Nan's Nappies

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Classic Darn Good Chocolate Cake

 I love The Cake Doctor books.  My husband recently went to Tennessee to visit his family.  I wanted to bake a cake for him to take.  I didn't want one with icing since it may melt on the 15 hour trip in a warm car.  I looked through The Cake Doctor Returns book and found this recipe.  It was a big hit in Tennessee so I made it again to take to the monthly school nurses meeting to celebrate Nurses Appreciation Week.  Many have asked for the recipe so here it is.

Classic Darn Good Chocolate Cake
Page 228 in The Cake Doctor Returns by Anne Byrn. I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix and Jello Sugar Free, Fat Free Chocolate Fudge Pudding.  Just make sure your cake mix is plain and not the kind with pudding already in it.
plain chocolate cake mix
chocolate instant pudding mix
sour cream, reduced fat, or plain yogurt
vegetable oil
Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2
semisweet chocolate chips
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12 cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray then dust it with flour. Shake our the excess flour and set the pan aside.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream or yogurt, water, oil, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter for 1 1/2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. The batter should look smooth and thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula, and place the pan in the oven.
Bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the Bundt pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 15 to 20 minutes. ( I lay a damp paper towel on top to seal in some of the moisture) Run a long, sharp knife around the edges of the cake, shake the pan gently, and invert the cake to a wire rack. ( I then re-dampen the paper towel and lay it over the cake again) . Let cake cool completely. You can then serve as is or sift some powdered sugar on top.
This cake can also be baked as cupcakes. It can be frozen also. If you zap it in the microwave, the chocolate chips will become soft just as if it is fresh out of the oven again.
Servings: 16
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/16 of a recipe (3.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.


I was walking through Wal-Mart a couple of months ago when I noticed some fleece jackets on clearance.  They didn't have any design on them.  Logan, my 18 month old grandson, loves to make the "Ribbit" sound of a frog and he has recently learned how to say frog.  It comes out a little more like "fog" but is pretty cute in his little toddler voice. 

I looked at those plain jackets and thought they would be the perfect place to embroider some frogs.  I was going to put them away until next fall but then realized that the kids were growing by leaps and bounds and I needed to get hoppin' !

I used a nice soft flannel that had little green frogs and bees on it.  In retrospect, I may have used a different material . The frog material would be great for a larger area. I still think they turned out cute and the kids LOVED them.

Do you have a child or grandchild who loves frogs? They would be cute on many different things. Pillows, blankets, shirts, bags, etc.  You can add words such as I did or you can add a name. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Aunt Georgia's Sugar Cookies

 I have tried  many different sugar cookie recipes but this is a family favorite.  I have a dear friend, Brenda, who I've literally known all of my life.  Our parents were friends before we were born.  We started attending the same school in middle school.  At some point during our friendship, I was given the recipe for these cookies.

Years later, her sister, Cheryl, had a son and I had a daughter.  I made these cookies for almost every holiday when my children were small and continue to do so.  My daughter knew that "Aunt" Brenda  had a sister and that the sister had a son but Cheryl's son and my daughter did not know each other even though they were just a year apart in age.  My daughter grew up and went to college.  She was home for spring break when we attended a celebration for Brenda & Richard's 25th wedding anniversary.  Lauren and Ryan met, married and now have two children.

 Many people avoid making sugar cookies because of the time it takes to decorate them.  Don't try to be Martha Stewart!  I just sprinkle a little sugar and decorative sprinkles to match the occasion and design.  No one minds that they aren't iced like butterflies, bunnies etc.  Sometimes I put chocolate chips on top of a few just as they come out of the oven, and then as the chocolate melts, I spread the it around like icing and them put a few decorative sprinkles on top.

 Aunt Georgia's Sugar Cookies.

This recipe came from Georgia Redington,my son-in-law's great aunt. If you use the small cookie cutters from Pampered Chef or similar, the recipe will make approx 270 cookies at about 30 calories each.

