Friday, February 26, 2010

More good stuff - Gooey Chocolate Cake

I have been CRAVING that Texas sheet cake I made last week so I needed something tonight, but I didn't want something that would linger around the house for me to eat and eat and eat. I have a recipe from the Kraft foods website that I was going to make for Valentine's day. It's for Molten Chocolate cake and it looked so good and so easy. But on Valentine's Day my mom invited us over for her super delicious chocolate cake (seriously what is it about my family and chocolate?) so I never got to make the Molten cake. Well, tonight was the night. I mixed it up while Logan watched and before I knew it the cakes were ready. I sprinkled some powdered sugar on they looked so cute. But when I cut into mine....mmmm! The middle was all oooey, gooey melty chocolate. They were so good! And so easy! The boys loved it (Trevor said because I made such a good treat I got to do whatever I wanted all day tomorrow) and Logan was practically licking his plate clean. If you make this you might want to use pretty plates. This picture is Trevor's cake, so that is why we have the purple plastic plate. But whatever plate you serve it on, it's delicious.

4 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
1 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons flour

Heat oven to 425. Grease 4 small custard cups and place on a baking sheet. Microwave the chocolate and butter for about a minute. Stir to melt the chocolate. Stir in sugar. Add eggs and flour. Divide batter evenly in the 4 cups. Bake 13-14 minutes. Let stand 1 minutes and then invert onto serving dish.

That's it! Easy, huh? And if you go to the Kraft foods website they have a video to show how to make it. Go here to see the video.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good stuff

My jeans feel a little tighter this week than usual. It's all because of this -
it's called Texas Sheet cake or Chocolate Buttermilk cake. But whatever you call it, it's so delicious. I made a pan on Saturday for a funeral lunch. Dave saw it sitting on the counter and asked, "Why don't you ever make this for us any more?" And I had not made it for a very long time (we're talking years). So, while he was gone later that day I made up another pan just for us. I bake mine in a 9x13 pan instead of a large cookie sheet so it comes out super thick. So this week I've had a piece every day...okay, maybe some days I've had 2 pieces. It's the best when it's heated up in the microwave for 18 seconds and the frosting is starting to melt and the cake is warm. Lucky for me it's gone now. I'll have to make it again in a few months....long enough to forget about it so when I do eat it again it's SO GOOD. I don't know what it is about a warm, dense, chocolaty cake that just makes the day feel a little better. I love this cake. I just really, really love it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Monday was a holiday. Since my mom and dad had the day off I asked if they wanted to do something fun. We decided on having a picnic. They told me they'd take us to the Wetlands. What? We have Wetlands in Las Vegas? There is water here? So we went and it was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect, there were not a ton of people, the boys had a good time and it was FREE! We walked on some different paths and saw some small streams and ponds. We had a picnic in a little area with some trees and some water trickling by. We saw butterflies and a ladybug, birds and Colin saw some fish. Our picnic was right by an ant hill so we saw lots of ants too. It's fun when you've lived somewhere all your life and discover places you've never been before.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I'm not really a huge fan of change. My whole life growing up I lived in the same house, had the same friends; everything was comfortable and predictable. I like when things are easy, when I know what is going on and when I know where I am going to be. I like digging roots and staying in one place for a long time. Dave, on the other hand, moved a lot in his family so he is used to change. He is outgoing and in a new situation he can strike up a conversation with anyone. We are moving. I don't know exactly when or where, but I've got boxes in the guest room and the garage, and I'm starting to fill them. We didn't plan on moving from this house but things happen and changes come. I know we won't be going far. It's not like we're moving to a different city or state - we're not even moving to a different side of town. Most likely we'll be in the same neighborhood, but in a new ward, maybe the boys going to a new school (the one my mom works at so that would actually be fun!). And even though I know this is the right thing for us and I know it's not forever, it's still been a little hard on me. Some days I will cry when I think about the wall we've used to measure the boys as they've grown the past 5 years. Other times I'll be excited at a prospects of house shopping again in a few years to find our "dream home", the place we will stay and raise our boys. Sometimes I think of the people we already know in the other wards and I think it will be a fun change, but then other times the thought of being the "new girl" makes me nervous. I worry about the boys, but I know they'll be fine - Trevor is like Dave in that he can make a friend where ever he goes and Colin just goes along with the flow and doesn't seem to have a care in the world. It's really not that big of a change when I stop to think about it, but girls get attached to things like houses. In my heart I know it will all work out, I know we're doing the right thing, I know we'll be in the right places at the right times and all will be well. A wise woman I've known all of my life said to me the other day, "As long as you have your family with you everything will be all right." And she is right.

