Whisks and Wooden Spoons

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So!  I know it’s been much too long.  (As per usual.)  But I have actually been posting regularly on my new blog!  Over at Whisks and Wooden Spoons, you’ll find much the same as here (in fact, I’m hoping here will soon all be transferred over to there).

I really hope you’ll check out the new blog, subscribe to the emails, and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for updates!

Thanks to everyone for following this sweet, humble little blog.  Hopefully on to a better, still sweet and humble, thing!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Haskap Buttercream

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So.  Again.  It’s been much too long.  I feel like that’s the song I always sing.  But, life gets ahead of you.  Plans change.  Seasons change.  And before you know it, almost a year has gone by since you’ve done a single, solitary blog post!

How can this be?!

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I’ve been doing some thinking in my brain (it’s really hard to make sense of what goes on there sometimes).  I’m thinking about evolving the blog a bit, which is why it has gone untouched for awhile.

Also, my dinosaur of a laptop died.  :(  Wahhhhh.  A new one will hopefully be on the list of purchases for the next few months.

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Let’s get down to business.

There is good reason for this post today.  The cake – immaculate.  It looks soooo good.  It tastes even better!

I couldn’t let another recipe go by, unposted.  Especially this one.  Cake is kind of pound-cakey.  With a hint of lemon and lots of little poppy seeds, making for wonderful crunch.  The frosting!  It is smooth and sweet (like super sweet), with a haskap berry tang.

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I guess I should touch on haskap berries!  They’re high in anthocyanins, vitamin C, phenolic compounds and other antioxidants.  To me, it sounds like blueberries on steroids.  They’re a bit more sour than blueberries, and but are slightly more mellow.  Not sure if that makes sense…  My hubby says that they taste like a mix of blueberries and kiwi.  (But he’s weird, so who knows what they taste like to normal people!)

There’s a company in our area called Haskapa.  I used the jam that they sell in the buttercream.  :)

There’s your lesson pour la jour.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe by Oh Honey Bakes .

  • 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1½ c buttermilk, or 1 1/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Beat the butter and sugar together until they’re nice and fluffy (and yummy).  Add the eggs, two at a time, and beat well.  Add vanilla and lemon juice.

Mix together dry ingredients.  Alternate buttermilk and flour mixture, and mix until batter is light and soft-looking.

It’s really as easy as that!

Bake for 20 minutes, and then check every 3 minutes for up to 12.

Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Haskap Buttercream Icing

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-3 heaping tbsp haskap jam (depending on preference – I used 3)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups icing sugar

Beat butter until creamy.  Add in jam and vanilla.  (You can always add more jam in later, if you want more yummmmmy taste.)

Alternate icing sugar and milk, until you have a nice, rich buttercream.  If it seems to runny, add more icing sugar. If it’s too thick, add some more milk.  Again.  Super easy.

Frost cake as you wish!  (With ALL the icing!)  Or leave some in the bowl to eat as a snack.  You will need a glass of milk.

Enjoy!

 

To the kids!  I couldn’t post after almost a year and not include some kids pictures, so here they be!

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Jude – The Easter Egg Fiend

 

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Cael – enjoying a nice sunny day. (Which are few and far between.)

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Briar. Growing up so much!

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread

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Back again!  And with a recipe at that!  I’ve actually been getting some baking on lately, which has been great.  Feels great, tastes great, love it.  You get the gist.  It feels so good to create good tasting things .

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

In other news:

  • My baby is a whole 6 months old already!  She’s such a blessing to us.
  • We’ve been having some pretty great weather, which is helping mightily at keeping me sane.
  • Hubby is still home on parental leave (SCORE!).
  • I’ve started running again for the first time in three years!

That last thing there, let me tell you!  It’s feeling so good.  (I mean, it hurts like heck…  but it feels A-mazing to be running again!)

Hubby being home on parental leave has been such a great thing for us.  Spending every day as a whole family, sometimes is a bit crazy, but is nonetheless wonderful.  Daddy gets to play outside with the boys, while Mommy feeds Briar.  It works great.

Here's that cookie dough I was talking about...  Sooooo good.

The cookie dough I’m talking about… Sooooo good.

Back to the food ordeal.  I stumbled on this recipe in an old church cookbook.  It’s pretty great, because it’s a shortbread-oatmeal cookie cross.  So, it’s basically fantastic.  If you decide to eat most of the cookies raw, there will be no judging from me.  (I may or may not have done the same thing.)  They are nice and  chewy from the oatmeal, and the perfect sweet from the brown sugar shortbread base.

Cael approved the cookies.

Cael approved the cookies.

