Online Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is…Danielle! Yeah, entrant #2 is the winner chosen by the number generator at Thanks for entering – hope you love the cookbook! Send me your new snail mail address and I’ll get it off to you ASAP. Congrats!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Adapted from Beverly Nye’s recipe entitled Down-In-The-Dumps Pudding from “A Family Raised On Sunshine”.

This is one heck of a cake. It’s more of a brownie with molten hot fudge bubbling below the surface! It is perfect for ice cream and – the next day – is great right out of the pan with a spoon (would I do that? oh yes!).

Beat together:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
generous 6T cocoa

Stir in:
1 cup milk
4 T vegetable oil

Spread mixture in an ungreased 9 x 13 pan.

Blend in a small bowl: 2 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa. Sprinkle over top of batter.

Pour over all: 3 cups hot water. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes.

My French Blog Obsession

I have been obsessed with reading French blogs lately. They are so interesting! What is it that makes French women so interesting and beautiful? Here are some of my favorite places to lurk:

1. Claire et Coutures
2. Lili lui
3. Mars Avril Mai
4. Nabe fabric
5. Douceur Temeraires
6. Autour d’Une Tasse de The
7. Trois-Trente
8. 22 Rue
9. Mademoiselle Milou
10. Les Manies de Melanie

That last one makes me want to have my own little French baby named Fleur just so I can knit her a sweater like that!!! Sooooo precious. Hope you enjoy the links as much as I have. I also have to thank Zoelioth – my first French blog place that I lurked.

Kitchen Cupboard Message Center

Brought to you by Apartment Therapy (great site). Inspiring, isn’t it? I love to use the inside doors of my cupboards. I’ve always placed substitution lists, measuring shortcuts, those sorts of hints and tips inside of there. Then you can just shut the cabinet and voila, nobody can see it. I know, I’m so clever (and easily pleased).

Online Giveaway: Rachael Ray’s Just In Time Cookbook!

It’s finally time for an online giveaway! Your comment could win you Rachael Ray’s 2007 cookbook called “Just In Time” and she includes recipes that cook in 15, 30 or 60 minutes. Looks like a great collection. It doesn’t appear to have ever been used – just stored on a shelf. Some of the 15 minute recipes that I saw as I was leafing through the book looked so yummy and easy to make that I was tempted to keep it! Enter by leaving a comment on this post. The winner will be chosen from all comments (one per person please) by Comments accepted until April 30, 2009. Good luck!

Yummy Hot Fudge Brownies Recipe

We’ve eaten healthy for a solid week. Talk about withdrawal. No sugar, no bread, no refined anything. It’s about time for a breakdown and if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it right: namely, hot fudge brownie. This recipe is originally titled “Down in the Dumps Pudding” in the A Family Raised on Sunshine cookbook by Beverly Nye. We heart Mrs. Nye. She has given us wonderful recipes over the years and this is, hands down, the best hot-fudge-ice-cream-brownie-combo topping ever. Promise. Stake my life on it. Give it a try!

Down-In-The-Dumps Pudding

Beat together:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 T cocoa

Stir in:
1 cup milk
4 T vegetable oil
2 cups chopped nuts (we omit this usually, even though we love nuts)

Spread mixture in ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Blend in small bowl:
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa

Sprinkle over top of batter.

Pour 3 cups hot water over all. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes. Serves well with ice cream. It comes out like a brownie with hot fudge underneath (it’s magical and divine!). Hope you enjoy it and let me know if you do give it a try.

Cheap & Easy Recipe: Ben Likes Hootenany Pancakes!

Ben likes hootenany pancakes so much that he sang for them and we got it on video. It’s a classic Rolfson recipe and oh-so-easy-and-cheap. It is a staple in our household for breakfast OR dinner. Sometimes we even have to make two pans.