Friday, February 5, 2010

100 and Counting

Here is a newspaper article about my Great- Grandma turning 100 year old.

North Las Vegas resident Helen Jensen, who is 100 years young, was honored during the recent State of the City address, garnering a standing ovation and handshakes galore.
For the centenarian, who has lost count of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, it was the icing on the cake of what she described as a rewarding life.
Jensen was born Jan. 26, 1910, weighing only three pounds, during a North Dakota winter that she recalls her mother describing as one of the worst she'd ever witnessed.
"I was so small," she said. "But my mom was a good mamma and she knew exactly what to do." Jensen said that her mother placed her in a shoebox that was then placed on an open oven door in an effort to keep her warm.
"It was ingenious," she said.
Jensen was the middle child with three sisters and four brothers. The family lived on a farm where Jensen's job was to pick potato bugs off of growing crops, a favorite memory, she said.
"All the other kids had their chores. We were all out there helping. I loved doing it," she said.
When Jensen was about 12, her father, whom she said was a jack-of-all-trades, moved the family to the Las Vegas area in search of work.
"He wanted to come work for the railroad," she said. "That was in 1924. We came to North Las Vegas before it was (incorporated as) North Las Vegas. And I've been here ever since."
Jensen married young, wedding her first husband, Joe, at the age of 16. Her first daughter, Joy, was born just a few years later.
"I loved being a mom. I felt like it was one of those things I was meant to do," Jensen said.
Two more girls, Rita and Esther, were born within a four-year span, just in time for Jensen to grapple with the responsibilities of motherhood in the crippling Depression.
"But we had some good neighbors and although my husband had trouble finding work, we made it. My girls never went hungry," she said.
Esther Faircloth, now 75, said she remembers those days when her parents owned two homes in North Las Vegas but were forced to move into an old, abandoned gas station at the edge of town and rent the other two properties to make ends meet.
"But those were also good times. For example, I can remember swimming in the Colorado River out at the Hoover Dam while it was being built," she said. "Mamma has pictures."
Jensen and her husband worked and raised their children through the years. During World War II, Jensen became a nurse after fulfilling the only requirement of the time, which was to read the "Handbook of Women's Ambulance and Defense Corps of America," and pass an exam. She worked as a nurse at the county hospital for more than 20 years.
"I started during a war when everyone was encouraged to go out and do their part, so that's what I did," she said.
Jensen and Joe eventually moved to a ranch in Utah where they lived for six years, but the couple returned to Nevada after an accident left Joe in bad shape.
"He had some bruises and broken bones. And we decided to come home to be with our girls," she said.
After 54 years of marriage, Joe passed away, in what Jensen described as one of the most devastating days of her life.
"But you move on and live life because that's all you can do," Jensen said.
In 1981, Jensen married second husband Lee, with whom she shared a quarter century until his death four years ago.
Jensen celebrated her 100th birthday with a party on Jan. 23 (three days in advance of the actual birthday) at Aliante Station, surrounded by three generations of descendants and hundreds of relatives.
"I've lived a good life," she said. "North Las Vegas has always been my home, and I've seen a lot of change through the years. I have no regrets. I only feel blessed."

My Great-Grandma with her daughter (my grandma,), son-in-law and 7 grandchildren (my dad and his siblings).

My Great-Grandma with most of her great and great-great grandchildren from my dad's side of the family.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I called the medical advice line at the doctor's office this morning to see what I should do about Logan. I took him in on Friday for croup and he got a shot of something that made his croupy cough go away but now he's coughing like crazy and he and I have not gotten a good night's sleep for a couple of days now. He's cranky and the past 2 days he's ASKED to take a nap and last night he went to bed at 6 and fell right to sleep. So I'm thinking he must be REALLY sick. The nurse called me back once already, but she had to check with the doctor so now I'm going to just wait. She might call back soon or I might not hear back from her until the end of the day. I keep wondering if I should just go and do my grocery shopping now, or if as soon as I leave the house the phone will ring. I guess times like this are why people have cell phones. But I don't have one so I'll just sit and wait some more while I listen to Logan hacking away.