Sunday, December 28, 2014

Spiced Crackers

My friend Michelle introduced these to me about a year ago!  She said they were addictive and boy was she right!  These are GREAT alone or with cheese and meat assortments.  Super quick and easy and a great make ahead item for your parties!

You'll need:
1 1/4 cup canola oil,
1 pkg ranch dressage mix
2 tbsp. red pepper flakes (more if you like it really spicy)
2 sleeves of saltine crackers.

Whisk oil, dressing mix and pepper together.  Place your crackers flat in one layer on an edged cookie sheet then drizzle the spice mix over the crackers. Use a pastry brush to baste each cracker to coat them well.  Bake at 250* for 10 minutes.  Remove and turn each cracker over and bake another 10 minutes. Remove crackers to cool on a paper towel lined (absorbs excess oil) cooling rack.  Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

White Chocolate Bark Peppermint Oreo Cheesecake

This is a much more involved recipe than I normally tackle but it's Christmas and I'm hoping that Santa will reward my efforts.  The original recipe was SUPER complicated and I initially bailed on this one, but the challenge of it and determination to make this thing actually possible for a normal home cook took over!  The results are this four step baking bonanza below:
4 oz dark chocolate
4 oz white chocolate
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 crushed candy canes

In a microwave save bowl, melt the dark chocolate with 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract and 1/2 tsp. oil. Heat for 30 seconds then stir well to complete the melting process.  Spread in a thin layer over a waxed paper lined baking sheet.  Repeat this process with another bowl and the white chocolate.  Heat, stir and layer on top of your dark bark.  Top with crushed candy canes.  Allow to cool completely or refrigerate for 15 minutes to speed the process.  This does not have to be pretty and all even - you're just going to chop it up anyway!  You'll need 1/2 this bark for your cheesecake.  Use the other half to bribe your family into leaving you alone to let you bake in peace!
2 cups crushed chocolate Oreo's (not double stuffed)
3 Tbl melted  butter

Combine and stir until well blended.  Spray your spring form pan liberally with cooking spray and layer the cookie mixture in the bottom.   Bake at 350* for 10 minutes then remove and set aside.  Reduce oven temp to 325*

3 pkg softened cream cheese (8 oz each)
4 oz melted white chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbl flour
1 1/2 Tbl heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt           
2 tsp peppermint extract
3 eggs
1/2 batch of bark (chopped)

Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended.  Add the melted chocolate, flour, whipping cream, salt and peppermint extract.  Blend well, add eggs one by one - lightly mix each.  Don't over beat this as it will add air to your batter and will lead you straight to a cracked cake.  By hand, gently fold in the chopped bark. 

Place a medium sized bowl of water in the oven (oven safe dish of course).  This will keep moisture in the oven and helps to prevent cracking.  Bake at 325* for one hour.  Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for another 45 minute.  The cake is done when the center inch or two is still jiggly.  Let your cheese cake cool at room temperature on a cooling rack for one hour.  This allows your cake to adjust to reduced temperatures slowly and helps reduce the risk of cracking.   When cooled to room temp, refrigerate for 4 hours.

1/2 cup Cool Whip 
4 oz softened cream cheese
2 oz melted white chocolate
1 1/2 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix Cool Whip, cream cheese, melted white chocolate, sugar and vanilla.  Pour over cake and return to refrigerator for another 4 hours or overnight. 

Remove your creation from the spring form pan, slice and garnish with crushed candy canes and chocolate shavings.  Don't skip on the garnishing - they can help hide any surface flaws and pretty cake always tastes better!  Hand a slice of this along with your letter of wishes to Santa and I know you will be well rewarded!

