Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chocolate Bar Brownies

Baking With Angela

You’ve got friends coming over for dessert, and you decide at the last minute that dessert you had originally planned wasn’t all that exciting. Sure, a Pizzookie may sound pretty good, but it’s not what you want to serve your guests. So what do you do? Make chocolate bar brownies of course!
September 25 005

I was inspired by this post over on Recipe Girl. We don’t have Symphony Bars here in Calgary, so I just used Hershey’s almond chocolate bars. This recipe couldn’t be easier: mix up your favorite brownie batter. Layer half of it in the pan, top with a layer of chocolate bars and then finish it off with the rest of the brownie batter. Bake, and devour! For the record, my guests LOVED these brownies. We served them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Bar Brownies
Adapted from Recipe Girl

(Printable Recipe)

Brownie batter (use your favorite recipe)
2 Hershey’s Almond Chocolate Bars

1. Mix up your brownie batter. Pour half of it into a lined and greased 9x9” pan.
2. Break chocolate bar up into pieces and layer over top of brownie batter. Top with remaining brownie batter and bake according to your brownie recipe’s directions.
September 25 001September 25 003

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Over the summer, I was looking for cheap/free things to do. Preferably things that I hadn’t done before. While aimlessly Googling things one night, I stumbled upon the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. I was immediately intrigued because I didn’t even realize that Calgary had a bird sanctuary! I stuck it on my summer list and figured I would get to it. Obviously, I never got around to it during the summer, but I’m so glad that I didn’t.

Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 009 Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 016

Most of September has been rainy, but last weekend, it suddenly warmed up quite a bit. I figured it was the perfect time to get outside and enjoy a beautiful Saturday, so I rounded up my sisters and some friends, and organized a trip to the bird sanctuary.

Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 035 Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 058

I am so glad that I waited until fall to go because I was overwhelmed by how gorgeous everything was surrounded by yellow leaves. Sure, we didn’t see too many birds, but we did catch a glimpse of several fawn.

Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 078 Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 106

We ended off our little walk with a big picnic feast. I love when everyone contributes a little something to the meal. I think we spent more time sitting around the picnic table then we did wandering the trail. In my books, I’ll count this as a perfect fall day.

Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 056 Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 118

What’s your idea of a perfect fall day?

Upcoming CSN Review

Everyone’s favorite online store, CSN has contacted me to do a review. Ever since I got the email, I’ve been browsing the site endlessly. They have anything you need whether it be a stylish handbag, a chic bar stool or even cute cookware!

I’ve been contemplating reviewing a waffle maker…

waffel maker

{Found here.}

or maybe even a Panini press.



It’s just too bad that my new favorite espresso machine, the Nespresso Essenza, doesn’t ship to Canada. I’d be all over that!

Essenza Espresso Machine in Titan Gray-Aeroccino In-Pack


I’m still trying to convince Stephen to let me buy it anyway!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday


1. Growing up, what was one favorite item that you had to have with you at all times?
This is a tough one. I don’t remember ever having a blankie or even a favorite stuffed animal that I carried everywhere. I suppose when I learned how to read, you would never find me without a book. Even now, I almost always have one in my purse.

2. Being an adult, what is one favorite item that you have to have with you at all times, and what happens if you do not have it with you? Do you lose your sanity or just go back home to get it?
Maybe this is silly, but my cell phone. If I don’t have it with me, I go back home and get it.

3. Where is your favorite place to be to just hide away from everything and breathe for a moment?
If I’m at home, then it’s in my bed under the covers. No, not with my head under. It’s the best place to have a good cry. If I’m not at home, then I lock myself in a bathroom for a few minutes to regroup.

4. What is your favorite thing about your partner? (If you don’t have a partner, then someone who is very close and will always be in your life)
I love how calm and grounded Stephen is. He keeps me sane and brings me down back to earth.

5. What is your favorite thing about your job? (If you don’t have a job, then what is your favorite thing that you do during your day?)
There’s so many things that I love about my job! I guess the main thing would be the relationships that I form with the kids. They mean so much to me.

