Saturday, March 21, 2009

Salad Dressing Chocolate Cake with Homemade Frosting

Last night we hung out at my Aunt Jen's house and I made the cake I've been wanting to make since I got the recipe. Sort of. It is a recipe out of my Great Gram's book and it was a loving memory that my aunts and mom had of their grandmother. The recipe is for Salad Dressing Chocolate Cake. My aunt didn't have cocoa powder! So I altered the recipe and made it vanilla, no big deal. I was stupid and put all the batter in one round cake pan instead of two. It tasted fine, but the texture was just gross. It was like clay. xD So I am going to try again today, making it at my house where I know we have everything I need.

Salad Dressing Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix together and then add:
1 cup cold water
1 cup salad dressing (aka, miracle whip)
Mix well and bake in 350F oven for 35 minutes.

Makes 2 round cakes, or 1 large rectangle.

It is extremely moist, and tastes exactly like a regular cake. Just don't eat the raw batter, it's gross. I frosted it with the home made frosting I love so much.

8 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups white shortening
1/2 cup milk
Dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix well

This recipe is designed for a two layer cake. It makes a lot of frosting!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Ostara!

It's the Spring Equinox! A day for new beginnings and saying goodbye to the cold winter that kept us all inside for WAY too long. Sadly we can't be sure that means we won't get anymore snow. It's still early. But we can hope! The weather for this weekend looks good, maybe the rest of the snow will melt.

I plan to clean the house this weekend. I've been wanting to for a few weeks now, but life gets in the way. It's time to change my sheets and blankets especially. The nights are warmer now, so there's no need for the winter blankets anymore. This will be a weekend long project, because we do have other plans for today. The vet is doing a herd check at the farm that my sister and I do 4-H with, so we're planning on helping our aunt catch cows. We get to watch sonograms and who knows what else.

I'm not sure what else my weekend will bring, but it's going to be fun. Planting flowers will have to wait until the places around here start selling them. We live right across the road from a nursery, and we know the owners! Usually that means we can get some good deals. I want to do some baking tonight also, so I'll have a recipe to share soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

End of The Week, End of My Problems?

I can only hope that the end of my week can mean the end of my problems. I feel bad because this will be my second post in a row that is me ranting about my life and stress. I don't want to drag this into my post for Ostara tomorrow, though. I've got no school tomorrow at least. I love teacher workshop days! I'm still not sure what to do tomorrow besides give in to my urge to clean the house from top to bottom. Spring is here- and I want the house neat again!

I really am thankful for the teacher workshop day tomorrow. I was saying to my sister this morning that I wouldn't want to get up tomorrow anyway. I don't know why, but my entire week has turned into this what-else-can-go-wrong kind of mess. It's not that anything major has gone wrong, just tons of little things that have added up. Including my cat getting sick once again. We have no idea why she gets sick, but it happens two or three times every year. Usually when the weather changes from cold to warm (like in the spring) or warm to cold (fall and winter). We can't figure it out. She throws up and we give her medicine for it (thank the gods for a cheap vet!), but it always comes back months later. If anyone has suggestions, I am open to them.

I want to thank everyone for your wishes last week on Wednesday! Today my parents and grandparents met with the other would-be neighbor to ask if we could buy land from them so we could have enough for our trailer. It turns out he may be willing to sell the entire piece of land to us! There is a house there, but he wouldn't charge anything for it he says because it needs too much work. If he does decide to sell it to us it will be better than I could expect. I've thought that piece of land would be perfect for us for a long time. Fingers crossed!

A three day weekend, and I have no homework! How much better can it get? Not sure. How does Spring weather sound to you? Sounds great to me! I only wish we could rely on not getting more snow so that we could start planting flowers. I'm ready to put the horrible week behind me and have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wonderful, Discouraging, Stressful

Those three words best describe the past two days! I don't even know where to begin. Yesterday was just a crazy day. On Sunday a friend emailed me a new scholarship that I would be eligible for, I printed out the form and realized it is due on Friday. I hurried to fill it out, and I did get it filled out. That is the quickest I've ever finished a scholarship form. I wrote the (thankfully short) essay they wanted for it yesterday morning. 7th period yesterday I was having my English teacher check the essay for corrections and fill out an assessment form. I ended up staying after school to get my guidance counselor's signature and a copy of my transcript. Tia and I walked to the post office to mail out two scholarship forms (two down, millions more to go) and then we went to our Aunt Jen's.

I finally got some good news there that made my day... less bad I guess. xD I can't say exactly what it is because they don't want to tell many people right now, but it made my day much better! The other good thing that happened was my Aunt Jen gave me a copy of the new Kim Harrison book, signed! It's not only her name this time, it's signed To Victoria. I can't wait to start reading it! After this I went and watched movies with my cousin, completely ignoring my homework until I got back home at 8 o'clock. I still got it done, which is why I am so amazed when other kids don't get theirs done.

Even with the awesome evening, I still woke up discouraged and wanting to just hide away in a corner somewhere. I know filling out so many scholarships is going to help me later, but that doesn't help me feel any better now. They are time consuming, exhausting, and I've had a nonstop headache hiding in the back of my head since Sunday morning. I got a letter from the Elks Club this afternoon saying I only got a $300 scholarship from them. As my sister puts it "That's a pity scholarship!" I know I should feel happy that I got that much, but they have other scholarships ranging from $20,000 to $60,000. I found myself swearing at the air, and feeling even more discouraged than when I woke up.

Luckily I get a break tomorrow. I've got a field trip! The Spanish and French classes are going to a theatre to see Don Quixote and The Three Musketeers. I haven't seen a play in years, and tomorrow I get to see two! It's going to be wicked fun.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Praise for a Few Great Books

A recent post by Dani sent me looking through my book case for a certain book. Power Spells by Lexa Rosean. My parents gave me this book almost 3 years ago for Easter. Their first real recognition of my choice to follow a Pagan Path. I was surprised by the gift, to say the least. I really didn't have any experience with spells at the time. That day I sat and read every spell in the book, absorbing the knowledge. Spells still have not become a big part of my path. I don't have access to some ingredients, and I have no privacy in our small house. One thing I like about this book, though, is that there are some spells that I can easily and quickly do.

A few months ago I was browsing Borders and I bought The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients. Just the other day I picked it up and went "Hey... this is the same author who wrote Power Spells!" Online today I found she has written a few different books. I plan on finding more of them. I definitely suggest this author to you all if you're interested!

Now, because I feel like talking about books some more, I'm going to babble on. Yesterday I got a new book (I had a 25% off coupon, and we were in Keene, so why not?) it's called Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. It's great! It gives the reader a look into Oz and the witch's side of the story. Gregory Maguire, the writer, is a genius!

My dad told me about a website that is going to fuel my reading addiction., where you can buy second hand books. There is a second hand book store in my town, but it's open odd hours so I've never been inside. I surprised myself yesterday by not buying a ton of $0.75 paperbacks! It took willpower. Online shopping is going to leave me broke if I don't proceed with caution. I don't think I'm going to proceed at all to be honest. I need to stop spending money, and save more for college.