Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Cooking with Chef Jo: Sweet Potatoes

Back when we had WWOOFers on our homestead, I dearly miss them, I used to cook dinner for them. It was the least I could do after we worked them so hard during the day. I took any food allergies into consideration, but the rest of the menu was up to me.

Don't know what a Wwoofer is?
According to the Wwoof website a Wwoofer is...
WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.
As a volunteer (or WWOOFer as we call them) you will live alongside your host helping with daily tasks and experiencing life as a farmer.
ng. As a host farm you will open your home to receive visitors from your own country or abroad who want to connect with the land and support the organic movement.
We ran across a few like minded folks within driving distance from us. In exchange for their labor, they worked beside us on various projects around the homestead, they learned self sustaining practices, how to use basic tools, safety, canning, cooking, preserving a harvest, foraging, small livestock care, and organic principles in gardening from us. We also fed them from the fruits of homestead or locally grown food stuff.

What does all have to do with cooking with Chef Jo? I had one woman tell me after the meal prepared that she didn't like sweet potatoes, but she liked how I fixed them. This happened with several of my "guests" I tend to cook simple with a focus on flavor combinations. I usually cook meals with savory components rather than sweet for the meal. I save the sweet for dessert. The same goes for my sweet potato dishes. Unless I'm making sweet potato pie with fresh cinnamon whipped cream for dessert. For a savory taste, I'll either roast, boil, broil, or bake sweet potatoes. I could do french fried sweet potatoes but the natural sweetness in the sweet potatoes makes them almost gummy. I do not like the texture of them unless they are coated with flour before I oil fry or air fry them.

One my standard Wwoofer meals is ham, either roasted or smashed sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, oven cooked rice, corn sticks, and apple hand pies with slices of sharp cheddar cheese. The meal I had prepared this night featured smashed sweet potatoes.

Jo's Savory Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 6

What you'll need
3 large sweet potatoes, baked until done and chopped into 4" cubes
1 tsp salt
1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
1- 2" piece of ginger root, minced or finely grated or 2 tsp ground ginger*
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated, or 1 tsp ground
                                                             1/4 tsp white pepper
                                                             1/2 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped into
                                                             2" pieces
                                                             1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
                                                             2 TBS butter

*Notes-  While I give the ground version of ginger and garlic measurements, using the real stuff tastes so much better and better for your health.

Putting it all together
  •  In a large sauce pan, heat 2 tbs of butter.
  • Add onions, garlic, and apples. Stir fry until onions are translucent.
  • Add cooked sweet potato cubes, pepper, salt and vinegar. Cook until potatoes are heated through.
  • Add remaining tbs of butter and mash with potato masher. You want a fair amount of lumpy potatoes.
Serving suggestions- sprinkle the top with chopped parsley or cilantro and an extra dab of butter.

So if you don't like sweet potatoes loaded with brown sugar, maple syrup, and marshmallows, give this recipe a try. Take a walk on the savory side of eating. You might just be surprised and inspired.

Y'all have a blessed day!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Conversion to Quails Begins

After looking closely at the old quad-plex of rabbit hutches against the house that I was to convert to quail hutches, we realized this particular unit was in worse shape than we thought. This was the first one Mel built. She used what she had on hand for fasteners. This is the main reason we dismantled it this week. There were an assortment of different screw heads and sizes, staples, and nails. It was a hodgepodge of thrown together salvaged materials of this and that.  Mel handles the disassembling the demolition because she built it.

Wasting not wanting not, She saved all the screws and nails. She was changing drill tips left and right between hes, star, straight slot, and star. The outside frame was pretty sound considering it was piece milled for this 8'x 2 1/2'x 8' rabbit hutch. Mel even painstakingly removed all the staples holding the  1/4" and 1/2" hardware cloth in place. The old rusted pieces of mesh were discarded. The staples were discarded in their own plastic container to keep them from littering the ground. Each piece was placed in an orderly fashion in stacks so we could see what we had to build the new quail hutches in place. All the inadequately sized 1" hinges were saved for a future project. What that project is, we have no idea. 😸

For Christmas last year as a gag gift for Mel, I gave her a large boxes of assorted sized hinges. It's an ongoing joke with us that Mel hasn't met a hinges that she didn't like, didn't collect, and save. Even when she goes to an auction or yard sale, she'll grab hinges, knobs, and other such items. I'll ask, "What are you going to use them for?" She'll respond, "I don't know, but I'll find a use for them." She's currently got an 19-gallon tote of them.

