Texas Sheet Cake

Cozycakes Cottage: Texas Sheet Cake

I love sheet cakes.  They’re not fussy, I always have the ingredients on hand to make one from scratch, and they cook up in a jiffy.  I shared a Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake a few weeks ago that’s so good (if you’re a peanut butter fan, you’ll love it), but then I thought you might want a basic, reliable Texas Sheet Cake recipe.  I think everyone should have one.  The simple chocolate goodness–it’s like a cake and a brownie had a baby.

Is that weird?

Cozycakes Cottage: Texas Sheet Cake

Mmm.  And, as always, it bakes in a jelly roll pan so there is a lot of cake to go around.  You can switch up the frosting to suit your mood (the peanut butter frosting works very well with it, too).  Enjoy!  ♥grey signature

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Tbsp. dark cocoa powder ( I use rich, dark, Dutch-processed)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 and ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a jelly-roll pan with Baker's Joy (or grease and flour). Set aside. Place water, cocoa powder, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add flour, sugar and salt to the cocoa mixture and stir until combined. Very lightly beat eggs. Add eggs, sour cream, and baking soda to saucepan and mix until combined. Pour into jelly-roll pan and bake for 20-22 minutes. Frost while still hot.
  2. Frosting: Place 1 stick of butter, 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and 6 Tbsp. milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir well and remove from heat. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and whisk until smooth. Spread quickly over hot cake. Optional: Add ½ to 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to frosting.
Notes
Try to pour and spread the frosting as quickly as possible. It's harder to spread and deal with as it sits on the cake. Pour all over cake and spread evenly, working quickly.

 

I adapted this recipe from Gooseberry Patch’s Family Favorites book.  Thank you!

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: The End! Day 20

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Sniff.  A little sad that this is the last task in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home challenge.  I do have a little catch-up to do, so it’s not exactly 100% over for me.  What about you?  I loved this challenge and am eager to see what Crystal has for us next.  I’ll let you know when I join another challenge.

I’ll do a wrap-up post this week about this series and have some photos I want to share with you.  I worked on my craft space so I’d like to share my progress.  Until then…

Here’s the final assignment:

Day 20 Assignment

{from Crystal of Money Saving Mom}

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great {there’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life!}

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.

::Complete your morning routine {if you don’t have a morning routine, take some time to create one today! Read my How to Develop a Routine That Works–And Stick With It series for step-by-step help.}

::Clean out and re-organize your medicine cupboard(s). Check expiration dates on medicines and dispose of any that are expired. Note: Check out this article for information from the FDA on how to properly dispose of medicine.

::Set the timer for at least 15 minutes and do something you really enjoy and that relaxes and rejuvenates you. If you need ideas, here are a few: read, write, call a friend, pray, exercise, bake, play with your children, laugh with your husband, stop by the bookstore and browse the book selection, work in the garden, or take a nap! Take some time to just stop and enjoy life today!

Note: If you work outside the home or have a really busy week with little time for extra projects, just do the bolded project above.

Please comment and let me know how you’re doing.  See ya later!

grey signatureOther posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge series:

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 19

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Yikes.  I’m a bit behind on my tasks so although the challenge ends today, I’m going to post Day 19 today and Day 20 tomorrow (even though it’ll be Saturday).  Where does the time go?  Really, where does it go?  One minute it was Monday and I blinked and it’s Friday.

Time to get to it.

Here’s today’s assignment:

Day 19 Assignment

{from Crystal of Money Saving Mom}

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great {there’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life!}

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.

::Complete your morning routine {if you don’t have a morning routine, take some time to create one today! Read my How to Develop a Routine That Works–And Stick With It series for step-by-step help.}

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and wipe down your windowsills and trim around your windows (if you didn’t wipe these when we wiped down the baseboards earlier this month).

::Clean your windows and blinds and/or window treatments. If you want to get really ambitious, you can take the screens off (if you have screens) and clean the outside of your windows. Or, you can just use window cleaner and clean your windows on the inside. Dust or wash your blinds. Remove any washable window treatments and launder them.

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay.

Note: If you work outside the home or have a really busy week with little time for extra projects, just do the bolded project above.

Please comment and let me know how you’re doing.  See ya later!

grey signatureOther posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge series:

My First Ask Away Friday!

I had no idea when I started my blog in late November 2011 that it would be the catalyst for building friendships across the country and the world.  I have met and formed bonds with some of the most amazing women.  What a blessing this little space on the web is to me.