Have I ever mentioned that brown sugar, butter, and oats are my greatest weakness?  Because they are.  And I do love them ever so much.

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread 

Taken from Canadian Lutheran Ladies, Family Favourites Cookbook

1 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup flour

Cream margarine and sugars.  Add vanilla, and beat until fluffy.  (Or use a wooden spoon, like me!)  Stir in flour, baking soda and oats.  Chill in fridge.  Roll into balls, and flatten with a fork.  Bake at 350 for 9-11 mins.

NOTE:  If you’re like me and don’t have the time/patience to chill anything in the fridge [ever], use a cookie scoop and dollop those cookies on the pan.  That way they won’t stick to your fingers – which is the purpose of chilling.  

Of course, no post is complete without more kid photos.

Siblings.  All at different stages of happy.

Siblings. All at different stages of happy.

This guy requested a hair cut this week!  What a little man, eh?

This guy requested a haircut this week! What a little man, eh?

The coolest little Jude dude, learning how to drive the scooter.

The coolest little Jude dude, learning how to drive the scooter.

Little Miss Briar

Little Miss Briar

New year, new baby…. hasn’t this happened before?

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Wow.  So, I know I sound like an extremely broken record, but IT HAS BEEN WAY TOO LONG.

Thanks to my mother-in-law for mentioning that she wanted a post on her newest grandbaby.

I really was doubting I'd ever have a little girl, but here we are!

I really was doubting I’d ever have a little girl, but here we are!

And let me tell you… she has reason to want it.  It’s her first granddaughter!  We had a GIRL!

Little miss Briar

Little miss Briar

November 7, after many hours of contractions, and about 30 seconds of pushing, little miss Briar was born!  We were super shocked to see a little girl, instead of a boy (I just assumed I’d have a load of boys, taking from our families), and oh-so very excited.  She is such a sweetheart.  I love her to bits.  And while I struggle with the colour pink, it has made its way into my household.  The boys are loving her.  Mind you, one of the two (*cough, JUDE, cough*), might tend to be a bit rough in his affections.  But really, they love her to bits.  Not to mention she’s already got Daddy’s heart all swirled around her little fingers.  Daddy took parental leave, so he’s been home with us since November!  We are so enjoying that.

Daddy and Briar.  Did I mention he grew a beard?

Daddy and Briar. Did I mention he grew a beard?

In other news, Jude’s hair is GREAT.  Growing the curls out because it’s just too adorable to cut.

Jude-the-dude's curly locks.

Jude-the-dude’s curly locks.

Cael is growing like a little weed, and he’s quick as a whip.

Cael kind of wanted to go on the school bus that morning.

Cael kind of wanted to go on the school bus that morning.

Also, we’ve most definitely been having lots of food goings on.  A few pictures have been taken, but not enough for a food post.  No worries – hopefully one will come soon!

Here are some of the great food things that have been happening lately:

Spiderman Cake, made by me, using my grandmother’s recipe (which sadly, I don’t think is posted yet…)

Jude turned 2!  And he loves Spiderman, so I whipped up a Spiderman cake!

Jude turned 2! And he loves Spiderman, so I whipped up a Spiderman cake!

Hot Cocoa Cake from Pass the Sushi

Hot cocoa cake for Daddy's 25th birthday!

Hot cocoa cake for Daddy’s 25th birthday!

Pretzel Hot Dogs from Spoonforkbacon

Pretzel hot dogs

Pretzel hot dogs

Thing. Take FOUR!

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Things again.  Things it is.  And another month has passed.  Wow.

Super hot days, and getting freezing nights going on here.  Pretty crazy how things can change from day to night.

And 10 weeks of pregnancy left!  Countdown is ON!

We’ve really been having a great summer.  I’m not really looking forward to its end, but I suppose ‘all good things shall come to an end’, as they say.  Fall is great too.  Really.  Here are some pictures of what’s been going down with us:

Breakfast time with two silly boys.  Constantly making each other laugh (and making a mess doing it).

Breakfast time with two silly boys. Constantly making each other laugh (and making a mess doing it).

At a wedding.  What a handsome hubby, eh?  And a baby bump at 29.5 weeks.

At a wedding. What a handsome hubby, eh? And a baby bump at 29.5 weeks.

Flour and baby oil.  Who knew it would make 'sand' to occupy much time.  And cute aprons bought at a local craft fair!

Flour and baby oil. Who knew it would make ‘sand’ to occupy much time. And cute aprons bought at a local craft fair!  They’ve saved much mess on clothes thus far.

