Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Best Chocolate Cake in the World

I've been a little preoccupied with chocolate lately as anyone on Twitter could testify. I thought it was high time I posted the best chocolate cake recipe in the world. Our family makes this cake for every birthday party, family gathering, holiday, or pretty much any reason we can think of. I know it's the best because I've tasted it and I know.

Here's what you need:

4 squares of chocolate unsweetened
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. soda
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Line 2 -9"pans with parchment or waxed paper cut to fit. Mix shortening and dry ingredients. Beat in 1 cup evaporated milk and vanilla. Beat on low 2 minutes. Add eggs and rest of milk and half of melted chocolate. Beat one minute on medium. Pour into 9" pans. Swirl in remaining chocolate in each pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

2 cups whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 dash salt

Beat all ingredients until thick and spreading consistency. Be careful not to turn the cream into butter.

If you are the type who wants to eat great food without all the work, try using Betty Crocker's milk chocolate cake mix and swirl in 2 Dove dark chocolate bars. Then, make the frosting as usual. It tastes sooooo good.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly Shopping List and Menu for Saving Money

Hey, it's time once again to go shopping for the family and stock up those cupboards. Since I already went to the trouble of planning the menus and shopping lists, I'll be your weekly menu planner and offer you the online printable grocery lists. You just have to print them off and go shopping, as long as your kids are as picky as mine. I try to keep things simple and easy on the budget. I like gourmet stuff, but my kids don't and I get tired of hearing them whine. I've tried those fancy menus and grocery lists, but my family turned up their noses and the expensive ingredients didn't help our pocket book. So, here's my frugal menus for the week.

Day 1
Pizza, Salad with Hidden Valley Ranch, Bread Sticks

Day 2
Macaroni and Cheese with Ham (homemade), Broccoli, Peaches

Day 3
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread, Salad, Berries with Whipped Cream

Day 4
Tacos, Mexican Rice, Corn, Pears

Day 5
Baked Beans, Mixed Vegetables, Rice, Applesauce

Day 6
BBQ Salsa Chili (recipe following), Corn Bread, Baked Apples

Day 7
Shepherd's Pie, Fruited Jell-O, Salad

Shopping List:
6 cans Tomato Sauce
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Chilis
1 can Diced Tomatoes Italian Style
3 cans Baked Beans
2 cans Chili
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Corn
1 can Green Beans
1 can Peaches
1 can Pears
1 jar Applesauce
1 can Fruit Cocktail
1 can Pineapple
1 box Jell-o
1 bag Raisins
Instant Potatoes or Real Potatoes, your choice
Taco Seasoning (or make your own)
Tomato Bouillon
1 package Macaroni
1 package Spaghetti
French Bread or Sourdough Bread
Bread for lunches
6 Apples
1 head Lettuce
3 Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
1 cup Whipping Cream
1.5 lb. Cheese
4 Gallons Milk
1 lb Butter
1 bag pepperoni
1 package Canadian Bacon
1 package Ham (for Mac and Cheese)
3 lbs. Hamburger
1 bag Frozen Berries
1 bag Frozen Broccoli
1 bag Frozen Corn
1 bag mixed vegetables

Make sure you have flour, yeast, cornmeal, oil, brown sugar, sugar, salt

recipe for BBQ Salsa Chili
1 can kidney beans
2 cans Chili
1 can diced tomatoes with chili
1 can corn
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
salt and pepper and seasonings to taste

Mix all in a pot and heat it up. Easy as that. Tastes great. My kids helped me invent this one.

By the way, my kids usually cook dinner with me, which is why I choose easy stuff to make.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our Trip to the Library

I don't think most of you realize how lucky you are to have good libraries in your towns. Our library is a bit small and doesn't have much room for a large selection of books. Occasionally, we go to a neighboring town for a real treat in librariness and have a great time.

Yesterday was one of those days. We went on a whim. My son was staying home, pretending to be sick and was very bored with TV. He wanted to go somewhere, so I told him it would be a while, since I hadn't had a chance to shower and get ready. The baby had woken up too early and I would need to wait for her to take a nap. Out of the blue, he offered to watch the baby and let me have my shower. What a wonderful son! I took him up on his offer and quickly showered and we were off.

The long drive to the library proved to be just what the baby needed to take a nice nap. When we got there, we had a fun time lounging on beanbag chairs, choosing books, and walking with the baby. After a rapid checkout with baby's temper being tested, we took off to grab a hamburger and a chicken wrap from McDonald's. This is another treat we don't have too often in our remote location.

Last, but not least, we stopped at Wal-mart to savor the Christmas decorations and the new remodel. Oh yeah, and we bought a few things we were out of. After running into some friends and chatting about life and business, we hurried back home, snacking on chocolate chips along the way. We got there right before the school bus delivered my younger son from school.

Things like this may seem ordinary and boring for some, but I relish moments like these when I can hang out with my kids and have so much fun. They truly do bring me joy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, and Rocking Baby

I woke up this morning feeling so much better. Yesterday morning, I woke up with the flu. No fun. I was sad to have to miss church. I was supposed to be singing yesterday, but we'll have to reschedule again. After spending most of yesterday lying around doing nothing, and eating nothing, this is a great improvement.

