Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sunday Dinner - Chicken Mamou and excellent bread.

This was a super delicious Sunday Dinner - the sort where everything was perfect and went great. And then the next 3 weeks of Sunday Dinners were all disasters.

Let's talk about this one first - this amazing bread is from
The New Best Recipe and I was so proud of it.
 Look! Artisanal Bakery Perfection.

The pasta was from Guy Fieri's Family Food and was called Chicken Mamou.
It was delicious and made a ton - we ate it for days.

I don't recall dessert - might have just been ice cream?

It was all downhill from there though.

The next Sunday I made a turkey sandwich from the same Guy Fieri book and it wasn't very good.  It had an orange cranberry spread that was too sweet, too sour and too harsh all at the same time.  It overpowered everything else.  Disappointing.

The next Sunday I tried to bounce back with a chicken dish with a creamy sauce.  The sauce was amazing but the chicken was awful - so tough we couldn't chew it.  Everyone was discreetly spitting out wads of partially chewed chicken, as discreetly as one can do that.  I was MAD.  Next Sunday would be different! I vowed.

Well, it was and it wasn't.......
We tried the New York Times version of the Mississippi Roast, but with a sub for roasted peppers instead of pepperoncini, which is fine, but we had kid activities, and then needed to do some shopping, and by the time we got home we were running low on time for cooking.  The roast got the minimum cooking time, but it needed more.  The flavor was nice, but it wasn't very tender.

I don't think I'm a super amazing cook, or anything like that, but 3 less than stellar Sunday Dinners in a row was a kick to the pants, yanno?

Well, back to the grind......

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Club - The Gatecrasher by Madeline Wickham

‘Congratulations, young man,’ said Johnny. ‘I despise the game of golf and everything associated with it, but congratulations nevertheless.’

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Club - Counting Back From Nine by Valerie Sherrard

The voices in the back of my brain will not stop.

hinting, probing, whispering words that
cannot be true and do not belong.

I hate them because I know they
are false - must be false and yet
they will not leave me no matter
how many times I
tell them to go.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Club - As Always, Julia

"I am absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of work you have all put into this.  Swept off my feet.  Knew before how good the book would be but never felt it quite this way before.  Masterly.  Calm, collected, completely basic, and as exciting as a novel to read.  This can't be just my own reaction because I'm nuts about food - I think many, many people will feel the same way."
Letter to Julia Child from Avis DeVoto, 1954, 7 years before the cookbook would be published.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sunday Dinner - Spinach Lasagna, Foccacia Bread, Brownies

Guys - big news over here. I think I have figured out why I've gained 15 pounds in the last year and a half. It might have something to do with cooking meals like spinach lasagna, foccacia bread, and brownies.  What do you think?  Am I on to something?

The lasagna came from my America's Test Kitchen book and is pretty easy and really tasty.
The foccacia was from Hot Bread Kitchen, which I got as a gift last year and I'm excited to get more into it.  The bread was fine; wouldn't rush to make it again.  
The brownies were from Cook with Jamie, which did not survive its review and return to my bookcase.  They were good brownies, but they were the 
only thing we liked out of the book, so away it goes.

Yup, I'm still doing the Instagram purge of my cookbook collection.  I've reviewed or contemplated 121 books so far, and gotten rid of another.......70? 80?  100?  I didn't keep track as closely as I'd hoped to.  I'm in the "final" stretch now, maybe 40 ish to go.  I'm stalled out on them right now, but I'm hoping to get back into it soon.  I'd like to get it done, not only to be done with cleaning out the books, but to maybe not feel obligated to make spinach lasagna, foccacia, AND brownies all for the same delicious, delicious meal.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dinner at Match

Last month we took The Grandparents out for dinner for their anniversary.  After much discussion and scouting, they chose Match Eatery and Public House at the casino, next to The Buffet, which The Mister and I lunched at a year and a half ago.  We picked it because it seemed family friendly (ie no one would glare at my loud children), it had food that interested The Grandmother, and we had a coupon.