6. What is your favorite lesson that your parents taught you growing up? Looking back, is it something that you want to use to teach your children when they reach that age?
Love unconditionally. Doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from or what they do, love them and accept them for who they are. I’ll definitely be passing that along to my future kids.

7. What is your favorite song, that will always bring a smile to your face and make you think of something happy?
An old stand-by for me is always Fishin’ in the Dark by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I especially love when my sister sings along with me. So fun!

8. What is your favorite things about being an American? (If you not American, what are you proud of in regards to your country)
My favorite thing about being a Canadian is our kindness. What? That’s not a lame answer, it’s true.
Ok, Canada is beautiful. I love it here.

9. What is your favorite meal that reminds you of being a child?
I don’t really have any foods that remind me of being a child, which is a little strange when I think about it. I grew up perogies and home fries though. I always ask my Mom to make them for me.

10. Name 3 things that other people would say are their favorite thing about you.
My dependability, my compassion and my loyalty.
(At least, that’s what I hope other people like about me.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Watercolour

Back in May, I entered a contest on Young House Love to try and win a custom watercolour of my own painted by Gadora Wilders. I entered the contest, naming my guinea pigs as the pets that I would get painted. Not even thinking that I had the chance to win (there were over 30 pages of comments entered!), I didn’t think twice about it. If I had to, I figured I would gift the painting to my sister and let her get her dogs painted.
September 25 016

Fast forward a week, and I received an email telling me that I had actually won! I also received an email from Stephanie Lewis telling me that she had never painted guinea pigs before and that she was excited to paint mine. I figured what the heck, why not go for it and get my piggies painted? After exchanging several emails and pictures, I eagerly awaited the arrival of my painting.

September 25 017 (As always, click on pictures to make them bigger!)

Last week, it arrived. I had won the watercolour back when Tigger was around, so the painting was to be of Piglet and Tigger. Oreo wasn’t around yet. I was pleasantly surprised to open up my little package and see the most realistic watercolour of my guinea pigs! It was bittersweet seeing Tigger, but she was captured beautifully. I’m so glad that I went through with it and got the piggies painted. Now I just need to frame the watercolour and find a new home on my walls for it.

September 25 021
It’s funny, Piglet and Tigger always sat this way together whenever they were out of their cage. It’s like they always had each other’s back. Just for the record, Piglet and Oreo don’t sit this way, so I guess it was a quirk that belonged to Tigger.

If you’re looking to get a portrait of your pet done, I recommend turning to Stephanie Lewis! Her website, Gadora Wilder can be found here. Go browse around her pet portraits for a bit, they’re amazing!
Thank you Stephanie!

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Vol 16)

7 quick takes

1. I feel like my life is becoming increasingly boring lately. All I do is work, and then on the weekends, I have people over to my apartment instead of going out. Doesn’t make for very interesting blog posts, which has definitely been showing the past two weeks.

2. With that being said, is there anything you’d like to see on my blog? Any particular topics you’d like me to blog about? I’m open to suggestions!

3. Work this week has been better. Things with my MWF baby are finally settling into place, and I’m working on getting him on a schedule. It’s tough because he’s never been on a schedule before, and now I have to work one out for him.

4. Tuesday was a bit of a challenge for me though. T has swimming lessons on Tuesdays, but this week, he refused to go. I got him changed, but all I could get him to do is sit beside me in front of the pool. Every time I tried to walk away, he would cry. Hopefully this doesn’t become a weekly problem.

5. Wednesday night, we had dinner with some friends that I went to high school with. Ok, we weren’t necessarily friends in high school, more like good acquaintances, but when we found out that we live so close together, we decided to make plans to hang out. We started off having dinner at their apartment, then we walked over to our apartment for dessert and a game of Settlers of Catan. It was fun!

6. I spent all day yesterday in bed with a migraine. I used to get them fairly often as a kid, but only get them rarely now. When I get one, my whole day is shot, and I can’t do anything but lay around the apartment. Thankfully, I had yesterday off (my Tuesday Thursday family is away), so I had the luxury of laying around.

