Category Archives: Food

Since I’ve dedicated an entire page to food, you can probably tell I like to eat. Cooking…not so much, but since I like to eat, it’s necessary. Maybe you should grab a snack before you read on.

Chocolate Lover’s Cake in A Mug

chocolate microwaved cake in a coffee mug

I resisted attempting one of these chocolate cakes in a mug because I know my own weaknesses.  Chocolate cake is like kryptonite for me, along with m&m’s, potato chips, ice-cream…well, you get the idea.

Eventually good sense gave way to a craving and all it took was my son saying, “I wish we had something sweet” to send my mind into a tizzy.  Chocolate Cake in a mug became my sole focus.

I think an alternate name could be PMS cake, but maybe that’s just my imagination gone wild.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is a cake cooked in the microwave, so don’t get your expectations up too high.  It’s good, but the texture is a little rubbery.  Don’t skip adding the chocolate chips.  Those help a lot and they’re not bad for the taste either.  I mean, chocolate on top of chocolate is Love + Love.  It cannot equal anything less than good.

I first followed and tried this recipe from Completely Delicious; however, I’ve looked at a million recipes and they are all pretty much the same.  Use the normal cake ingredients and you really can’t go wrong.  I like this particular recipe because it adds the chocolate chips.

microwavable chocolate cake in a cup

The Recipe:

3 TBS Vegetable Oil – I’m betting you can substitute butter, or if you’re like my kids, use olive oil.

3 TBS Milk

1 Egg

1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract, preferably Fringe Vanilla.  Oh, and I never actually measure my vanilla.  I just pour.

3 TBS Flour

4 TBS Sugar (ok, I never claimed this was good for you.)

2 TBS. Cocoa Powder

Pinch of Salt (whatever that means)

3 TBS Chocolate Chips (Don’t skip this step.  Trust me.)

Mix all the ingredients in a large mug.  My mug is pretty big and gives me room to put a small whisk inside of it.  Then pop it in the microwave for two minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and it’s read to eat.

One mug of this cake is a lot.  It’s too much for one person, even me.  So plan on sharing it with someone, unless of course you need it all.  Then by all means, indulge.

Valentine's Day chocolate cake

This might be a fun Valentine Day treat you let your kids help make and then share.  I think the novelty of eating cake out of a cup is enough to make this recipe special.


P.S. I know today is Wednesday and I usually participate in What I Wore Wednesday, but I only have one picture from this week.  I intended on getting more pictures, but the timing, the snow, and the photographer (aka my kid) just didn’t work out this week. If you want to see my one outfit (and believe me it’s nothing special), head over to my facebook page and I’ll post it there.  Thanks!

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Sweet Hot Chocolate – A Recipe

I’m so happy to welcome Jessie to The Domestic Fringe.  She blogs over at Dream and Differ where she talks about food, homeschooling, and decorating.  Be sure to check out her What I Wore Wednesday posts, because she always looks adorable.

In October she ran a series called 31 Days of Comfort Food.  That’s when I officially fell in love with her recipes.  This girl is a good cook!

Make sure you follow the link and go visit her blog.  I would hate for you to miss out.

There are few things that sweeten up a bitter-cold day like hot chocolate.
Creamy, smooth, rich hot chocolate; it can satisfy a troop of cold kiddos, or it can turn up the heat for your Valentine.
I am no stranger to the convenience of Swiss Miss, but for a special treat nothing beats the Real-Deal Hot Chocolate. This recipe makes enough syrup for a party sized batch of of hot chocolate. It would be perfect for a sledding party- just keep it warm in a crock pot. The syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days, which I love. The kids can easily mix themselves up a mug when they come in from playing in the snow. This recipe is adapted from Jan Karon’s “Mitford Cookbook.”
To make the syrup, you’ll need:
1 {11.5 oz.} bag of Nestle semisweet chocolate chunks
1-2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 {15 oz.} can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients {chocolate chunks, cocoa, condensed milk, boiling water, and sugar} and melt in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  Stir till well combined.
 When everything is melted, remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.
Do not, in your greed, lick the still-hot spoon. You will burn your tongue… not that I would know anything about that.
 To make the hot cocoa, pour 2-4 tablespoons of the chocolate syrup into a mug. Pour piping-hot milk over the syrup and stir to combine. You can add more syrup according to your taste. Top the cocoa with marshmallows, whip cream, chocolate shavings… whatever your {sweet}heart desires!
Store the leftover syrup in an airtight container in the fridge. Or, put it in a pretty jar and share with a friend; it makes a great gift.