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One of the first bloggers I met is a gal named Beth who blogs over at Structure in an Unstructured Life.  As she mentions in today’s Ask Away Friday post,  we can’t remember how we met in the blog world.  Doesn’t matter, we met and I’m thankful we did because we have so much in common.  Beth blogs about her life;  the light and the heavy stuff, the parenting moments, the joys and trials of being a devoted mom and wife while working full-time.  She shares her menu plans, recipes, organizational prowess, and her perspective on a variety of subjects.  We became instant blog pals, but I consider her a “real life” friend who I can’t wait to see one day in person.  I have a feeling we would laugh hard, share stories, and find our way to good food and entertainment.  She’s a writer at heart and a mom of 2 darling young boys.  I felt an instant connection to her and I hope you’ll take a moment to pop over to her blog to see the 10 Ask Away Friday questions I asked her and read what she has to say in response.

Beth asked Me

Ask Away Friday is a fun way to meet and connect with bloggers (and make friends!) by posing questions to get to know them better.  I love getting a peek into someone’s world (nosy?).   It’s simple:  I ask a blogger 10 questions, she asks me 10 questions and we both answer them in a post called Ask Away Friday.  I’ve never participated so THANK YOU, Beth, for welcoming me today.

Also, make sure to pop over to the awesome Ask Away Friday hosts and see other Ask Away Friday participants - Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County, Amber from The Bold Fab Mom, Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter and Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings.  Thanks, gals!

Alrighty, let’s get to it.  Here are Beth’s 10 questions for me.

1. I know your daughter – Munchie – is 5.  What are your favorite and least favorite things about this age? I could go on and on with this question, but I’ll try to keep it short(er) :)  My favorite things:  I love that she’s really coming into her own, growing into a little adult.  I know she’s still young to “know” herself, but she shows such confidence in many areas and doesn’t try to be someone she’s not.  I hope she keeps that up!  I love the endless giggling, the creativity, the make-believe, the innocence, that she pushes herself more and more to try new, scary things.  And I ♥ the curiosity.  Yesterday she asked me about retirement, what it means, and why most people wait until they’re in their 60s to retire.  I felt like I was talking to a 20-year old.  Most of all, I love how she feels for others now.  She shares in their happiness and their sadness.  My least favorites things:  A little whine has entered the stage.  And as someone who struggles with patience (ahem), I have to make concerted efforts to stay calm and handle it with grace.  Also, she’s heard new words and phrases now that she’s in school 5 days a week, and asked me about them.  I a) don’t want to hear them and b) don’t want to discuss those yet.  Can’t live in a bubble forever, but sometimes I wish I could!  It also seems the age when their lives have the potential to get crazy.  The pressure to over-book them with activities and play-dates.  I have to remind myself that I know what’s best for her and running her from activity to activity isn’t going to make her a better person.  On the other hand, I do like the social aspect for myself (chat, chat, chat) and for Munchie since she loves learning something new or practicing a skill with peers/friends.

munchie bike

2. You have some amazing recipes on your blog! What is your favorite dish to make? What is your family’s favorite dish to eat? Thank you!  I love cooking my husband’s favorite chicken biscuit dinner and he also loves my turkey meatloaf (which isn’t mine, but Ina Garten’s!).  Munchie said her favorites are Chicken Olivia and broccoli, and peanut butter noodles (a Taiwanese noodle dish that is far better than it sounds).  And then, of course, I love to bake sweet treats.

DSC_0251 lazy daisy teac up in back pmMy Lazy Daisy Hot Milk Cake

3. You’ve been posting your progress on the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series. Which room in your home needs the most attention? Cringe.  Our spare/guest bedroom, definitely.  It becomes home to laundry I need to fold or iron (mountain), holiday decor, and gifts I like to buy before events and then fail to wrap or put away in a safe place.  And the closet. Oh, the closet.  Now I’m starting to itch.

4.  If I were to come visit you for the weekend (Oh, how I wish I could!) – what would we do?  I got SUPER excited when I read this question (make it happen!)!  In no particular order, we’d pop over to an authentic Mexican restaurant (we have so many yummy ones here) to catch up and get our squeals out over margaritas, Mr. Cozycakes would take us out on the boat for a bay cruise (bring Coach!) through the downtown area over to Coronado Island and have dinner on the water, spend a few hours walking and chatting at my favorite beach, head to a Chargers football game, dine at another favorite place then head to a fun movie (I love that you love film/tv, too!), put on one of our mutually favorite shows while we make one of your entrees and one of my desserts before a long, chat-filled night, and head to tea time at a favorite tea room.  And we need to do a little shopping since we need more boots for our favorite “uniform.”  So much to do, so little time!

rosier breakfast mug paris tea

5. You’ve mentioned before you used to be an elementary teacher (me too!). What did you learn from teaching that you bring into your parenting? (high five!) I definitely learned that if I’m patient, my students/child have/has a MUCH better experience and shot at learning and mastering something new or difficult.  Also, we all learn at different paces and from different styles–if it doesn’t work one way, try another, and another, and another.  It’ll come.  The beauty of growing and learning is in the entire experience–the successes AND the failures.

