Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Decorations 2009

Well, when I started uploading pictures about 5 minutes ago, the outside temp said 39 degrees, and it now says 37!! So, it is cold here!! However, inside my house, it is warm and cozy. That is mostly due to all of the Christmas decorations. My friend Leslie helped me, and I finally got everything put up last night! It looks so good, and Leslie did most of it!! She has a good eye for decorating! Some of the decorations are older, and some I just recently bought on my trip to Asheville, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, TN. I took a few pictures so grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit back, and scroll through my winter wonderland!

The above pictures are of the sofa table that I use in my foyer. I got the nativity scene as a Christmas present from my Mom last year. It is from Lifeway. So cute!! Leslie is in the picture with me on the end. Onward to more pictures...

This was my Meme's tree, and it is so special to me. The Christmas after she passed away, my Christmas tree that I had for years was stolen out of a storage unit, and so I got Meme's as a replacement! No matter what, this tree will always go up somewhere in my house!

I think my mantle turned out great this year! I found the tall, red, belted cones at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. That place is awesome! Keep checking for pictures of my trip to Gatlinburg and Asheville!
Oh, I almost forgot... I found this little guy on sale at The Christmas Place. He is keeping guard over the kitchen and making sure all the sweets are taste-tested before they leave!

Well, I hope you enjoyed looking through my decorations this year. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! Until next time, be BLESSED! And remember Jesus is the reason for the season!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast!

I don't know if any of you have seen the 1980 something Bill Cosby comedy show, but he does a little skit in there talking about giving his kids chocolate cake one morning when his wife made him "fix" breakfast. The most memorable line from that particular scene is the song that the kids sing as they are eating their breakfast... "Dad is great. He gives us chocolate cake." I just might have chocolate cake for breakfast in the morning!!
We had our annual Sunday school Christmas party tonight, and for dessert, I made Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing. I got the recipe from one of the Paula Deen Christmas mags, so she gets credit for the recipe. Here are some pictures of the cake before I left home. The recipe will follow.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

1 c. hot water

3 (1oz.) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 1/2 c. sugar

1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/4 c. buttermilk

3/4 c. vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

To begin, preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 (10 in.) round cake pans. Place 3 chocolate squares in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as chocolate melts. *use really hot water*

In mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. On medium-low speed, mix in buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until blended completely. Then pour in melted chocolate and mix until blended completely.

Pour batter evenly into each cake pan. Bake for 23-27 minutes,* or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on wire racks. Ice bottom and top tiers with Peanut Butter Frosting. *I had to cook my cake, a lot longer than the recipe said. I think it had something to do with that chocolate/hot water thing that you pour in at the end. It made my cake really soupy, which is what I think made it take a lot longer to get done.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 1/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. creamy peanut butter

1/4 c. heavy whipping cream**

5 c. confectioner's sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat softened butter and peanut butter until well blended and fluffy. Add in whipping cream and mix until incorporated. With mixer still on, gradually add confectioner's sugar. Finally, add vanilla. **In following this recipe, I noticed that it was really dry and starting to clump up after a lot of the powdered sugar was added, so I had to guesstimate and add in more whipping cream, until it looked spreadable.

Hope you enjoy the recipe, and until next time, BE BLESSED! S ;)