Friday, February 26, 2010

Chocolate Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Jonathan asked me to buy him some muffins at Sam's Club the next time I shopped there; his favorite is the chocolate and he wanted to eat them while driving to class. However, the price has gone up to almost 7-dollars! The muffins are over sized and I am sure 7-dollars for 12 giant muffins is still a great deal but to me it's just too much.
So I began a search which led me to a blog that led me to this recipe on The Food Network. I noticed, while gathering my ingredients this morning, that the recipe did not have salt listed. No salt? Wow, how can that be? So I stopped my preparations and began reading comments listed under the original recipe to see what was going on; after a little reading I realized the original recipe needed a little tweaking.
I must say these are the very best chocolate muffins I have ever had! Here is the recipe I used after taking suggestions from the comments left on the original recipe page.

Chocolate Muffins with Chocolate Chips

1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 to 1 1/2 Cups chocolate chips
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine dry ingredients; add liquid and mix well. Add chocolate chips. Place in paper lined muffin tins and bake 20 minutes or until done. The recipe states it makes 12 muffins but I ended up with 20 muffins.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Winter is still hanging on...But Spring arrived at the post office this morning!
Elizabeth wants to name all the babies but I do not think she can come up with 100-names!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ballet Recital

For the past 3 years Elizabeth had been taking dance lessons from a family operated ballet school; but due to their prices slowly going up and the very short recital parts the students were given we decided to leave. Elizabeth was so sad having to give up dance but thankfully a friend told me of a young girl who taught ballet and by January Elizabeth was taking lessons once again.
The new teacher has been teaching dance, as well as choreographing recitals, since she was 10-years old! (She is currently 15.) Elizabeth really likes her new teacher and I must say today was the best recital Elizabeth has ever been in!
The recital was performed twice with a reception after each performance; our contribution to the reception was covered pretzels and banana bread.
Today was so perfect, all the little girls had a blast dressing up in fun costumes and dancing on stage. I'm not sure who was more excited, the little girls or the mothers taking pictures of the little girls!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

While browsing the shelves at our local library book sale I was surprised to find books on miniature doll houses.I must say I was pretty excited.
One of the books has detailed instructions on making furniture.
And the best part, all the books were half price!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Streusel Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake fresh from the oven....yummy, yummy, yummy....add to it a cup of hot chocolate and you have a perfect breakfast.This recipe comes from the "Betty Crocker's Cookbook" I received from my mom and dad more than 25 years ago. The front cover and back cover are off and the pages are stained and wrinkled but the recipes still taste good!
Streusel Coffee Cake

2 cups flour

1cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened

1 cup milk

1 egg

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Mix ingredients well; pour into a greased baking dish. Top with streusel. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.


1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespooons firm margarine or butter

Mix well until crumbly.

I like to double the streusel when making this coffee cake.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Late Breakfast or Early Lunch

Yesterday I asked Elizabeth if she wanted to go to Denny's for their Free Grand Slam Breakfast...she said "no" because it was too cold to stand outside for an hour.
After a little encouragement, and listing all the items that would be on her plate, she agreed.
We left the house without eating anything and arrived at Denny's by 10:30...poor Elizabeth was "starving" when we were seated at our table...and she just may have been starving because she ate her food faster than I did!
Our total money spent was a 3-dollar tip...our waitress was so very nice and so very stressed out from her very hectic morning! Our total time waiting to be seated was around 30-minutes and thankfully we were able to wait indoors where it was warm.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Planning and Planting

After the nice garden success we had last year I am anxious to plan ahead and make sure to ask lots of questions so we can do even better this year. I visited the local county extension office and obtained a sheet that shows the dates for planting vegetables in my area and I also stopped by the farm store to talk and ask questions.
Last year, after the garden season was over, we purchased a small portable tiller that attaches to our weed eater. It worked wonderfully for a few hours and then sadly a bearing or gear broke. Before the tiller trouble we managed to prepare the ground for planting carrots, radishes and garlic. All the snow and rain we have had this winter has made the ground very moist and very easy to work!
This is my first time to plant garlic and I am anxious to see how it looks as it grows.
I purchased three varieties of potatoes for planting this year; red, white and yellow. After these dry out for a few day they will be planted next.
The only item I forgot to buy was onions and hopefully I will get them next week. It sure feels good to be thinking about the garden once again.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

College Life Woes

Look what happens when your son opens the door to his Explorer and his backpack, filled with books and his laptop, falls out onto the ground.The accident occurred a few months ago and we thought all was well...until last week when his computer screen began changing.
A new laptop was needed in a's a good thing Jonathan had money saved from his part time tutoring job!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From Cracker To Cookie

Several years ago my mom wrote a recipe book for us kids of dishes we grew up eating. This book is well loved and each of us kids treasure it greatly! Saltine Cracker Cookies

Line an 11 x 17 cookie sheet with foil and oil the foil.Place saltine crackers on foil; be sure to fill all open spaces with crackers.Bring to boil 1 cup butter; do not use margarine.
And 1 cup brown sugar.
Boil for 3 minutes.Pour onto crackers and spread well.Bake in a 350 oven for 5 minutes.As soon as you pull the pan from the oven sprinkle the top with a 12-ounce package of chocolate chips. I like using miniature chips because they melt faster.As the chocolate chips begin to soften spread out evenly.Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts.Allow to harden; if you are impatient, like I am , place in the fridge or freezer to quicken the process.Store in a covered container.

This recipe has been linked up to Balancing Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday Parade of Food.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Four Dollars Well Spent

One 4-dollar denim dress...Produced a cute denim skirt for Elizabeth...
And added variety to my button collection.
I have to say...the velvet buttons alone were worth the 4-dollars!

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