7. The weather around here has been all over the map. I’ve gone to work a couple of times now to find snow covering the rooftops in the north part of the city. It usually melts before the morning is over, but I don’t like that it’s a reminder of what’s to come rather soon. Luckily, the past two days have been beautiful compared to the past few weeks. Let’s hope the sun sticks around for a while longer. The cloudy gray skies don’t do much to make me happy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banana Espresso Muffins

Baking With Angela

These muffins are the reason that I stock espresso powder in my baking stash. I’ve made these muffins a few times for friends and family, and they all request them whenever I ask what they want me to bake. The muffins are unbelievably moist, and I love the hit of coffee flavor that the espresso powder gives it. I double the amount of espresso that the recipe originally called for, and yet I still don’t find it that strong. Stephen, who doesn’t like coffee, says that he hardly notices the coffee taste.

September 21 041

I probably shouldn’t eat these for breakfast, but I like to convince myself that the espresso in them makes it an ok thing to munch on in the morning…and for afternoon snack… and for dessert later in the evening. I just can’t help myself. These babies never last long around here.

Banana Espresso Muffins
Adapted from How To Eat A Cupcakes, Originally from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 cups ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup melted, unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp instant espresso
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
September 21 039

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a muffin tin.
2. In small bowl, beat together bananas. sugars, butter, milk and egg.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, espresso, baking soda and salt. Fold in wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips, just until combined. (I never use a mixer of any sort for this recipe, just my wooden spoon!)
4. Pour batter into muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

September 21 043 September 21 044

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ask Stephen Anything: The Answers!

I was hoping for a few more questions that what I received, but this was still fun. I’m always bugging Stephen to get involved with my blogging, and I’ll take what I can get!

Kara from Chatter asked: If there's one thing that Angela bakes that's so good that you'd eat it for the rest of your life if you had to, what is it?

Stephen said: Her Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.

Brandy-Son Zen Master Flash (I love your name Brandy!) asked: Does he ever tell you if he doesn't like something you have baked??

Stephen said: Yes. (I always beg Stephen to tell me if he likes something I baked, and if not, he has to tell me exactly what he doesn’t like. After all, how am I supposed to improve if no one ever critiques my baking?)

Sarah from SoJo and Co asked three questions:
How long have you been working in the kitchen?
What do you like most about your job?
Have you ever waited tables?

Stephen said: I’ve been working in the kitchen for almost three years. I love the creative aspect of the job, I’ve really grown passionate about food. I’ve never waited tables, I started off as a line cook.

Hopefully this has given you guys a little insight into the guy that I talk about so often around here. If you think of any more questions, ask away. I think Stephen kind of liked having the attention on him for a bit.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday


1. What’s the one thing you always do when you’re stressed?
More often than not, I’ll cry. (I’m way too emotional for my own good.) Then I’ll stick on one of my favorite TV shows and escape reality for a few minutes.

2. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for a friend?
I honestly can’t think of anything! Up until now, everything has been pretty much normal.

3. What cleaning supply could you not live without?
I haven’t found any brands that I’m a die hard loyalist to. When my current cleaning supplies run out, I want to start replacing them with greener items. I’m open to suggestions!

4. How long do you plan on living where you currently reside?
Until our lease runs out at the end of November. Surprise! I hadn’t officially made the announcement here yet, but Stephen and I are house hunting. We’re still going to be renting, as we’re not ready to buy yet. We both feel the need for more space, so keep your fingers crossed that we’ll find something within our budget.

5. Do you usually vote straight party, a mixture, or not at all?
Not at all. (Awful, I know.)

6. What’s something that you love to do, but seem to never make time for?
I love to craft/scrapbook. I feel like I don’t have the space for it in this apartment (crafting at my coffee table is hard. I’ve tried). Hopefully, when we move, I’ll be able to make more time for it.

7. What’s your favorite store to buy things for other people?
I usually like to figure out what their favorite stores are and head there. If I can’t find that out, Etsy is always a good option, as well as Land & Sea here in Calgary. (It’s basically a mishmash of unique gift items.