Cheesecake Tips:
  • A spring form pan (with removable side and bottom) is the most commonly used pan for making cheesecakes.
  • Avoid over-beating the batter. Over-beating incorporates additional air and tends to cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake.
  • For even marbling and the best distribution of added ingredients, such as chocolate chips or nuts, do not over-soften or over-beat the cream cheese.
  • Avoid over-baking: Cheesecake baking times are not always exact, due to variations in ovens. The cheesecake will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven. The center of the cheesecake should be just slightly moist when it is ready to be removed.
  • Upon removal from the oven, loosen the cake from the edge of the pan by running the tip of a knife or narrow spatula between the top edge of the cake and the side of the pan. This allows the cake to pull away freely from the pan as it cools.
  • Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack away from drafts. After a cheesecake has cooled completely, gently loosen the entire side of the cheesecake from the pan with the tip of a knife while slowly releasing the spring form pan clamp. Carefully remove the side of the pan.
  • Baked cheesecakes freeze well. Cool them completely and wrap them securely in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap, but do not freeze cheesecakes with garnishes or toppings.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Broccoli Chicken

This morning, I decided to inspect my freezer and pantry before making my week's meal plan and grocery list.  I had most of what I needed to make one of our Asian take out favorites so I set my mind to Broccoli Chicken!   I haven't made this before so I googled several recipes.  Many had ingredients that I was not familiar with and were more expensive than I I made a plan - to wing it and see if I could do a super simple version.  Boy did this work!!!!  I am so happy with how this turned out!  The Hubs LOVED this and I must say - ' tis yummy enough to become a regular here!

You'll need:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 bottle lite soy sauce
1 bunch of fresh broccoli (florets only)  or 1bag of frozen broccoli florets (I prefer fresh but either is fine)
1 small can of sliced water chestnuts
1 cup baby carrots
2 bags instant brown rice (white or long grain wild rice are fine too - your preference)
fried chow mein noodles (for garnish)
two pinches of sugar and pepper to taste

Like I said, I read a lot of recipes then went my own way with this.  I added the chicken breasts to my sauté skillet and added 1/4 bottle of lite soy sauce.  Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes (until chicken is cooked thru the middle completely) then take your tongs and separate the chicken into bite size pieces.  Add a pinch of sugar and a round of fresh ground pepper, then allow this to sit uncovered for about 10 minutes while you get your veggies and rice ready.

Start your rice in the microwave for 10 minutes on high.  I like the bagged instant brown rice - there is no clean up and it cooks perfectly every time.  You can't go wrong with this - any brand is fine. 

Julienne your water chestnuts and carrots.  Add them to your chicken and another 1/4 bottle of your lite soy sauce then cover and heat on medium until your carrots are beginning to tender.  Add the broccoli last with another pinch of sugar.  You want the broccoli to be cooked* but not mushy.  Broccoli cooks fast so wait until your carrots are ready to add it. 

*Strong caution - DO NOT OVER COOK YOUR BROCCOLI!  Mushy broccoli is yucky and you deserve better!  As soon as the broccoli is al-dente' you are done!  Take the chicken and veggie mix, serve it over the rice and top with fried chow mein noodles and enjoy! 

I have to say that I am beyond impressed with how good this is!  All the google ingredients: ginger, sesame oil, Hoisin sauce, etc. may be fine - but for me - simple works and it tastes GREAT!  Start cookin' and use a fork - chopsticks take too long! :)

Goodbye Take Out - Hello Simple At Home!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sausage Hominy Casserole

1 lb Country Sausage (I like Tennessee Pride the best)
2 cans Hominy (white or yellow or one of each)
2 cans Rotel Brand Tomatoes (mild or regular)
2 cups Shredded Velveeta (or 1/4 of a regular block of Velveeta)
1 Bell Pepper (diced)
3 Scallions (thinly sliced)

Crumble, brown and drain sausage. Drain hominy and tomatoes (you'll have to use a spoon to squish the water out of the tomatoes). Be sure you have everything well drained or your dish will be runny. Mix drained hominy, tomatoes, sausage, peppers, scallions and shredded cheese. Hold a little of the cheese to scatter over the top of the dish. Bake in a casserole dish (9x9 or 11x13)at 350* for 20-25 minutes (or microwave for 7-10 minutes).

