Monday, December 3, 2012

THE (failproof) Chocolate Cake

"Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me."
Audrey Hepburn

This classic Hershey's recipe never fails to make a fantastic Chocolate Cake.  Taken from the copy of Hershey's 100th Anniversary Cookbook which Hershey's sent me in 1994 when I called for this recipe because I'd once again lost the note I'd scrawled it on (I haven't lost the recipe since, but sometimes I have a hard time finding the book so it's getting put here for further safekeeping).


Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups Sugar
1 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa or Hershey's European Style Cocoa*
1 1/2  teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Boiling Water

Cinnamon Vanilla Granola

Crikey Mikey. I just noticed the recipe reads "1 cup Oatmeal". I don't know how I didn't catch it before, but that is not right - the (actual) recipe takes 4 cups, aka 1 quart. I've fixed it now.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing "Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?"
Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston

Cinnamon Vanilla Granola

1 qt (4 cups) Oatmeal, either rolled oats or old fashioned oatmeal
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tbsp Vanilla

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wood & Leather Floors & Furniture

“Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.”
Hoosier Farmer saying

“American consumers have no problem with carcinogens, but they will not purchase any product, including floor wax, that has fat in it.”
Dave Barry 
My formulas can be used on both finished wood and smooth tanned leather, they are not fat-free, and they are not made with carcinogens (in-fact depending on what essential oils you use you can safely drink them though I don't know why you'd want to and please note that Murphy's Oil Soap is not my formula).

Scroll down to find:
When Wood and Leather Need Soap

This is how I feel about
tea. And how your floors
will feel about it too.
            & Dusting Spray

Brew a pot of strong black tea (4 - 6 teabags)
Allow to steep until cooled
In a 1 quart / 1 litre spray bottle mix:

3 1/2 cups of the Strong Black Tea
1/2 cup distilled White Vinegar*
10 drops Essential Oil**

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spiced Fruited Gelatin

OOPS!!! I somehow lost the entire bit about putting the GELATIN into this recipe! I've corrected it now. It sort of really needs it.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider. It wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
I guess she'll die.

The spider didn't harm the old lady; she didn't die until she swallowed a horse.

Thankfully you don't have to swallow a spider to get some wiggles and jiggles tickling inside your tummies, this gelatin wiggles and jiggles too, and you won't need to follow up by swallowing a bird to catch it either, plus it is much lighter and more refreshing than the old lady's meal of fly spider bird cat dog cow and horse.

It's so easy to make your own real food gelatin, free of strange and artificial flavourings and colourings, flavourful and healthy, with no more work than making it up with that stuff from a packet.  This more involved recipe is for holiday gatherings and such, it looks beautiful when made in a mold and turned out onto a nice plate.

Spiced Fruited Gelatin

2 (12 oz) bags Frozen Mixed Berries or Berries & Cherries, defrosted & drained, juice reserved
1 batch Cranberry Sauce (see here) (may be fresh off the stove or room temperature, not chilled)
1 (20 oz) tin Pineapple Chunks, drained (do something else with the juice, can't it use in this recipe)
2 cups Tart Cherry Juice (or any red or purple juice such as berry, omit or reduce honey to compensate for sweetness)
1/2 cup Frozen Raspberry Juice Concentrate (like Welch's 100% Juice White Grape Raspberry)
2 Tbsp Unflavored Gelatin
1/2 cup Honey (or equal amount of juice to replace any omitted honey)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Cloves
Juice from defrosted Berries (1 cup; if less add juice to make up)

Cranberry Sauce

The constant pi, denoted pi, is a real number defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference C to its diameter d=2r,


It is equal to infinitum
The Greek letter pi (pi) was chosen as the letter to represent the number because it stands for 'perimeter'.

Pi is infinite, irrational, and transcendental. 

Making your own cranberry sauce is far from infinite or irrational. In-fact it is an eminently simple, quick, and utterly sensible undertaking which rewards one with a cranberry sauce that transcends the store-bought tinned stuff.  So much easier than pi. 

Cranberry Sauce
Tasty SCD style:

1 bag fresh Cranberries (12 oz)
1 cup Honey
1 cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed for SCD)
If squeezing fresh orange juice, zest the oranges before cutting and juicing them and add the zest in too.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


  "Where'd you get the coconut?"
    "We found them."
  "Found them? In Mercia? The coconut's tropical!"
    "What do you mean?"
  "Well, this is a temperate zone"
    "The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?"
  "Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?"
    "Not at all. They could be carried."
  "What? A swallow carrying a coconut?"
    "It could grip it by the husk!"
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Scroll down to find:
    Plain Basic Coconut Flour Bread 
The Basics of Variations
A Short Ramble
Some Coconut Flour Bread Variations:
    All Out Coconut "Pound Cake"
    Carmelized Onion
    Cinnamon Apple
    Cinnamon Raisin-Nut
Something Completely Different

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Summertime Eggplant Tomato Parmesan

“One must maintain a little bittle of summer,
even in the middle of winter.” 
Henry David Thoreau

Summertime Eggplant Tomato Parmesan

No breading, frying, or sauce making.  Just fresh and easy delicious summery goodness.


1 large heavy firm Eggplant
1 lb ripe Tomatoes
    (may sub tinned & add 1 tsp honey)
 1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil
4 cloves Roasted
    (or 2 of crushed) Garlic
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour 
1/4 cup Almond Flour/Meal (blanched)1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/8 teaspoon Pepper

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How I Conquered Hard Water Woes of the Loo

Cleaners for the Hard-Water Plagued Bathroom.

"When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he's doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911."
Erma Bombeck

Scroll down to find:  
Mildly Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
Heavy Duty Disinfecting
Hard-Water Mineral-Deposit Buster and Bathroom Cleaner
Gentle Effective Scouring Powder
Daily Shower Spray
My Bathroom Cleaning Routine
Short yet nonetheless meaningless rambling

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Eat (or drink) Your Breakfast!

An Easy Way to Start the Day

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."
Old adage; alternate versions include lunch like a queen and dinner like a peasant. The kingly breakfast thing, however, always remains.

Breakfast, so they say, is the most important meal of the day. And for some of us it is the hardest to get into our bellies. A very sensible thing Dr. Oz says (I don't know how sensible what he says on the whole is or is not, but this tidbit is sensible) is that it is a good idea to "automate" your breakfast.  In other words, decide on a good breakfast for yourself so you can eat the same thing every morning and keep the ingredients stocked. Of course that's not some sort of immutable law; on any given morning you can have whatever fancy may take you or go out for an arterial disaster of a breakfast with a friend (or non-friend as the case may be, I hear that happens too).  But on other mornings, if, like me, you stand about the kitchen knowing you need to furnish your body and mind with some sort of nutritious fuel but with no inspiration nor even interest in finding something to do so with, you will still be able feed yourself and get your day going.

This is what I've concocted to meet my personal criteria, with a couple of extra options for those that can have them: 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chocolate or Carob, Sauce or Syrup

"I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for."
Charles Dickens

My food processor is dead.  As dead as a door-nail.  I killed it.

Chocolate sauce requires no food processor. 


 This is one recipe with 2 options resulting in 4 variations.
I list them seperately so I don't forget what I'm doing and muddle things up somewhere in the middle of the proceedings.
 The sauces are thicker and can be spooned from a jar. The syrups are thinner, can be poured from a bottle, and can be stirred into drinks.

Chocolate Sauce:

1 cup Cocoa Powder
1 cup Water
2 cups Sugar ~ 1 1/2 C for a darker sauce, mmm
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla
Optional:    1 Tbsp Lecithin Granules