Thursday, April 30, 2015

~ Decadent Chocolate Cake ~

This recipe is a repeat and one I made for my son-in-law's birthday. Thought that you might like to try it for Mother's Day!  Any Mom, Grandmother, Daughter, Aunt or friend that loves chocolate will love you forever!

 I tried Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake ~ to die for!  Honestly, I love her and this cake. It has butter, buttermilk, sour cream and coffee in it ~ so, besides the chocolate, it has to be good, right?  

Chocolate Cake
adapted from Ina Garten

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your cake pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended. Divide your batter between your cake pans – use any extra to make some cupcakes. I used 6″ round pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  I sliced each cake layer into 2 layers and, while warm, brushed Kahlua over them. Yum!

I used a regular cream cheese frosting and surrounded the frosted cake with Piroutte cookies that were filled with Hazelnut.  Decadent!  ;-)

Always add the love!

Joining ~ 

While you're here ~ sign up for the giveaway  here

Monday, April 27, 2015

~ Monday Musings and a Giveaway! ~

For those of you not living in Texas, here are a couple photos of the storm activity we had last night. Not fun!  However, we didn't have any damage here and feel so blessed. The lightning was long lasting and sleep until after midnight. 

This is one of the many tornadoes that was dancing around ~

Some areas had softball size hail ~ some were golf and tennis ball size.

My brother and sister-in-law live south of us and almost in the path of destruction. The ground was already soaked and 4" of rain fell in just a short time. Unfortunately, they had flooding in their living area and laundry room. They used the shop vac until about 2:00 a.m. I feel so bad for them!  They elected to live in my mother's house and completely re-did it. It was gorgeous! They had new appliances installed and a short time later, the oven malfunctioned and caused a fire. Of course, the kitchen was destroyed as was the roof. So much smoke and water damage ~ clothes, furniture, you name it. So....they renovated once again and made it even more beautiful. A few months ago, they had to have the foundation repaired due to the ground shifting. It's like "Earth, Wind and Fire" for them.

> * <

I do want to thank each of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers in regard to my back issues. So far, it's much better!  It's wonderful not to have pain 24/7 so I'm hoping this lasts for awhile.

> * <

I hope you'll take time to view this incredible video. For someone trying to do good deeds, he was treated horribly!  I think it's a reflection of our society much anger, disrespect and venom. Very sad ~  I do know there's lots of good things going on too but this really surprised me!

> * <

Ok, now for the good part!  :)  It's been a very long time since I've done a giveaway and I think it's appropriate to do one for Mother's Day...don't you?  Every Mom should be honored and pampered...including those of fur babies, adoption, favorite aunts and special friends. I know not every female chooses to have children and that's ok ~ we all need to be recognized!

Rewined Candle - Champagne with Free Candle Bag

One of my favorite candles is "Rewined" ~  Wine Scented Candles

Think Chardonnay, Champagne, Merlot, Mimosa, etc.

Rewined Candles use discarded wine bottles and the finest

soy wax available ~ with all natural wicks to produce the

ultimate earth friendly wine scented candles.

The fragrances have been carefully blended to replicate your favorite wine flavors and
aromas. Every one of the candles has a "rustic" finish and have chips by design which 
emphasizes the recycled bottle aspect of the candle. 

This is a short turn around but I need to allow for shipping time. I don't want you to jump 
through hoops, turn around 3 times and hula hoop or have to visit a jillion places to qualify.
I'd love for you to be a follower but it's not required. Let's just have fun and make it easy, ok?
Please a comment and tell me why you love candles ~ you do love them don't you?  I'm a
certifiable candleholic!  Entries are accepted through midnight Friday, May 1st, and the winner
will be announced on Saturday, 2nd.

I almost blog list disappeared with the changes that happened so I will be updating
it on the sidebar.

Another side note:  I've tried to adjust the photo and print here, however, it doesn't want to 
cooperate for some reason.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

~ Prayers Appreciated ~

This isn't me but it looks like the way I feel!  I'm having injections in the lower back again in the morning. I'm sure all will be ok but I always feel a bit apprehensive about it. If you don't mind saying a little prayer for me and the medical team, I'd appreciate it!  Just send some good mojo my way ~  :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

~ Graduation Caps ~

Aren't these adorable?  They could be used for any age, any graduation!  This recipe is from Taste of Home.

24 miniature peanut butter cups
24 After Eight Thin Mints
24 milk chocolate M&M's in color of your choice or 24 semisweet chocolate chips
1 tube (6 ounces) decorating frosting in color of your choice

Remove paper liners from peanut butter cups; place upside down on waxed paper. Place a small amount of frosting on each peanut butter cup; center a mint on each. Using frosting, make a loop for each cap's tassel. Place an M&M on top of each loop.

Yield: 2 dozen.

Joining ~ 

Monday, April 6, 2015

~ The Legend of the Dogwoods ~

Do you know the legend of the dogwood, which flowers around Easter?
"The legend of the dogwood contends that dogwoods grew to reach the size of mighty oaks up until the time of the crucifixion of Christ. The lumber of the dogwood was so strong that it was chosen as the timber for the cross of Jesus. To be used for such a cruel death was an insult to the tree. The Creator declared that the tree to which Jesus was nailed would never again have to be used as a cross. From that time forth, the dogwood has been slender, bent, and twisted, not as a punishment but as a blessing. In sympathy to the suffering of Christ, the dogwood bore white blossoms in the shape of a cross, with two long and two short petals. Each petal bears the print of a rusty nail on the edge. At the center of each flower appears a red crown of thorns. The flowers are symbols of the death of Jesus." --From a Tale of Two Trees, Kirk H. Neely
Dogwoods are in bloom now in East Texas, especially in the Palestine area.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

~ Sugar Free Strawberry Pie ~

Image result for free images of strawberries

I've shared this in the past, however, fresh fruit is becoming plentiful and I always LOVE pie!

This is something I just made up and it's easy peasy!  I had a recipe for a fresh strawberry pie, however, it was more involved.  I was in a hurry the first time I tried this and didn't want to go to a lot of trouble so thought I'd just wing it.  Everyone seems to love them.


2 16oz. containers fresh strawberries
1 large box sugar free strawberry jello
2 low fat graham cracker crusts (or your choice)
1 8 oz. container sugar free Cool Whip
Splenda or sweetener of your choice for the berries

I wash & hull the strawberries & then slice them in halves/quarters.
I use a bit of Splenda (or you can use regular sugar) & sprinkle over them, cover and refrigerate. Sometimes I do this the night before....sometimes a few hours prior to finishing the pie. 

Mix the jello with 2 cups boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Add 1- 1/2 cups cold water and mix thoroughly. (You're going to have some juice from the berries.)  Allow this jello mixture to cool completely. 

Add the strawberries, including the juice.  Refrigerate for about an hour or until it is pretty well thickened.  You might stir it occasionally to keep the strawberries mixed. Once it is really thick, divide mixture between the 2 pie shells.  Refrigerate until set.

Top with the Cool Whip or use real whipped cream, if you so desire.  Chill thoroughly prior to serving.  I like to slice a whole strawberry into a "fan" and place on top of the pie...forgot and used them all this time!  ;-)  You can decorate any way you choose of course.

This is the jello/strawberry mixture thickened.

Garnish any way you choose!

These are much prettier when you have extra berries to decorate with ~ don't forget and use them all in the pie mixture like I did!  :)

Joining ~