Rum Cake

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Rum Cake by Alexis Zepeda
Story and Photos by Sara Jauregui

This delicious Rum Cake manages to create a home away from home for the amazing chef, Alexis Zepeda, senior English major at St. Mary’s University. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Alexis manages to bring some flavors from her family’s traditional recipes to San Antonio, where she now resides for school.

As she prepares for her future career as a graphic designer, her hobbies include art-making, photography, design, and just like any other talented foodie – eating!

“My favorite thing about attending St. Mary’s is that I am able to live in San Antonio, a city full of different flavors.” Cupcakes and ice cream are some of Alexis’s favorite sweets to try around town.

As a result, she spends a lot of time experimenting with traditional recipes by adding her favorite flavors to create new modern desserts. Alexis chooses to share this recipe because it holds a special place in her heart. This delicious Rum cake is a staple in every family function and is traditionally gifted to loved ones during the holidays from her mother.

She gives some tips on how to perfect the Zepeda family’s signature Rum cake such as pouring the glaze over the cake immediately after baking. “The warmth coming from the cake allows the glaze to seep into the cake which adds much more flavor”.

Another tip is to bake the cake for less time than the instructions from the box recommends. “Instead of baking the cake for an hour, I prefer to bake the cake for 45 minutes because it keeps the bread from losing its moisture.”

Finally, she suggests placing the finished cake on a decorative plate for visual appeal. “My family and I always gift Rum cakes to loved ones during the holidays, so every time I make one it’s like a celebration is waiting to happen!”

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (~18 oz.)
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (3.5 oz.)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Rum
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of Rum

Makes 12 servings.

Directions

Begin by preheating your oven to 325 F. Grease a bundt cake pan with cooking spray or butter. Sprinkle crushed up pecans on the bottom of the pan. Follow instructions on the box on how to prepare your yellow cake batter. Pour the batter over the pecans and smooth out. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the bread is light golden in color. For the glaze, begin by melting the butter in a saucepan. Add in water and sugar and stir until boiling. Lower the heat and stir the rum into the glaze. After letting the cake cool for a couple of minutes, and while your glaze is still warm, invert onto a serving plate and drizzle part of the glaze on top. With the help of a fork, prick the surface of the cake and continue drizzling with the rest of the glaze. Cool to room temperature and serve.

 

Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Pasta Shells

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Joey Acevedo is an aspiring coffee shop owner who hopes to attend St. Mary’s University for his bachelor’s degree in business management.

During the week, he found himself wanting a home-cooked meal rather than a smoke-cooked meal.

This dish means a lot to Acevedo because “of the love my girlfriend put into the dish and how much of that love seeped into it.”

“She thinks I’m helpless in the kitchen but she’s about to eat her words,” Acevedo says smugly.

“This dish definitely takes a few tries to get right,” he says as he stirred the concoction of chicken, broccoli and Alfredo sauce together.

A few tips he gave was to put extra Alfredo sauce onto the pan to prevent the shells from sticking on to the pan.

He also advises anyone trying this recipe to “not forget the garlic bread!” One thing is for sure, the garlic bread and the dish is one that is going to be memorable for anyone who tries it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shredded chicken
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of broccoli florets
  • 1 box of (12 oz.) of jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar of Alfredo Sauce
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Cook pasta shells so that they are al dente. Drain the water from the shells and let them cool. Next, cook and shred the chicken and add to a large bowl. Add salt and pepper and other seasonings to taste. Steam the broccoli florets, drain them and then chop them up and add them to the bowl of shredded chicken. Toss the ingredients together and add 1 cup of Alfredo sauce to the mix. Prepare a greased baking pan and add about 1 spoonful of Alfredo sauce to the bottom of the pan to prevent dry or stuck on pasta shells. Arrange the shells onto the pan where they do not overlap. Add a tablespoon full of the shredded chicken, broccoli and Alfredo sauce mixture into each pasta shell.Pour the remaining Alfredo Sauce on top of the shells along with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.