Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

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.

Enjoy!

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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Romantic Dinner for Two: Where Reality & Romance Collide

Did you ever try to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget?

My budget includes borrowing art supplies from my children and crafting a card that would rival any second grade artist, but I wanted more for this year’s love fest.

I asked myself if I could make a romantic dinner for two at home, after tucking the kids snugly in their beds. Sounds budget-friendly and doable in theory, but allow me to demonstrate a real-life romantic dinner at home.

valentine's day romantic dinner for two at home with the kids: love birds

5:30 pm – Throw several dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in the oven, rescue favorite stuffed animal from the grasp of the dog’s jaws, inspect and sign homework papers, and throw the clean laundry into the dryer. Take the dog outside because she’s chewing on your slippers. Answer the phone.

6:00 pm – Get OFF the phone and scrape all black residue from the chicken nuggets. Serve your kids dinner.

6:30 pm – Listen to reading homework; make sure the kids shower and brush their teeth; do the dishes; don’t kill the dog; go to the bathroom.

8:00 pm – Assign your daughter the job of setting a ‘fancy’ table. Make her promise not to lick each fork to remove dishwasher spots. Send your husband down to the corner market to get the cashews for the cashew chicken.

8:30 pm – Tuck your kids into bed, and take a much-needed shower. Put the dog in her crate so she doesn’t push the bathroom door open and run off with your clean underwear.

8:40 pm – Tame your hair, paint your face, and dress in the first clean outfit hanging in your closet.

8:55 pm – Snack on the burnt crisps leftover from the kid’s nuggets.

9:00 pm – Start cooking. Again.

9:30 pm – Serve a lovely cashew chicken dinner minus the cashews, because apparently there was a run on cashews this afternoon.

9:40 pm – Light the candles and take out the crying dog.

9:45 pm – Just as your husband leans into the flickering light of the candles to smooch your lips, the dog freaks out because your neighbor decides he’s going to shovel the sidewalk. Save the kiss for later and grab the dog before she wakes up your kids.

9:47 pm – Too late. The kids filter through to use the bathroom and get a drink. It’s an emergency, of course. You can faintly see symptoms of dehydration in their eyes. Let them taste your cashew-less chicken.

9:55 pm – Explain the importance of alone time between parents and threaten their lives with ten years of morning-til-night homework, year-round school, and a chore list that stretches to New Jersey and back.

10:00 pm – Throw out the cold chicken and go straight to dessert. Assure your spouse that yawning and drooping eyelids are the latest signs of true love.

Reality says, when you have children, romantic dinners at home do not work. My heartfelt advice to you is, forget the budget and GO OUT. Beg your parents, friends, coworkers, family, neighbors, and the teenagers next door to watch your kids for a few hours. Even if you have no money, go sit in the car (without the kids) and steam up the windows. Just get out of the house!

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.

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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!

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Valentine’s Day Candle Holders – DIY

DIY Valentine Day Candle Mason Jar

The other day I mentioned that FringeKid and I went a little crazy with the glue gun.  Today I’m going to show you what we made.

DIY Valentine's Day Candle Holder

We spent zero dollars on making these jars.  We gathered up scraps of this and pieces of that from all around the house and then we set to work.

I generally wash and save spaghetti sauce jars and salsa jars.  Every now and then they come in handy.

So we raided my stash of jars and set to work.  Most of the ideas were FringeKid’s, because I honestly didn’t have my craft on.  Martha Stewart would have clucked her tongue in disapproval.

Valentine's Day DIY

We used heart shaped cookie cutters to trace hearts on a sheet of scrapbook paper and a book page.  Then we cut them out and modge-podged  them to the jar.  Nothing could be easier.

ribbon stripes on a candle holder DIY

If you’re not crafty, but want to make something with your kids for Valentine’s Day, I would definitely suggest getting yourself a pair of scissors, some glue, and a jar, because this is the craft for you.

I even think one of these jars filled with candy would make a cute teacher gift.  You could always paint the lid red and seal the jar back up.

vintage Valentine's Day print

You can get your free downloadable kissing booth print HERE.

Valentine decorations

Are you making any Valentine Day decorations or gifts?

I’d love to hear all about them.

Valentine’s Day Inspiration

If you are anything like me, holidays zip by without so much as a nod in my direction.  I mean, I am lucky to catch big days, like Christmas, Easter, and my kid’s birthdays.

The little holidays get caught up in the mix of everyday.  They are here and gone before I can wrap my head around the word celebrate.

I jump into full panic mode if my son comes home from school and tells me he wants to wear a green t-shirt the next day for St. Patty’s day.  I’m not Irish, but I have nothing against Leprechauns and my husband happens to love corned beef and cabbage.  If I miss St. Patty’s day, I miss the sales on one of my husband’s favorite meals.  Not smart.

So this year, I am determined to stay on top of the holidays, big and small.

Source: lisaleonardonline.com via Tricia on Pinterest

I kinda love February.  I mean, it’s smack in the middle of the dreariest part of winter, and I look at all the red and pink hearts as a smidgeon of hope. There is life after winter.

