Tag Archives: cooking

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!

signature banner


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!


Devil’s Surprise

Hello Confetti

My mother is on a mission to get even with me for some contrived childhood offenses, at least that is the only reasonable explanation for filling my son’s birthday card with a pound and a half of confetti.

birthday balloon confetti

At first I thought these little balloons were cute, but two days later, they are the devil’s surprise.

The balloons migrated into every corner of the house.  I stepped into the shower and balloons   were there.  I walked into the laundry room and balloons were there.  I sat on the couch and balloons were there.  I served dinner in the dining room and balloons were there.  You get the point – balloons are everywhere!

FringeMan came home the other night and plopped into his “man chair” (he doesn’t have a whole cave) and said, “Everywhere I look I see sparkles.”

Birthday confetti

The other thing you see is wood chips.  Please, don’t even get me started on those.  They may be worse than confetti.

Hello Girl’s Day

FringeKid and I had most of Saturday to ourselves, so we declared it a Girl’s Day and decided to get our craft on.

I told you about my big ideas for celebrating the holidays and making more of decorating (yadda, yadda, yadda), but my budget didn’t line up with my plans, so we scrounged the house for supplies that could be contrived as worthy of a holiday that is hearts and flower and candy.

kitchen table turned craft table

Turns out our imaginations may be more suited to spring, but I figure we can reuse the decorations for Easter if we must.

You’ll have to wait to see our creations.  Sorry about that.

Hello Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Winter has its’ hazards.  Creative snacking is one of them.  FringeKid found a box of melting chocolate and well, the rest is history.

chocolate dipped pretzels in a pan

There’s something about salty and sweet that creates the perfect mix of pleasure food.

Sunday I listened to a sermon that left me with this thought.

Heaven is going to be a grand calorie-free buffet. 

I’m not sure if that’s Bible or an older preacher longing for a better dinner, but it’s a nice thought just the same.

Hello Singing and Dancing

FringeKid cranked up the music and grabbed a microphone.  We had a regular party going on.

singing in broom microphone

And if white men can’t jump, white chicks can’t dance, at least this white chick, but we gave quite the performance anyway.  Life is too short not to let your crazy out and have a little fun.  You can quote me on that.

Hello Redneck Gourmet

He was back for a repeat performance, only I like this dish a whole lot better than the canned sausages.

vanilla cake with chocolate icing

My kids say I over-instruct when they are cooking, so I did not even set one little toe into the kitchen.  They managed to bake a wonderfully moist cake.  I suspect it was all the olive they used.  In the words of my mother, “That’s one expensive cake.”

And now it’s your turn.  What are you saying Hello to today?

I’m joining Lisa Leonard and many others in saying Hello to Monday.


Redneck Gourmet

I’ve always said that I want to support my kids in whatever they choose to do, whatever dreams or ambitions they desire to chase.  I want to stand behind them and cheer them on.

When I held my baby boy in my arms, I never thought that in a quick thirteen years he’d become a redneck gourmet, but life is full of surprises.

redneck gourmet

Last week he told me that he wanted to cook a hot lunch and bring it to school.

“What do you want to make?”  I asked.

“Sausages and rice.”

“Well, I’ll have to get some sausages next week when I go grocery shopping.  Do you want the fat links or are you talking about breakfast sausage?”

“No, no.  I want the little sausages that come in the can.”

“Vienna sausages?”

Realize the disbelief in my voice was heard around the world.

“Yes!  Those are the ones.”

I’ve never in my life eaten a Vienna sausage.  The mere thought of them completely grosses me out, but I aim to please and I figure they can’t kill him, at least in the short term.  So I bought two cans of sausages and a bag of rice.

This morning my sous chef was simmering rice without the lid on the pot.  He had a square plastic container with all these little pale colored sausages stacked up.  Next to the “meat” he stacked a pile of sugar-snap peas, uncooked.  Then he piled in a steaming mound of half-cooked brown rice.

He was so proud of this meal, happy at the thought of home-cooking.  It almost makes me want to go out and buy him another can of sausages.  Almost.

He’s lovin’ him a little redneck gourmet.

Hopefully it’s a stage.


Satan Cupcakes & A Kitchen Fail

Yesterday several people searched the web for “Satan Cupcakes” and landed on my blog.

