January 1st, 2014


Allison Collins


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  Wow, I cannot believe it is already 2014.  Where did 2013 even go?


I hope you had a great evening ringing in the New Year with fun, playing games, hanging with friends and watching the ball drop.


My favorite New Year’s Eve memories involve going to a family friend’s house for a party.  Food was in abundance and I loved drinking apple cider in the individual- sized bottles.  Always made me feel grown up!


As the night drew closer to midnight we gathered outside for a giant marshmallow fight.  Although my friend and I were the youngest comrades at battle; we were also smartest.


While everyone was throwing their “ammo” at each other, we dodged and threw, while stocking up on marshmallows from the ground.  Sooner or later our “enemies” aka our older brothers, came running to us for help.  Oh, the sweet victory!


By this time, I had worked off my dinner and was ready for some dessert.


Probably the only dessert I remembered at these parties is the one my mother made: Chocolate Kalhúa Cake.


What the significance of having it for New Year’s is, I do not know. But, it is DELICIOUS!


This cake is not for the faint of heart, so make sure to start your New Year’s diet after having a slice.


It is not overly rich, yet still holds a great chocolate flavor. It is super moist, therefore edible days after its creation. To make it festive, my mom always put encouraging quotes or verses throughout the cake, maybe that’s why it became a New Year’s favorite.


My mom and I have tweaked our recipe through the years, but this is the base of ours:chocolate-kahlua


Chocolate Kahlúa Cake


1 box chocolate Cake mix (not devil’s food)

1 pt. sour cream

1 box instant chocolate pudding (small)

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

4 large eggs

¾ cup Kahlúa

¼ cup canola oil


1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees


2). Spray Bundt cake pan very well to ensure that cake won’t stick.


3). Dump all ingredients together, except chocolate chips, into a large bowl and whisk together until combined.  Batter will be lumpy


4).  Add chocolate chips and stir until mixed.  Pour mixture evenly into prepared Bundt pan.


5).  Bake at 350º for 1 hour or until cake is set and knife comes out clean.  I usually check at 45 minutes and then again every 10-15 minutes as the cake is closer to being done.  Note that depending on your oven it could take longer than 1 hour to bake.


6).  When finished baking, allow cake to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes.  After it is cool to touch, turn it out onto a platter to finish cooling.


7).  Serve cake warm with vanilla ice cream or drizzle chocolate fudge on top for extra chocolate taste.


chocolatekahluacakeThis cake is a versatile cake.  Have fun with it. Try adding caramel Kahlúa or white chocolate chips.  Give it an elegant touch by sprinkling powdered sugar on top or making chocolate pieces to lie on top.


Also add some encouraging verses or quotes!  My mom printed quotes onto small pieces of paper, wrapped them in foil and attached a ribbon on the end.


Then, she carefully placed the “fortunes” in the grooves of the cake.  As you sliced a piece  you chose a ribbon to read the encouraging words for the year.


I hope you try this favorite of mine and have a tasty start to your New Year!

Happy 2014!


“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 3:13-14