From the Stox Stock

DEAR SOS: Mr. Stox in Anaheim serves some of the best black bean soup I've ever tasted. I wish you would try to obtain the recipe.



DEAR EVELYN: Chick Marshall, who has owned and operated Mr. Stox since 1977 with his brother Ron, was happy to make your wish come true.


1 pound dry black beans


1 pound bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

1 large head garlic, minced

16 cups chicken stock

Chili powder


Freshly ground black pepper

Salsa, optional

Mexican crema or sour cream, optional

Soak beans in water to cover in refrigerator overnight. Drain and rinse in colander. Set aside.

Cook bacon in large pot until almost browned. Add onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, cilantro and garlic and saute over medium-high heat until vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add beans and chicken stock and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are soft, about 1 hour.

Puree soup in batches in blender. Strain back into pot. Season to taste with chili powder, salt and pepper. Serve in wide-rimmed soup bowls and garnish with salsa and crema if desired.

8 servings. Each serving without salsa and crema:

528 calories; 1,912 mg sodium; 30 mg cholesterol; 28 grams fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 26 grams protein; 3.36 grams fiber.

Mom's Saucepan Cake

DEAR SOS: I've been searching for a recipe my mother used to make. It's a fabulous chocolate cake that was cooked in a saucepan then baked. I hope you can help.


Long Beach

DEAR INGRID: Perhaps this is the cake you want. Skip Broyo of Santa Ana won a "My Best Recipe" prize for it in 1981.



1 cup water

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup shortening

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

6 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 (1-pound) box powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts

CAKE Bring water, butter, shortening, cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla to boil in saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts.

Combine flour and sugar in bowl. Stir in cocoa mixture. Blend in buttermilk, eggs and baking soda. Pour into lightly greased 15x10-inch jellyroll pan and bake at 400 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into bars.


Bring butter, milk and cocoa to boil in saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and nuts. Pour frosting over Cake while warm, spreading evenly.

48 bars. Each bar:

161 calories; 46 mg sodium; 19 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.05 gram fiber.

* Kotobuki bowl from Bristol Kitchens, South Pasadena.

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