Mudslide Pie

title1 Mudslide Pie

My husband’s favorite dessert is chocolate pie. His grandmother was a wonderful southern cook, and chocolate pie was one of her specialties. So Jonathan grew up eating what I refer to as “heirloom” chocolate pie, because apparently one must inherit the ability to make it like she did. I have tried, but goodness knows I just can’t make it like she did. Instead of always feeling like my chocolate pie was inferior, I decided to find a chocolate pie that was entirely different than hers. I came across Mudslide Pie years ago, and it has become a treasured part of the holiday dessert collection around here. Hardly a holiday goes by that one of my gang doesn’t ask for it. I made it last weekend for Easter, and decided to pass it on to you. I hope your family loves it as much as mine does.

Mudslide Pie takes a little time, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Start out by gathering your ingredients. This one goes pretty fast, so have all your ingredients ready as you begin to prepare the pie. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 9″ prepared chocolate pie crust (I use the Oreo crust)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon hot water
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Melt a cup of chocolate chips in a saucepan over lowest possible heat. As it melts, stir with whisk to smooth chocolate. When completely melted, remove from heat.

Combine coffee granules and hot water in a medium size bowl. Add sugar, sour creak, and vanilla. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in melted chocolate until smooth. Spread into pie crust and put in freezer for several hours.

When pie is chilled, you can make the topping. Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, and cocoa in a small bowl until stiff peaks form. Spread over chocolate layer in pie crust. PLace pie back in freezer until ready to cut.

title1 Mudslide Pie
Mudslide Pie
title1 Mudslide Pie
Chocolate, coffee, and sour cream make this frozen pie a delight!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 9" prepared chocolate pie crust (I use the Oreo crust)
  2. 1 cup chocolate chips
  3. 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  4. 1 teaspoon hot water
  5. 3/4 cup sour cream
  6. 1/2 cup sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  9. 1 cup powdered sugar
  10. 1/4 cup cocoa
Instructions
  1. Melt a cup of chocolate chips in a saucepan over lowest possible heat. As it melts, stir with whisk to smooth chocolate. When completely melted, remove from heat.
  2. Combine coffee granules and hot water in a medium size bowl. Add sugar, sour creak, and vanilla. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in melted chocolate until smooth. Spread into pie crust and put in freezer for several hours.
  3. When pie is chilled, you can make the topping. Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, and cocoa in a small bowl until stiff peaks form. Spread over chocolate layer in pie crust. PLace pie back in freezer until ready to cut.
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aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

It’s time for the final reveal of the aTeam Ministries apartment. We have already shown you the children’s bedroom and the master suite, so today it’s time to take a look at the dining room and den. Generous donors had already given much of the furniture for this space, including a dining room table and chairs, a sofa, a loveseat, and a coffee table. Most of what I did in this space was to accessorize and add a couple of new pieces of furniture. One of the kindest and most beautiful donations aTeam received was this breathtaking angel painting.

angel painting aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

It is HUGE – probably 5 ft x 5 ft. It is fabulous in the living space, and such a constant reminder that God’s presence is with us and He sends His angels to minister to us. This piece became the anchor around which we chose the rest of the furnishings. We used the existing brown sofa and loveseat, but threw in new throw pillows and blankets to give the room a splash of color.

throw pillows aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

We still needed a little something to anchor the room, and so the generous folks at Mohawk Flooring donated yet another rug – this one a large rug to fit the space. The colors and pattern could not have been more perfect. We wanted to create a warm, inviting, comfortable space, and this rug helped pull that look together!

LR rug aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

A few weeks before we started this project, the ladies at More Than A Mission Trip asked for suggestions on what kinds of projects they could help support. I spoke up immediately on behalf of aTeam, and they were kind enough to choose us as one of their charities. They sent us the money to buy this beautiful red desk. Families who stay at the apartment now have a place to do school work, work on the computer, pay bills, write notes, or whatever else they need to do. Thank you More Than A Mission Trip!!

desk aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

As we move into the dining area, there are many more generous donations. Someone gave the table and chairs that we used.

dining room aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

FLOR Carpet Tiles sent us a box of carpet tiles to make a rug. I’ve never used these before, but was so surprised at how simple they were to put together. My little bit helped me lay out the pattern I wanted, and then we taped them on the under side using the heavy duty stickers that come in the set.

