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Easy! Moist! Cherry! Chocolate!……..Yes!


Wait… what???

I’m talking CAKE people. CAAAKE!!
I can see most male readers exiting right at the word cake. It’s all good.
We women understand the power that those words hold in that title.
Sounds sexy though, doesn’t it?

That’s because it is.

What more can you want? Luscious chocolatey Devils Food cake, dotted throughout with juicy cherries, all topped with a rich, chocolatey glaze that adds a moist denseness to the cake that you would make you run, arms flailing and screaming gibberish, naked in the streets for.

Well, maybe the naked part’s just me.

Moving on, this is an impressive cake that’s one of the most simplest “hacks” I’ve made yet. I actually laugh out loud, all jolly-like, at how easy this recipe is.

Three super simple ingredients: Devil’s Food Cake mix – now, this could be any chocolate cake mix you wanted to use folks, but I like to get all “gourmet” on things, so I sprung for the fancy box. I know, you’re impressed, no need to be coy. Three (3) eggs, and a can of cherry pie filling finishes the list.

I know, crazy simple right?

*laugh out loud all jolly-like with me now*

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 pan . I used my fancy Pampered Chef Stoneware Bunt Pan. Oh btw… Pampered Chef didn’t pay me to say that…. or use even use it. I came up with the idea ALL on my own….. Ok, not really, I actually read it somewhere but it rolls with the whole gourmet theme I had going on.

Now comes the hardest part of the whole recipe.


Open that crazy cake mix box. Open the bag inside. Pour the contents in a bowl. (Put the empty box in your recycle bin. Think of the kids.) Crack in your eggs over the cake mix. Open the can of pie filling. Scoop it in the cake mixture. Miiiiiiiiiiiiix it all around. Don’t do a cyclone type mix… just gently incorporate it all together really well. Sing a song, maybe.

Really hard to do, isn’t it?

Pour the contents into the pan and throw it in the oven.



Bake it for 35 – 40 minutes or until a tester of some sort comes out clean. I used a wooden skewer. If you’re using a bundt pan, it may take a few minutes longer but just babysit the bundt for a bit near the end of the cooking time.

While it’s baking, melt 1/2 cup of butter in a sauce pan. Add 5 tablespoons of cocoa, 6 tablespoons of milk, and a dash of vanilla, and bring to a boil. Combine that mixture into 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar and mix together. You want the consistency of thick syrup. Add a bit more milk by the tablespoon if you need to loosen the glaze.

This is the lusciousness that will top your sexy cake.


I turned out the cake onto a stand and poked holes all over that beauty with that same wooden skewer used earlier for testing. Slowly drip the glaze over the cake’s chocolatey goodness, letting it ooze into the inner depths of it to keep it even moister. Put some love into the whole process.

If you’re a foodie like me, you may need moment at this point. Its sheer beauty may make you shed a tear. It’s OK honey, revel in all its super sexy splendor.


After the glaze sets, you can slice it. (That is, if you can wait that long.). Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely sure there are other cake recipes out there that will rival this one. HOWEVER. This recipe has the EASY factor pulling it ahead of all others. You can whip up this gorgeousness in less than five minutes for the oven, and have an impressive dessert finished in about an hour.

G’head. Make it. You’ll see.

This cake will impress all your friends, you’ll be the talk of the town at the church picnic, local PTA meeting, or potluck. (Also, keep in mind, that always special PMS mood would partner fantastically with this cake as well….. Just sayin’).

Lastly, you can always enjoy that moment alone with just you and the cake piece of cake, feeling that special “feel good” power of  The Cherry Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake…….. just for the hell of it.

Speaking of just for the hell of it, why not click to follow/subscribe link to my blog? You’ll get a notification every time (no spam) there’s a new cool recipe or review that I’d love to share with you!!

Is Common Ground Cafe……. common?

Common Ground Cafe
50 Brentwood Blvd Sherwood Park, Ab

My friend and I decided to try out Common Ground Cafe on a recent friday for lunch. She had already eaten, so it was just me who would try out the tasties.