The pub is split into 2 sections - a lounge area at the front, and a more "restaurant" area at the back, where you can take kids.  We were there on a weekend so it was busy and loud.  Between the people and the 400 tv's the volume level of my kids was nothing to worry about.  The thing to worry about was the Ultimate Fighting show that was on all of the 400 tvs - if you took your eyes off your plate there was someone getting kicked in the face, and blood everywhere.  Considering we were in the "family" area of the place and none of the other tables (which included other families with grandparents and kids, and friends gathered for birthday parties) seemed to be watching the fighting, we wondered why it needed to be shown in the part of the restaurant.  All the cheering and clapping was coming from that front lounge area; we didn't appear to have any UFC enthusiasts sitting among us in the back.

Our server was lovely and helpful, and at the end of the meal he brought my parents a free dessert to celebrate their anniversary.  Here's some photos I snapped while trying to keep the kids from watching the fights, lest they get any ideas to try at home:

We started with the pretzel appetizer because we love them.  The pretzel was good, but the mustard sauce was too harsh.

I had a steak sandwich.  It was good, but the fries were dry and flavorless.

The Mister had the chicken and waffle sandwich, and it was very good.  

The Boy had fish and chips and The Girl had mac and cheese, both off the kids menu.
The Grandmother had salmon,and The Grandfather had a steak that he liked very much.

I've heard mixed reviews on this place from others - I know a couple of people who go here on a regular basis and love it; I've also heard from a few who didn't enjoy it at all and don't plan to go back.  All I know is I'll be checking the sports schedules if we ever plan to return.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tiny Happy Tuesday

Hillary  wants us to share some happy parts of our days.  Here's mine this week.

My Fam surprising me at work to bring me a mid-morning pick-me-up of  kisses, ice tea, and a plant for my window ledge.

Cinnamon Sugar toast on Sunday morning.

My yoga mat at work means there is a class in my future.......


Saturday, April 08, 2017

Book Club - Everything Is Perfect When You're a Liar by Kelly Oxford

"I realize I'm on a goddamn Las Vegas stage with a full bladder beside THE David Copperfield, and he's just asked me to pick up a scorpion."

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

practice any art

The full text, supposedly, from the above quote -"What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow."

I have always been the most least artistic person around.  No talent for drawing or painting or anything like that. My Father is a very talented artist, and The Mister is pretty good at it too, and he comes from it honestly - his Grandmother was a very accomplished painter.  Talent all around me!  We've been trying to encourage The Boy to work on his art skills lately, just for fun.  
And I've been working on mine too.
I've taken 2 "Paint Night" classes in the past couple of months, one with My Boo (my BFF) and one with The Mister, and while I will not be showing you my work here, it was pretty fun, 
and I was pleased with my work.  From me.
It's made me want to play more, try some painting with watercolors, and  My Boo and I are contemplating trying our hand at pottery too, and I'm a little excited about it.

“Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.” ~Duane Hanson

Sunday, April 02, 2017

A Tale of Two Cakes

The Mister had a birthday recently, and I accidentally left the cake planning to the last minute.  Whoops.  
I found 2 delicious cake recipes on the internet that I thought were good; 
one was an interesting sounding chocolate cake, and the other was a pumpkin cake.  
I was really leaning towards the chocolate cake because it sounded fudgy and 
delicious, but I knew that he would really rather have the pumpkin cake, as he 
is a fan of all things pumpkin, PLUS, I had a can of 
pumpkin puree, so problem solved.

I ran to the little store by my work and spent a ridiculous and painful 
amount of money on some butter and cream cheese, and that night 
after dinner I went to make the cake except - where was the can of pumpkin?????  
I tore the kitchen apart but didn't find it.  So Plan B, chocolate cake.

I did not need to butter and crumb the pan all the way to the top, apparently.
The cake was easy to make and was pretty tasty - rich and delicious.  A little went a long way.
The Mister enjoyed it, but he was sad about the pumpkin cake, 
so that weekend I bought a can of pumpkin puree and made the pumpkin cake.
What.  A.  Cake.
Moist, tender, perfectly spiced, delicious.
(I skipped the brown butter icing in the recipe and made some cream cheese frosting instead.)

Both were great and I would make them again, but The Mister was especially 
in love with the pumpkin one.  Can't blame him a bit.