Serve with tortillas (quarter them and serve as wedges). Goes well with Mexican Corn Bread too!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Bread

It's Fall Ya'll and I'm going home to Tennessee tomorrow.  I'm taking along some special treats and I'm so pleased that they came out so yummy and pretty!  Pumpkin Bread is the simplest thing in the world to make - especially if you take a few short cuts!

You'll need:

1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice

That's all there is to it!  Mix your ingredients well and place into a well greased (Bakers Secret) loaf pan.  Bake for 55 minutes at 350*.

If you want to go extra fancy, put some streusel topping on your bread at the 40 minute mark.
You'll need:

1/2 stick of butter (softened)   

1/2 cup white sugar                             
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t sugar
1/4 t nutmeg

Use a fork to combine the sugar and spices with pats of softened butter.  You mixture should come to a crumbly consistency.  Place on top of your bread at the 40 minute mark and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

The key to any food gift is pretty presentation. Cool the bread completely on a wire rack then wrap her up! I wrap my breads in clear cellophane and add raffia, burlap or ribbon (or all three :) and be sure to tape the back seam closed to keep your bread fresh.  All presents are more special if you wrap them to be pretty! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Smoked Chicken Vegetable Soup

My hubs make the BEST smoked chicken in the world and we always freeze a few to use during the really cold months. One of my most popular soups is this smoked chicken veggie!

One smoked chicken (get one at your local BBQ spot to make it easy for you)
1 pkg Knorr Vegetable Soup (or dip) mix - dry package
1 box long grain wild rice
1 can green beans
1 can whole kernel corn (or hominy if you prefer)
1 can diced carrots
1 can small Lima beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can diced potatoes
1 can English peas
1 can mixed vegetables

This fills my biggest crock pot so if yours is small, just cut this recipe in half or use 2 crocks.

Pull the chicken from the bone (NO skin) and chop into bite sized pieces. Add to crock pot. Add each of canned vegetables (frozen veggies do not work as well for this recipe) including 1/2 the juices of each can.

Blend the vegetable soup mix and long grain rice with 3 cups of water and microwave for 12 minutes. Pour cooked soup mix and rice over the veggies and chicken in your large crock pot and lightly salt and pepper to taste. You may need to add more water to cover mix and make a full pot of soup. Let simmer on low for 6 - 8 hours. Serve with fresh baked bread, corn bread or crackers.

You can substitute smoked pork and it is equally delicious...we have WONDERFUL smoked pork in West Tennessee and just a pound of it makes a fantastic soup! Adjust the veggies to suit what your family likes.

Freezes beautifully and makes GREAT lunches for the following week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Strawberry Butter

It's the simple things that make life better! As we prepare to welcome a new little lady into this world, her beautiful mama has requested Strawberry Butter for the Baby Brunch - and this Grimmy can't possibly say no!

I learned this recipe from many wonderful meals at Patti's Restaurant in Grand Rivers, is well worth taking home with you or learning to make it yourself!  Enjoy this on fresh baked breads or croissants - it even makes plain old toast taste fancy pants in the morning!

You'll need:

3/4 lb of real butter - I prefer salted (no margarine allowed)
16 oz strawberries (frozen sliced are fine but drain thoroughly)
1 cup powdered sugar

Let your butter come to room temperature - this takes a few hours to really let it soften so set it out well in advance and be patient.  I let mine set 3 hours or so.  Add the butter to your mixer bowl and whip it until it starts to get creamy.  Slowly add the well drained strawberries and blend for a minute or two on low speed (this must be done on low or you'll have a heck of a mess to clean up!)  Slowly add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it is all well blended.  Transfer to your Tupperware or butter bowl and chill for at least 3 hours prior to serving.

Hint to cooks that don't measure (like me) if your berries are really juicy and your butter looks runny, add a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar at a time while mixing until your butter gets to a creamy firm consistency. 