I decided to sand and paint all the wood pieces to preserve them better. The rabbit hutches had been through the wringer the last four years unpainted and worked hard with rambunctious bunnies.  They needed some extra love and to make cleaning a breeze. I'd use the leftover primer and paint in the workshop so our cost would remain ZERO.

This was my job. With daytime highs around in the 60s, It will still dry. Later this month, the temperatures would drop below paint the paint drying stage and I wouldn't be able to paint until spring. I wanted it repainted, rebuilt, and ready to go for quail by March. Even though the Coturnix quail, if I hatched them out. wouldn't be ready to go in there until April.

Googled this image
I saw some adult quail at the local livestock auction for $2 a piece. I might just buy them at that price and incubate their eggs at that price. Yes, we got the seller's business card for future reference. He does this regularly and he sells eggs, chicks, and adult brown domestic quail. These full grown 10-week old quail, at the auction.  They were about 5 oz size so they could be butchered or produce eggs immediately. That means I could recoup my expense almost immediately. The cage he had them in was home built so I looked at how he built them also. They would be simple enough to build out of 2x2 and wire. The lid was framed with lathing strips. Talk about an effective, simple, and inexpensive build project!

So as Mel dismantled the old hutch, I sanded and painted the pieces. The doors to the cages were ample size. All we have to do is replace the hinges and latches. Oh, I gave her an assorted sized latches too for that Christmas too. So, it's still using things we have on hand. I'll be using some of the knobs on the drawers I 'm building around the oil drip pans to make them easier to pull out too. If I'm involved with the building of the quail hutches, they'll be built right even if it's with salvaged material. All screw holes will be predrilled to eliminate splitting and level! Mel abhors predrilling and using the level for animal builds. She eyeballs most builds so they come out cockeyed and become unusable like the old dropping pans. Some things building cockeyed doesn't matter, but I want these to be functional for a long time.

Y'all have a blessed day!
Cockeyed Jo

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cooking with Chef Jo: Using Up Leftovers

It's that time again. I'm cleaning out my refrigerator and organizing my little freezer. So what do you do with that serving or less of leftover meats and vegetables? I put my vegetables in a large freezer container and my leftover meats in a freezer bag. Waste not want not, right?

So what do you make with all that stuff you've save? A couple of things come to mind soups and stews instantly. When I was much younger I asked my Daddy what was the difference was between a soup and a stew. His response was, "What ever the cook says it was."

Over the years, no matter what country I was in or culinary class I was in the answer remained the same. Although, soups usually have a thinner base liquid. But I hear you, what about cream soups and chowders? Yep, it's whatever the cook says it is. So told I'm sharing my Mulligan Stew recipe. I did a video of making this years ago.

 Man! Has it been 2 years ago!
But I share the written recipe here. It sure will taste good on this cold winter night. For the video, I used stew meat and roasted beast both were leftovers from a previous meal but any meat will do. The meats alone were not enough for another meal, but plenty for this recipe.

My Grandmother's Mulligan Stew

For the video- serves 4

What you'll need

1 1/2 cups of meat, I used 
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1 onion,chopped
                                                            3 cloves garlic, minced
                                                            4 ribs celery, chopped
                                                            2 lb carton organic, no salt beef broth or 1 1/2 qts
                                                             beef bone broth
                                                            1 qt leftover vegetables
                                                            1 tsp thyme
                                                            2 heaping TBS of tomato paste
                                                            1 cup red wine (opt)

Putting it together
  • In a bowl add meat, flour, salt, and pepper.
  • Toss until the meat is well coated.
  • Place oil in bottom of a large pot, heat until it smokes.
  • Add meat a little at a time so not to lower the temperature.
  • Brown the meat until all pieces are browned. It does not need to be cooked through.
  • Remove meat from the pot.
  • Add butter and heat until melted
  • Add onions, garlic and celery. Cook aromatics until tender and translucent.
  • Add beef broth
  • Add leftover vegetables- potatoes, carrots, corn, green peas, green peas, etc.
  • Add thyme and tomato paste.
  • Put the lid on the pot to cover.
  • Stir until tomato paste is incorporated into the beef broth. 
  • Turn heat down to low.
  • Simmer for two hours.

