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Caught Chocolate Handed

I was upstairs putting Ella down for her nap yesterday morning. I knew Kelly was downstairs, but I just assumed that she was watching Noggin or playing with her baby dolls. As I came downstairs I looked over into the kitchen and saw this: I snuck back upstairs and grabbed my camera to snap a few shots. Kelly and I often butt heads, but we agree on at least one thing... there is nothing wrong with a little Double Layer Chocolate Cake for breakfast now, is there? It has been a very, very long time since I've had both fists full of cake as well as my cheeks full of cake though. Hey... if you are going to go for it, you might as well do it right. … [Continue reading]

Menu Planning Monday

Remember when I wrote out some of my goals for 2007? The very first thing on my list was to create a menu plan twice a month. Well, the first half of January was great. I made the plan, followed it with very little deviation, and I felt great. We saved money, ate out less, and I had a plan. For some reason, the second half of the month didn't go quite as well. I planned last week, but it was very haphazard. So,  here I am again... the first part of February and I need to do my plan. I sat down on Friday with some of my favorite cookbooks/magazines/websites and made my menu plan for the first half of the month. As much as I'd love to just sit here and eat the double chocolate layer cake all month long, I know menu planning is the only way for me to stay on track.If you feel like making your menu plan a part of your 2007, head over to the I'm An Organizing Junkie blog and join in on Menu Planning Monday's. They say there is strength in numbers!Here we go:February 3rd - Spaghetti and MeatballsFebruary 4th - Southwest Stuffed Peppers (see picture)February 5th - Chicken Noodle Soup with crusty breadFebruary 6th - Ginger's EnchiladasFebruary 7th - Fiesta Chicken PastaFebruary 8th - Italian beef with SpaghettiFebruary 9th - PizzaFebruary 10th - Tilapia with Lots of SpiceFebruary 11th - Zesty Chicken and RiceFebruary 12th - TacosFebruary 13th - Spiced Beef Patties with Cous CousFebruary 14th - Chicken with Garlic SauceFebruary 15th - ChiliFebruary 16th - Easy Salmon Supper  … [Continue reading]

Rich and Delicious

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words "Rich and Delicious"? Well... yes, Dr McDreamy, my favorite Grey's Anatomy surgeon is what comes to mind first with me too. OK...let's try this again. Let's add the word chocolate? Now what? Right... that would go well with Dr McDreamy too, but lets get our minds out of the gutter, okay? When I now hear the words "rich, chocolatey and delicious" together, one of the first things to come to mind is the recipe I tried last night from Epicurious for Double Choclate Layer Cake. I, once again, fell victim to the Epicurious widget on my blog. The picture of the Double Chocolate Layer Cake had me drooling the first time I saw it. I knew that it was going to be a must try. There used to be an Italian restaurant in Kansas City called Gambucci's. Their food was good, but their layered chocolate cake called "Ba Da Bing" was the reason I kept going back. It had a creamy ganache frosting layered between the most incredible moist and rich chocolate cake. The restaurant closed a couple of years ago and I tried to get a hold of the recipe then, fearing that I would never taste such magnificence again. My pursuit of the recipe left me empty handed. As expected, they were not willing to give it up.Well, ladies and gentlemen... I think this is as close to it as I'm going to get and I am very pleased. I had such high hopes for this cake. I feared I might be disappointed, however, after my first bite … [Continue reading]

Food and Wine Top 100 Tastes – #65 Freeze Dried Flavors

When I decided to undertake the Food and Wine 100 Tastes to Try in 2007 challenge, I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to obtain some of the items. Maple Flakes, for one, aren't found in the US. They are sold only out of Canada and they don't have an online store. Some wines, like a wine from the Tasmania region, seems to be next to impossible to locate (I still need to talk to my trusty wine guy about this one). I thought for sure in this day and age of web stores and online shopping, finding anything and buying it would be a breeze. Since we are into month two of 2007, I'm looking over the list and realize I need to get busy! Unlike Rachel and Kate who are full speed ahead on this little venture, I'm taking a slow and steady approach. Why? Time, for one. With work, the three kids, and Mommy Brain, I keep forgetting to sit down and order items. Second reason? Finances! Some of these things are expensive to ship and we are still feeling the crunch from the holidays. Even so, I will persevere. I'm having a great time discovering new tastes and I am having an even better time being able to "shop" in the name of research.Taste number 65 on the list is Freeze Dried Flavors. When I think of freeze dried food, I think about the dried ice cream that my parents brought back to us kids after a trip to NASA one year.  To find freeze dried food, I went to the Honeyvillegrain website. They have an enormous selection of freeze dried food. I decided to go for a can of … [Continue reading]

Snicker What??

Have you ever heard a 3 year old say "Snickerdoodle"? Apparently, it is the funniest word in the English language because when I made Snickerdoodles today and mentioned the name of the cookie to Kelly, she went off in a fit of giggles. Then she tried to repeat the name..."Schneekerdoodie", in a high pitched voice, resulting in another fit of giggles. Not quite sweetie, but close enough. In fact, I think I may like the name "Schneekerdoodie" with the giggling better.Snickerdoodles or Schneekerdoodies... either way you say it these cookies speak comfort to me. They are perfect for a day like today, when the temps are freezing and staying in with some hot chocolate and a warm fire seems much more inviting.We love Snickerdoodles in our house. Some people prefer their snickerdoodles to be crunchy. At our house, we like them to be very soft with a slightly crispy outer edge, and with a dash of extra cinnamon.  If you like your snickerdoodles this way, the key is to take them out of the oven when they look like they may need one minute more. They may look a little underdone, but take them out anyway. Let them sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes to firm up and then move them to a wire rack to cool. If you are looking for a bit of comfort, and are craving something sweet, give our favorite "Snickerdoodie" recipe a try!Snickerdoodles3/4 cup shortening … [Continue reading]