rootbeer revelry


This past weekend we took a little stroll in downtown Galena.  Not a good place to go if you're on a diet... chocolate, popcorn, and candy factories galore.  Which is exactly why it's one of my favorite places!  This time, though, I didn't get any fresh kettle corn, or caramel apples, or chocolate goodies.  We went to a new (since the last time I've been there) place called Rootbeer Revelry.

They had shelves full of every kind of root beer possible.  Most of which I've never heard of, but had really fun labels.  Really old root beer that I haven't seen around in a long time.. such as Dog n Suds.... and then they had my absolute favorite... 1919.  Best.  Rootbeer.  Ever.

Clara was eyeballing our root beer floats.  If anyone has any type of food, you are her new best friend.  We couldn't help but give her a little taste of the ice cream!

And this is her happy face after she had a taste.

I'm sure that's what my face looked like too.  This family loves rootbeer floats!

And then on our way out.. I saw this sign at a little store front...... and I think it was a 'sign' that, yes, I do need more yarn.  ;)  Lots of work going on these days at my etsy shop (FB page).

The Best (Texas) Chocolate Sheet Cake {recipe}


I'm a chocolate lover, and always will be.  Although I believe in eating healthy, homemade, and fresh foods.. I will never be one of those people who go on a diet.  I love my sweets entirely too much.  And by eating healthy and getting exercise (aka chasing my daughter around), I feel like I can afford to enjoy my chocolate cravings.

I made this sheet cake for a 4th of July family get together.  It was obviously nothing short of delicious.  This just might be my new favorite cake.  I had to stop people from diggin' in so I could snap a quick shot of it..

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 heaping tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup buttermilk (Or use this tip to make a buttermilk substitute: Place 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough regular milk to bring the liquid up to the 1/2 cup line. Let stand for 5 minutes, then use in the recipe.)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 3/4 sticks butter
  • 4 heaping Tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 cup) powdered sugar (about 3 to 3 1/4 cups)

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into (lightly greased) 13 x 18″ sheet cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (if using a 10 x 15″ jelly roll pan, you may need to bake 22 to 23 minutes).

While cake is baking, make the icing. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Pour over warm cake.  If you made your cake in a 13 x 18″ pan, pour on all the frosting - you may need to spread it a little so it covers the entire cake; if your cake is in a 10 x 15″ pan, just pour enough frosting on to cover the surface of the cake without going over the edges of the pan. You’ll probably have about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of frosting left over (good for eating by the spoonful with a glass of milk... just sayin').

You can let the frosting cool and set before cutting into squares if you want, or cut into squares while it’s still warm and dig in! The frosting will start setting in about a half hour, but it needs between 1 and 2 hours to set more firmly; at 2 hours, it should be nice and firm.

I put little raspberries on the top of each square.. just to add a little color to my 4th of July dessert!  ;)

Want to print out the recipe?  Here is the printable version.

her first pony (tail)


I love summer time.  The sun, warmth, Iowa sweet corn & BLT's... bubbles, pony tails, and splashing in the pool.  Just the other day, we had all of these things..

And some pretty painted piggies...

We put in Clara's very first pony tail.  It makes her look so much older.  :')  She wasn't too sure about it at first, but she tolerates it a lot better than headbands (she is not a fan).

And she helped Nana shuck some corn.  We love us some sweet corn around here.. Iowa has some of the best, you know.  :)  I've waited to years to taste this again.