25 Minute Chocolate Cake with Pecan Fudge Frosting

March 31, 2015

    Once again, I submit to you another chocolate recipe!  I love this 25 Minute Chocolate Cake with Pecan and Fudge Frosting.  While I can appreciate other flavors and tasty desserts, my passion still seems to be chocolate!  

For the recipe click here 25 Minute Chocolate Cake and Pecan Fudge Frosting.

     My mother brought this recipe home from work when I was in high school.  It has been one of my favorites ever since then.  I’ve seen recipes for this cake on various sites, called by different names, but the frosting always appears to be a thinner version.  I like this recipe because the cake is so moist, but the frosting is rich and fudgy.

    You can actually see in the picture how much the frosting looks like fudge.

    People can’t believe how simple this recipe is.  Although the recipe says to bake for 20 minutes, in my oven it only took 15 minutes.  That brings up one of my greatest tips in baking.  Don’t over bake your baked goods!  Always check the oven window 10 minutes early.  

  I  have shared this secret with so many of my friends.  The difference between a deliciously moist cake and a dry cake is mere minutes.  Sometimes it will be done early! Take it out of the oven!  Baked goods continue to bake for a little bit after removing them.  Remember the pan is still hot.

   A gentle touch to the center and it will spring back if it is done.  A check at 15 minutes revealed that, in my oven, the cake was clearly done.

    I have been told that I am a good baker.  Humbly, I can just tell you that I follow written directions quite well and have been successful at finding some great recipes through family and friends, searching through books over many years and now the internet, a veritable fount of reference.   Gladly, I am sharing these with you for your enjoyment, too.

    When the kids were in grade school, there were always bake sales.  Yes, I always took a homemade item for the sale.  On one of those occasions, a lady was commenting that she had whipped up some brownies using a brownie mix.  She offered one to me.  Trying to be polite, I took one, even though it resembled charcoal.  It was as hard as a rock.  I am not kidding! 

   What that woman did to those brownies was a baking crime!  That day I realized that people can use the same recipe, the same ingredients, brownie mix, etc. and come up with varying degrees of success, or failure in her case.  It was all about baking time. 

   This recipe is so easy and quick!  As long as you check your cake early, you will have a moist delicious chocolate cake and rich, delicious, fudge frosting loaded with pecans in 25 minutes or less!

    If you try this recipe, please share your results in the comment section below.  I would love to hear about your 25 Minute Chocolate Cake and Fudge Frosting.  

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A Little Sunshine In The Rain

March 30, 2015

    Even though it was raining a couple of days ago, the miniature daffodils were blooming ‘sunshine’.   My favorite season has begun.  Flower season!  For the next several months, the flowers will be blooming in my gardens.  The miniature daffodils mark that beginning.  (The chipmunks ate all of my crocus bulbs in two seasons.  I gave up on the crocus.)

   These miniature daffodils were in a little pot from the grocery.  After the flowers were spent, I planted them in my garden.  I didn’t dry the bulbs and wait until autumn.  I just planted them in the ground.  They continue to multiply each year.  How easy was that?

   My attempt at capturing the beauty of each of these magnificent floral gifts from God in my garden has become an obsession.  As soon as there is daylight, I grab the camera and begin a search for likely subjects for my photos.

   Amused and laughing at myself, I once asked the question, “How many ways could you possibly take a picture of a rose?”

   Apparently, I am trying to find out for myself and have no definitive answer yet.  My files are full of them, but each is unique.   Sometimes as I pull the pictures up on my computer, I am taken aback and actually catch my breath because of the beautiful images displayed on the screen.

   Isn’t it amazing that rain on flowers sometimes looks like a perfect sphere?  Look at the main flower in the photo.  Notice the row of perfect little orbs on the top petal on the left? 

   My trusty camera has captured some little orbs on other flowers as well.  It just amazes me. There is no way to choose a favorite, one is just as lovely as the next.   Click here for more of my flower photos.


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Lovely Spring Mantel Makeover

March 26, 2015

   Outside, it’s beginning to look like spring here in Kentucky.  That brought me to the realization that the interior needed to start reflecting that.

   Looking at the red vases on the mantel, I felt we needed a few spring touches in our family room.  I love the black clock and wanted to keep it, but switched out the red vases for the blue vases.   Standing back looking at them, it just seemed we needed more gold.  I swapped out the red candles for gold and switched out the candle holders, too.  

