Chocolate Dream Cake

by Liz on April 16, 2020

Chocolate Dream Cake

I just love when an idea turns into a cake, don’t you? Just a few hours ago, after being sick most of the day, my husband said he was in the mood for a really moist chocolate cake. After pondering the idea of going to the store for cake mix, or the two of us going out for dessert, I remembered my favorite cake of my childhood. Lucky for my husband (and me, too I guess) I had retrieved the recipe from my mom’s recipe box last time I visited my parents.

flour, cocoa, sugar

butter, cocoa, water, oil

I looked at the recipe, knew I had everything I needed to make this cake, and I set to work. As I set to work, I realized the reason we ate this cake so often when I was a kid was because of how easy it comes together with such a high payoff in deliciousness. I know I requested it as my birthday cake at least twice.

pouring icing

Chocolate Dream Cake

This is a cake for any occasion, whether your spouse or partner is sick, it’s somebody’s birthday, you’re having company, or you just want some chocolate cake. The best part is that you go from thinking about cake to eating cake in just about an hour, start to finish. If that’s not reason alone to get baking, I don’t know what is.

Chocolate Dream Cake
-From my mom’s recipe box


For the cake:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used my fancy Penzeys Dutch process, but I assure you Hershey’s or Tollhouse will work fine)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

For the icing:

1 stick butter
6 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar together well (I find it’s easiest to do this with a whisk). In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring the water, vegetable oil, butter and cocoa powder to a boil, making sure everything is well combined. Once it starts to boil, remove from heat and pour over the flour and sugar mixture, and mix until smooth and glossy. Then, add the buttermilk, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, and eggs, mixing until well combined. Pour into a 9″ x 13″ pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes until a cake tester/fork/toothpick comes out clean.

For the icing:

When the cake has about 10 minutes left to finish, in a small sauce pan heat the butter, milk, and cocoa powder over medium heat until butter is completely melted and cocoa powder is blended well into the butter and milk. Take off the heat, and whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until combined.

When cake is finished, with a fork, poke the cake 10-20 times, then pour the hot icing over the cake evenly. Let the cake sit for at least 30 minutes so the icing can fully soak into the top and sides of the cake. I like to eat a piece while it’s still a bit warm.


Running a food blog has always been the dream of my life. Big shoutout to all the free guide and mentors who helped me in the past.

If you are new and wish to have a food blog like mine, here are the guides I recommend:

With the help of modern web technology like WordPress and cheap shared hosting, starting a blog - be it a food-related or other types of blog, is very easy. Growing the blog readership and scaling up your blog into a business is different story.

Through out my blogging journey, I have learned and grew a lot.

Network with others - you can do it online via social media networks or in person on blogging conferences. Make your blog layout design clear and easy to navigate. Always take care of your on-site SEO, such as adding relevant keyword to your post titles and linking back to your important blogposts. Stay connected and interacting with your readers - you can do this by creating a newsletter, or a Facebook Group, or run Twitter Chat regularly.

Bottomline - you need to maintain the passion. Always remember what brought you to start your blog in the beginning. And the rest are just problems to be solved. Good luck!

Rainbow Chopped Salad

by Liz on March 25, 2020


Spring is here! This means everything is covered in pollen, I’m sneezing all the time, and suddenly, all I want to eat is salad. Problem is, it’s hard for me to find a salad I like. I’ve been on the search for interesting salads that I can make at home that both my husband and I will enjoy.

dressing ingredients shallot
romaine mangoes, pear, apple

Last week my husband and I got to enjoy a rare day off together on one of the nicest days of the year so far, and this salad was a perfect light dinner as we sat on our deck, drank a beer, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

mangoes, apple, pear hazelnuts

I wish I had more to say other than this is a delicious salad full of different textures and colors. Also, I’m a huge hazelnut fan, so the fact that there’s hazelnut oil in the dressing and chopped hazelnuts as a topping make it even better.

Rainbow Chopped Salad

Rainbow Chopped Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Notes: I think this salad is pretty adaptable in the fruits you choose. The original recipe says you can use either mango or persimmon. I went with mango, and used two instead of one since it’s my husband’s favorite food on Earth. Also, pomegranates are out of season, so I didn’t use any. I used goat cheese instead of blue cheese, and although the original recipe says you can use either hazelnut or olive oil, I say splurge on the hazelnut oil as I think it gives a great nutty quality to the dressing.


For the dresssing:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 & 1/2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup hazelnut oil

For the salad:

6 cups chopped romaine hearts
4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 a medium cabbage)
1 large Fugi apple, diced
1 large pear of your choice, diced
2 mangoes, diced
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, (skins removed as best as possible) coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese


Whisk the vinegar, shallot, and honey together in a small bowl, then slowly whisk in the hazelnut oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the romaine, cabbage, hazelnuts, and fruit; then coat with the dressing. Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve.


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