I’ve been in a kitchen-y mood this weekend, and I wanted to share some of my productivity. These are simple to make and not very expensive, so they’re ideal for grad students!
I got this recipe quite a few years ago from a friend of mine, but I had never tried to make it until yesterday. This isn’t a sweet cake, it is more of a dark chocolate cake, so it needs a sweet icing. The original recipe is doubled because it is supposed to be a double-layer cake, but I didn’t want nearly as much. If you like, you can double all the ingredients and then bake in two 8×8 or one 8×16 pan to make the full cake.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cold brewed coffee or black tea
1/2 cup milk
* (Unfortunately the original recipe called for 3/4 cup and there’s no good way to half this. I just eyeballed 1 and a half 1/4 cups.)
Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat wet ingredients lightly, then slowly add dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Pour into 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350*F for ~30 minutes. Cool completely, then ice with something fruity or coffee-flavored. I used strawberry icing and it came out wonderfully.
I got this recipe from my grandma. It is a great recipe for the summer because you make it in a slow cooker instead of an oven, so you don’t raise the temperature of the room. You can add chopped onion to the mix if you like, but I find it flavorful enough without it. I also make a variant of this occasionally with apples and cinnamon instead of zucchini and spinach, if you want something very slightly sweet.
~2 lb beef roast (I prefer bottom round.)
1 zucchini squash
4-6 red potatoes
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
1 14 oz. can beef broth
salt, pepper, and basil
Line the bottom of your slow cooker with the baby spinach, then chop the zucchini into thick slices and quarter the red potatoes, then add to the pot. Put the roast on top, pour in the broth and then season the meat to taste with the salt, pepper, and basil. Cook on high heat for at least six hours. Makes about four servings.