Family Happenings · My Inspirations ♥

Allie, RN

I’m crazy for this girl!!! Allie is my child #2. I told Craig when she was 2 that she would be a doctor. Well, I wasn’t too far off; she is a Registered Nurse and currently going for her Masters.


Continue reading “Allie, RN”

Desserts · Espresso Yourself! · Favorite Recipes ♥

Black Magic Cake


I am the love of Craig’s life for this recipe! Great for getting me out of most trouble I get in… seriously, if you want to impress someone all you need to do is make this. I add almond extract to the frosting instead of the vanilla. Also, this cake actually tastes better the next day or two if it’s still around! This is the recipe I used for my post –   for her baby shower.  I had made cupcakes with this recipe with maple buttercream frosting topped with chocolate dipped bacon – they must have been good, there wasn’t one left!

Black Magic Cake from the Spice house (the original Hershey’s chocolate cake)


  • 1 3/4 Cups flour
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Ebony Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Cup brewed coffee
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 Cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon double strength vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • to taste cacao nibs

Serves / Yields

1 9×13 cake

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine bowls, and blend until smooth. It will be a thin batter. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Mix the sugar and butter, stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth. Spread frosting over a cooled cake and sprinkle with lightly crushed cacao nibs.

Helpful Hints

If frosting is too thick, add a little extra milk.

Desserts · Favorite Recipes ♥

Banana Snack Cake


This is a recipe I ran across many years ago, it has been a family favorite- especially for my Tyler ❤

  • 1- cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 banana’s)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1- 8 oz. carton sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cream cheese frosting- recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350⁰ Grease a 9X13 pan: set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda & salt. When incorporated add in banana, eggs, sour cream & vanilla. Stir in flour until combined. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched & a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Prepare cream cheese frosting. Spread over top. Cut into bars. Cover and store in refrigerator. Decorate if desired, makes 32 bars.

Cream cheese frosting:

In a medium bowl beat in 8 oz. softened cream cheese & ½ cup butter until smooth. Beat in 2 cups sifted powdered sugar & ¼ teaspoon vanilla until combined. Makes about 2 cups.

Desserts · Favorite Recipes ♥

My Mama’s Cheesecake


  • 1 sleeve (1 ½ cups) graham crackers crushed fine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter

Blend ingredients well. Spread in 9X9 greased pan, reserving some to sprinkle on top- pat until firm.

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2- 8oz. cream cheese packages, softened
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix then beat until smooth, spread on top of graham cracker base. Bake at 325⁰ for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is set but the still soft in the middle. Let cool.

  • 1- Jar blueberry or cherry pie filling.

Spread 1 jar pie filling on top. Sprinkle reserved graham cracker crumbs on top. Cover with plastic and refrigerate. Serve with whipped cream. I usually use the low-fat graham crackers and also the 1/3 less fat cream cheese. This recipe also works well with the mini tart pans for parties as well. I used heart shaped custard cups in the picture… Enjoy!!

Favorite Recipes ♥ · Sides & Salads

Mama Carp’s 1000 Island Dressing

  • 1 ½ cups lite mayo
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pickle
  • 4-5 dashes franks hot sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • A good ¼ teaspoon season salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in food processor – refrigerate in covered container. This tastes better when made a head. Use this on Rueben’s and cheeseburgers…. My kids use it as a chip dip as well : )

Feature Friend

Say Hello to My Crafty Courts ♥

Miss Courtney Rose, my beautiful niece from Colorado. It’s hard having a niece that lives so far away- thank God for pictures and visits! These two pictures are from a visit this past summer- it had been 23 years since my brother Ron (Courts Dad) had returned to Minnesota for a visit : )


Continue reading “Say Hello to My Crafty Courts ♥”