Slather this on something warm and I promise your eyes will roll back in your head!  Spoil the people you love with good food - life it too short not to enjoy things to the fullest!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Grilled Pineapple A' La Mode

If you want a really pretty delicious dessert for two!  DO THIS!
1/2 pineapple
1 cup crushed ginger snap cookies
1/2 cup nuts (macadamia or walnut)
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
2 scoops Vanilla Bean ice cream
It doesn't get any simpler or tastier than this!  Half your pineapple and hollow out the center (save that for later - never waste fresh food).  Crush about 10 ginger snap cookies and chop 1/2 cup of nuts (your choice but I used walnuts as that is what I had on hand) macadamia would be wonderful too!
Grill the pineapple face down on a 300* grill for 12 - 15 minutes (low flame under the fruit - high flame opposite).  Carefully remove the pineapple from the grill, fill the hollow center with cookie crumbles, nuts, coconut then top with ice cream!  Voila!  This looks restaurant fancy and take only 20 minutes from start to finish!   
Serve with two spoons and a small knife to help encourage the pineapple to come along for each and every delicious bite!  Share and enjoy!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Taco Salad

This is a summer favorite and super simple to make. 

1 bag of nacho flavored Doritos (crushed)
1 head of lettuce chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
1 bell pepper chopped
1 bundle of green onions chopped
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 lb of ground beef (browned, drained and cooled).
1/2 bottle Catalina Dressing

Combine all the ingredients then start shakin'!  In a very large Tupperware box with a good fitting lid on securely,  just tumble it about! Dress with 1/2 bottle of Catalina dressing and tumble it again! 

Let sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and this makes nice summer lunch meal. Serve with flour tortillas cut into wedges. You can lighten this recipe with baked chips, low fat cheese and the meat is optional.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Berry Cobbler

Ya'll can just start calling me by my new name...."Cobbler Queen"!  I made some for a friend at work for his birthday yesterday and I have to say - these were GOOOOOOOD!  Just a few ingredients and a whole lot of happiness will walk right out of your oven!  Use fresh berries or frozen, all one berry or mix as you please.  Just make sure that they are all similar size so they cook evenly.  This recipe will make a large cobbler (9 x13 baking dish) or two smaller dishes.

2 cups baking mix (Bisquick or Jiffy Mix)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 brown sugar
2 t cinnamon sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
2 cups berries (any kind or mix of berries)

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup baking mix
1/2 stick butter

Rinse your berries and let them drain completely dry (wet berries will give you a soggy cobbler).  Just lay them out on paper towels and let them sit while you prepare the baking mix.

Mix your filling ingredients together before you add your berries.  The mixture will be thick but still stir well.  Add the berries, gently fold them into the filling.  Add to a well sprayed backing dish.  Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.

Mix topping ingredients in a bowl.  Add the butter by slicing it into small pats and cut in with a fork until you have a crumbly mixture.  Add to the to of the cobbler and return it to the oven for another 45 minutes or until the center is set and the top is golden.

Great served warm and French vanilla ice cream doesn't hurt either! Yummmmm

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spinach Chicken Alfredo Pizza

So, I have a new pizza love in my life!  We have a new local pizzeria that is just outstanding and I took a notion to copy this at home.  Along with some tutoring from Thing #2, I learned to make this tonight and it is a WINNER, WINNER, WINNER - even if I do say so myself!

Here's what you'll need

1 box of Jiffy Pizza Crust Mix
1 cup Alfredo Sauce (I like Classico - any brand is fine)
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup of Five Blend Italian Cheese
1 cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 cups of cooked and shredded chicken
Two handfuls of baby spinach (rinsed and towel dried)
Seasonings - Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, Oregano, Salt, Pepper
Cooking Spray
4 cups Flour

Start making your dough according to package directions by adding 1/2 cup warm water and whip until well blended (don't judge me for using a mix - it came highly recommended, is inexpensive and I don't have time to sift after work)!  Cover your bowl of dough and let it rest 5 minutes on your cook top while the oven pre-heats to 425*.  Flip the dough out onto a clean and well floured counter top (use about 2 cups of flour).  Knead dough in flour until it starts to set up, make sure you dust your hands with flour as well - this is sticky business!  Add additional flour as needed, you don't want this to stick to your counter top.