6. I loved your Cozycakes Christmas Series! With Easter coming up, what Easter traditions do you have with your family?  Each year, we dye eggs together the old school way I did with my family as a child (vinegar smell, anyone?).  We go to our church for the Easter service the day before Easter.  Easter morning, Munchie’s Easter basket (filled with See’s Candy just as mine was when I was a wee one) is waiting for her when she wakes and she searches for the eggs we dyed.  Then we head over to my in-laws’ home for a fun hunt in their yard and then we eat a YUMMY breakfast of my mom-in-law’s delicious creamed egg over toast and homemade cinnamon rolls.  We try to make it home to visit my family up north, too, but it is usually just after Easter–no difference, as it’s all about what we are celebrating not when we are able to celebrate.

easter table pamsMy mom-in-law always sets out lots of See’s Candy for all to enjoy after brunch.  We are See’s loving folks!

7. You have an amazing following on Facebook! How do you manage keeping up with your community there, without letting social media take over your life?  I never expected to reach over 100 followers on Facebook so I’m stunned that I’m pushing 14,000 today.  I have very supportive blog friends to thank for sharing my page.  It can be a huge time-sucker, but I aim to commit about 15-30 minutes in the morning on social media for my blog and then another 15-30, as needed, at the end of the day.  I’m usually working on blog posts at the same time.  I don’t like working on the computer when Munchie is home or awake.  Before, I thought I needed to pop in and out of Facebook all day long, but it’s unnecessary–I do what I can and though I love the community over there, I’ve cut back on “tech” time tremendously this year.  I love interacting with people on my Facebook page, though, and it feels like a real community of friends.

blog and tea 1

8.  If you had to choose one cause you are most passionate about, what would it be?  I’d have to say the health and well-being of children.  What’s more important than those little ones?  We should feel obligated to make sure children feel and are safe, loved, and healthy.  Any organization that genuinely devotes itself to children has my vote and support.  

9.  Sometimes I think we should trade locations as you love cool weather and I love warm! What are your favorite and least favorite things about living in sunny California?  HA!  People are probably SO sick of my complaining about our weather here in southern California.  But you’ve got it right–I LOVE colder weather, brisk days, and RAIN.  I get why people love the weather here:  it’s beautiful.  The sun shines, the birds sing (really, pretty much all year).  But I’ve lived in California essentially my whole life and I think I’m just wired to love cooler weather and rainy days.  However, I love that close to 365 days of the year, I can head outside for a long walk with my dog in capri running pants and a t-shirt while Munchie rides her bike next to me.  We can swim and take a short road trip to the snow in the same month or week for that matter.  Pretty cool.  But…more rain, please.  I love cozy, cuddly days best when there’s a fire going and something baking in the oven.  

DSC_0485 Lise Ty Duke Beach Throw PM

10.  What song do you have trouble getting out of your head these days? Let it gooooooo, let it goooooooo!  Please, go away, Song from Frozen.  Munchie sings it all day and so do I because it won’t get out of my head.  It’s everywhere!  Also, “Everything is AWESOOOOOME!” from the Lego Movie.  That one actually cracks me up so it doesn’t bug me and I find ways to insert it into conversations all day long (weirdo alert).

So fun!  I probably need to learn to ramble less with Ask Away Friday.  :)  I’ll get better, promise.  Be sure to stop by Beth’s blog to see her answers to my questions!  ♥  Thanks, Beth!

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Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Cozycakes Cottage: Chocolate Chip Coffee CakeI’m trying to cut back on my cake consumption.  It’s hard.  I don’t eat all the sweet stuff I share here…well, I do a bit, but I don’t eat it ALL by myself.  I usually share with my family, friends, and/or neighbors.  But I eat more than I should.  My little butter belly is rolling its eyes at me right now.

Stop that.

Sharing is key.  Take a couple bites, share the rest.  Doesn’t always happen though.  ;)

So here’s breakfast cake.

chocolate chip coffee cake whole labeled

I can’t be stopped.

This coffee cake is kinda like a giant chocolate chip muffin.  It’s more dense than a muffin, but very moist and while it’s great with a cup of coffee or tea, it’s equally yummy with a cold glass of milk.  I only serve this cake warm.  Warm the morning I make it and the next day I zap slices in the microwave before serving.  Mmm!  Enjoy!  ♥

chocolate chip coffee cake top side labeledgrey signatureChocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened/room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 and ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • about 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Streusel ingredients (see below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-in. spring form pan with Baker's Joy (or lightly grease and flour). Set aside. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until creamy, about one minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with milk. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Make streusel.
  2. For the streusel: Mix together ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (softened). Use a fork to cut butter if necessary. I use my fingers to incorporate everything. Mix in ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Sprinkle another 2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate morsels over streusel.
  3. Bake for about 60 minutes or JUST until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. DO NOT over bake or you'll dry out the moist cake. Cool 15 minutes. Gently run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Remove from outer ring of pan. Serve warm.

