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July 09, 2009

Chocolate Fix

I posted this recipe on my homelearning blog almost three years ago, but it's still such a favorite of ours that I thought I would post it over here as well, especially as I've been intending to share low cost recipes. When trying to lower one's food bill it's critical to cut out non-essentials, but thankfully chocolate cake doesn't fall into that category.

This recipe makes fantastic cupcakes as well.

There are many versions of this cake out there (Made-In-the-Pan Chocolate Cake, Vinegar Cake), and it's as easy as any store bought cake mix. What makes it penny wise is the fact that it requires no eggs or milk - it's basically flour, sugar, cocoa, and water. Don't let the simplicity of the recipe turn you off - it's unbelievably rich and moist and only improves with age (I actually prefer it the next day).

My daughter decided to bake one up the other day as it was raining outside (hallelujah!) and we were all lazing about enjoying the cooler temperatures. She doubled the recipe to fill a 9x13 pan, but accidentally put in waaay to much cocoa powder. Never one to throw away perfectly good ingredients, we tripled the batch (6 times the original recipe!) and ended up with three 9x13 cakes. I generally have no problem finding a way to dispose of chocolate cake, but this was a little much even for me, so we sent one off to live with my mom and chocolate-loving step dad, and divided the second one between our two closest neighbors. We've almost polished off the third one, and it's still scrumptious almost 4 days later.

You can find the recipes for the cake and frosting here (we baked our doubled batch for about 45 minutes). The frosting recipe will give you more than enough for a single cake or batch of cupcakes, but we doubled it to cover all three of our large cakes.


July 06, 2009

3 Years, 300 Posts

I noticed while going through my list of posts the other day that it was coming up to three years since I started writing this blog. I was also getting close to having written 300 posts. Without too much effort on my part (unless you count my squeezing out yesterday's brief comment on the state of my laundry), the two seem to have coincided on the same day, which is more than just a little weird. Surely that must mean something, but I'm not exactly sure what.

I don't know what else I can say that I didn't already say in my misty-eyed one year anniversary post, except that someone once told me to write down what it was that I wished for, and that "putting it out there" would help make those dreams a reality - this blog is proof that it works.


One of my favorite photos of our old garden.

For those of you who haven't been around for the whole three years (heck, who has - I know I certainly haven't been!), I thought I'd share a few of my favorite and most popular posts.

The post on Mason bees gets so much traffic from Google that I can't believe I almost didn't write it!

My attempts at making butter using a stand mixer is another favorite. What's not to love about freshly made butter?

The recipe for homemade granola was so scandalous (okay, not really) that it was labelled as "porn" by the gang over at Slashfood.

We were very excited about how quickly our house sold, and what that sale meant for our ability to buy our dream property.

Click here to see all of the changes that we made to that house.

Getting lots of scrapes and boo boos this summer? Maybe some homemade calendula salve would help.

Finally, I would like to thank my darling hubby for helping to make all of this possible. We've learned so much together over the years, and if he doesn't know how to do something, he's always willing to give it a go.

It means a lot to me that so many of you take the time to come around and see what I'm rambling about at any given time. I don't know if I've got three more years in me, but I hope you'll keep checking in whenever you get a chance!

July 05, 2009

This Is Ridiculous

Okay, I realize we've got a million other projects on the go (the chicken coop being priority number one at the moment), but I don't know how much longer I can go on like this:

We seriously need to hurry up and build a laundry line.

I really miss my clothes line!!

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