8. What’s the weather like around you today?
Cold and rainy.

9. What’s the worst book you’ve ever bought and read?
Right now, I’m really struggling to get through The Debutante Divorcee by Plum Sykes. I find it to be a little too ridiculous for my tastes, and I think I’m going to abandon it all together. Good thing I bought it for cheap at a used bookstore.

10. What’s the closest thing to you that is yellow?
My flour bag, sitting on the kitchen counter.

P.S. Have you asked Stephen a question yet? He'll be answering your questions very soon!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blog Awards!

I’ve been awarded a couple of blog awards lately, so I figured it was about time I posted about them!

Back in August, Amanda at Teasingly Diverse awarded me the “You’re Going Places, Baby” award. I can’t believe I took so long to post about it! (Sorry, Amanda.)
You're Going Places Here are the rules: describe where you'll be in 10 years, and nominate 10 bloggers.

As cliché as you may think it sounds, I hope that in 10 years (I’ll be 34), I’ll own my own home, be married to Stephen and have some children. Hopefully I’ll be a stay at home Mom as well! I’ve even entertained the idea of having a day home, so that I can still work with kids, but also stay home with my own children.

Kara from Chatter, and Rebecca from The Blessings of Modern Domestication awarded me The Versatile Blogger award. I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself and then pass it on to 15 bloggers.

1. After I take a shower, I get really itchy. It doesn’t happen all the time, more like 75% of the time.

2. I want to live in Toronto, or Vancouver some day.

3. I love being around my family. We’re loud and opinionated, but I love everyone just the same. It makes life more interesting!

4. I’m a homebody. I’d much rather have my friends come over than go out.

5. I love going out to eat. I’ve got a running list of restaurants that I want to try in Calgary.

6. I give everyone nicknames, even my guinea pigs. Theirs are Pigglypuff and Oreo Pudding. I don’t really have an explanation for those though.

7. I could eat ice cream every day if possible.

I’m passing the above two awards to any of my followers that would like it!
Have a fantastic Monday friends!

Friday, September 17, 2010

In Which I Talk About My Job (Again).

I don’t really have seven different things to talk about, so I scrapped 7 Quick Takes this week. Let’s get right to business:

At the end of work on Monday, I was told that I would no longer be needed. Apparently the Dad's schedule changed and they couldn't keep me on. I was so stunned that I didn't question it or say goodbye to the girls; I just left. That's right, a week after I started the job, I was let go (fired?) with absolutely no warning.

After a meltdown (I'm just being honest here), I got to work looking for a new job. My situation was trickier this time because I'm committed to a family on Tuesdays and Thursdays and only needed work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I decided to post an ad on Kijiji, and the next day I had an interview. It went so well that I actually had my first day yesterday! I still feel like this is surreal. I was prepared to be job hunting for a while, but didn't even have a day off. Apparently Nannies are in high demand.

The new family I’m working with consists of only an 8 month old boy. What do I even do with myself? Seriously. I’m so used to working with at least 4 kids, that anything less seems like a walk in the park. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this family/how they feel about me, so we’ll see how it goes. I start day #2 today, hopefully it goes well.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Honey Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars

Baking With Angela

Last week, I had Kim and Blair (from Blair’s Girls) over for a games night. I had to work that day, and then go grocery shopping. Grocery shopping took longer than expected, so I needed something quick to throw together. Browsing through my recipes, I knew that this would be the perfect fix, and I was right! Everyone loved them, and went back for seconds and thirds. Next time I make these, I’ll cut down on the honey and add more peanut butter. They are super chewy and probably a little bit addictive.
September 14 026

Honey Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars
Adapted from Crepes of Wrath

(Printable Recipe)

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
6 cups honey nut Cheerios
September 14 004

1. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring the sugar and honey to a boil. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until melted.