   Those vases just screamed out for orchids.  Okay, well in my mind they did, anyway.  The brass urn seemed like a perfect choice to carry the gold through the whole vignette, but it seemed a bit low.  Books were the perfect addition for adding a touch of color and the extra height needed.

   At this point, I walked away.  Sometimes you just need to take a break.  Coming back I realized I still needed something small on both ends.  I remembered having seen a couple of ceramic birds at ‘Tuesday Morning’, which would be perfect for those spots.

   The next day I went shopping.  As I walked straight to where I had last seen the birds and then through the entire store, not a bird was in sight!

    Totally disappointed, I started for the door.   There was a display of bird baths on the right as I approached the door and in the middle of two of them were these adorable ceramic birds.

   Elated, I picked them up, bought them and I love the way they ended up looking on the mantel.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy!

 Don’t you just love the little birds?   They help create a lovely spring mantel makeover!

Click here for a link to Share Your Style #6 Spring Blog Hop – Linky Party that is all about Spring and Easter!

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Knife Skills and Red-Pepper Ham Roll-Ups

March 24, 2015

     Easter is almost here and lots of people will be serving ham.  That made me think of Brendan McDermott, who has a ‘knife skills’ free mini-class on Craftsy.com.  When I signed up for this class, I had no clue how helpful and informative it would be!  Note the picture of the ham.  I sliced that with my knife by hand!


    Will, my youngest son, brought a ham home at Christmas.  It was not sliced.  Christmas Eve, we always have an appetizer buffet.  I had just taken the class of Brendan’s and thought I would try my hand at slicing the ham.  It needed to be relatively thin for red-pepper ham roll-ups.

red-pepper ham roll-ups. ◄ Click here for the recipe.

   Will was making fun of me for taking this class.  I learned how to cut meat, vegetables, and fruits easily, letting the knife do the work.  I am still amazed.  As he was mocking me, I lifted the platter of ham and said, “Look what I did.”

   He had a surprised look on his face and said, “You did that?”

   I assured him that I had and then he said, ” That’s pretty good, little Momma.”

   The mocking ended.  Well, on that subject it ended.  

    If you are not familiar with Craftsy, you should check out their site, with classes on a wide range of subjects, and a lot of them are FREE!   I am not affiliated with them in any way and do not get paid for saying any of this, but I love that site!

   There’s a picture of the red-pepper ham roll-ups below.  They are really delicious, even if you have the deli slice your ham!


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Decadent Creamy Fudge Bars

March 21, 2015

   Warning!   Before you make these, decadent creamy fudge bars, I have to warn you that they are addictive!  But they do have oatmeal in them… So they have to be good for you, right?   Click here►for the printable recipe!


   This recipe is from a little Ideals book from the late 70’s.     I have made this recipe for my family all these years. The kids have always loved them.  The funny thing is I think the last time I made it, Will, my youngest, was a senior in high school.  He’s 22 now.

    For some reason, I thought of the fudge bars this week.   On Thursday, when I picked up Sophie and Aidan after school, I told them while they did their homework I would make fudge bars for them.  So I did.

Creamy Fudge Bars

1 cup butter

2 cups light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2-1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

3 cups quick rolled oats, uncooked


1 (12- oz.) pkg semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 Tblsp. butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tsp. vanilla

    Cream together butter and sugar.  Mix in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour, soda, and salt; stir in rolled oats to the creamed mixture.  Set aside.

     In a saucepan over boiling water, mix together chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and salt.  Stir until mixture is smooth.

    Stir in the nuts and vanilla.

   Spread about 2/3 of the oatmeal mixture in the bottom of a

10″x14″x1″ ***greased sheet pan.

 *** ( Instead of greasing the pan, I use Quick Release Reynold’s Wrap.  No sticking!  They come right out perfectly.)

  Cover the oatmeal layer with the chocolate mixture.

  Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the chocolate.

   Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 25 minutes.



 They only take 25 minutes to bake!  They were still warm when we shared them with a glass of milk.  Aidan said, “Grammy, you make the best desserts!” 

   I put a couple of pieces in little containers for each of them to take home for the next day.

   There is no doubt they will be requesting them again soon

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