Serving- In this video I made grits. I put half of a cup of prepared grits (also leftover from breakfast) in the bowl and served the stew over the top of the grits. But it can be served over rice or noodles just as easily or eat it plain. If I had of thought about it I would have made biscuits and side salads to go along with it. Nah, that would have been too much work. But you can if you want to. They'll never know it was all leftovers unless you tell them.

Y'all have a blessed day!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Great Chicken Experiment Results

I'm a bit late with this report by a week or so. I simply just plum forgot to blog it.

Three days before we stopped turning the eggs, Mel candled them with a small mag-lite flashlight. Mel was impatient (grinning). One of these days, I'll spring for a regulation egg candler, but that ain't today. We can't justify the expense in our mind.

What she found were two empty eggs, unfertilized! I still can't figure out how this happened with two roos and only five hens. But then, maybe they (the roos) were having an off day, or the hens managed to run faster or hid well.

We lost two eggs, to temperature variations, they died in the eggs. Darn Kassity kept pulling the blanket off the eggs during the night for a comfortable spot to sleep.The last five were kicking up a storm inside the eggs. I'm guessing these were highly viable eggs. 😝 We candled them again before we put them in lock down on day 17 with the container, same results.

When we put the eggs in lock down, we filled the bowl with the sponge with water to increase the humidity within the tub, We also removed the heat lamp leaving only the heating pad under the eggs. The temperature held at 100 degrees just fine.

On day 20, we heard cheeping in the tote, but resisted the urge to open the container. It was hard not to cuddle the new babies. But if we wanted all the chickie babies to hatch, we had to keep the humidity high in the tote.

Sorry for the blurriness.
On day 21, the noise in the tote had increased so we chanced it. The new babies would need hydration. Their internal yolk sack would handle the nutrition. Plus, we couldn't wait any longer. We opened the lids and were greeted by five little puff balls. I haven't sexed them yet, but we're hoping for hens. They look to be all RIRs because of the darker coloring on their heads. But as they get to feathering out, we'll definitely know.

So we would have had 100% hatch rate again except for the unfertilized eggs and if Kassity had left the blanket alone. I still can't believe two eggs weren't fertilized! Instead, Mel's method gave us a 55% hatch rate this time. Next time I'll break out the gifted incubator too to see if we can get more. I'm experimenting here preparing to hatch quail eggs closer to spring.

WTG! for Mel's Cockeyed Homestead Chicken Farm, but none for Hoo-De-Hoo's (AKA Houdini) harem, poor guy. Maybe he'll have better luck with the next hatch out. We plan on doing this three more times before spring. I'm still hoping for at least five more RIR/Buff crosses for him. All crosses will free range plus get fermented feed.

We should have a full complement of Rhode Island Reds (RIRs) and more than enough to start her egg selling business and a few spares to sell at auction. So some reason, brown egg layers command a premium at auction. I guess it's an esthetic thing, they don't taste any different. We'll start all of them on organic starter feed with no antibiotics. Yes, I'll be supplementing their water with ACV (apple cider vinegar) and their crumble with dried herbs and garlic powder.

Cockeyed Dog Food
They'll eventually "free range" in our garden and orchard in tractors until the hens start laying or they are sold. Our breeder flocks of RIRs will not be free ranged, but will have their organic, fermented feed supplemented with fresh greens and veges daily. We only produce organically raised birds not that it'll matter to most frequenting the auction house, but for us it matters. All but a select few RIR roosters, will be culled or sold at about 20 weeks old. Mel still hasn't found a processor for her chicken yet. I guess she's going to have to learn how, because I ain't gonna do more than two a day for our household consumption. That will cut into her dog food making ideas.

