Monthly Archives: January 2011

Creamy Mocha Fudge Cake

Creamy Mocha Fudge CakeWhile my parents were here over the weekend – Dagmar and my Mom enjoyed some kitchen time together.We all like it when they bond there – some very yummy things result! 🙂

Since Dagmar really loves coffee and doesn’t get it very often, she picked a chocolate cake recipe that includes a mocha whipped cream frosting.

Can you say “rich and decadent”?

You really don’t want to know the calorie count on this one. No – you really don’t.

But it’s very worth the buzz – both sugar and caffeine – that one slice will bring. I went to such a happy place… 😉

Disclaimer : Do not feed this cake to a 10 year old before bed time. He will bounce off the walls while singing all 67 verses to the Arkie Arkie song. If there weren’t 67 verses before – there are now. Trust me on this one – you have been warned.

Creamy Mocha Fudge Cake

1-1/4 cups of butter (yes – that is 2-1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup baking cocoa
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts – we used walnuts

Creamy Coffee Filling

1-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream – cold
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 2 – 9 inch cake pans. Line with waxed paper and butter the paper.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Remove from heat and add cocoa, stirring until well-blended. Cool slightly.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl until foamy. Add salt and vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, beating well.

Add cooled chocolate mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 prepared pans.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees (or until toothpick come s out clean). Do not over bake!

Cool 5 minutes and remove from the cake pans, carefully peeling off the waxed paper. Cool completely on wire racks.

When cooled, combine whipping cream, brown sugar, and instant coffee in a chilled bowl. Stir until combined, then beat into stiff peaks.

(Note – you should really sample this often as it beats so that you have the proper buzz going to frost the cake!)

To assemble, place one layer of the cake on a serving platter, spread with the Creamy Coffee Filling, place the second layer on top and use the rest of the filling to cover the top and sides of the cake.

Then – sit back and contently lick the bowl – making appropriate smacking noises to show your appreciation for such delicious calories!


I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed With Grace, Tasty Tuesday over at Beauty and Bedlam, and Chocolate Friday over at Knit1Kids4.

Making the Old New Again

My mom and dad are here for the weekend – and you know what that means!

Projects! 🙂

Mom has been playing games with the kids, at the sewing machine with Angel Girl making quilt squares for a 4H quilt and playing in the kitchen with Dagmar and I.

Cinnamon Twist

I wish you could be here for tea time – we’re having fresh cinnamon swirls!

Meanwhile – we locked Dad in the bathroom.

Not really. 🙂 But he has been finishing up a project that I’m very excited about!

When you’re dealing with an older house, you walk a fine line between renovating and remodeling, between character and function.

And you save everything – like the cabinet doors from the built-in cupboards we ripped out of the kitchen.

Our downstairs bathroom is built under the stair steps, giving it some unique angles.  My Dad studied the lay-out for awhile and came up with a plan to build a big storage closet under the stairs using 2 of the doors.

Then he tucked a linen closet for towels in another of the angles using a smaller door.

Finally, he built a medicine cabinet right into the wall of the bathroom – and used another door.

Not done

It took a while for me to get the doors and the trim stripped, sanded, stained, and varnished. Then we had to wait for the snow to let up for Dad to get down here again to install everything.


But the wait was worth it! We now have a built in medicine cabinet, a deep and functional storage area and a linen closet that are beautiful and new to the house – but look as if they have always been there!

The best part is that we not only saved the character – but we added function!

Happy!  Happy!  Happy!  🙂

Come On In!

Blizzard Bloghop 2010 hosted by Household 6 DivaTo my regular readers – I’m interrupting my regular scheduled postings to participate in a  Blog Hop today. So what’s a Blog Hop? Well – it’s kind of like an open house, or a meet and greet. Other bloggers stop by to meet me – and I hop over to other blogs to meet them. I’ve found the sweetest people on past blog hops! It’s a great way to get “out of the house” on a cold and dreary January day!

Hey everybody! Come on in – just shake the snow off! My name is Melinda and I live here with Jan, my husband of 20 years and our five kiddos ranging from 18 years down to 10.

