Judith Miller's Date-Chocolate Bit Cake

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Although born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Judith Miller moved to Kansas when she was 17 and has considered herself a Kansan for many years— especially since she was born on Kansas Day. Judy makes her home in Topeka, Kansas and worked for many years as a legal assistant both in private and government law offices. She is the author of more than 30 books and novellas and considers her writing a ministry as well as a profession. Drawn to unique settings and historical professions, she has taken readers from the mills of Lowell, Massachusetts to a 19th century southern resort, and even to a kitchen house in Amana, Iowa. She has won several awards for her writing and her books frequently can be found on the EPCA and CBA bestseller lists. Learn more about Judi and her books on her Website HERE.

Judi's newest book release: A Simple Change
Published by Bethany House Publishers - July 2013

Middle Amana, 1881
When her parents decide to sell their home and move to the Amana colonies, Jancey Rhoder must make a difficult decision. Should she give up her beloved teaching job and carefree life in Kansas City to go with them?

Her suitor, Nathan Woodward, doesn’t want her to go, but Jancey feels she must give this new life a try. Her mother is ill, and these next few months may be the last Jancey gets to spend with her. But will this move spell the end of her relationship with Nathan? And when life in Amana is far more mysterious and challenging than Jancey expected, will she choose to return to the city, or will she make this unique place her forever home? Buy Judi's book HERE.

Judi's recipe for Date-Chocolate Bit Cake

1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
¾ cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ chopped nuts
¾ c. chocolate bits (I use the mini-chocolate chips)
½ c. sugar

Pour the boiling water over the dates and baking soda and let sit while you mix up the rest of the cake batter as follows: Cream sugar and shortening, then add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and cinnamon and mix well. Slowly add the date mixture and mix until well blended. Pour into greased 9x13 cake pan. In small bowl, mix together nuts, chocolate bits, and sugar. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Can be served with cool whip or vanilla ice cream, but it’s great just plain, and no need to frost!!

This is my “go to” cake that can be prepared quickly and I’ve never served it without someone asking for the recipe. I always have the ingredients on hand. 

Tasty Kitchen

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I am delighted to announce that I've been chosen as a Featured Member on Tasty Kitchen! This makes the second time, and I am so honored at the selection. Tasty Kitchen is a sister blog to The Pioneer Woman, and they have so many wonderful recipes over there. Be sure to check them out now and be sure to join this awesome community of cooks! 

Dabney Hedegard's Baby Dutch Pancakes

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Dabney Hedegard is a writer, speaker and professional patient. Her memoir, When God Intervenes (Tyndale House Publishers, July 2013), is a fast-paced medical drama surrounded by miracles that Amazon reviewers are saying, “I couldn’t put it down!”

At twenty-five years old doctor’s discovered a football-sized tumor embedded in Dabney’s lungs. But the greater fear stealing her focus grew inches below the mass: a six-week-old baby. Her cancer and her decision to keep her child began her battle with nine life-threatening-illnesses, four of which were near-death experiences. Dabney lives in South Florida with her husband and four children. She blogs at www.dabneyland.com

Dabney's Baby Dutch Pancakes

In the 15-plus years that I’ve cooked for my family, I only have a handful of recipes I repeat. I’m a recipe sampler. The only caveat to this therapeutic activity is that it yields inconsistent results. Thankfully, my family doesn’t mind my dabbling in the kitchen. Especially when I stumble upon a recipe that is restaurant-style good. In my secret stash of repeat recipes, this over-sized pancake meets that standard.


Baby Dutch Pancakes, as we incorrectly call them, were discovered one morning when we watched Martha Stewart on a popular morning show. She whipped and smiled and served the media a fluffed one-pan egg-y cake she called “Dutch Baby Pancake”. My son never repeated the name right. We adopted his reversed (plural) version. That’s the nice part about recipes. They’re adaptable—even the titles. Since Martha boasted about this buttery breakfast treat, I knew I had to try them—adding my own healthy twist, of course. Oh my, Martha. These are delish, and they have become the number one requested breakfast item in our house. 
 
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons salted butter, plus 2 TBLS diced butter for dotting
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs room temperature (I soak mine in hot water, this helps the pancake fluff)
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup of organic 2% milk or whole milk, warmed
1 teaspoon of Wheat Germ or Chia Seeds or Ground Flax Seeds (optional nutritional booster no one will notice)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Spritz of juice from a fresh lemon (bottled juice leaves a chemical aftertaste)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blend the flour, salt, eggs, granulated sugar, milk, salt and optional wheat germ/flax/chia. Heat a large oven-safe skillet and melt 3 tablespoons of butter, making sure to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the batter and bake until the edges puff and turn lightly brown, around 17 to 20 minutes. Remove pancake from oven. Here’s the best part you don’t want to deviate from: gently dot the top of the pancake with remaining 2 tablespoons of diced butter. Sift or dust confectioners’ sugar over the top, and finish with a spritz of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Glory.


Serve immediately, as the fluffiness will deflate. (Don’t worry. The flatter version still tastes scrumptious!)
Yum, yum, yum. Two batches of these cakes don’t last but 10 minutes in our household of six. Enjoy!