I'll cull the Hoo-De-Hoo/cross rooster babies because we only need the hens for egg layers. I consider these homestead only stock. I'll use the meat for our use. I don't expect to get many of those. I'll keep an eighteen-month rotation of hatching these eggs schedule unless one or two go broody. Hens older than four years-old tend to lay more sporadically. We can't have our eggs business lag once we get a strong customer base. After all, we all do even more baking during the holiday months, don't we?

Once Mel gets established, I can see needing a greater number to sell to maintain and increase her profit margin. I don't foresee a glut in the chick, egg, layer, rooster market anytime soon. So she'll probably have a pretty good income/profit margin within two years. We still want the Americanas too. We'll probably purchase those in the spring from our Tractor Supply. As far as a third or fourth breed, I dunno. It remains to be seen as she grows and whatever strikes her fancy to add.

Y'all have a blessed day!
Cockeyed Jo

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Cooking with Chef Jo: Nut/Gluten/Sugar Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

I've been testing out some nutless recipes this week gearing up for Christmas baking. I now have a grandson who is allergic to peanuts so just to be proactive, my daughter has banned all nuts in the house. When a three-year old kid starts wheezing, you don't play around. Poor kid!Besides, Mel doesn't like nuts in her food. She loves nuts, but not mixed with anything else. I thought while I'm at it, I'll make them gluten-free as well. I have a few friends on a gluten free diet as well. Since diabetes run in my family, I'll just tick ALL the boxes and make them sugar-free as well. I can't help it. I just love playing with food and recipes.

My old cardiologist's radiology tech loves my Mexican Wedding cookies.  They're made with ground pecans and loaded with all the good bad stuff though.

The ingredients for Mexican wedding cookies are pretty simple, but they are all so good. This may sound like I've taken all the good tasting stuff out of it and basically I have, but there's one thing I don't scrimp on and that's my butter and eggs. I won't substitute 'em no matter how high my cholesterol is. Besides,current studies have shown that there is bad and cholesterol in eggs so it balances out. The butter is a taste thing with me, especially in cookies. When cooking with vegetable shortening or the fake shortening on the market, cookies come out crisp and without the added flavor that butter gives. There's something so satisfying about having you teeth sink into a cookie made with real butter.

For the gluten-free flour, I mix up a five-pound batch at a time. Otherwise I'd be making this mixture multiple times during a baking session like Christmas baking season. I've tried several recipes for gluten-free flour, nut this one wins for baking and mouth feel. I don't remember where I found it, but I'll share it with you anyhow. Prep work in advance is the key to converting recipes to specialty diet requirements so I prepare everything in advance. I also set my scale to grams.

Gluten-Free Flour (GF flour)

600 g sorghum flour
600 g millet flour
700 g potato starch
700 g rice flour

Mix well and store in air tight container.

Splenda Confectioner's Sugar (SF Sugar)

3/4 c Splenda
2 TBS Corn starch, I use Rumford Non-GMO corn starch

Place in a blender. Whiz on high until Splenda is a fine powder. Sift it to make sure everything is finrly grounf.Store in an air tight container.

Now that the prep work is out of the way, it's on to the recipe.

Jo's NF-GF-SF Mexican Wedding Cookies
Makes 4 dozen cookies

What you'll need
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup Splenda*
2 1/2 c GF flour, plus 1/4 c reserved*
2 tsp vanilla

* Notes- You can use any GF flour mixture. You don't have to use mine.
I use Splenda, but you can use any sugar substitute  except for liquid for this recipe.

 Putting it all together
  • Cream butter, Splenda, vanilla, and egg together until well mixed. The mixture will not feel grainy when rubbed between index finger and thumb.
  • Sift in the flour. Mix until all the flour is incorporated.
  • The dough will be sticky and soft, but hold together. 
  • Sprinkle surface with 1/4 cup of flour and dump dough onto it.
  • Form a ball using all the flour. The dough will be soft and less sticky.
  • Wrap dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for thirty minutes to 1 hour.preheat oven to 325 degrees and cut parchment paper to line baking sheets
  • Make 1 TBS balls with the dough and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • The cookies will spread slightly, but will not rise. Bake 15-20 minutes. The cookies will be a light tan color, but not browned.
  • Immediately, while hot, roll the cookies in Splenda confectioner's sugar to coat well. Place on a rack to cool.
  • Store in air tight container.

