Homemade Chocolate Cake

Homemade Chocolate Cake

I love making cakes. My mom recently passed her cake pan collection on to me. Dad’s in the military so she got a little tired of carting the pans all over the country, that and she doesn’t make as many cakes as she used to.
After years of trying to show me how to decorate cakes, it all coalesced the day of Arthur’s second birthday and I made him a gorgeous Scooby Doo cake!
I’ve been thinking for a while that I would like to become that mom that makes things from scratch. Cake, brownies, other yummy desserts. Except cookies! Sadly, I’ve learned that Tony makes much better chocolate chip cookies than I ever do. *sigh*
This recipe turned out really yummy, if a little soupy. My thoughts to improve on this, a slightly longer cooktime and I’m going to try Hershey’s Cocoa instead of Nestle Quik.
1/4 cup cocoa (as stated earlier, I used Nestle Quik, mainly because I had it in the house, even though the pictures from the site showed Hershey’s Cocoa)
1 cup of butter or margarine (2 sticks)
1 cup water
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk because my kitchen isn’t fancy enough to run to buttermilk)
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat your oven to 400*. Original site said 9×13 pan, but I used my 2 round pans.
Mix together the butter, sugar and cocoa. Once it’s well combined and gently boiling, remove from heat.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl stir together the buttermilk (in my case milk), water and eggs.
Once the cocoa mixture is cool combine all the ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Pour into the baking pan and bake 25 minutes until the cake is done. I’ll be going a little longer next time, this may have been because of my pan size, but I’m willing to experiment!
Allow the cake to cool and then cover with icing. Normally I make my own icing, but as I used this recipe to do my Kit-Kat Cake, check that out at https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/cute-cake/ , and I didn’t need a full batch. I’ll admit it, I used store bought!
I’d definitely recommend giving this a try, just be smart like I was, and try this as a just because cake. You don’t want to risk your kid’s birthday cake being a little soupy!
Happy baking!
Original recipe is from http://groundbeefbudget.com/2012/11/homemade-chocolate-cake/
Check out this site for other yummy-ness

Pizza Hut Breadsticks

Pizza Hut Breadsticks

I’m a fan of bread. Yes, this is only my second blog about bread, but as time goes on, I’ll definitely have more! It’s been a long time since I’ve had Pizza Hut breadsticks because I’m not a big fan of our local once. I am however a big fan of their breadsticks!
Directions are as follows: Mix together 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup warm milk, 3/4 tbsp sugar and 1 1/4 tsp yeast. (I used a whisk) and let it ‘froth’ for 3-4 minutes. In bowl or stand mixer add 2 cups flour and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Add in 2 tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt to the mix. Let it mix till there is no loose flour (I used my hands for the last little mixing bit). Pour 4-5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil onto a 9×13 pan and spread your dough flat. Cover with plastic or damp cloth and let rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Once risen, slice into sticks and brush top of sticks with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with spice mixture. Spice mixture consists of 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2-3 tbsp parmesean cheese, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Heat oven to 450 degrees and bake for 12-17 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve hot with dipping sauce consisting of 1 cup pureed / canned tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, salt and red chili flakes to taste.
I didn’t make the sauce since we were having our breadsticks with pasta, so we used that sauce. I used my Pampered Chef baking stone, so mine ended up a little overdone. We still scarfed them down, but will definitely have a shorter cook time when I make these again. The prep time on these is much shorter than the Olive Garden breadsticks, so we will definitely be having these again!
View the original pin here

Olive Garden Breadsticks

Olive Garden Breadsticks

So, I wanted to start a blog for several reasons. I’ve tried in the past, but didn’t have a good topic to blog about so it kind of fell through. I think I’ve hit on a winner finally! I loved the movie Julie and Julia, but it’s already been done, so who wants to repeat something? Cook your way through a cookbook, sure, but why repeat a blog? So I twisted it to Pinterest! I love Pinterest! The recipes, the crafts, I love it all. So I will blog about my experiences with tips, tricks, crafts and recipes.
I figured I’d start with something super yummy! Olive Garden Breadsticks! Ingredients include: 1 cup + 2 tbsp warm water, 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 3 – 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 3 tbsp vegetable oil. For the topping you’ll need: 2 tbsp margarine or butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
Now the only complaint I have with this recipe is that it takes FOREVER! I can only make them when I’m off work for the day because there is simply no time after getting home from work!
Directions: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk together warm water, yeast and 1/2 tsp granulated sugar until yeast has dissolved. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Add in remaining 1 tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 3/4 tsp salt and vegetable oil. Fit mixer with paddle attachment and blend mixture till well combined. Switch mixer to dough hook attachment. Add in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and knead mixture on low speed, adding 1/4 cup additional flour as needed, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but should still be slightly sticky) Transfer dough to a large buttered mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place free from draft until double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch risen dough down, divide into 12 equal portions, keep covered with plastic wrap as you work. Roll each piece into a 9-inch rope on a lightly floured surface, then transfer to cookie sheet.
I had the kids help me roll out the breadsticks, so mine were a little less than perfect, but we had so much fun!
Cover and let rise for an hour. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake in preheated oven 11-13 minutes until golden. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Once breadsticks are done, run the butter over the crust then sprinkle the garlic powder / salt mixture over the top. Eat warm or let cool, they are divine either way!
Like I said, so very time consuming! But they are worth it, at least once or twice a month!

View the original pin here