Employee recipe favorites

Published on: May 5, 2020

Observer News employees share recipes

­— make the most of your time at home!


Chocolate Trifle or Chocolate Kahlua Cake

From Blithe Reed, proofreader


1 package chocolate fudge or devils food cake mix

2 or 3 packages instant chocolate pudding mix

4 or 6 cups regular milk

16 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

6 Score or Heath bars crushed (Heath bar milk chocolate English toffee bits can also be used – approx. 1/2 bag)

Bake cake according to package directions. Cool. Prepare pudding according to package directions; set aside. Crumble cake; place half of the cake crumbs in the bottom of a 4-1/2 or 5-quart trifle dish or decorative glass bowl. Layer with half of the pudding, half of the whipped topping, and half of the crushed candy bars. Repeat the layers of cake, pudding, whipped topping and crushed candy bars and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.


Add 1 can of cherry pie filling or thawed or fresh strawberries or blueberries or other fruit to the prepared pudding before layering.

Add M&Ms or other favorites to crushed candy bars.

Before crumbling cake, use a fork to puncture the entire top
of the cake, and pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Kahlua over cake.


Chicken Divan

From Holly Wagner, news and content


2 cups diced chicken

1 whole head of broccoli steamed al dente, chopped into bite-size pieces

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup (or more) herb stuffing mix

1/2 stick butter, melted

Boil chicken with skin on for 1 hour. Remove skin and dice chicken. Arrange broccoli in greased casserole dish. Cover with chicken. Combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder, pour over chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Melt butter and combine about 1 cup or more of dry dressing and mix. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.


Veggie Casserole with a Greek flair


From Harriet Gombos, graphic designer

2 large baking potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices

3 large crookneck and/or zucchini squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices

4 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 sweet onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices

Olive oil, fresh parsley, fresh minced garlic, sliced black olives, feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375° F. Coat a 9×13-inch dish with olive oil.

Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of potato slices; season with salt, pepper and olive oil; layer squash slices on top of the potatoes, repeat seasoning; continue layering the vegetables and seasoning each layer. Then, sprinkle fresh parsley, minced garlic, black olives and feta cheese over the top; Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375° until potatoes are soft, about 1 hour.


Strawberry Freezer Cake

From Chere Simmons, creative director

Hannah Simmons, 12, folds the beaten egg whites into the cake batter.

2 cups strawberries, sliced thin

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

Mix together and separate evenly into two bowls. Half will be used in the cake mixture and half in the icing.


1 box yellow cake mix

1 small box of strawberry gelatin

3/4 cup oil

4 eggs, separated

3/4 cup milk

Blend box of cake mix, gelatin, oil, milk and egg yolks until smooth. Add 1/2 of the strawberry mixture from above.

Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the cake batter.

Bake at 350º in 4 round cake pans for 20 to 25 minutes or until done.


Nora Hartzog can’t wait to try this family tradition, strawberry freezer cake.

1 large container Cool Whip

1/2 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 of strawberry mixture above

Combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat well. Add strawberry mixture and then Cool Whip.

When cake layers are completely cooled, ice each one, place them to create a four-layer cake, put in the freezer for at least 24 hours. This gives the cake its extreme moistness, and it will keep in the freezer for weeks. Remove and thaw for several hours before serving.