For service- place cookies on a tray.
For gift giving- place cookies in pint or quart jar. Wrap jar with a ribbon and add a tag.

Y'all have a blessed day!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Arctic Blasts Come Early This Year

We usually don't get the first of many arctic blasts until January. This year it came early sending freezing temps of nighttime lows in the teens and daytime highs just above freezing. It leaves me with foreboding of the winter to come.

It's a good thing I didn't plant a fall garden to offset our year's garden loss. It would have frozen. Icy frost covered everything for two days this week.  With all my health issues this spring and summer, we've been ill prepared for these cold temperatures this soon. Our firewood pile was nonexistent except for 1/4 cord of firewood leftover from last year. I was scouring the yard for the twigs and branches we use for kindling between rainy spells while Mel was on the phone arranging for another half cord of firewood. Did I mention that the price had increased over the summer to $80 for a half cord?

It's a good thing we're out of the rabbit business. The extra water bottles have come in handy for our two, long eared babies. Their fur have has come back in nicely to keep them warm. Before with all the rabbits alive and kicking when their water bottles froze overnight, we'd have to thaw them out and refill them, or substituting crocks of water for them. Rabbits can dehydrate very quickly. Now we have ten spare bottles so I can fill them from the tap inside and carry fresh water to them.

The chickens are another story. Their 5-gallon buckets and pans ended up with an inch or two of ice and they can't drink. I fill an apple cider jug with lukewarm water for them. When I go outside, I have a pointed branch (I keep one by each bucket) to break through the ice in the 5-gallon buckets. I'll pull the ice out because it usually has debris trapped in the ice and drop it on the ground. In the bunny/chicken barn, I'll pour some of the water from the jug into the pan. It'll help wash the pan clean of dirt and debris so the birds can have good water to drink. I then fill it up with fresh water.

I rarely give them more than a gallon of water in the barn because they are free range chickens and they can avail themselves to one of the 5-gallon buckets (4 of them) around the house. After all are fed, the straw is raked under the bunny cages and roosting bars. This gives me fairly stable walk ways through the barn. It's enough to keep the stay-in-the-barn chickens (4 of them) busy for hours spreading it back out. The cold temperatures are keeping most of the chickens from free ranging in the garden and orchard areas so I've taken to scattering grains and seeds around the barn. As well as, their feeders in the barn. Nobody wants to be out in the blustery wind with the temps so low. I even dropped the tarp down over one end to keep everyone warm. Since the wind and rain blows in from one side, this is sufficient. There are still the wired slats between the pallets to provide ample ventilation for the critters.

We are huddled inside for the most part. We are keeping busy with computer work, spinning, knitting, and crocheting. We are definitely glad to have the wood stove. It keeps us warm and cozy. The kettle and water bath canner on top of the wood stove provides the much needed hot tea and chocolate available on demand and humidity in the house. I'm cooking dinner around 3PM because Mel has this thing about eating after dark. By the time we finish dinner and watch two shows on Netflix (currently Supernatural & Agents of Shield) while knitting and crocheting, it's time to go to our respective corner (laptops) to work or play for an hour or three with the alternating chore of fetching four splits of firewood. Mel is nice enough to leave me enough wood to start the morning fire. I'm up most times before her. After that, I'll spin some wool and Mel will read her books until bedtime.

So we're in full winter mode this week. Next week it's suppose to warm back up to our normal November temps again. We'll pick back up with our outside activities like a new coop and run for Mel, and I'll continue with revamping the old rabbit hutches into quail hutches.

Oh, and the coyotes are back. Between Mel, Nnyus, Kassity, and I, we're making it known that they are not welcomed here anymore!