Hope you enjoy this sweet recipe!


Birthday Cake Shake

birthday cake shakeWe never set out to make traditions.  They just sorta happen.

Some families love tradition – the memories, the ritual, the thought of passing down something to another generation.  We just haven’t prioritized making traditions.  We’ve made lots of memories, but that’s about it.

Perhaps it’s because we’re not overly traditional.  I mean, FringeMan is more traditional than I am.  He insists we eat turkey every Thanksgiving; whereas I wouldn’t mind eating baked ravioli parmesan on our November holiday.

Despite the spontaneity and haphazardness of our lives, some traditions find us.

Getting a special treat after the Christmas program in school is a tradition.  It all began after my daughter’s first chorus concert.  We decided to stop at McDonald’s and get a milk shake.  She reminds us it’s something we do after every concert.

The other night after her performance I decided to make Birthday Cake Shakes.

I originally saw the recipe HERE, but tweaked it slightly to work for what I had in my cabinets.

You’ll need:  1/2 gallon vanilla ice-cream, one funfetti cake mix, and milk

In a blender combine the softened ice-cream, approximately half the bag of cake mix (or about one cup), and a splash of milk.  By splash I mean about 3/4 to one cup.

Blend away.

karo syrup and candy sprinkles

Lightly coat the rim of a glass (I used too much) with corn syrup and dip in a bowl of sprinkles.  It ups the fancy ante.

birthday cake shake with sprinklesEnjoy!  And try not to think about the calories.


No Bake Healthy Cookie Bites

When I posted this picture on facebook, someone thought they were an exotic type of nasty meatballs.  I can say with confidence, these are neither nasty, nor are they meatballs.

They are no bake cookie bites and they are so simple to make.  The only downside is that if you are like me, you will eat way too many of them.  Luckily most of the ingredients are healthy, at least that’s what I tell myself.

Here’s what you’ll need.

One cup oats – I used quick cooking oats, because that is what I had in the house.

1/2 cup peanut butter – smooth and creamy or chunky.

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract – I recommend Fringe Vanilla.  See details HERE.

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Mix together all the ingredients.  I use a mixer, but if you have arms of steel, by all means, mix with a spoon.  Put mixture into the refrigerator for about fifteen to twenty minutes.  Roll into balls and pop them back in the refrigerator.  I use a small melon scoop to make the cookie balls, but about a teaspoon’s worth is a good size.

I think you’ll be surprised by these no bake cookie bites.  They are delicious, but it’s hard to eat just one.

Hope you enjoy!

Meat Pies: A People Pleasing Recipe

meat pies simple recipeHello Monday.  I have a recipe for you today.

Last week I made an experimental recipe. In my mind, it was going to be great, but reality was up for grabs.  It could go either way.

My son’s friend was over and I invited him to stay for dinner.  He was iffy on whether he wanted to stay and eat or not. I can’t say that I blame him, but he stayed.  I hoped he chose wisely.

I had two packs of ground sweet Italian sausage in the freezer and I decided on dinner in my usual way.  I opened cabinets, peaked in the freezer, and snooped around the back of the refrigerator.  I tossed a coin and decided on meat pies.

I’m not much of a meal planner.  In fact, I’m not much of a meal cooker, but since we all must eat, I must cook.

So here’s the recipe.

Pizza Dough:  I use the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  You can find it here.  I did substitute 1 1/2 cups of bread flour for whole wheat flower.  I’m healthy like that.

Filling:  2 lbs. ground sweet Italian sausage, a couple of teaspoons of basil and oregano, salt and pepper, one large onion (chopped), a couple of cloves of garlic (chopped) olive oil, cheddar cheese (block, not shredded) pepperoni slices.

In a skillet brown the ground sausage, breaking it into small bits.  When the sausage is about half way cooked, I throw in the onion, garlic, and seasonings and finish cooking until the onions are soft and the meat is no longer pink.  If the sausage doesn’t have enough fat, sprinkle olive oil to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.  Now is not the time to worry about calories.

Divide dough.  My dough made 9 meat pockets.  I’m sure I could have made 10, but my first two were practice.

Roll out your little balls of dough into a square.  The dough should be thin, but without any breaks.  You need it to hold the meat.  I roll the dough on a sprinkling of semolina flour.  Semolina flour is very fine and I just like it.  You can use any flour.  You just don’t want it to stick to your surface.  After it’s filled, you need to pick it up and put it on a pan.