2. Pour Cheerios into a large mixing bowl and stir in the honey-peanut butter mixture. Stir until well coated.

3. Spread the cereal mixture into your baking dish. Smooth out with a wooden spoon that has been greased. Set aside until set.
September 14 007 September 14 023 September 14 021

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dang Good Chicken

Despite the fact that I live with a line cook, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good meal. I’m talking about the kind of meal that you look forward to all week and brings a smile to your face at the thought of it. Sunday dinner. Just so happens that when I was telling Stephen I really wanted a Sunday dinner, I just happened to come across this post for roast chicken with lemon and bacon-rosemary potatoes on Ezra Pound Cake. I bookmarked it and salivated for a week straight.

Thankfully, Stephen actually had a Sunday off, so he made me my Sunday dinner. Just in case you were wondering, this was the juiciest chicken that I’ve ever had. The potatoes were so good that I may have had seconds. We’re bacon obsessed around here, so we may have covered the entire chicken with bacon. That’s how we roll.

Roast Chicken With Lemon and Bacon-Thyme Potatoes
Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

1-4lb chicken
Salt and ground black pepper
4 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
1 large lemon
1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
2 handfuls of fresh thyme (divided)
2 tbsp olive oil
Several strips of bacon

September 14 015

1. Preheat oven to 375F

2. Prep chicken by removing giblets (if necessary) and running chicken under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel. Rub it inside and out with salt and pepper. Let the chicken rest while you prep the potatoes.
September 14 019

3. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cut potatoes into golf ball sized pieces and toss them into the pot with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves. Boil for 12 minutes.
September 14 017

4. Drain potatoes. Steam dry in the pot for one minute. Remove garlic and lemon. Toss the potatoes around in the pot with a spoon so that they get roughed up, to help the potatoes crisp up in the oven.

5. Rub chicken all over with olive oil. Stab the lemon several times, and place into the chicken’s cavity, along with the garlic cloves and thyme. Add potatoes to the pan. Bake for 45 minutes.
September 14 027

6. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add thyme to the potatoes in the pan, and toss with the chicken fat. Return chicken to centre of pan. Lay slices of bacon across the top of the chicken. Return to oven and roast for another 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165F.
September 14 031

7. Remove chicken from pan and place on cutting board. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove bacon from chicken and crumble in the potatoes.
September 14 035

8. Remove lemon, thyme and garlic from inside the chicken. Mush up the garlic and add to the potatoes. Carve the chicken and serve!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday


1. Favorite way to travel (plane, train, automobile, etc.)
If it’s a long trip, then plane. It’s the quickest way to get there!

2. Where’s your favorite place to travel to that you’ve been to?
I haven’t been to too many places, but it’s a tie between Vancouver and Toronto.

3. Where’s the place that you want to go but have never been?
Paris and New York.

4. Do you deal with traffic well?
I don’t drive, so I suppose I do deal with traffic well.

5. Ever had an emergency while traveling?

6. Do you have a passport? What countries have you been to?
I don’t have a passport. I’ve been to Canada and the US (I was born in Georgia)

7. Are you’ve light packer or do you pack everything but the kitchen sink?
I tend to pack everything but the kitchen sink. It’s a bad habit!

8. Do you take the fastest route or the road less traveled?
It depends on where I’m going, and how long I have to get there. If I have the time, I like to take the road less travelled.

9. Do any activities on the road? (like road games, reading, sleeping, etc. )
I alternate between sleeping and reading, I find that it’s the best way to pass the time.

10. Use a paper map or GPS?
For some reason, I am awful at reading paper maps. Google maps is the best thing to ever happen to me!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ask Stephen Anything

It’s not secret that I talk about Stephen a lot on here. I’m always begging him to do a guest post for me, thinking it might be fun to get his perspective on things. No such luck. A while back, I saw a post on Love Every Day Life by Becky, where she asked her readers to ask her husbands some questions. I knew right then and there that I had to convince Stephen to play along, and nearly a month later, he’s finally agreed!

Do you have a question for Stephen?
Want to know what it’s live living with me? What’s it like being a kitchen boy? It’s all fair game, so let’s make this fun!