Swedish Gooey Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

100 days of meditation that didn't happen

I took the photo below on January 1, the day I started what I hoped would be a 
100 day journey with meditation.  It ended around Day 5.  
I have very bad anxiety, and I was hoping that meditation would be something I could use 
as a tool to stay calm and/or bring myself back to calmness when needed.  
When I was on maternity leave I bought that book, plus a whack of other spiritual 
books in hopes that I would find something to help me.  So far I haven't finished 
any of them.  But with meditation it's the same as it's always been - my mind can't 
focus on being calm and quiet, my inner voice won't be silent and continues its 
never ending negative monologue.  I've put the book to the side, and I hope 
that one day soon I can try again.

What I have accomplished though, since January 1, is practicing yoga every day.
I'm taking 1-3 classes a week, and practicing at home the other days. Some days at 
work I do a quick session if I'm feeling overwhelmed, but that will probably stop 
because I just moved desks and now I have someone sitting to my side and I'm 
not sure I want someone staring at me while I do poses.
Anyhoo, I'm so proud that I've been able to commit to daily yoga every day so far this year.  
My initial plan, like the meditation, was to aim for 100 days, but now I'm planning 
for each day, every day, for all the days.

"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."
B. K. S. Iyengar

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sunday Dinner - Sausage Pie and Armenian Orange Cake

Both of these recipes came from Best of Bridge cookbooks from the 80's.  The pie 
especially had a retro feel, I thought.  It was fairly easy, and very tasty -
 the dough, unlike the Nigella Lawson savory pie I made a few months ago, uses
 the Pilsbury tubes of dough for the crust.  Simple.
It was a big hit, and I would make it again.

Dessert was an Armenian Orange Cake - something I've never heard of before.  
The method was what drew me to the cake - you make a crumb mixture out 
of the usual cake suspects - butter, flour, sugar etc with some orange zest thrown in, 
put half in your pan, and then to the rest you add sour cream and eggs, pour it over top,
 and bake.  It was good, but so rich.  So, so rich.  The kids were sort of meh 
on it, and The Mister couldn't even finish his one piece, but The Grandfather 
loved it so much he took all the leftovers home.  
I don't know if I would make it again, but that's just our tastes, nothing against the cake.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stuff to read, see and do - 1

I love pretty much everything that Zoot writes, but this one really struck me when I read it - Morality and Poverty.   So many people seem to think it is their job to judge others and tell them how to live lately.  Why is that?

Another one that got me in the feels is Angry Bees from Hillary. I can 100% relate with this - I went through a stage where I didn't want anyone to hold The Girl but me - I was convinced anyone else holding her would fall and hurt her.  Anxiety sucks.

I laughed until I cried - Bad Lip Reading - Inauguration Day.

I am very into calming music and nature sounds to help keep my anxiety levels down.  I really like the recordings Moby  released - ambient music that he's put on the internet for free.  So awesome.

I forgot to buy baking soda last shopping trip, so this homemade baking soda body scrub will have to wait until next weekend.

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. 
Make. Good. Art.” ~Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chili Cheese Dog Bake and other recipes we've tried lately

Have I mentioned lately what a joy it is to cook for my children. No? Guess why.

(pulls out own hair and screams internally)

Kids, man.  WTF.  Work all day, come home, dash into the kitchen to make them a healthy-ish, usually delicious dinner, and they complain, turn up their noses,  whine, and the little one tosses hers on the floor.  The big one probably would, if he thought he could get away with it.

Can't give up, can't stop of course.  The Beasts need to eat.
Wasn't someone working on a pill or drink that would replace the need to eat food?  
How is that coming?

Chili Cheese Dog Bake - from Buzzfeed.  The Boy said - "I don't want to make you cry, so - " and then he did a "sideways" thumb.  I didn't cook this quite long enough, some of the dough was a bit underdone.  It was ok.

Sheet pan chicken fajitas also from Buzzfeed.  These were good.  Even the kids ate some.

I truly wasn't sure how the vegan cauliflower wings would be received, so I only made a quarter batch, which was a big mistake.  THESE WERE DELICIOUS.