Fill half of the pocket with pepperoni and then place the sausage mixture on top of the pepperoni. Finish with thick slices of cheddar cheese.  Leave an edge all around the dough.  Be sure not to fill right to the edge.

Folding the dough is the tricky part.  You’ll get the hang of it after the first one or two.  Think of swaddling a baby or making a burrito.  Got that?  Think baby burritos and it will turn out perfectly.

I fold the front lip up and turn the edges in.  Then I take the top flap of the dough and fold it over.  It’s important not to have any holes or all the meat and cheese will leak out.

Then I sprinkle the dough with a little semolina flour.  I doubt it does anything, but I do it anyway.

Place the meat pies on a 9×13 pan.  I use a Pampered Chef baking stone.  LOVE those things.

Bake at 375 degrees until done.  How long you ask?  About 20 minutes.  I think you’ll be able to tell when it’s done.  You really just want the dough to cook, because everything inside is already cooked.

meat pies with pizza dipping sauce I served mine with pizza dipping sauce and everyone was happy.  I even think my son’s friend was glad he stayed.

Hope you enjoy!

Go visit Lisa Leonard for more Hello Mondays. Also linking to Mercy Ink’s Heart & Home.

Easy Home-Made Bread, A Recipe

For the longest time I thought home baked bread was a skill reserved for the Ma Ingalls type of woman.  You know, the woman who plucks her own chicken, sews her own apron, cuts her children’s hair, picks eggs, and grinds wheat.

I don’t hold a candle to Ma Ingalls. I may get my craft on every once in a while, but I am no Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, or Pioneer Woman.  I respect all these women and their amazing talents, but I simply cannot walk in their shoes.

I burn the chicken and set my stove on fire.

Sometimes I am downright dangerous in the kitchen, as evidenced in last night’s chopped finger.

Besides, baking bread always seemed so complicated.  You had to kneed and punch and rise and bake and rise again…I quit before I even finished reading the recipe.

I love bread though, like I really LOVE it.  I shouldn’t because it’s one of the dreaded carbs and carbs kill (or something like that), but I don’t care.  Freshly baked bread with a thick layer of store bought butter is like a little piece of fat-filled heaven.

Home Baked Bread Recipe

So I started thinking about this bread-baking thing.

People bake their own bread every single day in tons of countries where Wonder Bread does not exist.  If they can do it in their brick oven, surely I can manage a loaf or two.  After all, I have a Kitchen Aid, quick rise yeast, and an electric stove on my side.

home baked bread

In this loaf, I substituted one cup of flour for one cup of oats.

So I began reading recipes, lots of recipes.  And I noticed something.  You only need a handful of ingredients to bake a loaf of bread.

Flour – Yeast – Water – Salt – Sugar – oil

That’s it!  It really is that simple.

Now you can trade the sugar for honey or pure molasses, and maybe sometimes you want to trade the oil for butter, and the water for milk, but it’s all basically the same.  If you want a cake-like type of bread, you add eggs.  If you want healthier grains, you use unbleached whole wheat flour and add ground flax seed and maybe substitute a cup of flour for oatmeal.

There’s so much you can do!

Once I began looking at baking bread through simplistic eyes, I started thinking maybe I didn’t need to be Ma Ingalls after all.  Maybe, just maybe, I could bake bread too.

Recipe:  (Adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’. I follow her recipe pretty closely, but her flour measurements just did not work for me.)

5 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, etc.)
You can also substitute one cup flour for one cup oatmeal.

3 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (I use Flieshmann’s Active Yeast (the jar) and I always keep it in the freezer.)

1 1/2 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil, but your favorite will work)

1 3/4 cup warm water

Combine dry ingredients in a mixer and mix using a dough hook.  Slowly pour in warm (not hot) water, honey, and oil.  Knead for about 5 minutes.  You want the dough to stick together and form a ball in the mixing bowl.

Here’s the tricky part.  Humidity, temperature, and elevation all affect bread, so you may need to adjust the recipe slightly for your area or season.  Maybe you’ll need a slight bit more water or flour.  Don’t freak out, just add it.  You’ll get accustomed to baking bread.  It’s not rocket science, no matter what the cookbooks tell you.

This recipe makes two loafs.  I only have one loaf pan, so I make one loaf and shape the other half of the dough into a ball and bake it on a lightly floured baking stone.

I grease my loaf pan with oil or butter and lightly flour it.

