just a simple thanks

I have kinda been neglecting the design side of my blog. So I thought I would share my most recent creation, my niece's graduation thank you cards. These are designed to resemble the announcements I designed for her a few months ago.

I even came up with the text for the inside! 

I know I claim to be anything BUT a writer, so believe me when I tell you it took me a reeeeeaaaally long time to come up with this. 

Not so bad, eh?

my birthday balls...

For my birthday, I decided to try and make a pound cake. I have never made one before but Lemon Pound Cake has always been one of my favorites! 

I knew right away who to get the recipe from! My step-sister in North Carolina! Last Christmas, she made us a pound cake and it only took one bite to realize that I had never eaten a "true" pound cake before that moment. It was so moist that it literally melted in my mouth. It was so dense that it bent my paper plate in half when I picked it up off the counter! That is the difference between a cake and a pound cake.

Lemon is my favorite so I altered the recipe slightly and it came out perfect! I decided to make it onto balls, cause it's easier to eat when you have a party! I love coconut, but I know some people don't, so I had some plain ones with just the lemon glaze.

Here is the recipe:

Lemon Pound Cake

2 sticks room temp salted, sweet cream butter (margarine doesn't work, must be butter)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp lemon extract
3 tblsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 300. Grease 10" Bundt pan and lightly flour. Cream butter. Slowly add oil and sugar. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat till moderately fluffy. While beating at medium-low speed, slowly add alternating flour mixed with salt, eggs (one at a time), and milk mixed with all 3 extracts. Beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Pour into bundt pan and bake @ 300 for approx 1 hour and 25 minutes. Set on rack to cool for 15 minutes and turn upside down on cake plate.

Notes: Use pure not imitation extract. Put the top cover on cake plate within 30 minutes of inverting the cake onto plate to lock-in moisture.

Lemon Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Just mix all ingredients together until smooth. If its too thick, you can add some more lemon juice to thin it out.

And just because I am a dutiful blogger, I thought it was necessary to show you what the inside looked like. It was a rough job, but someone had to do it.

oh, no you didn't!

Oh, but I did!
For my dad's birthday, he ALWAYS asks for a German Chocolate cake. Actually, when I was little, I didn't even know another type of cake existed because that is all we had. For some reason, just cause my dad liked the cake, we all asked for it on our birthday's too. Well, now I am all grown up and I am so sick of German Chocolate cake! And even though my dad never remembers saying this, and would never admit to it, every single year as he bites into his first bite of cake, he says "Dang, I am about sick of German Chocolate cake, that's all I have had all week!" Well, maybe cause its the ONLY cake you ever request so EVERYONE gets you one.

Since I have started this blog, my dad likes to pick on me because as a youngin' I could never cook anything that was remotely edible. So, he has a hard time believing that these treats I make actually taste good too. So this year, I asked if I could make his birthday cake for the very first time. I am not even sure why I asked what kind he would like, because the answer, of course, was German Chocolate. Blah.
So I did:

But that's not all. My dad also really like reeses peanut butter cups so I made him another cake, Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate icing:

Just because I think he needs to broaden his cake horizons.

The thought of making two whole separate cakes sounded overwhelming, so I decided to...

wait for it....

Bake them both into the same cake! Oh, yes I did!

The best part is, that it is a bit lopsided. Since the two different cakes are different consistencies (the peanut butter cake was fluffier than the chocolate) the 3 towers couldn't help but lean to the side. And gravity isn't helping either. If the cake came out perfectly, what would my dad have to pick on me about? And it is his birthday afterall, so I decided to embrace this mishap on his behalf. Just an added touch to his special day, since picking on me is one of his favorite things to do.

The real show stopper will be when this baby is sliced into! The cake/icing color combos are completely transposed! I will update my blog with photos of that tomorrow, since we aren't devouring this until tonight. Plus, I don't wanna share the recipes until I know it tastes good!

So... to be continued....


Look at this!

It was a big hit and everyone said they loved the cake, even my dad!

I have to admit, it was pretty damn good if I do say so myself... both sides!

So, as promised, here are the recipes that I got off allrecipes.com

The Peanut Butter Cake:


  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package butter cake mix
  • 2/3 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour THREE 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each one. Add cake mix alternately with the water. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

The Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Cool several minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Frost cooled cake.

The Chocolate Cake:
I actually used "old faithful" for the recipe. See Vickys Chocolate Balls for Sandy's Chocolate Cake. But half the measurements. 

German Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flaked coconut


  1. In a medium sized sauce pan mix the evaporated milk, white sugar, 3 egg yolks and the butter. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and beat until partially cooled. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flaked coconut and the chopped pecans. Use to fill and frost the chocolate half of the cake.

Vicky's Chocolate Nutty Balls!

It was the birthday of one of my favorite peeps, Vicky! She asked me to make her something chocolate and nutty. Of course, I had to try something new, or else my blog would get neglected. 

When I was making the red velvet cake pops, I ran out of sticks so I just dipped the left over cake balls in the chocolate and they were just as cute! And I think its always easier for everyone to delve into a cake ball rather than a cake slice and forgoing the plate, fork and napkin altogether. 

When making the red velvet cake pops, I used a box cake mix and you have to add frosting to the the crumbled cake mixture to be able to form it into balls. I remembered the very first cake I ever made from scratch was soooooo moist that I wouldnt need to add the frosting. So I  found that recipe again on allrecipes.com and just went from there.

Here is that recipe:

Sandy's Chocolate Cake


  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water

In a mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream to creamed mixture. Mix on low just until combined. Stir in water until blended. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

After the cake cooled, I crumbled it up and then just formed them into balls. For the almond ones, I added an almond in the middle and for the peanut butter ones, I just mixed some peanut butter in with the cake ball.

Then I just dipped them into chocolate. I use the kind that comes in a little microwavable container, I like to make it as easy as possible!

For the almond ones, I just sprinkled crushed almonds as soon as it came out of the chocolate bath. For the peanut butter, I just made sort of a peanut butter glaze by mixing some confectioners sugar, water and peanut butter until smooth, then piping that over the cute little balls!

And thats it! Another creation thats easy as "pie" but looks gourmet... just how I like it!

Happy Birthday Vicky!

without further ado...

I give you... the best chicken salad recipe in the world!

I featured these on my previous post for a friend's baby shower, but I didn't include the recipe. Today, I made it for an office pot luck and promised to share the following by the end of the day. The problem is, I just kinda throw it all together so I don't have exact measurements. Just taste as you go.
So, here it is:

The Best Chicken Salad EVER

Chicken (I usually get the canned or bagged white chicken breast, just cause its easier than cooking a chicken and then having to trim off all the weird, rubbery thingys that gross me out!)
Smoked Almonds, chopped
Scallions, chopped
Mayo (nonfat, if you wanna keep it light. And it's just as good!)
Nonfat Plain Yogurt
Dijon Mustard (not alot, just to add some tang)
Salt & Pepper (watch out on the salt, cause the almonds are already pretty salty)

Then just throw it all together! When I am making it for a gathering, I like to stuff it into mini pitas because, well, it's cute. Anything mini is super cute! And as my Petie says, "Presentation is everything."

The other great thing about this recipe is that it is pretty healthy! The only fat comes from the almonds, and I hear that almond fat is good fat. So they say.