The moment I read the recipe for these flourless sweet potato brownies I was in the kitchen cooking sweet potatos to make them. No one in the family would eat them but me.  They were pretty tasty; you aren't going to fool anyone into confusing them with real brownies, but they weren't bad.  My tasters at work were silent.

Slow cooker salsbury steak is a bit on the processed side, with onion soup mix in the patties, and the sauce made of jus mix and cream of mushroom soup, but it was easy and pretty tasty.  A winner with 3 our of 4 of us.

Hawaiian grilled chicken was a hit with everyone, and super easy.  Just dump a bunch of stuff over some chicken, marinate overnight, and cook the next day.

I had really high hopes for these sausage and mushroom pizza bowls but it was not meant to be.  The Boy convinced himself that they would be awful, even though he loves pizza, and I served it with bread for dipping and/or spreading.  The Girl flat out refused it.  I was too annoyed by their reactions to enjoy it, but The Mister had 2 helpings, bless him.

This week we are trying a new pasta recipe with chicken, a vegan curry, orange baked chicken, and nachos.  What's happening in your kitchen?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Club - Shrill by Lindy West

"There is not a thin woman inside me, awaiting excavation.  I am one piece.  I am not a uterus riding around in a meat incubator.  There is no substantive difference between the repulsive campaign to separate women's bodies from their reproductive systems - perpetuating the lie that abortion and birth control are not healthcare - and the repulsive campaign to convince women that they and their body size are separate, alienated entities.  Both say, "Your body is not yours."  Both demand, "Beg for your humanity."  Both insist, "Your autonomy is conditional."  That's why fat is a feminist issue."

"As a woman, my body is scrutinized, policed, and treated as a public commodity.  As a fat woman, my body is also lampooned, openly reviled, and associated with moral and intellectual failure."

Brilliant book.  💛

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sunday dinner - beef stew and fougasse

I made a darn good stew in my fake Le Creuset pot in the oven, via America's Test Kitchen.
The bread is onion fougasse, from the onion and bacon fougasse recipe from Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads book, which I have mentioned here numerous times.  Buy this book!

I initially didn't love the fougasse, as it didn't puff much.  It was flat and crisp and not what I'd imagined.  But it was tasty and it went well well with the stew, so that was good.

I'm done with that book for now, but I'm itching to get back into the kitchen and make some more bread......

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tiny Happy Tuesday

The Boss buying us drinks from Cafe Motivo. I got my fave hot 
chocolate with salted caramel syrup.

Saturday morning yoga while everyone is asleep. 

Watching Moana with the kids.  Everyone loved it.  We laughed, we danced, I cried (and cried).  I can't wait to watch it again soon.

Thanks Hillary for wanting us all to share our Happy.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mighty Life List - Let's Get Crafty - Photo holder

This is a super fun, pretty easy craft that I can take nearly no credit for at all.

In the Fall The Mister and I were in the big name craft store, and I saw this photo frame 
that had clips for photos, which I thought was a really neat idea.  It was an ideal gift for 
The Grandparents, I thought, so easy to switch out photos!  
But the price tag nearly knocked me over.  I showed it to 
The Mister, and said - do you think we could make something like this?  
So we did.

We wanted to make one for us and one for The Grandparents, so The Mister 
went to the building store and bought a length of 2x4.  We figured out how long 
we wanted the frame, so we could hang 3 photos either portrait or landscape.  
He cut them into the lengths we wanted and 
sanded them smooth and slightly rounded the edges.  

He wanted to try a paint technique where you put a color of paint on, 
then once it's dry you paint over it with white, then when THAT'S dry, 
you sand it so the undercolor shows through in areas.  So he did that and the kids
 helped  and there was only a medium sized mess to clean up afterwards.

Next we tracked down some Crocodile clips to hang the photos.  
The Mister attached 3 to each frame, again spacing out as best we could so that 
you could hang photos either way, portrait or landscape.

The Mister attached a photo hanger to the back of each, and voila!  
A very pretty, beachy photo holder that can be changed up easily.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Book Club - The Mare by Mary Gaitskill

And I knew: I am doing it for this.  If somebody asked me what this was,
I wouldn't be able to tell them.  But I knew, I knew.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Taking Stock - March

Last months list was a bit on the negative side, so I'm choosing to be more positive this month-

Making : an effort to be more crafty and arty.  But boy, I am not very good at it.