1 cup 
oil, ( canola , olive, etc.)
2 sticks 
1 tsp 
baking soda
1 tsp 
cream of tartar
1 tsp 
1 cup 
1 cup 
powdered sugar
4 cup 
1 tsp 
1 tsp 
lemon juice
1 cup 
powdered sugar for rolling dough

1 Cream oil, butter, and eggs.
2 In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients then add to creamed mixture. Add lemon juice to all and mix well. Put dough in refrigerator for several hours.
3 Generously sprinkle powdered sugar on counter or other rolling surface and roll dough to ¼" thick , cut with cookie cutters, decorate as desired and bake at 350° for 7 - 10 min. or until starting to brown.
4 ** Other ways to make the cookies is to roll dough into 1" balls, roll in granulated sugar and press with a decorative cookie press or with the bottom of a glass.
5 ***For chocolate frosting, don't decorate cookies before baking but immediately as they come out of the oven, place a few chocolate chips on top of the cookies, wait until the chips melt and then spread around to "ice" the top of the cookie. You can then add decorations to the top of the chocolate. I like to use the Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips.

Servings: 60

 Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 serving
Percent daily values based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
The following ingredients were not linked to the ingredient database and were not included in the nutrition information:
powdered sugar for rolling dough

Amount Per Serving

Calories From Fat (54%)

% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.80g
Saturated Fat 2.22g
Cholesterol 11.02mg
Sodium 82.73mg
Potassium 18.39mg
Carbohydrates 11.76g
Dietary Fiber 0.23g
Sugar 5.35g

Sugar Alcohols 0.00g

Net Carbohydrates 11.53g

Protein 1.00g

Recipe formatted and exported by Living Cookbook from Radium Technologies, Inc.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Shirts & Murder

Where has the time gone???  I have been very busy the past couple of weeks.  I served on the jury for our county for the month of April.  The first week was easy.  I didn't have to go in!  It was Easter Week and the judges weren't scheduling many trials.  The second week, I did have to report but at the last minute the defendant pled guilty so there was no need for a jury.  The third week in April my number wasn't one of the ones that had to report.  Then the fourth week rolled around.  And it rolled right over me.  My husband and I were watching 48 Hours Mystery.  If you've never watched the show, they always talk about someone who was murdered and describe how they caught the person who did it.  I turned to my husband and said " Well at least I don't have to worry about being on a jury for a murder trial here in our county.  The chances are low."

 I reported bright and early Monday morning along with many other potential jurors.  I wasn't sure why so many were needed.  Was it a BIG case?  As my number was called, I was told to follow the group and report to Courtroom number 1.  When the judge entered we were told that it was a murder case!!  I couldn't believe it.  As the jurors were selected, I started to relax.  They had chosen 11 jurors so I was beginning to think they would get all of them before they got  to me.  Wrong.  I was juror number 12.  Then the judge asked me to be forelady!

The trial lasted 2 days.  The evidence was overwhelming.  I prayed the whole way through the trial.  I wanted to hear what God wanted me to hear and make the right decision.  As we started to deliberate. one of the jurors asked if anyone would mind if he prayed for us over this decision.  No one minded.  I was grateful.  There was really no deliberation. Everyone was in total agreement right from the beginning.  We found the man guilty of 1st degree and 2nd degree assault, 1st degree and 2nd degree murder.  I had to stand up and read the decision.  The courtroom was crowded.  As the jurors walked out of the courtroom, I spoke to the young man who had prayed and thanked him.  I didn't know the names of any of the other jurors.  I introduced myself.  As he told me his name, I realized that I know his cousins, and his uncle and aunt.  We have several friends in common. The 5th Monday was April 30th and I didn't have to report. My jury duty is over until the next time I'm called.

Now onto much more pleasant things like spring and bunnies and grandchildren!

These cute little shirts are being modeled by two of my grandchildren.  The bunny designs are from

I bought the shirts at Hobby Lobby.  It can be difficult to find plain shirts to embroider without ordering them.  Since I run a small business, I don't want to keep a large inventory with many colors, styles and colors.  I am SO grateful that Hobby Lobby came to town.  The only thing that I've noticed about their shirts, at least for the little children, is that they seem to run small.  My 18 month old grandson is only in the 50th percentile for weight and yet the 24 month shirt is snug around his belly. I always pre-wash.  The shirts are 100% cotton so if you buy from Hobby Lobby, go with a bigger size than what you think you will need.