I had to let that sink in for a second.  I mean, I know my cooking isn’t the greatest.  I’ve screwed up Pillsbury slice & bake cookies, but Satan cupcakes, really?

The kids love my cupcakes, but I know that’s not saying much.  Give a kid enough sugar and he’ll like anything.

birthday party cupcakes child's party

Then I had to ponder the idea that someone knew just what their friend wanted for their birthday – a Satan Cupcake.

It’s not quite my idea of celebrating, but I can kind of understand how they landed on my blog.  After all, I’ve had my share of kitchen fires, and just yesterday, I did this.

burned sponge

Microwave your sponge on high for five minutes.

Then walk out of the room.

The germs definitely die.

Linking to Mercy Ink’s Heart & Home link-up.  Visit for some fantastic reads.  I promise they are not as wonky as mine. 🙂


Lollipop Birthday Cupcakes

lollipop birthday cupcake yellow & blueMy daughter’s birthday is December 28th.  It’s may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it isn’t the best time for a birthday.

kids decorative birthday cupcakes

Her birthday parties never seem to work.  People are away and busy with the holidays.  Some years bring blizzards and cancellations.  For one reason or another, FringeKid’s birthdays are never well attended.

That doesn’t mean we don’t party like it’s 1999.

lollipopsI generally always bring cupcakes for the Christmas party in school.  They double as birthday cupcakes, and although they are usually decorated for Christmas, they come with a great big Happy Birthday.

This is year is special though.  It is the last year I will be bringing cupcakes to school.  All school birthday parties end in the middle school.

party cupcakesThese cupcakes come with mixed emotions.  On the one hand I am sad at the ending of an era.  My baby is growing up.  On the other hand, I am incredibly proud of the young lady she is becoming.

She is sweet and kind and beautiful, inside and out.

So, this year, her cupcakes are a reflection of her.

birthday party cupcakes child's party

Lollipop Cupcakes

One box Funfetti cake mix – Substitute oil for one stick melted butter.  Replace water with whole milk and bake according to the directions on the box.  Frost and sprinkle with candy sprinkles.  Add two Dum-Dum lollipops and a cute little toothpick flag.

Sing Happy Birthday and enjoy!

platter of birthday cupcakes with lolli-popsLinked to: A Glimpse Inside.

Spreading Christmas Cheer & Easy Cake Recipe


I’m linking up with Lisa Leonard and saying hello to spreading some Christmas cheer and baking easy cakes, because who doesn’t like an easy day in the kitchen?

Christmas tree cake with M&M;s

If you don’t know your neighbors, or wish you knew that man with the snow blower two houses down, throw a Christmas party and invite everyone who lives around you.

You might get some funny looks at first, but everyone will have fun and you’ll get to know the people who live closest to you.

We decided to host a Dessert Party.  I threw everyone off with the name, but I needed to write something on my very fancy invitations – a 3×5 card.

I also had to let my neighbors know to eat something real before they came, because I was only giving them butter and sugar in their tastiest forms.

We originally wanted to host a buffet style dinner, but when you’re inviting twenty people, that gets pricy, so we slashed all the food and I baked a few cakes.

We had such a nice time, I think it may become a tradition.


Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling and Butter-Cream Frosting

Cake:  Use one box of vanilla cake mix, substituting the oil for one stick of melted butter and the water for equal amounts of milk.  Bake as directed on box.  In between cake layers, spread a thick coat of strawberry jam or preserves.  Frost.

Butter-Cream Frosting:  In a mixer combine two sticks softened butter  with one bag of powdered sugar, one teaspoon vanilla extract, and whipping cream (milk or 1/2 & 1/2 – I used 1/2 & 1/2).

Be sure to alternate powdered sugar and cream/milk.  Beat at a low speed until all the powdered sugar is incorporated. Slowly add cream until the desired consistency is reached.  You don’t want it runny, especially if you live in a warm area.  Also, make sure your cake is 100% cool before icing.

Tip:  Line the edges of your cake stand or plate with plastic wrap before you begin icing.  Just slip the plastic wrap right up to the edges of the cake.  This will allow you to be messy and still have a perfect edge around the cake after it is frosted.

I’m not great at cake decorating, so I took the easy way out and made an M&M tree.

You hosting any Christmas parties this year?