If I get enough questions, I do a post next week with the answers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Vol 15)

7 quick takes

1. I’ve been working with my new families this week, and I’d say that things are going really well so far. I’m loving the kids, they’re all so ridiculously adorable. One of the best parts? I’m not expected to do as much housework as I was with my last family. I have more time to play!

2. I’ve been trying to adjust to a new sleeping schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I don’t have to be up until 7am. I tend to let myself stay up just a little bit later because of that. Tuesday and Thursday, I have to be up at 5am. By lunch time, I already feel like I’ve been working forever, and by 9pm, I’m ready for bed. I’ll find a happy medium at some point.

3. With my Tuesday, Thursday Family, they live close to where my nanny friend works. This means that we’ll still be able to meet up every so often. My youngest boy and her oldest boy are just about the same age, so we’re excited to let them have play dates. You don’t realize how much you crave adult interaction until you’re completely stripped of it for an entire work day. Even a 45 minute play date can make a huge difference!

4. One of the perks of being a nanny is getting to play with fancier coffee makers than the one I own. (I only use them with permission!) I may have gotten a little too excited and had two cups of coffee at work yesterday. It was just so good! I’ll be making sure not to let that develop into a habit. Now to convince Stephen that buying a $300 coffee machine is a wise investment…

5. I realize that practically everyone says this, but I can’t believe that it’s already September. The weather here has already taken a big turn: it’s been cold and rainy this week. It’s dark when I wake up in the morning, and doesn’t warm up until lunch time (if at all). I’ve already been discussing Thanksgiving plans with my sister! (Canadian Thanksgiving is near the beginning of October.)

6. We’re finally going grocery shopping this afternoon. Most people don’t find that blog worthy, but when you’ve gone as long as we have without doing a proper grocery shop, then you would feel the same way as me. I think we just got lazy and didn’t feel like making the trek over to Superstore to do our major shopping. We’ve been doing little grocery store runs here and there, and I’m tired of not having any food. We get this way every couple of months.

7. Kim and her husband are coming over tonight for a game night. I’m pretty excited!
What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

European Mocha Fudge Cake

Baking With Angela

Last week, one of my closest friends turned 25. She didn’t plan any sort of celebration, so I knew that I had to whip something together, complete with birthday cake, naturally. Only problem is, I had no idea what to make. She always requests a red velvet cake from me, but she had just made it the week before for her Mom’s birthday. I poured through my cook books looking for something to bake that made use of ingredients that I had readily available. While looking through my Hershey’s Recipe Collection, I found the winner: European Mocha Fudge cake. My friend loves coffee just as much as I do, and you can’t go wrong with chocolate.
September 8 006

I started off with high hopes, but lost all enthusiasm once the first layer was pulled out of the oven. I decided then an there that I wouldn’t blog about this recipe. In the book, there’s a picture of the cake, and it looked delicious. My cake looked nothing like the picture. Now, I’m not naive. I know that whatever I bake will not come out looking like the picture in a cookbook, but when a recipe tells me that I’m going to get a layer cake, I’m expecting fairly substantial layers. I pulled out two measly little layers that really should never had been split apart. I should have just poured it into one pan and baked it that way. At a loss for what to do, I continued assembling the cake anyway. Thankfully, the cake turned out to be a big hit. The cake was dense and fudgy, rendering large layers useless. I’m glad I persevered and served the cake anyway. People went back for seconds.
September 8 005

European Mocha Fudge Cake
Adapted from Hershey’s Recipe Collection

(Printable Recipe)

1 1/4 cups butter
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I used regular cocoa powder)
4 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans (I only added 1/2 cup)
September 2 021

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter two 9 inch springform cake pans (or one if you don’t want layers.) Line with parchment paper, wax the paper.
2. In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add in cocoa until blended. Cool.
3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add in salt and vanilla. Add in sugar and beat well. Stir in cocoa mixture. Fold in flour and pecans. Pour into cake pans.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Coffee Flavored Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp instant coffee (I used 1 tsp instant espresso)

1. Combine all ingredients and beat until stiff.

Spread the whipped cream between the layers, and over the top of the cake and up the sides. I garnished it with chocolate ice cream sundae syrup, but the book suggests garnishing with chocolate curls.

