Friday, September 09, 2011

Chocolate Cake ... and other random thoughts

 I just don't seem to have time to write a coherent blog post these days, so will just share a few random thoughts and a very good cake recipe.

Wednesday was Mr. T's birthday and so I baked him a cake.  Chocolate is his favorite, and the easiest, best chocolate cake I know of is Never-Fail Chocolate Cake from COOK & TELL, my favorite recipe newsletter. This cake recipe is also found in the cookbook of the same name, by Karyl Bannister. Here’s the recipe.


1 cup sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup milk
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan.

Combine the sugar, chocolate, and milk in a large saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Add the butter, remove from the heat, and cool briefly. Beat in the remaining ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. Cool in pan on rack -- or remove from the pan if desired. Frost, or top with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Makes 1 9-inch cake. (For a larger cake, the recipe may be doubled and baked in a 13x9-inch pan.)

I like a milk chocolate frosting with this. This cake is very fudgy, and a dark or fudge frosting might be too much. (But that is certainly up to you.) I adapted a frosting recipe I found on the internet some years ago.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tblsp. half & half cream (I used the fat-free kind)

Beat the softened butter in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the remaining ingredients until combined, then beat on high until frosting reaches desired consistency. (The recipe didn’t say how much frosting it would make. It doesn't seem like enough for a 13x9-inch cake, so when I double the cake recipe I add another cup of powdered sugar and another tablespoon of cream, and leave the other ingredients the same.  The recipe as printed generously frosts a  9-inch cake.)

Maybe your family will enjoy this celebratory cake too! (With school starting for many students, this might be a nice dessert for the kickoff of the school year -- or the beginning of fall, if you can wait that long to try this.)

A few other thoughts:

*  I will never forget the winter when I tried a new chocolate cake recipe almost every week.  My husband loves chocolate cake ... almost as much as he loves ice cream.  And that's saying something!

*  Didn't summer seem to fly by even more quickly than usual?  I can't believe it is September already.  I love fall -- it's my very favorite season -- but it just doesn't seem as if summer should be over yet.

*  August went by in a blur with something going on almost every weekend.  The first weekend was free but after that things got busy.  We were able to get together with dear old friends (who now live in England) for lunch one weekend.  The last weekend in August, family from Alabama was in town and we enjoyed breakfast out with them.  We also hosted a gathering here for other local family to spend time with this couple.

*  On August 15 our newest grandson was born in Utah, far from his intended birthplace of Idaho.  He arrived at 35 weeks, while his family was on vacation -- and this particular place in Utah was where he needed to be as a premie!  God directed them in their vacation plans so that this new little one would be in the right place to get the necessary care.  He's home now and doing well, but we continue to marvel at God's care for the details of our lives.

*  On Labor Day we enjoyed a fun progressive dinner with other folks from our church.  We hosted the soup course here at our home.  My friend Ginny helped me out by bringing a wonderful lentil barley vegetable soup.  I also served Italian wedding soup and broccoli cheese soup.  It was a rainy evening but the fellowship was a blessing.

*  Mr. T had a bit of time off this week due to rainy weather, and has started a small (but major) remodeling project in our dining room.  He installed new windows yesterday!  This will be lovely, when finished.  He saved all of the old trim and is going to refinish it.  Before replacing it though, he will be repainting the walls and ceiling in this room.  So this project could easily take several weeks.  I can see, too, that with the new windows and their larger expanses of glass I am going to need valances.  (The old windows had 12 individual panes, six over six.  I had gotten rid of the curtains years ago to let more light in, but now we are going to need a little something for valances -- or possibly a cafe type treatment for the bottom half of the windows instead.  So that will be a project for me!  As if I needed another one ... but it will be fun.)

*  One of my summer projects has been a Bible study time with two of my granddaughters.  What a blessing it has been to teach them, using old Sunday School curriculum, important Bible lessons along with fun projects and little choruses.  I hope to continue this on Saturdays as the Lord allows.

*  Our garden has done quite well this year ... much  better than previous years.  We've been enjoying lettuce, Swiss chard, green beans, lot of tomatoes, and winter squash.  I think we will have a fair amount of squash to enjoy through the fall and winter months ... and that's a good thing because squash is one of our favorite vegetables.

* I'm so enjoying being able to participate in Building our Homes Together with Jesus, an inspiring blog hop over at Prairie Flower Farm.  To see my posts and links to those of others, click on "Building our Homes" in the label cloud here at the top right sidebar.  I think you will enjoy this eclectic mix of encouraging posts, many of them older ones that I have done, others that are newer.  I should add that I can't vouch for every one of the links as I haven't checked out every one of them myself.

*  Our ladies' Sunday School class has been studying the book of Ephesians using the Elizabeth George Bible study, Understanding Your Blessings in Christ.  It is excellent -- informative, encouraging, rebuking, and challenging.  I think I can say we have all grown through this study.

I'm sure I had much more I wanted to say, but this is plenty for now.  My Sunday School lesson, vacuuming, laundry, and Bible lesson preparation are all calling my name!


  1. Loved hearing all your news Mrs T. And what a reminder of God's care for us with that precious baby being born in just the right place at the right time. Glad he is home now! I needed to hear that as we have a dear friend who is going through deep waters...we are praying Scripture over him in our Sunday School class tomorrow. When we cannot understand we must lean on His Word.

  2. That is so true, Arlene. Here is a verse that helps me in times like this: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33) Elizabeth George says that when inexplicable things come into our lives, we can file them between the "bookends" of God's wisdom and God's knowledge. That thought has been a great encouragement for me so many times.

  3. I think we will be trying that chocolate cake recipe soon :)
    We are so thankful to hear that your newest grandson is home and doing well ... we continue to pray that he will be a really good eater :)
    It was neat to see that you had done a Bile Study with your granddaughters. If only more grandparents would care for the spiritual lives of the their grandchildren.

  4. Good morning, 1happywife!

    It is so fun to see you visiting here! Hope you and your family enjoy the chocolate cake -- think you will need to double the recipe for sure.

    Yes, Micah is doing great -- just under 6 lbs. on Friday and the doctor said Jo needn't bring him back unless she has a concern about something.

    Stop in and visit anytime!

  5. Hi Mrs. T,

    I made it with my littles today! We had it for dessert tonight and all agreed it was a keeper :) I was tempted to double it, but my little guy was making cookies in the afternoon too. I did manage to save a small piece for my hubby's lunch box (much to his delight). Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Oh, I am so glad that your family enjoyed the cake! I love how easy it is to mix up just using a saucepan.


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