one-bowl chocolate cake!

Easiest Chocolate cake to make!!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and lightly flour a 9x1-1/2-inch round baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 minutes more. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar and transfer to a serving plate.
*I didn't have powdered sugar, which was fine, I served the cake with ice cream. Enjoy!


not your "basic" makeover...

My Sister left for Basic Training knowing only that I planned to repaint her room... and I was looking at curtains... NOTHING ELSE!

Brick wall was the most tiring and rewarding... I was so pleased with how it turned out... I think I spent $15 on the template for the bricks and used 2 large sponges to create the affect, 8 hours of penciling and painting!

I think I spent between $300-$400 on it total. 
2 1/2 gallons of coffee, chocolate and mint paints $30/gal
1 qt. of magnetic paint (under the chocolate paint) $35/qt
New (but used) recliner $24
New sheets, accent pillows, clock, picture frames, bed frame, etc.

The Magnetic walls didn't turn out like I thought they would... but the magnets held up the posters and that's all I required...

I love it... she thought it was awesome! that's all that matters...


Mexican/Italian Casserole

This is another throw together recipe.The idea was a Mexican Chicken rice dish.
But I have more Italian seasonings then Mexican so alas it's an Italian seasoned Mexican dish...

3/4 of a pound of Chicken, sliced in chunks
1/4 of a red pepper, chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Italian seasonings
Chili powder
1 15oz or bigger can of tomato sauce
1 cup of rice
1 can of corn
1/2 cup of cheese

First sautee the chicken, onion, red pepper and garlic until chicken is white. Sprinkle on Italian seasonings and chili powder. Cook until the chicken turns brown.
In a casserole dish, stir tomato sauce, rice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. (if you like lots of flavor add a tablespoon or so of the Italian seasonings and chili powder to this as well. Add Chicken mixture.
Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until the rice is looking almost done.
Stir in corn. Top with cheese. Let cook for another 5-10 minutes. Bon Appétit!


Dessert Panini


4 slices of bread
couple tablespoons of butter
vanilla sugar(or regular sugar)
Nutella (or I used Peanut butter cocoa spread)
1 Banana, sliced

Butter both sides of the bread and sprinkle sugar on one side of each. (keep track of which side). *Fry them til they have a golden brown touch on the sugared side. Spread Nutella on the sugared side of all 4 pieces and top 2 of them with banana. Place the other slices chocolate side onto the bananas. Fry a couple seconds longer on both sides to warm. Enjoy!

*If you fry the non sugared side less then the sugared side the chocolate spreading and last couple seconds should get it to a nice golden brown.

You can also make this non-panini and use 2 slices of bread. (like the picture)


Soft Sugar Cookies

I have made these several times, and this time I had to change it up a bit. I was low on white sugar and used Raw sugar to make it a complete cup. I also added a tsp of vanilla sugar because I do not have vanilla or almond extract on hand. Cooking is all about substitution... or at least it is here!
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Beat together butter and sugar on low speed of mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in flavorings and egg. Mix. Stir in flour and baking soda.
Using a small cookie scoop or two spoons, shape dough into balls. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Press cookie down slightly to flatten using the bottom of a glass which has been dipped in sugar. Colored or white sugar may be used.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, just until cookies have set. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.


A Farmer's Casserole

Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers or shredded cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
1 cup diced cooked ham, cooked breakfast sausage or Canadian-style bacon
1/4 cup sliced green onions (2)
4 beaten eggs or 1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
1-1/2 cups milk or one 12-ounce can evaporated milk or evaporated fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham, and green onions.
2. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in dish.
3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
4. Make-ahead directions: Prepare as above through step 2. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

5.Farmer's Casserole for 12: Prepare as above, except double all ingredients and use a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings


Tarte aux Kiwis (Kiwi Tart)

I made this with the help of an awesome friend Clarisse. The specific details (which are absolute necessity in Clarisse's mind, and the French are always right, at least cooking-wise) of this recipe are in the parenthesis in the English translation.

Tarte aux Kiwis
Préparation : 30 mn
Cuisson : 30 à 35 mn
Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes) :
Pâte sablée:
- 250 g de farine
- 1 pincée de sel
- 125 g de sucre
- 125 g de beurre mou
- 1 oeuf

- 4 oeufs
- 50 ml de crème fraîche
- 100 g de sucre
- 1/2 jus de citron ;
- 4-6 kiwis

Préparation :

Préparer la pâte et laisser reposer le temps de faire la garniture.
Mélanger les oeufs entiers, la crème, le sucre et le jus de citron.
Mettre la pâte dans un plat à tarte et recouvrir de la crème. Y déposer les kiwis en rondelles. Faire cuire 30 à 35 mn à four chaud (thermostat 7/210°C).

Kiwi Tart
Preparation: 30 min
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 250 g flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 125 g sugar
- 125 g soft butter
- 1 egg

- 4 eggs
- 50 ml cream
- 100 g sugar
- 1 / 2 lemon juice;
- 4-6 kiwis (peeled and sliced to 1/2 thickness)


Prepare the dough (grainy consistency) and let rest time to make the filling.
Mix the eggs, cream, sugar and lemon juice. (use a whisk, and whip it til your hand hurts)
Put the dough in a pie dish and cover with cream and drop in the kiwi slices. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in hot oven (thermostat 7 / 210 ° C).
(Use wax paper to roll out the dough and put the dough in the pan (wax paper side towards the pan.) Layer the kiwi in the crust and top with cream, until just covering the kiwis. Cook until the bottom is golden brown.)


Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich

Well, a mixture of not having all the usual ingredients available to me and having new ones available to me, has led me to this recipe.

4 Italian rolls (Carrefour brand for me)
1 chicken breast (my butcher did the butterfly cut for me) sliced in 4, 1/2 thick
4 slices of ham
4 slices of cheese
1 tomato (4 slices)
Vinegrette Salad Dressing
Italian seasoning

Heat rolls in oven til warm or golden.
While they are warming, Fry/Grill/Grill Machine the chicken slices. Once the outside starts turning white, spread dressing on the chicken and sprinkle a little bit of Italian Seasoning. Top with cheese and ham (cheese in between chicken and ham). Continue cooking until the cheese starts to melt. Remove from pan.
Sprinkle the tomatoes with the Italian seasoning and fry for about 30 seconds.
Cut open the rolls. Pile on the chicken and tomato.
Bon Appétit!