Chocolate Pudding Cake


Because when you want something chocolately, there's nothing better than Chocolate Pudding Cake.  It's like one big heaping pile of chocolate.  Mmmmm...

Chocolate Pudding Cake
slightly adapted from

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar (that's what the recipe called for.. I used a little less than that)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Stir together the flour, white sugar, 1/4 cup of cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  Add milk and oil; mix well.  Pour into an ungreased 8x8 square pan.  Sprinkle brown sugar, remaining (1/4 cup) cocoa, and chocolate chips over the mixture.  Add the vanilla to the 1 1/4 cups hot water, then pour the water over the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the surface appears dry.  Serve warm with a spoon.  Goes good with a big glass of ice cold milk or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream!!  Roughly serves 4 people (depending on your serving size... uhh.. my husband and I almost ate the whole thing in one night...)...

Blueberry Muffins for a Sick Hubby {recipe}


Yesterday was a very lazy day here in our household!  My Husband was a bit under the weather and came home from his Doctor appointment with an insane amount of medication.  Poor Guy.  So I decided to make some homemade blueberry muffins to cheer him up.  An afternoon of warm blueberry muffins, Tosh.0, Army Wives (yes, he is a trooper), and naps.  Those days are nice every once in a while.. and Husband is feeling a bit better today.  I think it was the muffins.  ;)

Blueberry Muffins
taken from Smitten Kitchen

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, no need to defrost)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners or spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat well, then sour cream (or yogurt).  Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl.  Pour half of dry ingredients over batter.  Mix until combined.  Pour remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears.  Gently fold in your blueberries.  The dough will be fairly thick, closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups.  You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden.  Cool on a wire rack, if you can wait that long (we couldn't!).  They are yummy straight out of the oven with a little butter!

New Discovery!


Actually, I should probably say... a rediscovery!  I have previously owned a John Mark McMillan CD, but I seemed to have lost it a while back.  I don't even remember the last time I saw it.  So I had kind of forgotten that he existed.  But I have rediscovered him (thanks to my Husband)!  And now I can't stop listening to him - so thank you, Hubby!  :)

I'm sure a lot of you have heard this song because it's covered by just about everyone.  This song is just amazing to me.  He has so much great music.  If you haven't heard of him, I highly recommend checking him out!!

Busy, Busy... and Crochet Projects

We have so much to look forward to in the coming months!  Lots to keep busy with.  On November 20th, we are going on a trip to the DMZ, which I've been itching to do since I've been here.  On top of Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up... and oh, the Christmas shopping!  I love Christmas shopping.  Also, my sister-in-law is due soon with her baby - I'm hoping it's a boy!  Husband and I have 3 beautiful nieces, so I'm ready to pick out some cute baby boy clothes.  In the meantime, I've picked out a few crochet projects to experiment with --

A teddy bear, a bunny blankie, and a stacking toy.  I'm really excited to try them! I'm hoping they turn out.  :)

We have a few other things coming up that we're really excited about, and we'll share that with everyone very soon!  Until then... I have to get back to watching Tosh.0 with my Husband.  This show makes me LOL.

Present to Me!


Bought the cutest boots in the world today at the BX.... thanks to my dear Husband!  :)

Madden Girl Women's Zoiiee Boot

I have been wanting a pair of riding-style boots so bad.  Something comfortable... a flat, casual boot... and something warm for winter.  These are PERFECT and I love them.  These are definitely the best pair of boots I own.  Skinny jeans/leggings, riding boot, thick sweater/a great coat, and a classic purse = the best look for fall, IMO.  Can't wait to wear them!

Thanks, babe!!  :)

It's such a Happy Monday!


Our unaccompanied baggage shipment came this morning.  It was like Christmas came early this year!  I spent all day washing all the kitchenware, putting it away, washing blankets, bath towels, and kitchen towels, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping... I am wiped out!

I'm so excited to finally have some of our things here (the rest should be here in a couple weeks).  I'm excited to finally have our Food Network Cookware and our casserole dishes and bakeware.  Although my husband would probably argue that our TV was the best thing that came in this shipment.

I was also excited to get these...

I got these cookbooks from my Grandma.. and I also have her recipe box.  The cookbooks are so old - I love it!  I can't wait to look through them all.  They're fun and different.. 'vintage' you could say.. and they'll always remind me of my Grandma.  And I can't wait to start hanging things on the walls and decorating this place!  It's finally starting to feel like a home.  :)

So my inspiration for today?

1.  Cooking...

2.  Kitchens...

3.  Pumpkins...

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was in the mood for something with pumpkin - it's one of my favorite things about this season!!  I found this recipe here and immediately had to make them.  I've made pumpkin cupcakes before, but I thought I'd try a recipe that was a little different.  This one is perfect!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
from Tracey's Culinary Adventures 
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour  (tip:  if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can substitute 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for 1 cup cake flour)
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla (tip:  if you don't have buttermilk, mix 1/2 cup regular  milk with 1 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes)
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-packed pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350 F and line cupcake pans with 18 liners.

Beat butter and both sugars with a mixer on medium until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt into a separate medium bowl.

One at a time, add the eggs to the butter/sugar bowl and mix.  Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour.  Lastly, add the pumpkin and beat until smooth.

Fill cupcake liners until about 3/4 full.  Bake cupcakes about 25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).  Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
from Martha Stewart
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 4 cups (1 lb.), confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla extract.  Mix until smooth.

Refrigerate until needed (can be made up to 3 days in advance).  When ready to use, bring to room temperature and beat until smooth.  Makes about 4 cups.

