Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chocolate Snack Cake

This is one of our family's favorite cake recipes, and it is so easy!  It's one of the most moist chocolate cakes ever.

Here's the ingredients you'll need:

Chocolate Snack Cake

1 yellow or chocolate cake mix (I prefer to use a chocolate mix - it makes the cake more chocolate-y, and Duncan Hines is the most moist cake mix out there)
1 3.4 oz box chocolate pudding mix
1 c. sour cream
3/4 c. oil
3/4 c. water
3 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips

Blend together the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, water and eggs in a large bowl.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake in a pre-heated 350F degree oven for 45 - 50 min. or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.  Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and enjoy!

We've made several variations on this cake - a lemon cake with a lemon cake and pudding mix, a pistachio cake with a yellow cake mix and pistachio pudding mix, and the list could go on. 

I've also made this cake as a layer cake, and it is the BEST chocolate layer cake ever!  I doubled the recipe to get this three-layer cake.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pinterest Weekend

I've been writing this post all week.  This should show you how long it takes me to write a blog post.  I didn't want to re-write the whole post, so I just left it alone.

So this past Saturday I was able to put four Pinterest Pins to use.  The first was painting my nails in a color from Essie's new Spring 2012 line, which I first saw on Pinterest - Ole Caliente, now a new favorite.  I don't know if it's in stores yet (it should be), but I got mine on Amazon.

My new favorite color, Essie's Ole Caliente.

We had guests over for dinner that night, and I made four desserts.  Yes, I know, sugar overload.  I got three of the recipes from Pinterest, and all of them were delicious!

The first recipe I made was Strawberry Heart Oreos.  The recipe only made 12 - 15 oreo cookies and I had several people to feed, so instead of making them oreos I simply frosted each individual cookie.  They were absolutely delicious.

The second project was Gooey Neopolitan Cake Bars.  These came out delicious, but not pretty, which was completely my fault.

These were delicious, but they didn't come out looking very good.  The main reason was that the aluminum foil I lined the pan with didn't reach all the up the sides of the pan, and the sweetened condensed milk that gets poured over the top trickled down the sides and got stuck to the sides of the pan.  When I was trying to lift the cake out of the pan with the foil it stuck and the cake cracked and broke in several places.  Again, this was totally my fault - if I make this recipe again (and I would) I would use two layers of foil and make sure they came up the sides of the pan.

The third recipe I made were Pecan Pie Bars.  These were so good, and I'll definately make them again!

Unlike Pecan Pie, these bars use brown sugar and honey as their sweetener.  My Dad actually said they don't really taste anything like Pecan Pie, but they were still delicious :)  The bottom is shortbread-like and the top is made on the stove. 

The fourth recipe I made was one of our family's favorite recipes, which I'll share next time.  Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Way Into 2012

I had intended to write this post shortly after the New Year.  But, better late than never.

At the beginning of the year I did make a list of things that, Lordwilling, I'll accomplish this year.  I'm teased quite a bit in my family, especially by my Dad, for setting lofty goals and acting like I've accomplished them, and, of course, not following through.  It feels like I'm accomplished in my mind, though :)

Anyways, I decided to make the goals a little simpler this year.

1.  Exercise regularly and run more 5k's, the Dam to Downtown, a Duathlon and Half Marathon.  Ok, so this one isn't so simple.  My sisters and I have been running the past couple years and have really enjoyed running 5k's.  I ran three last year at the beginning of summer, before exercising got pushed to the wayside.  So this year, I'm hoping to change that.  I've started running regularly, and signed up for a local race, the Dam to Downtown (10k) at the end of April, and the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in Chicago at the end of July.

2.  Knit, sew and craft more.  Because of school I hardly did any of this last year.  I'm not in school this year (so glad!) and I've already been doing a lot more knitting.  Now I just have to get onto the sewing part.  I have a skirt that I'm about 3/4 through but have stalled because I'm kinda scared of sewing in the zipper.

3. Don't just pin on Pinterest, do a project a week.  I actually have been doing some nail ideas I got from there, and last week I made this cake.

Mine had one less layer, but it came out so well!  This is the only photo I got of it, after 99% of it was devoured:

4. Shop less.  This has actually been going quite well, thankfully.

5. Blog more :)

Well, I've got a lot for my easily distracted self to do today, including some Pinterest baking :)  Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!