Cooking : is still a chore.  Kids are so picky.  I told The Boy that when he is grown up I am going to go to his house for dinner and complain about everything he makes.  He told me that would be mean. I pointed out that this is what he does to me.  He failed to see the similarities.

Drinking : more water is my goal this month.  And to also eat better and start losing a few pounds.

Reading: daily is back to being part of my routine, most days.  I just finished a book that I'd bought due to the rave reviews I read, but I didn't think much of it.  I just started a Deepak Chopra book I bought a number of years ago but haven't yet read.

Trawling: mostly for yoga inspiration these days.

Wanting: to compile a list from all the emails I've sent myself about books I want to read.  I have one more gift card to spend, so I will have to choose wisely.

Looking: forward to Spring!  So badly. I love the longer days already  - a little less darkness is a good thing.

Deciding: on menu planning for the next few days, right after I work on this.  Yippee.

Wishing: some days that I could fit more in a day.  And some days, less.

Enjoying: how much less TV I am watching these days.  Our PVR is rapidly filling up, so I will have to make some drastic choices on shows that are definitely out.

Waiting: is almost over.  I bit the bullet and complained to our cel phone provider about my shitty SHITTY iphone that is only 2 years old, and I've got a new phone sitting at the post office for pick up.  I'm more freaked out that I should be about not having an iphone anymore, but hopefully once I get used to it, it will be a better phone that actually works.

Liking: a drink that a co-worker introduced me to at Cafe Motivo downtown - hot chocolate with a shot of salted caramel syrup.  So delicious.

Wondering: if it's time to get my hiney out of this chair and move on to other chores......

Loving: my family.  I am lucky.

Pondering: on cleaning out the pantry and freezer soon. They are so messy, it seems like it would be easier to keep ignoring them than to clean them out.

Listening: to The Tragically Hip.  I scooped our "best of" cd's from The Mister and have been listening to them on my drives to and from work.

Considering: getting ready to do a big Spring clean of the house.  It needs it.

Buying: Bought both kids shoes and pants.  The Boy has no waist or hips and the skinniest legs.  It was pretty funny, but I was also a bit jealous.

Watching: movie night with the kids is pretty fun, as long as you don't want to actually hear the movie.  Saw Finding Dory, which was cute.  The Octopus stole the show, and the touch pool scene in the aquarium made me laugh out loud.

Hoping: to get to all of my yoga classes this week.  I've had to work extra lately and missed some.

Marvelling: at The Boy's progress at school the past few months.  He's settled in a bit more, his teacher loves him, and he loves reading now.  Very exciting for me.

Cringing: at my reactions sometimes.  I need to Practice the Pause.

Needing: to get some stuff done today.  Like laundry, cleaning, dinner, dinner prep for the next few days, and bill paying.

Questioning: how to deal with difficult people.  I seem to be surrounded by them.

Smelling: the peppermint soap I've packed up to take to work.  I'm moving desks and will be cleaning out my new area with peppermint to clear away negative energy.

Wearing: a dress that I don't like enough to wear outside the house.  It's a cheap Old Navy dress that is not very flattering.

Following: advice is a lot harder than dishing it out.

Noticing: how kick ass I feel this week after learning 2 new yoga poses.  So cool.

Knowing: I am heading towards the right path.

Thinking: about how I keep saying today is the day I make more changes to my eating habits.  And then it doesn't happen.

Admiring: the strength I see in people.

Getting: so into another book right now - Shrill by Lindy West.

Bookmarking: food, yoga, and how to make homemade body scrubs with baking soda.  I am nearly out of Lush products from the gift from my MIL at Christmas 2015, so I will have to get inventive.

Disliking: how cold the weather turned after our beautiful warm spell.

Opening: the fridge this morning to find leftover pizza for breakfast.  Yaaaaasssssssssssss.

Giggling: didn't happen much yesterday. Let's make it a priority for today.

Feeling: excited that we get to go out for dinner this weekend! 