Not only do I get to celebrate my birthday in February, but it’s also Valentine’s Day.

Like I said, I’m not so great with holidays, so my family is lucky to get a kiss from me, but I have been learning something.  Celebrations are important, even on a spiritual level, and while Valentine’s Day isn’t exactly Biblical, the principal of celebrating is all over the Bible.

That’s another post though.  Today is all about inspiration and I am getting way too wordy.

So without further ado, here’s some inspiration.

Source: fiskars.com via Tricia on Pinterest

Source: nestofposies-blog.com via Tricia on Pinterest

This heart wreath, by Nest of Posies, is my absolute favorite.  It’s gorgeous and I’d love one just like it.

This year, I am going to do some Valentine’s Day decorating, so expect a DIY post or two filled with hearts.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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My Love Is…

Love is patient,

Me, FringeMan & FringeBoy - 2000

love is kind.

FringeBoy & FringeKid

Love does not envy,

FringeFamily 2002

Love does not boast,

FringeKids 2003

Love is not proud.

FringeMan & FringeKid

Love is not rude,

FringeFamily 2003

Love is not self-seeking,

SuperFringe

Love is not easily angered,

FringeFluff

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Puppy Love

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

More Puppy Love

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

This Valentine’s Day, my love is nostalgic.

How about yours?

Budget Your Love Fest

Apparently journalists are suddenly concerned with the economic impact on America’s collective love life, because the buzz has been celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget.  It is unfortunate that my budget is not the same as Matt Lauer’s.  Valentine’s on my budget would include borrowing art supplies from my children and crafting a card that would rival any second grader employed by Hallmark.  Throw in a bag of Hershey’s kisses and a matching number from my very own smoochy lips and you’ve got Valentines on a budget.

My budget also does not include building space into my kitchen to house multiple sets of dishes and glasses used exactly once a year.  I don’t care if these holiday themed dinnerware sets come from the Pottery Barn or The Dollar Store, you need a place to store them.  Do you really pull out the red tinted glasses and heart smeared plates on the 14th or have I just lost my sense of romance?

The best budget and family friendly idea of the year is a romantic dinner for two at home, after tucking the kids snugly in their beds.

Sounds good in theory, but allow me to demonstrate a real life love fest.

5:30 pm – Throw several dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets in the oven.  Put a pot of water on to boil for a quick Mac & Cheese side dish.  While waiting for the water to boil, rescue Simba from the grasp of the dog’s jaws, inspect and sign homework papers, and throw the now clean laundry into the dryer.   Take the dog outside because she’s chewing on your slippers and you can’t shake her.  Answer the phone for the four hundredth time that night. While on the phone, go fetch the incessantly barking dog and free your sweet old neighbor who is trapped in her car.

6:00 pm – Get OFF the phone and scrape all black residue from the chicken nuggets.  Salvage whatever over boiled water is left in the pot and quickly add the maccaroni.  Finish mixing the mac and yell to your kids to set the table for themselves.

6:30 pm – Listen to reading homework; make sure the kids shower and brush; do the dishes; don’t kill the dog; mop the floor after scraping your slipper free from the sticky goo your daughter made in science class; go to the bathroom.

8:00 pm – Assign your daughter the job of setting a ‘fancy’ table for you.  Make her promise not to lick each fork to remove dishwasher spots.  Send your husband down to the corner market to get the cashews for the cashew chicken you are making.

8:30 pm – Tuck your daughter into bed, send your son to read, and take a much needed shower.  Put the dog in her crate so she doesn’t push the bathroom door open and run off with your clean underwear.

8:40 pm – Tame your hair, paint your face, and dress in the first clean thing hanging in your closet.

8:55 pm – Snack on the burnt crisps leftover from the kid’s nuggets.

9:00 pm – Tuck your son into bed.  Start cooking.  Again.

9:30 pm – Serve a lovely cashew chicken dinner minus the cashews, because apparently there was a run on cashews this afternoon.

9:40 pm – Light the candles and take out the crying dog.

9:45 pm – Just as your husband leans into the flickering light of the candles to plant a big one on your lips, the dog freaks out because your neighbor decides he’s going to shovel.  Again.  Save the kiss for the later and grab the dog before she wakes up your daughter.

9:47 pm – Too late.  The kids wake up and filter through to use the bathroom and get a drink.  It’s an emergency of course.  You can faintly see symptoms of dehydration in their eyes.  Let them taste your cashewless chicken.

9:55 pm – Explain the importance of alone time between parents and threaten their lives with ten years of morning till night homework, year-round school, and a chore list that stretches to New Jersey and back.

10:00 pm – Throw out the cold and somewhat lousy dinner and go straight to dessert.  Ensure your spouse that yawning  and drooping eyelids are the latest signs of true love.

NOW, if the media are really concerned about America’s love life, they would just send their teenagers to our house to babysit for less than ten dollars an hour.

What do you think?