Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Food: Texas Sheet Cake


A favorite tradition of mine growing up involved driving to grandma and grandpa’s house (either one, both sets lived about 15-20 minutes away), hanging out with cousins and eating dessert. My parents and aunts and uncles would sit around in the front room, while us cousins would play outside (swinging from the rotating clothes dryer, despite my grandma’s scoldings) or whine at the kitchen table for something sweet to eat.

My grandma cooked the best desserts for us. Texas sheet cake being one of them.


It’s been about 7 years since she passed, and I miss her still.

My grandpa Scott sends out weekly email updates to his kids and grandkids. He often leaves us with little stories about her, but this week it was a several-paragraphed tribute to her and her legacy. I’ve been thinking about her a lot and the things that she taught me.

She had a rough childhood, her parents both dying when she was only 14. She moved from one sibling’s home to another, ending up in Elko. Despite her misfortunes and poor circumstances she was well-educated, motivated and had amazing self-discipline. The kind that I wish I had when it comes to housework. She made dresses and suits for all 6 of her kids (I loved playing with her manual sewing machine – you know the kind with the iron push pedal on the bottom). She was stern, but oh so loving. Oh how I wish I could talk to her now and hear her stories about her childhood and her sewing. I’ll just eat some of her texas sheet cake instead.


Grandma Scott’s Texas Sheet Cake

makes one 17×23 jelly roll pan
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspon soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • cinnamon and chipotle powder, optional

Melt butter and cocoa powder in a sauce pan, slowly stir in milk and stir until smooth. In a small bowl dissolve soda, buttermilk, salt, eggs and vanilla (and spices). In a large bowl, sift together flour and sugar. Pour chocolate mixture and buttermilk mixture into the large bowl and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured jelly-roll cookie sheet. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes.




  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • cinnamon and chipotle powder, optional

Pour melted butter and cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, stirring until smooth. Frost while the cake is warm. Add sprinkles.



the original recipe calls for 1 cup boiling water instead of milk, the milk makes it really creamy. I also added cinnamon to this cake yesterday and it is divine. Next time I will be adding cinnamon and chipotle. Penelope will hate the spicy chipotle, but that just means more cake for me!

Do you have any traditional recipes that your parents/grandparents would make for you when you were little?

Food: Airy and Rich Chocolate Frosting

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I’m over at the Rhodes Bread Blog sharing the worlds best chocolate butter with step-by-step photos. It’s so easy though, you’ll be wondering why I took all those step-by-step pictures.

Click here for the full recipe

Felix was so funny while I shot these pictures. He was like a lion stalking his prey. He crawled up to the tray so slowly and carefully, never taking his eyes off mine. I think he was pretty shocked I let him take this bite.

While making the frosting, Penelope got to lick a beater and Felix got the shaft. I knew he would make a huge mess, but I really should have stripped him down and let him go to town on the extra beater. Poor kid was so disappointed. I made it up to him after with a few heaping spoonfuls of the stuff. He definitely knows how to get his way.

Food: Hootenannies and Hot Chocolate


It dumped about 3 feet of snow in our neighborhood over the weekend. Over 24 hours, Chris and my brother-in-law shoveled our driveway 4 times. It sure makes me grateful we got a snow blower back in August. While they were outside clearing paths, I was inside making hibernation-worthy foods. I really don’t cook much, but when I go all-out I make sure everyone on Instagram knows about it. I had a few requests for recipes, so here they are.

Hootenannies are an old family favorite. We have them yearly for our Thanksgiving sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa Newton’s, and I make them whenever I need to warm up the house in the morning. The recipe is so easy, you’ll have it memorized in no time.

Hootenannies (or German Pancakes)

Serves 4-6

  • 1/4 cup butter*
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 425F. While preheating place your 9×13 pan (I use metal) with butter in the oven. Blend milk, eggs and flour in a blender. Once butter is melted, pour the batter into the pan and back in the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sides are browned and puffy. It’s always fun to get Penelope to help me take the hootenannies out of the oven, the batter gets HUGE and deflates as it cools. Serve with cream and syrup. I served mine with buttermilk caramel syrup using this recipe. It was divine.