Flor stickers aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

Once we had them all taped together, we flipped it over and put it in place under the table.

DR rug aTeam Apartment Reveal: Dining Room and Den

It took us about 10 minutes to put it together, and we even have leftover squares to use as spares.

Y’all, I could never have imagined a project like this coming together without so many generous sponsors. I was privileged to have the opportunity to serve aTeam in this way. If you’re looking for an easy way to support aTeam further, check out their online store where you can purchase awesome t-shirts. You can also become a volunteer, be a prayer partner, or make a financial donation. God bless you as you support them and God bless aTeam as they continue to support pediatric cancer families.

aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

A couple of months ago, we introduced you to our partnership with aTeam Ministries. aTeam was started a few years ago by our friends Jan and Andy Thrower. After their son went through pediatric cancer (and is now a happy, healthy six year old), Andy and Jan became aware of the unique and overwhelming challenges that pediatric cancer families endure. The horrendous experience of childhood leaves parents in emotional, spiritual, financial, and sometimes physical despair. aTeam seeks to minister to these families by providing services care bags when kids are unexpectedly hospitalized and parents haven’t packed a bag, family fun days at Alabama and Auburn (even meeting the team on some occasions), and financial aid with groceries, gas, medicine, and bills. They meet every week to pray for the children and their families. Their home away from home program provides a place to stay while families are in Birmingham for their children to receive treatment. That’s where we came in.

We were so happy to have the opportunity to help aTeam collect furnishings for the new place. We revealed the children’s bedroom to you a few weeks back. Today, we are ready to give you a look at the master bedroom and bathroom. We really tried to create a space that was not only beautiful, but also functional. We wanted parents to have a quiet, comfortable place to unwind after a long day at the clinic or hospital.

A generous donor gave us money for the master bedroom bedding. We definitely could not pull off a project like this without the financial support of private and corporate donors, and the friends of aTeam Ministries really came through for us.

bed aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

Since most of the people staying in the aTeam apartment aren’t there for long, we wanted to give plenty of place to store luggage.

luggage rack aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

My sister-in-law Cecily Hill Lowe, who is a very talented artist, generously gave us two of her latest paintings for the master bedroom. They are calm and peaceful, and they looked perfect in the space.

cecily paintings aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

Since the parents will not need the HUGE master closet in the apartment, we opted for turning it into a nursery. We have lots of families that have babies, and having a nursery allows parents and babies to stay with their regular sleeping arrangements instead of trying to sleep together in the same room. We all know how little sleep a parent gets with a small baby sleeping in the room.

crib aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

And many thanks to the sweet folks at HomeRight for sending me a Finish Max paint sprayer, which I used on a fun little project for the nursery. Every nursery needs a rocker, right? I found a diamond in the rough at the thrift store that I knew would be perfect with just a little elbow grease.

glider before aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

The Finish Max sprayer aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath made this job really simple. I gave it a fresh coat of paint to match the crib and pieced together a new cover for the cushions. And I do mean PIECED together! I am no seamstress!! But I do love the way it looked when finished, and I love the fact that mamas and babies now have a quiet little corner.

rocker1 aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

And finally, the master bathroom. The master bath is a large space that is already well decorated. It has lovely dark wood cabinets, great granite, and beautiful tile. It only took a few finishing touches to make it complete.

Mbath aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

MBa shower aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

The shower curtain was a gift from a generous donor. The rug was a generous gift from Mohawk Flooring. They were so kind to donate several rugs for the apartment, including both of the bath rugs, and another special piece I’ll show you later.