The decor is SUPER cute.  A cute little “foyer” of sorts greets you when you arrive and they have on locally made crafts for sale.  QUALITY stuff, folks.  Btw, the purses/bags they have on display there are KICKASS BEAUTIFUL! I wish I would have got the name of who makes them, but I didn’t. You’ll have to just get your ass in there to check them out yourself.

Tables are topped with re-claimed barn wood, all rustic and warm feeling, and even the chairs have little crocheted socks on them!

Table Table2

Yeah, ok, who cares that the little socks are so the feet of the chairs don’t scratch the floor, it’s a cute touch!  The art on the walls showcase local artists that incidentally, like the purses and jewelry, are also for sale. Trust me when I say (cheap ass that I am) they are selling them TOO CHEAP! The art is really, really reasonably priced people. I was impressed with both the quality and the price.


The menu is somewhat limited, (they don’t offer everything under the sun), but that being said, there are plenty of things to choose from. You can have everything from healthy rolled oats or a bagel with cream cheese, biscotti (regular and gluten-free), muffins, cookies, brownies, etc. They usually feature 3 or so soups for lunch and offer a nice selection of coffees and teas, along with locally made specialty drinks (Honey Spice brand) and sodas.

So I ordered a London Fog tea. This is a newly re-discovered beverage for me.  I remember drinking them back in my twenties when I thought I was more awesome than I’d EVER be when I was my …. 40’sh… age now.

Turns out, I’m crazy awesome now. (Take THAT, 20-year-old me!)

Anyway, this drink is Earl grey tea made with steamed milk, and a dash of vanilla syrup. Simple, but ohhh SO good! I’ve seen recipes where they recommend steeping the tea with a few lavender buds, but I have yet to try that. The tea that was made for me had a perfect sweetness to it, a nice vanilla hint that didn’t overtake the taste of the tea, and a nice thick, milky foam on top.

Comforting like a blankie hug.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you.

So comforting in fact, I had two.

I ordered their Lazy Perogy Casserole soup. Yeah.. I know… casserole or soup?? Hey… I’m always up for a mystery, so I tried it.

Here are the photos, take a peek:

Perogy2 perogy1

Doesn’t look that appetizing does it? Looks thick and heavy.  Well let me tell you, I’m half Ukrainian people, and a self-professed Perogy Snob, so that automatically extends to a Lazy-Perogy snob. That being said, this ……. soup?, was INCREDIBLE.  The rich flavor of a super cheesy casserole with pasta was dilectable! There was a slight crunch from onions that were cooked, but not strong tasting that added a nice textural component.  I was really surprised at just how much flavor this little bundle of happiness possessed. (AND FILLING – Don’t let the portion size fool you!)

If it were me making it, the only changes that I would do to make it out of this world, insanely good, would be to loosen the mixture a tiny bit more with cream… (listen, calories/shmalories, go big or go home), a dash or two of dill, and upon serving, a nice little sprinkle of bacon. But that’s just me and my snobby ways.

I WILL order this dish again.

I have to add, everything on their menu is REASONABLY priced, ($4.50 for the soups WITH a biscuit!). It’s almost bordering on stealing.

Ok… NOW to the best part.

The special part about this little sweet gem of a cafe people, is that they are a not-for profit establishment.


The whole concept is to build a stronger sense of community within Sherwood Park and it’s run by volunteers.  This is a whole new idea that Sherwood Park hasn’t seen before, and really goes against the grain of what most businesses are all about. However, not only are they providing Sherwood park with a greater sense of a community connection, I think unknowingly, they are also selling an experience within the cafe. When you normally spend your money in any other establishment, you really don’t think anything  about it. But with Common Ground, the prices are so reasonable, it’s not for profit, so you actually FEEL GOOD spending your money there. The food and goods they sell are quality products, the volunteers are charming and sweet, there are lots of opportunity to share community ideas and events at the front foyer. The chairs and tables are comfortable with some sofa chair type seating as well that’s perfect for that catch up convo with your friends, they have a stand of game boards and children’s books if your interested, AND they have a free wi-fi.

What more can you want?

So how common is Common Ground Cafe?  Turns out, not common at all.

And it’s a very good thing.

Get out there, meet your neighbors, and at the very least, support this truly wonderful cafe.

It’s worth it!