When Chris and I traveled to Brazil 5 years ago, we were in Iguaçu Falls in May and it was freezing!! No one down there ever turned on the heat and since we were just backpacking through the country, we didn’t have room to buy or pack socks and sweaters. I was cold to the bone. We walked past a little cafe one night and enjoyed the best hot chocolate I had ever had. It was melted chocolate that coated my entire insides and warmed me up instantly. Later, I found a place in Salt Lake that delivers the same kind of gourmand experience: Hatch Family Chocolates. Starbucks’s caramel hot chocolate tastes like hot water compared to Hatch’s. Problem is, I can’t make the 40 minute drive whenever I’m feeling a chill and chocolate craving coming on. So I made up my own recipe. This is for dark hot chocolate, but you can lighten it up by adding more milk.

Dark Hot Chocolate (the REAL stuff)

serves 2-4

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, dutch process is best
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon OR chipotle chili powder (optional)

The biggest mistake people make when cooking hot chocolate form scratch, is not melting the chocolate properly. It takes a little bit longer this way, but the texture is smooth and amazing. Melt butter and heat milk in a small sauce pan over med-high heat. Turn down heat to medium and add sugar and cocoa. Constantly stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. This will create a thick syrup. Once it’s perfectly smooth, add milk a few tablespoons at a time until incorporated. I usually have a cluster of tasting spoons to test the flavor and temperature. I’ve usually added about 2 cups of milk by the time I’m done, then I continue to stir it until it’s hot enough. Add flavorings and serve. Do not let it sit on the stove or get too hot, or else a milky film will form on the top. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

If you happen to have GOOD chocolate on hand, I use about a 1/2 a bag of Guittard/Ghirardelli’s dark chips instead of cocoa sugar and butter.

Food: Butter Pecan Cookies & Salted Chocolate Frosting


I’ve been thinking about this combination for some time now. I love butter pecan anything and dark chocolate anything, so I imagined the combination would be delicious.

And it is. So good.

Butter Pecan Cookies & Salted Chocolate Frosting

makes about 26 cookies

  • 1 butter pecan cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup oil (half oil/half applesauce is ideal)
  • 1/3 cup flour
In a large bowl, mix above ingredients together. The dough will be really soft and gooey. Spoon small portions of dough into a shallow bowl of granulated sugar and cocoa. Coat evenly and place 2-3 inches apart on a lined or greased cookie sheet. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. The cookies will be soft, so allow to cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before moving onto a cookie sheet. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • 5 T butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (dutch process is the bomb)
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
  • dash salt
In a double broiler, melt butter and chocolate until smooth, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. In a new bowl, combine melted cocoa, whipped cream, powdered sugar and salt. Mix on medium speed until combined and smooth.

Then just like that, watch them disappear. Hope you enjoy!

Devilishly Good Cake


It was Chris’s Birthday on Saturday! Sadly enough, we spent the whole day car shopping. It’s probably the worst thing ever, besides getting all of your teeth pulled all at once. We had already planned on having family over on Sunday so we treated Sunday night as his real birthday. We had his brothers & sisters over for dinner, cake & a rousing game of Bridge. Chris’s request was to have chocolate instead of cake. I found this to be the perfect mixture of both.

I’m over on This Week For Dinner sharing A flourless chocolate cake recipe. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it. It’s called Chocolate idiot cake & it only has 5 ingredients. It’s definitely my kind of cake.

Back to Chris. I just want to say how happy I am that he’s here and in my life. He’s hilarious, smart, goofy, an awesome dad & is really, really strong. Here are a couple of things that I love about him:

  • He’s a fast learner & his enthusiasm for learning is contagious
  • He’s a fantastic guitar player, even only a year after starting (and teaching himself!)
  • He writes the best songs that make me smile
  • He’s a fantastic dad & doesn’t shy away at a chance to play/cuddle with the kiddos
  • He can dead-lift like a million pounds
  • He likes to have input in our home decor
  • He’s a fantastic listener
  • He speaks Portuguese
Happy Birthday, my Christopher. I love you.
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