Today has been full of blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, listening to webinars, and rocking my sweet baby. Working as an online entrepreneur can be pretty busy, but it's all fun. I love to connect with old friends and talk with new people that I just met. And I love being at home in my pajamas sipping hot chocolate and hugging my little one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We Just Found the Puppies

I've been hearing about the puppies on the internet making a huge hit with tons of viewers. I guess when I first heard it, I thought, "How pathetic. People are sitting around wasting time watching a bunch of puppies sleeping? Then, I decided to click the link http://cdn1.ustream.tv/swf/4/viewer.49.swf?cid=317016 and I was instantly hooked.

It took a while for them to wake up. First, they were all just sleeping soundly. Then, they started twitching and moving a bit. I was watching with my baby, who was fussing until she saw the puppies. When they started waking up, she was laughing and pointing at them. I don't know if it was more fun watching her or the puppies. Then, my two sons walked into the room and asked what we were watching. They began in the fun of getting excited over every change the puppies made.

The boys nicknamed the one with the purple collar "Tail-biter" and the one with the black collar "Fish-wrestler". The blue collared puppy got the nickname of "Mr. Sleepy". After a while, the baby fell asleep and all was well. My dear daughter came in and said, "Are you for real? People are sitting around watching this? Wow!" Then, she began to watch and laugh at how cute they were.

After a while of puppy fun, the puppies all left the box and we were left with 18,000 other viewers, staring at a blanket with some toys spread out on it. We laughed at how 18,000 people could all be sitting around watching nothing. Then, the funniest thing happened and Fish-wrestler came in the box with a stuffed fish toy. We all laughed out loud as the puppy shook the fish and tumbled all over, tail wagging, rump in the air, chasing all the toys. It was as if this puppy was so happy to have the lair of toys all to himself. We looked up the puppies real names, but stuck with our nicknames in the end.

Who knew that wasting time on a Saturday morning could be so fun? Our dog will probably have puppies soon. We're thinking it might be fun to buy a webcam and do the same thing. Keep posted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Think I Broke Twitter!

I think I just broke Twitter! I can't get it to come up. Maybe there are too many people twittering in Twitterville, but it's broken and I don't know what to do. Does that make me a blogaholic?

I'm having a great party tonight to let people know about how to get out of debt. It should be lots of fun.

I had a concert last night and it went well. Got to go and eat some lunch. I love working at home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Menus for the Week

I thought since I've gone through all the trouble of making a menu and a shopping list, I should share it and let you use it if you want to. I plan to do this each week. Feel free to come back and get next week's menus, too. You can also comment on what your family liked, didn't like if you decide to use any of these menus. That doesn't mean I'll change my menus, it just means I'll know if you liked it or not.

Day 1: Chili, Corn Bread, Applesauce, Green Beans

Day 2: Baked Beans, Rice, Apricots, Corn

Day 3: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Green Beans, Breadsticks, Peach Cobbler

Day 4: Baked Potatoes with Cheese, Sour Cream, and Ham, Corn, Salad, Fruit Salad

Day 5: Roasted Chicken, Rice, Grapefruit-Spinach Salad, Green Beans

Day 6: Cabbage Stew, Rolls, Baked Apples

Day 7: Potato-Sausage-and-Corn Chowder, Rolls, Fruit Jello

Shopping List:

1 can Fruit Cocktail
1 box Jello
4 cans Chili
6 cans Green Beans
3 cans Baked Beans
1 lb Rice
2 cans Apricots
6 cans Corn
1 can Tomatoes
1 lb Spaghetti
1 jar Peanut Butter
1 bottle Pancake Syrup
1 can Peaches
1 can Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Whole Chicken
1 lb Stew Meat
1 lb Sausage
2 lbs Potatoes
4 Gallons Milk
8 oz. Cheese
1 dozen eggs
1 lb. butter
1 tub Sour Cream
1 Head of Lettuce
1 Head of Cabbage
Mixed Fruit for Salad & Lunches

Check to make sure you have flour, sugar, oats, brown sugar, yeast, corn meal, and whatever you eat for breakfast and lunch

I Finally Gave In and Started Blogspot

I finally gave in and started a blog on blogspot. I've got other blogs, but when I try to comment on blogspot blogs, I find that I can't do many of them unless I have a google ID, so here I am, blogging once again! I'm Amy Boyack, if you couldn't tell by my title. I have a huge family because it's kind of a yours, mine, and ours situation. We have three of his, three of mine, and one of ours. There are also grandkids, which I think is hilarious because I'm too young to be a grandma.

I live in a great little tiny town in Idaho and I love the community. With such a small town, I get to sing all the time, play for concerts, have lots of friends, and still stay home with my youngest daughter in the day. I work at home, helping people get out of debt, so I can spend most of my day with her.

I have four sisters, and two brothers. They are tons of fun and very musical. When we get together, it's a song waiting to burst forth. Often, it's like being in a musical and people just start singing for no apparent reason.