Y'all have a blessed day!
Cockeyed Jo 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cooking with Chef Jo: YouTube- Canning Desserts

You should know by now that YouTube is one of my favorite hangouts online. Under the recommended section I ran across canning cakes and quick breads for long term storage. Now there's only two of us on this homestead. So the idea of making something with a large amount of portions means cooking once and eating many times. So the idea of cooking or baking once and preserving the rest for a later date is an attractive proposition. But, to can quick breads and desserts never occurred to me before.

I watched several videos and all but two used little Jiffy or prepackaged mixes, not cooking from scratch like I do. These two content provider were who I focused on. I mean anybody can go out and buy Jiffy or packaged mixes, right? What I wanted to do was take my own banana, zucchini, blueberry, etc bread dough and can it. Cake recipes like carrot, angel food, and chocolate that would ordinarily feed 8-16 portions pared down to one or two servings. With just two here eating it, normal sized portioned desserts and breads goes stale or moldy before we can finish it, and that's just wasteful. Just something sweet for a couple of mouthfuls is enough for us. Any more than that is a huge temptation for me to overeat. I do it for meals like spaghetti, chili, meatloaf, etc. Why not desserts too?

Now, I have various options of wide mouth jars to pick from since I canned so little this year. To keep it simple, I chose 1/2 pint jars. It's just enough for 1 large serving or two small servings. I tried  my Quadruple Chocolate Cake and cream cheese raspberry swirled brownies because almost everyone can use some chocolate in their lives, right? Why do normal stuff when you're a chef who likes to play with her food (like me)?

I mixed up my quadruple chocolate cake recipe. Now, normally my recipe would make 4- 8" layers of cake so I cut the recipe into quarters. After all, I was just trying it out to see how it turned out and stored. If we liked it, I could always make more. This is one of my most expensive cake recipes, but ooh so rich and chocolaty! It's so-o-o good, it'll make you wanna slap yo mama. I can say this now because my mama isn't on this Earth anymore. Otherwise, I'd be picking myself up from the far wall if I ever tried.

Jo's Quadruple Chocolate Cake
Makes 6-7 1/2 pint jars

Just because it's tiny doesn't mean it can't be  pretty
What you'll need
1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
1/8 cup Hershey's mini chocolate chips, semi-sweet
1/2- 3.5 oz  Ghiradelli Twilight Delight Intense Dark Chocolate, grated 
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp espresso powder
                                                                                   3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
                                                                                   1 large egg
                                                                                   1/4 cup buttermilk
                                                                                   1/2 vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
                                                                                   1/3 cup hot boiling water
                                                                                   2 TBS sour cream 

Putting it all together
  • Sterilized your jars. Wash your lids and rings.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Grease inside of the jars with butter and dust with some extra cocoa powder.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder together in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and grated chocolate bar into the flour mixture. Set aside. 
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or you can use a whisk) mix the oil, eggs, and vanilla together on medium-high speed until combined. 
  • Mix the buttermilk and sour cream, and mix until combined.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the hot water/coffee, and whisk or beat on low speed until the batter is completely combined. 
  • Batter is will be lumpy because of the grated chocolate and chocolate chips.
  • Fill each jar halfway.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  • Turn your oven off and leave the door open.
  • Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • As you immediately remove your jars, one at a time, from the oven wipe/clean each rim with a paper towel dipped the 1/2 vinegar and water solution. If the cake has risen above the rim of the jar trim the cake down with a knife a little ways below the rim of the jar before you clean the rim.
  • Place the lid and ring tightly on each jar. The jars will be very hot so protect your hands.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and set on several layers of toweling to protect your jars and surface. 
  • Allow to cool completely and check your seals.
  • Place sealed jars in your pantry after labeling.
For serve- You don't have to do the elaborate decorations with tempered chocolate and whipped cream like I did. I'm showing off and showing the possibilities. Simply frost with your best cream cheese chocolate frosting or favorite frosting. With the effort and ingredients you've put into making this cake, please don't ruin it with those tubs of frostings from the grocery store.

To serve just slice the cake down the middle. It's too rich, moist, and calorie potent to eat as a single serving, but if you really wanted to you could. 😲 This recipe is sure to satisfy the robust chocolate craving and with one small piece. I have to say, for the first timer the results were fabulous. Enjoy!

Y'all have a blessed day!
Cockeyed Jo