September 5 001

September 5 004

September 5 007

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On What’s Happening Now…

I’ve been asked about a hundred times what I’m doing in terms of work now, and this is the post where I let you know what’s happening now.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ve stopped working for my Nanny Family. What you didn’t know though, is that I’ve also stopped working for my Friday Family. I wasn’t fired, and I’m not entirely sure if I quit. I realized that makes absolutely no sense, but the circumstances leading up to that decision aren’t exactly something that I want to stick on my blog and leave out in the open, just in case things get misconstrued. There’s no hard feelings, and I hope to/the Mom wants me to still see the kids. Honestly, I’m probably making this situation out to sound worse than it is, but I’m just being overly cautious. (If you’re dying of curiosity, you can email me to find out the story. It’s probably not as exciting as you’re expecting though.)

Anyway, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to my life at the moment. I’ve found new families to work with. Yes, plural. I couldn’t find any families that were offering full time hours, so I decided to pick up work with two families offering part time hours. I’m sure if I had waited, I could have found a full time family. To be honest though, I would have gone stir crazy if I was unemployed for very long. I don’t know what to do with myself when I have too much time off. Since Stephen works opposite hours from me, I get rather lonely at home. I was unemployed for a total of two days. I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am to have found work so quickly, I’m truly blessed.

Family #1 consists of two young girls (1 and 3 years old). We’re together Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’m only working half days with them. Family #2 consists of two brothers and a cousin, (3 and 6 years old x2). We’re together Tuesday and Thursday, for a full day. I’ve got the 3 year old for the day, and then the brother and cousin come home in the afternoon. It’s been forever since I’ve worked (exclusively) with kids this young. It’s also been a while since I’ve so little kids to look after! I don’t even know what to do with myself! I’m still in the beginning stages with these families, and truth be told, I’m still nervous that it might not work out. I don’t know why I’m nervous, because so far, I’m loving them! It’s just who I am, I stress over nothing.

So there you have it. My work life in a nutshell. I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to refer to these families as on my blog, so I’m open to suggestions. I’ve toyed with “MWF Family” and “TT Family”. Do I confuse the heck out of you guys when I talk about the families that I work with?

If you read through this entire post, kudos to you. Thanks for all of the support you guys have given me lately. I’ve got some amazing blog friends.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spice Up Your Life!

There’s no Ten on Tuesday this week because Chelsea had her baby. (Click the link, it will take you to adorable pictures of Jansen.)
Without Ten on Tuesday, I don’t have a whole lot to say, so I figured I would tell you about the time I had a Spice World party.

Yeah, you read that right. A Spice World Party. When I saw that (the Canadian version of Netflix) had Spice World, I zipped it right away and then told my friends about it. Who willingly invited themselves over to watch it. So, in case you were wondering how to have a Spice World Party, this is how to do it.

First up, you need to caffeinate yourselves. Run to your nearest Starbucks, preferably one with a rooftop patio, and grab yourself a drink. Make sure you grab an extra one for your sister who was late.

August 30 029

Stop to admire the view, but don’t stay too long because you’re just so dang excited to see the Spice Girls again!

August 30 032 August 30 033

Once you’re at home, put on your Spice Girls Greatest Hits CD. Proceed to sing and dance like a fool. Don’t worry, you’re in good company.
August 30 026 Round up your snacks. If you planned ahead, you may have made salted brown butter Rice Krispie Treats and some shortbread cookies. Get your friends to bring plenty of chips, dip and pop. Don’t forget to have the movie handy.
August 30 028
Once everyone else has shown up, proceed to have a dance off to “Stop”.
Then get everyone to settle down and put on the movie. The key to making the movie awesome is singing every song at the top of your lungs. Be thankful that you have friends just as awesome as you are.
Spice World Make your friends promise you that next time, you’re dressing up.
Aww yeah!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...