Hootenany Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
6 or 7 eggs
pinch salt
1 stick butter

Cut 1 stick of butter into several chunks and put in bottom of 9×12 or 10×13 pan. Place in 400° F oven until melted. While butter is melting, whisk or blend flour, eggs, milk and salt. When butter is melted, pour into pan with swirling motion. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Pancake will puff up! Best served with elderberry syrup but also great with jelly, powdered sugar, etc. I have been known to serve these in the car in baggies – cold – and the kids eat them just as well. Enjoy!

Homemade Laundry Soap – from Diana McInelly

Thanks, Diana, for scouting this out. What a great idea. This could only come from a friend who has more boys than I do!!! Click on her boys’ pic above to see her blog.

Homemade Laundry Soap

– 1 bar of soap (I bought Ivory but most recipes call for a soap called Zote, I haven’t seen it but they say it is at wal-mart and in all fairness I didn’t look)
– 20 mule Borax
– Arm and Hammer WASHING soda

1. Shave the soap and add to 6 cups of slow boiling water and stir until dissolved.

2. Add to the water 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Washing soda. Now different recipes say different things some do 1/2 cup and others do 1 1/2 cup so I just did 1 you can play around with it.

3. After it all dissolves add 4 cups of HOT water to the bucket that you will be holding the soap in. I bought a plastic container that will hold 32 cups of water cause that is how much you will have when its all done. And it came with a hinged lid on it.

4. Pour the soap mixture to the hot water and stir

5. Now finish by adding 22 cups of water to the mixture.

6. Stir and let sit for about 24 hours

It will be a gel mixture but everyone says that the mixture will separate so you just have to stir it before you scoop it.

Scoop 1/2 cup to your laundry!

Christmas Cookies – Good ‘Ol Chocolate Chip

I had several sticks of butter softening on my counter since Thanksgiving and I knew I wanted to make cookies for the kids’ school lunch treats and as I thought of what my family likes best (and we like so many different cookies!), but what we like best is the old standby: chocolate chip. Sure the Nestle recipe is great. So is just about every other chocolate chip cookie recipe — you just can’t seem to go wrong whatever version you choose. So, I baked away and tripled the recipe and used up my butter! Some will be shared, some stored in the freezer and many packed in lunches this week. Hooray for cookies (and counters that are cleaner in the end)!

Healthy Meals Under $10

Found this article today – looked like pretty good meals and they serve at LEAST 4 people. Worth a try, anyway – especially since I went to the grocery store the other day and about passed out at the prices. They really are going up! I figured I wasn’t the only frugal person in search of such recipes. Check them out here.

Image from attributed to 123rf.

Online Giveaway – Mary Engelbreit Cookbook!

I was waxing a bit philosophical late yesterday so, let’s have a little fun! After all, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you might need a good cookbook. What is it about cookbooks? I love them all. I have an entire chicken-coop-turned-cabinet in my kitchen full of ’em. That is why I’m parting with this one as an online giveaway; it’s a great cookbook, I just have not had a chance to try any of the recipes and I thought someone else might really enjoy this just in time for Turkey Day (aka Thanksgiving)! This is Mary’s “Queen of the Kitchen” Cookbook and it includes biscuits, wafers, chowder, ribs, lamb, turkey, shrimp, waffles, pineapple cake. The pies alone include: Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie, Farmhouse Walnut Pie, Apple Cinnamon Crumb Pie, Strawberry & Lemon Tart, Deep Dish Apple Cranberry Pie, Nectarine & Blueberry Cobbler, Caramel Baked Pears and Double Pear Crisp. Ooooh, there’s Peanut Brittle Fudge Sundae…oh, crud, did I really want to part with this one??? It’s up for grabs! Rules: One entry per email/person, just make a comment on THIS post. Winner will be chosen by in two weeks. Last day to enter will be midnight on Wednesday, November 19th. Value of this giveaway is approximately $19.95.

