Black Forest Cupcakes

How have I never blogged about these before?! 
Simplest thing in the planet. And oh so yum. 

Pretty much, it's just chocolate cake, dump in maraschino cherries and use cream cheese frosting.  You can add more or less maraschino cherries, depending on preference. You can save the cherry juice to make these Cherry Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes.


All I do is whip up the chocolate cupcakes that are easy peasy, adding the cheeries (first shared here):

No Fail Chocolate Cupcakes

1 egg
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup sour milk

Put in bowl in order given.  DO NOT stir until last item has been added.  Beat well.  (GENTLY STIR IN 1/2 SMALL JAR OF MARASCHINO CHERRIES)  Divide into paper lined cupcake pans. Makes 18 cupcakes (I make 14 out of this recipe).   Bake at 350 until done (which I bake them for 20 minutes).  Let cool.

And then a cream cheese frosting (first shared here):

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 stick of room temperature butter
1/2 box of cream cheese
Add desired amount of powdered sugar (~3 cups) and milk (a few splashes) to make it the consistency you're excited about. 


A brand new magnet kit.
Two Usborne books.
A wire puzzle holder.
Two plain shirts that are hollering for a mama made applique.


For Sale

I have been love love loving mass producing these little gems.  I know I'm biased, but I love them.  But, my family does not need 23 of them (that's how many I made so far).  So, I decided I'd sell some.

 These little pouches are perfect for tiny toys, a few crayons and a notebook, some snacks or a little purse.  Or it can be a little gift bag.  They're hand embroidered, but finished professionally on the inside with a serger.  The handles are upcycled from tee shirts.  All designed by me.  First write up about them is here:   Basically, they're a cute, unique little edition. :)  Here's a picture of them open and shut:

Cost is $10 a piece or a current special for the month of May is 3 for $20.  Add a $1.00 per bag for shipping.  Contact me at if you'd like one or a few and we can arrange.  I can easily put them in my etsy shop if you'd prefer to buy that way, which I really ought to take time to post them there anyway.

This is what I have now (some of these I have multiples of):

On my to do list is to have patterns and a tutorial to make your own on my blog. So, check back if you're interested (and give me a little nudge to check that off my to do list if I'm making you wait too long).  Thank you, kindly, for stopping by.  I hope you'll stop by again soon. :)

John D-E-E-R-E

There were many, many happenings at this old farmhouse yesterday.  Yes, this family of four and all of our critters keep the place bumping.  But, we also had a surprise of some out of state relatives of those who lived her prior, doing some genealogy, how neat is that?! We also had a large pizza making gathering with dear friends, paired with Frisbee throwing, water balloons, nature walks and train sightings.  37 people (that's thirty!) have marched on our lawn and through our house yesterday, yes.

But that which makes smile the widest are these pictures here.  Farmer Rick came to work our land.  He has a John Deere. Adrian loves, loves, loves him.  He got to climb on his John Deere a year ago and he still talks about it.  Just this last Thursday, this was the conversation with a random man in the grocery store:

Random man:  "Nice hat."
Adrian:  "It's a John Deere. I have a John Deere at home.  Farmer Rick drives a big John Deere tractor. I love John Deere... "

Random man didn't know the can of worms he was opening when complimenting a John Deere.

Anyway, want to know how fast a two and a HALF year old can wake from a nap, sprint through the house searching for his John Deere apparel and his farm boots?  Let me tell you, fast.  It's important, you see. And we will hear about this Farmer Rick/John Deere sighting for the next year, at least. 

Farmer Rick is such a celebrity.  Adrian wrote him a letter tonight that reads:

"To Farmer Rick,
I love your John Deere, Farmer Rick.
I love your fertilizer.
I love you, Farmer Rick.
Love, Adrian"

Anyway, these photos make me smile. 

Of course, Farmer Rick needed to see one of Adrian's John Deere.  Do you think we have a future farmer living here?!

Magical moments...

I walk into the living room and find this...

 Grab the camera and snap this...
And my heart couldn't be fuller. 

Continuing traditions...

Wood stacking.  I've done a lot of it in my time.  I grew up in a farmhouse...and we heated with wood.  We moved to a log cabin in the woods...and we heated and cooked/baked with wood. My husband and I moved to our first house and installed a fireplace insert.  We moved to our second house (and forever home!) and installed a fireplace insert.  I know I'm a broken record here, but I love love love the smell, the warmth, the ambiance of wood fires. 

As a kid, I loathed stacking wood.  Sweaty, dirty, pinched fingers, sore body, ugh.  (Stop reading here if you're my dad...)  Truth be told, I didn't really hate it as much as I said.  I just liked complaining about it. I used to think I was roped into doing work...I now realize that I probably wasn't too helpful.  Stacking wood was about together time, less about the job getting done. It was probably the longest time I ever had my dad captive as I chattered on endlessly. (And no, that's not an exaggeration...I always followed him, talking at him.) My brother and I busied ourselves, finding the smaller pieces and the perfect place to stack them. Working together to get a job done, with a promise of some baked trip to reward our efforts when we were done. It was actually...kind 

Now that we need wood, it's that type of togetherness that's coming to this farmhouse. Adrian is very serious about his job. And I hope you enjoy the pictures nearly as much as we enjoy this time together.

 (Oh, and PS...I never told you about this fab woodshed attached to the house.  There's a peek-a-boo closet that opens from the shed to the kitchen for stacking wood.  I should have taken pics to show you.  On the to do list... is the secret door to the hidden room.  We found a whole box of newspapers up there that are over 100 years old!)

 And...enjoying the end result.

My little farmers...

Just some feel good pics from our visit to our friends' farm.  They're at  One of these days, we just may take a couple of their goats home with us.

Pics are mostly of it requires many hands to make sure animals are save with gorilla grip Audra.

Oh...notice someone's new John Deere hat from the BOG.  He doesn't know how or care to know how to spell his name, but he is so eager to learn how to spell John Deere.  Important things in life...



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