Helping: others sometimes is a thankless job.  So thank yourself.

Hearing: the tinkle of the water filter in the aquarium.  If I close my eyes can I pretend I'm at the ocean?

Celebrating: my parent's anniversary soon.  I'm excited about the gift we're getting them.

Pretending: I am a yoga teacher sometimes when I practice at home. Silly but fun.

Embracing: the niceness and positivity around me.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Something I Like - Flat Colander

I bought this flat colander on inpulse for $5 at Superstore a few weeks ago (Just as they'd hoped of course, I fell right into their web.....) and I love it.  
It's handy for washing fruits and veggies, which for some reason seem.... difficult?  to sometimes wash in a "regular" colander.  I can't explain it.  It just works.
It's one of those things that you don't really need, but it's handy to have.  Unfortunately it lives out on my counter right now, and the last thing I need is less counter space, but whatevs.  Handy.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sunday Dinner - Chicken and peas and chow mein

Mmmm!  This picture makes me hungry to have this meal again soon.  We made David Lebovitz's Olympic Seoul Chicken and paired it with Classic Chow Mein and Kylie Kwong's Stir Fried Snow Peas with Garlic and some steamed broccoli.
Mango ice cream for dessert.

I did all the chopping and measuring ahead of time so the cooking was nice and easy.  

We have really ground to a halt cooking wise over here.  We've been busy and I've been working a lot, and the kids continue to be so super picky.  The few new things I've made have been met with mostly negative reception, with makes it even less fun to do menu planning and cooking.  
I am actively avoiding it now by writing this and soon moving on to yoga and some work I brought home, but it must be done eventually....

Saturday, February 18, 2017

things don’t always go exactly as planned


It is with deep sadness that the Vinyl Cafe family announces that Stuart McLean passed away today, February 15th, 2017, at age 68.
We are heartbroken. 
But we are also finding comfort in memories of our dear friend. 
Stuart always emphasized that the world is a good place, full of good people, trying to do their best. He believed in people’s extraordinary capacity for love and generosity. And he had faith in our ability to work together for the common good. 
He was, in other words, firmly committed to celebrating the positive, joyful and funny side of life. Stuart assured us that even in difficult times, we can find things to be grateful for and ways to laugh. Now that he is gone, we will try hard to do just that. 
Stuart connected us – to our country and to each other. He entertained us, he made us think, he made us smile. Occasionally he made us cry. And, through all of that, he reminded us that life is made up of small moments. We never know which ones will be forgotten and which ones will stay with us forever. 
So today, and hopefully every day, we’re going to celebrate Stuart’s life by trying to make each moment count and by being grateful for all of them.
We are certainly grateful for each and every moment we shared with Stuart. 
We will miss him.


There will be a public tribute at a later date. The family requests privacy at this time.


The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
Stuart worked at Camp Kanawana for five summers, and he often said that it changed his life. This fund will help children and teens without the financial means to attend Camp YMCA Kanawana, a community where they learn to care for themselves, each other and the environment.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Club - Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

"Family first, work second, revenge third."

"Men watch out; the ladies are coming for your toys."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Streusel Cake

We had 2 birthdays to celebrate at work, and you better believe I volunteered pretty fast to make a treat for all of us.  It was time for cake.  It should always be time for cake.

The problem was, I volunteered the day before we needed the cake, and we had an activity 
that night, and some errands, plus the usual dinner/hysterical playtime/PLEASE 
everyone go to bed now so I can too time, and so I had no time to go to the store; 
I needed to make something with whatever I had on hand.

I grabbed my Bon Appetit cookbook off the shelf because I remembered from my 
testing how many wonderful desserts there were.  My first two picks had to be no'ed 
because I didn't have all the ingredients.
I landed on this super easy kitchen staple ready Chocolate and Peanut Butter Streusel Cake.  
 I know!   

In less than an hour the cake was out of the oven and cooling, and because of the streusel 
topping I didn't have to ice it, another bonus.  I was a bit worried that the edges were going 
to be rock hard as I'd had to add some extra cooking time, but the cake stayed nice and
 moist, which was a real bonus as it was a huge cake that lasted a long time.