Nana’s Chicken & Gummy Noodle Soup

Yummy gummy homemade noodles. My mother makes the best homemade chicken noodle soup EVER. Thick, gummy noodles that my kids adore. They hadn’t eaten one of my meals in weeks and they gobbled this up declaring I was the best cook in the whole world. Cheap, easy, delicious. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Nana’s Homemade Chicken & Gummy Noodle Soup:

Bring chicken parts (best with skin and bone) with one chopped onion and an optional clove of garlic (use whatever chicken you’ve got on hand and as much as you want) to boil in a large stock pot of water. Drain chicken, straining and keeping strained broth. Cool chicken in fridge until you’re ready to pull off the meat. For noodles: Beat 6 eggs (you can use the whole egg – we’re not fussy here) with flour adding one cup at a time until it becomes a very soft dough consistency. Being very generous with flour, roll out onto the counter into a rectangle shape. Roll up with lots of flour and cut into discs that will unroll as noodles (the dough will stick to itself if you didn’t use enough flour!). Seriously, be generous with the flour. Let the dough strips stay on your counter for about 3 hours or until you’re ready to make the soup. While you’re doing that, you can pick the meat off the chicken bones, ready to add back to the soup later.

About 20 minutes before you’d like to eat, bring the broth to a boil – add a little bouillon for flavor – if you want sliced carrots, add them now. Add the noodles, a few at a time, with extra flour on them, to the broth and stir occasionally as you add them so they don’t stick. Noodles will cook in about 20 minutes. Adjust heat as needed. The extra flour on the noodles thickens the broth. Return chicken to soup and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

The Winner of the Blissful Brownies Giveaway is…

…Kara, commenter #2, who said, “how cool are you?!! yummy! i need to enter more online giveaway’s…have you won a lot? hey, how’s ebay by the way? i took a break over the summer that is now lasting thru the fall :). i LOVED the cash from ebay, but now that i’m not doing it i love the stress free days as well :). i need to find the strength to re-list all my stuff!!”. Thanks for entering, everybody – there were only 12 entries so your chances were good. I’m still trying to figure out something great to giveaway this week so check back as I’ll have found something good by the end of the week for sure. Kara’s entry was chosen numerically by random from For those of you who care about such things, comment #7 came in second place – I wish I had a consolation prize (maybe next time)! I hope you enjoy the brownie recipes from the book and, hey, feel free to send me some!

Online Giveaway – Blissful Brownies Cookbook!

I love entering giveaways online so I thought I’d finally host one of my own. BLISSFUL BROWNIES is a fabulous cookbook, published in 2007. More imporantly, here are some of the different types of brownie recipes: Chocolate , Fudge , Pecan, Double Chocolate, Sticky Chocolate, White Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Cappuccino, Mocha, Ginger Chocolate Chip, Sour Cream, Walnut & Cinnamon, Banana Cardamom, Black Forest, Toffee Apple, Rocky Road, Apricot, Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake…just to name a few. It also includes an entire section at the back on bars, e.g. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, Almond Bars, Macadamia Nut Caramel Bars, + MORE! All you have do to be entered to win is leave a comment on this post before midnight on Sunday, October 19th. The winner will be randomly drawn from the comments. Oh, and, shipping is on me (contiguous 48 states, please).

My Mummy Halloween Ideas

Okay – I couldn’t find my mummy cupcakes (they were like Kara’s except the lines were mostly horizontal only having chocolate cupcake underneath and leaving a swath where the eyes would be so you could just peek at the cupcake and then having red dots for the eyes). They were cute but I have no witnesses – sorry!

I did find an old mummy cheese log surrounded by crackers that I had made for a church event. You can make any recipe cheese log you’d like. Pre-made and purchased worked great for me. Just make a savory cream cheese based dip, fill your piping tube and mummify the orange cheese. Olives for “eyes” and other veggie accoutrements work great, too. Use your imagination!

One of my favorite magazines for a Mom with and a home based business is Working Mother. I no longer subscribe but they have the best time-saving tips, recipes, etc. I think every Mom should read it – just to save time (isn’t every mother strapped for time?). I don’t think I got this costume idea from there, but…one of the easiest, cheapest and cutest costume ideas I’ve ever seen was this mummy – this was Jack in 2006. So very scary. Ah, the memories…they are growing too quickly for sure!