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Triple Layer Fudge Cake with Chocolate Caramel Frosting

July 8, 2014

   Thought I would share my most divine chocolate creation, as show above^^^^. It takes some time and a bit of effort to make, but it's totally worth the mess/clean up/excess baggage on the rear-endage. So if you are ever looking to show off, or show someone that you really really REALLY love them (as I made this for Lucinda's birthday) then this is a great go to. It's a combo of some of my favorite chocolate cake recipes and a pre-made frosting.... I can NEVER get frosting to go my way... I'm talking some major lumps and bumps... so why bother? when you can find some delish premades....

First the cake....

Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease a bundt cake pan with butter
3 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup best-quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweet cream butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 1/3 cups chilled water

Directions: I like to mix all of my wet ingredients together in one bowl and the dry in another. Make sure the butter is nice and cool, you don't want to start cooking the eggs in the bowl! Then slowly fold in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix til smooth. Pour into the bundt pan. Yes, you could do this in a regular cake pan but I like the bundt shape because you can shove an extra glob of frosting in the center. You can never have too much frosting! 
Pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean

Then the frosting:

four tubs of Hershey's Caramel Chocolate Frosting
done and done

   Once the cake is cool, remove from the bundt pan and get out your decorating plate. If you have a spinning one or a raised cake plate that's even better. Using a sharp serrated knife cut the cake into three level horizontal pieces. Place a few small globs of frosting onto the plate and place a layer on top. This secures the cake in place so it won't go slip sliding around on you while icing the outside. Using a cool flat icing knife or spatula, spread out some frosting on the first layer of cake, place another layer of cake on top, frost and repeat.... If you want to spice things up you can sprinkle some chocolate chips, fruit jam or nuts on the frosting layers. We are chocolate frosting purists here. I used two tubs to frost the inside and two for the outside. Once the top is in place dish out one whole tub for the top and one for the sides (make sure to frost the center with extra frosting!). Key to keeping your frosting from sticking to your knife/spatula and crumbling the cake is ice water. Periodically dip your knife/spatula in a glass of ice water. Once frosted, add/decorate to the outside at will. I added chocolate chips to the top and almonds to the outside. I like having a variation of texture on cake.
   Divine, heaven, divine chocolaty heaven. 
Thanks for stopping by!
I know I shared these pics before... but I thought they deserved another go around...


As It Turns Into Summer....

June 16, 2014

We go off the grid. As in nada, nothing, zilch-o in the technology-o department.  Like a detox for the soul. 

At least that is the plan so far....

   At the beginning of the year I was finding our lives getting more and more chaotic. Fights were spurred by the smallest things, stress levels were at boiling points and our house had simply lost that 'zen' feeling. I kept on cleaning, cooking and doing the same ol thing but all the while thinking to myself, 'What is going on here?! Something has got to change! Or else I am going to lose my mind, or hair, or voice, or I might flee for Mexico, or all of the above'.  Something. has. got . to. change....

 So what did I do?

Wait for it, it's truly a life changing choice....
we turned off the TV

Ok. So not that extraordinary.  But for me, and the wee little ankle biters, it has been like a breath of fresh air has been blown through the house inflating it with laughter and joy and creativity. Things are again flowing smoothly. Or smoother. Nothing is ever perfect around here, but I have DEFINITELY noticed a difference. I'll be honest. When Leland was born I leaned on the boob tube like a pirate on a peg leg. That dear ol telly got a major workout acting like a nanny/teacher/tranquilizer while I focused on the newborn and my recovery. As Leland got older and less needy, I was able to get back to life as normal but the TV seemed to be controlling the whole fam damily. So I mustered up the guts and walked over to the tube and turned off the cartoons. Yes, there was some crying & whining, but I didn't go on for that long... don't want to give the kids ideas, right?! Just kidding. But I'll tell ya, that first week was rough. 
Up in the morning.... can I watch TV? No
Up from a nap.... can I watch TV? No
Done with lunch.... can I watch TV? No
Can I.... No
Ca.... No
But whhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!?????
because I said sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-o-o-o-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

   The first few days went like this, infused with constant bickering between the older two and my frustrated tears of trying to nurse Leland while separating them with my foot. But after a couple of days of me saying 'Adventure time!' which is my code word for 'We are getting the frick out of the house', strapping the babes into my ergo and shoving (gently I assure you) Lucas and Lucinda into a stroller, TV/and technology (sorry blogsphere!) faded to the back of everyone's mind. And guess what?! It's been kinda blissful!

 Don't get me wrong, it's not like I chucked the flat screen out the window. We still do movie nights and such, but the telly has been reserved for special occasions. The kids now seldom ask for it and are much more into going out to play with the chickens, splash around with water balloons or read books. Yes, I'm sure this transition to little to no technology has gone easy because of the impending summer. Longer days, warm evenings, camping trips and just general happiness comes with summer. But I am going to try my darnedest to extend the warm and fuzzy feelings that have been floating about the house well into fall, winter and hopefully for the next few years.   
This also got me thinking about small changes and how they can dramatically impact your life for the better. What little things can I do to better our lives? Cut out sugar? Flour? Plastic? Diet Coke?
You will never ever get rid of my Diet Coke. Ever ever ever eva eva eva. I will probably be cremated and put in Diet Coke cans.....

So what small changes have you made in your life that made your life better??? Little tweaks here and there?

And Lucinda is now four! Craaaazzzzzzyyyyy how your heart can ache for time to stop yet skip a beat excited to see what's next. Happy birthday my sweet and sassy. We love you to the moon and back!
Thank you for stopping by!


Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies (No Eggs)

May 29, 2014

    Does anyone else out there prefer cookie dough than to an actual cookie? Like, I'll whip up a big ol bowl of dough and only get about six cookies on the sheet because the littles and me have been 'taste testing' the dough to see if it needs a lil more of this (which is doesn't) or a lil more of that (nope, but just had to be sure... wink wink). If you do, hop on into by boat cuz I am always paddling towards that elusive perfect soft cookie recipe. I want a cookie that can hold it's shape but still be incredibly moist and soft.... aka doughy. And I want the cookie to stay that way, not dry out to a malt-ball like consistency after an hour or two. 
 And by GEORGE! I think I've done it with this one! These Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies are super moist, soft, delish ect ect so on and so forth the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I've made to date. Bar none. Hands down. All that and a jar of crisco. And major plus, it's eggless! No more fretting about littles and if they should?/shouldn't? lick the spoon/bowl/counter/floor during clean up. 
 So here we go.

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup nutella
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 TB vanilla extract
1 ts salt
2 ts baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate milk
2 cups semi sweet choco chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Mix all wet ingredients together. Stir in nutella then sugars, soda and chop in flour.  Lastly stir in chips. Do the two spoon drop cookie trick on to a butter greased cookie sheet and pop into the oven for 8 minutes. Pull out and let cool then devour as needed. Which is at least one a day. Or hour. You be the judge

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