MBa rug aTeam Apartment Reveal: Master Bedroom and Bath

Thanks so much to the major sponsors to these rooms: Cecily Hill Lowe, HomeRight, and Mohawk Flooring. We also thank the private donors who provided the bedding, shower curtains, and accessories. We definitely could not have provided such a nice place to pediatric cancer families without all of you chipping in!

Visual Latin: A Homeschool Curriculum Review

When Kathryn from Compass Classroom contacted me about reviewing Visual Latin, it was an easy sell. We’ve used Visual Latin for years, so I’m happy to receive our next level of it just for telling you about it. icon smile Visual Latin: A Homeschool Curriculum Review Since I don’t speak Latin and have never studied it, I am dependent on a good curriculum to be able to teach Latin to my children. We’ve tried a couple of different curricula, and each one had benefits, but Visual Latin is the one we have stuck with for the long haul.

Visual Latin is a video and worksheet based curriculum from veteran Latin teacher Dwayne Thomas. Dwayne is funny and silly, so my daughter looks forward to watching the videos. His approach is that immersion is the best way to learn Latin, and so from the very beginning he has students listen to Latin readings as he interprets for them. He also believes that students learn Latin better when they read it instead of memorizing it, so each lesson has a Bible story in Latin.

Screen Shot 2014 04 19 at 9.02.26 AM Visual Latin: A Homeschool Curriculum Review

Dwayne believes that kids stay engaged better when they are taught in short spurts and when they achieve small successes along the way. Therefore each video lesson is short, lasting only around 10 minutes. He weaves new vocabulary and grammar into each lesson, so that by the end of the week, students can read an entire story in Latin.

If you’d like to try out Visual Latin before buying, Dwayne offers a free download of seven lessons to get you started. My guess is that once you get started, you’ll be using Visual Latin for years, just like we are.

Lemon Lilt Cake

cake Lemon Lilt Cake

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “lilt” as “a pleasant, gentle accent,” and perfectly describes the flavor of Lemon Lilt Cake. While I contend that the more lemon flavor a dish has, the better it tastes, I realize that not everyone enjoys such a robust twang. Lemon Lilt Cake is for those who want a gentle flavor of lemon instead of one that is overpowering. 

Following the same recipe skeleton as my Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, Lemon Lilt Cake is a super simple cake to make. Start with a box of Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme cake mix.

cake mix Lemon Lilt Cake

Add in a box of Jello Lemon Pudding.

jello Lemon Lilt Cake

Find a darling preteen girl who loves to bake, and get her to do the stirring for you.

Mixer Lemon Lilt Cake

Mix in half a cup of water, a cup of oil, 4 eggs, an 8 oz container of sour cream, and a tablespoon of vanilla. Find another cutie to help mix it all together.

stir Lemon Lilt Cake

Pour into a bunt pan sprayed with baking spray, while the littlest cutie looks on with great anticipation.

Sister Lemon Lilt Cake

Bake at 325 degrees for an hour. Remove from oven and turn onto a cake plate to cool for a few hours.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze to pour over the top. Melt a stick of butter and mix in two cups of confectioner’s sugar and three tablespoons of lemon juice. When cake is cool, pour glaze over top. Slice and serve.

recipe title Lemon Lilt Cake
Lemon Lilt Cake
recipe title Lemon Lilt Cake
A sweet, slightly tangy cake with a lovely lilt of lemon.
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Cake
  1. One box of Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
  2. One box of Jello Lemon Pudding
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 8 oz. sour cream
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 cup vegetable oil
  7. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Glaze
  1. 1 stick melted butter
  2. 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  3. 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
  1. This is a super easy recipe. Just mix all cake ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Spray a bunt pan with baking spray, and bake in 325 degree oven for an hour. When done, turn onto cake plate and let cool for a couple of hours.
  2. To make glaze, mix melted butter, confectioner's sugar, and leon juice together until smooth. Pour over cooled cake.
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