CTV news came out and did a feature on them. Click the link to check it out!

Square One might need to start back at…. well…..

Square One
#32 993 Fir St
Sherwood Park, AB

Square One is a new restaurant opened in Sherwood Park recently. While there’s TONS of new, cool eateries that have opened that I still need to try in Edmonton, I’m the first to say that I’m a lazy ass driver and if I can meet with one of my besties for a long lunch on my home turf in suburbia…. I’m gonna make sure it happens. Lucky for Square One that they’re on my turf, yes?..

Hhmm.. maybe not so much.

The decor is nice, and well, based on the last few restaurants I’ve been too – is getting a bit copycatty. Dark woods, chrome, clean lines… blah blah, snore snore. I initially liked it with The Canteen, and with The Phork, but it’s getting old now. Please. Let’s inject some originality here. (IE: De Dutch). Oh, and by originality, I don’t mean the framed print of Darth Vader they have on the wall…….The ONLY piece of “art” they have in the whole place that I could see.


Anyway, the menu is “international” – a little bit of this.. a little bit of that, all from over this great eclectic globe. They use local ingredients that showcases the grower/producer which scores HUGE points in my book. Sadly, not a lot of mention of the big “O” – (ORGANIC, people…. come on now!).. but maybe that will change with time.

I have to mention that our server was awesome. Didn’t get her name, but if I ever owned a spot, I’d try and poach her from this place. Really friendly, thoughtful and accommodating. She was always there to refill and take away, and ask us if we were cool or needed anything without hanging around and being creepy.

My friend and I decided to share an appie (or appy, or, APPETIZER.. sheesh.. so many choices now a days.) to start. We decided on the Plaza Machado Tostadas – Crispy house tortillas, huichol, pork belly, spicy onions, crème fraiche, lettuce, lime… It was the recommendation of our server as one of the more popular items on the menu. She said she actually dreams about them because they are so good.

My expectations immediately raised a full point.


They came three to the plate, all pretty and styled. Pretending to be ladylike, I sort of tried to use my knife to cut them into more manageable pieces so I wasnt so dork-like while trying to pick one up to eat.

Yeah…. the idea was great in my mind.

The actual effect was more….. land mine looking. (Our server said she forgot to tell us they’re messy…… Yeaaaaaaah….thanks). So now resembling more of a tiny bundle of nacho’s, we tried them.


Yeah.. that’s about it, really. As my loving mother would say – “They didn’t twirl my beads”.

She actually says that. In private…. most times.

The pork belly was a monotone note of just a spicy heat and we tasted no hints of lime at all. The crème fraiche was basically decorative only and the onions were ok. The crispyness of the house made tostada was really nice though. I wouldn’t say I hated the appetizer, but it was just….*shrug*. I sprinkled a tiny bit of salt that it needed over it and that elevated it up a notch to “not bad”. FYI – for those who are spice scared, these puppies are a nice challenge.  They aren’t too hot, but there’s enough heat to make you say “phew! Those gotta kick!” (And you’d say it just like that, right?)

Our main meal for lunch was the Chicken Wrap- Grilled chicken, apples, Gruyère, raisins, greens, quinoa. My friend and I had decided to share the dish and the kitchen was incredibly awesome to actually split the order onto two plates for us with our own little cute bucket of fries.

Let me tell you, friends and neighbors, this dish was MORE than enough for two of us. Given that we’d had the appetizer, the half wrap each was filling to the point that we both couldn’t really finish it.. never mind eat all the fries. ( We needed to leave room for dessert ok??)

The wrap itself was decent. The quinoa, being what it is, is fairly neutral in taste, so it only added bulk and a slightly weird texture, but the chicken was ok. The apples and raisins were a nice contrast off the chicken and actually, this is the first place I’ve seen that grills the wrap. Nice touch!

So anyway, the wrap was good, but you wouldn’t say it was AMAZEBALLS  good or anything. Again, you wouldn’t go home and blog about it…. (wait, what?) However, if you’re some burly dude who works at a crazy labor job that makes you eat like a hairy Sasquatch, – this would do the deed to fill that cavernous hole.  The fries were better than the wrap, hands down, and my spoiled self was disappointed that it seemed to be the ketchup was made by Heinz and not in-house. (I had a wicked smoked ketchup once and nothing has compared since.) Plus, the wrap left you with a heavy taste of garlic in your mouth afterwards.