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 18 & My Progress

organized home logoI’m a little behind on the challenge.  There were a couple days I didn’t complete the tasks to I’m doing them today.  I cleaned up both of the computers this morning.  With the colds Mr. Cozycakes and Munchie have, I was happy to do so.

computer clean up 1My laptop.  I try to remember to wipe it down/disinfect it every few days (each day would be ideal), but, alas, that doesn’t happen.

computer clean up 2My husband’s home lap top.  It was icky!  Lots of dust and Munchie prints.

I didn’t do the oven cleaning from the other day so I have that to do today.  I had a sweet potato drip then burst in the oven a few weeks ago and I never got in there and scrubbed it out.  Oops.  It smells lovely when I turn on the oven.  Okay, let’s get to today’s tasks!

Here’s today’s assignment:

Day 18 Assignment

{from Crystal of Money Saving Mom}

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great {there’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life!}

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.

::Complete your morning routine {if you don’t have a morning routine, take some time to create one today! Read my How to Develop a Routine That Works–And Stick With It series for step-by-step help.}

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and vacuum the main living areas of your home.

::Vacuum your carpeted closets. Sweep or mop the floor in those closets without carpet. Remove all items from the closet floor and get rid of clutter, trash, and items that don’t belong in that closet.

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay.

Note: If you work outside the home or have a really busy week with little time for extra projects, just do the bolded project above.

Please comment and let me know how you’re doing.  See ya later!

grey signatureOther posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge series:

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 17

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Where do the hours go?  Let me cut straight to it since it’s already mid-afternoon.  Good luck, friends!  Today’s task is kitchen-related.  Phew–because I have a cupboard and pantry that are begging, pleading for my attention.  Eek!

Here’s today’s assignment:

Day 17 Assignment

{from Crystal of Money Saving Mom}

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great {there’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life!}

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.

::Complete your morning routine {if you don’t have a morning routine, take some time to create one today! Read my How to Develop a Routine That Works–And Stick With It series for step-by-step help.}

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and do a quick-clean of your bathroom. Need specific directions? Read this article on How to Clean Your Bathroom in 15 Minutes.

::Clean out and reorganize your kitchen cupboards and pantry.

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay.

Note: If you work outside the home or have a really busy week with little time for extra projects, just do the bolded project above.

Please comment and let me know how you’re doing.  See ya later!

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Other posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge series:

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 16 & My Progress

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I’m late, I’m late!  But here is today’s assignment!  And I snapped a couple of pictures when I was doing other tasks like cleaning out all my utensil and silverware drawers.  I don’t have one large utensil drawer or one large silverware drawer.  I have about 6 slimmer drawers so here are a pics of a few of those after I cleaned them out.

silverware cleanout

Cleaned out the main silverware drawer.  Tossed a few straws and plastic items I never use and can’t stand.  :)

steakknives cleanoutOrganized and cleaned out my “small knives” drawer.  Donated a few sets of children’s chopsticks.

utensils cleanoutThe utensil drawer I use the most.  Over time the items I use the most get tossed around and I like to move them back to the front.  I put duplicates of a couple of items in my donation bag.

baking drawer cleanoutI keep baking tools I use daily in here.  I have another drawer with items I only need now and then, but I pull from this drawer at least 2 times a day.

baking drawer cleanout 2

Ahhhh, I feel good about these drawers.  It’s amazing what collects in them over time.  I found a peanut in one of them.  Ew!

Here’s today’s assignment:

Day 16 Assignment

{from Crystal of Money Saving Mom}

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great {there’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life!}

::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and make a list of weekly goals. I’ll post my goals along with a link-up around 1 p.m. ET this afternoon.

::Complete your morning routine {if you don’t have a morning routine, take some time to create one today! Read my How to Develop a Routine That Works–And Stick With It series for step-by-step help.}

::Set the timer for 15 minutes and quickly pick up your house and put things back into order after the weekend.

::Clean your vents. If you have floor vents that can be removed, remove them and wash them in warm soapy water. Vacuum/clean any dirt or grime around the floor vent area and replace the vent. Use a vacuum attachment and/or a wet rag to dust/clean your other vents.

::Find 7 items to get rid of today. Throw them out, stick them in a donate or garage sale box, give them to a friend who can use them, or list them on Craigslist or eBay.

Note: If you work outside the home or have a really busy week with little time for extra projects, just do the bolded project above.

Please comment and let me know how you’re doing.  See ya later!

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Other posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge series: