Mexican Chocolate Cake

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We got a big update on our house and its schedule today! So exciting!

I’ve been meaning to do a big house update but it keeps getting pushed aside in the busy holiday hustle and bustle. Plus, we had some drama related to some framing in our house and I didn’t think it was appropriate to write about it we figured it out.

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That being said, the drywall is up in our house and the stucco will be getting applied this week. Ultimately all of this will work out that our house will be move in ready for the end of January/ start of February. I just can’t wait to move in!

We have already purchased our fridge, washer, dryer, our bed frame, and dining room set. Other things have been picked out like Autumn’s bed and some artwork for some walls but we have lots of shopping to do! I’m currently obsessed with curtains so I’m trying to figure them out in all the different rooms. So far, we only have the curtains for the bonus room and I am in love with them. Plus, I got them for a steal as they were sale and I have a designer discount too!

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I’m looking forward to getting it all set up and feel like home. It is going to be so incredible!

In other news, I’m addicted to this cake.

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It’s the perfect balance of chocolate and spice. The spice being the cinnamon, so it’s not spicy, but it adds an extra perfect something that is killer in this cake. The way that salt brings out flavors, the cinnamon really amps up the flavors of the chocolate.

Plus, it has an incredible frosting on top that seals the deal. Bliss.

The cake and frosting are both really easy to make so I hope you’ll whip it up asap so you can enjoy a big slice, just like me!

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Mexican Chocolate Cake

Makes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting

  • 1/1 Cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pound (1 package) confectioners’ powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Process

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 metal pan.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the butter, oil, cocoa, and water. Heat until the butter is melted and everything is combined. The mixture just needs to be warm enough to melt the butter, do not make it to hot or it will scramble your eggs
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in the melted butter mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Five minutes before the cake is done, prepare the icing. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat on medium until bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat, the add the vanilla extract and the confectioners’ sugar. Then mix in the nuts.
  6. Let cake cool before you pour the icing over the whole cake.

Cake and frosting recipes adapted from Martha Stewart

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Lazy Apple Pie Cake

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Hives! Hives! Hives! Stupid Stupid Hives!

One of our dogs spent yesterday at the vet since he was having an allergic reaction to something. Poor pup.

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It all started on Tuesday night when my husband noticed Kemper’s face was extremely puffy. Instead of looking like a chiseled Boston Terrier, he looked like a Shar Pei. He would let you touch his face and body but something clearly happened. We think it was an allergic reaction to a bug bite, or he ingested a bug. Good times.

Of course, he had just been cuddling with Autumn in her bed and another in the room next to her’s before this so we carefully searched her bed (while she still slept in it!) and the other. No luck at finding any bugs.

We gave him Benadryl and had him sleep with us to monitor him, especially his breathing. Of course he threw up IN bed at 4am, and then 2 more times before 4.45am. I brought him to drop off at the vet’s office at 7am, but they couldn’t take him until 9 because they can’t take brachycephalic dogs with facial swelling without a vet in yet, in case something happened. So we headed to my office so I could grab my laptop, so I could work from home while I figure this all out. Once 9am rolled around he was dropped off for some shots. Then at 11.30 they said I could pick him up around 3. awesome! Then at 2.20 they said the swelling and hives were back and they needed to for more shots and wanted to do a medicated bath. And then at 3.45 they said the swelling was down and could be picked up at 6.30 since they think they were finally getting a head of it and he didn’t need to spend the night

He was very excited to see Price at pick up, but then promptly crashed from the crazy day and all those meds. After his 8pm dose of benedryl he could barely keep his head up. ha! Price have him a half dose at 2.30am and another at 7 this morning and it seems like we are in the clear.

So that is my story about my dog with some unknown (probably bug bite) allergic reaction.

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In other news, cake!

And better yet, it is just like a pie. I’d say it most closely resembles a crumble.

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Pieces are crumbly when served since the cake topping gets nice and crisp. Like I said, it’s similar to a crumble. Anyway, I think it’s great to serve in a bowl with some ice cream or the glaze I made with the cake.

The glaze is a combination of cream cheese, powered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. So healthy… but it’s so good for a treat from time to time.

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Enjoy some cake today! I think we all could use a slice.

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Lazy Apple Pie Cake

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2- 21 ounce cans of apple pie filling
  • 15.25 ounce box of spice cake mix
  • 3/4 Cup butter, melted

For the glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Cup powder sugar
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Process

  1. Preheat 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan.
  3. Dump the apple pie mixture in the bottom of the pan. DO NOT DRAIN. Cut the apples to make small pieces.
  4. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the apple pie filling.
  5. Pour the melted better evenly over the cake mix to moisten all of it.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown.
  7. While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer and beat until a smooth glaze is achieved.
  8. Serve pieces with glaze. (warming the glaze slightly doesn’t hurt 🙂 )

Easy Pumpkin Crumble Cake

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My mom had Autumn this past weekend and it was awesome for everyone all around.

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My mom loves to get to spend time with Autumn and Autumn loves the special time with her too. She skips naps, gets tons of stickers, does extra fun things, and tricks my mom into buying Trix cereal. And when Autumn returns I hear how I don’t do things like GG, I am doing things wrong. It’s so dang funny actually.

For me and Price it gives us a chance to have a bit of a parenting break to tackle things on our to-do lists, sleep in a bit, and reconnect. This time we went out on Friday night and on Saturday night. I don’t think that we have done that in 5 years. We just had the chance so we went all in.

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We went to Bonefish Grill on Friday night since we had a coupon and I can never resist an opportunity for some Bang Bang Shrimp.