Like.. HEAVY.

Like, ban you to the couch for the night, heavy.

Dessert – Saskatoon Berry crème brulee- arrived happy and inviting in a longish styled plate with a pretty brulee’d top on it perfectly sized for sharing.

The top was nice, warm and crunchy while the filling was lightly dotted with saskatoon berries. The texture of the filling was not what I was used to. Usually it’s nice and smoooooth.. like a luxurious pudding made for a queen. This filling was made for more for the person who gets to do the queen’s laundry because it was a bit lumpy… sort of.  Here, look:

That being said, it won best of show at lunch today. The weird texture didn’t deter the decadent taste of the cream and berry mixture to show up. The brulee’d sugar on top was just as  François Massialot‘s 1691 cookbook said it should be (I’m guessing, anyway) – with a properly caramelized sugar taste with a crack-with-a-spoon crunch. I kinda doubt he said it like that, but you get my drift.

So, overall, Square One didn’t impress me to go back, sadly. I think they have awesome service and a super cool menu, but from what I sampled today, balanced with the cost of lunch with a few sodas and coffee (around $55.00 not including tip), they have to REALLY step up the taste train to twirl my beads.

Oh, and on a side note, they had the CUTEST cream containers for coffee!! Check it out:


Square One on Urbanspoon

Cheater Cobbler

It’s one a.m. in the morning…..
and I’m jonesin’ for pie.

AS IF I’m going to make a pie at one a.m. right?
Buuuuut I remember a recipe I saw called “EASY FRUIT COBBLER”.

Easy they said. Hmm.
Ok… it’s not pie, but I’m always down for anything easy.

(Don’t go there.)

So to follow, is cheater pie… but in a crumble, or cobbler… kinda.

Actually, I’ll call it, Cheater Cobbler.

Pie, cobbler, crumble, whatever. It’s sweet, warm, and comforting. What more do you want at one a.m.??

(Don’t go there.)

Check it out my gorgeous readers:

White Cake mix
Package frozen berries/fruit
2 lemon/lime sodas


It SERIOUSLY cannot get easier than this.

Put frozen fruit in pan:


Sprinkle cake mix evenly over fruit:


Slowly pour first can of soda over mixture. DO NOT MIX IT AROUND, DO NOT STIR!!!
Let it foam up in all it’s glory. Don’t freak out, don’t make it wierd.
Just marvel at your grade 10 chemistry class coming alive in front of you.


If it seems a bit too dry still, start pouring the second soda in. You won’t need it all, maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 a can.


Place in the oven at 350 for 40-45 min.

This whole thing took me less than 4 minutes to put together. Yes.. I timed it. I had to see how “easy” they really meant, and peeps, I gotta say, they were right! It took longer for the oven to heat up than it did for me to throw this together.

Now, it’s totally up to you what you do for 40-45 minutes at one a.m. in the morning while your cheater cobbler bakes. Just be sure to set the damn timer on your stove. No one likes burnt dessert plus you’ll be mad because the infomercial operator distracted you with the fatblaster 2000 on the phone.

When you take it out, be astounded at how much it looks like a cobbler… or a crumble… or a betty.. or whatever. I don’t know the difference between all those, (but if you do, PLEASE comment below and fill me in!!), but you get where I”m going with it.

Don’t expect this to taste EXACTLY like your sweet ole grandma’s cobbler,.. but it’s a superb stand-in. Besides, it’s the middle of the night and you’re not Gordon Ramsey.

(Although having Gordon Ramsey in the middle of the night would spell =AWESOME.)


Smell its berry/peach happiness. Hear the bubbling sound of encouragement, asking you to curl up with the whole pan and a spoon.

But that would just be too much. ……………. or would it???

Yes…. yes it would.

Eating the whole pan would :
A- be too ridiculously much, and
B- be asking for a huge case of bubbly guts.

So, instead, practice restraint dear readers.


Besides… it’s the new year… time for new  resolutions, new beginnings, portion control, fat blasters……………………
and a side scoop of ice cream to keep the cheater company.

