AtoneMint Chocolate Cake Squares
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
16 ounces chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons creme de menthe liqueur
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 13x 9 inch baking pan. Cream 1/2 cup butter or margarine with 1 cup white sugar. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Mix in the flour and salt. Stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cake cool before frosting with Mint Layer and Chocolate Glaze. To make Mint Layer: Combine the confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup butter and the creme de menthe syrup, blend until light. Spread over the top of the cooled cake. To make the Chocolate Glaze: Melt the chocolate chips and 6 tablespoons butter together. Let cool slightly then spread over top of the mint layer. Chill cake for at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into small blocks to serve. This cake needs to be kept refrigerated.

No Country “Fried Chicken” for Old Men
1/2 pound (1/2 inch thick) boneless sirloin steak
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
2 teaspoons water
3 tablespoons canola oil

COUNTRY GRAVY:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Flatten steak to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into two serving-size pieces. Place flour and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. In another shallow bowl, beat egg and water. Coat steaks with flour, then dip into egg mixture and coat with crumbs. In a large skillet, cook steaks in oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness. Remove and keep warm. For gravy, stir flour into pan drippings until blended, loosening browned bits. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with steaks.

Juno’s Hot Cross Buns
3/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon instant powdered milk
1/4 cup white sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup dried currants
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk

Put warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in bread maker and start on dough program. When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add currants and cinnamon. Leave in machine till double. Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes. Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes. Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack. To make crosses: mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk. Brush an X on each cooled bun.

There Will Be Blood-y Marys Bites
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1 cup pepper flavored vodka
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons celery salt

Remove the stems from the tomatoes, and place them in a shallow bowl. Pour vodka over them so that they are covered. Stir in the hot pepper sauce. Cover, and refrigerate overnight. To serve, mix together the lemon pepper and celery salt in a small dish. Serve tomatoes floating in vodka. Provide toothpicks so that your guests may pick up the tomatoes and dip them in the seasoning before eating.

Michael Clayton’s Trial Mix
1 cup combination diced dried fruit, such as prunes, apricots, pears and apples
1/2 cup raisins and/or dried cherries or cranberries
1 1/2 cups unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts (or honey-roasted peanuts, chopped walnuts or unsalted almonds)

Mix all ingredients.  Makes about 4 cups.

 



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