Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes

These are really easy and good! If you don't have eggs in the house, they are the cupcakes for you.

Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat Oven to 350

Whisk all your dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix all your wet ingredients in a bigger bowl. Add the dry ingredients. Line cupcake tins with paper liners - spray lightly with cooking spray. And then fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 14 to 18 minutes.

Quick Buttercream Frosting
I used Williams-Sonoma's recipe but cut in half and omitting the salt.

3 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter (I used salted)
2 tblsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter and then mix together all ingredients until fluffy and creamy but with so it keeps its peaks. If too stiff add a little more milk.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cheddar Cheese Bread

This bread just has such wonderful flavor!

Makes One (1-1/2 pound) Loaf

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 egg, large
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon bread machine yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer, adding cheese with flour.

Recommended cycle: basic/white bread cycle; light color setting.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Power Exchange Books

I have been meaning to write about this for a while...and it might not exactly be a domestic issue but my article does touch on domestic issues....

Over a year and half ago I was asked by slave lara the group founder/leader of the elist group Art of Slavery to write an article for Power Exchange Books.

The book has been out for a while but I just hadn't gotten around to pimping it....

You can order the book from the Power Exchange Book link above or my amazon bookstore.

Just a picture of the title and my name in the book...

It seemed so odd to see it - actually have it in my hands and turn to the page with my essay and my name on it.

Oh and just to let you know a few other titles by other contributers...
The Art of Obedience, A Slave of Strength, Serving a Master with Clay Feet, The Art of Transparency...and several more.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings is the ultimate comfort food for winter. I have found lots of recipes for chicken and dumplings that use cream of chicken soup and although I use canned creamed soups at times I have been really wanting a recipe that used cream or half-n-half. So then I found one with half and half but still didn't look like it was exactly what I was wanting so I combined a few recipes to make this one. We enjoyed it thoroughly as it warmed us while the cold wind was blowing through town.

Chicken Mixture
1 1/2 cups frozen peas & carrots
1 cup frozen green beans (optional - I had them on hand so threw them in last moment)
1/2 cup chopped onion
14 oz. can chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. margarine or butter
2 tbsp. half & half (I use fat free half & half)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 2" pieces

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. margarine or butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup minced fresh herb leaves such as parsley, chives (I didn't have any one hand tonight so left out - and it is optional they taste good with or without)

In crockpot add onion and butter. In medium bowl, combine chicken broth, half & half, flour and spices and blend well until smooth. Pour over onion and butter. Add chicken. After cooking for six hours add frozen carrots, peas and green beans. Cook for 1 more hour until chicken is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center.

30 minutes before serving mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add (optional) herbs. Microwave butter and milk for 1 minte 30 seconds to 2 minutes until just warm in a large bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients. Mix with a fork or knead by hand two to three times until mixture just comes together. Take spoonfuls of dough and drop into on the surface of the chicken mixture. Cover, cook on High for 20 to 25 minutes until dumplings are cooked through. They will be fluffy and a toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Serve with fresh herbs sprinkled on top.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


In September, I did a review of the cookbook Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I had checked it out from the library and put it on my wishlist as soon as I was done reading it and making recipes from it. It was just an incredible book that made me feel comfortable baking bread. For Christmas Master and I received Amazon gift certificates from family so I was just looking through my wish list and noticed that Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking is on sale! It was $27.95 and now on sale for $16.77.

Here is my review of the book with some pictures of a loaf of bread and a pan of cinnamon rolls I made with dough recipe from the book.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Organizing Greeting Cards

It is the start of the year and often it is the time of year when people reorganize and declutter. One of my projects at the start of the year is organizing greeting cards that will be needed throughout the year. I start of the new year by making sure I have greeting cards for the entire year. Yes the whole year. I have found that easier for getting cards out on time. I make up a little chart in word broken down by month and with birthday/anniversary dates on it and then gather cards for everyone. I also stock up on miscellaneous cards (get well, sympathy and friendship.) I found a little file box the perfect size for greeting cards and labeled each pocket with the months of the year. And then the extra pockets with just extra miscellaneous cards that aren't part of monthly cards.

My little box I found on clearance but of course there could be many ways to organize them.

Uncommon Good carries the folder on the bottom right. And directly above it is a container from The Container Store.


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