I was told by my son, that what makes the crust so good is to cook it on an open hole baking sheet.  I don't happen to have one of those but I do have grill woks that are open hole so I just made two small pizzas and put one in each wok - worked GREAT!  As your dough comes together, just pull it into shape then put it on a well sprayed cooking sheet - or wok :).  Bake just the crust at 425* for 3-5 minutes to get the dough to set.

Remove dough from oven and start adding your ingredients.  I'd cooked my chicken yesterday and seasoned the meat with salt and pepper.  I prefer to boil chicken as opposed to baking it - keeps it more moist.  I'll use the rest of my chicken in another recipe later this week or you can freeze it easily in a zip lock freezer bag.

The first layer is Alfredo sauce (make your own if you just have to - I used a jar and there is more than enough left for another meal in there).  Keep the sauce thin, too much will make your pizza too wet and weigh it down.  Then dab small amounts of Ricotta cheese all around your crust.  Top with 1/4 of the Italian Cheese blend.  Add baby spinach leaves to cover cheese then add chopped chicken.  I added my seasonings on top of the chicken layer, I just very lightly sprinkled with garlic salt, onion powder and just pinch of oregano - no more than a pinch of each will do you well. 

Top the pizza with the remaining Mozzarella and Italian Cheese blend.  I wanted some color on top so I chopped a few more spinach leaves to garnish the top (made it really pretty and I like my food to look pretty - no one likes ugly food!

Bake at 425* for 17-20 minutes until crust is golden brown.  This was WONDERFUL!  It's an easy and quick meal for very little effort and cost.  You probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry anyway so go for it!  I think you'll be glad you did!

You can add onion, or other toppings as desired.  I think I might add shredded Parmesan to my cheese mix on the next round.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie

This recipe caught my eye as we are big fans of good pulled pork!  My style of pulled pork is the Tennessee style, smoked with no sauce.  His style is Kentucky, smoked and covered in sauce.  Somehow, we make a happy medium as he likes my hometown pulled pork and I like the pork bar-b-que here (but I will NOT eat mutton - no way, no how, not ever)!

This is a simple one dish meal that may be just the ticket for this rainy evening.

You'll need:

2 lbs pulled pork
2c bar-b-que sauce
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
3 lbs potatoes (cooked and mashed)
1/2 cup shredded regular Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Velveeta Cheddar cheese

You can smoke a pork shoulder on the grill if you like but the smoker is not my domain so I can't offer any advice on how to do that. The outdoor kitchen is the hubs territory and I'm not about to wander where I don't belong! 

You can also cook a pork loin in your crock pot.  The crock pot is MY tool of choice and I can rock that baby!  Just cover the pork with water and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours then shred it with a fork - season with salt and pepper.  If you're in a hurry, pick up some pulled pork from your favorite bar-b-que joint and you're half finished when you walk in the front door!

Layer the pork on the bottom of a casserole dish.  Cover with two cups of your favorite bar-b-que sauce.  We usually use Allegro bar-b-que sauce from my home town of Paris, Tennessee.  But tonight, I'm using MY Tennessee pulled pork and HIS favorite Kentucky sauce - John's Sweet Heat from Old Hickory Bar-B-Que (this is the sauce that won the Pitmaster's competition last year)!  You'll want plenty of sauce as you do not want dry meat at the bottom of your dish.

