The secret that is molten lava chocolate cake!

Here’s what you need. One of these:







One of each of these:















And here’s what I did. Spray each cup in the pan with non-stick spray. Mix up the cake batter according to the box. (I hate box cakes but C. loves them.) Fill up each cup about 3/4 of the way full, maybe a little more. You *want* it to cover the thing in the middle – the cakes will be served upside down and all you’re really after is the hole in the middle. If the hole goes all the way through and your cake ends up looking like a doughnut, all the lava will leak out and it will be a freakin’ mess. Yep, that’s the voice of experience talkin’. Go ahead and bake the cakes … uh… until they are done. Let ’em cool, then I used a narrow rubber spatula to get each cake out of its spot. Cool on a cookie rack. When the cakes are completely cooled, get a very slender knife and make the hole just a bit bigger. (This step was added after C. made one without modifying the cake at all. The hole was not big enough for the fudge and gooey goodness that goes inside.)

Put a cake upside down on a plate. Spoon some fudge into the hole. Nuke for about 20 seconds. Top with a scoop of ice cream, and top THAT with some Magic Shell.

Note: Some people also like a little caramel drizzled on the cake. That’s up to you.

Here’s what you’re shooting for. It will not look exactly like this, especially since this is a *mini* size. But you get the idea. The prototype lasted about 12 seconds before it was gone! P.S. You can freeze the cakes and then do the assembly/nuking later. Instant dessert!



Soap. How mundane.

You’d think this would be something simple. My $4 Ikea soap dispenser thing for my kitchen sink finally fell apart after a few years, and I was looking for another one. Oh yeah, one that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. And that wasn’t ugly. Finally found this at Bed Bath & Beyond for $7. I like the funnel – it snaps in at the bottom until you need it to refill.

Fashion on the Homestead

I was flipping through channels the other day and watched a few minutes of “What Not to Wear.” They were so earnest and serious about how to still look good even if you’re just running to the grocery store. Hmm, I thought. I wonder what they would recommend for, say, shoveling chicken shit here at the farm?

For you city dwellers, here’s what the well-dressed homestead fashionista is wearing this season.

Easy fitting, durable and toasty Russell jersey knit pants, kinda like a lightweight sweatpants:







Top that with a versatile Carhartt zip hoody jacket – has nice deep pockets, and a drawstring on the hood for those windy days!







Don’t forget to accessorize with these trendy Muck chore boots. Sturdy rubber soles and waterproof Neoprene uppers! Basic black goes with everything.







Now just assemble all that together, grab your bucket and shit shoveler and you’re off to make a fashion statement!


O. M. G. I finally took a day off! Today is Day 1 of six vacation days I have to burn before the end of the month. I went shopping with my friend M. and had a really great time! We stopped at Bruegger’s for a breakfast bagel and hot cocoa, then went to the recently-opened Penzey’s store. Spices galore! I have shopped online with Penzey’s for years and it was fantastic to finally go inside a real store. (First pic is crappy and I didn’t realize it was blurred until just now. But still, you can see what the deal is.)

Then we went to a couple more stores nearby and saw a gnome being held hostage.

The next store had a lot of funny stuff in there, including little badges and magnets that said stuff like “Husbands are proof that women can take a joke.” HA! They also had this hand sanitizer, as well as another one called “You might have touched your genitals.” Made me laugh!

Finally, I saw some cool pewter switchplate covers. The price wasn’t too cool – these ran $40-70 apiece (!!!) but they sure looked neat.

Had lunch at Moe’s, went to a bunch more stores, walked around, chatted and generally had a great time! Thanks, M. for being the chauffeur! I will repay you this Saturday.