Things:

  1. Adam Bede, by George Eliot.  I’ve yet to finish the book, but if you like classics, and love words – grab this book.  It took me awhile to get into it, but now I’m stuck.  It’s pretty dang good.
  2. Modcloth.com.  Seriously.  Get into it.  Cute and quirky clothes, shoes, accessories, and house stuffs!   Downside=Duty taxes when shipping to Canada.  But if you can make it past those taxes, you are home free!  So much cool stuff.
  3. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  Great movie.  Hubby and I rented it, not knowing if we’d enjoy it or not.  Conclusion:  We both LOVED it.  It was really great!  Hard to explain without giving away the plot, so just watch it.  It’s a really well done movie.
  4. These super easy-looking diy slippers!  What a great gift idea!
  5. The World’s Best Chocolate Oatmeal Cake.  Can you say ‘divine’?  Because that’s how to describe this.  It’s super moist, yummy cake, with an oh-so-fudge-y frosting.  I’ve made two in the last three weeks…  And it’s been raved about.

Things. Take Three.

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Things.  Things seem to take up my time.  And summer just seems to go by much too quickly.  Crazy.  Cael will be THREE next week.  Which means we are already nearing the end of July.  Somehow.  It just started… didn’t it?  I know you don’t need me reminding you, but – WOW.  It’s just flying by.  Can I also say that I only have 16 weeks of pregnancy left?!  Wow.  Number three is flying along.

Which leads me to…. A belly picture!

Baby number three - taken at 21.5 weeks.

Baby number three – taken at 21.5 weeks.

 

 

And some boy pictures!

Outside fixing cars with Mr. Cael

Outside fixing cars with Mr. Cael

Playdough Time!

Playdough Time!

Craziest faces around.  What a kid.

Craziest faces around. What a kid.

 

This guy has got some crazy curls going on!

This guy has got some crazy curls going on!

Now to the THINGS!

  1. This cute end table.  It’s small, cute, and has a basket!  (Not to mention, it’s also on sale!)
  2. Little boy snuggles.  After my boys wake up, they generally need a bit of quiet time to get used to being awake again.  I keep realizing how big they’re getting, and how quickly.  So I’m absorbing as much snuggle time as I can get.
  3. Mommy’s Me Time blog.  Amber is mama to a 2 1/2 year old, 1 1/2 year twins and is pregnant again!  And she is the sweetest lady.  Always encouraging words, pointing to God, giving reminders… I could go on forever.  If you are a young mom, check her out!
  4. Fresh-picked STRAWBERRIES!  They have got to be one of my favourite things about summer.  So sweet, juicy, and lovely.  And oh, the things to make with them!   Jam, shortcake, smoothies.  Yum.
  5. This lovely maxi dress.  I’ve gotta get me one, or similar.  Super flattering, great colours, and sooo good for summer.

So many lovely things.  Check ’em out.

[Another] Wedding Cake, a Gorgeous Bride, and Some Cute Boys.

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So.  As I can’t seem to post regularly, let’s just get to the point and say…  I cannot post regularly.  It seems an impossibility.  And that’s alright.  I was thinking today, one of the main reasons I started this blog, was to feel like I still had something to do and say other than babies.  It was right after Cael was born, I had just finished university, and my life had made a drastic change from university and work… to everything baby.  This blog kept me sane.  And while I still love it, and it might become a sanity-thing for me again in the future, right now it’s just a thing I do when I feel like it.  No pressure.  Anyhow.  That was my HUGE realization of the day, after feeling bad (once again), for not posting.  Ever.

Lemon curd

But here’s how I make it up to you.  With wedding cakes, wedding pictures, and the cutest boys ever!

Oh.  And some wonderful news!

Baby numero three will be joining us early November!  That was worth waiting for, eh?

Wedding cake

On to the cake.  This was for one of my best friends ever.  And she had free-reign over what kind of cake she could have.  Obviously.  She was the bride.  But this was epic.  For me anyway.  Three-tiered goodness.  Chocolate cake sandwiched with peanut butter cream cheese frosting.  Followed by white cake with a lemon curd filling.  And topped with white on white.  All completely covered in white and daisies.  Super cute, super yummy.  What more could you want?  Really.

Wedding cake

Another cool this about this wedding was that I got to travel to a warmer place.  All the way to North Carolina.  Which was pretty cool.  Actually, it was wonderfully warm.  Especially since it hasn’t gone over 10C here in weeks (except for that one random day).

Sarah and Drew

Sarah was a beautiful bride in her lovely lace dress.  So gorgeous.  Got to meet up with another best friend that I hadn’t seen in quite awhile (you’ll remember her from this wedding cake).  Which was super great.  Super duper great.

Since then, we’ve had my birthday, a trip to the zoo, and rain.

