Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chocolate Cake?

My all time favorite cake recipe is from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can. There is nothing better. My sister is the one who told me she made it and really liked it. I had never tried it before and Hershey's Cocoa is a staple in my pantry and always has been. Anyway it is so moist and very easy to make. I had doubts at first because you add 1 cup of boiling water to the batter and the batter is so thin, but it made the best chocolate cake I have ever had! It was so good I do not need to make frosting for it. Let me tell you it really works when you need a chocolate fix too. Well I've been in the mood for a vanilla cake and vanilla milk for a couple weeks now
( that is another story) and I usually make a Hot Milk cake recipe but decided to try the Hershey's recipe without the chocolate to see if it is just as good as the chocolate recipe! It worked! I substituted flour for the cocoa and followed the rest of the recipe exactly. The result was great! Although I have a can of cream cheese frosting standing by, the cake is good without it.
Here's the recipe.
Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake Altered

2 cups sugar         
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour              
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda                      
1 teaspoon salt                  
2 eggs
1 cup milk            
1/2 cup coconut oil          
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan or 2 nine inch round pans  and I would guess a 13x9 pan would work too, although I have not tried it.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in boiling water(batter will be very thin). Pour into pans and bake 30-35 mins. until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Organizing Fabric

I came across this idea last year on the internet somewhere. I can't remember where exactly I saw it, but filed it away in the back of my head till I could use the idea myself for my collection of fabrics. Here's a picture of the finished mini bolts in the cd wall unit I purchased. As you can see I am only part way in my organization. But you can see what it will look like when completely done. I was so excited to be able to do this! I bought 2 cd wall units from Lowes. I think they were $80 each. Very easy to put together. I then put them in the closet in the sewing/craft room. That way the fabrics will be behind closed doors so the lights can not damage their color.The idea I had seen was mini bolts that were kind of pricey, acid free and they had little notches in their bolts to hold the fabric. I thought of different things to use myself to be less expensive like foam core board, the metal used in signs. None were less expensive till I came across these comic book insert boards. Acid free and one package contains 100 boards for $12! Now that was a deal!
I found I could get as much as 8yds wrapped on one of these. Here's what I do. I lay the fabric out in front of me the folded edge near me and the selvage edge away from me.I fold the selvage edge in towards me about 2"-3"

Then I fold in half towards me again. So now it is about 10 inches wide by however many yards you have. I have even wrapped 1/2 yd. pieces on these boards.
Next lay the mini bolt on the fabric and fold over about 4" then wrap till you get towards the end of your yardage. I then fold the ends in towards eachother to make a point. Then pin it in place making sure to have the pin point tucked into the fabric so there will be no getting stuck when stacking them on going through them on the shelves. I bought floral pins with decorative heads at Wal-Mart. All the other pins I tried to use kept bending. But these seem to do the trick.
I don't know about you but this will be so much better than trying to remember what fabric is in what bin in the shed or the garage when I want to work on some project. I know I will not be able to fit ALL my fabrics on here. I actually wish I could weed them out to only have enough to fill these 2 units. I decided the one will hold all my blending fabrics in all the various colors. The other will hold the floral, football, holiday and themed type fabrics. There was a couple of the mini bolts that I wrapped 5 fabrics on together, just staggered them a little so I could see them all. That way the fabric for one project was all together on the one bolt. I'm sure it will take me months in between real life to get this completely done. But that is ok. I know it will be done eventually and I love what I have done already!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Garden Pests

Some little garden pests have been munching on my broccoflower I am growing! I usually don't have any garden pests when I grow veggies through the winter. Maybe the birds that visit daily are munching on the plants.I was so excited when I found seeds for the broccoflower. I have only seen it in the fresh produce at the grocery stores. Looks kind of like a light green caulifower. It has a sweet flavor to it. I have 17 plants growing. I have to go to the nursery and find an organic way to keep the pests away.

Still cleaning and organizing. Once I get that done maybe I can get a couple of crafty tutorials posted.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Putting away the decorations

 I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a fabulous time ringing in the New Year.We did, and now the lights are coming down and being packed away sanely and separately so they are easy to put up again next December.I have all the tree decorations packed away and the tree is down. The living room has been put back in order and vacuumed. Now I need to tackle putting away the Autumn, Christmas, and Winter Holiday fabrics and pull out the Valentine and St. Paddy's Day fabrics and get some dolls made.I did not find the time to get any dolls made after I made a couple witches. I just got too busy with the craft show preparations and online orders. I did a whopping business with those scented coasters. I also have a lot of supplies that really need to be put away and the craft room needs A LOT of help to get it back in workable order! Whew, what a mess. I'm not the neatest when I am creating.
 Had to have people out here 3 times over the last 3 weeks to get the house heater actually fixed. 3rd time was a charm I guess. It is now working again, I don't have to wear my coat in the house anymore.
We celebrated our oldest grandson's 11th birthday yesterday. He's got about 3-4 inches to go and he's as tall as me, they grow so fast. He'll be going to Jr. High next school year, just doesn't seem possible.
After all that cleaning and putting away we got done today I am ready to pull up a comfy chair and read my latest Annie's Attic Mysteries Book. I am on The Deed in The Attic. I'm so hooked on this series as well as the Elm Creek Quilts series of books too. A new one came out in November and I missed it! That has to go on my wish list.
Here's to all, I hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy New Year.