Monday, January 07, 2019

Video: Leslie, Arkansas

Colin, Harlow, my parents, and I went to Leslie, Arkansas for a couple hours this weekend.  It was the first Saturday in January, and we were some of the only tourists (I'm guessing) in town.  We saw a few other people checking out the shops, and we saw a handful of locals.  There were only a couple shops open.  Some stores looked like the were completely closed up even though there were full of merchandise.  Some storefronts were even for sale-- some beautiful, old buildings.  I'm guessing they might have more tourists and possibly more stores open in the summer.  It's definitely worth checking out for a couple hours if you're nearby or passing through.

Here's a short video from our time in Leslie!


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Chocolate Cake-- that your guests won't know is gluten free



I made this cake on Christmas Eve to serve for the Christmas Day meal that I cooked.  To be completely honest, I made this cake for myself.  I have food sensitivities and often can't fully enjoy traditional treats, because they'll literally make me sick and cause me to have a migraine that lasts two days or more.  I wanted to be able to have a yummy dessert that I could eat without worrying about how it would make me feel.  I did choose to alter a traditional recipe rather than making a "gluten-free" recipe dessert so that no one would notice it was gluten free.  I wanted it to taste like a regular cake and not having anyone guessing it was gluten free.

You can use regular flour, or you can make it gluten free, which is what I did.  This is a rich, dark chocolate cake.  The cake itself is almost a brownie texture with the potential to stick to the roof of your month.  One of my complaints with cake is most of them are dry, flaky, and boring.  Not this cake.  The icing is equally delicious.  I was tempted to just eat it out of the bowl by itself.

I'd like to make this again but experiment by making it dairy free.  I'd like to replace the eggs with flax or chia eggs.  I would also substitute the milk with almond milk.  I always cook with almond milk, but this time around I actually used 2% milk since I was serving it to other people and wasn't sure how the almond milk would do.  I would also like to substitute the white sugar with coconut sugar.  That will alter the flavor but will be gentler on my body.

This isn't a cake for people who don't like chocolate.  This is a cake for chocolate lovers.  I would name it Death by Chocolate Cake and make mini chocolate candy headstones to set on top surrounded by crumbled Oreo cookies (freshly dug graves, duh) if I was making this around Halloween instead of for Christmas dinner 😂.

I hope you enjoy this decadent cake!

Death by Chocolate Cake
adapted from "Especially Dark" cake and frosting recipes on back of Hershey's Dutch Cocoa package

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups Pamela's gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Dutch Processed Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 inch round pans.  I then lightly sprinkled cocoa powder on the greased pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water.  Pour batter into pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes then remove from pans to wire racks.  Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting (or let's be real, I call it icing):
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark Dutch Processed Cocoa (I used half Hershey's Cocoa and half Sunflower brand cacao.  Cacao has super power nutrients and makes the icing taste even darker.)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa/cacao.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Add small amount of additional milk if needed.  Frost the cake!


This cake isn't overly complicated, and it's worth every bit of work!  I'm definitely going to make it again soon!

Note: If you want a little different (not so dark) chocolate cake, give this one a try.


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