Eet smakelijk at De Dutch!!

De Dutch
10030 Jasper Ave
Edmonton, AB
(587) 520-8841


Go ahead – try to pronounce that and look cool at the same time.

Feeling about as cultured as a bag of Doritos and a hot dog in a bread-bun, my awesome self went for breakfast with my equally awesome friend Brandy, to check out the latest dutch pannekoeken (pancake) house we’d heard so much about. This dutch breakfast joint has over 23 locations and specializes in the big as a beach ball pancake….. with stuff on it. (Think dinner plate size, thicker type crepe). A side note, they do have lunch items should it be minus a zillion celsius outside and nose-cicles first thing in the morning aren’t your thing.

Walking into De Dutch, the decor is SUPER hip. Orange, yellow and creams, a clean, contemporary style. Bright and welcoming with huge canvas maps of different cities in The Netherlands on the walls. However, there was a tv on the wall which was playing the news I think, which seemed a bit out of place, but in hindsight, it’s probably for all those soccer fans (or you know… staff) who want know what’s going on with the game.

It was early and there was only one other table with customers. I’d heard this place lines up past the door, so I was happy to be able to actually choose where we wanted to sit. Our waitress immediately appeared at the table, ready to take drink orders. We ordered coffee, she dropped the menus and left us to it.

Now let me say, if you’ve ever been to Holland, you KNOW about the coffee. Sweet baby Jesus, the coffee. Listen, love me or hate me, I tell the truth when I say, in my opinion, Timmie’s is SWAMP WATER when compared to this coffee.


How dare I say such thing? Listen, I’m not saying anything that a well seasoned coffee aficionado doesn’t already know. While not served in the same fashion as a lot of cool coffee shops would in Holland, the taste was EXACTLY what I remembered. PERFECT for what you want for a cold, just woke up kinda, sunday morning coffee. (Or any other day, really.)

The regular type will wake you up and is super rich and smooth, and the high-test – (regular with a shot of espresso in it) will SLAP you happy. Strong, smooth and full of gloriousness.  People, I would literally drive all the way downtown JUST for a cup of their coffee.

I ADORE these menus!


We decided to order the same way we did at Canteen; two dishes, two clean plates for sharing. We decided on their popular Hash Pannekoeken, and the Strawberry Cheese Cake Pannekoeken.  From the menu, here’s the description:

The Strawberry Cheesecake:
Sweetened Cream Cheese, Strawberry Topping and Whipped Cream
(pretty straight forward)

The Hash:
Stuffed with Hash Browns, Mushroom, Green Pepper, Onion and Cheddar mixed with your choice of Ham, DeBakon*, Sausage, Turkey Bacon or Vegetarian with Hollandaise Sauce.  I know what your thinking and I already asked for you. DeBakon is bacon that comes from the shoulder of the pig. Leaner, and more like a Canadian Bacon type of thing.


So this hash is served in a boat-type serving dish, ATOP the thin pannekoeken which according to the menu, has a 37″ circumference.  It wasn’t stuffed anywhere, so I’m not sure what they meant when saying it was “stuffed”. I thought it odd that they would serve the plate the hash was in,  on top of something your supposed to eat.  Imagine putting your steak on a plate and then putting that plate on top of your garlic toast. Wierd, and it made me a bit twitchy hoping that the hash dish didn’t see any sketchy kitchen surfaces before it nestled on top my pancake.

I liked the fact that all the items in the hash were cut all pretty much the same size. No big chunks of peppers or potato. The bacon or,.. sorry,…. DeBakon, …… was a nice accompaniment and didn’t take over the dish. The hollandaise …. well…… .  First, we had to ask for extra because it was quickly sort of absorbed by the dish’s ingredients, but the sauce itself was…. different. It didn’t have that traditional ‘tang’ from the lemon that you would normally taste. My friend described it as more buttery, which was a perfect descriptor. It was more of a butter type cream sauce that unfortunately, looked slightly broken. HOWEVER, you will never hear me bitch about anything being buttery, so it went really nicely with the hash when you got enough of it on your fork. All in all though, the dish didn’t blow us away.