Layer the frozen peas and corn on top of the meat.  Top with mashed potatoes (prepare them how ever you normally do).  Mashed potatoes was the very first thing I learned to cook.  I peel and boil my potatoes, drain then mash with an old fashioned masher (I like a few small lumps) then add 1/2 cup evaporated milk and a stick of butter.  I know this isn't low cal but it is delicious. Add salt and pepper then place your mashed potatoes on top of your veggie mix.  If you're in a hurry and don't have to feed more than 4 people, just make it easy on yourself and get the frozen diced potatoes from your frozen food section at the grocery.  Microwave them then add your evaporated milk and butter, salt and pepper.  This takes less than 10 minutes!  These frozen starts to get expensive if you're feeding a large crowd but for 2-4 people, this is an easier way and not any more expensive than the cost of the peel and cook method.

Sprinkle the casserole top with the combined regular and cheddar Velveeta (I really like that brand as it melts so well and does not get stringy.).

Bake at 350* for 40 - 45 minutes.  The sauce will bubble up some and that's a good thing.  I'd place your casserole dish on a baking sheet to spare yourself a messy oven clean up!  You could also divide your ingredients and bake this in individual ramekins (reduce cooking time to 25 minutes).  This is a good solution for a busy family that doesn't eat at the same time. This reheats beautifully so you're good for delayed servings!

As with all meals, adjust this to suite your family's taste.  If I have carrots on hand, I add them to mine.  I might even add baby lima beans as well....I have to use every trick I can to get veggies in the hubs!  You might even bake this in a pie crust to mimic a pot pie for a different twist on this dish!

I'm serving this with a green garden salad and a baguette toasted and buttered. 

This is hearty, wholesome and frankly - darn yummy!  Just enough left over for two lunches!  One for me and one for the hubs!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Spinach and Artichoke Bites - Super Bowl Sunday

1 package cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (14 oz)
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tubes of crescent rolls
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Heat oven to 375.  Lightly spray two muffin tins with baking spray. Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well; set aside. Roll the crescent roll dough out (one tube at a time) onto a large work surface. Seal all the perforations together so that you’re left with one big piece of dough.
Using a knife or pizza slicer, cut the dough into 12 roughly even squares (you'll end up with 24 squares total). Press each of the dough squares into the two muffin tins.  Using a teaspoon, fill each cup with the spinach artichoke mixture. If desired, sprinkle each cup with a little shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 12 minutes and cool for a couple minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Red Velvet Cake

This isn't a "made from scratch" traditional recipe for Red Velvet Cake.  I'm all about making things as simple as possible and I take liberties to save time when I can. This is the busy lady's solution to a traditional Southern favorite.

2 boxes of white cake mix
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 oz almond extract
2 oz red food coloring
3 cans of white cake frosting

Prepare the cake mix as instructed plus one extra egg (for luck).  When well mixed, add the vanilla and almond extract and blend completely.  Turn the mixer off (trust me on this) and add the red food coloring.  Then SLOWLY mix until all your batter is a rich red color throughout.

Pour into three prepared 9 inch cake pans.  Pat the bottom of each pan of batter to break up the air bubbles.  Bake at 350* for approximately 30 - 40 minutes.  Cakes are ready when the center is completely baked through.  Test with a skewer or a twig of baking straw inserted in the center to make sure your cake is done (skewer should come out completely clean).  Place the layers on a cooling rack and allow plenty of time for layers cool completely.

To frost this, place the bottom of the layer down.  The tops are not as crumbly and this can be a hard cake to frost clean.  The minute you have a crumb on your frosting knife, switch to a clean one.  I know this makes for more clean up but once those red crumbs bleed through, your nice white appearance is shot! 

As far as frosting, you can use traditional white frosting, cream cheese is equally delicious or you can use whipped topping (Cool Whip) to frost the cake.  Some people like to let the red show on the sides but I prefer to frost the entire cake.  The white of the icing is such a pretty contrast to the red in the cake.

You can refrigerate this cake overnight if you need to. The time and chill only make the flavors better!
This recipe has that authentic Southern taste but does not require cocoa. 

I know that there are much more complex recipes for both the cake and frosting and they are quite good.  I just opt for the simpler approach,  I've never had a single slice left over!  Hope ya'll enjoy!