“Here” is our homestead in the middle of nowhere in the rolling hills of southern Iowa (yes – Iowa does have hills!).

Our nearest neighbors are Amish.

We moved here from the big city 12 years ago and have been slowly making it home ever since.

We’re still renovating the big old 1920 farmhouse that we moved on to the land. It’s my “dream-come-true” home!

I love old wood furniture, thrift stores and a good book.

And I love chocolate – I mean really love chocolate – like obsessed with chocolate.

I don’t like poison ivy, laundry on the floor and slow internet.

I’ve discovered that living with teens is not for the faint of heart and that my husband gets more wonderful every year. 🙂

We like adventures, making memories, and laughing.

And food. We really like food.

We have lots of company – some for a day, some for an overnight, some for a week. 🙂

We especially love cousins!

Someday I hope to learn to take really cool pictures and find a knob that fits my bathroom door.

I collect recipes, Christmas movies, and old books.

And did I mention that I like chocolate? 🙂

I blog about spelled out with sparklers

My life.

Sometimes it’s serious.

Sometimes it’s funny.

Sometimes it’s just plain silly.

But it’s always full of love.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!

I love company!

There’s always something cooking in the kitchen, some deep thought to ponder, or a funny story to share!

I’ve linked this post up with the Blizzard Blog Hop hosted by Household6 Diva.

It’s All in the Name

Cow There’s a new kid on our block.

He has 4 legs, a cheesy smile and is black and white all over.

Cute little fella ain’t he!

But don’t get attached. This little guy will end up being supper in a few months.

Because of that I started calling him “Hamburger”.

The kids weren’t impressed with that name – so I suggested T-bone. That didn’t fly either.

They reminded me of our last cow. We had named him Mud Puddle –  because – well – he just looked like a Mud Puddle!

The kids are sure that Mud Puddle took offense at his name and caused trouble just to get even. He would wait until we were all packed and in the car ready to head somewhere – and then he would get out of his pen and lead us on a merry chase.

I think he got out every holiday and every time we had company.

Believe me – he tasted really good.

They kids wanted to avoid a repeat of that unfortunate situation – so they began sharing their ideas –





Brown Cow. (But he’s black and white?!)

Optimist. (And yes – I’m a little concerned about what this child will name my future grandchildren!)

Shakespeare. (That’s kind of cute!)

The ideas got wilder and sillier until Jan finally said that we would just sleep on it.

That evening as we watching TV, I kept hearing the little guy mooing.  It sounded like it was right outside the window.

It was.

The little stinker had gotten out already. (For the record – Jan had the boys build the pen themselves.  After they got the little guy back in, they fixed the flaw in their construction!)

When they finally got him settled again – Matt suggested the name “Moo-dini”.

But there was something about his face that just didn’t look like a famous escape artist, or – for that matter –  an English writer that uses high brow words.

No – his expression looked more Barney Fife when he wanted Andy’s approval. You know the look – it says “Hey Ang – did I do good? Did I do good? Huh, huh? ”

Hmm… maybe he does look a little like a Barney.

Surely he wouldn’t object to that name?

You don’t think he’s ever seen the Andy Griffith Show – do you?

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

I love using my crock pot.

I love it so much – I don’t have just one – I have 4 – all different sizes.

I have yet to use all 4 of them in one meal – but I’m working on it! 🙂

I love being able to just throw my ingredients in, turn it on and walk away.

This is one of those kind of recipes.

It’s been one of my favorite go-to crock pot recipes for years. I’ve had it so long that I don’t even remember where I got it.

I’ve used everything from chicken legs and thighs to chicken breasts to whole chickens; I have doubled and even tripled it and have never had it fail me.

Just cook up some rice, toss a salad and you have a warm and satisfying meal.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

2 – 1/2 pounds of chicken
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons water or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place your chicken in the crock pot.  In a small mixing bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

It’s that easy!

Just before serving, remove the meat from the crock pot and take it off the bone. I like to serve the meat in a bowl with the juice poured over it.

It’s delicious over rice or noodles!


I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed With Grace, and Tuesdays at the Table over at All the Small Stuff.