The other dish was served the same way, but with smaller containers on top of the pannekoeken. (That kitchen better SCRUB the bottoms of those dishes!) The small tub of strawberries seemed to be the frozen/thawed type and not fresh strawberries. But I guess that’s why they called it “topping” on the menu. Either way it was good. The sweetened cream cheese was yummy, not too sweet, and the whipped cream was great, but the best of the dish was the pannekoeken. It wasn’t heavy, and the texture was really great. It was perfect because it was not a lead blanket like a pancake can be sometimes, but it was more substantial than a fragile crepe. When all ingredients were put together and you shoved in your mouth – yeah….. how can you go wrong with that combo?

All in all, I definitely will go back to De Dutch. I loved the decor, and the service was friendly, helpful, timely and not annoying. The food, while it had a few tiny issues, was good. Next time I go though, I will ask for the dishes to come on a separate plate, and I’ll bring a thermos to buy extra coffee to bring home.

De Dutch on Urbanspoon

My Christmas Love Affair

I’m in love.

Yes.. that’s right. LOVE.

And it happens every damn year around this time.

I’m in love for about a month.. month and half… and then we breakup. It’s the same old thing every year. You’d think I’d get tired of those messy shenanigans right?


Around the middle of November, my mind starts to flash intermittently on images of years past with the great times we had. The smiles I smiled, the happiness I expressed, (sometimes even with a little dance), the loving looks that always linger longer than they should.

I get weak. I forget the previous year’s ugliness with the breakup. By December, I’m full into it.

I long.. I pine. I cannot stand it any longer.

I fall in love, all over again for another year. With who you ask? Not so much with who, but more with what.

Yes my dear readers, with the simple


Obviously you know I’m over exaggerating.

(ok.. KINDA over exaggerating.)

Anyway – Truth is,  is that the lowly confetti square treat is probably my most favorite Christmas “baking” to eat. Easy as hell to make and when you take your first bite.. peanut buttery, butterscotchy devine-ness… sweet,… smooth, …it melts in your mouth with the sweet whisper of “hello again, Lover”.

Add the pillowy texture of fruity mini marshmallows and you pretty much have the reason why love was invented.

I LOVE this dessert. But we always have to breakup after Christmas because well, with any good relationship, you don’t want to burn out on each other, and well… the unhealthyness of it all. OMG, the calories!

If I didn’t stop eating it, I’d be like some 800lb strung out dessert addict shoving a bag of mini marshmallows in my pants at Safeway so I could go home and make my next hit.

So, we have our little love affair for the season, and in the new year, we say goodbye.

I just don’t want to think about that part right now.

Butterscotch Confetti Squares

Ok. Here we go:

1. In a super cute pot like mine, melt 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

1 stick butter
2. Add 1 cup of Peanut Butter, and 1 bag of butterscotch chips


3. Mix till melted and let cool a bit. DO NOT DRINK. It is NOT a beverage!


4. Add 1 bag mini marshmallows. Do you like the action shot?

5. Mix together till well coated and put into greased dish


Chill dessert for at least an hour to set up.

Take heed. Your love affair will begin after the first bite,
but don’t come crying to me when you can’t stop. I warned you.


confetti squares

And She Forkin’ Forays….

One of the projects I’ve been wanting to work on deals with the world of frozen food. Whether it be entree’s, appetizers, desserts, etc, I’ve thought about this for a while now. So, without further adieu (ado?), I proudly present to you:

Forkin’ Foodie’s Frozen Food Foray!

Yeah, yeah, so maybe not so proudly, but I couldn’t think of a better name ok? I like the Foray part tho.

So here’s the deal – I select a frozen food item of some sort, and photograph the box, plus the frozen state it comes in. I will then heat it according to the mfg instructions, and re-plate the food in a (hopefully) nicer setting. I’ll photograph that.

Then comes the TWO BITE TASTE TEST!

ONLY two bites, you say?? Yes. Only two. My reasoning is that you can usually tell within the first two bites if you like something or not, and, well more truthfully… I”m sure that with some of them, two bites will be all I WANT to try.

That being said, with my final review, I will give the frozen food either a stamp of approval, which looks like this:




Or they get nothing, which looks like this: