this week

This week has been busy - in and out of home.  I was excited that I tied for 2nd place in our chili cook-off at work!  I made the butternut squash turkey chili I had first tried a couple of weeks ago.  For the cook-off, I used a little less cumin (because I ran out) and added a little bit of Frank's Red Hot, but probably not enough to make much of a difference.  We also had a cake walk so I brought in some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, courtesy of Duncan Hines.

Yesterday, Keith made a Rum Cake that was really good. For those of you who will see us at Thanksgiving, he is thinking about making it to bring there.  The interesting thing was that he made it yesterday and it was good... but today it's so much better!  The flavors of the rum have set it and it's super yummy.  Apparently sometimes old cake is yummier than fresh. :) 

I'm posting the recipe here, but must give credit because the one he found online was used almost exactly.  He cut the oil in about 1/2 or 3/4 of the original recipe. The original is posted, so feel free to do that, as well. 

Rum Cake


1 c. chopped walnuts
1 (18.25 oz.) package yellow cake mix
1/2 c. dark rum
4 eggs
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 (3.5 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 c. butter
1/8 c. water
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube or Bundt pan (note: we used the bundt pan but didn't grease or flour it... we forgot but it turned out fine). Sprinkle nuts over the bottom of the pan.

Mix together the cake mix, 1/2 cup dark rum, eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil, and vanilla pudding mix. Pour batter over the nuts in the pan.

Bake for 1 hour. Cool, and invert cake on a serving plate. Prick the top of the cake.

To Make The Glaze: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in 1/8 cup water and the 1/2 cup sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove glaze from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup rum. Drizzle and smooth evenly over the top and sides.

Super good - I highly recommend.  We also tried spaghetti squash today, though I wasn't sure how to make it - we baked it and then sauteed it with some Parmesan, butter, and spaghetti sauce.  It was pretty good, but if you have a better way, I'm happy to hear it.  And I'm sorry I don't have a picture for this, but we tried Chipotle Chicken, too.  It was really good. 

Besides that, I spent some time last night with a couple of good friends shopping, having dinner, and then movie night -- which then turned into slumber party because we got freezing rain and it was pretty much an ice rink outside.  I started home, got two blocks, and went back.  Special thanks to KVO for giving me a safe, warm place to stay.  On my way home this morning I saw two cars in the ditch... and neither of them was mine. And I am thankful for that!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have some more cake.

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