Price had originally decided that we would go to Bern’s, a steak house in Tampa, so that we could celebrate his b-day a bit early. (His birthday is next Thursday!) But the morning he spent fishing wore him out so we lollygagged around in the afternoon and decided to stay closer to home. We went to Sunset Grill, just a 10 minute drive away, to catch the sunset. We had an incredible meal, enjoyed live music, and watched the sun slink beneath the horizon while standing on the beach.

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Just so perfect. It was a wonderful time. I really value the time that we get together, especially solo. We have been together for over 11 years so it’s always so nice to get a chance to spend time together, other than sorting clothes and loading the dishwasher.

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Anyway, it’s time for something sweet!

And it has pumpkin… all you guys can go nuts now!! ha!

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I have succumbed to making another dump cake. What is wrong with me?!?! Don’t answer that…

It’s just that they are so good. Ugh. But it’s true. They are good, and so simple.

This is not as simple as other pumpkin dump cakes since I added a crumble on top, but I swear it’s barely anymore effort and it’s so good. The crumble gives the cake a wonderful texture, and adds a great nutty, cinnamon flavor.

You know you want to get a big slice of this cake!

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Easy Pumpkin Crumble Cake

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

For the crumble Topping

  • 1 Cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, melted

For the cake

  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounce can of  evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups sugar
  • 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 Cup butter, cut into very thin slices

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick cookig spray
  2. To make the crumble, combine all of the ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, pumpkin pie spice, eggs and sugar; mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into the 9×13 pan.
  5. Sprinkle with the dry cake mix on the pumpkin layer.
  6. Evenly place the pieces of butter on top of the dry cake mix
  7. Using your fingers, sprinkle the crumble topping evenly all over the top.
  8. Bake  for 40-45 minutes or until firm.

The Laziest Peach Pie Cake

The Laziest Peach Pie Cake

So this cake is typically called a dump cake, but I just can’t deal with making a cake with such a horrible name.

For real it’s horrible.

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Dump. Dump. Dump.

Who thought that was a good idea?!?!

So I am calling it a lazy cake. It’s basically that.

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Plus, I didn’t exactly just dump all of the ingredients together. I know that most recipes just call for dumping the ingredients in layers, but I had read from a lot of blogs that this was a hit or miss method as the areas that were not touching the fruit or moisten by butter are dry and cakey. Boo!

So I just gave it all a good stir to make sure the cake was moistened and then I slapped this sucker in the oven. Once it was done, we dug in with some whipped cream. I think ice cream would be great as well.

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Hopefully you have all the ingredients for this cake in your pantry right now. If not, you better get to the store and pick up the few things you need for this Lazy Peach Pie Cake.

I really love fresh peaches and using them in baked goods, but I was impressed with how well the cake came out with the canned fruit. Adding in a bit of cinnamon and vanilla extract jazzes is up too.

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Be lazy, make this cake, enjoy!

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The Laziest Peach Pie Cake

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 29-ounce can sliced peaches in heavy syrup, undrained
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup butter, at room temperature

Process

  1. Preheat 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan.
  3. Dump the peaches in the bottom of the pan. DO NOT DRAIN. Cut the peaches to make small pieces.
  4. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the peaches. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix gently to moisten the cake mix. Do not leave dry lumps behind- they will stay dry and lumpy!
  5. Cut the butter into thin slices and evenly dot on top the whole pan.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown.

Tres Leches Cake

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I saw Bad Moms this weekend and I freaking L-O-V-E-D it!!!

It was hilarious and dead on with how I feel related to being a working mom.

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In summary… It’s god damn hard, but it’s the best thing ever. Hectic life filled with hilarious moments. And it really does take a village to raise kids. Maybe the village is for the kid, maybe the village is for you.

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Finding great mom friends is key. Shit, finding any great friend is key, but having people you can really relate to helps. Plus, there is a good chance you can dump your kid off at their house so you can get a break. And then you can do them the same favor. Also, it totally works to just hang at each other’s houses and let your kids run a muck while you chat (with some wine!)

I think you should go see it. The whole cast is great. The story is great. The sad moments are great (yeah, I cried). The funny parts are great.

Get some girlfriends together and go out for some drinks and then go see the movie.

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And if you can’t, then I suggest you watch the ladies of “I Mom So Hard“. I watch their videos and I cry laugh at them. they are so awesome and real.

In addition to going to see Bad Moms, I insist you make this Tres Leches Cake to celebrate this week’s Taco Tuesday. It’s a wonderful way to finish off  a taco dinner.

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I mean, you can’t resist a big slice of cake that has been soaked in a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and half and half. Damn good. Plus then it’s topped off with a whipped cream frosting.

I don’t know about you but I think a cake that is soaked in a mixture of 3 rich milks is pretty damn awesome. I am temped to add some rum to it next time. Oh that would be some trouble!!

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Lately, I have been putting vanilla bean paste in just about everything that calls for vanilla extract. I love getting to see all those flecks of vanilla beans in there. Bliss.

Something that this cake requires is a kitchen scale. It makes for more precise baking. Really, I try to use it for all of my baking. You can convert it to use a measuring cup but the weight will make the amount of each ingredient more exact. (Plus, you can weight your dogs food… fatties are on a diet!!!)

Grab yourself a big slice of this Tres Leches Cake for dessert!

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Tres Leches Cake

makes 1 9×13 cake, 24 small pieces

Ingredients

  • 6 3/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 ounces half-and-half (or heavy cream)

For the topping

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • maraschino cherries

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 13 by 9-inch metal pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.Set aside.
  3. Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Then add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  5. In 3 batches, add the flour mixture to the batter, mix just until combined.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top of the cake is lightly golden.
  7. Let the cake cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork.
  8. Prepare the glaze while the cake cools completely. Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half (or heavy cream). Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.
  9. To make the topping, combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed, then turn up to medium speed and whisk until thick.
  10. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cut and top each piece with a cherry.

Adapted from Alton Brown 

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