Cael

Cael found the 3D glasses from a movie. Bug eyes.

Jude

Jude eating breakfast like a champion.

And that’s that!  Maybe next time I’ll have some belly pictures and a recipe for ya!  That’d be nice, eh?  Maybe.  Here’s to hoping.

Things. Take two.

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I haven’t forgotten about this.  A new series designed to make me post more frequently.  Weekly, was actually my goal.  Has it worked?  Partly.  It’s been more than a week, but it hasn’t been the months that have often come and gone between posts.  More food soon folks, (promise?).

As I’ve said many times, life is busy.  But everybody tends to be busy.  All in unique ways, but all still busy.  So how can I possibly use that excuse?  Well, I’m just going to use it anyway.  Life is also good.  It’s FREEZING outside, but the sun is shining and two handsome boys are having a much-needed nap.  I’m looking forward to sunshine and warm weather though, deary me, it’s been a longg winter.  But the snow has also been great.  So pretty, and great to play in (not that I’ve taken advantage of that nearly enough).  Oh, to have the energy of a child who can play for hours in the snow.  I loved doing that.  Forts, tunnels, you name it, we build it out of snow.

On to the things.

  1. The Baker Chick.  If you haven’t heard of her, GO CHECK HER OUT.  RIGHT NOW.  She’s a sweetie, with an adorable new baby boy, and some of the best food on the planet.  Not to mention gorgeous photos.  Last week I made these awesome Gooey Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls (but with oranges of course, I just cannot seem to follow a recipe).  They were phenomenal.  My yeasted dough turned out awesome!  Which is always a treat, as I find it hard to get stuff to raise in my too-cold house.  And they were just awesome.  The cream cheese frosting is the game-breaker.  So good.
  2. Bogs.  These are the best boots ever.  I got a pair for my birthday last year after I wore my brother’s half the winter (he somehow forgot them while he was away to school – score!).  They are fantastic.  Like a rain boot, but good up to -40F.  Waterproof and ssooooo comfortable.  Most certainly worth the price.  They will last me my life.  They don’t have the ones that I got anymore, but they’re similar to the Classic Boot, but in teal.
  3. This is my next DIY project, for in my kitchen.  Sharpie, white paper and a black frame, all set and ready to go.
  4. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for the is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.  To be thankful all the time.  That’s a hard one.  But is certainly makes sense.
  5. The Secret of Platform 13.  This is one of my all-time favourite books.  I’ve read and re-read it probably 10 times.  It’s a kids book, but I just love the fantasy aspects.  It is great.  I could rave about it forever… I’m a sci-fi, fantasy fan… so if you don’t enjoy that type of things, you may not like it.  Easy read though.  Super duper easy.

And that is that.  I’ll get working on making something wonderful to share with y’all.

…  Pictures though, of course.  Here they be:  My beautiful boys.

Flour anyone?

Jude decided to try a fistful of flour. There was lots of coughing involved. And mess. Lots of mess.

He had to try it too!

He had to try it too!

 

Innocent looking, but don't be fooled.

Innocent looking, but don’t be fooled.

Cael loves to get his hands on his uncle's ski goggles.  He makes a pretty cute bug, eh?

Cael loves to get his hands on his uncle’s ski goggles. He makes a pretty cute bug, eh?

 

Things. A new series.

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So.  Things.  Imma link up some things that I’ve been reading, doing, loving, wishing for, cooking, wearing, etc.  I’d love feedback on what you guys are into these days too!  I’m always up for a new book, etc.

However, we’ll start off with some of the cutest kids ever.

Eating fruit loops from the Hungry Hippo game.  Great plate.

Eating fruit loops from the Hungry Hippo game. Great plate, eh?

My bro was home and went skating with Cael.  They love hanging out!

My bro was home and went skating with Cael. They love hanging out!

Breakfast with a Reindeer.  And funny faces.

Breakfast with a Reindeer. And funny faces.

AND!  I somehow forgot to share out 2013 family photo!  I love how it turned out.  It was completely unplanned, but worked all the better for it…

To come next post!  Because I don’t have it on this computer!  :)  Gotta keep you on your toes!

