Gratitude in a Chocolate Cake

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Today is Friday. Isn’t that reason enough to feel grateful on this glorious day? As I walked into target earlier to buy a cake mix, I thought of all the reasons I am grateful that my husband is the father of my children. He is a man who exudes kindness, gentlesess and compassion. He is a man who listens with the intent of hearing and answers with the intent of challenging one to think beyond his or her usual limits. He loves chocolate cake. So we are kicking the weekend off with a cake baked with love and gratitude in his honor. What are you feeling grateful for today? Let’s share it far and wide. 

Another Piece of Cake Please

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For those of you looking for an easy, light, delicious dessert, I have just the thing. Tonight we tried a poke cake recipe. I was a little leary but I have to say, the end result was a pleasant surprise. All it takes to start is a cooked chocolate cake. As it cools, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke several holes into the cake. Heat the hot fudge and pour it into the holes spreading the rest over the top of the cake. Finish it with a layer of cool whip and top with thin slices of strawberries. I guarantee the crowd will be pleased. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Taste The Love

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The first few years I was married, my husband would taste something I made and tell me whether or not he could taste the love. Ironically enough, if I baked something with care and with the intention of making him happy, he could always taste the love. However, if I was rushed or not really in the mood to bake, he could tell me there was something missing. I woke up today remembering this. I can’t help but wonder if everything we do can be applied to this concept. It’s no secret we are constantly doing things for others. The question is, what is the intention behind what we do? Do we do things because we feel we have to or do we do something for someone simply to show them we love them? Think about this next time you do anything, including for yourself. Observe the intention and see how it effects the outcome. Check in on your attitude and adjust it if you need to. People can feel your vibe. You have a choice; you can pass on resentment or you can pass on love. Which will it be?

Today I Am Grateful

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Today I am grateful I woke up from the nightmares that haunted my sleep. One thing I know for certain, I can’t deny what is happening in the world but I sure know when to switch off the tv. Today will be a day of calm and peace. The kids are off from school and we will turn on some Christmas music and bake some delicious pies. Sometimes it necessary to shut off, to retreat to a happy place and hide there safely while the soul and the heart take some time to heal. The only way to survive negativity is to focus on the positive. Count your blessings, focus on the things you are grateful for. You cannot save the entire world but you can save yourself if you are persistent enough. Create your own world of peace and love and invite everyone in. They will thank you for it. Oh and of course, don’t forget to offer them a piece of pie.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake

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Oh hi! Did the title happen to tug at your attention? If it did, then you are probably a lover of coffee cake and cinnamon rolls just like me. I promise you will thank me later for this wonderful recipe from Six Sisters Stuff. Never in a million years did I ever think I was capable of making a cinnamon roll better than any I have already tasted, but this recipe really took the cake. Sorry for the terrible joke! So, without further ado, here is the recipe. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I have.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake
Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 T butter, melted
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon
2/3 cups nuts (optional)

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
5 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
With an electric mixer or stand-up mixer, mix 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in 4 T melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9×13″ baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoon and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. Place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm (we like it straight out of the oven) or at room temperature.

I must admit I used more of everything mixed in the large bowl. The more you use and mix into the cake, the better it will taste. We didn’t even need the drizzle and chose to eat our delightful slice of heaven without it.

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This Straight Jacket is a Perfect Fit

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Sometimes I think if I didn’t have a blog where I document my drawn out boring stories, no-one would ever know what would be the final breaking point that sends me over the edge of too far gone to ever recover from crazy. So, I realize it’s a big responsibility for all of my readers but someone has got to share the truth.

Many of you know my daughter has been doing the noble fundraising thing for school the last few weeks. We have baked and baked and baked and with only 7 school days left to go, we were whipping up another batch of chex mix. All weekend long my husband has taunted with questions like, “have you thrown out the leftovers you are never going to eat yet?” And by the good grace of God, I have found the strength to keep my mouth shut. So, there I was searching through my refrigerator loaded with more crap and garbage than anyone could ever imagine when finally I throw my hands in the air and ask my daughter to call my husband at work and ask him if he threw away the tiny container of whipping cream. Surprise, surprise….I still have a refrigerator loaded with take out containers and rotting food and guess which one thing, which tiny carton actually found its way to the garbage can?

I will not go down like this. I will not allow him to drive me straight to crazy. I will fight my way back. Scratch that! I am going to commit myself. I just heard my refrigerator beeping and ran to the kitchen thinking the chex mix had fallen to the floor and there is my mother standing there pulling items from the fridge. How kind is what you are all thinking right and how selfish I must come off to all of you seeming so ungrateful right now but believe you me, she purposely slammed down that cookie tray so I would think that chex mix really did fall to the floor. And, while she watched me run into the room all stressed out and panicky, she was silently laughing to herself and smiling so sweetly, the spitting image of the Cheshire Cat. I shook her and screamed “I do not want you to clean the refrigerator! I want my heavy whipping cream!” Together, they have sent me over the edge. Goodbye my friends, I am not coming back from this. Slowly, together they are successfully killing me.

The Price I Pay To Become Famous!

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So, yeah, that crazy teen of mine actually came home with an idea that made me very, very proud. She submitted an application to become part of a small group of kids from each grade to fund raise for a local charity. So, after I coached her on providing eye catching answers, she was actually chosen and became part of the Tigerpalooza Team. Since that moment, we have been baking and baking and baking to raise some dough. Okay, I know that was a terrible joke, but please be patient with me. It’s for a great cause.

Anyway, this baking will go on through the month of February and in case any of you haven’t noticed lately, I have recently lost 17 pounds. I worked very hard and was very diligent taking everything that went in my mouth into account. Now, back to this baking thing, yep, you know exactly where Im heading right? The more I bake, the more I eat. Seriously, there should be a warning on the the last recipe we successfully mastered. Warning, Better Than Sex Chex is highly addictive! Do Not Eat If You Are On A Diet! But nope! No warning. And before I knew it I was laying in bed with terrible guilt battling a horrific bellyache. Here is a picture and a hint why I could not keep my hands off it!

20140209-142202.jpg I mean LOOK at THAT! 👀! You’d have to tie my hands up to keep me out of that gooey,yummy mess. Chocolate chex with mini peanut butter cups, marshmallows and m&ms drizzled with caramel, white and milk chocolate. I can see you all now licking your lips. It is AMAZING, just like the name of the recipe suggests!

Then today, we decided to make some chocolate chip cookies. I was excitedly commenting on a friends post who was reaching his 19,000 comment. He counted it up for me and while I was pushing my send button I looked up just in time to spot this in my oven…

20140209-142437.jpg yep! It’s a fire, but not uncommon to see for the people that regularly follow my blog. Usually it is my oven mitt that is spewing flames, but this special time, it was my oven itself. So, I am proud to help make history in the blog post with the most comments but maybe it was just a bit much for me to take on. Here’s a link to his site if you’d like to help make history too! https://pouringmyartout.wordpress.com/author/pouringmyartout/. Check it out. I like to refer to his COMMENT POST as Blitter. “Bloggers version of twitter”. And don’t forget to tell Art while you’re there how I almost burned down my house becoming his 19,000th commenter!

I guess you could say I’ve really taken one for the team for charity. However, not everyone would exactly agree. Every time I as much as touch a small snack size bag of chex mix, my daughter reminds me I am stealing from charity. And all you intelligent women out there know exactly what happens when we are experiencing guilt…..so in I go to sneak another bag!

On a more positive note, we may not be making tons of money but we are making tons of memories. Now, I’m off to bake some more….