to saran wrap it

Once cooled, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Put some berries at the bottom of a bowl or a pretty glass or even jelly jars then generously drizzle the cream sauce over the berries.

**Save the egg whites.  Once you finish making this sauce, go ahead and separate 2 more eggs and you'll have 1 dozen egg whites.  Now you can make a homemade angel food cake!  Maybe I'll post a recipe for that next!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Pan Frosting

It's official; my short-term, long-term substitute teaching job came to an end on Friday.

Sniff!  Sniff!

I'm serious!

It's amazing how quickly you can come to love a group of kids! 

Each one is unique and each one holds a special place with me!

I hope the regular teacher gets sick .  . . and calls me!

Not that I want her sick; I just want to be back in her class!

Understand!  My heart's in the right spot!

Now that I'm not working 14 hours a day, I'm going to have a bit of time to post some recipes.

My cherubs are super excited; and so is the Mr.!

We haven't had anything creative since I went to work in November!

Part of that is because I've barely been to the store!

It's amazing what you can throw into a lunchbox and call it "healthy!"

Today, I baked this chocolate cake!

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Pan Frosting

1 box chocolate cake mix with pudding in the mix
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well for 1 minute.  Stop the mixer, scrape the sides, and mix on medium high for 2 minutes until smooth.

Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.  I like to use square ones (that's because we live in a round world!).

Evenly divide the cake batter between the two pans and place in the oven.  Bake for 28-32 minutes.  Test for doneness. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan and cooling on wire racks.

While the cake is cooling, make the icing.

Chocolate Pan Frosting

1 1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
about 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Add the cocoa and the milk.  Stir together until a smooth consistency and cook over medium heat.  Bring to "almost" a boil and cook for 1 minute longer.

Remove from the heat and add the sifted powdered sugar, a bit at a time, stirring until well mixed.  The frosting will be the consistency of hot fudge sauce.  As this frosting cools, it begins to set up.

Place one layer of the cake on a plate (maybe one that has a bit of a rim on it).  Slowly pour about 1 cup of frosting onto the cake.  I do this a little at a time and gently push it to the edge; I let it "set up" between adding frosting.

Top with the second layer.  Add the frosting the same way; a little at a time and gently push it to the edge of the cake.  Because the frosting is pourable, if you pour it all at one time, it will run off of the cake.  I pour, push, and wait just a bit (just seconds), then I pour, push, and wait.