Things

  1. Are you busy?  Wait.  Is that a stupid question?  I feel like most people think that they’re pretty busy.  Well, you’ve got to make time in your busyness to read this great book, Crazy Busy.  It deals with being BUSY!  And so far, it’s great.  A nice quick read too.
  2. I discovered Joy the Baker about 3 years ago, and have been in love since.  She’s got a great writing style, creates amazing biscuits, and has a lovely way with photography.  She also has a cookbook – Joy the Baker Cookbook – that I would highly recommend.  Especially if you like sweet thangs.  Like chocolate…. and peanut butter.
  3. Keep.com  I’m new to it.  I’d like to describe it as similar to Pinterest, but no food.  (BOOOO.. I know.  But clothes are good too!)  Clothes, housewares, and all things cool.  I get an email about once a week from them with recommended things for me and fall in love with most.  Super cool.
  4. Anthropologie has my heart when it comes to clothes.  Check out this sweet pullover with the greatest details on the hem everrr.  (In black, please!  Size small!  .. Anyone?)
  5. This infinity scarf is what I’ve been knitting (for months… *sigh).  I’m almost done and can’t wait to wear it!  Not to mention how super easy it is.  Only thing – I used size 9 needles, and Bernat Softee Chunky (4 balls).  I love the way the stitch looks!  It’s super cool, and the yarn is nice and cozy.

There you have it!  My first 5 Things!

What are you guys reading?  Doing?  Loving?  Ideas for me?

Update. And a Birthday (or Two).

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Alors.  It has been much too long since I last posted.  Which really seems to be a theme for me.  And may very well continue to be a theme.  But such is my life.  Full of procrastination and lovely things.  I believe that it was early December the last time I posted, and while I will try not to bore you with too many details, and update on life is needed!

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*Warning:  You may be bombarded with pictures in this post…*

December went by in a flash, as it is wont to do.  So much food, and great company, so many lights, presents, and giggles.  Jude loved his first Christmas, and Cael really appreciated it this year for the first time.  Christmas morning was exciting for all of us.  Not to mention how cute they were in their pajamas opening their stockings.

(Side story:  I had sewn stockings for the three of us, and had material for one for Jude.  However, the closer it got to Christmas, the more determined those stockings were to not be discovered.  So.  No handmade stockings being filled this year.  About 2 days after Christmas, guess what I found?  You guessed it.  Right [not] on time….  Story of my life.  But it’s okay.  They’re actually somewhere that I WILL find them next year.  I will.)

January brought in much more snow and Jude’s first birthday!  This little dude decided he would learn to walk that week, and he hasn’t looked back.  Watch out world.  Jude is here.  And he is 100% mobile.  We had cake and friends over to celebrate.  You’d have thought it was Cael’s birthday though, when you walked in, because he was loving the party for all he was worth.

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{Homemade Ice Cream Cake for birthday numero uno}

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February.  (How in the world is it February?!) It is flying by like every other month seems to.  My mother turned the big 5-0.  And we partied!  Surprise party, actually.  Much of that week was planning, booking a surprise flight for one of my brothers, cooking, and trying to conceal it all.  Turns out, she had no sweet clue.  We [somehow] sat 35 people in my parent’s living room for a meal, plus probably 15 kids and other adults roaming the house.  Much fun, but I was zonked when it was over.  Lots of help from my brothers and friends, which was amazing.

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{Mom’s 50th – an inferno}

The week following, was Hubby’s birthday.  A cake was baked.  And this will be the foodness I’ll be sharing.  Because I’ve made it many times before, and it’s a hit every time.  First though.  I’m super thankful for my hubby.  He is great.  The best friend ever.  Best everything ever.  And I really don’t know what I’d do without him.  Happy birthday to him!

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Now, on to the cake.  It’s a chocolate cake, coffee infused.  Sour cream frosting, also with chocolate and coffee.  It makes for a moist, deep chocolate, coffee-laden cake.  And it’s good.  The boys like it, hubby likes it, I like it.  We are all happy.

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Mocha Cake

So, the cake is actually the same as this chocolate cake, with one exception.  Instead  of the hot water, you use strong, hot coffee.

On to the frosting.  Sour cream makes for a great tang and texture.  It’s actually lovely.  And I probably ate some of it by the spoon. No, maybe not ‘probably’, more like ‘most definitely’.

Mocha Sour Cream Frosting

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 tbsp hot coffee

1/3 cup sour cream

2 cups icing sugar

Melt butter and chocolate chips on stovetop or in the microwave.  Stir in coffee and sour cream until smooth.  Add icing sugar.  This will probably be runny…  Throw it in the fridge for a bit.  Until it comes to spreading consistency.  Eat it with a spoon, or frost your cake!

Then I actually took the time to photograph it.  Which really hasn’t been happening much at all lately.

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Shout out to the doily you see:  I have a post about it here.  I just have it folded over a bit to fit the table.  Love it though.  I’m definitely going to make another.  Supplies are had, time is needed.   (Which should be my new mantra…)

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Thanks for reading!  It really feels good to be back.  And thanks to the lady who asked me recently if I’ve been writing… it inspired me.