Saturday, January 28, 2012

Romancing The Chocolate: National Chocolate Cake Day Today! 2 Recipes

Our most popular cake. Of course anything choc...
Image via Wikipedia
Romancing The Chocolate: National Chocolate Cake Day Today! 2 Recipes: From Denny: Like anyone had to inform the chocolate hounds that today is a special day. We all know we sure don't pay much attention to any other holiday - excepting Valentine's Day - 'cause only chocolate holidays rule. :)

What are the goals of National Chocolate Cake Day? The Obvious: bake and decorate a wonderful chocolate cake and then enjoy it with a few friends! Now that's what I call a plum assignment.

First off, everyone should have at least one basic good Simple Chocolate Sheet Cake in their bag of magic baking tricks. This will make you a big hit at family or sports gatherings - read that at tailgating too.

People can cut the small or large size they desire. Of course, the cake can end up looking like a bit of a messy disaster that way so usually most cooks choose to pre-cut the pieces. I usually cut mine into long fingers like 1-inch x 3-inches. The dieters (and the diabetics who are supposed to behave but can't) can slice that in half - and the Hungry Jacks can take two. Everyone is happy!

Then try the Mexican Chocolate Fudge Pecan Cake where cinnamon is added to a basic chocolate and buttermilk cake. Chocolate and cinnamon are natural pairings and the result is wonderful.
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Love Gift

From Denny:  Have you ever thought about how your words can dramatically affect another person's view of themselves a hundred years  from now?  This poem is a recounting of an actual event in my life as it affected me deeply when I realized the incredible power of a small act of kindness.






Love Gift

Leaning on the door frame
I saw the birthday party hum.
People in perpetual motion,
Swirling in and out of the kitchen,
Dealing brightly colored paper plates
Like a deck of cards at a poker game,
Landing soft as a feather in front of the cake.
Melting ice cubes chinked as they carried the cups.
The conversation was full of giggles and loud laughs,
Little children running like yard cats circling the table.







The woman of the day celebrated 100 years of her life.
She sat at the head of the table drinking in the sights,
Smiling and nodding as she was kissed and given gifts
By excited relatives, friendly neighbors and well wishers.
She was happy to be so honored and respected.
There was a twinge of sadness hiding behind her smile.
I drifted toward her to offer my congratulations, and,
As I was invited to sit near her, she began to reminisce.
I sat back and just listened as she recounted her long life.
She spoke of history unfolding, family increasing, friends gone.
She seemed happy, settled and content, except for something missed.







I listened to more than her words; I listened deeper into her heart
And she offered up her troubling hurt from since birth.
She revealed in a hushed whisper she was born illegitimate.
Her father abandoned them, shaming her mother, never to return.
She said it was hard to grow up scorned by neighbors and family
And here she is now, all these years later, honored by their descendants.
She remarked how strange Life can be and felt good that times do change.
Yet the harsh memories still haunted; her family did not know her hurt.
She quickly fell silent, spent, and with searching eyes looked into mine.
She probed for acceptance, reassurance and words that felt right.







I held her gaze tenderly and said what I believed to be true.
She started to tremble, half afraid, half excited; she said she felt new.
I told her none of us can control how we come into this world.
What we can control is how we choose to live and love in this world.
Her voice quivered, as she wept next to me, while the party, like her, began to calm.
“For a life time I’ve craved to hear loving words that I was worthy.”
She settled back into her chair and straightened her shoulders with new pride.
Now the smile was genuine, her heart refreshed; she put down her burden to live.
To her family, her friends, her neighbors, the world: that was her Love Gift.



Denny Lyon
Copyright 14 May 2010
All Rights Reserved



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Photo Credits

Happy Birthday Cake by Omer Wazir @ flickr

Secret garden gate by ARendle @ flickr

Steps into the light by extranoise @ flickr

Water lilies in the light by tinyfroglet @ flickr




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Comfort Food From Louisiana: Mardi Gras: New Orleans Zulu King Cake


king cake 1


Comfort Food From Louisiana: Mardi Gras: New Orleans Zulu King Cake: From Denny: When you experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans one of the first things you want to enjoy again is the famous King Cake.

Here in Baton Rouge our grocery stores and local bakeries offer literally dozens of varieties from chocolate eclair to cream cheese and blueberry. Those are two of my favorites. :)

The Zulu King Cake has coconut and chocolate chips. Cinnamon, sugar and cream cheese is another popular version.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Unusual 2 Tasty: Chocolate Pudding In The Raw


RAWvolution: Gourmet Living Cuisine


Unusual 2 Tasty: Chocolate Pudding In The Raw: From Denny: There are devoted fans of the raw food diet. While not everyone can partake of this lifestyle there are many recipes anyone can enjoy. This Raw Chocolate Pudding is one of them - and so easy and quick to make!

Who doesn't love the taste pairing of chocolate and coconut? An added bonus is that in place of refined sugar the recipe uses agave nectar which is far superior on the glucose meter for diabetes and others sensitive to sugar.

The raw food diet, and this very simple and quick version of chocolate pudding, may seem unusual but it sure is tasty!
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Social Poets: Funny 2012 Election Late Nite Jokes and Videos


Moneybomb advertising often makes use of inver...

The Social Poets: Funny 2012 Election Late Nite Jokes and Videos: From Denny: With the holiday season yesterday's news, it's time to catch up on the hilarious jokes from the late night comics about the GOP candidates and their utterly lame "debates." These are all the jokes from December 2011 and half of January 2012.

As the political season wears on - and wears out the goodwill of the public - the jokes will only get sharper as the political attacks get nastier. Put on your hockey face mask as the Zingers are about to get hurled at you from every angle during the next 11 months.

All the major news networks are now calling for some serious fact-checking on those GOP claims pooped out onto the airwaves.

You know it's really bad when the mainstream news starts complaining about the very guys who buy the ads on their networks that they encouraged to behave so badly in the first place. Do you think it might have something to do with the fact the majority of the public is not paying attention to those silly debates?

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