Then I put the loaves somewhere warm to rise – either in the same room with the woodstove or into a warmed oven.  I generally let my bread rise for about an hour, sometimes longer if I get busy.  You want the dough to double.

Bake at 350 degrees for twenty-five minutes.

I melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and brush it on the tops of my loaves about five minutes before baking is complete.  It causes the tops to brown nicely and it’s Oh, So Yummy!

Do you bake your own bread?

My kids want me to bake it so they have fresh bread every single day, but we don’t need to be eating a loaf of bread every day, so I bake it often, but not too often.

This post is linked to:

Miss Flibbertigibbet’s Holiday Recipes Linky Party.

Double Chocolate

chocolate sheet cake butter cream frostingIt’s Thursday, a double chocolate kind of day.  If you are from some alternate universe without taste buds and you do not like chocolate, I apologize.  Maybe we’ll have a double vanilla Tuesday or something, but today is all about the chocolate.

And the garlic.

Yup.  I said garlic.

Chocolate + Garlic = Bad Bread + Satisfied Cravings

That my friends is an algebraic equation.  And my teachers thought I couldn’t do math.  Ha!

My mother really saved the day last week when she married chocolate and garlic.  You see, the farmers at the Garlic Festival were giving me and my foo-foo-frilly table sideways looks.  They could not understand why The Fringe Shop was setting up in between family farms, but we showed them.  Thank you very much.

FringeMom found herself a fancy cake recipe that included vanilla extract (Fringe Vanilla) and garlic.  These ingredients were camouflaged in a base of chocolate which makes everything better.  Even garlic!

Now, I admit.  I had my doubts.  I wrinkled my nose at my mom’s culinary masterpiece and I doubted the powers of this confection; however, I was pleasantly surprised.  Her cake was the biggest hit of the festival.  People kept sending other people over to try her stinky cake.  I sold a lot of vanilla extract with that cake.

So today I will share her recipe for Stinky Cake and then I will share my recipe for Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Which recipe you try determines how brave you are.

Stinky Cake (aka Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla and Garlic)

2 3/4 c. flour,  1 c. sugar,  1 1/2 c. lite brown sugar,  1/2 tsp. salt,  3 tsp. cinnamon,  1/2 tsp. nutmeg,  1 can (15oz) pumpkin,  1 clove garlic presses in garlic press,  1 c. cocoa powder,  2 sticks softened butter,  5 large eggs,  1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract,  1/2 c. sour cream,  1 tsp. baking powder,  1 tsp. baking soda

Good grief!  You can tell that is not one of my recipes.  I never use that many ingredients.

Heat oven to 325 degrees, grease and flour bundt pan.  In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients except sugars.  In another mixing bowl cream butter and sugar on medium speed until they are light and fluffy.  Add one egg at a time, beating well with each addition.  Beat in vanilla and garlic.  Slowly add dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream and pumpkin.  Beat well, scraping bottom and sides of bowl.

Or you can be like me and just dump all the ingredients (at the same time) into a bowl and mix.

On second thought, strike that from the record.  I don’t mess around with my mama.

Spoon into prepared bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack and then invert on serving plate.

You can drizzle the cake with a mixture of one cup confectioner’s sugar and one teaspoon vanilla extract.

And that my friends is the Stinky Cake.

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting


One Chocolate Cake Mix, 1 c. Milk, one stick butter softened, 3 eggs

In a mixer (or by hand if you have muscles), combine cake mix, milk, butter, and eggs.  Beat.

Butter and flour one 9×13 pan or two 8-9 inch round pans.  Evenly distribute batter into pans and bake according to the direction on the box mix.  (Generally around 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees).


1 stick butter softened, 1 bag confectioner sugar, 1 c. smooth peanut butter, 2-3 tbs. whipping cream or milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whip butter and peanut butter in a mixer until creamy and smooth.  Slowly (on a low speed so your entire kitchen doesn’t get coated with powdered sugar) add confectioner sugar (you’ll use about 3/4 of the bag, total), vanilla extract,  and milk/whipping cream alternately.  Add one tbs. of milk/whipping cream at a time until you reach desired consistency.  For a thicker frosting, use less milk/whipping cream.

Frost your cake and pour yourself a big glass of milk.  Enjoy!

Warning:  Too much cake may cause fluffiness in hips and thighs.  The Domestic Fringe takes no responsibility for any weight gain or bad breath due to either of these recipes.

Linking to Mercy Ink’s Heart and Home.  Go visit!