I have some leftover pumpkin from these that I had to throw in the freezer... now I just need to figure out what else to make with it!

9.25.10.. we finally had our Wedding..


It was absolutely perfect in every way.  All of our amazing friends and family (with the exception of a few.. who were missed terribly) were there to celebrate with us.  After already being married for almost a year and a half, I was afraid that it would be weird to have a wedding.  Ok, maybe not weird.. just not the same as it would have been.  But it wasn't that at all.  It was almost as if we were getting married for the first time.  I definitely think that writing our own vows was a good choice for us, even though it felt like it took me a good 10 minutes to get everything out so people could understand me without my crying.  We are so blessed to have such loving family and friends who really helped us out with everything and for all the support.  Planning a wedding from Korea isn't easy.. well, it's actually almost impossible.  My mom worked so hard to get decorations and everything together - and it was all so beautiful!  Thanks to my mom and dad for everything they've done for us... I would have been a hot mess if it wasn't for their help.  And Alicia for helping with everything.. and Josh for singing during our ceremony (he sang the song perfectly and we loved it!) and to Lynn for doing the scripture reading for us.  Thanks to Matt and Heather for being so awesome and helping us out with folding programs and taking care of the reception hall.  Jessica and Laurie for their awesome camera skills - they took A TON of pictures for us and I love them all!  I cannot wait to get the video from the ceremony and the photos from the ceremony back.  I am so impatient!  ;o)

 Mani & Pedi with my Momma... a pretty pink!
Getting my makeup done.  I absolutely loved it.

 Our wedding cake & reception hall.  I must say, I chose some beautiful colors. ;)
 I hand-stamped the place cards, and they were held with wine corks.  And the toasting glasses we used were given to my parents at their wedding!  They are gorgeous!

 Gift table/Guest book table.. my mom's wonderful creativity!
The bottle has a note in it that my Husband used when he proposed & the pictures are from the proposal.
Also the pen from my mom and dad's wedding.. LOL.

 Flowers... they were more beautiful than I pictured them to be!!
Bride's bouquet on the left, bridesmaid bouquet on the right.

Our invitations I made (before folding it).  On the back is one of our favorite verses and the one we chose for our scripture reading, Song of Solomon 8:6-7
And our thank you message inside.

Bride & Groom.  <3

 The front of the hotel where we had our reception.

The Lobby of the hotel.

And lastly.. one of my favorite pictures.  Me and my daddy.  :)

Everything was perfect.  From the songs we chose for the ceremony, to the food and decor.. and the necklace I wore, which I just adore!  Everything was better than I imagined it to be.  Now I can finally start to get some frames and hang our wedding pictures up... can't wait!

S'mores Cupcakes


Graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows... the perfect combination!  I saw this recipe on Bakerella and knew I had to try this one out.  They looked amazing!  And trust me, they are.  One of these and a big, cold glass of milk had me satisfied!  I haven't really baked much of anything since being in Korea (3 months... it's been THREE MONTHS and I have only baked one cake).. I've been in the baking mood, and I was bound and determined to make something that made my sweet tooth happy.  I'm proud to say they turned out pretty darn well, too!

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • Bag of jumbo marshmallows
Graham Cracker Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • see recipe here (I cut it in half)
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 oz heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Separate the mixture in half, into two bowls.

Stir cocoa into one bowl and the graham cracker crumbs into the other.
Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup oil to the cocoa mixture and beat until combined.
Repeat, adding the same ingredient to the graham cracker crumbs bowl.

Now to make the graham cracker crumb topping! Mix the brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs into a small bowl and  pour in the melted butter.  Stir until combined and crumbly.

Pour a little graham cracker cake batter into your baking cups and then sprinkle the topping mixture lightly on the surface.  Place a marshmallow half on top and then cover the marshmallow with the chocolate cake batter until it's about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle more of the topping mixture over it.

Bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes.  This recipe made about 16 cupcakes for me.  Let the cupcakes cool and then top with the chocolate ganache.

Now EAT!  MmmMmMmmmmm.

Doesn't it just look pretty???!

Mini Adventure..


Yesterday we decided to venture outside the base a little farther.  We went to Home Plus just to walk around and kill some time.  Coleman driving + Korean traffic = Scary.  I was getting freaked out, which annoyed Coleman.. but.. I couldn't help it!  Maybe next time I'll be a little more calm (doubt it).

We ate some ice cream at the food court in Home Plus, and I also had to get a waffle.  I swear they are obsessed with waffles around here.. and that little boy eating his waffle all by his lonesome......... adorable!  I may or may not come back to the states with a little Korean baby.  Ha!

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles..

Seriously.  It literally took 2+ days to get back to Korea after our wedding (which, by the way, was AMAZING).  We left Monday afternoon for Moline, then flew to Chicago, then on to Seattle.  We arrived in Seattle at about 5:30pm and found out at 10:30pm that we were unable to get on the Patriot Express back to Osan because of severe winds and weather conditions.  So we got a hotel and spent the night in Seattle.  We bought a ticket the next day to Seoul.  We flew from Seattle to Tokyo and had a 17 hour layover, so once again, we had to get a hotel (another adventure.. super!).  And then the next day we flew to Seoul.  We had to get a bus back to Songtan, but got off at the wrong bus station.. it just never ends, seriously!  Then had to take like a 20 minutes taxi ride back to the main gate of the base.  It was a fun trip, though.. and being in Tokyo was neat.  But you can imagine my excitement when we got to Korea and actually started to recognize where we were... it is good to be home!  Our shipments should be here soon with all of our things, so I can finally start to decorate our apartment.